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Old July 8, 2013, 11:56 PM   #1
nemo2econ
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In what states may out-of-state buyers purchase firearms?

With the normal assumptions (legal ID, ability to pass an FFL background check, etc.) in what states may out-of-state buyers purchase firearms from directly from a licensed FFL dealer? I was in North Carolina last summer and ran into a "no" from a dealer on a good specimen that I had been interested in.

I know that it is possible to have an FFL in one state send a gun to an FFL in another state, but that doubles the fees that these fine folks necessarily have to charge for their work to comply with the Federal regulatory overhead.
  • Are there any states where direct sales to non-residents is legal and normal?
  • Does anyone maintain a state-by-state list of where this might be acceptable? (and perhaps make it available on the web?)
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Old July 9, 2013, 12:12 AM   #2
allaroundhunter
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Re: In what states may out-of-state buyers purchase firearms?

You can buy long guns in other states, but not handguns. And then, you can only buy long guns that are legal to own in your state (or otherwise you cannot take them back). Those are not state laws, they are federal laws.
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Old July 9, 2013, 07:08 AM   #3
cecILL
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Check out a C&R license.
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Old July 9, 2013, 08:10 AM   #4
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Often it's not a matter of law but something the FFL doesn't want to mess with. I live in PA right on the border with NY. Several dealers in the area won't sell to someone from NY because they don't know NY gun laws.
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Old July 9, 2013, 09:06 AM   #5
Aguila Blanca
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See post #2. Plus ... the sale must be legal according to the laws of BOTH states. If the FFL in the selling state doesn't know the laws in your home state, he/she would likely decline on that basis.
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Old July 9, 2013, 09:21 AM   #6
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Also bear in mind that just because the sale is legal does not necessarily mean that the dealer must make the sale.
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Old July 9, 2013, 09:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Check out a C&R license.
Only good with regards to C&R firearms. Does no good for modern day firearms.
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Old July 9, 2013, 11:46 AM   #8
Frank Ettin
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It's primarily a matter of federal law. Here's the whole federal law story on interstate transfers of firearms (not including the rules for those with Curio and Relic licenses and the subject of dual residency):
  1. Under federal law, any transfer (with a few, narrow exceptions, e. g., by bequest under a will) from a resident of one State to a resident of another must be through an FFL. The transfer must comply with all the requirements of the State in which the transfer is being done as well as all federal formalities (e. g., completion of a 4473, etc.).

  2. In the case of handguns, it must be an FFL in the transferee's State of residence. You may obtain a handgun in a State other than your State of residence, BUT it must be shipped by the transferor to an FFL in your State of residence to transfer the handgun to you.

  3. In the case of long guns, it may be any FFL as long as (1) the long gun is legal in the transferee's State of residence; and (2) the transfer complies with the laws of the State in which it takes place; and (3) the transfer complies with the law of the transferee's State of residence. In connection with the transfer of a long gun, some FFLs will not want to handle the transfer to a resident of another State, because they may be uncertain about the laws of that State. And if the transferee resides in some States (e. g., California), the laws of the State may be such that an out-of-state FFL will not be able to conduct a transfer that complies.

  4. There are no exceptions under the applicable federal laws for gifts, whether between relatives or otherwise, nor is there any exception for transactions between relatives.

  5. The relevant federal laws may be found at: 18 USC 922(a)(3); 18 USC 922(a)(5); and 18 USC 922(b)(3).

  6. Here's what the statutes say:
    Quote:
    18 U.S.C. 922. Unlawful acts

    (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, except that this paragraph
    (A) shall not preclude any person who lawfully acquires a firearm by bequest or intestate succession in a State other than his State of residence from transporting the firearm into or receiving it in that State, if it is lawful for such person to purchase or possess such firearm in that State,

    (B) shall not apply to the transportation or receipt of a firearm obtained in conformity with subsection (b)(3) of this section, and (C) shall not apply to the transportation of any firearm acquired in any State prior to the effective date of this chapter;
    ...

    (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; except that this paragraph shall not apply to
    (A) the transfer, transportation, or delivery of a firearm made to carry out a bequest of a firearm to, or an acquisition by intestate succession of a firearm by, a person who is permitted to acquire or possess a firearm under the laws of the State of his residence, and

    (B) the loan or rental of a firearm to any person for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes;
    ....

    (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 (or if the person is a corporation or other business entity, does not maintain a place of business 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 any licensed manufacturer, importer or dealer shall be presumed, for purposes of this subparagraph, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to have had actual knowledge of the State laws and published ordinances of both States), and

    (B) shall not apply to the loan or rental of a firearm to any person for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes;
    ...
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Old July 9, 2013, 01:36 PM   #9
1-DAB
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http://crime.about.com/od/gunlawsbys...gunlaws_nm.htm

Quote:
Purchase

No state permit is required to purchase a rifle, shotgun or handgun. Residents of states contiguous to New Mexico may purchase firearms in New Mexico. Residents of New Mexico may purchase firearms in states contiguous to New Mexico.
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Old July 9, 2013, 01:46 PM   #10
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1-DAB
http://crime.about.com/od/gunlawsbys...gunlaws_nm.htm

Quote:
Purchase

No state permit is required to purchase a rifle, shotgun or handgun. Residents of states contiguous to New Mexico may purchase firearms in New Mexico. Residents of New Mexico may purchase firearms in states contiguous to New Mexico.
Wrong, or at least misleading. See discussion of federal law, above. Even if New Mexico law might allow a non-resident to buy a handgun, federal law does not.
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Old July 9, 2013, 01:51 PM   #11
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That bit about New Mexico seems to run counter to every other info source, and counter to Fed law. I'm pretty sure an individual state doesn't have the right to disregard the Fed law and sell to surrounding states. And it surely doesn't have the right to tell the surrounding states that they can sell to NM residents.

I would take that website advice with some rock salt.


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Old July 9, 2013, 01:55 PM   #12
Spats McGee
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It may be that NM's laws are simply outdated. If I'm not mistaken (& I count on y'all to tell me if I am), that federal law used to be (up until ~1986 or so) that one could buy firearms in states contiguous to one's state of residence.
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Old July 9, 2013, 06:16 PM   #13
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spats McGee
...If I'm not mistaken (& I count on y'all to tell me if I am), that federal law used to be (up until ~1986 or so) that one could buy firearms in states contiguous to one's state of residence....
That was long guns only. And in context is was a limitation to contiguous States.

So until 1986, one could take possession of a handgun purchased in another State only from an FFL in his State of residence, but he could take possession of a long gun from an FFL in a State contiguous to his State of residence. Since 1986, that contiguous State limitation no longer applies under federal law.

Note however, that the FFL requirement has applied to all interstate transfers since 1968.
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Old July 9, 2013, 07:26 PM   #14
hermannr
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Spats is correct: After 1968 so states changed their state laws to conform to the federal "contiguous" state requirement for the transfer of long guns. After the federal law was changed and the long gun "contiguous state" requirement went away, some states did not change their local state law to reflect that change. (NY is one I know)

Looks like NM needs to update their law.
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Old July 9, 2013, 09:00 PM   #15
SgtLumpy
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Somebody summarize for me, please.

Long gun or handgun - To buy from another state does it need to go through an FFL in your own state?

Or is there still something different for long guns?


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Old July 9, 2013, 09:04 PM   #16
2ndsojourn
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Sgt Lumpy, interstate transfer of long guns need only go through an FFL in the originating state. Interstate transfer of handguns need to go through a FFL of the resident's state.
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Old July 9, 2013, 09:22 PM   #17
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ndsojourn
interstate transfer of long guns need only go through an FFL in the originating state. Interstate transfer of handguns need to go through a FFL of the resident's state.
Not exactly.
  1. Handgun -- FFL in transferee's State of residence.

  2. Long gun -- any FFL, maybe. See post 8:
    Quote:
    ...In the case of long guns, it may be any FFL as long as (1) the long gun is legal in the transferee's State of residence; and (2) the transfer complies with the laws of the State in which it takes place; and (3) the transfer complies with the law of the transferee's State of residence. In connection with the transfer of a long gun, some FFLs will not want to handle the transfer to a resident of another State, because they may be uncertain about the laws of that State. And if the transferee resides in some States (e. g., California), the laws of the State may be such that an out-of-state FFL will not be able to conduct a transfer that complies....
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Last edited by Frank Ettin; July 10, 2013 at 10:36 AM. Reason: correct typo
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Old July 11, 2013, 03:22 AM   #18
jimpeel
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Here in CO a resident of any state that shares a border with CO may buy a firearm within this state but they have to be physically present.
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Old July 11, 2013, 11:16 AM   #19
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimpeel
Here in CO a resident of any state that shares a border with CO may buy a firearm within this state but they have to be physically present.
That is wrong.

Under federal law:
  • It would only apply to long guns. A handgun would need to be shipped by the transferor to an FFL in the transferee's State of residence for transfer, on a 4473, to the transferee.

  • Even in the case of a long gun, the transfer must be done on a 4473 by an FFL.

  • Even in the case of a long gun the gun must be legal in the transferee's State of residence and the transfer must be legal under the laws of the transferee's State of residence.
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