Non-residents Can't Buy Firearms?


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Guns_and_Labs
June 15, 2005, 04:13 PM
I'm corresponding with a gunshop in Idaho -- they have a model I'm looking for -- and they are claiming it's a violation of federal law for them to sell me a firearm at their store, unless I'm a resident of Idaho. Is that right?

My question to them:

You had indicated that I could not purchase the firearm directly from you
at your location if I was not an Idaho resident. I was trying to find the
relevant statute, but can not find it. Is that an Idaho law?

Their answer:

No, that is Federal Law concerning Interstate Commerce of Firearms. You can
only purchase a handgun in your state of residence. You can have it shipped
to a FFL dealer in your state and you can ship it there and do the paperwork
at that dealers location.
Thanks,

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Frandy
June 15, 2005, 04:15 PM
That is correct. Federal law.

Spreadfire Arms
June 15, 2005, 04:22 PM
long guns can be sold to a non-resident of that state if their home state has not ruled that firearm to be illegal. for example, if the buyer wants to purchase an AR-15 but he has a California DL then you can't sell it to him.

pistols/revolvers cannot be sold to a non-resident, nor can a Title II weapon.

logical
June 15, 2005, 04:40 PM
I believe the long gun rule is residents and neighboring state residents only. I am in Michigan....for those of you who have heard of it and know where that is....so I think I can buy in Ohio, Indiana, maybe even Illinois, Wisconson, if borders out in the middle of lakes count. But not for instance Nebraska.

Handgun is definately residents only.

JB in SC
June 15, 2005, 04:48 PM
Long guns if both states allow it.

I would also advise you to be aware of other state and municipal laws concerning ownership of certain firearms. Being in CA, I suspect there might be quite a few restrictions.

Spreadfire Arms
June 15, 2005, 04:49 PM
"I believe the long gun rule is residents and neighboring state residents only."

read the ATF rule book..it used to be that but it has changed.

Guns_and_Labs
June 15, 2005, 05:21 PM
Being in CA, I suspect there might be quite a few restrictions.

Yes, but my plan was to leave the firearm at my vacation place, not in California.

So, it seems that California law follows me anywhere, effectively, and that I am, as a non-resident, not free to exercise the same rights to commerce as a resident. {sigh}

Also, it seems like a nice, rare firearm is never to be in my collection. {sigh}

Lennyjoe
June 15, 2005, 05:24 PM
You can purchase it from him via phone/internet/mail and send him payment along with a copy of your local FFL dealer to which the seller must send the pistol to. It has to go to the FFL dealer only, not directly to you.

Other than that, you can purchase it face to face in Idaho but cannot take posession of the pistol there. He must send it to an FFL in your home state to which you can then take posession of it after the transfer is completed.

Spreadfire Arms
June 15, 2005, 06:25 PM
Guns and Labs,

if you have vacation property there you may be able to obtain an Idaho state issued ID card. arent you a resident of both states if you are a homeowner in both states?

Guns_and_Labs
June 15, 2005, 06:28 PM
Guns and Labs,

if you have vacation property there you may be able to obtain an Idaho state issued ID card. arent you a resident of both states if you are a homeowner in both states?

Lamentably, my second home is in Montana, not Idaho.

JB in SC
June 15, 2005, 11:28 PM
Spreadfire Arms,

You are correct, it has changed:

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]

I was not aware of that change....it's a good thing :)

Best,
JB

SIOP
June 16, 2005, 08:59 AM
if you have vacation property there you may be able to obtain an Idaho state issued ID card. arent you a resident of both states if you are a homeowner in both states?

No. You must actually RESIDE in the state you wish to purchase a handgun. Just owning property does not qualify. The state might issue you a card based on the fact you have an address there, but if you do not actually reside there it is a violation of federal law. The only people that can claim dual-residency for the purposes of purchasing a handgun in multiple states is an active-duty military person.

EOD Guy
June 16, 2005, 10:45 AM
Quote:
if you have vacation property there you may be able to obtain an Idaho state issued ID card. arent you a resident of both states if you are a homeowner in both states?



No. You must actually RESIDE in the state you wish to purchase a handgun. Just owning property does not qualify. The state might issue you a card based on the fact you have an address there, but if you do not actually reside there it is a violation of federal law. The only people that can claim dual-residency for the purposes of purchasing a handgun in multiple states is an active-duty military person.

BATF disagrees with you. You can be a resident of more than one state for the purpose of purchasing firearms. I own property in Arizona and live there for 2 - 3 months out of the year. BATF says I can legally purchase handguns in Arizona when I am actually living there. I was also told that quick trips over the border do not qualify.

Here is what they say on their web site. http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/faq2.htm#b13

(B13) May a person who resides in one state and owns property in another state purchase a handgun in either state? [Back]

If a person maintains a home in 2 states and resides in both states for certain periods of the year, he or she may, during the period of time the person actually resides in a particular state, purchase a handgun in that state. But simply owning property in another state does not qualify the person to purchase a handgun in that state.

JB in SC
June 16, 2005, 10:48 AM
A person does not have to be a full time resident of a state to qualify as a "resident".

Per the ATF website:

If a person maintains a home in 2 states and resides in both states for certain periods of the year, he or she may, during the period of time the person actually resides in a particular state, purchase a handgun in that state. But simply owning property in another state does not qualify the person to purchase a handgun in that state.

Italics are mine.

JB

EOD sorry I was composing when you posted :)

Guns_and_Labs
June 16, 2005, 12:23 PM
Thank you EOD and JB, I now have my solution. I just need to get the Idaho dealer to hold the item until I am next in Montana, and then have it transferred.

JB in SC
June 16, 2005, 03:52 PM
I would thoroughly peruse the ATF website, just to be 100% certain that the purchase met all criteria. A photo ID is, I believe, a requirement for the 4473.

I wish you success :)

It is a crying shame that some states continue to harass gunowners with useless laws. In South Carolina the legislature (with little pressure) rescinded the "one handgun a month" law.

It only took 25 years :o

Best,
JB

Spreadfire Arms
June 16, 2005, 04:55 PM
thanks for the education guys.....its nice to see threads like this that discuss ATF regs! :D

geekWithA.45
June 16, 2005, 04:57 PM
One kink on the out of state purchase of longarms: I've heard that some states put "adjoining states" laws into their books in parallel to the federal regs, and did not repeal them when the feds changed thiers.

Since the transaction must be in accordance with the laws of both states in question, you _can_still_ run into adjoining state issues, as a matter of _state_ law.

Does anyone know which states still has these legacy laws on the books?

JB in SC
June 16, 2005, 09:43 PM
Yes, there are states that still use "contiguous", "adjoining", or "bordering" in the statutes. My own state of SC has it in the statutes:

SECTION 23-31-10. Purchase of rifle or shotgun in contiguous state.

Any resident of this State including a corporation or other business entity maintaining a place of business in this State, who may lawfully purchase and receive delivery of a rifle or shotgun in this State, may purchase a rifle or shotgun in a contiguous state and transport or receive the same in this State; provided, that the sale meets the lawful requirements of each such state, meets all lawful requirements of any Federal statute, and is made by a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector.

SECTION 23-31-20. Purchase of rifle or shotgun in this State by resident of any state.

A resident of any state may purchase rifles and shotguns in this State if the resident conforms to applicable provisions of statutes and regulations of this State, the United States, and of the state in which the person resides.


The old wording in the GCA was that both states had to specifically allow it, IIRC.

One of the reasons to thoroughly investigate both states gun laws.

Hawkmoon
June 17, 2005, 12:45 AM
I would thoroughly peruse the ATF website, just to be 100% certain that the purchase met all criteria. A photo ID is, I believe, a requirement for the 4473.
Are you certain? I don't recall ever showing a photo ID.

However, with only two exceptions I have bought all my firearms through the same FFL and he obviously knows me. He might have asked me for a photo ID back when the first transaction was transacted. I'm pretty certain he hasn't asked for one since.

Spreadfire Arms
June 17, 2005, 01:06 AM
im reading the back of a 4473 now:

"Box 18a: Type of Identification (e.g., driver's license or other valid government-issued photo identification)"

that's pretty certain.

HKrazy
June 18, 2005, 03:50 PM
Yes, there are states that still use "contiguous", "adjoining", or "bordering" in the statutes. My own state of SC has it in the statutes:

The BATF considers these laws to be outdated and irrelevant.

FFL NEWSLETTER August 2004

CONTIGUOUS STATE - PART 2
In an article that appeared in the December 2002
edition of the FFL Newsletter, we advised FFLs
that the "contiguous state" provisions of the Gun
Control Act were amended in 1986, and that the
GCA allows dealers to sell or dispose of a long
gun to a resident of another state provided, (1) the
purchaser was not otherwise prohibited from
receiving or possessing a firearm under the GCA,
and (2) the sale, delivery and receipt fully comply
with the legal conditions of sale in the buyer's and
seller's States.
The condition of sale relating to compliance with
the applicable laws of both States cited above
continues to cause confusion among dealers,
particularly among those dealers who conduct
business in a State whose laws presently contain
language that allows "contiguous state" sales.
Historically, prior to the 1986 amendments to the
GCA, many States enacted provisions in their laws
that allowed their residents to acquire a long gun in
a contiguous State. For the most part, these State
law provisions were modeled after the contiguous
state provisions of the GCA. However, even
though the GCA was amended in 1986 to allow
the sale of long guns to residents of any State
pursuant to the conditions cited above, many States
have not yet amended their laws to reflect similar
language. ATF takes the position that if the laws
of a given State allow its residents to acquire a long
gun in a contiguous State, those laws also allow its
residents to acquire a long gun in any other State
where the laws of that State permit such
transactions, unless the language contained in that
State's law expressly prohibits it residents from
acquiring a firearm outside that State. Questions
regarding particular State law provisions should be
referred to your local ATF office.


Link to ATF News Letters (http://www.atf.gov/firearms/newsletter/index.htm)

geekWithA.45
June 18, 2005, 09:23 PM
That's really cool....but I wonder if the states are compelled to agree?

Isn't that an example of the feds trespassing into state jurisdiction?

It sounds to me like a state could prosecute, even if the feds do not, unless there's some sort of "affirmitive defense" against state laws elsewhere in the federal law.

Shootcraps
June 18, 2005, 09:47 PM
thanks for the education guys.....its nice to see threads like this that discuss ATF regs!

The ATF doesn't have regs. These are Federal laws that they have to enforce. They're just trying to explain them. ;)

JB in SC
June 18, 2005, 11:18 PM
I've already contacted my Representative and Senator (both are friends of mine) to address this issue.

However, I would not want to be a defendant in order to challenge the statute. Regardless of what the ATF says, I doubt seriously they have any control over the state statutes.

SIOP
June 19, 2005, 10:36 AM
BATF disagrees with you. You can be a resident of more than one state for the purpose of purchasing firearms. I own property in Arizona and live there for 2 - 3 months out of the year. BATF says I can legally purchase handguns in Arizona when I am actually living there. I was also told that quick trips over the border do not qualify.

Here is what they say on their web site. http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/faq2.htm#b13

(B13) May a person who resides in one state and owns property in another state purchase a handgun in either state? [Back]

If a person maintains a home in 2 states and resides in both states for certain periods of the year, he or she may, during the period of time the person actually resides in a particular state, purchase a handgun in that state. But simply owning property in another state does not qualify the person to purchase a handgun in that state.

How do you figure BATF disagrees with me? BATF says you can only purchase a handgun in the state you are actually residing in. That's what I said.

EOD Guy
June 19, 2005, 11:27 AM
How do you figure BATF disagrees with me? BATF says you can only purchase a handgun in the state you are actually residing in. That's what I said.

The point I was trying to make is that you can be a dual resident as far as eligibility to purchase handguns. You are right that you have to be actually residing in the state. When I visit Arizona for 2 or 3 months, I am eligible to purchase handguns in that state even though I am still a legal resident of California. As far as BATF is concerned, legal residency as defined by a state and residency for purchasing firearms can be two different things.

In the case of military personnel, they can not only be residents of 2 but even 3 states. For instance, an individual entered the service from California, is stationed in Maryland, and lives in Virginia. Another example is a service member from Texas who is stationed at Ft Campbell, KY. That post extends into Tennessee and the service member could purchase in either TN or KY.

I think we may have been saying the same thing, in different ways.

SIOP
June 19, 2005, 11:49 AM
The point I was trying to make is that you can be a dual resident as far as eligibility to purchase handguns. You are right that you have to be actually residing in the state. When I visit Arizona for 2 or 3 months, I am eligible to purchase handguns in that state even though I am still a legal resident of California. As far as BATF is concerned, legal residency as defined by a state and residency for purchasing firearms can be two different things.

In the case of military personnel, they can not only be residents of 2 but even 3 states. For instance, an individual entered the service from California, is stationed in Maryland, and lives in Virginia. Another example is a service member from Texas who is stationed at Ft Campbell, KY. That post extends into Tennessee and the service member could purchase in either TN or KY.

Actually, you can't be a dual resident. You can only be a resident for handgun purchase purposes in one state at a time. When you are living in AZ, you can't buy a handgun in CA, and vice versa. As far as that goes, you could have property in all 50 states. But you can only purchase a handgun in the one you are actually residing in at the time. I pointed out the active-duty exception in my original post.

EOD Guy
June 19, 2005, 12:44 PM
SIOP,

I agree with everything you are saying. Like I said in my last post, I think we are saying the same thing in different ways. Legal residency and residency for purchasing firearms may not be the same thing. For other than military personnel, what counts is where you are actually living.

What I was calling dual residency was being a resident of different states at different times, alternating between them.

HKrazy
June 19, 2005, 02:27 PM
Regardless of what the ATF says, I doubt seriously they have any control over the state statutes.
They are not claiming that they do. What they are saying is if you look at most State statues, they allow you to buy a firearm in a contiguous State but they do not prohibit you from buying in a non-contiguous State. Therefore, unless your State expressly forbids it, you may legally purchase a long gun in any State where it is legal to do so and not be in violation of State or Federal law.

Actually, you can't be a dual resident.
Actually, you can.... sort of. :scrutiny: Look at the definition of "resides" from 27CFR478.11 (http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/05dec20031700/edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2003/aprqtr/27cfr478.11.htm):

An individual resides in a State if he or she is present in a State with the intention of making a home in that State.

It is possible to have the intention of making a home in more than one State at a time. Owning land or owning a rental property does not count as you do not make a home there. Renting a home to reside in does count for the period of the lease.

As one must be present in a State to be a resident, due to the laws of physics, one can technically only be a resident of one State at a time.

However, what if you are traveling from your one State of residence to the other and you stop in a third state to buy a rifle, what States resident are you?

Using either residency should not make any difference to the BATF as long as the transaction is otherwise legal.

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