Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×

Closed Thread
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-16-2013, 06:05 PM   #1
Mpwelch50's Avatar
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 35
Question Hypothetical Weapon question

I was giving some thought to perhaps, but probably not, buying a shotgun to carry with me since I do most of my cross country trips alone. My faithful companion, the psycho border collie, would just invite someone in as long as they gave her a cookie. So, hypothetically speaking of course, since I would never even consider doing anything that might vaguely be considered outside the law, given the legal ramifications of all that, would I need to declare said weapon (the one I am only hypothetically thinking of buying) at campgrounds, particularly the MWR facilities I tend to stay at? More than likely, it would never come out from under the bed where I might store it if I felt inclined to purchase it which of course I won't, but that being said, do I tell anyone I have it, even if I don't????????

Thanks for the thoughts that you might or might not have.
Michelle (and Mark) Welch, Texas
Rotor the psycho border collie
First time RVers, retired Army CW4 helo pilot
Ford F250 4x4
Prime Time Crusader 320RLT Touring Edition
2013 days 7
Mpwelch50 is offline  
Old 01-18-2013, 08:38 AM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
MtnGuy's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 9,280
Due to the recent shootings, we (the moderators) have had to close several threads regarding guns because they got way off topic. Being said, we are now being careful with approving any kind of thread referring to guns.

The moderators have reviewed this thread, and decided that it is within the parameters of the forum rules………for now.

This is a thread on the feasibility and legal ramifications on carrying a shotgun in the camper while traveling. It is not a thread discussing pending government regulations, what we think should be done, personal gun ownership thoughts, nor is it a thread on when to use a gun.

The team will monitor the thread carefully, and close it if we think it gets out of line. If someone posts with blatant disregard of our rules, then appropriate measures will be taken with that member.

Here is a link to our rules:

More specifically, the rules on gun postings: General discussions of politics, general government policies, weaponry, gun rights and religion are not allowed in ANY areas of the forum. Discussions about current or pending legislation or regulations, weapons and religion that directly pertain to RVing are acceptable but will be closed or removed if they wander off topic or become disruptive.

After contacting the OP via PM that we were going to review the thread before approving, I got the following response back which might help further explain her position. (I have permission from Michelle to post the PM.)

I understand completely. I am totally lost as to how to deal with this issue because I get no straight answers. But as a woman traveling alone it is becoming more frightening. And I have to do the I10 route to California along the Mexican border in April and my husband said absolutely not without a weapon. But with weapons being a hot button issue, I totally and completely understand. Thanks! Michelle

Chap , DW Joy, and Fur Baby Sango
2017 F350 Lariat CCSB, SRW, 4x4, 6.7 PS
2017 Grand Design Reflection 337RLS
MtnGuy is offline  
Old 01-18-2013, 09:41 AM   #3
AKA: 'tiredTeacher
awellis3's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 1,005
A close friend of mine is a police homicide detective. He advised me to get a pump shotgun for home defense. He said just the sound of a round being racked into the chamber would deter a burglar from from proceeding further. This would work if you were safely locked in your trailer at night.
If I were you, I'd have a short-barreled shotgun in the trailer for night protection.
And I wouldn't say squat to anyone about it. (Don't ask - don't tell)

Wright and Penny
(with Fitz and Lizzie, the camping kitties)
Richmond, Va.
2010 Tundra 4X4 5.7L V8
2014 Rockwood 2604WS
Life is a cruel teacher. She gives the test first; the lesson then follows.
awellis3 is offline  
Old 01-18-2013, 09:46 AM   #4
Senior Member
Oaklevel's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Virginia
Posts: 6,939
I do understand with the world we live in........
Hard to comment on..... Laws will be different in all states keep in mind may campgrounds do not allow weapons (guns)......... If you declare it to them they will probably ask you to leave or not have it with you.....
Oaklevel is offline  
Old 01-18-2013, 09:46 AM   #5
Senior Member
kho6658's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 288
2019 Sabre 36BHQ
2017 F350 Lariat

My first
kho6658 is offline  
Old 01-18-2013, 09:53 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 361
Best thing to do is check the local laws because they vary so much state to state and even city to city (New York???) Can't say much more than that and stay within forum parameters. Most law enforcement understand civilians protecting themselves as long as they stay within the law.
2012 F350 Lariat CC SRW 6.7L Powerstroke
pwrstroke2012 is offline  
Old 01-18-2013, 09:54 AM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
Triguy's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southeast Wisconsin
Posts: 6,949
A resource that I have found helpful is "The Traveler's Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States" by Kappas. I've got the 2012 copy but its been updated for 2013. Lots of useful information on reciprocity, how to travel with firearms (including shotguns of course), Castle doctrine, and so on.
DW, 3 Kids and our Goldens

2012 Shamrock 233S
2008 Toyota Sequoia 5.7L 4WD
Triguy is offline  
Old 01-18-2013, 10:01 AM   #8
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Daleville, AL.
Posts: 82
Remember that MWR facilities are normally on government facilities. Most weapons have to be registered on that installation for them to be brought onto it. I agree with the don't tell. Also your RV is treated like your home in most cases when it comes to defense.
2011 F350 Lariat Ultimate Dually 6.7 w/ B&W Companion
2014 Heritage Glen 356QBQ
2016 Explorer Platinum, 1998 Mustang
1SG(Ret) (1987) US Army Aviation

Days/Nights Camped 2016: 34
dogwood36322 is offline  
Old 01-18-2013, 10:04 AM   #9
Senior Member
Mike001's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 160
I would just say make sure you are properly trained w/ any weapon you might use, and if you choose a shotgun, use a light load, not buckshot or a slug. They both will go through several walls, possibly injuring a bystander or your faithfull companion. Good luck and stay safe.
Mike001 is offline  
Old 01-18-2013, 10:26 AM   #10
Senior Member
trudinator's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,332
I personally would go with a handgun. Easier to handle, store, etc. And then I'd adhere to the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. What they don't know can't hurt them.
2012 Rockwood 8293RKSS
2006 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9L Cummins Turbodiesel 4x4; 2012 Ford Escape 4x4. 3 very pampered cats.
Days camped: 2011: 61; 2012: 66 Days; 2013: 69;2014: 68 2015: 90 Days camped 2016: 34
trudinator is offline  
Old 01-18-2013, 10:33 AM   #11
Junior Member
Chip2830's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Majestic , Ky
Posts: 27
Originally Posted by trudinator View Post
I personally would go with a handgun. Easier to handle, store, etc. And then I'd adhere to the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. What they don't know can't hurt them.
Chip2830 is offline  
Old 01-18-2013, 10:41 AM   #12
Camper Less Camping
Cajun Po-Boy's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: NW
Posts: 3,642
IMO...if you carry a weapon in small quarters, you will want to consider a handgun vs shotgun.

Also, any gun needs training both professionally and on your own at the range, especially handguns.
Given your situation and circumstances in which you want to be prepared, I'd consider researching the Taurus brand of handguns, specifically the models named "The Judge".
Great choice for small spaces and it utilizes either a .410 shotshell or .44 caliber ammo...also a great varmint gun that's easy to carry, great multipurpose handgun.

As others have stated, be very aware how and where you can bring a weapon onto different properties...those rules are not taken lightly.
Good luck and I agree you should protect yourself and feel protected, especially in remote areas and given our current activities around the U.S..

2013 Sabre 32RCTS-6 (sold)
Family of 4 whose always on the GEAUX!
Cajun Po-Boy is offline  
Old 01-18-2013, 11:03 AM   #13
Senior Member
handbuilder's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Washington state
Posts: 1,258
I am a woman and at the advice of my husband I carry a small revolver (a snubby SP101 .357 Rueger) when I travel to my shows alone. At the advice of my police officer neighbor, I applied for a permit to carry concealed. I keep my firearm in the truck cab when I am towing and when I am at the campgrounds, it is kept in my trailer (my traveling home).

That said, I have also attended several courses on shooting, gun safety and home defense as well as classes at the police range with their range they were able to give a varied hands on scenarios (instinct shooting, target turning, night shooting). Having police officer instructors was the best because they taught us the law, shared first hand experience and gave practical advice for homeowners/civilians and recommended ammo for home use and of course proper maintenence of your firearm.

Check with each military installation regarding their rules. The "dont ask, dont tell" isnt advised when they can choose to inspect any vehicle at any given time when it is on their property. Having base privleges revoked wouldnt be worth the risk in my view.

My advice is to know the law in each state and in each campground and if one still chooses to plead ignorance, just be aware of the legal consequence one might face if found out.

2012 FR Flagstaff T12SDTH
1996 Shadowcruiser Pop Up Truck Camper
1967 Newell Motorcoach
2003 Ford F150 5.4 V8 Triton Super Cab
2004 Nissan Titan LE 5.6 V8 4x4 Crew Cab
handbuilder is offline  
Old 01-18-2013, 11:07 AM   #14
Senior Member
Grizzlygibbs's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 326
Tred very carefully with this topic. You are getting some advise on this forum that I would not take, as well as some that it is illegal in most states (such as cutting down the barrel of a shotgun and don't ask don't tell).

Like others have said, gun ownership is not something to be taken lightly and I would advise you to become fully trained before taking possession of one. Your local sheriff's office and the sheriff's office of the county where you will be staying will be able to answer all of your questions, whether they be hypothetical or not.

Also, be sure to check other state and local ordinances where you will be staying concerning how the firearm will have to be stored. Some states have a more stringent Castle Doctrine than others so you will also want to look into that.

Finally, be very aware that you are responsible for ANY projectile that may or may not stay within the confines of your trailer. This means the bullet passing through and the possibility of it hitting a target you were not intending to. For this reason alone, I would consider a short barrelled shotgun (note:short barrel does not mean it was sawn-off). Plus the universal sound that will send chills down anyone's back is the sound of racking a shotgun. If someone is thinking about trying to break in and hears that they will likely run in the other direction.
Grizzlygibbs is offline  
Old 01-18-2013, 11:19 AM   #15
Site Team - Lou
Herk7769's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 23,074
As an avid enthusiast, I have the following advice.

To avoid the hassle of traveling with firearms, (even though my wife and I maintain a PA, FL, and UT Concealed Carry licence) we no longer travel with a firearm. Though we commonly carry when home and in the local area, our training indicates that our sidearm should not be our first choice of self defense even then; our non-lethal weapon is, unless the situation dictates immediate response with deadly force.

My wife and I both carry only our non-lethal response device when traveling to avoid this issue entirely. My wife ALWAYS carries her Taser C-2 and I carry a pocket Kimber Gel Pepper spray 2 shot pistol. (photos below).

IMO, while a shotgun is an excellent choice in a home (stocked please; not pistol grip), it is a horrible choice for the close confines and thin walls of a camper. Even bird shot cartridges with easily penetrate the camper's walls making a solid backstop impossible.

Additionally, a large can of wasp spray will cause no concern from even Canadian border guards, but is an effective close range up to 15 feet weapon shooting a tight stream of chemicals that burn like crazy when it gets anywhere near your mouth, nose, and eyes.

We keep a large can near the front door of our home (there is a lethal response weapon there too) for non-lethal response to a threat.

Additionally, carrying a non-lethal response device can provide options for dealing with wild animals (or out of control pets), and young "hoodlums" who would cause you severe emotional trauma after the incident if you had to escalate to deadly force because you had no other choice.

In the end, it is a good idea in my opinion to have options of "less than deadly" especially when traveling through many states with many jurisdictions.
Most military bases prohibit firearms on post, but have not batted an eye at what we travel with.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	all_c2_taser_6.jpg
Views:	69
Size:	45.4 KB
ID:	23115   Click image for larger version

Name:	taser-c2.jpg
Views:	73
Size:	19.0 KB
ID:	23116   Click image for larger version

Name:	344219.jpg
Views:	71
Size:	40.4 KB
ID:	23117  
Lou, Laura, & Freya the wonder dog
2008 GMC Sierra 3000HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2019 Flagstaff 8529FLS - Pullrite 3300
Herk7769 is online now  
Old 01-18-2013, 11:55 AM   #16
Senior Member
handbuilder's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Washington state
Posts: 1,258
Lou, I am glad you posted this because I have been considering this as an alternative to my firearm for the very reasons you shared. I am still researching what would be best for my situation. I do keep Wasp spray in my trailer, but does me no good because I forget its in the baggage compartment. I carry pepper spray in my purse but I would rather use a tazer because it seems like it would incapacitate a trailer intruder a little longer and more severe (and no worry of me being affected too) thereby giving me time to get out.

A little off topic, I have a friend who keeps a cattle prod to use in case her dogs get in a fight (same breed as mine, Bullmastiff) We were talking about our methods of breaking up a dog fight when it happens. This breed is large and powerful and bullheaded at times. Having a housemate steal another cookie can result in physical confrontation. Anyway, her normally peaceful dogs got into it. She was worried one might end up dead so she got her cattle prod (she raised cattle) and she put it to the offending dogs rear. Nothing. She turned up the shock and touched the dog again. Nothing. Shes getting frustrated, the dogs are still fighting. In her haste, she thinks the prod is not working. So not giving it much thought, she pushes it into her leg to see if it works. It shoots her across the yard. Her husband had been on his way to help and sees her fly. He said the dogs immediately stopped fighting and went to see what happened to their "Mom". haha To hear tell the story is hilarious.

It is her experience with the cattle prod that got me to thinking about Tasers. Thank you, Lou, your post is spot on for less lethal alternatives!

2012 FR Flagstaff T12SDTH
1996 Shadowcruiser Pop Up Truck Camper
1967 Newell Motorcoach
2003 Ford F150 5.4 V8 Triton Super Cab
2004 Nissan Titan LE 5.6 V8 4x4 Crew Cab
handbuilder is offline  
Old 01-18-2013, 11:59 AM   #17
Senior Member
Great Horned Owl's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Lake County, Illinois
Posts: 301
I would think that bear spray would be a better choice than wasp spray. If it will stop a grizzly, it will certainly stop any human. Also, if you are in the west, lots of people carry it, so the authorities would not be concerned.

2011 Silverado 2500HD Duramax, 4x4, crew cab, long bed
Palomino Puma 253-FBS, 27' 5th wheel
1994 19' Class B on Chevy chassis
Great Horned Owl is offline  
Old 01-18-2013, 12:21 PM   #18
Site Team - Lou
Herk7769's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 23,074
I only mention wasp spray because you most likely already have it around the home and folks might not think of it as an effective alternative.

Just like having your expensive handgun back home in the safe, "effective" means having what you need "to hand." That wasp spray mixed in with the WD-40 in the basement will do you no good ending a confrontation with a less than desirable adversary (animal or human or both).

What ever you decide you must have it FOR THAT PURPOSE and not any other. Telling an intruder to "wait while I get something to defend myself with" will result in a less than optimum outcome.

My recommendation to the OP and others looking for a "carry" that is less intimidating and legal in "most" environments (NJ and a few other "enlightened" states excepted) look no further than the Taser C-2. Most people will assume it is a flashlight (especially if you get pink or yellow). About the cost of a low end firearm (350-400 dollars), it is without a doubt a confrontation ender.

Slide the safety back; a laser and flashlight come on and the barbs are armed and effective to 15 feet. Although only a single shot, even after you use the barbs, the weapon can be used to fight off a second attacker since it still arcs across the fired cartridge port as a shock stick. It will "shoot" about 50 times on a battery.

I really like the Kimber I carry since it looks like a toy water pistol. The white tab is the trigger safety and just pushes out of the way to use it.

Camper's and guns are just not a "good fit" in my opinion due to the thin walls and close quarter camping (another trailer is right there on all sides of you).

I might have a different recommendation if you always camp out in the boondocks and never in a campground.

Oh, by the way Tasers work even on drunk or drugged adversaries.

Check youtube for several unbelievable real life police uses of Tasers.
Since most of the videos have harsh language I did not post links to them.
Lou, Laura, & Freya the wonder dog
2008 GMC Sierra 3000HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2019 Flagstaff 8529FLS - Pullrite 3300
Herk7769 is online now  
Old 01-18-2013, 01:00 PM   #19
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 6
Thanks for the wasp spray idea.

I also found this on the web, which seems very informative:

It lists the federal law, a section for each state, and the laws for national parks and forests.

Thanks for bringing up this topic as it is best to be informed instead of sorry.
farlabania is offline  
Old 01-18-2013, 01:05 PM   #20
Graduate Member
RoadTrip's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Columbia, MO
Posts: 508
Just an observer here - no dog in this fight. Thanks to Herk for the alternatives, and thanks to everyone for the discussion - which I have seen on other boards devolve immediately. I'm proud of us.
--2009 Sunseeker 2860DS (Class C)
- one Hotwife, and two boys under 2(with one on the way!)
2013 - 53 days
2012 - 26 days

RoadTrip is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:51 PM.