Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pointless laws

Assume, for the purposes of this exercise I have a permit recognized in PA. I get up in the morning, place my unloaded handgun in a securely-tied package, and place that and some ammunition in the trunk of my car. I drive from my house to a friend's house in a bad neighborhood in PA, stopping once I have crossed the delaware river to load and holster the handgun. I spend the day in PA, ending up in Bristol, where I purchase a box of hollowpoint ammo before securing my unloaded handgun in a tied package and heading home. In NJ I am pulled over for a minor traffic infraction (my headlight is out or something equally minor) and the police officer observes the box of hollowpoints which I left visible on the seat.
At this point I am pretty sure I am hosed, legally speaking. The hollowpoints are grounds for arrest in NJ, and search incident to arrest gets the gun. Even if I had stopped to shoot at the range where I bought the ammo, my travels in NJ are not direct to and from the range, making possession of the gun and ammo at least potentially illegal. At best I have an expensive court case to clear my name, and at worst, I'm the next Brian Aitken.
Did my hypothetical arrest make anyone safer? It certainly doesn't stop criminals from obtaining, carrying, and using firearms in a criminal fashion. In that I had to handle a loaded firearm, it increases the (miniscule) chance of an accidental or negligent discharge.

1 comment:

  1. Well... uh... in New Jersey my 18-shot Marlin 60 Pappy gave me for my 11th birthday is an assault rifle... I must of been a terrorist before it was popular...

    Dann in Ohio


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