Rossi surprise

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Stony, Feb 20, 2017.

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  1. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Unfortunately this is quite a derailment from a neat thread about a cool gun.

    Doubly unfortunately, yes, it certainly does sound like a violation of federal law. (Probably two -- counting the giver and receiver.) Unless your friend installed a gun safe at your house and locked his gun in it and took the keys with him, then possession (9/10s of the law as you stated) has indeed transferred from him to you. Since he's not a resident of your state, and you didn't (at least according to your description) do this transfer at a licensed dealer's shop on a 4473 form, that's not in accordance with the law.

    There is an exception for loans for sporting purposes, but those don't cover a "loan" that extends to the former possessor going back to his state and leaving the gun behind with the new possessor.

    Triply unfortunate, even removing this thread from public view wouldn't really make it undiscoverable. Please folks, try to understand the law (even though it's often complicated and non-intuitive) and be careful what you say online.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  2. Ibmikey

    Ibmikey Member

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    I like short rifles and the little Rossi is a neat size to pack in heavy cover, i would rather have a small loop on it, however, the large loop is cool if not used primarily as a hunting rifle. When I visit Texas i always have something short for hogs, AAC Handi Rifle, Ruger Ranch and a few AR's all with 16" barrels and in 300 Blackout. For nighttime I use Stony's night vision rifle (oh no! Another of those "transfers"). My last trip he provided 40 of the critters for me to practice on ( well actually 39 because one that i shot through the head and we threw in the back of the P U decided to get up and jump over the side).
    I will be back to Texas as soon as the glaciers retreat between here and there, beautiful country East Texas, they grow bumper crops of hogs and bugs of every description.
     
  3. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    I don't believe borrowing his rifle temporarily while you visit his state is a transfer. It's a loan between two non-prohibited individuals within the possessor's state of residence, obviously for sporting purposes.

    When I go to Texas to visit, I get to borrow a Rossi .357 rifle of my Dad's, or a really neat Chiappa .357 rifle of my brother's, and I always take a few of mine down for them to check out. I just don't leave my guns in their state and in their possession, nor do I bring any of their firearms back to Colorado with me when I leave.

    I really like the .357 lever rifles a lot. In fact, the next factory rifle or two that I've got my eye on are lever rifles in .357 and probably .45 Colt as well. I don't have anything in .45 Colt, so that'll be my entry into that cartridge, and I'm looking forward to it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  4. Stony

    Stony Member

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    Jeeze guys....this is Texas where there are still real people living without California or Colorado laws. You can still legally walk into a gun show here and buy or trade a gun with an individual without breaking any laws. We are not legally bound to take guns to a dealer anytime we want to gift a gun or sell one to a buddy.
     
  5. Theohazard

    Theohazard Member

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    You are if you're not both residents of Texas, per federal law.

    Sam1911 is right: Based on the information provided in this thread, this appears to have been an illegal interstate transfer under the 1968 Gun Control Act, which is a federal law. Texas law is not the issue here.

    This has been covered many times before in the Legal forum. See Frank Ettin's posts in this thread:

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/question-about-mailing-my-shotgun-back-to-me.739423/

    That's unfortunate, since this has been a pretty cool thread otherwise. And I definitely don't like the applicable law in this case, but that doesn't change the fact that a federal felony appears to have been committed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
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  6. Stony

    Stony Member

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    It seems unfortunate how some folks can morpf a thread to completely change the character of it and pick it apart from a dark and inappropriate angle. My friend left a rifle in a safe in my house separate from my personal guns.....for his use on the next trip down here. I hope this fact does not keep you awake worrying about how you can turn this into a scenario whereas the persons involved can be viewed as felons.
     
  7. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    As I said before, I am sorry this angle appeared in a neat thread about a cool gun, but part of our job here is to try to make clear to folks what the gun laws say and how they are interpreted, to the best of our lay (or in some cases, professional) abilities.

    In this case it would be doing a disservice to members reading this not to point out a dangerous pitfall that many shooters fall into without realizing.

    Sorry, again, that it was even brought up, but it was, and federal felonies are not to be laughed at.

    If you guys were residents of the same state this wouldn't be an issue, generally, as only a few states prohibit private transfers between residents.

    Interstate situations really trip people up. My sister could come down here from her home in another state and borrow a rifle to go hunting. But she can't take it home with her. That's an illegal transfer. And I can't drive up to her place, loan her a gun, and leave it with her when I go home. If the gun is truly not in her control, that's plausibly not a transfer (I.e. I don't give her keys to the safe I put it in) but if she's out shooting it while I'm gone, that plausibilty certainly evaporates.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  8. Theohazard

    Theohazard Member

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    Please don't misunderstand our intentions. I was enjoying this thread before the derailment happened, and I'm sure everyone else was, too. And I can tell you that I get no enjoyment out of messing up this thread by pointing out the illegalities here, and I'm sure nobody else does either.

    As sometimes happens when certain illegalities are brought up, you seem to be confusing the message with the messenger. I'm fairly certain none of us here like or agree with this part of the law. But it's still the law. Gun laws in this country are pretty ridiculous and very hard to follow correctly, so as responsible gun owners it's our duty to help someone out when we see them unknowingly breaking the law, even if we have to derail a good thread to do it.

    If I committed an inadvertent felony and then openly discussed this felony on a nationwide public forum, I would definitely want someone to point it out to me.
     
  9. Stony

    Stony Member

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    Point taken and enough said. It would please me if this thread were closed with no further debate on these issues.
     
  10. Ibmikey

    Ibmikey Member

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    Agree with Stony, I worked in Law Enforcement my entire career with my head held high but suddenly someone in Colorado advises me i am dirty----- and i always thought criminal codes required some form of intent to commit a felony, an accusation that i take deeply.
     
  11. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Uh, really? You worked in law enforcement and you think that ignorance of the law excuses you from a felony violation?

    But, to the OP's wishes, I will close this.
     
  12. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    Notwithstanding the closing of this thread, I'm going to lay out the law for those who are trying to remain determinedly ignorant.

    The federal laws relating to the transfer of a gun from a resident of one State to a resident of another (i. e., GCA68) are about physical possession, not ownership. GCA68 was Congress' responding to enormous public pressure after the assassinations by gunfire of three wildly popular public figures -- JFK, RFK and MLK. The law was intended to regulate and control the interstate transfer of firearms. It was structured so that to the extent reasonably possible any transfer of possession of a gun from a resident of one State to a resident of another would have to go through an FFL.

    And in the context of the concerns intended to be address by Congress through GCA68, it's possession and not ownership that matters. Someone who has a gun in his possession can use it, whether or not he has legal title to it.

    Giving someone your gun to store for you will be considered a transfer. It certainly is under federal law, and would also most likely be also considered a transfer under state laws. That's just what "transfer" means.

    1. In general, any transfer of a firearm from a resident of one State to a resident of another must go through an FFL who will follow all usual formalities (e. g., completion of the 4473). There are a few limited, narrow, specific exceptions: if you have an appropriate federal firearms license; inheritance by will or intestate succession; or a loan (subject to a number of limitations which will be discussed in more detail below).

    2. The applicable federal statutes are: 18 USC 922(a)(3); 18 USC 922(a)(5); and 18 USC 922 (b)(3). The full texts of those statutes may be found here.

    3. The federal laws I've cited are about possession, not necessarily ownership.
      • Possession means:

      • Transfer is about possession, not ownership.

        Some definitions of "transfer" (emphasis added):

      • Let's look at the statutes:
        • 18 USC 922(a)(3), which provides in pertinent part (emphasis added) as follows:

        • And 18 USC 922(a)(5), which provides in pertinent part (emphasis added) as follows:

      • Note carefully the words of those statutes. Words, like "transport", "receive", "obtained", "transfer", "give", "transport", and "deliver" do not necessarily imply ownership and include possession. They will be read and applied by a court according to their ordinary meanings. See Perrin v. United States, 444 U.S. 37 (United States Supreme Court, 1979), at 42:

    4. With regard to loans, let's look at the applicable statutes again:
      • 18 USC 922(a)(3), which provides in pertinent part (emphasis added) as follows:

      • And 18 USC 922(a)(5), which provides in pertinent part (emphasis added) as follows:

      • So under federal law a resident of one State may loan a gun to a resident of another State, but only temporarily and only for a lawful sporting purpose.
        • Temporary means:

        • Sporting means (in this context):

        • Purpose means (in this context):

      • So a court is likely to look at the "temporary loan for a lawful sporting purpose" exception to the prohibition on interstate transfers to apply when a gun is loaned so that the person it's been loaned to can engage in a specific sporting activity (i. e., a hunt, a competition, etc.) of limited duration. "Temporary" would refer to the duration of that activity. Such an interpretation would be consistent with the common meanings of the words used in the statutes and the underlying purpose (controlling interstate transfers of firearms) of GCA68.

      • And while 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, 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 applicable "loan" exception. Since there is no applicable loan" exception in 18 USC 922(a)(3), a loan of a firearm may not cross state lines to the borrower's State of residence.


    5. Now let's look at storing your gun in another State.
      • Leaving a gun with someone in another State clearly raises interstate transfer problems when that person has access to the gun.

      • One possible way to avoid the problem would be to secure the gun or guns in a locked case or similar container to which only you have the key or combination.

      • That might avoid the transfer problem inherent in having someone store your guns, ATF has advised here that one may ship a firearm to himself in care of another person in another State.

        Specifically ATF has said (emphasis added):

    6. Note that violations of federal law regarding interstate transfers are punishable by up to five years in federal prison and/or a fine; and since the crime is a felony one will lose his gun rights for the rest of his life.
     
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