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Getting gun from one state to another.

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Thursday45, Apr 16, 2013.

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  1. Thursday45

    Thursday45 Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  2. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    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:

    That's what I did when my dad died and left behind two guns (neither of which were purchased for me.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  3. hovercat

    hovercat Member

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    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.
     
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    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.
     
  5. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

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    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.
     
  6. Thursday45

    Thursday45 Member

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    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:
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  7. Kenneth

    Kenneth Member

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    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.
     
  8. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

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    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!!!!!!!!!
     
  9. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Possession, in this case, is 9/10ths of the law. Who possesses the gun now?
     
  10. Thursday45

    Thursday45 Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  11. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

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    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
     
  12. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Right, but that's not his situation at all. Someone else in WA has the guns and the OP lives in MT.
     
  13. Thursday45

    Thursday45 Member

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    Correct Sam. Also I am not sure if the gun was bought before or after establishing residency in MT.
     
  14. Nunki

    Nunki Member

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    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.
     
  15. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    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.
     
  16. Thursday45

    Thursday45 Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  17. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    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.
     
  18. Thursday45

    Thursday45 Member

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    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?...
     
  19. MasterSergeantA

    MasterSergeantA Member

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    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?
     
  20. MasterSergeantA

    MasterSergeantA Member

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    Alternatively, if you make a trip to see your Mom, just bring them all back with you. You aren't breaking any laws.
     
  21. Thursday45

    Thursday45 Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  22. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    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.
     
  23. MasterSergeantA

    MasterSergeantA Member

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    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... %{
     
  24. Thursday45

    Thursday45 Member

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    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.
     
  25. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    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:

    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?
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
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