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I'm 18 and Legally Own a Handgun in PA (A How-To)

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by clubsoda22, Aug 3, 2003.

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  1. clubsoda22

    clubsoda22 member

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    I am 18 years old and live in the Philadelphia area. I have read the full text of the PA firearms law and found that nothing prevents me from owning this shiny new Taurus 9mm or whatever other handgun I wish to obtain. Here's how I went about it getting it.

    First off, all that you have to know is that Federal law does not prohibit anyone over 18 from owning a firearm. Contrary to popular belief, the Brady law does not have any restrictions on age, only GCA '68 does, and that age is 18.

    Under PA state law, anyone over the age of 18 may possess (own) a handgun. However, PA state law also prohibits licensed dealers from selling a handgun to anyone under 21 years of age. You may be asking, "How the hell did you get around that!?!" This was actually very simple; I asked my dad to buy the handgun for me!

    "But what about laws against straw purchases!?!" Well, they don't apply. PA state law says that when you transfer private party you must have a gun dealer do the transfer UNLESS the transfer is spouse-to-spouse, parent-to-child, or grandfather-to-grandchild.

    "What about the Brady law?" The Brady law specifically says that buying a firearm as a gift (obviously to someone who may legally possess it) is not prohibited! It says it right there on that yellow form you fill out when you buy a handgun! Here's a link to one: http://www.titleii.com/pdf/4473.pdf (The yellow form). Look at "important notices" #1.

    "But under PA state law you can't buy pistol ammo unless your 21! How about that mister smarty pants!" DUH! I have my dad or a friend by the ammo for me, silly! Getting ammo when you're under 21 is more legal than getting cigarettes when you're under 18! If you're a LICENCED dealer you can't sell pistol ammo to someone under 21, but someone under 21 can own it if it is given to them by an individual other than a licensed dealer, like Dad or your older buddy Tom! With cigarettes, Dad and Tom are committing a crime by supplying a minor (under 18) with cigarettes; by giving a non-minor (anyone over 18) ammo, they have done nothing wrong!

    "Okay smartass, I'm a (cop/FFL dealer/Joe blow) and my (fellow officer/other dealer/buddy who's a lawyer of some sort) told me that you're wrong!" Well, I'm not gonna argue that, you acquaintance obviously hasn't done his research! Here are the complete PA firearm laws: http://members.aol.com/StatutesP7/18PA6110.1.html (federal laws can easily be found on google). Take it from someone who has read it, it's a good days read. Have fun! I dare you to find something that says I'm wrong.
     
  2. rebbryan

    rebbryan Member

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    can you CW when you're 18?
     
  3. GunNut

    GunNut Member

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    rebbryan,

    I'm pretty sure that a big NO.




    clubsoda22,

    Congrats, and do us all proud. Keep it legal and safe.

    Steve
     
  4. clubsoda22

    clubsoda22 member

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    No, PA law specifically says that you are not eligable for a CWP until you are 21 years of age

    However, just having the handgun is fine! Can't wait to argue this on at my local range who insists that state law says i have to be 21 to shoot handguns without my dad.

    read this:

    § 6110.1. Possession of firearm by minor.

    (a) Firearm.--Except as provided in subsection (b), a person under 18 years of age shall not possess or transport a firearm anywhere in this Commonwealth.

    (b) Exception.--Subsection (a) shall not apply to a person under 18 years of age:

    1. who is under the supervision of a parent, grandparent, legal guardian or an adult acting with the expressed consent of the minor's custodial parent or legal guardian and the minor is engaged in lawful activity, including safety training, lawful target shooting, engaging in an organized competition involving the use of a firearm or the firearm is unloaded and the minor is transporting it for a lawful purpose; or
    2. who is lawfully hunting or trapping in accordance with 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to game).

    [added by me: An adult is someone over 18 years of age. Note that according to the above, i can take my 13 year old cousin shooting if i have expressed consent of his parents! He'll be thrilled!]

    (c) Responsibility of adult.--Any person who knowingly and intentionally delivers or provides to the minor a firearm in violation of subsection (a) commits a felony of the third degree.

    (d) Forfeiture.--Any firearm in the possession of a person under 18 years of age in violation of this section shall be promptly seized by the arresting law enforcement officer and upon conviction or adjudication of delinquency shall be forfeited or, if stolen, returned to the lawful owner.

    HOW OBVIOUS IS THIS! PEOPLE JUST DON'T TAKE THE TIME TO READ!
     
  5. clubsoda22

    clubsoda22 member

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    Thanks gun nut!

    I keep it legal every day and now i have proof!

    I think this is an example of how a dedicated individual with internet access and basic reading skills can find just about anything. For heaven's sake! I'm a nursing student! Not a law student!
     
  6. Ian

    Ian Member

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    I took the exact same route to obtain my pistols (I just turned 20). I don't bother with the ammo restrictions, though - nobody bothers to check ages except Walmart, so I just buy my own.

    GunNut & Rebbryan - Some states do give carry permits to folks younger than 21. Indiana, for example. I have a handful of 18-, 19-, and 20-year-old friends there who have permits. They still can't legally buy pistol ammo, though. Talk about inane laws. :banghead:
     
  7. clubsoda22

    clubsoda22 member

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    i think new hampshire and montana are the same way. My range does check for ammo, so i have my dad or a friend buy me a 500 round case of 9's and i'm set for a while.
     
  8. Randy63

    Randy63 Member

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    Good for you clubsoda22. Enjoy your new 9mm and remember be sure to not vote for Ed Rendell should he run again!

    K22
     
  9. cordex

    cordex Member

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    Good on you.

    Now look into reloading so you don't have to have someone else buy your ammo for you.
     
  10. clubsoda22

    clubsoda22 member

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    indoor range. they prohibit reloaded ammo at all three around here. doesn't matter. they stock seller&bellot @ $6.25 a box so it's cheap anyway. Other reasons for not reloading are because i live in a college dorm, explaining the handgun would be hard enough if i was caught (it is well hidden). Hiding a reloading press and kegs of gun powder is a bit harder to do.

    k22: Unfortunately my B-day just missed the deadline. Anyway, i won't vote for a republican either. Third party all the way unless i find a candidate i really like (i guess you could say, that at least it's not a vote for the dem's). Frankly, If i don't like any of the candidates i'd write in mickey mouse simply so no one can give me the "If you don't vote you can't complain" bullsh*t.
     
  11. Stinkyshoe

    Stinkyshoe Member

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    Hey good job bud! I am in the same boat as you. How would I go about finding out about laws in Nebraska?
    Thanks
    Ss
     
  12. clubsoda22

    clubsoda22 member

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    stinky, if you have any idea how much time it took me to find and anaylize the PA codes, you'll understand why i'm leaving you with this:

    Attorney General:
    Attorney General
    2115 State Capitol
    Lincoln, Nebraska 68507
    Phone: 402-471-2682
    Fax: 402-471-3297
    Web Homepage
    Email: http://www.ago.state.ne.us/contact/contact_us.html
    Ask!
     
  13. coldshot03/04

    coldshot03/04 member

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    I have a nephew that just turned 21. The gunshops in my area wouldnt let him touch or handle a handgun. Long guns yes, handgun no. Now he gets his ID checked alot.:confused: Strange laws we have.:rolleyes:
     
  14. clubsoda22

    clubsoda22 member

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    I do not know what alabama state law says, but, Federal law states that licenced gun dealers can not "sell or deliver" handguns to persons under 21 years of age.

    Maybe they take the meaning of the word "deliver" differently than I do, but i take that to mean a licenced gun dealer can't just be a conduit for a handgun not purchaced from but transferred through him to someone under the age of 21.

    I personally had the same problems at a lot of gunshops 'till i started carrying printouts of the law in my car. Many of the gun dealers were quite supprised when they read the law for themselves.

    Last shop i was in I didn't give a hint to my age and because i easily looks 21. I was taking a look at a new bersa. I'm probably gonna buy it just for the "look". Boy is he gonna be supprised when i show up with my dad and a bunch of papers so i can use the range.
     
  15. Guerillah

    Guerillah Member

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    It seems to me that the law in AZ is basically the same, just worded differently. You seem to have a good amount of knowledge on the under 21 subject so check it of if you could. http://www.nraila.org/GunLaws.asp?FormMode=Detail&R=AZ I am 20 and can get the parents to buy a handgun for me as long as I give them the money of course and have plenty of 21+ year old friends who can buy me ammo.
     
  16. clubsoda22

    clubsoda22 member

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    First off, let it be known that I am not a lawyer and not even a law student. I'm an incoming freshman in a 4 year nursing program. This makes me 100% unqualified to give anyone legal advice. However, if you know a lawyer, you may take what i post and show it to him and let him be the judge. I am absolutely not responsible for any trouble you get into using the information I provide.

    That out of the way, looking at the NRA ILA synopsis it does appear that an 18 year old may possess a firearm. Personally, I don't like using someone elses abbreviated version of the law and if you're gonna convince someone, you better have the full text handy. I personally read every page of the PA firearms statutes (which are thankfully kept online). You can probably obtain AZ statutes online or from your state AG's office. Here's why I think It's okay in Arizona.

    Okay, so arizona, like PA groups all handguns rifles and shotguns togeather, this is a good sign. If the only laws that differentiate between handgun and longarm are federal, then you're in the same boat as me, where you may not purchace, but may still possess (own) a handgun.

    Okay, now here's where it gets tricky. Looking at the first line you may be thinking "wow! If you're an emancipated 16 year old you can own a handgun!" No, you can't, because federal law is supreme and federal law says 18. Now it doesn't define minor, however, minor is almost 100% defined as someone under the age of 18. Ignore the part about carrying as it doesn't pertain to you. Transport all firearms in a case, sepereate from the ammo in your trunk and you'll be fine. According to the NRA site it may also be legal. Arizona has state preemption so local gov's can't make their own laws.

    The synopsis you gave me does not have anything about private party transactions. so I took the initiative and fouund your state firearms laws. http://www.atf.treas.gov/pub/fire-explo_pub/pdf/arizona.pdf Still nothing about private party transactions in the section i found

    Okay, I did find that sale or gift to a minor is a crime. Sale or gift to you, not being a minor, is fine as long as the seller or gift giver is not a licenced dealer (prohibited by federal law).

    But wait, here's more http://www.firearmslawcenter.org/content/arizona.asp

    Now, in order for this to be squeeky clean state law must say that you don't need to transfer through a dealer for a private sale. This is why my 21 year old friend can not buy me a handgun. Because to transfer from him to me i would need a background check (which i would pass) but the dealer could then not allow me to take possession of the handgun because he is prohibited by federal laew from doing so (although i'm not sure what prevents my 21 year old friend from then just handing me the gun right then and there a la gun show loophole). To be on the safe side, i would always have the transfer be from a parent.

    Basically, us 18-21 year olds are using the much publicized "gun show loophole" to our advantage. I think you're fine in arizona if you follow these steps. First off, it's a straw purchace if you give your dad money and ask him to buy you a handgun. It is not illegal for your dad to buy a handgun with his own money then sell or give it to you.

    Here's how I would work it:
    -Go to gun shop
    -"Hey dad, that (insert gun here) looks nice. and only $400!"
    -Dad pays with credit card or withdraws cash from ATM keeping $400 receipt (squeeky clean).
    -"Here you go son, happy fouth of august!"
    -"Wow, thanks dad!"
    -Withdraw wallet "and thanks for filling up my gas tank yesterday night. Here's $400, keep the change" (okay, so you don't have to do that infront of the FFL dealer. just give your dad the money when you get out to the car. You have broken no law to the best of my knoledge)
     
  17. clubsoda22

    clubsoda22 member

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    IF ANYONE ELSE WOULD LIKE ME TO DISECT YOUR LAWS, MY PAYPAL ACCOUNT IS "clubsoda22@aol.com"

    THANK YOU :D
     
  18. clubsoda22

    clubsoda22 member

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    okay, after looking at a bunch of states, i have concluded that in any state where you are allowed to possess a handgun at 18 it is easy enough to obtain one should your parents be the cooperative type.

    This is the best use of the private sale "loophole" there is as it is completely legal. If you can pass a NICS check, anyone can sell you a gun with the exception of federally licenced dealers. No law is broken, no harm is done. If you find a summary of your state laws, and it appears that an 18 year old may posses a handgun, here's a list of things you can do to ensure everything goes smoothly.

    1) Contact your state attorney generals office and ask a few questions "i read that an 18 year old may own a handgun, may i also discharge it for sporting purposes? May it be transferred to me through a private party such as my father granted that i may legally possess firearms under federal and state law? Make sure they send you a letter, not just oral confirmation

    2) Always recieve the gun as a gift from a parent. Most states don't want to make laws that prohibit you from getting a christmas present.

    3) Always carry the state law and/or the letter from the A/G office. You can show this to stubborn rangemasters who say "you must be 21 to shoot a handgun on my range because state law" You can also use this with cops in the unlikely event that you are pulled over and searched on the way to the range. If the cop that pulls you over doesn't know your fourth amendment rights, he certainly doesn't know the complete text of your state firearms laws. Don't be afraid to ask him to call his supervisor, they tend to become supervisors because they're smarter than the average bear (sometimes).

    4) if you live in NYC, NJ, DC, MA, IL, CA or some similar spot, don't bother. It's not worth the trouble. Move to another state, then try.

    5) never assume, always know the law and be confident in your interpritation (letter from AG does a lot to instil confidence). Don't assume that because you may possess you may carry. When transporting your gun, transport it like you would unstable explosives, very carefully. Ammo stored seperately, locked up.
     
  19. Guerillah

    Guerillah Member

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    Thanks for going over it in great detail! Good info.
     
  20. Thrash1982

    Thrash1982 Member

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    Congrats on the new gun clubsoda22. My dad recently bought me my first gun (with my money of course) a Beretta 96. Living in Indiana though I can carry at 18 (I'm 20 now). Unfortunately I can't carry on campus here so don't really want to spend the money on a good holster. The whole 'have to be 21 to buy ammo' thing is downright annoying. I reload though but am having a hard time finding a good reload for my .40's.
     
  21. greyhound

    greyhound Member

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    .

    You seem to be aware that it is probably illegal to possess a firearm on campus? At least every uni I have ever heard of makes it a big no-no.

    And if it is illegal, do you realize that if caught with it or heaven forbid have to use it, you put in serious jeopardy your ablilty to legally purchase a firearm at age 21 (if possession is a felony)? Not to mention you would probably be kicked out of school, and with the circumstances might have trouble finding a new one that would let you in.

    Hey, to each their own, if you are willing to accept the risk, good on ya.
    I personally don't believe that any law that limits the right of possession for any adult legally able to own a gun is Constitutional. But, this is what "For the Children" has gotten us.

    Just wanted to bring that point up
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2003
  22. clubsoda22

    clubsoda22 member

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    Thrash, i'm going on my third gun. We've had the Taurus since i was 16 and now it's legally mine. I bought a Winchester Defender a couple months ago and i'll be getting the Bersa sometime next week. I think it's good to get an early start on my collection.

    "Are you saying that you are allowed to keep that gun in a college dorm? Every uni I have ever heard of that is a big no-no."

    Greyhound, you think i'd spend all this time reading PA firearms statutes and not know the law as it pertains to keeping a handgun at college?

    You may not have a gun at a primary or secondary school, but there is no law restricting having guns on a college campus. I will keep one of my handguns with me at college. The only problem is college policy. The college policy is no guns, however that is policy, not law. They can not prosicute me unless i do something illegal.

    As far as their policy goes, f*ck 'em! I'm not paying $30K a year for them to take away my right to defend myself, especially in a college that had a murder (shot in the back for $6). multiple rapes, 7 aggrivated assaults and 4 robberies (read: muggings) last year with a student body of only 2500. It's a good school but it's in a very violent neighborhood. I'd know because i'm also an EMT in the surrounding community. Half the guys i work with wear body armor.

    A lot of sh*t doesn't go on the "crime statistics" page, such as the murder, because it happened 20 ft off campus at the most popular college bar in the area so it "technically" doesn't have to go on the crime statistics. Universities love being "technical" with their crime statistics, I assure you the two bullets in his back were "technically" real. Guy was only 21 and is "technically" deceased. Try that with me when i'm 21 and i assure you the gun in my holster and the CWP in my wallet will be real. In the mean time i'll be carrying my tactical folder (what good it will do) and leaving the gun well hidden in the dorm room. why? Because I obey the law, period. On the other hand, to hell with those policies. Theyare at odds with the law.

    "And if it is illegal, do you realize that if caught with it or heaven forbid have to use it, you put in serious jeopardy your ablilty to legally purchase a firearm at age 21?"

    Well, it's not illegal, and i'm not gonna be caught with it because they're never gonna find it. It's not like it's sitting in the top draw of my desk. It's locked away and well hidden.

    If i ever have to use the gun it will be for a damn good reason. The reason would have to be great enough to outweigh the inherent problems with shooting someone.

    Have you read the thread? I legally buy firearms now. I legally buy shotguns and rifles through an FFL and i legally buy handguns from my dad. I don't understand how breaking a policy (NOT A LAW), would effect my gun rights. PA is not the fascist paradise that MD is.


    § 912. Possession of weapon on school property.

    (a) Definition.--Notwithstanding the definition of "weapon" in section 907 (relating to possessing instruments of crime), "weapon" for purposes of this section shall include but not be limited to any knife, cutting instrument, cutting tool, nun-chuck stick, firearm, shotgun, rifle and any other tool, instrument or implement capable of inflicting serious bodily injury.

    (b) Offense defined.--A person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree if he possesses a weapon in the buildings of, on the grounds of, or in any conveyance providing transportation to or from any elementary or secondary publicly-funded educational institution, any elementary or secondary private school licensed by the Department of Education or any elementary or secondary parochial school.

    (c) Defense.--It shall be a defense that the weapon is possessed and used in conjunction with a lawful supervised school activity or course or is possessed for other lawful purpose.


    See anything about college's? I certainly don't
     
  23. greyhound

    greyhound Member

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    Hey, like I said, good on ya. You have certainly done your research and it sure seems legal to me. I think you'd be in for a world of hassle if caught on campus, but it sure looks like they couldn't arrest you. We all must decide which policies we obey and those we don't.

    What I meant about purchasing handguns at 21 I stand by. You have not legally "purchased" a handgun, you have been gifted one by your father.
    Like you said, all perfectly legal. Also like you said, if you give your dad $400 its for filling up the car. :)

    Unlike a lot of 18-21 year olds who take their lack of rights for granted, you've done your homework and done something about it. That, in this day and age, is certainlt commendable!
     
  24. greyhound

    greyhound Member

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    QUOTE]Under PA state law, anyone over the age of 18 may possess (own) a handgun. However, PA state law also prohibits licensed dealers from selling a handgun to anyone under 21 years of age. You may be asking, "How the hell did you get around that!?!" This was actually very simple; I asked my dad to buy the handgun for me![/QUOTE]



    Hey, now that I see that its not illegal on campus, here's another question:
    How do you tranport the pistol to the range and all? Sure it's a legal gift from your father, but how would you prove that if a cop pulled you over (or in any situation where you are found by some authorities in possession of the pistol)? Do you have to carry a notarized letter or something? Or do you not have to prove anything at all since the law says 18 year olds can possess? Just curious. And yes, some of this comes from living in Maryland, where authorites will do anything to either slap a charge on you or confiscate guns.


    Once again, I am not criticizing or implying you have done something wrong or illegal. Its kinda like open carry, totally legal but guaranteed to freak out the sheeple. So congrats to you for being willing to put forth the effort. Stay safe!
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2003
  25. Spackler

    Spackler Member

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    You must already be aware of this (after all, you did all of that research and all) but if caught with a firearm on campus, the university will likely toss you out. Depending on the circumstances, you might be locked up by the campus police initially. Don't expect them to know the finer points of the law.
     
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