Using a passport to buy gun?


August 16, 2007, 05:03 PM
Apologies if this has been addressed previously.

I have a person (locally) who wants to do a ftf transaction to buy a pistol of mine. Claims he only has his passport (I always ask for and show ID)- he claims he is a US citizen.

I'm leary of this?



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August 16, 2007, 05:07 PM
How did he get his passport without ID?

August 16, 2007, 05:08 PM
Yes, you are leary, and unjustfiably.
A passport is better than a DL. It shows his identity and nationality.

August 16, 2007, 05:09 PM
Trying to remember if I showed like a drivers license when I get my passport.
But you do need to give them your birth certificate.


August 16, 2007, 05:10 PM
I would think as long as it is a valid passport and got a local address on it, you are good to go.


August 16, 2007, 05:11 PM
My concern is his state of residence- I'm not sure the passport confirms this. One would need ID to procure a passport- assuming it's genuine. Which make me that much more dubious of his claim.


August 16, 2007, 05:12 PM
Any ffl's reading? Would you accept a passport?

August 16, 2007, 05:16 PM
A passport is perfectly fine as proof of identity and citizenship, but it is not a proof of residence. IIRC, address information is not even printed in the ID page. I would not accept this because, for a FTF to be kosher, you need to establish that he is a resident of your state.

August 16, 2007, 05:17 PM
i'd bet a passport is more than acceptable as ID for a private gun sale. i myself went several years with only my US passport and FM-3 ( mexcian work visa) as my only forms of ID. well, i did have my scuba instructors card and ( for a while) a mexican drivers license, but LOL, niether of those count as real ID !

August 16, 2007, 05:18 PM
Passport doesn't establish residency - the only spot on it for an address is a place to pencil it in for emergency contact.

Whether you can use ID without an address, I don't know.

August 16, 2007, 05:23 PM
To get a US passport, all you need is your birth certificate, 2 photos and the appropriate fee. It is actually better ID than a DL, as many states don't even ask for proof of citizenship or permanent residency. As far as this goes, many states issue DL's to any one who asks under a don't ask don't tell policy (NC, SC, etc...), and woe be any employee who actually tries to ask.

Anyone who has a valid US passport and is not a US citizen, is acutally comitting a whole host of federal felonies. As opposed to holders of certain state DLs that were issued legally and are actually valid. Proof of residency can be established by utility bills.

A combination of the 2 may be sufficient for the state, and to cover yourself.

Be Safe.

ps. I live in a big city in the NE and around here, many people don't even own a car, but take the subway instead.

August 16, 2007, 05:29 PM
Thanks for all the replies- I worked for several months in Kansas- earlier this year. Had an apartment-and utilities- but wasn't a resident.

I bought several rifles from FFL's-but handguns weren't allowed:(

Just want to make sure I'm legal on this...

August 16, 2007, 05:31 PM
If you don't know the person, it ain't "friend to friend."

August 16, 2007, 05:51 PM
This might shed some light on what might keep BATFE happy:
(D5) Is a Social Security card a proper means of identification for purchasing a firearm from an FFL?

No. A Social Security card, alien registration card, or military identification alone does not contain sufficient information to identify a firearms purchaser. However, [B]a purchaser may be identified by any combination of government-issued documents which together establish all of the required information: Name, residence address, date of birth, and photograph of the holder.

August 16, 2007, 06:01 PM
I bet that the reason that he wants to only show you his passport is due to the fact that he isn't a resident of your state. As has been stated, the only address on the passport is the one that you pencil in for travel notification purposes.

August 16, 2007, 06:22 PM
As a ffl I can accept the passport as goverment issued photo ID, but he's going to need another gov issued document to establish residence. a utility bill would not do unless it was from the goverment.

August 16, 2007, 06:36 PM
Thanks again everyone! Appreciate the imput:) I want to sell- but think I'll pass on this guy .I'd have to drive an hour to meet him and...

He first suggested that I "send the gun up" to him with someone I know who frequently drove up to his city. (Which I WON'T do of course)

Too many red flags.

Thanks again

August 16, 2007, 06:43 PM
The moment he suggested having a "friend" deliver it to him I'd have immediately said "forget it".

August 16, 2007, 07:02 PM
Would a property tax bill or a water bill work with the passport to establish identity and residence?


August 16, 2007, 07:07 PM
I'm not sure either of those would- you can own property and be a resident of another state. Wow- this turned complicated fast!:banghead:

August 16, 2007, 07:19 PM
The example that the NICS booklet gives is a tax bill as a second ID to establish the street address.

August 16, 2007, 07:25 PM
I have 2 passports, 1 UK, 1 Canadian... I've never used them in the USA for a firearms purchase, I have used my Green Card, Drivers License and carry permit though. No problems.

August 16, 2007, 07:42 PM

August 16, 2007, 08:00 PM
:rolleyes: lmao!:D

Aguila Blanca
August 16, 2007, 11:27 PM
Trying to remember if I showed like a drivers license when I get my passport.
But you do need to give them your birth certificate.
The only form of identification asked for or accepted for a passport is an original birth certificate.

August 17, 2007, 03:38 AM
I tried to use a passport, along with other documents to show residence, to buy a rifle but store policy prevented me from doing so.

As others point out the BATFE requires proof of age, identity, and residence with a photo. The passport meets only three of those requirements.

A little tidbit, a USA passport does not prove citizenship. It shows that the holder of the passport is a "national", not a "citizen". These are two legal concepts with subtle differences in rights and privileges, such as a citizen is guaranteed the right to vote while a national is not. All citizens are nationals, but not all nationals are citizens.

Would a property tax bill or a water bill work with the passport to establish identity and residence?

According to what I read on the Iowa Driver License website, yes it does. An Iowa ID card met the BATFE requirements of ID, photo, age and residence. A passport and utility bill got me the Iowa ID. I would assume that the step of getting the Iowa ID can be avoided by showing a passport and utility bill in the course of a firearms purchase.

August 17, 2007, 08:58 AM
"The passport meets only three of those requirements."

And as clearly stated by BATFE you can use a combination of documents to meet all the requirements.

August 17, 2007, 09:22 AM
Once again, regardless of what the "regulations" may or may not say, it's up to the dealer to determine what he will accept as ID. Maybe you could talk him into taking a passport and a tax statement or maybe you could just p*ss him off and he wouldn't do business with you at all. I suppose you could take him to court if you are willing to spend the money to try to make a point.
Is it really worth the effort? It would be simpler to have the "buyer" go get a State ID card or Drivers License. If he can't qualify for one, there's your answer.

August 17, 2007, 09:11 PM
No .gov ID showing, residence address (correct one that matches the 4473) No sale Period. It is not my problem as an FFL that you were to stupid to report your change of address on your driverís license, or state alternative ID.

I sell to resident aliens all the time and they have no problem providing all the correct ID and other papers required. Remember we did not make the laws take it out on your politicians not me.

I really do not need the 40-50 buck profit from the sale. Why should I risk, jail, monetary loss, loss of my livelihood for your (stupidity-arrogance) Get out of my shop we do not need or want your Business?

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