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Old January 18, 2001, 03:54 PM   #1
anand
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Greetings fellow members! I finally managed to buy a firearm after all the extra legal hoopla that Legal Aliens have to go through in order to buy guns.

I am an Indian(from India not Native American)and
No, I dont have a Green Card or Alien registration number, I am here only on a H-1 work visa which allows me to stay here for 3 years. Now I did mention in my previous posts that the only way legal aliens can buy guns, is if they are either:
1.A Diplomat designated by the Dept.of Justice or,
2.A LEO on official business from a friendly country or,
3.Has a waiver from the Attorney General allowing purchase of guns,or
4.Has a hunting license legally issued in the USA.
Now these are recent rules and I did buy guns in the past before these rules came into place.

What with the present political scenario, I decided the last of the above options was the best for me.

Anyway, I went to my friendly neighbourhood FFL,and went through the paperwork, and was initially 'delayed' and then given the 'proceed' after about 10 minutes of waiting. I then told my FFl to get me a 1911 frame from Caspian Arms and a Ciener .22 LR conversion kit so that I could have a dedicated plinker. Now the Caspian frame was ordered right away but because of a shipping error and a lost check(which was later found but had been cancelled) the whole process took more than 30 days. Now because of that I had to go through the NICS again and this time I was delayed again, Also I had to wait until the next morning to collect my pistol.
The agent that my FFL was dealing with seemed extremely knowledgeable about rules pertaining to firearms and aliens. A proof of residence(utility bills) was asked for,along with a copy of my hunting license. Now these were not asked for, when I had gone through the NICS the first time. Even so I drew attention to the law and gave my FFL copies of both proof of residence and my hunting license along with a copy of the actual statute in the FFL rule book & these were attached to my 4473 and filed away.
Now I learned a few things while going through this experience:
1.Not all FFL's know all the rules.
2.Not all NICS and/or ATF agents know all the rules.
3.Caspian Arms' customer service is not all that great.
4.Do your own research about the law.
5.Some ATF agents definitely don't like civilian firearm ownership.
Now unconnected to all this I was issued a Florida CCW License while I was a student.
It just seemed strange to me that I am legally allowed to carry a firearm in 17 states , but the Feds require that I go through extra stuff to buy a gun.
My FFL was extraordinarily helpful throughout the process and I will send more business his way for that. Other FFLs did'nt even listen to what I was saying, they treated me as if I was trying to buy a gun illegally.
If there are any Aliens wanting to buy guns or apply for CCW Licenses and they have any questions, my email :anand_119@hotmail.com
regards,
Anand



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Old January 18, 2001, 04:06 PM   #2
oktagon
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Now, can you emgine how dificult would it be for
E.T. to buy a gun?


Seriously, you are lucky because some states explicitly prohibit none-US citezens to buy handguns, so you are stuk with long guns only.
Before I got US citezenship I was almost unarmed.
All I had was couple of 12 gages and 3 AKs at home.
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Old January 18, 2001, 04:39 PM   #3
David Scott
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ET probably has a micro-molecular disintegration pistol that gets 35,000 shots off a single fusion cell. He don't need no 1911.

Eeeeee Teeeee.... phone nine one one... no way!
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZAP!

Excuse me, officer, would you put this mugger's remains in a matchbox and take them away, please?
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Old January 18, 2001, 04:53 PM   #4
SlackO
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You're lucky in one respect anand, I'm delayed for about a day every time I go thru NICS. I have a spotless record and have purchased quite a few firearms in the past 5 yrs or so. Go figure.
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Old January 18, 2001, 06:06 PM   #5
Ledbetter
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Might as well live in Kalifornia

I'm born and raised here and I get treated exactly the same way, 12 times a year.
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Old January 18, 2001, 07:06 PM   #6
Dave R
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Thanks for sharing your story for the benefit of others. I guess you are not surprised that our firearms laws are quite inconsistent.
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Old January 19, 2001, 05:54 AM   #7
Skorzeny
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anand:

Thank you for sharing your story. In your experience, is there a difference between an H-1 holder and a Permanent Resident (meaning a "Green Card" holder)?

Or are Permanent Residents treated the same as Citizens?

What about at the State level?

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Old January 21, 2001, 12:23 AM   #8
anand
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Skorzeny,
H-1 Visa holders do not have an Alien Registration Number, only Green Card Holders/Permanent Residents do. You can put down the Alien Registration number(ARN) on the 4473, and that, in my opinion would probably help things move a little faster. But then again its like putting in the SSN, however, ARN may be mandatory rather than voluntary, unlike a SSN.
At the State level, it is usually upto the FFL to stick to the rules and abide by them. Also unless there was something gone awfully wrong with a particular sale, such as the gun being used in a crime, there is usually little opportunity for the state to get involved.( Its possible that the BATF may conduct routine checks and find out there were discrepencies ,but that would involve only the BATF not the state.)
Now this may not be true for states that need prior licensing or subsequent registration for firearm ownership.
anand.
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Old January 21, 2001, 08:27 AM   #9
jfrancis
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I wonder if the rules have changed recently. A German friend of mine has purchased several guns on his H1B visa - none in the last year or so though.

I am a Permanent Resident (Green Card holder). Up to a few months ago I had the same gun buying rights as a US citizen. Now, however, I am required to provide proof of 3 months state (Florida) residency. This is despite the fact that I have a FL CCW permit. The Alien Registration Number is mandatory I think. My usual FFL always photocopies my Green Card and the residency proof stuff every time I buy.

I can apply for Citizenship this year. Can't wait!
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Old January 21, 2001, 05:41 PM   #10
Keith Rogan
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Well..... Why can't you just open up the newspaper and buy a gun from a private citizen instead of jumping through all the hoops that a dealer must comply with?

I'm not aware of any laws that prohibit aliens from owning a gun, just the federal nonsense that only applies to purchasing from gun dealers.

Am I missing something here?



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Old January 21, 2001, 06:07 PM   #11
jfrancis
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Sure, a non-citizen could do that. Sure cuts down the choice though
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Old January 21, 2001, 06:28 PM   #12
anand
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Sure we can buy guns from private sellers but we are scrutinized more than the average citizen and so I prefer to go through the FFLs, especially since I intend to eventually take the firearm back with me to my country.
It is easier then, to get permission to take it back, if the purchase was through a FFL.
Anand
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Old January 21, 2001, 07:20 PM   #13
slickpuppy
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I really don't like the idea of noncitizens being able to purchase firearms in our country. I find it unacceptable that a noncitizen has easier access to firearms than our own law abiding citizenry.

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Old January 21, 2001, 07:29 PM   #14
cuerno de chivo
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xenophobes :barf:

i'm all for it. it was supposed to be a free country, untill the democrats and republicans went about ruining it.
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Old January 21, 2001, 08:28 PM   #15
Battler
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This is a gray area of the law.

The original states that to buy a gun you must merely have lived in the state for x amount of time, and not be an illegal alien (or felon, etc. etc. unrelated to foreigners).

However, and FFL showed me, seems in a 96/97/something finance bill, someone tacked on that you must be a resident alien. Probably tacked on by a congressperson who didn't even know that there were in-between visa stages - i.e. probably just intended to block tourists from buying guns, not necessarily H1Bs (how many people know what a H1B is).

Thing is, most people haven't seen the latter - the ATF probably doesn't even deal with it often.

Thing is, to reject you, they need proof. You probably get delayed because something comes up "he's from overseas". Of course, it's probably too much trouble to check if you're a permanent resident, so they probably just let them go through after that.


A lot of gun laws are gray, and this is one they probably don't care too much about (compared to illegal configurations/felons).

Battler.


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Old January 22, 2001, 03:21 AM   #16
DAL
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Are we missing the point here? Why all of this crap to get a handgun? Did the time anand had to wait really accomplish a damn thing, other than to cause him frustration and put his name on the BATF's list? Is the world so much safer now? The govt. was apprehensive about this "alien" buying a handgun, but I'll bet they sure as hell have no compunction whatsoever about stealing his hard-earned money from his paycheck via the euphemistic term "withholding."

anand, you have my sympathy for your travails. I hope you enjoy your new gun in this great land of ours saddled with an intrusive, semi-criminal, out-of-control government.
DAL
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Old January 22, 2001, 06:36 AM   #17
jfrancis
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Slickpuppy, where do you get the idea that "a noncitizen has easier access to firearms than our own law abiding citizenry"? The whole point of this thread was that there were different rules for non-citizens. Battler has it right - these rule changes were probably enacted to prevent tourists and temporary visitors from buying firearms.
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Old January 22, 2001, 10:16 PM   #18
Skorzeny
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Doesn't it state specifically somewhere in the Constitution that foreign residents (assuming that they are here legally) of the United States are afforded the same legal protection (including the Second Amendment, presumably) as any other citizen?

I find it sad (for permanent residents) that they have to pay taxes like the rest of us, can be drafted for military service in case of national emergency (unlikely, but still...) just like the rest of us and have to observe all other laws just like the rest of us, but do not get to 1) vote, 2) serve as jurors AND worst still 3) have additional obstacles for purchasing firearms.

All this would be understandable if permanent residents have a good chance of obtaining citizenship in a reasonable time period, but unfortunately that is not the case (for example, backlogs at the manufacturing facility alone has help up citizenship documentation issues for at least 1 year).

I know one Thai-American doctor who (is now a National Guard colonel) spent 12 years jumping through hoops and spent tens of thousand of dollars to finally obtain his permanent residency and (eventually) his citizenship, despite the fact that he has been a productive, crime-free and highly patriotic resident of this country. In the mean time, criminals and illegal aliens have been given "general amnesty" and easy green cards and citizenships (particularly during the Clinton administration).

We sorely need immigration law reform...

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Old January 23, 2001, 11:58 AM   #19
UK2TX
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I'm not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV however...

As a L1-A visa holder here in Texas all the FFL I've dealt with do not know how the process works for foreigners.

Battler was correct as the amendment was passed in a farming appropriations bill! See http://www.currentlegal.com/LegalNew...8/105-277.html

In Dec 1999 BAFT sent a note to FFL saying that since the amendments to subsections (d)(5)(B), (g)(5)(B), and (s)(3)(B)(v)(II) of Title 18 section 922 sec 121 made it more difficult for foreigners to possess "could the FFL help out until the new forms were printed"
See
http://www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/bradylaw/alien.htm
(As an aside, we're now in 2001 and I've yet to see the "new" form.)

What the BAFT do not tell FFL's is that the amend to Title 18 section 922 sec 121 also says:
"(2) Exceptions.--Subsections (d)(5)(B), (g)(5)(B), and
(s)(3)(B)(v)(II) do not apply to any alien who has been lawfully admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa, if that alien is--
"(A) admitted to the United States for lawful hunting or sporting purposes or is in possession of a hunting license or permit lawfully issued in the United States;

Keith Rogan - The above laws apply to non-FFL's as well!
" (d) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person - <snip> (A) is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or (B) except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(26)));";"

So in a nutshell, you have to prove residency and have a hunting license to purchase a firearm even from a private citizen.

UK2TX
NRA Member ( God help Gore )
CHL holder ( God Bless Texas )
Bloody foreigner! ( God help Texas )


[Edited by UK2TX on 01-25-2001 at 10:45 PM]
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Old January 23, 2001, 04:41 PM   #20
Keith Rogan
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slickpuppy,

This country is supposed to represent the freedom of the individual. If non-citizens (here legally) want to buy guns here, I'm all for it.

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Old January 23, 2001, 06:55 PM   #21
slickpuppy
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No Xenophobia Here!

I believe firearms ownership and the right to vote in our country serve as a powerful incentive to those who enter our country on temporary work visas to become citizens.

I have worked with many people over the years that are here on H1 visas. Most of them have been from India. Most have been good people who I would like to see become citizens.
Some have expressed a strong desire to become citizens. Others wanted to make a quick buck and get out of Dodge to return to their homeland.

Currently, the laws on H1 entries makes it a difficult, lengthy process for them to become citizens. Their sponsors get rich off their labors and they get paid crap. I work with 6 of them right now. While their sponsors bill the client comparable rates to what I charge, they pay their people 1/3 of what I make after expenses. This is legal to do, too. As long as the client sees the same charges from citizen versus H1 labor the feds don't care. Hewlett Packard and Microsoft got reamed a few years ago because of the pay disparity and slick willie got the rules changed.

The laws affecting H1 entries is rigged against the folks coming over here and makes their sponsors VERY wealthy.

I would like to see those in the engineering fields eligible for expedited citizenship to put an end to this disparity.
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Old January 24, 2001, 04:54 AM   #22
Skorzeny
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Whoa! Wait a second!

Why only engineering field? Why not doctors? God knows we sorely need doctors in rural areas in this country. For that matter, why not people in other vocational fields?

In fact, why not give citizenships to all those who are 1) crime-free, 2) demonstrative of allegiance to the Constitution and 3) productive members of the society (find jobs and pay taxes)?

Afterall, for much of this country's early history, the standards were much looser, yet the country grew in size, power and prosperity from the labor of the immigrants.

On the flip side of the coin, we should apply the strictest penalties and censure for ILLEGAL immigration and really penalize any kind of illegal behavior.

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Old January 24, 2001, 08:16 AM   #23
jfrancis
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Slickpuppy, your point may be true in some fields - I don't believe it is true in mine (medical research). I came to the US in 1994 on an H1-B visa and was immediately paid very well (that's much of what attracted me in the first place). I have subsequently recruited 4-5 foreign scientists, all of whom were paid the same as any eligible US citizen. As an employer I would rather not go this route, but it is surprisingly difficult to find good "home-grown" PhDs interested in a career in medical research.

You are right in that it is not easy to convert the H1-B to Permanent Residency - and it's getting harder. I got mine in 1996 on the "National Interest Waiver" scheme, but this "fast-track" is slowing down rapidly.

I agree with Skorzeny - those are good criteria for citizenship.

TFL content: I wasn't into shooting when I lived in the UK - it would have been difficult anyway. I love this country
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Old January 24, 2001, 01:52 PM   #24
Jim March
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This is one area where gun laws have gotten BETTER!

When California's discretionary CCW "system" was put in place in 1923, it included a ban on giving permits to non-citizens.

But much worse was that the penalties for illegally packing if you were a LEGAL alien resident were the same as for a native-born previously convicted FELON even if the alien resident had no criminal history.

Both of these provisions have been stripped from the Penal Codes. The area of the penal codes that cover the penalties for illegal packing have since migrated to different section numbers than the CCW issuance rules but they were both created at the same time under just one act in 1923.

This will become a major issue in my lawsuit against my Sheriff's discretionary practices currently underway in Federal court in San Francisco. Under US Supreme Court precedent, a law can be thrown off of the books if it has both a racist past and a current racial pattern of enforcement. Proving these is easy and factoring in that the state courts have already gutted two other bits of racism from this same law is just icing on the diseased cake.

The last bit of course is the discretionary elements in issuance. I'm gonna kill it off.

Jim March
Equal Rights for CCW Home Page
http://www.ninehundred.com/~equalccw
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Old January 24, 2001, 06:11 PM   #25
Marko Kloos
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I'm a US Permanent Resident, and I have never had an issue with anyone in regards to the purchase of firearms in my new home country. I have a current CCW permit issued by the state of Tennessee, which says that the applicant for a CCW has to be a legal resident of Tennessee. Green Card holders have the same rights as citizens when it comes to permits and the purchase of handguns.

I will become a citizen this September after five years of residency, and I am looking forward to it. Now, I've paid a significant amount of money into the U.S. treasury by way of income tax withholding on my paychecks. I live here, work here, try to stay out of trouble, and use all opportunities laid before me to be a productive member of society. Now, just because the INS says I am not eligible for citizenship until the five-year mark, do I forfeit my right to self-defense? Does the government which takes my money have the right to tell me that I cannot own a self-defense tool? Even the past administration didn't think so, for all their anti-gun fervor. And it is most definitely not easier for non-citizens to get guns...if anything, we have to fulfill the same requirements as citizens. It gets progressively difficult if you don't have a Green Card.
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