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How to pack: Moving your guns

What to consider when moving guns and ammunition.

What to consider when moving guns and ammunition.

Many moving companies are reluctant to handle firearms, which could leave some homeowners in a bit of a jam over what to do with their gun collection during a move. But don't worry - there are plenty of ways to get your guns to your new home without running afoul of state and federal laws.

Among the big no-nos when it comes to packing for a move is putting your guns and ammunition in a regular box and shipping it off with the rest of your belongings. Most movers have a "Do Not Pack" list, and firearms are often right at the top. Not only is shipping guns with the rest of your stuff against most company policies, it could be against state or federal law. Each state has its own gun restrictions, and by placing your revolvers in the otherwise capable hands of your moving company, you may be exposing them to legal hassles.

With that in mind, research the local gun laws in your new state and town. Your new home could have very different regulations from your old home. For example, Illinois has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. The state does not recognize permits or licenses issued by any other state, according to HandGunLaw.us. Residents are required to receive a Firearms Owners Identification card in order to purchase or own guns and ammunition, and carrying a concealed weapon is strictly forbidden.

Many other states are more lax in their approach to gun laws. Oklahoma, for example, honors the permits and licenses from all other states, and residents are allowed to carry concealed weapons in almost any situation, according to HandGunLaw. Guns are not allowed in government-owned buildings, sports venues or schools.

Because regulations change so drastically from state to state, people driving with guns across country for a move may accidentally find themselves on the wrong side of the law. One option is for gun owners to drop off their weapons at a federally licensed firearms dealer, who can then ship them to another licensed dealer. Some shipping costs will be incurred, but they would likely be a fraction of the fines you might receive for violating state and federal law.

When it comes to shipping the guns, be sure they aren't loaded. Remove ammunition clips and engage the safety. If possible, disassemble the gun entirely before you send it off. This will help make certain no unfortunate accidents occur en route.