Buying gun by shipping it to yourself???


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Preacherman
December 22, 2002, 01:18 AM
Hi, all. I've got a wierd question here, raised by a colleague today as we were discussing guns we'd bought.

As you know, Federal law requires that any interstate firearms purchase must be sent by the seller to a FFL-holder near the buyer. The FFL-holder then does the background check on the buyer, and if he/she passes, delivers the gun.

My colleague said that he'd got around this by using the ability - granted in Federal law - to ship your own guns to yourself. He says that on three occasions, while travelling out-of-state, he'd found guns for sale, privately, and wanted them. He shipped them to his own home address, from an address in the state he was in, but with his name as the shipper.

He claims that this gets around the FFL requirement. I hold that it doesn't, that he's acting illegally, and will face a stiff penalty if caught.

Any input from the family out there?

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TheBluesMan
December 22, 2002, 01:44 AM
He is acting illegally. (According to what is arguably an illegal federal law, anyway.)

Count #1: Purchasing and taking delivery of a firearm from a private seller outside your state of residence is illegal.
Count #2: Selling a firearm to an individual that does not hold residence in your state is illegal. A gift may not be illegal, though. (Gonna have to do some research now...)
Count #3: Shipping a firearm to yourself from one state to another is not illegal. However, since the firearm was illegally purchased, I would wager that he would face stiff penalties for doing this as well. (Interstate transport of illegal firearms and all that)

The chance of him getting caught are very low, I would think. The seller could be in much more serious trouble if caught.

Schmit
December 22, 2002, 08:49 AM
Hmmm, that is tough.

Private sales are OK w/o FFL involvement. Lets say I'm up at Scotts place in NC. He has a (insert hand gun here) and I offer to buy it. I'll not restricted in my State from buying a handgun nor in his. I buy it, but don't want to drive down with it. So I ship it to myself.

Same thing but with a Long gun.

Have I broken the law?

Now, I wouldn't make a practice of it mind you. I think that would be a factor in determining if any laws are being broken. If someone is constantly doing it and doing it from afar (i.e. buying arms via the net but having them shipped directly to you from the seller using you as the shipper and receiver). That, IMO, would get you jammed up big time.

tyme
December 22, 2002, 07:41 PM
TBM, I think it's legal, federally, to sell long guns to non-residents.

TheBluesMan
December 22, 2002, 10:00 PM
Ah! That may be so.

In Ohio, we can not sell handguns to non-residents without going through an FFL in the buyer's home state; and can only sell long guns to residents of our own state and five adjoining states.

Zander
December 23, 2002, 02:00 AM
I know of only one federal provision for shipping a firearm to yourself.

You own it, you're going hunting in another state, you ship it, you take possession of it at the delivery address.

Sure would like to be proven incorrect.

Byron Quick
December 23, 2002, 07:21 PM
Does federal law address private transfer of handguns between individuals?

In Georgia, as far a I know, the private sale of a handgun to an out of state resident is legal. That is, you come to Georgia and I sell to you.

dog3
December 24, 2002, 03:17 PM
"Count #1: Purchasing and taking delivery of a firearm from a private seller outside your state of residence is illegal. "

What?

Since when?

Can someone quote me chapter and verse on this Federal Law. (it would have to be federal)

motorep
December 24, 2002, 04:29 PM
I think the problem is finding a shipper. I've done it, shipped inherited stuff from one state to another. I was the owner, shipping to myself. The only question on the bill of lading was something like "is there anything dangerous in your shipment". Nope ( just guns and some fishing gear).

Ian
December 24, 2002, 04:43 PM
Zander - Here's a clipping from the ATF's FAQ (http://www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/faq/faq2.htm#b10) about shipping to yourself (emphasis mine):
(B10) May a nonlicensee ship firearms interstate for his or her use in hunting or other lawful activity?

Yes. A person may ship a firearm to himself or herself in care of another person in the state where he or she intends to hunt or engage in any other lawful activity. The package should be addressed to the owner. Persons other than the owner should not open the package and take possession of the firearm.

I use this exemption on a regular basis to ship my guns from my home to school and vice versa every spring and fall.

Edit...

Here are a couple more FAQ bits from the same page.
(B1) To whom may an unlicensed person transfer firearms under the GCA?

A person may sell a firearm to an unlicensed resident of his or her state, if the buyer is not prohibited by law from receiving or possessing a firearm, or to a licensee in any state. A firearm other than a curio or relic may not be transferred interstate to a licensed collector. [18 U. S. C 922( a)( 3) and (5), 922( b)( 3), 27 CFR 178.29]



(B2) From whom may an unlicensed person acquire a firearm under the GCA?

A person may only buy a firearm within the person's own state, except that he or she may buy a rifle or shotgun, in person, at a licensee's premises in any state, provided the sale complies with state laws applicable in the state of sale and the state where the purchaser resides. [18 U. S. C 922( a)( 3) and (5), 922( b)( 3), 27 CFR 178.29]


(B3) May an unlicensed person obtain a firearm from an out-of-state source if the person arranges to obtain the firearm through a licensed dealer in the
purchaser's own state?

A person not licensed under the GCA and not prohibited from acquiring firearms may purchase a firearm from an out-of-state source and obtain the firearm if an arrangement is made with a licensed dealer in the purchaser's state of residence for the purchaser to obtain the firearm from the dealer. [18 U. S. C 922( a)( 3) and (5), 922( b)( 3), 27 CFR 178.29]

Zander
December 24, 2002, 06:08 PM
Thanks, Ian...good stuff.

Opens up other possibilities. :cool:

jrhines
December 24, 2002, 06:59 PM
18 USC 922(a)(3) and (5), 922(b)(3), CFR 178.29
"A person may sell a firearm to an unlicensed resident of his or her State, if the buyer is not prohibited by law from receiving or possessing a firearm, or to a licensee in any State."
The buyer and the seller in the aforementioned transaction are playing with fire. I don't think any judge would be at all intrested in parsing the language beyond "If you don't live there, you can't buy it".
Stupid law, drives prices up, safety down...

(Ref "Green Book", 2000, that is the 2000 edition of the Fed Firearms Regs Ref Guide, page 135)

Jrhines
Seneca, MD

Blackhawk
December 24, 2002, 08:22 PM
If you legally acquire it, you can do whatever else is legal with it. There's a great milsurp store in Nashville, and buying a gun there and shipping it home sure beats having it in the baggage compartment, IMO.

Kharn
December 24, 2002, 08:58 PM
If the seller's and the buyer's driver's licenses do not say the same state an FFL needs to be involved.

Kharn

El Tejon
December 24, 2002, 10:18 PM
It depends (you knew I was going to say that!).

Which state is his domicile and where is he buying these alleged firearms? As DaBluesMan sez, the modifications to the `68 SSA via the `86 FOPA only apply to adjacent states (e.g., Ohio, Michigun, Kentuc and PRI for me) and only to Title I shoulder weapons (if legal in buyer's state, ad naseum, et al).

Ship weapons to where you're going to be? Sure. I send shoulder weapons to Tejas and Arizona as I do not drive around in a big, ol' white truck and run Yankee tourists off the road so I don't like the hassle (especially post-9/11). Any weapons I buy in Tejas or Arizona when I'm down I have them send to my designated Class 1 or 3 FFL. I just happen to have signed paper from them around when I go shopping down yonder.:D

M1911
December 24, 2002, 10:53 PM
The buyer and the seller in the aforementioned transaction are playing with fire. I don't think any judge would be at all intrested in parsing the language beyond "If you don't live there, you can't buy it". Actually, it is relatively simple. Assuming that you are not an FFL nor C&R FFL, in terms of federal law only, you can buy a long gun from an FFL in any state. You can buy a handgun from an FFL in your state of residence. You can buy a handgun or long gun from a private party in your state.

You cannot buy a handgun from an FFL outside of your state, nor can you buy any gun from a private party outside of your state. If you want to buy a handgun from an FFL outside of your state, the FFL must transfer the gun to an FFL in your state of residence. You can take possession of the handgun from the FFL in your state. If you want to buy a long gun or handgun from a private party who resides in a different state, the guns must be transferred through an FFL -- a long gun could be transferred through an FFL in any state, a handgun must be transferred through an FFL in the buyers state of residence.

Note that all State laws must be followed and some of the transactions described above may violate your state laws (for example, I believe CA requires all transactions to go through an FFL -- no private transactions allowed).

Hkmp5sd
December 25, 2002, 01:32 AM
I agree with this being illegal and playing with fire. The HOW you get the gun home isn't the question. You buy it and take possession from a private party outside your state of residence, you are in violation.

Just pay the FFL transfer fees and save on the lawyer, trial, punishment, felony conviction fees.

BudS
December 25, 2002, 03:35 AM
I was told by a friend who runs a shop in a neighboring state that I couldn't buy directly from him, but he suggested that a resident of the state COULD, then sell to me. If the buyer shot the pistol, even only once, couldn't that be seen as a sale of a used pistol between private citizens?

Gray Peterson
December 25, 2002, 04:04 AM
Both Used and New Pistol sales of that type are regulated.

Hkmp5sd
December 25, 2002, 04:14 AM
Private citizens cannot sell firearms to private citizens in another state. However, but he suggested that a resident of the state COULD, then sell to me. this is the definition of a straw purchase, even if all parties involved live in the same state, and can get everyone involved some jail time.

Southla1
December 25, 2002, 07:03 PM
I don't have to worry about selling one to anyone.............none of mine are for sale. Now if someone has one to sell and I am interested I MAY forget to ask what state he is a resident of :D.

Politically Incorrect
December 26, 2002, 12:18 AM
This just goes to show how screwed up our laws really are. When laws cannot be understood by the average person (and I believe everyone here to be above average), then the law makes criminals out of innocent people.

Makes me sick. :rolleyes:

dog3
December 26, 2002, 09:30 AM
Wow!

I had no idea that these laws applied to
"Us regular folks" vis a vis across state lines.

Fortunatly for me, when ever I see something
for sale that I am interested in, it is in my
home state, as opposed to the other 2 states
that carry ads in our local "junk for sale" paper.

But that has been just dumb luck.

I would never have even thought twice.

Thanks for this thread. Forwarned and all
that. I was ignorant of this.

This is completely ludicrous.

M1911
December 26, 2002, 12:28 PM
his just goes to show how screwed up our laws really are. When laws cannot be understood by the average personIt's not that hard! What don't you understand?

Let's postulate the following:
Jim lives in OR. Jane lives in OR. Fred lives in WA. None of them have an FFL.

There are three dealers we'll consider: ABC Guns is in OR. DEF guns is in WA. XYZ Guns is in Idaho. All have FFLs.

According to federal law (and ignoring any state laws, since I'm not familiar with the state laws in these three states), Jim can buy a handgun from:
- Jane (private sale, same state of residence).
- ABC Guns (FFL in same state of residence).

Jim can buy a long gun from:
- Jane (private sale, same state of residence).
- ABC Guns (FFL in same state of residence).
- DEF Guns (FFL in any state)
- XYZ Guns (FFL in any state)

If Jim wants to buy a long gun from Fred, he can't do a private sale, since they reside in different states. To complete the sale, the long gun would have to be transferred through an FFL. Any of the 3 FFLs (ABC, DEF, or XYZ) would suffice. This would just entail the two of them showing up at the shop, with Fred bringing the long gun. The dealer would fill out the paper work, run the NICS check if required, Jim would pay Fred and the dealer his transfer fee.

If Jim wants to buy a hand gun from Fred, he can't do a private sale, since they reside in different states. To complete the sale, the hand gun would have to be transferred through an FFL in Jim's state of residence, e.g., ABC guns. The handgun could not transferred through DEF or XYZ guns, since they are not in Jim's state of residence.

It's not that hard guys. I agree that the law is silly. But at the time it was initially passed (1968), background check information wasn't available online and not readily accessed across state lines. I'm not trying to justify the unjustifiable, but rather to put it in context.

M1911

Jeff OTMG
December 26, 2002, 11:52 PM
Ian, thanks for looking that up, saved me from it.

Interstate handgun sales are prohibited by federal law. Doesn't matter if it is private seller to individual or dealer to individual. Feds consider it interstate commerce and don't allow it.

Interstate long gun sale are allowed by federal law provided that the transfer is face to face. It can go private seller to individual or dealer to individual. Feds consider it interstate commerce and do allow this transfer.

You may take possession of any long gun or handgun if it was willed to you. If you receive it as a bequest it was not received in interstate commerce so the federal transfer laws do not apply. I do not know if they treat 'gifts' the same way they treat a bequest.

Once in legal possession of your own firearm you may ship it interstate (via common carrier or USPS) to yourself. If the firearm is a handgun, and you want to send it via USPS, you must convert the 'handgun' to a 'firearm' or it is illegal.

WARNING: MANY states inacted state laws in 1995 which prohibit sales of long guns to residents of non-contiguous states and remember that the laws in BOTH state must be adhered to for the transfer to be legal.

M1911
December 27, 2002, 10:52 AM
Interstate long gun sale are allowed by federal law provided that the transfer is face to face. It can go private seller to individual or dealer to individual. Feds consider it interstate commerce and do allow this transfer. Jeff, this is incorrect. You can not do a private transfer across state lines, even for long guns. You may purchase a long gun from an FFL dealer in a different state. If you go to the BATF's FAQ, questions B1 and B2, it reads:(B1) To whom may an unlicensed person transfer firearms under the GCA? A person may sell a firearm to an unlicensed resident of his or her state, if the buyer is not prohibited by law from receiving or possessing a firearm, or to a licensee in any state.

(B2) From whom may an unlicensed person acquire a firearm under the GCA? A person may only buy a firearm within the person's own state, except that he or she may buy a rifle or shotgun, in person, at a licensee's premises in any state, provided the sale complies with state laws applicable in the state of sale and the state where the purchaser resides.

You can not do a private party transaction across state lines.

Jeff OTMG
December 27, 2002, 11:24 AM
Looks like you are correct M1911. I could have sworn that deals like that were going on at the Louisville gun shows I use to go to. Louisville is right on the border with Ind. and a lot of guys from there go to the Ky. shows. I see lots of illegal long gun activity.

Gewehr98
December 27, 2002, 11:06 PM
But I cheated. I mailed it to myself. I used my C&R FFL to purchase it in Omaha, Nebraska, then ship it UPS to my home address (listed on the FFL copy) in Florida.

Dunno if I'd want to try it without the FFL license, though. :(

pogo2
December 29, 2002, 11:05 AM
Let's assume that a resident of state A goes to state B and buys a handgun from a non-FFL resident of state B. Let's further assume that this transaction is legal under the state laws of state B. This would be the case in Georgia or Arizona, to name 2 states.

I believe that thus far, no Federal law has been violated, because we do not yet have interstate commerce.

But when the resident of state A goes back to state A with his newly-acquired handgun, he violates the Federal law in question the moment he crosses the state line. This is because we now have interstate commerce, and the Federal law now has effect. The Constitution prevented the Federal law from controlling a transaction entirely within a given state.

Now if the handgun buyer from state A did not transport his new gun home, but left it permanently in a storage box he rents in state B, has he violated any Federal law? I don't think so, because he never returned to his home state with it.

How about this? The buyer goes from state B to state C and sells the gun. Has he violated a Federal law? I don't think so, because again, he has not returned to his home state A with the gun.

If I read the law correctly, the action prohibited is bringing the gun back into your home state.

pogo2
December 29, 2002, 01:04 PM
Here is a little more on this subject. If you go to the BATF link below you can read the complete text of the GCA of 1968:

GCA 1968 text (http://www.atf.treas.gov/pub/fire-explo_pub/gca.htm)

The passages relevant to this discussion are the following:

The Gun Control Act of 1968, Public Law 90-618
ยง 922. Unlawful acts

(a) It shall be unlawful --

(3) for any person, other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to transport into or receive in the State where he resides (or if the person is a corporation or other business entity, the State where it maintains a place of business) ,any firearm purchased or otherwise obtained by such person outside that State except that this paragraph (A) shall not preclude any person who lawfully acquires a firearm by bequest or intestate succession in a State other than his State of residence from transporting the firearm into or receiving it in that State, if it is lawful for such person to purchase or possess such firearm in that State, (B) shall not apply to the transportation or receipt of a firearm obtained in conformity with subsection (b)(3) of this section, and (C) shall not apply to the transportation of any firearm acquired in any State prior to the effective date of this chapter;

(5) for any person (other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector) to transfer, sell, trade, give, transport, or deliver any firearm to any person (other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector) who the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in (or if the person is a corporation or other business entity, does not maintain a place of business in) the State in which the transferor resides; except that this paragraph shall not apply to (A) the transfer, transportation, or delivery of a firearm made to carry out a bequest of a firearm to, or an acquisition by intestate succession of a firearm by, a person who is permitted to acquire or possess a firearm under the laws of the State of his residence, and (B) the loan or rental of a firearm to any person for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes;

Notice that the law says the illegal act is to "transport into or receive in the State where he resides". This is my basis for saying that the act of purchasing the handgun in another state is not the violation, but the subsequent act of transporting the handgun back to your state of residence.

Also note that the seller is only prohibited from selling to an out-of-state resident if he "knows or has reasonable cause to believe" that the person is a non-resident". If he is honestly ignorant of this fact, he has broken no Federal law.

EnfieldIII
December 29, 2002, 01:28 PM
Thanks guys, you've given me a headache.:( I wonder what other Fed laws I've "come close to" violating?

Where do I send off for my complete set of CFRs?:confused:
It would seem I have much studying to do.

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