Getting gun from one state to another.


PDA






Thursday45
April 16, 2013, 05:03 AM
Hopefully I can make this question make sense. My father bought me a firearm as a graduation gift about 7 years ago. It was right in the middle of relocating to another state and I left the firearm in that state with him. He has recently died and I want to bring the firearm out here to where I live. I know I would have to go through an FFL, but I can't remember if he bought it and filled out the FFL and then gave it to me or if he gave me the money and I filled out the FFL. Is there a way to find out who filled out the FFL form?

I guess what I am saying is; I don't know if the gun is "technically" his (he filled out the 4473) or mine (I filled out the 4473). What would be the best way to get the gun out here and be on the safe side? Any issues with sending a gun through an FFL (to be on the safe side) if I may have already filled out the 4473 originally?

*edit with additional info*

The gun is a Sig 239. It was purchased in WA and i now live in MT. I was in the middle of moving and may have already moved to MT when the gun was purchased. The gun remained in WA but now I want to go about getting it out here. Not knowing who actually purchased the gun (either he bought it and gifted it, or gave me the money for it) and not knowing if I had became a resident of MT already I want to make sure it gets out here legally.

If you enjoyed reading about "Getting gun from one state to another." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
MedWheeler
April 16, 2013, 07:33 AM
In what state are you? If the gun is not "registered" to anyone other than you (a 4473-form is not a registration), it's already yours. Just show up with it at a FFL dealer in the state in which it's located, and have it shipped to one in yours.

If you really want to find out who filled out the original 4473, simply ask the dealer that recorded it. The forms don't go anywhere; they remain with the dealer for 20 years (or is it 30?) unless he goes out of business. But, unless you live in a state that goes out of its way to complicate matters like this, you should have no reason to need to know. Ownership has nothing to do with "who filled out the 4473"; I can buy a gun from a dealer, fill out the form, and go outside and gift it to my brother/friend/girlfriend/whatever, and that person immediately becomes the owner.

The following part is in case there is any possibility the gun could be considered as having been his during the time between when you left, and when he died:

If he left a will and the gun is itemized in it as being yours, or if it's included in a lump clause in the will ("all my stuff goes to my son"), you can simply grab it and go home, transporting it across state lines in accordance with the appropriate laws. This also applies if no will was left, but the intestate-succession ("no-will") laws of the state in which he died leave you his property.

That's what I did when my dad died and left behind two guns (neither of which were purchased for me.)

hovercat
April 16, 2013, 08:13 AM
From what state to which new state? What make/model of firearm? It can and does make a difference.
A double barreled shotgun from OK to TX, just put in the rack in the back window of your pickup and go. A non-CA compliant AR 15 from NY to CA, not so much.

jmr40
April 16, 2013, 08:36 AM
In almost all cases simply drive to the state the gun is located in. Place it in a gun case in the car. Drive home. The gun is already yours, no need to go through a FFL transfer. It does not matter who filled out the 4473 when the gun is purchased. It is legal to gift a gun to someone who can legally own it which your father did.

I'll add, there may be exceptions in a few states with handguns that must be registered. If in one of those states or locations then you may. You don't say which states, or if it is a long gun or handgun.

bigdaa
April 16, 2013, 10:40 AM
Have a family member or a friend send it to your new state to be received by an FFL. Go through that states normal FFL process and pay any associated fees to get it in your name. Have it shipped UPS well insured.


That is the very best I got.

Thursday45
April 16, 2013, 11:24 AM
It's a Sig 239. It was bought in WA and I now live in MT. There is no registration of firearms in MT and I'm almost sure there isn't in WA either. I also can't remember if I had yet became a resident of MT at the time it was purchased. it was very bang-bang me graduating and moving to MT. I didn't think much of it 7 years ago but now, after reading about the law on private sales across state lines, I wanted to make sure that everything is done legally.

So to clarify, a gun was bought in WA for me as a gift from my father. I may have been a MT resident at the time it was purchased. Since I was moving to, or had already moved to, MT I kept it in WA since I didn't have a safe. My father has now passed away and I just want to make sure I get it out here without running foul with the Feds....... Does anyone think there are criminals out there worried about this :rolleyes:

Kenneth
April 16, 2013, 11:43 AM
At least for now you are not required to get a background check to transfer the gun from your father to you.
You may legally transport your firearm from one state where you lawfully possess it, to any other state where you can lawfully possess it.
To the best of my knowledge; If you have it shipped, it must be sent from one FFL holder to another FFL holder.

bigdaa
April 16, 2013, 11:44 AM
To the best of my knowledge; If you have it shipped, it must be sent from one FFL holder to another FFL holder.
Not true. You may send it to an FFL by yourself. For a handgun, it MUST be sent UPS overnight. Content MUST be declared.

It behooves you to get a copy of the recipient FFL!!!!!!!!!

Sam1911
April 16, 2013, 12:06 PM
Possession, in this case, is 9/10ths of the law. Who possesses the gun now?

Thursday45
April 16, 2013, 12:07 PM
Thanks guys for all the answers. So what I am gathering from the responses is, to be on the safe side, to have it shipped to an FFL out here and fill out a 4473 in the state I currently reside in. I may be be having to do this with a lot of guns since he had a bunch and left no mention of them in his will. Thankfully most of them were given to me before moving out of WA. Some weren't though.

ball3006
April 16, 2013, 12:25 PM
I travel from Tx to MI, twice a year, sesonal residences. I just throw the guns in the back of the truck and go. I do not drive stupid which attracts the law to pull me over. Never had a problem over the last several years. However, I do not drive through IL. The guns are in a locked case and unloaded, except my carry pistol. The only state I need to put it away is WI, for now anyway....chris3

Sam1911
April 16, 2013, 12:41 PM
I travel from Tx to MI, twice a year, sesonal residences. Right, but that's not his situation at all. Someone else in WA has the guns and the OP lives in MT.

Thursday45
April 16, 2013, 12:44 PM
Correct Sam. Also I am not sure if the gun was bought before or after establishing residency in MT.

Nunki
April 16, 2013, 12:46 PM
I live in Billings. There are NO restrictions here- with in reason. This is the most liberal state you wil ever live in. Don't worry about all the restrictions you have heard of in other states. -Montana is differant. You need not register it ever in Montana. I have lived here for 60 years with exception of venturing to a commy place called California once of twice. Please listen, I don't care what anyuone else says- I know.

Sam1911
April 16, 2013, 12:51 PM
Of course there are no registrations or restrictions in MT. That's not really the point. The point is that if one person possesses a firearm in a state, he/she may not send/sell/mail/ship/give/or carry it to a resident of another state. Regardless of who/what (except for bequests and holders of C&R type 3 ffls) that requires transfer through a dealer.

The same applies to a person going to another state and "acquiring" a firearm there. Has to go through a dealer. (If a handgun, it has to go through a dealer in the new owner's home state.

These are federal law issues, not state issues.

Thursday45
April 16, 2013, 01:25 PM
Okay I went ahead and called the local ATF here and was told that since it is a handgun it would have to go from FFL to FFL. I asked about my father's rifles and was told that I could just take possession of the rifles and not worry about going through FFLs but if I wanted to be on the safe side to just have them all shipped altogether, FFL to FFL. It didn't sound like she was really sure about the rifles which is disconcerting that even the ATF isn't absolutely sure on this stuff. She was positive about the handgun though.

There's more than a dozen rifles that I will be looking to take possession of at some point in the future and really didn't want to be sending that many in the mail. As horrible as this sounds maybe I'll just leave everything in WA and ask my mother to leave them in her will since they are now in her possession following my father's death. Awful. For now I'll take possession of the ones I know for sure were given to me while I was still a resident of WA. And I know what some may be thinking, "why weren't they all given to you as a resident of WA ;)" because I know he bought some since me moving to MT and there are records (4473s) which would prove that. I'm not risking felonies on this ;)

Thanks for all your help guys.

mdauben
April 16, 2013, 02:04 PM
Okay I went ahead and called the local ATF here and was told that since it is a handgun it would have to go from FFL to FFL.
Its shameful that ATF does not know the relevent laws and gives advice to citizens based on incorrect information. That said, it might be cheaper to send it FFL to FFL, as they can ship handguns by USPS, whereas you need to use UPS/FEDEX who require expensive overnight delivery when shipping handguns.

Thursday45
April 16, 2013, 02:22 PM
ATF just called me back and said they were mistaken about the rifles, all guns have to go FFL to FFL. Sigh....

The ironic thing about all if this is that the guns would actually be safer here than in the middle of Seattle where there's a break in in my mother's neighborhood every waking moment. Wasn't that the point of all these laws, keeping guns out of the hands of criminals?...

MasterSergeantA
April 16, 2013, 02:28 PM
http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/unlicensed-persons.html#shipping-firearms-additional

"Q: May a nonlicensee ship a firearm through the U.S. Postal Service?

A nonlicensee may not transfer a firearm to a non-licensed resident of another State. A nonlicensee may mail a shotgun or rifle to a resident of his or her own State or to a licensee in any State. The Postal Service recommends that long guns be sent by registered mail and that no marking of any kind which would indicate the nature of the contents be placed on the outside of any parcel containing firearms. Handguns are not mailable. A common or contract carrier must be used to ship a handgun.

[18 U.S.C. 1715, 922(a)(3), 922(a)(5) and 922 (a)(2)(A)]


Q: May a nonlicensee ship a firearm by common or contract carrier?

A nonlicensee may ship a firearm by a common or contract carrier to a resident of his or her own State or to a licensee in any State. A common or contract carrier must be used to ship a handgun. In addition, Federal law requires that the carrier be notified that the shipment contains a firearm and prohibits common or contract carriers from requiring or causing any label to be placed on any package indicating that it contains a firearm.

[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(2)(A), 922(a) (3), 922(a)(5) and 922(e), 27 CFR 478.31 and 478.30]


Q: 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."

Maybe the ATF should follow the law?

MasterSergeantA
April 16, 2013, 02:30 PM
Alternatively, if you make a trip to see your Mom, just bring them all back with you. You aren't breaking any laws.

Thursday45
April 16, 2013, 02:32 PM
According to the ATF I would be. Cabelas said I could do just what you said, pick them up in WA and take them back with me to MT. ATF said nope, no sale or gift from an unlicensed individual in one state to an unlicensed individual in another state without going through a FFL whether I picked them up myself or not. And I couldn't transport them myself from WA to a FFL in MT. No transporting firearms across state lines without going through an FFL. The only exceptions, I was told, would be if they were left in a will or if I was transporting them while moving out of state.

Sam1911
April 16, 2013, 02:38 PM
...if you make a trip to see your Mom, just bring them all back with you. You aren't breaking any laws.

The relevant questions are:

1) What person possesses the guns now?

2) What is the state of residence of the person getting them?

3) Where is he/she taking them?

Now, on the question of shipping, the ATF was half wrong. They CAN be shipped by anyone TO AN FFL DEALER ANYWHERE, though it is a good idea to check with the receiving dealer to make sure they accept shipments from non-licensees.

On the question of transferring guns between states, they were correct.

MasterSergeantA
April 16, 2013, 02:40 PM
I would argue that since the gun was a "graduation gift", it was already yours. Typically, your residence doesn't change as a student and afterwards the rules for establishing 'residency' in a state can be a bit vague.

The bulk are 'family property' and who is to say who gave what to whom when? I am NOT in any way recommending that you violate the law. But when my Dad died, a pistol that I had bought for him came back to me. It was not 'registered' to him...nor to me. The 4473 on that particular gun had long ago turned to confetti from age.

Now if we were talking about New York and Massachusetts... %{

Thursday45
April 16, 2013, 02:47 PM
I understand where you're coming from but thinking about it I'm almost sure I had established residency in MT when the pistol was bought. After researching all of this this past 24 hours I guess it was a good thing I left it in WA for safe keeping when it was bought.

I took most of the rifles that he had given to me while I was a resident of WA to hunt with when I moved to MT so those are good but I left the handgun. Also of course the guns that he has bought since I moved to MT. My mother no longer wants them in the house and asked if I would take them.

Sam1911
April 16, 2013, 02:48 PM
Ok, and this is where it gets a little touchy... someone possesses firearms in state A.

Someone in state B wants them.

There is no title of ownership that applies beyond actual possession, especially in states without firearms registration.

Even if you could go back to the original selling FFL and see who's name appears on the 4473, as we all know, that doesn't mean anything after the point of sale. Because a transfer between residents of one state is pretty much anything -- e.g.: sale, gift, trade, or abandonment in someone else's possession. And when you read the US Code you find this:

(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 ...

You can take your guns with you as you become a resident of a new state. You can buy long guns from dealers in other states. You can't, as a resident of one state, go "obtain" a firearm and bring it home with you any other way (except by bequest) as a non-licensee.

I agree this is a very strict reading of the law, but I believe it is the correct one. I've never seen an instance where the claim, "But they were my guns, I just went and got them from so-and-so's house in the next state," was upheld as lawful. (Of course, it isn't something that's often prosecuted, that I know of, either.)

Perhaps some of our professional lawyer friends want to comment?

Nunki
April 16, 2013, 02:53 PM
Sam1911
This may not apply to your state, but here in Montana there are 35 states where, if you live in that state you may come to a walmart in ANY of those ststes and buy a gun and take it back to your state. This, from Walmart management, Billings, Montana.406-254-2842- ask for gun department. There are 17 states that they cannot sell to. Of course, you knew this, right?

CoRoMo
April 16, 2013, 02:55 PM
...you may come to a walmart in ANY of those ststes and buy a gun and take it back to your state.
Not a handgun. Long guns only.

Sam1911
April 16, 2013, 03:03 PM
Sam1911
This may not apply to your state, but here in Montana there are 35 states where, if you live in that state you may come to a walmart in ANY of those ststes and buy a gun and take it back to your state. This, from Walmart management, Billings, Montana.406-254-2842- ask for gun department. There are 17 states that they cannot sell to. Of course, you knew this, right?Yes, that's been federal law since 1986. And as CoRoMo said, only for long guns. Pistols and "others" must be transferred to you in your home state.

In fact, the "17 states" rule that WalMart uses is only a corporate policy, not federal law. Those would be 17 states where that other state's laws either prohibit transfers to their residents out of state, or where the procedures that resident must follow (FOID cards, purchase permits, background checks, waiting periods, etc.) are so complicated that it isn't practical for a WalMart gun clerk in Billings to try and follow them.

Thursday45
April 16, 2013, 03:03 PM
Sam, thanks. That is basically what the ATF told me. My issue is that the gun was bought after I had established residency in MT so, while there is no title of ownership or any registration, there is still a 4473 that was filled out that has a date after me establishing residency in MT. I doubt they'd pursue it but I don't want to take a chance becoming the Fed's poster child for their newest "tough stance on gun crimes"

The rifles given to me while I was a resident of WA and are now in my possession are good. The handgun that I left and the remainder of the rifles will have to shipped FFL to FFL is my understanding.

Sam1911
April 16, 2013, 03:07 PM
Well, FFL-to-FFL is up to whomever is doing the shipping and the dealer who's receiving.

But it is the "safe" way, and with handguns involved, usually cheaper and much less hassle.

Don't feel bad that the BATFE gave you bum info. :D They do that to everyone!

It's common knowledge that just about the worst people to ask what the law says are the folks enforcing it! Ask a lawyer, read the website (ATF's website still contains some misinformation, unfortunately) or read the law for yourself.

Thursday45
April 16, 2013, 03:12 PM
Okay sam, so your saying that they should be able to be shipped personally from my mother in WA to a FFL out here in MT so long as I call the MT FFL and make sure that they accept firearms from non-licensed individuals? Also, of course, making sure ups or USPS knows they're shipping a firearm.

Good responses from everyone. Hopefully others got something out of this thread as well. Thanks again guys.

Sam1911
April 16, 2013, 04:10 PM
We have a sticky in the legal section on how to ship guns which you may find helpful.

But yes, if the dealer will accept shipments from non-licensees you aren't breaking the law by doing so. However, shipping a handgun has to be done via ups or FedEx (or other common carrier), not USPS and it will go overnight which is expensive, AND it will have to go from a main hub which can be a pain. Often having a dealer send it is just easier.

jmr40
April 16, 2013, 04:20 PM
My father bought me a firearm as a graduation gift about 7 years ago.

The gun is his. It has always been his gun. The fact that he lives in one state and the gun is in another is irrelevent, he still owns the gun. It was gifted to him 7 years ago. It doesn't matter who filled out the 4473. As long as he directly takes possesion of the gun and does not have it shipped to his currrent state there is no reason to get a FFL invlolved.

I'd pick it up next time I'm home and bring it back with me. No laws, federal or state will be broken.

Sam1911
April 16, 2013, 04:37 PM
The fact that he lives in one state and the gun is in another is irrelevent, he still owns the gun.Is it? Show me where the law says so. It says a person who resides in on state shall not go to another state, acquire a gun, and bring it home.

I accept that few "gunny" folks have ever considered this or know this, but I don't see anywhere in the law that says if someone gave you a gun, but you left it behind (with other persons) when you moved somewhere else it's still in your possession.

mdauben
April 16, 2013, 04:56 PM
I accept that few "gunny" folks have ever considered this or know this, but I don't see anywhere in the law that says if someone gave you a gun, but you left it behind (with other persons) when you moved somewhere else it's still in your possession.
I might ask to see where it says that separation constitutes transfer of ownership? I'm not sure such an interperetation holds water, but I'm no lawyer and would not care to be a test case. ;)

However, that's not really the issue. Acording to the OP, he was "gifted" with the gun after he moved out of state. In that case, it is my understanding that it never became legally his in the first place, because it needed to go through an FFL for an out-of-state transfer. Even if his father was still alive to confirm his intention to gift the gun to his son, AFAIK it would need to go through an FFL to be legal.

By my reading of the facts, in the absense of a will the OPs mother is currently the owner of all his late father's guns (including the gift pistol). Transferring ownership of any of them at this point needs to follow the federal requirements for interstate firearms transfer.

Frank Ettin
April 16, 2013, 05:07 PM
I might ask to see where it says that separation constitutes transfer of ownership?..."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..;

...but I'm no lawyer...That's okay. I am.

...By my reading of the facts, in the absense of a will the OPs mother is currently the owner of all his late father's guns (including the gift pistol). Transferring ownership of any of them at this point needs to follow the federal requirements for interstate firearms transfer. Correct. Pretty good for a non-lawyer. ;)

Thursday45
April 16, 2013, 05:07 PM
Yup I just had my mother check the receipt that my father kept in it's box. I graduated college summer of 07 and moved to Montana in September. The receipt says that it was purchased in November of 2007, 2 months after I had moved to MT. It was placed in lay away around August while I was still a resident of WA though.

So under the law he couldn't have gifted it to me and therefore I'll have to go through a FFL.

mdauben
April 16, 2013, 05:22 PM
"Transfer" is not about ownership. It's about possession.
But, if that's the case, why isn't loaning a gun to a friend while hunting considered a transfer? Its in his "possession" instead of yours now, isn't it? :confused:

If the OP himself had bought the pistol in question, he could have transported it with him when he first moved to MT with no issues. But what if he was making two trips in order to transport all his possessions to his new home. He would need to do an interstate transfer legally transport the gun to MT if he left it for the second trip?

Not trying to be argumentative, the idea that the "possession" of the gun (for purposes of interstate transfer) changes just because he leaves the state and then comes back for it doens't make sense to me and I'm trying to get it clear in my head why. :uhoh:

Thursday45
April 16, 2013, 05:31 PM
What about statute of limitations? If I would have brought it back 6 years ago doesn't the clock on the statute of limitations start ticking at the time the crime is committed? Or would I have always been in possession of an illegal firearm and therefore the clock would have been perpetual?

Sam1911
April 16, 2013, 05:33 PM
why isn't loaning a gun to a friend while hunting considered a transfer? Its in his "possession" instead of yours now, isn't it?It rather IS, or at least is treated as a special case of transfer.

You'll note that the federal law expressly mentions loaning a firearm.

...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;

However, you'll also see that the loan of a firearm does not negate the prohibition against bringing into your home state a gun that you obtained elsewhere. Thus, a loan may only take place when someone comes to visit you to hunt or do some other sporting activity, and they have to give it back when they go home.

Frank Ettin
April 16, 2013, 06:02 PM
Note: Unlawful interstate transfer of a gun is punishable under federal law by up to five years in federal prison and/or a fine (plus a bonus of a lifetime loss of gun rights).

Okay, first I'll lay out the whole federal law story on interstate transfers of firearms (not including the rules for those with Curio and Relic licenses and the subject of dual residency):

Under federal law, any transfer (with a few, narrow exceptions, e. g., by bequest under a will) from a resident of one State to a resident of another must be through an FFL. The transfer must comply with all the requirements of the State in which the transfer is being done as well as all federal formalities (e. g., completion of a 4473, etc.).


In the case of handguns, it must be an FFL in the transferee's State of residence. You may obtain a handgun in a State other than your State of residence, BUT it must be shipped by the transferor to an FFL in your State of residence to transfer the handgun to you.


In the case of long guns, it may be any FFL as long as (1) the long gun is legal in the transferee's State of residence; and (2) the transfer complies with the laws of the State in which it takes place; and (3) the transfer complies with the law of the transferee's State of residence.C] In connection with the transfer of a long gun, some FFLs will not want to handle the transfer to a resident of another State, because they may be uncertain about the laws of that State. And if the transferee resides in some States (e. g., California), the laws of the State may be such that an out-of-state FFL will not be able to conduct a transfer that complies.


There are no exceptions under the applicable federal laws for gifts, whether between relatives or otherwise, nor is there any exception for transactions between relatives.


The relevant federal laws may be found at: 18 USC 922(a)(3); 18 USC 922(a)(5); and 18 USC 922(b)(3).


Here's what the statutes say:18 U.S.C. 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;

....

(b) It shall be unlawful for any licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to sell or deliver --
...

(3) any firearm to any person who the licensee 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 licensee's place of business is located, except that this paragraph

(A) shall not apply to the sale or delivery of any rifle or shotgun to a resident of a State other than a State in which the licensee's place of business is located if the transferee meets in person with the transferor to accomplish the transfer, and the sale, delivery, and receipt fully comply with the legal conditions of sale in both such States (and any licensed manufacturer, importer or dealer shall be presumed, for purposes of this subparagraph, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to have had actual knowledge of the State laws and published ordinances of both States), and

(B) shall not apply to the loan or rental of a firearm to any person for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes;

...

So --

"Transfer" is not about ownership. It's about possession.
But, if that's the case, why isn't loaning a gun to a friend while hunting considered a transfer? Its in his "possession" instead of yours now, isn't it? :confused:...See 18 USC 922(a)(5) (as quoted in full above) which provides in pertinent part as follows (emphasis added):(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; except that this paragraph shall not apply to

(A) the transfer, transportation, or delivery of a firearm made to carry out a bequest ..., and

(B) the loan or rental of a firearm to any person for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes;..

You may go to another State where (under 18 USC 922(a)(5)) a friend may loan you a gun to, for example, go target shooting together, or an outfitter may rent you a gun for a guided hunt. But if you were to take the gun back to your home State with you, you would be violating 18 USC 922(a)(3), which has no "loan" exception, thus becoming eligible for five years in federal prison and a lifetime loss of gun rights. Since there is no loan" exception in 18 USC 922(a)(3), a load of a firearm may not cross state lines to the borrower's State of residence.

...If the OP himself had bought the pistol in question, he could have transported it with him when he first moved to MT with no issues...Yes, but that didn't happen.

...But what if he was making two trips in order to transport all his possessions to his new home. He would need to do an interstate transfer legally transport the gun to MT if he left it for the second trip?...Not it one trip immediately (or nearly) followed the other. He would arguably continue to be a Washington resident until settled in Montana. But here he's been a resident of Montana for seven years.

...Not trying to be argumentative, the idea that the "possession" of the gun (for purposes of interstate transfer) changes just because he leaves the state and then comes back for it doens't make sense to me and I'm trying to get it clear in my head why.Possession (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/possession) means:1 a : the act of having or taking into control...

For the last seven years the gun has been in the control (custody, possession) of first the father and upon the fathers death (since it wasn't bequeathed to anyone else by a will), the mother.

Giving the gun to the OP is thus a transfer. Since he is a resident of one State and the mother, who has control of the gun, is a resident of another, that transfer is an interstate transfer and thus subject to the federal law outlined above. So it must be transferred to the OP through an FFL.

What about statute of limitations? If I would have brought it back 6 years ago doesn't the clock on the statute of limitations start ticking at the time the crime is committed?...No. The crime in this case would be the unlawful interstate transfer of a gun, which would occur when you now took possession of the gun from your mother (if not done through an FFL as required under federal law).

On one hand, you could spend some money and do it right. On the other hand, you and your mother can risk five years in a federal prison (and lifetime loss of gun rights).

MedWheeler
April 16, 2013, 06:43 PM
Thursday45 asks:

What about statute of limitations? If I would have brought it back 6 years ago doesn't the clock on the statute of limitations start ticking at the time the crime is committed?...

..and Frank Ettin responds with:

No. The crime in this case would be the unlawful interstate transfer of a gun, which would occur when you now took possession of the gun from your mother (if not done through an FFL as required under federal law).

Frank, I read his question to be asking "what if" he had taken the gun back six years ago, and whether or not the SOL would have started "ticking" then. I believe it would have, as that would have been when he took possession of, and transported across state lines, a handgun (as you mention, assuming he had not gone through the proper FFL-related procedures.)

Thursday45
April 16, 2013, 06:58 PM
Yup, I think it would have ran out. Reading USC 3282, unless in cases of capital crimes, some sex crimes and some tax crimes, the federal statute of limitations for federal crimes is 5 years. However, I have to assume that there would be a federal statute against possessing said firearm. It's neither here nor there as its hypothetical but thought it was interesting.

Frank Ettin
April 16, 2013, 07:13 PM
Frank, I read his question to be asking "what if" he had taken the gun back six years ago,...But he didn't, and everyone in the world with Internet access knows it.

MasterSergeantA
April 16, 2013, 07:23 PM
I understand where you're coming from but thinking about it I'm almost sure I had established residency in MT when the pistol was bought. After researching all of this this past 24 hours I guess it was a good thing I left it in WA for safe keeping when it was bought.

I took most of the rifles that he had given to me while I was a resident of WA to hunt with when I moved to MT so those are good but I left the handgun. Also of course the guns that he has bought since I moved to MT. My mother no longer wants them in the house and asked if I would take them.
Then the most legal way to go about it would be to have your mother take it to a dealer who will ship it to a dealer you have identified in Montana. That dealer will then legally transfer it to you via a 4473. You will incur some cost from each dealer (most likely) and the cost of shipping. But that will be much less than it would cost to buy a new pistol and if you find the 'right' dealers, they might not charge you anything (they aren't required to, but neither one is making any money from a "sale".) The dealers can communicate via phone and get FFL copies as needed. They do it all the time.

RetiredUSNChief
April 16, 2013, 09:25 PM
OK, similar question related to the ongoing debate here. I THINK I know the answer, based on what Frank Ettin and Sam1911 have posted.


I'm a resident of South Carolina. I have a brother who is a resident of Virginia. I bought him a pistol as a gift and presented it to him, whereupon we went to a local gun shop in his town and filled out a Form 4473 as required so it would all be nice and legal.

Afterwards, he wants me to store the pistol for him. Since my place of employment is in Virginia, I keep it where I rent in Virginia. I don't take it to South Carolina when I go home to my wife and kids.

I had never considered the ramifications of storing the pistol at my home in SC until reading through this string; however, I HAD believed that the way I've been doing this is legal. Namely, the pistol stays in Virginia (where I'm employed) while I'm storing it for my brother...I'm not transporting it across state lines.

Now I'm not sure I've been doing this legally. I maintain EMPLOYMENT in Virginia, but I'm not a "corporation or other business entity" and I don't "maintain a place of business" in Virginia.


Right now I don't have that "gut feeling" that I've been doing this legally. And, in my experience, gut feelings are not to be ignored...

:scrutiny:

Thursday45
April 16, 2013, 09:53 PM
I don't know about your situation and hopefully someone will come along to help you but I have a question. Did you buy the gun in SC and then personally take it to Vriginia or did you buy the gun in Virginia? Or did you buy it in SC and then had it shipped to Virginia? The reason I ask is I wonder if it would be legal to have the guns brought out here to my FFL and then transferred therefore not having to go through mail.

Keb
April 16, 2013, 09:59 PM
Are you inheriting the gun from your Dad's estate?

If so, I am pretty sure that is all spelled out by BATF, and I doubt there is any BGC required if you just physically transport it.
I would study this for you, but supper is on.

Deltaboy
April 16, 2013, 10:01 PM
Alternatively, if you make a trip to see your Mom, just bring them all back with you. You aren't breaking any laws.
Yep that is what you need to do. KEEP THE Feds out of your business.

Frank Ettin
April 17, 2013, 12:32 AM
...I had never considered the ramifications of storing the pistol at my home in SC until reading through this string; however, I HAD believed that the way I've been doing this is legal. Namely, the pistol stays in Virginia (where I'm employed) while I'm storing it for my brother...I'm not transporting it across state lines...The easiest way to keep things absolutely kosher would be for him to lock the gun in a small case, or even a gun rug or with a trigger lock, for which he, and not you have the key of combination. That way you don't actually have access to the gun.

Are you inheriting the gun from your Dad's estate?...No, he really isn't. The OP said in post 10 that the guns weren't mentioned in this late father's will. If something isn't specifically bequeathed in a will it passes either to the residuary legatee, if one is specified in the will, or under the Washington State intestate (without a will) succession law. In the later case, the guns most likely become the property of the OP's mother.

Alternatively, if you make a trip to see your Mom, just bring them all back with you. You aren't breaking any laws.Wrong. In that case both the OP and his mother would be violating federal and thus become entitled to up to five years in federal prison and/or a fine plus a lifetime loss of gun rights.

Alternatively, if you make a trip to see your Mom, just bring them all back with you. You aren't breaking any laws.
Yep that is what you need to do. KEEP THE Feds out of your business.Again a really lousy idea. Committing federal crimes is never a good idea nor is it a good way to "keep the feds out of it."

Thursday45
April 17, 2013, 12:34 AM
I can't remember, did anyone touch on whether my mother, who now possesses the firearms, could bring them to me in MT and then we go to an FFL here and have them transferred? Do they have to be shipped if they go through an FFL in my state? The way the read the law is 1) I can't go and get the guns in WA 2) they have to be transferred to me by a FFL but it doesnt say how the guns have to arrive at the FFL 3) there are regulations against transporting firearms across state lines but its not prohibited. So she can legally bring the guns to MT, once they are legally here in MT would it be legal to have an FFL transfer them to me?

Frank Ettin
April 17, 2013, 12:49 AM
I can't remember, did anyone touch on whether my mother, who now possesses the firearms, could bring them to me in MT and then we go to an FFL here and have them transferred?...The question didn't come up, but it would be perfectly legal to do it that way.

The only caveat is that some FFLs, as a matter of business practice, don't want to do it that way. That's the prerogative of the FFL.

So the thing to do is, before hand, scout out some FFLs who are convenient to you, preferably ones with whom you've done business. Discuss what you want to do and see if an FFL is agreeable. Work out the details before hand. That way you can avoid unpleasant surprises and unnecessary complications.

Thursday45
April 17, 2013, 12:56 AM
Well that's how I'll do it then. As chance would have it she's actually coming out next month to see the grand kids. Hopefully my LGS is up for it. They didn't seem to worried about it when I talked to them. Their opinion was no transfer was needed but if I wanted to put my mind at ease about it they'd do all of them for $15. That was when we were talking about having them shipped though.

Frank Ettin
April 17, 2013, 01:06 AM
If your LGS has any questions show them this thread. Sam and I have laid it all out pretty well.

Thursday45
April 17, 2013, 12:22 PM
Spoke with ATF this morning, my plan to have my mother transport them here and then transfer the firearms is perfectly legal so long as she abides by all the federal laws while transporting across statel lines and they go through the FFL when they get here. He did suggest I still send them FFL to FFL though. Didn't say why, just that it was easier. Doesnt sound easier to me. Sounds like a nightmare. My local FFL is going to call me back if they will be okay with it.

Frank Ettin
April 17, 2013, 01:12 PM
...ATF this morning, my plan to have my mother transport them here and then transfer the firearms is perfectly legal so long as she abides by all the federal laws while transporting across statel lines and they go through the FFL when they get here. He did suggest I still send them FFL to FFL though...Not sure why ATF has this bug about going FFL to FFL. As noted, it would be perfectly legal for your mother to hand carry the guns to your FFL for transfer to you. It would also be legal for her to do the shipping (UPS or FedEx for the handgun although USPS would be okay for long guns -- following carrier rules, of course) to the FFL.

However, as noted, some FFLs are very particular about how they receive guns for transfer. Some, for their own reasons, don't like "walk-ins"; and some, for their own reasons, want guns for transfer shipped by another FFL.

Thursday45
April 17, 2013, 02:14 PM
Well thanks Frank and everyone else for your help on this. Looks like all has been straightened out. One of my LGS's called back and said they would do it and that they would rather do it this way as they don't want that many packages coming in.

Another of my LGS that said no said that they just recently got a letter form the ATF "strongly encouraging" only FFL to FFL transfers. Hopefully I can get this done before said letter and "encouragement" reaches the LGS that ok'd it.

Sam1911
April 17, 2013, 02:27 PM
Hmmm... interesting. "Strongly encouraging..." eh? :)

Well we've got a lot of FFLs here as members at THR. I'd be curious if any of them would say they got such a letter -- and if they'd be so kind as to post it?

Remember, a gun dealer doesn't have to make any sale, or transfer, that s/he doesn't want to do. And the ATF is a great "boogeyman" to point to as to why any number of things are discouraged or illegal, as most folks have NO idea what federal law really is, and have never even seen an official document from the BATFE.

Then, considering how many dealers really don't have these things 100% straightened out themselves? I mean, they're just guys and gals like you and me, and unless they've had their lawyer read through the entire book with them while they took notes...there's a lot of detail that gets lost and confused and misinterpreted. And after all, if some dealer in Podunk, MT says "aww, I'd just go ahead and bring 'em with me..." it's no skin off HIS nose on the vanishingly rare chance you might get busted. He's not a lawyer, and he's not YOUR lawyer. All he has to do is keep HIMSELF out of trouble.

And an awful lot of FFL dealers have a horrendous time just doing THAT!

(One of, if not THE, oldest gun shop in my county just got his license yanked for (apparent) problems with following the law.)

Thursday45
April 17, 2013, 02:43 PM
Yea the thought crossed my mind that they were just using/blaming the ATF to defend their business practice. They said that they "had" to be done FFL to FFL. When I asked if that was law or their business practice they said it wasn't law and explained the letter and that they didn't want private transfers on their books because of it.

RetiredUSNChief
April 17, 2013, 06:44 PM
I don't know about your situation and hopefully someone will come along to help you but I have a question. Did you buy the gun in SC and then personally take it to Vriginia or did you buy the gun in Virginia? Or did you buy it in SC and then had it shipped to Virginia? The reason I ask is I wonder if it would be legal to have the guns brought out here to my FFL and then transferred therefore not having to go through mail.

Yes, I bought the gun and took possession of it, which made it mine. As the legal owner, I took the gun to my brother in Virginia and we both went to a LGS and did a transfer through an FFL there. It is perfectly legal to do it this way.


The easiest way to keep things absolutely kosher would be for him to lock the gun in a small case, or even a gun rug or with a trigger lock, for which he, and not you have the key of combination. That way you don't actually have access to the gun.

OK, piece of cake then. I'll make sure a trigger lock gets put on it and he is the only one with the keys. Actually, come to think of it, the gun comes with a lock. Two, in fact. One is for an integral locking device in the grip of the pistol and the other is a padlock which fits around the frame to prevent installing a cylinder in the pistol. (It's a Ruger Single-Six Convertable .22).

Thanks!

:)

If you enjoyed reading about "Getting gun from one state to another." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!