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Old June 27, 2011, 01:54 PM   #1
Spats McGee
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A question about out-of-state sellers

I've been wondering about one particular type of transaction, and I have not been able to determine the answer. Let's say I go to a gun show, and there's an out-of-state FFL, selling a long gun, which he or she represents to be part of a private collection, rather than part of business stock. Would I have to go through an FFL to buy it? My gut reaction is: if the sale crosses state lines, transfer through an FFL is in order. However, I looked at 18 USC 922, and I'm not sure that's correct. For purposes of clarity:
1) I am not a prohibited person.
2) In Arkansas, basic long gun sales between two private parties (both Arkansas residents) over the the age of 18 requires no paperwork whatsoever.

When I go to 18 USC 922, I get this:
Quote:
(a) It shall be unlawful-- . . . .
(3) for any person, other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to transport into or receive in the State where he resides (or if the person is a corporation or other business entity, the State where it maintains a place of business) any firearm purchased or otherwise obtained by such person outside that State, . . . .
(5) for any person (other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector) to transfer, sell, trade, give, transport, or deliver any firearm to any person (other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector) who the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in (or if the person is a corporation or other business entity, does not maintain a place of business in) the State in which the transferor resides;
18 U.S.C.A. § 922 (West)(Edited for brevity and emphasis supplied)

I'm just not sure about (a)(5). I took a look at ATF regulations, and they simply track the statutory language. What I get from those souces looks like:
1) As between two private sellers who reside in different states, an FFL must be used.
2) As between an FFL and a private buyer, the buyer must reside in the same state as the FFL.

Where it gets unclear is this: Is transfer paperwork required from an out-of-state FFL, physically present in Arkansas & selling out of his or her private collection?

I'm not looking for a way around the law here. However, I'm trying to pin down the exact contours of this part of the law and I'd like to hear your opinions.
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Old June 27, 2011, 03:34 PM   #2
carguychris
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My understanding is that "private collection" FFL dealer sales are conducted under the same legal framework as a FTF sale between private individuals, i.e. both the transferor and transferee must reside in the same state, and all applicable state laws must be followed. However, since this topic isn't directly addressed in the statutes, I'll have to do a little research. Someone more familiar with the topic may be along at any moment.

Also, I'd like to correct you on one aspect of your post:
Quote:
What I get from those souces looks like:
1) As between two private sellers who reside in different states, an FFL must be used.
2) As between an FFL and a private buyer, the buyer must reside in the same state as the FFL.
The last statement is not entirely correct. Under 18 USC § 922(b)(3):
Quote:
(b) It shall be unlawful for any licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to sell or deliver—
(3) any firearm to any person who the licensee knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in... the State in which the licensee’s place of business is located, except that this paragraph (A) shall not apply to the sale or delivery of any rifle or shotgun to a resident of a State other than a State in which the licensee’s place of business is located if the transferee meets in person with the transferor to accomplish the transfer, and the sale, delivery, and receipt fully comply with the legal conditions of sale in both such States..., and (B) shall not apply to the loan or rental of a firearm to any person for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes...
(emphasis mine- some sentences omitted for brevity)

IOW a licensed dealer is allowed to transfer rifles and shotguns (but not handguns!) to nonlicensees in other states provided the transaction is conducted face-to-face and all applicable state laws are followed.

As an aside, the statutes are applied somewhat differently to a C&R licensee (aka licensed collector) when buying and selling C&R firearms.
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Last edited by carguychris; June 27, 2011 at 03:45 PM.
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Old June 27, 2011, 03:52 PM   #3
Vanya
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I see only two options here. Either a sale goes through an FFL, in which case the transfer paperwork is required, or it involves two private parties, in which case, no paperwork, but they need to reside in the same state.

I suppose a licensed dealer can, as it were, take off his FFL "hat" when selling a gun from his private collection -- in which case, he'd be subject to the same rules as any other private seller. I can't see how the fact that he's an FFL would exempt him from those rules. But in this case, he doesn't reside in your state.

Quote:
1) As between two private sellers who reside in different states, an FFL must be used.
2) As between an FFL and a private buyer, the buyer must reside in the same state as the FFL.

Where it gets unclear is this: Is transfer paperwork required from an out-of-state FFL, physically present in Arkansas & selling out of his or her private collection?
Physical presence isn't the same as residency, so... yes, transfer paperwork would be required, just as it would if I, a non-FFL, came to AR to sell you a rifle. The fact that I'm physically in the state doesn't magically make me a resident; we'd need to use an FFL to do the transfer.

Quote:
My gut reaction is: if the sale crosses state lines, transfer through an FFL is in order.
Trust your gut...
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Old June 27, 2011, 06:01 PM   #4
dogtown tom
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A licensed gun dealer can acquire firearms, but he cannot sell or transfer a firearm to anyone at a gun show in any other state. The ONLY exception is a transfer of a curio or relic to another FFL.

Here is the ATF "What you can do at a gun show" document:http://www.atf.gov/publications/down...i-5300-23a.pdf
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Old June 28, 2011, 08:20 AM   #5
Spats McGee
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Thanks, everyone. Based on the statute quoted by carguychris and the fact sheet linked by dogtown tom, it looks like there may be some conflict of authorities here.

For my own peace of mind, I think I'll trust my gut, and avoid transactions that involve out-of-state FFLs selling from their "personal collection."
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Old June 28, 2011, 08:46 AM   #6
carguychris
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Quote:
...I think I'll trust my gut, and avoid transactions that involve out-of-state FFLs selling from their "personal collection."
This is a good idea, but you should be aware of one exception that I didn't detail in my previous post. (I was forced to wrap up the post before I was really finished.)

Under 18 USC § 922(b)(3), it is legal for a C&R licensee to conduct FTF sales of C&R long guns (and only C&R long guns!) to out-of-state nonlicensees if the transaction complies with state law. The reason is that there is no dividing line between a C&R licensee's business inventory and personal collection; the C&R license is, by definition, used exclusively for the licensee's personal collection. The sale must be recorded in the C&R licensee's logbook but no NICS check is required.
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Old June 29, 2011, 08:02 AM   #7
Spats McGee
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Thank you, carguychris. Though I don't foresee buying any C&R items, that's good to know.
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