View Full Version : Gun Laws and Native Americans?

December 23, 2008, 11:05 PM
First off, please don't take this the wrong way as I'm simply curious. A gentleman who recently attended the SHOT show told me that an ATF officer there told him that while rarely if ever enforced, a federal law prohibiting the sale of guns to Native Americans (American Indians if you prefer) is still on the books. Anyone know anything about this? I've known of other Draconian laws that were never repealed but are no longer enforced (such as a central Illinois town with a law prohibiting African Americans from being on the street after dusk).

44 AMP
December 24, 2008, 12:34 PM
and likely the law is still on the books somewhere. Enforcable in todays society? Doubtful. Although it may be technically enforcable, if the native American in question lives on a reservation, and claims soverignty of the nation. I am unsure about the exact legal status, but are not reservations technically "independant nations"? If so, then are the "indians" US citizens? If not citizens, selling a gun to one would involve more than the usual paperwork.

A/C Guy
December 24, 2008, 09:03 PM
As a result of that law and the general bias against guns on the reservation, Red Mountain Trap and Skeet club was closed by the council this year with no advance warning. The general consensus is that the Indians will be closing the reservations to all shooting sports.

December 24, 2008, 11:49 PM
and I had heard you could get full auto guns on reservations b.c of the sovereign nation deal

December 25, 2008, 07:35 AM
and went ahead and got a CT pistol permit.... then just before I headed out to the week long event I realized even though I was in the middle of the state I was not legally in CT... but on an Indian Reservation and their constitution forbid any guns unless you had a permit from them. The funny thing is I think all these reservations/casino laws are written by some place down in Florida.

Oddly enough Native Americans don't seem to be too gun friendly, at least not toward white folks with guns... wonder why? I guess If all else fails I'll fall back on the 1/8th Cherokee blood I got.

Double J
January 20, 2009, 11:32 AM
Most reservations are consistant with state and federal laws. But they may also have their own local regulations. Some require registration or permits for a given firearm. Best to ask information from the tribal agency or tribal council for that particular res.
Some welcome hunters as a source of income. Some just plain don't like strangers with guns. Tribal cops are a good place for info. They'll let you know quick what's O.K. and what's not.

Don H
January 20, 2009, 03:36 PM
are not reservations technically "independant nations"? If so, then are the "indians" US citizens?
They possibly have dual citizenship, as do a number of U.S. citizens.

January 20, 2009, 04:27 PM
I am pretty sure they are US citizens. Reservations are sovereign territories of the US, not independent nations.

Tommy Vercetti
January 20, 2009, 04:59 PM
so am I breaking laws by buying guns? I have a state driver's license, state pistol license and am a voting member of my tribe :D

Don H
January 20, 2009, 05:23 PM
Tribal Sovereignty as a Paradox
While the U.S. government recognizes American Indian Tribes as sovereign nations, the U.S. congress is recognized by the courts as having the right to limit the sovereign powers of tribes. However, Congress must do so in definite terms and not by implication.

What Does This Mean?

Tribes remain sovereign nations and possess self-government.
Tribes have a nation-to-nation relationship with the U.S. federal government.
Only Congres has plenary (overriding) power over Indian affairs.
State governance is generally not permitted within reservations.


January 21, 2009, 06:45 AM
Mohegan Sun in Ct and their policy for visitors was absolutely no guns allowed. Since I don't plan to go back I guess i'll admit now I had both a 9mm pistol and a 9mm carbine and about 200 rounds of ammo in mags that fit both in my room. I arrived on the day of the Virginia Tech Shooting, I wonder sometimes what the folks that run the place would have thought or done if they had known......

I was not about to leave the guns in a car, which was parked way out in the boonies... besides that, never left the place for a week... no place to go unless you want to get back on the interstate and drive for a while.