What are the 'gun' rights of a US permanent resident?


August 20, 2007, 06:26 PM
I have kin who live just outside Houston, and also in Chicagoland.
Most are full US citizens, but some are permanent residents,
and I'm wondering what distinguishes them in terms of RKBA.
One is in the military: I'd like to know if her mil. serv. makes any
difference under Fed or State law, once she's back in Illinois
(which I understand to be less than an ideal location, but lack
KBA specifics on ).

I'm looking for the nuts-and-bolts limitations on their ability
to keep and bear. Thanks!


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August 20, 2007, 07:00 PM
Federal law allows a resident alien to own and purchase firearms with some limitations. Work, tourist, and student visas have different rules.

I know of no federal law that applies to aliens and carry permits. Several friends and customers are resident aliens and have carry permits in Florida, Texas, and Connecticut. But carry permits are governed by state laws, not by the feds, so your people will have to check each state.

Caveat: I know of no state that restricts carry permits to citizens, or excludes aliens, but I don't know 96% of the states' carry laws. It is certainly within their power to deny carry permits based on citizenship, but I have no idea if any RTC state actually does that. If they do manage to get guns and permits and plan to visit a reciprocall state, a call to that state's police is in order. They should specify that they have the ______ CCW, but they are in the country under a specific status.

Like I said, I have no idea if this might be an issue for concealed carry.

August 20, 2007, 07:45 PM
In WA State, you need an Alien Firearms License from the Department of Licensing, now bear in mind the DOL is not a law enforcement agency so I have no idea why they were chosen to be in charge of that.

Oh and I also have to mention that they are no longer allowed to issue those licenses, and my AFL is NULL at 23:59:59 tonight, guess how impressed I am today :cuss:

I do still have a valid concealed pistol license, since a REAL law enforcement agency, the Sheriffs office is in charge of those, maybe I'll start carrying an airsoft pistol or a water pistol in my holster :banghead:

Am I a little perturbed over this... oh you better believe it I am. :fire:

Last night I had to pack up all of my firearms and ammo and take them to my friends place for safe keeping...

August 20, 2007, 08:00 PM
The alphabet soup guys have a good web site for this.


Standing Wolf
August 20, 2007, 09:45 PM
Your mileage will probably vary depending on the state you live in.

One of my students was a British subject with a green card. He's been buying guns in Colorado since shortly after his arrival, and now has a concealed firearms permit. More power to him!

August 21, 2007, 10:13 AM
The relevant wording is

(B13) May aliens legally in the United States buy firearms?[Back]

An alien legally in the U.S. may acquire firearms if he has a State of residence. An alien has a State of residence only if he is residing in that State and has resided in a State continuously for at least 90 days prior to the purchase. An alien acquiring firearms from a licensee is required to prove both his identity, by presenting a government-issued photo identification, and his residency with substantiating documentation showing that he has resided in the State continuously for the 90-day period prior to the purchase. Examples of qualifying documentation to prove residency include: utility bills, lease agreements, credit card statements, and pay stubs from the purchaser’s place of employment, if such documents include residential addresses.

See also Item 5, “Sales to Aliens in the United States,” in the General Information section of this publication.

[18 U.S.C. 921, 922(b)(3), (d) and (g), 27 CFR 478.11 and 478.99(a)]

A couple of bizarre parts are is that

1. You have to declare your a permanent resident alien voluntarily but the NICS check doesn't check if you are as far as I know
2. Let say you use as your government ID a drivers licence, which shows you have been resident at a qualifying address since it at least it's been issued (more than 90 days). You still have to show more paper such as an electric bill for 90 days or more.

The real concern can come for such states as California and cities such as New York where there is or is an intention to provide drivers licences, or other "official" ID cards to illegal immigrants.

Once you have one of these then you could, in theory, use this for a face to face, in or out of state, long arm purchase.

This is particularily open to potential abuse as the 4473 form that needs to be filled in only has the SSN as an optional not mandatory requirement.

Any ATF lurkers care to pick holes in this..,......8-)

August 21, 2007, 02:26 PM
One resource that I used when I was researching getting my CCW permits (OR and WA) was www.gunlaws.com . they have links to the actual State statutes and laws.

August 21, 2007, 03:17 PM
The only difference between a citizen and legal resident buying firearms is the later has an extra form to fill out that has our immigration number on it.

August 21, 2007, 03:22 PM
Extra form? there is a line on the 4473 for an A#, the same number as my green card goes there.

August 21, 2007, 05:43 PM
Thanks for the leads/links, guys. :)

Rufus Pisanus
August 21, 2007, 05:46 PM
I found a web site containing some info on state firearms laws for aliens but I am not sure it's updated:

US state and federal gun laws for non-citizens http://www.vrolyk.org/guns/alien-laws.html (http://www.vrolyk.org/guns/alien-laws.html)

Generally state limitations are in the usual suspect states (but with a few surprises).

I believe a difference between green card holders and citizens at the federal level is the possibility of possessing class III firearms (but I would love to be proven wrong).

Rufus Pisanus
August 22, 2007, 10:51 AM
The link below discusses the militia and its definition which indeed includes people that have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States.


August 22, 2007, 12:50 PM
I've been here for almost 8 years, suffice to say, there's no way I'm heading back to Canada..

I did fill out a selective service card and send it in, got it at the post office, bada-bing mailed and done... someone called me up on it and said I didn't have to mail it in... WT?? I still sent it in though...

Quite honestly when it come to .GOV here, I'm finding that the right hand has no idea what the left hand is doing and neither could find their backside with both hand nor with the aid of a proctologist!

If I could just pick a day and go swear in at the court house in Spokane, damn I'd be there this afternoon, it just ain't that easy.

August 22, 2007, 01:26 PM
Here in Utah, when I applied for my CCW, I just filled out a "foreing born" form in addition to the regular application. Before I got my CCW I purchased a couple of gun and in that case I have to show goverment ID plus my green card. I got a new gun after I got my CCW and with the CCW no green card was required.

Rufus Pisanus
August 22, 2007, 06:51 PM
I think all permanent residents (or those who have been such) should thank God that some of the forum members were not in congress... Federal legislation already allows permanent residents to own firearms as well as enjoing most of the constitutional protections. btw Permanent residents have gone through more scrutiny than most citizens and they have all been background searched and finger printed. Wishes that it was something different are just wishes.

Illegal immigrants are an entirely different story. Permanent residents have the same chance of citizens to do something bad (or lower). Let's remember that Josť Padilla and John Walker Lindh (the "american taliban") were US citizens...

Art Eatman
August 22, 2007, 07:38 PM
It's sorta sad to see the degeneration of this thread from "What is the law?" to "What rights should people be allowed to have."

The rights enumerated in the BOR are not limited to citizens. Those rights were seen by the writers as human rights; they exist for all people, not just U.S. citizens. That's why the rights are "enumerated"; they're not derived from government.

Enuf disappointment in some of the posters for one day...


Don Gwinn
August 23, 2007, 08:01 PM
I'm reopening this experimentally to see what happens. I've deleted the off-topic posts. If we can continue the discussion of what the law says, then this thread will be on topic and it can stay--and incidentally, it might even be useful.

If it goes back to 101 reasons to be mean to furriners, I'll lock it again.

This is now the LEGAL forum. See how there's no "Political" on there anymore? Get with the times, folks. This is the kind of headache that made us decide we were better off without L&P.

August 25, 2007, 06:46 PM
Thank you for re-opening this.
Just wish I had time to dig into the relevant laws & post them.

August 25, 2007, 09:19 PM
My Wife is a Permanent Resident through marriage to me. She has a conditional permanent residency for 2 years. After 2 years of us being married, she can apply to extend it to 10 years. However, 3 years after marriage, she can apply for US citizenship... which she will, and will vote for pro gun candidates :-)

Anyways, here in FL, she can lawfully own a gun (not sure about full auto). Have it in her car, etc. Her FL CCW is in progress. We expect her CWP to arrive within next 4 weeks (it's been 5 or 6 already, and the app is in progress, i'm guessing the BG check, we did regular finger prints, and mine took 7 weeks, so hers shouldn't take much longer).

So basically same as US citizen.

August 25, 2007, 10:19 PM
Pretty good synopsis I think...

I'm a permanent resident and have been able to purchase guns no problems...well, I usually get delayed from NICS (I put my SSN on the form and everything!) The only difference between the 4473s that I fill out and a citizen's 4473 is I fill out that little line that asks me for my Alien number...

I'm going to start the CCW process soon...After looking at my county Sheriff's website it seems that citizenship is NOT a requirement. Residency is.

August 26, 2007, 11:07 AM
your delays should go away once you get the citizenship, i think. i didn't try buying guns when i was a permanent resident. i'm a citizen now, and i have to put my country of birth, and citizenship (US). this causes me no delays, and i'm always cleared withing 5 to 15 seconds. there are few extra reqirements for CCW in FL for residents. My wife had to prove she lived in FL for 90 days (I didn't have to). so we attached 3 AT&T bills, and that was it. the app was recived on July 16th. So hopefully her CWP will be here soon.

BTW, for those with experience in getting FL CCW, i'm assuming if they haven't replyied with some letter stating something is wrong, then the app must be in good progress?

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