Thursday, August 2, 2012

Northeast Bloggershoot Legal Concerns

In 9 days, I will be taking off for the Northeast Bloggershoot. Hopefully, Brendan will accompany me. Right now he is planning on going if he can get off from work. Earlier today, I started my biannual gun cleanup (maintenance-wise). As I did so, I pondered which guns I should bring along to the bloggershoot. I was and remain at a bit of a loss when it come to making that decision. Late last night into early this AM, I read up on gun laws in both CT and MA, states which we will have to pass through (to get there in a reasonable amount of time) with our guns while on the way to NH for the shoot.  

While NH is pretty gun owner friendly, MA and CT are not. Heck, they may have tougher gun laws than NY State (excluding NY City).  I knew one could transport guns through a state, wherein they would otherwise be illegally possessed by the transporter, as long as they were legal in the starting state and legal in the destination state and kept locked in the trunk - unloaded - while passing through the gun unfriendly state.  I was and am none too sure that transporting the type of guns we want to bring along will be okay in CT or MA. I have more uncertainty about MA, I am pretty sure transport like that through CT is not a problem. I plan to call the MA state police to check on whether or not it will be okay to transport my Romanian WASR AK47 and one of Brendan's AR15s, both with hi-cap mags, though MA to our ultimate destination of NH. Since the hi-cap mags are pre-ban manufacture, there is no legal issue in NY, I think none in CT, but I am a bit confused about MA. I am also concerned about the actual guns. we want to bring. If we cannot bring them along, we will go nonetheless but we will bring along only my pistols (I can carry them nationwide under the conditions of the LEOSA) a lever action rifle some bolt action rifles, and a pump action shotgun. 

I would rather we not get arrested and charged with a felony. Hopefully though. the McClure-Volkmer Act will cover us. It is a federal law that sought to overcome the Draconian provisions of the 1968 gun control act and it allows U.S. citizens, legally in possession of firearms, to transport them interstate from a starting point where the guns were legal to an ending point where they also are legal, through states wherein they are considered illegal, provided you make stops only for fuel or emergency repairs, and the guns are transported in a certain manner. The firearms must be in a gun case, placed into the vehicle's locked trunk, unloaded, and I think any magazines must also be unloaded and ammo kept in a separate container apart from the guns. Not difficult to do, my car has a trunk and it locks and I have a few gun cases that will also be locked. Hopefully MA and CT honor said law and I also hope that hi-cap, pre-ban, magazines are also okay to be transported through those states in that manner.

All the best,
Glenn B

Time To Check Your Guns

Once again, it is that time of year, at least in the more humid states in the USA. It is time not only to check all of your guns but to give them a cleaning and light coating of protective oil as part of good firearms maintenance.  In many states within the USA, the summer months are usually the most humid. States on the east coast have weather that is usually hot and humid, weather that promotes oxidation. Even states like AZ are subject to heavy rains and higher humidity in the summer (at least southern AZ as it is subject to monsoon season). So, if you have not taken a look at certain firearms in your collection in a while and or have not maintained them with a recent cleaning and lubrication, it is high time to do it now to defeat one of the two enemies of firearms. One of those enemies is the politician, the other is rust. There could be a third enemy, the inattentive gun owner.

Today, I took a look in the gun locker. No mold growing on the wood stocks, no obvious rust on any of my rifles or handguns, everything looked fine. Regardless of how good everything looked, I set myself out to begin the task of cleaning all of my guns. I got 8 rifles, a shotgun and 4 handguns done today. It took me several hours to clean, oil that many. I also applied a wood treatment on those with wood stocks, which was all of the rifles I cleaned today. The reason this took me several hours is because I broke most of the rifles and the shotgun down instead of just giving them a field cleaning. I removed stocks, took out bolts and trigger groups, and gave them all a decent cleaning. Then I put a protective coat of oil on the metal on all of them. I did not break down most of the bolts or trigger groups but cleaned them all as best I could without further disassembly. I am more likely to take apart bolts and trigger groups when wanting to give a particular gun a complete cleaning but only if I know how to do it or have a good set of written and illustrated instructions.

I found some light rust that was hidden under the wood on two rifles. Nothing major, in fact quite minor but only because I caught it early. I try to give a fairly thorough cleaning to my guns at least twice a year (other than and in addition to a field cleaning after shooting) in order to make sure they do not rust or develop mold on the wood stocks. I once discovered one of my pistols had a light coating of rust on much of it, my shotgun metal had rusted a bit and my rifle stocks had a light coating of mold or mildew on them. Luckily I was able to clean the wood stocks without any damage to them, as for the rusted metal, well it took off a bit of the finish when I cleaned them. That was during an exceptionally wet and humid summer much like the one we are having in  NY this year. To prevent that from happening, I more or less have made sure to schedule a biannual heavy cleaning time for all of my guns. I clean most of them more often because I shoot most of them but not all of them get as much use and those need to be checked every 3 to 6 months. They get an inspection at least two times a year. Based on the inspections they get either a light or heavy cleaning two of those four times and always get a heavy cleaning the other two times, in the summer and in the winter.

I make sure to keep a desiccant in both the gun and in the ammo lockers. I recharge the desiccant, I use silicone and heat it in an oven as per manufacturers instructions, each time the dampness indicator changes from blue to pink. Once it turns pink, it is not working to absorb moisture and your firearms are at risk of rusting. About three hours in an oven set at about 225 degrees Fahrenheit usually reactivates the silicone silicone desiccant for reuse. Speaking of desiccant in the oven, I have to go turn off my oven and take out the desiccant packs (with oven mitts) and get them back into the gun an ammo lockers once they cool off.

Now, when I get to the Northeast Bloggershoot, next week, at least my guns will be clean and ready to get fouled all over again!

Al;l the best,
Glenn B