Moving guns safely and the right way the first time is critical. There is no room for error with firearms, even when they are unloaded. Damage to your trusty weapons is just not an option, so take the time to absorb some expert advice.
There are many varieties of gun owners. Some have one, some have one hundred. Some shoot for sport, some have a conceal-carry permit for personal safety. But the one thing most responsible gun owners can agree on is that those who mishandle them give everyone else a bad name. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need to get your guns to point B without any slip ups.
First of all, take a look at a nice summary of the basic legal ground that you will be standing on when you transport a gun across state lines (via NRA-ILA):
“Federal law does not restrict individuals from transporting legally acquired firearms across state lines for lawful purposes except those explicitly prohibited by federal law to include convicted felons; persons under indictment for felonies; adjudicated “mental defectives” or those who have been involuntarily committed to mental institutions; illegal drug users; illegal aliens and most nonimmigrant aliens; dishonorably discharged veterans; those who have renounced their U.S. citizenship; fugitives from justice; persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence; and persons subject to domestic violence restraining orders. Therefore, no federal permit is required (or available) for the interstate transportation of firearms. Title 18- Part 1- Chapter 44- s926A”
In other words, you can transport a gun across state lines IF you meet the right criteria. As for how to keep them safe and undamaged, here are the basics:
Go extra safe. One way to avoid driving through states with completely different firearms rules is to allow a federally licensed firearms dealer to ship them for you. They can actually ship them right to another deal — for a fee, of course — and keep you out of potential trouble.
Break it down. Obviously, you want to unload all firearms before packing them. It would be ideal to disassemble them completely, and of course, pack the ammo away from the firearm itself. If you are unsure how to do this, bring your weapon to the local shooting range and let a professional explain it.
Carrying case. Most guns come with a nice case. The case is a factory provided way to store a gun. Once the ammo is removed and the gun is rendered safe, the case is the smartest choice. After you have researched the states you will be driving through and arriving at, you are ready to self-move your firearms.
Best of luck!