FEDERAL LAW ON TRANSPORTATION OF FIREARMS
A provision of federal law serves as a defense to state or local laws which would prohibit the passage of persons with firearms in interstate travel.
Notwithstanding any state or local law, a person shall be entitled to transport a firearm from any place where he may lawfully possess it to any other place where he may lawfully possess such firearm if the firearm is unloaded and in the trunk. In vehicles without a trunk, the unloaded firearm shall be in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console. Necessary stops, like gasoline and rest, seem permissible.
Click here to see a letter from the U.S. Justice Department to Congressman Don Young clarifying federal firearms transport regulations and information about certain states that do not adhere to federal law. (You will need Adobe Acrobat to view this file.)
CARRYING ON OR ABOUT THE PERSON
It must be stressed that as soon as any firearm (handgun, rifle, or shotgun) is carried on or about the person, or placed where it is readily accessible in a vehicle, state and local firearms laws regarding carrying apply. If you seek to transport firearms in such a manner, it is advisable that you determine what the law is by contacting the Attorney General's office in each state through which you may travel or by reviewing a NRA/ILA State Firearms Law Digest or the Concealed Carry Reciprocity guide and also available by calling NRA/ILA at 800-392-8683. You should determine whether a permit is needed and how to obtain one if available. While many states require a permit for this type of carrying, most will not issue such permits to nonresidents, and others prohibit such carrying altogether.
TRANSPORTATION BY MOTOR VEHICLE
In most states, personally-owned firearms may be transported legally if they are unloaded, cased, and locked in the automobile trunk...
JURISDICTIONS WITH SPECIAL RULES
CALIFORNIA--Caution - before entering the state, a California permit and registration may be required for specific semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic pistols, shotguns, and any other firearm that is considered an "assault weapon." Contact the California Dept. of Justice in Sacramento for additional information at (916)263-4887, or at www.ag.ca.gov/firearms/