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Receiving rifle as a gift...while moving.

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Copernicus1473, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. Copernicus1473

    Copernicus1473 New Member

    I'm in a very strange situation- I'm going to be moving from MA to WA and want to make sure I abide by any and all laws.

    My father, a class A LTC holder, would like to gift me a high capacity rifle. Of course, I cannot currently receive this rifle as I do not have a MA class A/B LTC. However, once I move to WA, I should be able to accept his rifle as a gift.

    My question is, "what are my options?"

    If he drove with me cross country, could we field strip, lock-up the rifle, and store it in the trunk? If so, would I need an FFL dealership to transfer the rifle, or since (I believe) there is no registry in WA, we could privately transfer it.

    If I went alone, would he need to ship it (I've already read the sticky thread on that) to an FFL in WA so that I could pick it up (I believe the answer is yes).

    Last option, which I believe is ILLEGAL, is if I drove with it locked up and disassembled in the trunk, then unloaded it at my new address in WA.

    Any and all help is appreciated! Of course, I'm a bit new to transferring (things were much simpler in the state I used to live in) so please be kind if I seem ignorant.
  2. d-dogg

    d-dogg Well-Known Member

    I just purchased a gun from a citizen of MA, and had it shipped to me. In our conversations regarding the transaction, I read the FAQ at the ATF site. It seemed very clear. The seller additionally called the local police who provided sound but unnecessarily complicated advice.

    I contacted my FFL dealer who made it clear in no uncertain terms what needed to happen. It was less complicated than the local MA PD told the seller.

    My advice is to move to WA, hook up with a FFL, and have the gun shipped to him or her. That way it is done and over with, totally in compliance with the law.
  3. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    There's your answer. Hate MA for making it so stupid, but it doesn't make any sense to go through the hoops to get the MA license if you're moving away. Better to take care of this as a WA resident.
  4. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Well-Known Member

    This would work too. It does not have to be stripped. Just unloaded and locked in the trunk. It travels as your dads gun which he can legally transport to washington. Once there, he can gift it to you in you in your state of residence.
  5. Scimmia

    Scimmia Well-Known Member

    You can do this, but you will need to use an FFL holder to transfer the rifle to you since it's a transfer across state lines. Note that you will need to establish that you're a resident of WA at this point with a driver's license, utility bill, or something. The FFL holder would have to hold on to the rifle until you're able to provide whatever documentation that they want. Shipping to the FFL once you're established is probably a simpler option.
  6. Bubbles

    Bubbles Well-Known Member

    WA requires dealers to collect sales/use tax on the value of transferred firearms for people who purchase out of state and have the gun transferred in. Make sure the dealer understands the gun is a gift from your dad so you don't get hit with that.
  7. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Well-Known Member

    I don't think so. The dad can legally bring the gun into the state. Once there he can simply hand it to the son. Legal private in state transfer/gift. It's not uncommon for out of state hunters (especially foriegn) to gift thier rifles to their guides as a tip, rather than hassle with the return of the gun back home. Legal almost everywhere in the world.
  8. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator


    What joeschome is describing is a violation of federal law.
    This may happen occasionally, but IS a felony, period. What folks do in other countries is not of concern to US federal law. A US citizen may ONLY transfer a firearm directly to another resident of his or her state.
  9. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Well-Known Member

    I thought this was legal. I'm not a lawyer.


    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  10. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Understood, but it is important to know for sure when you're giving someone advice about federal law. Finding the statute ahead of time and even quoting it in your post is a good method to avoid leading someone astray.
  11. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Well-Known Member

    I guess the difference is intent. If the dad brings the gun with the intent of giving it to you; that's forbidden. But a hunter who brought the gun for hunting, but then gifts it is legal since it was aquired in state.

    I've known out of state hunters gifting guns, both parties, and LEO believed it was legal.
  12. DirtyDiesel

    DirtyDiesel Well-Known Member

    Similar question, but don't want to create a new thread on it. I live in WA and someone wants to trade a turbo I have for his rifle. Does that need to go through a FFA dealer?

    And OP, where abouts in Washington you moving to?
  13. d-dogg

    d-dogg Well-Known Member

    DD, if private firearm sales and trades are legal in your state, and the guy wanting your turbo is also a resident of your state, then as I read the ATF FAQ, you would be fine. Of course, I won't do time for you if I turn out to be wrong.

    That said, I know nothing of WA law, and I do know several states like MA and MD have "requirements".

    So, my advice is to consult an FFL in your area.
  14. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

    No, it is absolutely not legal for the hunter to do that. And I am a lawyer.

    Here (yet again) is 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):

    [1] 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.).

    [2] 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.

    [3] 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.

    [4] 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.

    [5] 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.

    [6] 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:
  15. DirtyDiesel

    DirtyDiesel Well-Known Member

    Thanks d-dogg
  16. Copernicus1473

    Copernicus1473 New Member

    Thanks everyone- from what I've gathered shipping to an FFL is the easiest way, I guess I'll just have to find one when I move.

    I'm going to be moving to the Renton/Bellevue area most likely- I'll have to check out their laws, as well.
  17. Copernicus1473

    Copernicus1473 New Member

  18. DirtyDiesel

    DirtyDiesel Well-Known Member

    I'm near auburn, kent, Renton....hope you like rain ;)
  19. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    Don't bother. Read WA state law, RCW 9.41.290:

    "RCW 9.41.290
    State preemption.

    The state of Washington hereby fully occupies and preempts the entire field of firearms regulation within the boundaries of the state, including the registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge, and transportation of firearms, or any other element relating to firearms or parts thereof, including ammunition and reloader components. Cities, towns, and counties or other municipalities may enact only those laws and ordinances relating to firearms that are specifically authorized by state law, as in RCW 9.41.300, and are consistent with this chapter. Such local ordinances shall have the same penalty as provided for by state law. Local laws and ordinances that are inconsistent with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality."

    Almost all the firearms laws in the State of Washington are contained in RCW 9.41:


    There is also a prohibition against possessing a loaded rifle in a vehicle in the Washington State hunting laws.

    Keep in mind that once the rifle is sent to a WA FFL for transfer you will have to have a government issued document that proves WA residency and you put WA down as your state of residence on the form 4473. A WA FFL cannot transfer a rifle or shotgun to a resident of MA due to the MA LTC requirement.

    I would also apply for a WA CPL the day you get here, because once you become a WA resident, any out of state carry and/or conceal permits you have become invalid in WA.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012

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