Originally Posted by swinokur
DO NOT i repeat DO NOT take possession of your suitcase containing the firearm during your layover. Make arrangements with the airline to secure it. A court case in the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals denied the appeal of a traveler found guilt of weapons possession in NJ because the defendant "had access " to the luggage when he went to a hotel for an unscheduled layover and therefore could not claim FOPA protection The court denied the appeal only on the grounds of his "having access" to the firearm in violation of FOPA. I read from this is that it's OK to travel in NY with a firearm but if you layover don't "have access" to the firearm. I'd pack overnight clothes and put them in your carry on and make arrangements with the airline to secure your luggage overnight.
Link to appeal:
That is an excellent read, in terms of available information. And it does directly refute (at least in part) what the BATF agent communicated to me on the phone. Granted, part of their comments to were recent, and this case began quite a while ago. But it's still a VERY compelling read. Out of the public court documents for that case, referenced by the link above, it states:
"Although we conclude that Revell fell outside of § 926A’s protection during his stay in New Jersey, we recognize that he had been placed in a difficult predicament through no fault of his own. However, Section 926 clearly requires the traveler to part ways with his weapon and ammunition during travel; it does not address this type of interrupted journey or what the traveler is to do in this situation. Stranded gun owners like Revell have the option of going to law enforcement representatives at an airport or to airport personnel before they retrieve their luggage. The careful owner will do so and explain his situation, requesting that his firearm and ammunition be held for him overnight.18 While this no doubt adds to the inconvenience imposed upon the unfortunate traveler when his transportation plans go awry, it offers a reasonable means for a responsible gun owner to maintain the protection of Section 926 and prevent unexpected exposure to state and local gun regulations.