View Full Version : Non US citizen and firearms

October 8, 2008, 03:53 PM
I will be travelling to the US in april and plan on doing a lot of hiking. I would like to get a handgun in case "non sociable" wildlife. Is it legal for me to purchase or rent a gun?

Was looking at the California AG website and it looks like as long as i don't use the visa waiver program it should be ok.

Anyone know any more on this?


October 8, 2008, 04:21 PM
From: http://www.vrolyk.org/guns/alien-laws.html

Federal Issues:

In general, non-immigrant aliens are forbidden to possess any firearms or ammunition. But there is a big exception for a legal alien who:

...is in possession of a hunting license or permit lawfully issued in the United States

(See Title 18, USC Chapter 44, Section 922, part (y)(2) for details.)

Green-card holders and immigrant aliens who do not yet have their green card are both okay under federal law, although many people (including gun dealers, law enforcement officers, etc.) are not aware of the distinction or the hunting license exception, and erroneously think that either you have a green card, or you can't have guns.

Also, non-citizen cannot purchase a firearm from a federally licensed firerams dealer unless they have been a resident of their state for 90 days. So, no, tourists on short visits cannot walk into guns stores to get "protection" during their trip. Sorry. (I've been asked that multiple times.)

October 8, 2008, 04:22 PM
I believe you have to be a legal alien (ie have a green card) or be a citizen over the age of 18 for long guns and 21 for handguns relative to purchase from a licensed dealer. I don't believe you can purchase a firearm with a tourist visa or education visa. Others can correct me if I'm wrong.

October 8, 2008, 05:05 PM
If you are doing your hiking in California, you are out of luck. First, many places you may wish to go hiking such as state and federal parks have a prohibition on carrying a gun. California also has additional prohibitions on aliens transporting firearms. So even should you be able to get a gun, you may not be able to carry it.

As stated, you can possess a firearm if you have both a state issued hunting license and an alien number or admission number from the Department of Homeland Security.

However, you cannot purchase a firearm from a FFL without also being a resident of that state for 90 days. California does not allow the face-to-face purchasing of handguns, so the only way to purchase a handgun is from a FFL. That locks you out.

There is a process for bringing your own gun (submit ATF Form 6 NIA (Application and Permit for Importation of Firearms, Ammunition and Implements of War by Nonimmigrant Aliens)). You must still deal with state laws, however.

October 8, 2008, 07:14 PM
could someone explain this part?

Non-U.S. citizens that are in the country legally can have a PFEC conducted. You must include your Alien Registration or I-94 number on the PFEC application, and include a copy of your Alien Registration or I-94 card with your application package. A valid Alien Registration or I-94 card is required at the time of purchase of any firearm. Non-U.S. citizen applicants must also meet certain federal requirements to purchase a firearm, unrelated to the firearms eligibility background check.

??? A quick wiki (yeah real reliable i know) suggests it's just a non immigrant entry card?

In any case it looks like it might just be easier to fill out the ATF forms and bring my own.
Also looks like i'll have to leave it at the hotel for the sierra nevadas since it seems they are US national park and federal land????

Thanks for all the replies

October 8, 2008, 09:31 PM
find someone on the board who carries and will go hiking with you. Buy them lunch. Very cheap solution.

October 9, 2008, 12:21 AM
I always wanted to ask this question. So what abt a person who is in US on for work i.e. on H1 visa? Can he/she legally own a firearm?

October 9, 2008, 04:49 AM
You may have better luck on a hiking trip in Wyoming than CA. Do you guys have some equivilent of a hunters safety course? Usually while in possesion of some hunting license you have more leeway carrying a non-concealed handgun. Some type of pepper spray is also an option if you want to carry something. Of course state laws vary.

October 9, 2008, 10:54 AM
Is there a possibility for a CCW permit? I have talked to a couple of Canadians who have Washington, Utah or other state permits that are not US citizens.

October 9, 2008, 11:26 PM
You may have better luck on a hiking trip in Wyoming than CA. Do you guys have some equivilent of a hunters safety course

not per se but here you need to pass a firearms safety course before they'll consider issuing you a license

October 10, 2008, 05:39 PM
Did you ever think about what you would do with the gun when you went back home? I seriously doubt if you would be able to take it back home with you! :eek:

October 11, 2008, 05:50 PM
Did you ever think about what you would do with the gun when you went back home? I seriously doubt if you would be able to take it back home with you!

As long as it met the requirements why not?

October 11, 2008, 07:08 PM
How about a large canister of bear spray, that is pepper spray, I believe? Can't he have that as a visitor, and also can't that be carried by hikers? Might be more effective than a stick and I suppose that getting access to a protective firearm for a short stay would be rather difficult at the least. Especially in "that" state?