A Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You Avoid Legal Woes When Moving Firearms Into A New State

Posted on: 13 May 2015

Anyone moving to a new state should understand the laws related to importing a firearm. Working with a lawyer prior to bringing any weapons into the state could help you avoid felony charges for "honest mistakes". Remember, even without criminal intent, improperly transporting and possessing a legally-owned firearm could be a crime.

Know the Law

People get into trouble because they may not be familiar with the specific laws of the new state. Examples of state laws include:

  • California: New residents must register weapons with the Department of Justice and undergo a criminal background check within 60 days of bringing the firearm into the Golden State.
  • Hawaii: New residents must register firearms within 3 days. 72 hours to be exact.
  • New Jersey: The legal possession and transportation of hollow point ammunition is very narrow and limited in scope. Transporting the ammo from an old resident to a new one is not protected under the law.

To avoid legal woes, contact a criminal defense lawyer who specializes in firearms law prior to moving.

Running a Background Check

A lawyer could easily run a background check on you to determine any prohibitive marks on your record. If anything turns up, the attorney could advise how to address the matter or just tell you not to import weapons. While this might not be the best news to hear, selling a firearms collection prior to moving is going to be less painful than arriving in your new home and immediately facing felony charges.

Advice on How to Import the Firearms

Laws on the books also note how you may legally transport firearms into a state. Federal law states that you are allowed to ship firearms to yourself in care of another person as long as no one other than you opens the package. This may be legal per federal law, but what is the state's issue on the matter? Find out from a lawyer.

There are many other important questions to be asked. What if you are driving to your new residence and you make several stops for gas and food in the state. Would this void immunity under state transportation laws? Can you ship firearms in the moving van and then receive them or is this considered a transfer of possession in your new residence? Do you have to establish residency prior to bringing the firearms in or can you import weapons prior to acquiring a new residence address and driver's license?

Pay for an Attorney on Retainer

You do not have to be charged with a crime to work with a criminal defense attorney. The lawyer can be hired for basic legal advice.

The attorney may charge a nominal retainer if all you are seeking is a consultation. Another benefit arises here. Once the attorney is on retainer, he/she is immediately available to help if a serious legal problem arises. Hopefully, the advice provided in advance will keep you out of trouble in the first place.

To learn more about criminal defense, contact a law firm like Alvine & King LLP