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Old January 19, 2013, 10:49 AM   #1
Ritz
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Seeking Advice re: AR-15 in CT

Sorry to open up my first post with a question. Glad I found these forums.

I have an elderly relative who owns an original Colt Sporter. Nothing fancy. Fixed A2 stock, original upper with no forward assist, etc. It's about as vanilla as they come. I haven't been paying too much attention to all the hoopla regarding "assault weapon" laws that are now being ramrodded through all over the place, but it looks pretty bleak. So my question....this is clearly a "pre-ban" rifle since he's owned it for 30+ years. He's paranoid of "getting caught with it" and wants to sell it. A local LEO told him "off the record" that he needed to turn it in and it would be destroyed. He clearly doesn't want to do that since it must be worth **something** if he sells it, but he can't get anyone to give him a straight answer about how or to who he can legally transfer it. Does anyone here that's familiar with the people's republic of CT have any suggestions? I'd hate to see him (a) just throw away a perfectly fine rifle or (b) get into legal trouble for possessing something that was legal when he purchased it.

Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Best,
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Old January 19, 2013, 10:59 AM   #2
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Edit: My information was not correct.

Please tell him not to give it to that **** that wanted to destroy it.
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Old January 19, 2013, 11:39 AM   #3
Aguila Blanca
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No, he's not fine, because he's a felon.

http://www.jud.ct.gov/JI/criminal/gl...aultweapon.htm

See paragraph 1. The Colt AR-15 and Sporter are listed by name as prohibited under Connecticut's AWB (link above). When the law was passed, owners were given a grace period during which to register those firearms with the State Police. If it is not registered, it is toxic. It cannot be sold (legally) within Connecticut. I don't know about selling it out of state. It might be possible ... or it might not.

IMHO the owner should immediately consult with a firearms attorney IN CONNECTICUT. I'm sorry, I have no idea who that might be. I think in the past, on various forums, I've seen references to a firearms attorney located in West Hartford, CT, but I can't recall the name.

[EDIT to add]Found a better link, to the actual statute. This includes prohibition against selling an "assault weapon." However, I'm not seeing the provision for the registration period. Doesn't matter -- that was two decades ago. If he didn't register it then -- it's not registered, and that's that.

http://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/ch...Sec53-202a.htm

Found it -- scroll down to section 53-202d. IANAL but it seems to keep saying it is not legal to sell an "assault weapon" within Connecticut. Thus, it would appear that it's legal to sell it outside of Connecticut. But the devil is in the details -- how could he offer it for sale outside of Connecticut without also offering it within Connecticut? And how could he sell it without alerting the authorities that he has it?

I still think he needs to consult an attorney.

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; January 19, 2013 at 11:53 AM.
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Old January 19, 2013, 11:54 AM   #4
musher
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I don't know the details of this situation, but lets assume for a moment that the AR is not legally possessed by the person in CT.

Something I've been unclear on are the common recommendations to 'turn it in', 'destroy it', 'contact an attorney', etc. in situations like this.

If the CT resident were to sell the AR to an individual in a free state--let's say Alaska, then the way a deal usually goes, is that the AK person sends money to the CT person, the CT person boxes up the AR and mails it to the AK person's FFL for transfer.

Given that the CT fellow has possessed this AR for 30 years, what's to stop them from simply driving over a state line to a place where it is legal and mailing it off to AK?

I understand that continued possession of the rifle is illegal, but is selling it out of state instead of surrendering it some sort of additional violation?

Perhaps the additional risk is that the CT person will have to identify themself to the FFL and thus memorialize their possession of the AR in the dealer's bound book...

Edit..Aquilas question re advertising do raise some challenges, but free email and proxy servers let folks be from wherever they want to be unless someone gets pretty interested in running them down. Our CT person could be from Montana until the connection is made for the deal.
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Old January 19, 2013, 12:00 PM   #5
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Man, I was afraid it was going to be something like this. It seems that any attempt to "do the right thing" from a legal standpoint puts the poor guy in jeopardy when all he wants to do is not throw away an expensive item that was legal when he got it. Who woulda thought the day would come when you'd need an attorney to sell a gun you bought decades earlier.

Jeez....
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Old January 19, 2013, 12:04 PM   #6
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Where's he going to take it from Connecticut to mail it? New York? Massachusetts? Maybe Rhode Island ... dunno.

And if the owner is elderly, maybe he's not up to driving a hundred miles (each way) just to ship a box.

'Tis a conundrum. Another example of how government can make all of us into felons with the stroke of a pen. I'm sure the gentleman in Connecticut is a law-abiding citizen who simply never was informed that as of ___ date he had a limited time window within which to register his rifle, or be FOREVER prohibited from using it, selling it, or even possessing it.
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Old January 19, 2013, 12:09 PM   #7
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Doesn't carting a firearm (of any type) over state lines also constitute a crime? He lives rather close to RI if that's considered one of the "free states".

I just told him I'd try to get some info for him before he succumbed to the advice from the local "friend" and LEO to just dispose of it.

Thanks again!
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Old January 19, 2013, 12:10 PM   #8
musher
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The law prohibits possession, sale, etc of this rifle within CT.

Just because your friend lives in CT does not make it illegal for him to own or possess the AR in states where it is legal.

Why can't he simply drive to a free state and sell the gun to a dealer?

I'm not seeing how his possession of the AR somewhere outside of CT could serve as evidence of possession within CT. If someone wanted to pursue it, it would not be your friend's job to prove he didn't possess it in CT, but the state's job to prove he did.

Theoretically, your friend could have owned this rifle all along outside the state and just decided to sell with the rise in prices.

I'm still not sure it's a crime to sell it outside CT. Clearly keeping it is an ongoing violation, but is terminating that ongoing violation a new crime? (as long as the sale is done according to Fed law)

I'm not giving advice here, I'm asking a question. Perhaps one of the lawyer types here knows...
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Old January 19, 2013, 12:15 PM   #9
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Doesn't carting a firearm (of any type) over state lines also constitute a crime? He lives rather close to RI if that's considered one of the "free states".
In most states, no. NY, NJ -- with exceptions, basically yes.

RI has always been a mystery to me, and the one Jeeping e-buddy I had there bailed out and moved south about three years ago so I don't even have a source I could ask.
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Old January 19, 2013, 01:16 PM   #10
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RI is still a "Free State"

I retain a legal residence there and know the laws as well as any layman.

It's a "may issue" state for CCW, with two ways to get a CCW: Local CLEO or State Attorney Generals office.

No high capacity magazine law.

EBR's are not regulated any differently than anything else.

48 hour waiting period on FFL transfers.

Strange point of law: If you have a CCW "north and south" you can CCW in your car without a RI permit. There is no "reciprocity" per se, but as long as you are passin' thru you do not need to unholster and lock up your shootin' iron. You need to be legal where you started, and where you're headed.

There is a friendly brick and mortar FFL on Main Street in Wakefield. Ping me when it's on consignment and it'll find a new home where it will be well loved....



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Old January 19, 2013, 02:53 PM   #11
Ritz
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I wanted to thank everyone who offered information (both public and private). It seems that he should be able to transfer the gun to an FFL in RI who will sell it on consignment. Much better than the state turning it into a paperweight, I'd say.

Best,
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Old January 19, 2013, 03:05 PM   #12
Aguila Blanca
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Much better than the state turning it into a paperweight, I'd say.
More likely it would quietly become part of some police officer's private collection.

Selling it on consignment in a free state sounds like a far superior plan. It's interesting that Rhode Island would be that state. Their reputation vis-a-vis carry permits would lead me to believe that they wouldn't be open to allowing evil black rifles.
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Old January 19, 2013, 04:52 PM   #13
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Why is taking out of state illegal. If I want to hunt in OR with my Colt AR 15 (I live in WA) I just pack it up and drive to OR. If when in OR I happen to find a fellow that is interested in the weapon and wants to purchase it, we just go to an OR FFL, the FFL does the paperwork and the other guy now owns the AR...

Exactly the same if I was to take my pistol out of stste. I can transfer the pistol to an OR resident, through an OR FFL, even if I walk through the door in OR with the pistol on my hip.

Absolutely legal. BTW, that AR is worth quite a bit of money $$$$ right now. It would be definately worth the trip to VT or NH, even if only to sell it wholesale to an FFL.

IMHO: Mr "Turn it in" wants it for himself.
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Old January 19, 2013, 06:49 PM   #14
Aguila Blanca
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Why is taking out of state illegal.
Taking out of state,per se, isn't illegal. What becomes illegal is bringing some firearms INTO certain other states. For example, if I were to travel through NY state on the way to visit my sister in northern NH, I'd be legal to transport a handgun or three due to FOPA. But if I happened to have a friend who lived in northern NY state and I wanted to stop and visit him for a couple of days en route ... well, that's a no-no, because nobody can possess a handgun in NY state without a NY state permit, and NY state doesn't issue non-resident permits. So in that case, my crossing the line into NY would be illegal.

Spend some time on the PAFOA web forum and you'll see that accidentally setting foot ("setting wheel"?) in NJ with a firearm in your vehicle is cause for great concern because of NJs transport laws, and lack on non-resident permits and reciprocity.

Those are just examples. The devil is in the details.
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Old January 19, 2013, 11:53 PM   #15
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It's interesting that Rhode Island would be that state. Their reputation vis-a-vis carry permits would lead me to believe that they wouldn't be open to allowing evil black rifles.


In the town that I hold residency in, the CLEO will issue to anyone who walks in, has a chat, and is not a nut. In other towns the CLEO might not be as friendly. In that case you can apply to the State Attorney Generals office, and if you can write a good letter, you can probably be issued a CCW. Getting a non resident Massachusetts CCW`is not difficult, and neither is getting one in Connecticut. Get a Florida non-resident and you are good from Maine to Florida save for NY, NJ, MD, and SC. You are also good west to Illinois, stay out of Minnesota, and then don't worry about a thing until you hit the left coast.


Spend some time on the PAFOA web forum and you'll see that accidentally setting foot ("setting wheel"?) in NJ with a firearm in your vehicle is cause for great concern because of NJs transport laws, and lack on non-resident permits and reciprocity.


Lock it in your trunk and the FOPA will be on your side while driving. You CAN stop at a friends house in NJ and spend a week there, with handgun or long gun carried into and left in his house. You can even go shooting. It's not nearly as bad as they make it out to be. Yes it's a pain in the neck to buy guns there, and it's impossible to get a CCW (at present), but it is NOTHING like NY as far as being hostile to outsiders.



Willie

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Last edited by Willie Sutton; January 19, 2013 at 11:58 PM.
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Old January 20, 2013, 12:58 PM   #16
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Let me first say... I hate wasting anything and I can't stand silly laws. Now with that said, I really think that this person needs to either turn in the gun or hire an attorney and hope that there is something left over after the attorney fees.

While it is legal to sell the gun in another state, it is a felony to try and get it there. If by some bad luck, this poor guy gets pulled over CT, he is now caught in possession. If he makes the mistake of explaining what he is doing, he may get additional trafficking charges.

To my mind, this is a no-win situation. He should focus on minimizing his losses.

Remember, I'm not an attorney... just a guy with computer and an opinion so take the above for what it is worth....
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Old January 20, 2013, 01:35 PM   #17
Aguila Blanca
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Please explain why/how it would be a felony for him to drive from Connecticut into Rhode Island, where according to Willie Sutton the Colt Sporter is not proscribed, and hand it to a Rhode Island FFL to sell on consignment?

Interstate transfers of long guns (which a Colt Sporter is) are legal as long as they go through an FFL. ONE FFL. It does not have to pass through an FFL in the seller's state. And even though it may be technically against Connecticut law for the gentleman to possess the gun today in Connecticut, it's no more or less unlawful in his car than in his basement. FEDERAL law doesn't proscribe that gun, since (a) it's pre-ban, and (b) the ban expired eight years ago anyway.

So what would be the felony?
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Old January 20, 2013, 01:39 PM   #18
win-lose
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Please explain why/how it would be a felony for him to drive from Connecticut into Rhode Island, where according to Willie Sutton the Colt Sporter is not proscribed, and hand it to a Rhode Island FFL to sell on consignment?
Because the gun is illegal in CT..... and CT is the origin.
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Old January 20, 2013, 02:46 PM   #19
Aguila Blanca
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Because the gun is illegal in CT..... and CT is the origin.
So what? It's not illegal in RI, and it's not illegal under Federal law.

The CT law says he can't sell it in Connecticut.

As far as owning it, that's already illegal -- in Connecticut. What makes it any MORE illegal if he puts it in his car and drives into Rhode Island?

Cite the law, please.
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Old January 20, 2013, 03:16 PM   #20
win-lose
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As far as owning it, that's already illegal -- in Connecticut. What makes it any MORE illegal if he puts it in his car and drives into Rhode Island?
If pulled over in CT, he is now CAUGHT.

Here is what I wrote:
Quote:
While it is legal to sell the gun in another state, it is a felony to try and get it there. If by some bad luck, this poor guy gets pulled over CT, he is now caught in possession. If he makes the mistake of explaining what he is doing, he may get additional trafficking charges.
Perhaps I could have been clearer.

Last edited by win-lose; January 20, 2013 at 03:30 PM.
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Old January 20, 2013, 03:20 PM   #21
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Doesn't matter if the gun's origin is CT. He is illegal right now in CT. Oncehe crosses the line in RI, he's legal. The gun is legal for him to possess there. His gun could have been sitting in his cousin's closet in RI for the last 30 years.

He's just as illegal with it in his house as he would be driving to RI. Once he's there, he's good.
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Old January 20, 2013, 06:24 PM   #22
Aguila Blanca
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If his house catches fire and the fire marshal comes across the rifle while investigating the cause and origin of the fire, he's caught then too. Is it a felony if a wire shorts and your house catches fire?
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Old January 20, 2013, 07:52 PM   #23
win-lose
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If his house catches fire and the fire marshal comes across the rifle while investigating the cause and origin of the fire, he's caught then too. Is it a felony if a wire shorts and your house catches fire?
It is far more likely that you will have official interaction while traveling. You can get pulled over.... you can get harassed a check point.... you can break down... you get into an accident... etc...

The downside risks could be >$50K in attorney fees + jail time. The upside is $2-3K. Not worth it to me.... you may feel differently. That's what makes a horse race.
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Old January 20, 2013, 08:06 PM   #24
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I've been pulled over only once since 1980. Tell me again why the odds are that this guy will get pulled over? And why they would search the vehicle for a supposed traffic violation?
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Old January 20, 2013, 08:11 PM   #25
Ritz
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I appreciate the concern. RI is a 10 minute drive from his house and I believe the "contraband" is now sitting at a friendly gun shop that was recommended by one of his VFW friends and is for sale on consignment.

Thanks again for everyone's input.

Best,

p.s. I haven't been pulled over in 15 or 20 years and I doubt he's been pulled over since the 70's.
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