Purchase and Transfer of Antique Rifle Question

Discussion in 'Legal' started by carbine85, Feb 2, 2020.

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  1. carbine85

    carbine85 Member

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    Twice in the last 2 weeks, I've had sellers (Auction Houses) request an FFL to handle the transfers of a Rifle. The first was for a Black Power Thompson Muzzle Loader. After a little discussion back and forth they agreed to send it to me.
    Now I purchased Springfield Trapdoor dated 1884 and these guys want an FFL transfer.
    I've never had this problem before. Has something changed?
    I live in Ohio and we don't have any special laws regulating antiques or black powder.
     
  2. F-111 John

    F-111 John Member

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    As for the black powder muzzle loader, the auction house was wrong to ask for an FFL if indeed you reside in Ohio and there are no special state requirements, and there are in a few other states.

    EDIT TO ADD:

    I stand corrected. The below is incorrect information, as pointed out by Alexander A in the post following this one.

    For what cartridge was the Trapdoor Springfield chambered? The laws regarding transferring antiques interstate without an FFL are dependent on the type of cartridge the antique firearm uses.

    https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/USCODE-2018-title18/html/USCODE-2018-title18-partI-chap44-sec921.htm
    (16) The term "antique firearm" means

    (A) any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; or
    (B) any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica—

    (i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or
    (ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade; or
    (C) any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol, which is designed to use black powder, or a black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term "antique firearm" shall not include any weapon which incorporates a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof.
    If the Trapdoor Springfield was chambered in .45-70, then since that ammunition is still readily available it is not an antique firearm under the definition.
    Here is a sample of available .45-70 ammunition:

    https://ammoseek.com/ammo/45-70

    The correct answer as pointed out by Alexander A is found in the first line of the cited statute:

    16) The term "antique firearm" means

    (A) any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; or


     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2020
  3. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    No. That would only apply if the Trapdoor was a replica. (Yes, there are modern-made Trapdoor replicas.) But if it was actually made prior to 1899, it's definitely an antique regardless of the chambering. (To confuse matters a bit, a "curio or relic" -- a gun made 50 years prior to the current date -- can lose that status if it's significantly altered from its original configuration. But that's not what we're talking about here.)
     
  4. carbine85

    carbine85 Member

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    They replied to my email and are still refusing so I'll just send them an FFL, drop the $20 and move on. If I forfeit the bid It will cost me $250.
    I purchased a Krag Rifle made in 1898 by the serial number from another source, so know I'm wondering if that's going to be a problem.
     
  5. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Have you considered getting a C&R license if you don't already have one? Both of those guns don't really need one, but it might convince a dealer to ship directly if you have one and send them a copy.

    The license is relatively inexpensive, painless to obtain, and good for several years.
     
  6. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    Some businesses when dealing with highly regulated matters will, as a matter of policy, take a very conservative approach. A misstep in a heavily regulated environment can lead to serious, sometimes devastating, consequences.
     
  7. carbine85

    carbine85 Member

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    I seriously considering it.
     
  8. Armybrat

    Armybrat Member

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    I thought the Trapdoor your avatar surrendered was an 1873 model? ;)
     
  9. carbine85

    carbine85 Member

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    I wish that 1873 was mine. I can't imagine what that one is worth.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2020
  10. Armybrat

    Armybrat Member

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    No kidding!
    My 1873 Trapdoor is the standard rifle/musket with bayonet. The firing pin is broken though.
     
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