How Illegal Is It? – Shot Down

About a month ago I hit the road in search of the answers to questions I didn’t know needed asking. Venus was in retrograde, and my youngest kid just moved out, so it was high time for a mystical spirit-journey. Me and my old man headed towards the desert; an enchanted landscape of immeasurable peace and tranquility. For safety we brought six handguns and a pair of brass knuckles. Just short of our destination we crashed our ride trying to avoid an alpaca crossing and were arrested for the weapons. I told the police it was all about safety on the journey, but to no avail. Please help my quest continue.

Jeff: With such firepower, how did you manage to lose to the alpaca? And I like peace and tranquility as much as the next person, but for what reason would you need brass knuckles on this trip? Leave the knuckles at home next time and just bring a couple more guns. I’ve never won a gunfight with my brass knuckles.

Colette: Namaste, Pam. Your instincts were correct. Some jurisdictions have what are called “peaceable journey laws.” These laws loosen certain restrictions on firearms if you are traveling. However, you do have to be sure and comply with certain federal and state regulations to take advantage of these provisions. Beware that not all states recognize the peaceable journey laws. You may want to contact an attorney next time you plan on transporting a gun across state lines.

Now to the brass knuckles. It will probably come as a surprise to you and many others that merely possessing brass knuckles (even if they are purely decorative) is illegal in some states. So next time you are at the swap meet or the knife show and you see a table full of knuckle dusters, keep on walking.

Finally, let me tell you a story. When my Aunt Kat met her first husband, Monty, he was judging the baby beauty pageant at the Portia Picnic (this is before his glaucoma diagnosis). Immediately after the winner was crowned, Monty and Aunt Kat set out for Memphis for a romantic getaway. A state trooper pulled them over for expired tags and found Monty’s gun. Long story short, the attorney they hired knew nothing about the peaceable journey laws and Monty ended up in jail. Aunt Kat always says that was the turning point for Monty. He was in and out of jail for the rest of their marriage.

This is why you should educate yourself about gun regulations, Pam. Don’t end up like Monty.

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