What’s the Law: Transporting firearms or ammunition without a vehicle

WHAT’S THE LAW?

BY DARRYL CHOY

TOPIC: Transporting firearms or ammunition without a vehicle

Question: How can a person transport unloaded firearms and ammunition without a vehicle? Is it legal to transport firearms while walking? Is a pistol in a backpack okay? What about ammo?

Answer: Excellent question. As we know, all unloaded firearms and ammunition have to be transported in a fully enclosed case and only between your home, the range, places of purchase, repair, training/instruction, exhibition/show or the police station. Can someone lawfully walk to a nearby gun shop to buy a firearm or ammunition? Walk over to HPD to register it and take it back home on foot? HRS Sections 134-24, 25 and 26 speaks to “lawful carry” between such places. The word “carry” is operative. No mention that it has to be in a vehicle. So the short answer is “yes.” An unloaded, fully encased handgun and ammunition in a backpack would be a good idea.

This would also seem to apply for those people taking the bus, taxi cab, as well as using a moped or bicycle. I don’t think your Second Amendment rights should be limited by not owning a motorized passenger vehicle.

But be well aware that most police officers do not understand the HRS Sections (above) and you will be subject to an arrest. As mentioned in the previous WTL column, discretion is important; it is best not to draw attention and keep a copy of your registration and a copy of the law with you if stopped. Additionally, carrying an unloaded, fully encased long gun without a passenger vehicle creates a host of public concerns. It may be lawful but not recommended.

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