Handguns and trailering

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by mwaldman42, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. mwaldman42

    mwaldman42 New Member

    My wife and I will be going full-time trailering in October 2008. I am 66, she is 62. We were seriously considering the purchase of a handgun for personal protection as we travel throughout the US and elsewhere. Absent the differing state rules and regs, what is the consensus on weapons in the trailer while traveling?
    Thanks.
     
  2. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    Re: Handguns and trailering

    YOu will find all kinds of answers. There are as many answers as there are rvers. I have a 22 pistol and 22 rifle in my rv. The rifle is in a gun case under the bed and the pistol is in a holster in a drawer. Neither is loaded and honestly I dont even remember where I have stored my ammo. But they are there if I think I need them for any reason. I also have a bb/pellet rifle in my closet loaded and I have and will use it to chase away wild animals including the two legged kind. LOL All joking aside I have them for personal comfort as well. I also have two different bats in my toad one only a foot long give or take and one about two foot long. Again for personal protection and will not hesitate to use them against wild animals as well. When I hike the mountain trails where the bears roam I carry both with me, hope I never have to thump a bear on the nose but I will not allow one to maul me without some kind of fight. I have never had to use any of my toys but the bb gun against stray dogs.
     
  3. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: Handguns and trailering

    My question is, are you a pistol marksman? If not, are you planning to become one and to also continue to practice on a frequent basis as you travel? Even experienced shooters need regular practice in order to stay that way. As one who has been actively involved in shooting sports for many years, I consider the purchase of a pistol for protection to be very foolish for most people. A much more effective weapon for use by a novice, or even for most experienced shooters, for defense is the shotgun. In addition, most pistol bullets will pass completely through the walls of an RV and probably continue through the wall of any adjacent RV and could kill the wrong person.

    On the other hand, a shotgun is very effective at close range and is more frightening to most intruders. It is not likely to pass through the wall of an RV and it will not endanger people in an adjacent one. In addition, a shotgun requires far less practice in order to hit your target at close range than does any pistol. If you plan to do this, get a shotgun.

    My last point is that even though I have used guns all of my life, I don't always have one in my RV. It happens that both Canada and Mexico prohibit or restrict the use of fire arms. Mexico allows none at all and Canada only sporting long guns, by permit. I have been a camper all of my life and have owned an RV since 1972. In all of that time there has been only one time that I was concerned enough to get a firearm out and that time nothing at all came of it. We have been full-time now for more than eight years and not once as there been any occasion where I would even get one out.
     
  4. Gruffy

    Gruffy New Member

    Re: Handguns and trailering

    How about parks??? most state and federal parks I have been in ban guns... exceptions made of course for wilderness areas and hunting season.

    As Kirk said forget travel in Canada and Mexico.

    Sounds like you'd be better off with a cell phone and 911 on speed dial.
     
  5. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    Re: Handguns and trailering

    National and state parks said that if they are dismantled or not readily available they can be carried. The rule of thumb is ammo in one case and weapon in another case locked in the trunk or storage area of vehicle where they are not readily available, they can be carried thru a park. Since I work for the parks system I have asked this question a few times as well as answered it for others as well.
     
  6. Gruffy

    Gruffy New Member

    Re: Handguns and trailering

    I'm curious... "carried through a park".... does that mean you can drive through on the highway but not stop or camp within the park???
     
  7. kellyx4

    kellyx4 New Member

    Re: Handguns and trailering

    If I can add my two cents worth here, I feel that Kirk is correct in what he is saying, a shotgun would probably be your best choice. I have been in the law enforcement in one capacity or another for almost 30 years now, starting as a deputy sheriff, Sergeant in a local town department, and now as a Captain in the State Department of Corrections. Most persons who actually need a weapon in a crisis are too flustered to accurately shoot a hand gun unless they have been properly trained and maintain that training rigorously. To be proficient with a hand gun takes many hours of practice.

    While there is ammunition available (Glasser Safety Rounds) for hand guns designed not to penetrate walls in apartments and houses, you must remember we are talking about an RV where the construction is not as solid.

    My weapon of choice in your circumstance would be a 410 gauge pump action shotgun with a 20" barrel, pistol grip stock, and loaded with #00 or #4 buckshot.

    It is compact, would be short enough to maneuver in the close confines of a RV and as mentioned above, the sight and sound of a pump action shotgun being manipulated is a very good deterrent in it's self.
     
  8. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    Re: Handguns and trailering

    Yes you can camp and stay and visit just keep your weapons locked up in truck or somewhere else. Example my rifle has bolt removed pistol has barrel removed. Both are in cases under the bed the bolt, barrels, and ammo are in a drawer. I am in a national park for half the year and they say this is acceptable.
     
  9. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Handguns and trailering

    Don't ask, don't tell. Nobody knows what you are carrying unless you tell. Learn how to use whatever, you carry and be prepared to use it. The State and Federal Parks aren't going to search your vehicle or bother you.
     
  10. Oakman

    Oakman New Member

    RE: Handguns and trailering

    I agree with Kirk and Kellyx4, go with a shotgun. There are just too many laws concerning handguns. When my wife and I take a local trip (in-state) I carry my handgun. When we take long trips (out-of-state) I carry a shotgun.

    Like Kirk I've only had one occasion where I was glad I had my weapon with me, but it turned out that I didn't need it. I did feel much more secure though.
     
  11. quantoson

    quantoson New Member

    Re: Handguns and trailering

    I too have handguns and rifles. But since going full time in 1998, we have never had any problems while traveling or staying at camp grounds. We have visited in several states. Not once has there been any altercations.

    But just for safety we have a set of xmas bells we hang on the door at night so if and when the door opens, the bells chime pretty loud. Another Rver we know set up a horn wired to his door contacts. And at night he flips a rocker switch so if his door opens unexpectedly, the horn blows really loud. A thief hates noise, just about as much as they hate being shot at.

    For the 22cal I would buy rat shot. Won't kill easily but can have a very stinging effect and chances are it won't penetrate to the next RV. And the holes in the Rv won't be hard to patch. LOL :laugh:
     
  12. larryccf1

    larryccf1 New Member

    Re: Handguns and trailering

    well, here's one topic i can add my 02 to, as well. As to the previous comments, i'll concur as to training and practicing. As to the flustered part, for folks that will not train, but occasionally, i suggest a revolver - a six shot 38 special - penetration is that great, and everybody has seen the hundreds of cowboy tv shows as kids and know instinctively how to use. A semi-automatic is too complicated for the non-practiced user, if it jams, etc, most non-trained individuals won't know what to do, how to clear the jammed round, etc - again, that revolver is almost instinctive to operate, no hair trigger, etc you have to consciously pull the trigger to fire, unlike some of the semi-automatics, especially the GLocks - hell, my wife keeps a S&W airweight 38 next to her bedside, and can do a hell of a "Cagney & Lacy" sweep/clearing a room LOL - all kidding aside, i actually loaded hers with the first round being a blank, so she can fire one shot into the ceiling (without putting a hole there) in case there's somebody in the house, she can impress on them that she has something that goes bang.

    As to carrying across state lines - there was a recent change in National Park regulations - don't know if it's been fully instituted, you might do a search at WorldNetDaily for the news stories as it's been in the past few months. For transport in legal states, unless you have a concealed carry permit, valid in the state in which you are traveling, the firearms have to be in a locked case, and ammo stored separately. Now for the good news - apparently there are now recipricocity statutes in place whereby the concealed carry permit, issued by one state is good in another state (that also permits concealed carry) BUT, YOU NEED TO CHECK WHICH STATES HAVE THOSE recipricocity arrangements - it's not automatic. And in fact, Utah, if i recall correctly, has a concealed carry permit application that you can fill out online, and take the courses online, and receive the permit, even though you are a resident of another state - and Utah has the largest reciprococity arrangement list of all the states.

    i would check with the state of UTAH, State Police, firearms division for more info on that.

    Last, i would carry a copy of the 1986 Volmer-McClure Act, also called the Firearms Owner Protection Act (FOPA), that sez, as long as you are enroute, traveling to a destination where possession of the firearm you are carrying is legal, and have not taken it out of your vehicle, you are safe in non-legal states. That mainly serves in states like New Jersey where it's become illegal to even think about owning a firearm.

    hope some of that helps

    I'm in the firearms industry, btw if you want a scan of the 1986 Volmer-McClure Act (FOPA), throw me an email at larryccf@NOSPAMmindspring.com (remove the "NOSPAM" from the email addy)
     
  13. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Handguns and trailering

    As long as your weapon is in the RV, who knows or cares. If you carry it in your tow/towed vehicle you may need a conceled weapon permit. My RV is my home.
     
  14. larryccf1

    larryccf1 New Member

    RE: Handguns and trailering

    sorry, i speed read past the part about trailer - if it's in your trailer, separate from the motor vehicle, then as long as it's locked in that trailer, as i understand the regs, you're fine, provided it's unloaded

    in your car or motor vehicle, and loaded, is when you would need a concealed carry permit

    sorry for the confusion, but that too often is my state of mind - multi-tasking seems to fry brain cells faster than i can regenerate them
     
  15. Duke505

    Duke505 New Member

    RE: Handguns and trailering

    I just recently took a concealed handgun glass in New Mexico and I learned a lot about the laws of carrying guns. Even if you don't plan on carrying, its still a great class to take. There were mostly women in the class and some had never even shot a gun before. The guy that taught me offers a free shooting clinic to his students once every month. It made me a lot more comfortable handling a firearm. The thing I like about getting a concealed permit is to be able to carry just about any where. Even when my wife and I go out for a walk, you have to watch your back just about anywhere you go now. Kinda sad.
     
  16. RvRover

    RvRover New Member

    Re: Handguns and trailering

    I agree with kellyx4. A shotgun would be much more effective for you even if you are a expert marksman. There is something about a shotgun that makes people not want to screw around with you. However the second amendment is meaning less and less to these officials that think you don't need to protect yourself on the road. Tell that to all the people who have died from drive bys around the country this past decade. Oh wait, you can't....they are dead :angry:
     
  17. Guest

    Re: Handguns and trailering

    Sounds like DL's attitude is as long as you are not caught you are not breaking any laws!

    Both I and my wife have concealed carry permits and carry and shoot on a regular basis. The law here is quite understaffed and you can't count on them. Whenever entering the National Park system we disarm and disassemble our weapon. It's the law and if you were caught somehow you would probably loose your permit to carry. When the National Park laws are change we will abide by the new laws.
     
  18. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Handguns and trailering

    As Iv' e said before, my RV is my home. I treat my firearms in the RV the same as I would if I lived in a brick/stick house. The constitution doesn't say I need a permit to own a firearm if I live and travel in a mobile house. This whole topic is ridiculus. Rv'ers should be able to determine what is right for them. I never asked anyone's opinion on wheather I should or shouldn't carry a firearm in my RV. I'd certainly get a concealed permit if I was ever in Florida long enough to go to all the trouble to get one. The Marine Corps discharge papers I got said I was a small arms expert/technician so I don't think I need an instructor to tell me how or when to use a firearm.

    I haven't seen any police stopping and searching any law abiding RV'ers in 13 years of full-time RVing, so I'm not too worried about being pulled over and searched. I don't look at it as not being caught, but more like it isn't a issue I lose any sleep over. ;)
     
  19. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: Handguns and trailering

    There is an excellent book that covers the legal questions in all fifty states and the federal ones. This book is written by a parcticing attorney who also owns a gun store and is very active in the political side of things. He is recognized as an expert on legal issues by the NRA and he has defended more than one gun issue in court. I suggest that you visit this link.
    http://www.gunlawguide.com/
     
  20. SnowbirdInFlight

    SnowbirdInFlight Senior Member

    Re: Handguns and trailering

    DH has talked about getting one but the way I figure it he was in the Marines so what do we need a gun for??? [​IMG]
     

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