U.S. LawShield® Announces Partnership with Jessie Harrison

 

(HOUSTON, TX) U.S. LawShield, the finest Legal Defense for Self Defense program in the nation, is proud to announce their partnership with world renowned competition shooter, Jessie Harrison.

Jessie is recognized as one of the most accomplished competition shooters in the world. She was the first female shooter to earn the highly coveted Grand Master status in the United States Practical Shooting Association. Excelling in five different shooting disciplines, Jessie has earned both world and national championship titles, including the prestigious Bianchi Cup, the Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships, and numerous USPSA National Championships. In addition to her shooting career, Jessie co-hosted “Friends of NRA” and “NRA All Access” TV shows airing on Outdoor Channel for five years, which helped promote shooting sports to legions of new shooters. Jessie is an avid 2nd Amendment advocate and has appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity” and “Justice with Judge Jeanine” to debunk firearms related myths and support the right to keep and bear arms.

This is an exciting sponsorship for U.S. LawShield and they look forward to supporting Jessie in her endeavors and this important mission. Jessie will be speaking at several U.S. LawShield events throughout the country in 2018, and U.S. LawShield membership will be offered to Jessie’s class participants throughout the year.

Four Tips to Know Before Carrying Your Firearm to a Beach in Georgia

You might think the only thing you need to figure out for your beach vacation is how to get your .44 magnum in your swimming trunks, but there are other factors you need to consider before you head out for fun in the sun. We want to make sure you know the law before you go soak up the sun, and we have developed four tips for carrying your firearm to the beach.

  1. License to Carry a Handgun— Because Georgia law allows Weapons Carry License holders to carry on virtually any public or private property, you can protect your family on a public beach or a private beach. It is permissible to carry on public beaches: License holders may carry there lawfully.  Private beaches are okay, too:  License holders may carry onto private property unless expressly excluded or asked to leave by the owner or person in control of the property.  State park beaches are okay, as are federal beaches:  Georgia law allows carry for License holders in state parks, and the federal government follows state law, except NO CARRY is allowed in federal buildings.  You can openly (difficult when swimming), and carry concealed in a beach bag, backpack, and yes, even in your swim trunks. Remember, however, for carry in parks, historic sites, or state recreational areas, only handgun carry is permitted.  See O.C.G.A. §12-3-10.
  2. Storing Firearms While Traveling—It’s important to keep in mind how you’re going to get to your waterside destination, because the laws can be very different depending on your mode of transportation. When traveling by vehicle, Georgia allows you to carry a concealed handgun with or without a license, as long as you are eligible to possess that weapon. License or not, if not prohibited from possessing the firearm, you can keep it anywhere in the vehicle, openly or concealed. When traveling by airplane, TSA guidelines require that your firearm is unloaded, locked in a commercial gun case with a TSA approved lock, and declared at check-in. Make sure if you travel out of state your Weapons Carry License is honored through a reciprocal agreement (check the Attorney General’s website at https://law.georgia.gov/firearms-license-reciprocity for more information and a listing of states with reciprocity). You must follow the laws of the state you’re visiting when you are there with a firearm.
  3. Having a Firearm on a Boat—We know many of you like to go out on the water on a jet ski or boat. It’s important to understand how the laws can change when you’re out on the water, and what effect that has on carrying your firearm. A boat does not fit the definition of “vehicle” in Georgia, so the rules on weapons carry without a license for automobiles do not necessarily apply. Consequently, unless your boat is of a type that may be considered a “habitation” or home for purposes of carry without a license, you must have a Weapons Carry License to possess a firearm in a boat (should the boat be of a type that would be considered a home or habitation, an individual may be covered for carry without a license under O.C.G.A. § 16-11-126(a)). Inasmuch as O.C.G.A. § 16-11-127 allows for carry with a Weapons Carry License “in every location in this state” not prohibited by state or federal law, however, a WCL holder should feel free to carry a firearm in a boat in the same manner he or she would on dry land: on any public or private property, so long as not prohibited or excluded by the property owner. A caveat to this rule is carrying on land administered by the United States Corps of Engineers. Federal regulations restrict possession of firearms on Corps lands. 36 CFR § 327.13 prohibits “the possession of loaded firearms, ammunition. . . or other weapons” on Corps-managed property, unless carried by law enforcement, carried for hunting or trapping (note: self-defense is not a listed exception), at authorized shooting ranges, or by permission of the District Commander. Keep in mind also carry in parks, historic sites, and recreation areas is restricted to handguns. Federal and state regulations, specifically on waterways controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers, can affect your lawful possession of a firearm. Check with an attorney before venturing far into unknown waters.
  4. Understand How the Law Changes When You Drink—While you may not be a person who takes part in wild parties over spring break, it’s important to know what can happen if you do drink while carrying your firearm on the beach. While there is no law restricting carry while drinking, it is against the law to discharge a firearm when you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Our best advice is: if you are consuming any alcohol, do not bring your gun.

If you remember these four things, you can maintain that peace of mind to enjoy your beach vacation. Remember, U.S. & Georgia LawShield is not just the 24/7/365 Attorney-Answered Emergency Hotline:  if you have a question, don’t hesitate to call our Non-Emergency Business Line on the back of your Member Card or bring your question to one of our Gun Law Seminars. To find a Gun Law Seminar in your area go to www.uslawshield.com/seminar

Top 5 Things To Know Before Carrying Your Firearm on a Beach – Virginia

You might think the only thing you need to figure out for your beach vacation is how to get your .44 magnum in your swimming trunks, but there are other factors you need to consider before you head out for fun in the sun. We want to make sure you know the law before you go soak up the sun, and we have developed five tips for carrying your handgun to the beach.

  1. License to Carry a Handgun— Virginia law requires a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) to carry a concealed handgun. Virginia law does not require a permit to openly carry a handgun.
  2. Storing a Handgun While Traveling—It’s important to keep in mind how you are going to get to your waterside destination because the laws can be very different depending on your mode of transportation. Any person who may lawfully possess a firearm and is carrying a handgun while in a personal, private motor vehicle and such handgun is secured in a container or compartment in the vehicle is not required to possess a CHP. When traveling by airplane, TSA guidelines require that your firearm is unloaded, locked in a commercial gun case with a TSA approved lock, and declared at check-in. According to Virginia law, it is unlawful to possess or transport a firearm into any air carrier terminal unless the firearm is being checked with luggage or it is being retrieved from the baggage claim area.
  3. Public vs. Private Beach—Before you feel the sand between your toes it’s important to find out if you’re going to be on a public or private beach. Though most beaches are located on public property, a beach outside of a private home could be the private property of that homeowner. Virginia law recognizes a private property owner’s right to ban firearms. If your plans take you to a private beach, be sure to check with the owner. Public beaches, on the other hand, should be treated like any other public property in the state.
  4. Having a Handgun on a Boat—We know many of you like to go out on the water on a jet ski or boat. It’s important to understand how the laws can change when you’re out on the water, and what effect that has on carrying your handgun. Any person who may lawfully possess a firearm and is carrying a handgun while in a personal, private vessel and such handgun is secured in a container or compartment in the vessel is not required to possess a CHP. Unfortunately, boats and watercraft vessels can lead to a complicated intersection between the laws of different states because rivers, lakes, and waterways often separate two states. Additionally, some waterways are controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers and federal regulations, which can affect your lawful possession of a firearm. Check with an attorney before venturing far into unknown waters.
  5. Understand How the Law Changes When You Drink Alcohol—While you may not be a person who takes part in wild parties over spring break, it’s important to know what can happen if you do drink alcohol while carrying your handgun on the beach. Generally, guns and alcohol do not mix. Va. Code § 18.2-308.012 makes it illegal for any person permitted to carry a concealed handgun who is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs to carry such handgun in a public place. This offense is classified as a Class 1 Misdemeanor, which is punishable by 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. Any CHP holder who is convicted for being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while carrying such handgun in a public place shall have his CHP revoked. Such person shall be ineligible to apply for a CHP for a period of 5 years. This law also prohibits any person who carries a concealed handgun with a CHP onto the premises of any restaurant or club as defined in Va. Code § 4.1-100 that has an Alcoholic Beverage Control license to sell and serve alcoholic beverages on-premises to consume an alcoholic beverage while on the premises. A violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. This law does not apply to law-enforcement.

If you remember these five things, you can maintain that peace of mind to enjoy your beach vacation. Remember, U.S. LawShield is not just the 24/7/365 Attorney-Answered Emergency Hotline. If you have a question, then please call our Non-Emergency Business Line on the back of your Member Card or bring your question to one of our Gun Law Seminars. To find a Gun Law Seminar in your area go to www.gunlawseminar.com.

Top 5 Things to Know Before Carrying at a Lake in Oklahoma

You might think the only thing you need to figure out for your lake vacation is how to get your Smith and Wesson, .44 magnum, up until a few years ago, the world’s most powerful handgun, into your swimming trunks. But there are other factors you need to consider before you head out for fun at the lake, creek or river. We want to make sure you know the law before you go soak up the sun, and we have developed five tips for carrying your firearm to the lake.

  1. License to Carry a Handgun, for Most Lakes in Oklahoma — Good news, Oklahoma has over 200 man-made lakes, bad news; the Corps of Engineers controls and operates over 90% of the recreational lakes in Oklahoma. Thank your Federal Government for our lakes that are primarily flood control lakes and secondarily recreational/fishing/hunting lakes. Unfortunately for self defense devotees, the Federal Government passed a regulation titled 36 CFR 327.13, outlawing the carry of firearms on Corps property or projects built by the Corps of Engineers, absent written permission from the District Commander. The penalty for violation is up to a $5,000 fine and or up to 6 months in jail for anyone other than a police officer carrying a firearm for self defense. There are exclusions to this draconian rule for hunting, and target practice at gun ranges on Corps property. Even though Corps property lakes are primarily public property, you cannot carry your firearm, on Corps property, under the authority of your Concealed Carry License (CCL).  You can, however, carry your concealed pistol in a lake bag, backpack, and yes, even in your swim trunks at all State, municipal, and Federal parks. Be careful that the State or Federal Park is not connected to a waterway or lake built by the Corps of Engineers because the Corps of Engineers, considers its rules override state law, and the Corps is very jealous of their power and enforces their rules very strictly. Game Rangers know about the Corps of Engineers’ rules and will be happy to dole out a very fat federal ticket to the unwary. There are a few public lakes not built by the Corps of Engineers in Oklahoma, however, the overwhelming majority of lakes with a dam were built by the Corps of Engineers.
  2. Storing Firearms While Traveling—It’s important to keep in mind how you’re going to get to your waterside destination because the laws can be very different depending on your mode of transportation. When traveling by vehicle, Oklahoma allows you to carry a concealed handgun with a license. If you don’t have a license to carry, you can transport your firearm in your car for all legal purposes: target shooting, hunting, historical re- enactments, and taking it to sell it. However, you have to transport the fire arm unloaded and in a gun case if it is in the cabin of your vehicle or in a separate locked compartment, like your trunk. If you have a CCL, you have the additional option of openly carrying             your handgun in your vehicle in a shoulder holster or belt holster. When traveling by airplane, TSA guidelines require that your firearm is unloaded, locked in a commercial gun case with a TSA approved lock, and declared at check-in.
  3. Public vs. Private Lake—Before you feel the grass between your toes it’s important to find out if you’re going to be on a public or private lake. Though most lakes are public  property, the lake that is on private property is often the property of that land owner. Oklahoma law recognizes a private owner’s right to restrict the carry of a handgun on their premises, including if that premises is at the lake. If your plans take you to a private lake, be sure to check with the owner and keep your eye out for no trespassing or posted Public lakes, on the other hand, should be treated like any other public property in the state. If you can carry in Oklahoma, you can carry at the lake..
  4. Having a Firearm on a Boat—We know many of you like to go out on the water on a jet ski or boat. It’s important to understand how the laws can change when you’re out on the water, and what effect that has on carrying your firearm. Oklahoma law treats vessels/ watercraft differently than motor vehicles and allows you to carry a concealed firearm in       a vessel/watercraft under your control only when you have a CCL. Unfortunately, boats and watercraft can lead to a complicated intersection between federal jurisdiction and different states’ laws. Rivers and lakes often separate two states, example, the Red River and Lake Texoma. Texas law, Oklahoma law and federal regulations apply. Federal regulations, specifically on lakes and waterways controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers, affect your lawful possession of a firearm. Check with an attorney before venturing far into unknown waters.
  5. Understand How the Law Changes When You Drink—While you may not be a person who takes part in wild parties over spring break, it’s important to know what can happen if you do drink while carrying your firearm at the lake. Carrying a firearm while under the influence is a crime in Oklahoma, punishable by minimum 10 days – 6 months      in jail and $50 – $500 fine or BOTH, as well as the revocation of your CCL for 6 months plus an administrative fee of $50. Oklahoma does not specifically define what under the   influence means in the context of an unlawful carry, but if you lose the normal use of your mental or physical faculties, the law will probably consider you under the influence.        You might consider that under the influence in the context of driving a car is a blood alcohol content of .08% BAC. Our best advice is: if you are consuming any alcohol, do not carry your gun.

If you remember these five things, you can maintain that peace of mind to enjoy your  lake vacation. Remember, U.S. Law Shield is not just the 24/7/365 Attorney-Answered Emergency Hotline. If you have a question, don’t hesitate to call our Non-Emergency Business Line on the back of your Member Card or bring your question to one of our Gun Law Seminars. To find a Gun Law Seminar in your area go to www.uslawshield.com/seminar

“Constitutional Carry” Not Dead Yet in Oklahoma

We have been following and reporting on SB 1212, the bill that made its way through both Houses of the Oklahoma Legislature a few weeks ago only to have Governor Mary Fallin veto the measure. SB 1212 would have granted people not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm by state or federal law the right to carry a firearm without the necessity of obtaining a permit.

Since the bill was not passed and sent to the Governor’s office until the end of the regular legislative session, the lawmakers were helpless in trying to override the veto. Under the state’s constitution, the Legislature can call for a special session and reconvene if two-thirds of the members in each chamber sign a petition to approve the calling of a special session. Such a move can be done without the blessing of the governor.

The bill passed by a 33-9 vote in the Senate and by a margin of 59-28 in the House, both more than the required two-thirds necessary to call the special session if those who voted in favor of SB 1212 will sign the petition.

During such a special session, the Legislature would not be able to override the veto under the state’s constitution. But instead, it could pass the same bill again and present it to the governor once more and remain in session until the governor takes action. If Gov. Fallin chose to veto the bill again, the Legislature could then vote to override the veto, and the measure would then become law. Again, it would take a vote of two-thirds of each chamber to override a veto.

State Senator Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow), the principal sponsor of SB 1212, is pushing for a special session.

If it eventually passes, the Sooner State would become the 12th state to recognize that citizens do not need the state’s permission to exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you advised.

Top 5 Things to Know Before Carrying in State and National Parks in Colorado

From rafting and fishing to hiking and camping, there is certainly no shortage of recreational activities available in Colorado.  However, before heading out on your next adventure, be sure to consider the following factors as Colorado strictly enforces firearm laws throughout the state.

  1. License to Carry a Handgun— If you are taking advantage of the beautiful public parks in Colorado, you need to be aware of the state and federal laws that govern firearms. In any national park, you may possess a firearm as allowed by Colorado law.  In Colorado state parks, individuals are allowed to carry concealed firearms with a valid permit.  While visiting a national park in Colorado, if you intend to discharge a firearm for target practice, hunting, etc., you need to comply with both state and federal laws.  Under federal law, a firearm may not be discharged within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreational site, or occupied area.  Also, a firearm may not be discharged across, or on, a developed road, body of water, or in a cave.  Keep in mind, certain parks have additional restrictions on discharging a firearm which you will need to be aware of prior to visiting.  Also, under federal law, a person cannot carry a firearm into certain federal facilities.  These usually include visitor centers, administrative offices, and maintenance buildings and are clearly marked with signs at all public entrances.

Further, Colorado does provide water activities and has a number of lakes and rivers open to swimming, fishing, boating, kayaking, etc.  State and federal laws govern the possession and use of firearms.  As always, a valid permit is required to carry a concealed firearm.  You are required to keep the permit and a state issued identification card with you at all times while in possession of a firearm.  Further, if you are traveling to Colorado from another state, you will need to ensure Colorado recognizes your home state’s permit.  Colorado will not issue a concealed firearm permit to out of state residents.

  1. Storing Firearms While Traveling—It is important to keep in mind how you are going to get to your destination because the laws can be very different depending on your mode of transportation. When traveling by vehicle, Colorado allows you to carry a concealed handgun with or without a license. However, as soon as you remove a handgun from a vehicle, you must possess a valid permit to conceal carry.  Handguns may be loaded with a round in the chamber while in a vehicle.  However, long guns may not have a round in the chamber.

If you are traveling interstate by car to Colorado, federal law protects you on your journey if you keep all firearms unloaded and both the firearm and ammunition in a place that is not readily or directly accessible from the passenger compartment of the vehicle.  Best practice is to keep the firearm and ammunition in separate lock boxes in the trunk of the vehicle while traveling interstate.  When traveling by airplane, TSA guidelines require that your firearm is unloaded, locked in a commercial gun case with a TSA approved lock, and declared at check-in.

When you reach your final destination, it is best practice to lock your firearm in a safe or other locked container if you are not carrying on your person.  If juveniles are present and access your firearm, you may be charged with a crime for unlawfully providing or permitting a juvenile to possess a handgun, which is a class four felony.  Reckless conduct is sufficient for this offense.  You may also expose yourself to civil liability for any harm caused by another person that gains access to your firearm.

  1. Public vs. Private Property—Before you hunt, fish, or engage in other outdoor activities in Colorado, it’s important to find out if you’re going to be on public or private property. Under Colorado law, it is unlawful for any person to enter upon privately owned lands to hunt or fish without first obtaining permission from the owner or person in possession of the land.  Further, private property owners may prohibit the possession of firearms on their land.  While no gun signs do not carry the force of law in Colorado, a person who refuses to leave private property upon request because they possess a firearm is at risk to be prosecuted for criminal trespass and may be unlawfully carrying a concealed firearm.
  2. Having a Firearm on a Boat—We know many of you like to go out on the water to fish, waterski, or just relax. It’s important to understand how the laws can change when you’re out on the water, and what effect that has on carrying your firearm. Colorado law treats watercraft just like motor vehicles and allows you to carry a concealed firearm in a watercraft under your control, whether or not you have a permit.  Also, federal regulations, specifically on waterways controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers, can affect your lawful possession of a firearm. Check with an attorney before venturing far into unknown waters.
  3. Having a Firearm on a Snowmobile—Snowmobiling provides people with access to pristine and beautiful backcountry and is a favorite activity for many in Colorado. However, the Colorado legislature has promulgated specific rules pertaining to firearms on snowmobiles that you must be aware of.  It is unlawful in Colorado to possess any firearm on a snowmobile unless the firearm is unloaded and enclosed in a carrying case or inserted in a scabbard.  Further it is unlawful to hunt any wildlife from a snowmobile unless a specific permit is issued by the division permitting you to do so.

 2 Bonus Tips Before You Go to the Park

  1. Understand How the Law Changes When You Drink—While you may not be a person who takes part in wild parties over the summer, it’s important to know what can happen if you do drink or use marijuana while carrying your firearm in Colorado. Carrying a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance is a crime in Colorado, punishable by up to twelve months in jail and up to a $1,000 in fine or BOTH, as well as the revocation of your concealed handgun permit! Marijuana is legal in Colorado for both medical and recreational use. This law applies to possession of a firearm in Colorado while under the influence of marijuana.  Colorado does not specifically define what intoxicated means in the context of an unlawful carry, but if you lose the normal use of your mental or physical faculties, the law will probably consider you intoxicated. Our best advice is: if you are consuming any alcohol or marijuana, do not bring your gun.
  2. Additional Considerations — Colorado has enacted a magazine capacity law whereby it is unlawful to possess a magazine that is able to hold more than fifteen rounds. People that possessed a high capacity magazine prior to the law’s enactment and who maintained continuous possession of the magazine are exempt from this law.  Further, it is unlawful to open carry any firearm and/or possess certain types of assault weapons in Denver County.

If you remember these seven points, you can maintain that peace of mind to enjoy your vacation in Colorado. Remember, U.S. & Texas LawShield is not just the 24/7/365 Attorney-Answered Emergency Hotline. If you have a question, don’t hesitate to call our Non-Emergency Business Line on the back of your Member Card or bring your question to one of our Gun Law Seminars. To find a Gun Law Seminar in your area go to www.uslawshield.com/seminar

Boulder Passes Restrictive New Gun Laws

The unanimous virtue-signaling weapon and magazine ban by the Boulder Colorado City Council last week does not bode well for gun owners in Boulder. While parts of this law are likely to be  overturned due to Colorado’s firearm preemption law this is a serious threat to the Second Amendment rights of all Boulder gun owners.

Colorado has two laws barring cities, towns, and counties from passing laws that would restrict weapons carrying and purchases codified at §29-11.7-103 and §29-11.7-101 which state, in part:

A local government may not enact an ordinance, regulation, or other law that prohibits the sale, purchase, or possession of a firearm that a person may lawfully sell, purchase, or possess under state or federal law.

Inconsistency among local governments of laws regulating the possession and ownership of firearms results in persons being treated differently under the law solely on the basis of where they reside, and a person’s residence in a particular county or city or city and county is not a rational classification when it is the basis for denial of equal treatment under the law;

The Boulder ordinance does offer a grandfather clause to current owners of so-called Assault Rifles requiring Boulder County residents to obtain certification from the Boulder Police Department that they owned the weapons prior to the ban.  There was no such grandfather clause for the “high capacity” standard 30 round magazine or the bump stock ban.

Colorado Independent Program Attorney Douglas Richards has publicly stated that this law will be difficult, if not impossible to enforce; however, that is not an invitation to ignore the law.  Richards elaborated that, “a ‘feel good laws frequently singles out otherwise law-abiding citizens, while failing to address mental health issues, the primary factor leading to the gun violence the law aims to curb.”  Contact Mr. Richards if you are a Boulder resident affected by this new ordinance.

There are a number of legal groups seeking to defend Boulder Citizen’s Second Amendment rights by challenging the law on the grounds that it violates the Second, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The Mountain States Legal Foundation is seeking to challenge the new ordinance in court based on thee above grounds.

Though there is sufficient legal grounds in Colorado to challenge the law it is recommended that any owners of a “Assault Rifles”, Bump Stocks or “High Capacity” Magazines comply with the ordinance until the law is overturned.

Top 5 Things to Know Before Carrying to a Lake or a State Park in Missouri

You might think the only thing you need to figure out for a trip to the lake or to a state park is whether to bring sunscreen or insect repellent, but knowing the firearm laws should be on your checklist as well. Can you conceal a .44 magnum in your swimming trunks? Maybe. The following list of five tips will help you to carry concealed with confidence.

  1. Carry a Handgun—Missouri’s carry laws do not place special restrictions on lake areas. You can carry concealed in a beach bag, backpack, and yes, even in your swim trunks. Be careful with open carry because the handgun will need to be in a belt or shoulder holster. You can carry your firearm in Missouri’s state parks. The same carry laws apply that apply elsewhere in the state. The law does prohibit hunting and/or discharging your firearm in a state park.
  2. Storing Firearms While Traveling— If you are headed out of state, it’s important to keep in mind how you’re going to get to your waterside destination. When traveling by vehicle, Missouri allows you to carry a concealed handgun with or without a license. If you have a CCW, you have the additional option of openly carrying your handgun in your vehicle in a shoulder holster or belt holster (CCW holders don’t have to worry about municipalities restricting open carry). When traveling by airplane, TSA guidelines require that your firearm is unloaded, locked in a commercial gun case with a TSA approved lock, and declared at check-in.
  3. Public vs. Private Beach—Before you feel the sand between your toes it’s important to find out if you’re going to be on a public or private beach. Though most beaches are public property, the beach outside of a private home is often the property of that homeowner. Missouri law recognizes a private owner’s right to restrict the carry of a handgun on their premises, including if that premises is on the beach. If your plans take you to a private beach, be sure to check with the owner and keep your eye out for signage. Public beaches, on the other hand, should be treated like any other public property in the state. If you can carry in Missouri, you can probably carry on the beach.
  4. Having a Firearm on a Boat—We know many of you like to go out on the water on a jet ski or boat. It’s important to understand how the laws can change when you’re out on the water, and what effect that has on carrying your firearm. Missouri law treats watercraft just like motor vehicles and allows you to carry a concealed firearm in a watercraft under your control whether or not you have an CCW. Unfortunately, boats and watercraft can lead to a complicated intersection between different state’s laws because rivers and lakes often separate two states. Also, federal regulations, specifically on waterways controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers, can affect your lawful possession of a firearm. Check with an attorney before venturing far into unknown waters.
  5. Understand How the Law Changes When You Drink—While you may not be a person who takes part in wild parties over spring break, it’s important to know what can happen if you do drink while carrying your firearm on the beach. Carrying a firearm while intoxicated is a felony criminal offense in Missouri. Missouri law does not specifically define what intoxicated means in the context of an unlawful carry, but if you lose the normal use of your mental or physical faculties, or your blood alcohol concentration exceeds .08, a court will probably consider you intoxicated. Our best advice is: if you are consuming any alcohol, do not bring your gun.

If you remember these six things, you can maintain that peace of mind to enjoy your trip to the lake or to one of Missouri’s state parks.  Remember, U.S. LawShield is not just the 24/7/365 Attorney-Answered Emergency Hotline. If you have a question, don’t hesitate to call our Non-Emergency Business Line on the back of your Member Card or bring your question to one of our Gun Law Seminars. To find a Gun Law Seminar in your area go to www.uslawshield.com/seminar

Top 5 Things to Know Before Carrying on Pennsylvania’s Waterways and State Parks

You might think the only thing you need to figure out for your summer vacation is how to get your .44 magnum in your swimming trunks, but there are other factors you need to consider before you head out for fun in the sun. We want to make sure you know the law before you go soak up the sun, and we have developed five tips for carrying your firearm on Pennsylvania’s recreational lakes and rivers.

  1. License to Carry a Firearm—There are ample opportunities to have some fun in the sun on the waters of Pennsylvania. Our vast waterways offer many recreation options from floating the river, pleasure boating, and fishing to name a few. If you want to bring your firearm with you on a boat in Pennsylvania, you must have a valid License to Carry Firearms (LTCF). The Pennsylvania Game and Wildlife Code prohibits the carrying of loaded guns on a boat without an LTCF. This prohibition includes short-barreled rifles or shotguns, any other NFA weapon, any type of pistol or handgun, and any type of long gun. So, you if you want to bring your firearm on a boat, make sure you have your LTCF. Keep in mind that Pennsylvania shares waterways with some states that do not recognize your Pennsylvania LTCF. Crossing into New Jersey or Maryland waterways with a firearm could spell big trouble for you, even if you didn’t mean to go there.
  2. Storing Firearms While Traveling—It’s important to keep in mind how you’re going to get to your waterside destination because the laws can be very different depending on your mode of transportation. When traveling by vehicle, you must have a valid Pennsylvania LTCF to carry a handgun. You may, without an LTCF, transport a long gun in a vehicle as long as it is unloaded. When traveling by airplane, TSA guidelines require that your firearm is unloaded, locked in a hard-sided container with a TSA approved lock, and declared at check-in.
  3. Public vs. Private Property—Before you head out to the river or lake, it’s important to find out if you’re going to be on public or private property. Though most recreational waterways are public property, the adjacent landowners own the land from the high watermark and up and they can prohibit access. Pennsylvania law also recognizes a private owner’s right to restrict the carry of a handgun on their premises, including any portion of the waterway that they control. If your plans take you to a private area, be sure to check with the owner. Posted “no gun” signs do not carry the force of law in Pennsylvania, but if you bring a gun to private property and the owner asks you to leave, you must comply or face trespass charges. Public waterways, on the other hand, should be treated like any other public property in the state.
  4. Having a Firearm in Pennsylvania National and State Parks—Federal law provides that a person may possess, carry and transport a concealed, loaded and operable firearm within a national park in accordance with the laws of the state in which the national park is located.  If you are headed out to a national park, you may carry your firearm as long as you have a valid LTCF. Keep in mind however that all buildings in national parks, from restaurants to gift shops and visitor centers are considered federal facilities, and you may not carry your firearm in federal facilities even with an LTCF. If you are headed out to our state parks and have a valid LTCF, you may also bring your gun. There are many regulations related to firearms in state parks; however, if you have your LTCF, you may carry concealed or in a vehicle regardless of those regulations. But keep in mind, you may not open carry in a state park.
  5. Understand How the Law Changes When You Drink—While you may not be a person who takes part in wild parties over spring break, it’s important to know what can happen if you do drink while carrying your firearm. There are no laws in Pennsylvania prohibiting carrying a firearm and consuming alcohol. You can go into any bar or restaurant where alcohol is served with a gun. You can drink while you are carrying your gun, and if it is your cup of tea, you can get drunk as a skunk with your gun and not violate any Pennsylvania law. However, common sense dictates that if you are going to drink alcohol and carry a firearm, you should do so responsibly because even though the act of carrying a gun while drinking is not a crime, if you engage in reckless behavior with your gun while drinking, you could run into legal trouble.

If you remember these five things, you can maintain that peace of mind to enjoy your vacation. Remember, U.S. & Pennslyvania LawShield is not just the 24/7/365 Attorney-Answered Emergency Hotline. If you have a question, don’t hesitate to call our Non-Emergency Business Line on the back of your Member Card or bring your question to one of our Gun Law Seminars. To find a Gun Law Seminar in your area go to www.uslawshield.com/seminar

Top 5 Things to Know Before Taking Your Firearm to the Beach – Florida

You might think the only thing you need to figure out for your beach vacation is how to get your .44 magnum in your swimming trunks, but there are other factors you need to consider before you head out for fun in the sun. We want to make sure you know the law before you go soak up the sun, and we have developed five tips for carrying your firearm to the beach.

  1. License to Carry a Handgun— Good news! Unless otherwise posted, it is legal to carry your firearm on Florida’s public beaches. Remember however, that concealed carry means concealed, which may be difficult to do wearing a bathing suit or bikini.
  2. Storing Firearms While Traveling—It’s important to keep in mind how you’re going to get to your waterside destination because the laws can be very different depending on your mode of transportation. When traveling by vehicle, Florida allows you to carry a concealed handgun with or without a license. If you have an CWFL, you have the additional option of carrying your handgun in your vehicle on your person or easily accessible. If you do not possess a CWFL then remember that your firearm must be securely encased.  When traveling by airplane, TSA guidelines require that your firearm is unloaded, locked in a commercial gun case with a TSA approved lock, and declared at check-in.
  3. Public vs. Private Beach—Before you feel the sand between your toes it’s important to find out if you’re going to be on a public or private beach. Though most beaches are public property, the beach immediately outside of a private home is often the property of that homeowner. Florida law states that up to the high tide marker is public property, however, beyond that the sand can be privately owned. A private property owner has the right to restrict the carry of a handgun on their premises, including if that premises is on the beach. If your plans take you onto private property, even while just accessing the beach be sure to check to see if there are signs prohibiting carrying a firearm on that private property and find an alternative route to the beach.  Beaches, on the other hand, should be treated like any other public property in the state. If you can carry in Florida, you can probably carry on the beach.
  4. Having a Firearm on a Boat—We know many of you like to go out on the water on a jet ski or boat. It’s important to understand how the laws can change when you’re out on the water, and what effect that has on carrying your firearm. Florida law treats watercraft just like motor vehicles and allows you to carry a concealed firearm in a watercraft under your control whether or not you have an CWFL. Unfortunately, boats and watercraft can lead to a complicated intersection between different state’s laws because rivers and lakes often separate two states. Also, federal regulations, specifically on waterways controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers, can affect your lawful possession of a firearm. Check with an attorney before venturing far into unknown waters.
  5. Understand How the Law Changes When You Drink—While you may not be a person who takes part in wild parties over spring break, it’s important to know what can happen if you do drink while carrying your firearm on the beach. Carrying a firearm while intoxicated is not a crime in Florida, nor is it illegal to consume alcohol while carrying your firearm (although we do not recommend mixing firearms and alcohol). What is illegal in Florida is having a firearm readily accessible for immediate use while you are impaired.  Readily accessible for immediate use means loaded and in your hand.  Our best advice is: if you are consuming any alcohol, do not bring your gun.

If you remember these five things, you can maintain that peace of mind to enjoy your beach vacation. Remember, U.S. Law Shield is not just the 24/7/365 Attorney-Answered Emergency Hotline. If you have a question, don’t hesitate to call our Non-Emergency Business Line on the back of your Member Card or bring your question to one of our Gun Law Seminars. To find a Gun Law Seminar in your area go to www.uslawshield.com/seminar