Can my wife ship to me?


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michaelbsc
January 25, 2013, 09:00 PM
I'm working in WA for a while, but I live in SC. Just this past week I now have a valid non-resident permit.

I read a lot of stuff, but I'm not exactly sure. I know I can ship to myself. I know my next door neighbor cannot ship to me.

In SC, my wife and I are considered a single legal entity for many purposes. If she buys a new washing machine, I'm on the hook for it too.

But what's the Federal rule about shipping a handgun? Can she legally stuff it into a UPS box and ship it to me? Or is that outside the boundary?

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NavyLCDR
January 25, 2013, 09:50 PM
It is illegal for her to ship the gun to you without informing the carrier IN WRITING that the shipment contains a firearm, 18 USC 922(e). No carrier will ship the firearm from one private party to a different private party in another state.

Cosmoline
January 25, 2013, 10:11 PM
Unless someone can come up with a precisely on-point approval, I would not take the risk. Shipping firearms to you on your order would be akin to shipping them to yourself, but it isn't exactly shipping them to yourself. The only time I've done it is when I literally drop them off on one end and pick them up on the other. Particularly if she's packing and labeling them, it sure seems like they're in her possession. And this "one legal entity" business won't fly with the feds. I suspect they'd view this as her shipping to you, which is a transfer.

And as noted, there's no way a common carrier would do it anyway. They'll make you ship it overnight express to an FFL.

michaelbsc
January 25, 2013, 10:24 PM
This is about what I'm thinking too. But shipping to myself is nuts. Next time I go home I can just bring it back in checked luggage and declare it to TSA.

MedWheeler
January 26, 2013, 12:04 AM
^^ Or have her simply bring it out to you..

michaelbsc
January 26, 2013, 12:09 AM
..
Particularly if she's packing and labeling them, it sure seems like they're in her possession. And this "one legal entity" business won't fly with the feds. I suspect they'd view this as her shipping to you, which is a transfer.

I am a little curious how the BATFE looks at the guns in our safe.

By SC law, a community property state in the strongest sense, everything in there belongs to both of us in common. There's no title that shows the .380 she normally carries is hers and hers alone. If I put it in my pocket and walk out the door no one claims it isn't mine too.

But does the BATFE think I've "transfered" everything in the safe to her because I left the state for the duration of this contract? Is she "transferring" them back to "us" on the weekends I'm home?

Are some of them "mine" alone, and she's stealing them if she takes one to the range? Or is she borrowing it? Or is it hers to take?

Frank Ettin
January 26, 2013, 02:19 AM
...But does the BATFE think I've "transfered" everything in the safe to her because I left the state for the duration of this contract? Is she "transferring" them back to "us" on the weekends I'm home?... Essentially, yes. "Transfer" is not about ownership. It's about possession.

Some definitions of "transfer" (emphasis added):

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/transfer:...Transfer encompasses the sale and every other method, direct or indirect, of (1) disposing of property or an interest therein or possession thereof;...

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/transferred:2. Law To make over the possession or legal title of; convey.

http://law.yourdictionary.com/transfer:Any and every method of removing something from one person or place to another; specifically, the handing over of possession or control of assets or title. ...


Let's look at the statutes:

18 USC 922(a)(3), which provides in pertinent part (emphasis added) as follows:(a) It shall be unlawful—
...

(3) for any person, ... to transport into or receive in the State where he resides ...any firearm purchased or otherwise obtained by such person outside that State,...


And 18 USC 922(a)(5), which provides in pertinent part (emphasis added) as follows:(a) It shall be unlawful—
...

(5) for any person ... to transfer, sell, trade, give, transport, or deliver any firearm to any person ...who the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in ... the State in which the transferor resides..;

And for the purposes of federal law, while you are living and working in Washington State would most likely be considered a resident of Washington. See 27 CFR 478.11:State of residence. The State in which an individual resides. 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. If an individual is on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces, the individual's State of residence is the State in which his or her permanent duty station is located. An alien who is legally in the United States shall be considered to be a resident of a State only if the alien is residing in the State and has resided in the State for a period of at least 90 days prior to the date of sale or delivery of a firearm. The following are examples that illustrate this definition:

Example 1.

A maintains a home in State X. A travels to State Y on a hunting, fishing, business, or other type of trip. A does not become a resident of State Y by reason of such trip.

Example 2.

A is a U.S. citizen and maintains a home in State X and a home in State Y. A resides in State X except for weekends or the summer months of the year and in State Y for the weekends or the summer months of the year. During the time that A actually resides in State X, A is a resident of State X, and during the time that A actually resides in State Y, A is a resident of State Y.

Example 3.

A, an alien, travels on vacation or on a business trip to State X. Regardless of the length of time A spends in State X, A does not have a State of residence in State X. This is because A does not have a home in State X at which he has resided for at least 90 days.

It's not that in your situation you don't have an argument that it might be legally okay for your wife to ship the gun, but it's not a guaranteed proposition. Violation of federal law on interstate transfers can get one up to five years in federal prison (and a lifetime loss of gun rights). That's a very big downside.

michaelbsc
January 26, 2013, 04:30 AM
But it does sound like, since I've been here for months, and I do have an address that I use, I now "qualify" as a Washington resident at least for the remaining months I'm here.

Ergo, while I could not purchase a handgun when I first got here, I can make the justification that I'm here now, and then use my WA address on the 4473.

Do I have this right?

Of course, there ain't much on the shelf these days, and it's all at a premium price. Not sure I'm willing to do this.

Onward Allusion
January 26, 2013, 10:41 AM
Yeah, but most gun purchases require you to show some kind of ID (Driver's License) to verify the info against the 4473. At least the ones I've been involved in.

dogtown tom
January 26, 2013, 03:20 PM
michaelbsc I'm working in WA for a while, but I live in SC......
But what's the Federal rule about shipping a handgun? Can she legally stuff it into a UPS box and ship it to my hotel? Or is that outside the boundary?
You are a resident of WA while living there, a resident of SC while you are living there.
Federal law does not permit your wife to ship any firearm directly to you....to do so is a violation of federal law by both you AND your wife. Whether you own the guns jointly makes no difference.

You can either:
-go back to SC and bring the guns back with you as checked luggage.
-go back to SC and ship the guns YOURSELF, to your address in WA.
-have your wife ship the guns to a WA dealer. (i believe the WA dealer will charge you sales tax on the value of the guns in addition to any transfer fee)





NavyLCDR It is illegal for her to ship the gun to you without informing the carrier IN WRITING that the shipment contains a firearm, 18 USC 922(e). No carrier will ship the firearm from one private party to a different private party in another state.
"Failure to notify" is small potato's compared to the Federal crime for an illegal interstate transfer of a firearm.;)




Cosmoline ...Shipping firearms to you on your order would be akin to shipping them to yourself, but it isn't exactly shipping them to yourself.
"akin"? It's clearly a violation of Federal law to ship a firearm interstate to a nonlicensee. There are only a couple of exceptions and "wife to husband" is NOT one of them.




MedWheeler ^^ Or have her simply bring it out to you..
Simply a Federal crime.
Thats an illegal interstate transfer of a firearm.





michaelbsc ...I am a little curious how the BATFE looks at the guns in our safe...
they don't give a rats hiney.
What they care about is how the firearm is transferred interstate. It has nothing to do with ownership.


michaelbsc ....Ergo, while I could not purchase a handgun when I first got here, I can make the justification that I'm here now, and then use my WA address on the 4473.
Do I have this right?
Yes.
What the state of Washington considers as "residency" is immaterial. For the purposes of buying a firearm, ATF says you are a resident of the place you make your home. A college student living in a dorm in Oklahoma is a resident of Oklahoma, when he returns to his family home in Texas....he's a Texas resident.

When you fill out your 4473 you should list your "current residence address" as where you are currently living....obviously it's WA. You can use your SC drivers license as the required government issued photo ID and must submit a government issued document showing your CURRENT residence address in WA. (the dealer will record this "alternate documentation" on Que20b of the Form 4473)

This "alternate documentation" must be government issued: a utility bill from a municipality, a hunting licence.....even a traffic ticket.

xfyrfiter
January 26, 2013, 05:22 PM
Call your local office of the BATFE, they might not know, but can put you in touch with someone who does, and in my experience were more than willing to help.

Cosmoline
January 26, 2013, 05:28 PM
It's clearly a violation of Federal law to ship a firearm interstate to a nonlicensee.

There's nothing clear about it. If all the wife does is take a prepared package to the post office and drop it off, is that a transfer under federal law? In other words, is the husband telling the wife to move box A to the post office and drop it off a transfer which would then be followed by the second transfer of the wife back to the husband? In any other area of law that is not a transfer of ownership or possession. It's a mere license at most or more likely a limited agency. If it constitutes a transfer of possession of the firearm to move a box with the firearm, then anytime you hand a firearm to a clerk behind a shipping counter you need to run a NICS check.

I wouldn't try it myself, but that's only because the BATF tends to operate in a legal universe totally independent of common sense or logic.

Sam1911
January 26, 2013, 06:07 PM
Or have her simply bring it out to you..
Simply a Federal crime.
Thats an illegal interstate transfer of a firearm.
Now there's one I've never heard before.

Sure would like to see how that would be prosecuted. The wife joins the husband at their WA residence and brings one of their guns from their home in SC to their home in WA, and that's an illegal interstate transfer?

I like dancing on the line as much as the next guy, but I'm not seeing a prosecutable offense here.

Prosecutors would have to prove that the husband resides in a both states, but his wife doesn't reside in one of their two homes and/or isn't in WA with the intention of making a home there.

I'll agree that her shipping it to her husband is probably unlawful. But I don't see her bringing it with her to him as an actionable offense.

niner4tango
January 26, 2013, 06:43 PM
I agree with Tom.

For shipping (can't use post office except FFL to FFL) the wife would have to sign paperwork at the carrier. It's pretty clear the OP is not shipping to himself.

For bringing it out, the wife would have to be the owner. OK, the OP could gift it to her and it is legal for her to fly with it. However, once she leaves it with the OP and goes home, she has transferred the gun to him. An illegal interstate transfer.

Buy a gun in WA ( did you really need an excuse) :D
Or wait for your next trip home.

ETA: an FFL dealer could help you with either the shipping or her bringing it out. However, they are required to collect excise tax on out of state transfers in WA which will be over 8% of the value (however you can establish that...)

michaelbsc
January 26, 2013, 08:39 PM
... the wife would have to be the owner. OK, the OP could gift it to her and it is legal for her to fly with it. However, once she leaves it with the OP and goes home, she has transferred the gun to him.

Who's gun is whose? If you took everything out of the safe and piled it in the floor, neither one of us, nor the SC family courts if we were getting divorced, claims individual ownership of any particular item.

True, there are my favorites and hers too. But none of the guns - except my great grandfathers Stevens 12 ga - came with us before marriage. Those are all traded or sold. What we have now is what we've bought in the decades since we've been married.

So the existing inventory is community property just like we both own the washer and dryer and we both own our photography equipment. If we got divorced the family court is going to declare that everything we purchased jointly is owned jointly. Just because I usually drive the old Pontiac and she usually drives the new Buick doesn't mean we don't both have an interest in both.

Likewise with the guns. Which one isn't hers already?

But for now I'm going shopping. If there's anything not priced through the roof I might come home with a new toy. If not then I'll see what other strategy I can come up with.

Sam1911
January 26, 2013, 09:27 PM
Who's gun is whose? If you took everything out of the safe and piled it in the floor, neither one of us, nor the SC family courts if we were getting divorced, claims individual ownership of any particular item.Right, but as Tom explained, the "ownership" here (who bought it, who shoots it, who says "oh, that one's mine...") doesn't enter into the question. What matters is who is in possession of it right now.

She possesses it in SC and you're in WA. Interstate transfer directly between the two of you is not possible.

dogtown tom
January 26, 2013, 11:36 PM
Cosmoline Quote:
It's clearly a violation of Federal law to ship a firearm interstate to a nonlicensee.

There's nothing clear about it.
It's clear as ice water if you actually read the Code of Federal Regulations.;)


If all the wife does is take a prepared package to the post office and drop it off, is that a transfer under federal law? In other words, is the husband telling the wife to move box A to the post office and drop it off a transfer which would then be followed by the second transfer of the wife back to the husband?
Shipping a firearm from one person to another is a transfer (under Federal law).......if it is INTERSTATE it becomes ILLEGAL if the recepient is not a licensee. It makes no difference if the husband told the wife what to do or if the husband told his third cousin's, brothers best friend to do it.......ship a firearm across state lines to a nonlicensee you violate Federal law. (unless it is one of the exceptions)




In any other area of law that is not a transfer of ownership or possession.
Well, this ain't any other area of law..........it IS specific to firearms and has been Federal law since 1968.





It's a mere license at most or more likely a limited agency. If it constitutes a transfer of possession of the firearm to move a box with the firearm, then anytime you hand a firearm to a clerk behind a shipping counter you need to run a NICS check.
You've lost the plot to the movie.:rolleyes:
1. NICS checks can only be done by licensed dealers, so good luck trying to do so with your shipping clerk.
2. Federal law CLEARLY (if you'll read it) allows shipping firearms across state lines. As such, the common carrier or USPS is acting as a carrier and not required to complete a 4473 or NICS because they are not the buyer/transferee of the firearm.
You need to think up a better example.


Sam1911 Quote:
Quote:
Or have her simply bring it out to you..

Simply a Federal crime.
Thats an illegal interstate transfer of a firearm.

Now there's one I've never heard before.

Sure would like to see how that would be prosecuted. The wife joins the husband at their WA residence and brings one of their guns from their home in SC to their home in WA, and that's an illegal interstate transfer?
Whether the Feds would choose to prosecute is immaterial, its still an illegal transfer of a firearm. The OP said HE was residing in WA state, not his wife. Federal law makes no exemption for a wife or any other family member. If it was YOU taking the firearm to the OP its still a violation of federal law.

I agree......its HIGHLY unlikely the wife would be caught, much less prosecuted........but it doesn't change the fact that its illegal. Very similiar to Grandad flying in for Christmas and giving grandson a .22.............illegal unless they are both residents of the same state. So far I've not read of any grandparents getting busted for trafficking in Cricketts.:D

Sam1911
January 27, 2013, 01:10 AM
If it was YOU taking the firearm to the OP its still a violation of federal law.I get that...and I'm inclined to agree based on that. However, I think the prosecution would be practically impossible as it would have to be proved that she was NOT a temporary resident of WA even though her husband clearly was and they're cohabitating spouses, etc.

It certainly COULD be proved, I think, but that's probably all a moot point.

michaelbsc
January 27, 2013, 02:03 AM
While it's interesting, we've absolutely come to the point that I'm not going to do it.

In fact, the poke in the eye for the "gun control" crowd is that these absolutely *STUPID* rules means that I'm going to buy one more gun to be "in circulation" instead of just using one that I already own. And in case it doesn't happen to be one I really want to keep when I leave Washington I'm going to do a private sale to one of the guys in the shop (assuming there's no law against it by then) so that there's one more gun on the street because of their rules.

Unintended consequences. Sheesh. ;)

MB

niner4tango
January 28, 2013, 08:28 PM
...I'm going to buy one more gun...

A happy ending :)

Let us know roughly where you are and we may be able to suggest some places to shop

Elkins45
January 28, 2013, 08:38 PM
So why can't the wife take HER gun out to WA the next time she travels there and STORE it in her husband's apartment? If I own a hunting cabin in AK (I don't) then I can take a rifle from KY and leave it there, can't I?

The up side to this is that it will be impossible to prove an illegal transfer occurred after the fact unless the firearm is declared on the manifest of an airline. If she is found in possession of it on the trip out then she is simply in possession of her own gun while traveling. If he is found in possession of it after he leaves the there is no way to prove he didn't bring it with him when he first came there months ago.

rcmodel
January 28, 2013, 08:45 PM
Joint property.
Why couldn't Mr. & Mrs. Jones in SC ship it to Mr. & Mrs. Jones in WA??

So what if Mrs. Jones takes it to ship and Mr. Jones receives it.

rc

michaelbsc
January 28, 2013, 09:46 PM
A happy ending :)

Let us know roughly where you are and we may be able to suggest some places to shop

Oak Harbor.

Note: I already bought two rifles last year to shoot in the local matches. Had to do something on the weekends. I'm too old to go out with the young bucks. They leave me in the dust. And besides that I've got a hot Army nurse wife at home who knows how to field strip an M16 and a 1911.

NavyLCDR
January 28, 2013, 10:26 PM
Oak Harbor.

Ace Hardware in town. Wholesale Sports in Burlington. Savage Arms also in Burlington. Kesselring Gun Shop north of Burlington. Green's gun shop a little bit north of Oak Harbor. Going to be in Oak Harbor February 5th? Come to the city council meeting, it's going to be WILD!

dogtown tom
January 29, 2013, 12:06 AM
rcmodel Joint property.
Why couldn't Mr. & Mrs. Jones in SC ship it to Mr. & Mrs. Jones in WA??
As has been repeated often on THR and in this thread, ownership has NOTHING to do with the transfer of possession.

So what if Mrs. Jones takes it to ship and Mr. Jones receives it.
Thats an interstate transfer of a firearm between nonlicensees..........a Federal crime.

You can play the husband/wife/joint ownership/Mr&Mrs game all you want, but the fact remains that Federal law prohibits the interstate shipment of a firearm to a nonlicensee with just a couple of exceptions:
1. The return of a repaired or replaced firearm from gunsmith/manufacturer to customer.
2. Shipping a firearm to yourself at an address in another state.

While you may not get caught, if you do you'll never own guns again. That alone doesn't make it worth the risk to me.

Sam1911
January 29, 2013, 01:20 AM
You can play the husband/wife/joint ownership/Mr&Mrs game all you want, but the fact remains that Federal law prohibits the interstate shipment of a firearm to a nonlicensee with just a couple of exceptions:
1. The return of a repaired or replaced firearm from gunsmith/manufacturer to customer.
2. Shipping a firearm to yourself at an address in another state.
Three! The whole bequest possibility. Equally non-applicable here, though.

Frank Ettin
January 29, 2013, 01:24 AM
So why can't the wife take HER gun out to WA the next time she travels there and STORE it in her husband's apartment?...She can; but if she's going to just store it has her husband's apartment, she will need to secure it in a locked case or safe to which he does not have a key or combination. He he has access to the gun it's likely that a judge will find that leaving the gun was effectively a transfer.

...The up side to this is that it will be impossible to prove an illegal transfer occurred after the fact unless the firearm is declared on the manifest of an airline. If she is found in possession of it on the trip out then she is simply in possession of her own gun while traveling. If he is found in possession of it after he leaves the there is no way to prove he didn't bring it with him when he first came there months ago. And all of that garbage is about getting away with committing a federal crime, not about being legal. We do not encourage violations of the law here, nor to we help folks figure out how to get away with criminal acts.

And you can never be all that sure what a prosecutor might be able to prove to the satisfaction of a jury. There are probably a lot of folks in prison right now who thought they wouldn't get caught or convicted. Among other things, posts on Internet discussion boards can be very useful to a prosecutor.

...The whole bequest possibility. Equally non-applicable here, though. Yup, dying is a pretty tough and extreme way to do an interstate transfer without benefit of an FFL.

michaelbsc
January 29, 2013, 02:26 AM
Well, all the legal mumbo jumbo aside, I've made my decision. I said it a few posts ago.

The "gun control" morons have made it so difficult that I'm going to *BUY ANOTHER GUN!!! so there's yet another gun on the street.

That's right. Rather than just use a gun I already own, and give the money to the poor, I'm going to buy another gun and put that money into the coffers of evil gun manufacturers who probably abuse their employees and feed them bad food in the company cafeteria.

michaelbsc
February 12, 2013, 10:08 PM
Just to follow up on this, I have purchased one handgun, and have another on layaway. (I can only spend so much money at once.)

So because of the inane rules to makes us all safer, there will now be *TWO MORE HANDGUNS* in the world.

Take that! Brady campaign.

Jim K
February 12, 2013, 10:50 PM
"As has been repeated often on THR and in this thread, ownership has NOTHING to do with the transfer of possession."

Yep. The exception of allowing a person to ship to himself or herself was to allow a person travelling to another state (usually for hunting), to ship the gun to a third party (like a hunting guide) marked "to be opened only by (shipper's name)". The person could then travel to the hunting camp without the bother of carrying the gun and pick it up from the guide.

But you didn't ship the gun to yourself before you left, and you didn't ship it to a third party. And your wife is not you, even in NC. And who owns the gun is irrelevant.

Jim

michaelbsc
February 13, 2013, 02:49 AM
I just think it's so crazy that the rules are designed to encourage us to have fewer guns, but have in fact unintentionally resulted in more gun sales because my already legally owned guns are in limbo.

It's perfectly true that I could have waited until my next trip back east and shipped to myself. But as someone else mentioned, never waste a good excuse to buy a gun. And boy was this a great one.

Frank Ettin
February 13, 2013, 03:02 AM
I just think it's so crazy that the rules are designed to encourage us to have fewer guns,...Actually no, that's not the purpose of the law. The law is to regulate interstate dealing in guns and to assure that as many transfers as possible go through an FFL with all the associated formalities.

mgkdrgn
February 13, 2013, 12:43 PM
But it does sound like, since I've been here for months, and I do have an address that I use, I now "qualify" as a Washington resident at least for the remaining months I'm here.

Ergo, while I could not purchase a handgun when I first got here, I can make the justification that I'm here now, and then use my WA address on the 4473.

Do I have this right?

Of course, there ain't much on the shelf these days, and it's all at a premium price. Not sure I'm willing to do this.
IF you have some sort of Washington State Government issued ID, with your photo and Washington State address on it, you can do that, yes. Or, you could have your wife ship to a Washington State FFL.

Krusty783
February 13, 2013, 01:30 PM
Why not trade one federal crime for another???

Have your wife ship the firearm to herself at your house in WA. If you happen to open it before she gets there, you've just stolen mail instead of illegally transfered a firearm...

This is a very tricky and less than forthright section of our laws. I believe I've read cases on here before of someone, say a man, owning firearms and their wife is charged/convicted of a crime. Legally, the woman can't possess firearms, but the man doesn't want to sell his collection.

Can the firearms be stored in the couple's home in a gun safe if the wife doesn't know the combination? Do they have to be stored at another location? The laws about communal property and firearm possession don't really jive or make sense in regards to firearms.
-----------
If you had the firearms as properties of a trust, you could legally transfer possession between you two without a 4473. However, shipment restrictions would still apply; namely that the private carriers require common folk to ship handguns via next day air and only to manufacturers or dealers. I suppose you could try to find a knowledgeable and friendly LGS in WA to accept your shipments for you, without requiring a 4473 before you leave.

leeggen
February 13, 2013, 02:09 PM
MY HEAD HURTS! why not just be safe and use a lic. dealer to ship it. in the time it took to read all this I could have found a dealer at both ins. Don't smack the hornets nest just to see what will happen.

Art Eatman
February 13, 2013, 02:10 PM
E. Nuf.

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