How to Transfer Firearms & Ammunition Across State Lines

How to Transfer Firearms & Ammunition Across State Lines


It doesn’t matter how you slice it; moving is a pain in the tuchus. While we aren’t a moving company, we frequently assist customers with moving their gun safe — both in-state and out-of-state. And when you’re moving your gun safe, you’re likely wondering, “How do I transfer firearms and ammunition across state lines?”

The good news is: S.49 - Firearms Owners' Protection Act (FOPA or the Gun Control Act of 1968) allows you to transport firearms you legally possess to another state where you can lawfully possess them:

Permits the interstate transportation of unloaded firearms by any person not prohibited by Federal law from such transportation regardless of any State law or regulation.

3 Precautions to Take When Transporting Guns & Ammo from State to State

Moving guns in a trunk

Before you throw your trusty .30-06 Springfield in the backseat and head to your neighboring state, there are a few things to remember:

1. Ensure You Can Legally Possess a Firearm in Your Destination

While this may seem obvious, in order to legally transfer a firearm to a new destination, you need to be able to legally possess it. Depending on the state, there are a variety of reasons an individual may be prohibited from possessing a firearm. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • A Felony Conviction
  • A Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Conviction
  • A Dishonorable Discharge

Prior to moving, it’s best to check the state’s firearm statutes to make sure you are in the clear.

2. Unload Firearms

Per the FOPA, in order to be legally protected, firearms need to be unloaded while transported across state lines. In addition to providing you with a layer of legal protection, transporting unloaded firearms also prevents the

3. Place Guns in a Locked Trunk or Box while Traveling

It’s possible to research the gun laws in each state through which you plan to travel, but chances are you don’t have that kind of time. In addition to ensuring that all your firearms are unloaded, the best way to transport them is by placing them in a locked trunk or box at the back of your vehicle. 

Additionally, it’s a good idea to consider storing any ammunition you plan to transfer separately from your firearms. 

Additional FAQs About Moving Out of State with Firearms and Ammunition

fully loaded gun safe

Will a moving company move my firearms with my other belongings?

Some moving companies will move firearms when helping you move across state lines. That being said, the decision to do so is at the discretion of every moving company. 

Generally, even if a moving company is willing to move your firearms, they may not be willing to move your ammunition. Moving companies typically do not transport dangerous or combustible materials, which include ammo, paint, and chemicals.

Can I travel the US with a gun in my car?

According to the FOPA, yes. You can travel the US with an unloaded firearm in your car. That being said, the FOPA does not legally allow you to carry or use your firearm. Carry requirements and restrictions vary from state to state. Even states that have reciprocity agreements (agreements that recognize out-of-state carry licenses and permits) generally don’t have the same carry and conceal requirements.

If you plan to carry and/or use your firearm in another state, it’s strongly recommended that you are fully apprised of that state’s laws.

I’m moving out of state now, but don’t have a place for my gun safe yet. Where can I store it?

It’s not uncommon that an individual or family is moving out of state and doesn’t have a place for their gun safe right away. If you find yourself in this predicament, you have a few different options, including (but not limited to):

  • Sell Your Safe
  • Move Your Safe to a Storage Locker
  • Hire NW Safe to Pick Up, Store, and then Move Your Safe

NW Safe’s Gun Safe Moving Service

Our highly skilled delivery and installation team also handles safe moves. We help clients move safes within the same city, state, and throughout the country. If we are unable to handle the entire move in-house, our 35 years of industry experience have helped us develop relationships with the most skilled professionals in the United States and beyond.

We will work closely with you to ensure your possessions are in the best hands possible. 

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