Woman’s Arrest Underscores Need to Understand States’ Different Gun Laws

New Yorkers can breathe safer now, right? (News 10 ABC)

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Yet another citizen is facing criminal charges for not realizing that gun laws vary from state to state.  Hayley Leach, a Colorado woman, was arrested when she attempted to check her gun in at Albany Airport for her return flight home, News 10 ABC reported.

Leach has since been free released on bail but must return to New York in February. That means in addition to facing charges, she’ll need to endure the expenses of retaining a lawyer, traveling back from Colorado, and paying fines and court costs. That she lawfully owned her gun in Colorado and that she tried to obey the federal law by declaring her firearm with TSA does not matter to those intent on making her pay. It’s reminiscent of earlier similar cases, including that of Donna Marie Gracey, the Florida woman with a concealed carry permit who was arrested last month for having it in New Jersey, or the ordeals of Shaneen Allen and others. None of them had criminal intent.

It points to the need for national reciprocity and recognition of licenses between states, as driver and marriage licenses are honored. Better yet would be so-called “Constitutional carry” as many states now enjoy, with more considering such legislation. But don’t hold your breath for that to go nationwide any time soon.

As an aside, it’s telling that the News 10 report stated:

“Customers are coming from places like Vermont or Massachusetts where they legally own their guns and have concealed carry permits.”

Vermont requires no permits and was the model for other states to follow. Before the practice became more widespread, it was generally called “Vermont carry.” One would think professional journalists would learn their subject matter before presenting their voices as authoritative, but media ignorance on guns is something we’re not likely to see rectified any time soon. Still, it does help understand the roots of the fear and hostility we see on display in so much of the mainstream press.

“Unfortunately for her it is her own fault for not checking the gun laws in the state she is traveling to,” one reader commented. He’s taken some flack for that from other readers, no doubt because the way he stated his point blamed the victim rather than the tyrannical edicts. Still, there’s truth to what he says.

“Except for NH & Vermont, the North East states are profoundly anti-gun & everyone traveling should know that,” he continued. “There are books available that list the gun laws in every state & it is the gun owner’s responsibility to know what those laws are everywhere they intend to travel. I doubt she will get jail time, but I bet it will be a hefty fine. She better be happy she wasn’t in NYC or it would have been far more costly.”

It’s tough to argue with that. And I say that as someone sympathetic to “I will not comply” and “Defy existing gun laws” sentiments.  But you need to do that with eyes open.

If you own a gun you owe it to yourself to know what the laws are so that you don’t inadvertently find yourself and those who depend on you in a world of hurt. And chances are if you’re oblivious to those laws, you haven’t been sufficiently motivated to assist in defending the right to keep and bear arms against such infringements. That means chances are you’re reaping the benefits of pro-gun efforts in the legislatures and courts while letting other gun owners carry the load.

If there’s a silver lining, it’s that on occasion the victims of such edicts turn into effective voices of reason, with an ability to expand appeal beyond the “old white man” stereotype. Ms. Allen has grown and risen to the challenge of leadership. Perhaps Ms. Gracey and/or Ms. Leach will, through their stories, help offset some of the Opposite Day “progressive feminist” rhetoric telling women their safest course is to be defenseless against abusive and predatory assailants.

About David Codrea:David Codrea

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.

In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.