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Old June 5, 2012, 12:57 PM   #2
Spats McGee
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 6,866
Caveat: I am a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. For that matter, I am not licensed in Texas. Accordingly, this post is worth what you paid for it. Were I the one asking your questions, I'd wait a while so that other TFLers can chime in. I'll be the first to tell you that if I've messed up something here, and you act on it, you could wind up in prison.

With that out of the way, smgreen, welcome to TFL!

As far as I know, there's no prohibition on taking firearms in trade in Texas. Federal law is silent as to the issue, and I'd be very surprised in TX had a "no tradin' fer guns" statute. However, there are a couple of provisions of which you need to be aware. Other TFL denizens, please correct me if I'm wrong. I'd hate to steer smgreen wrong on this. Now, you state that you own a business in TX, and I'm operating on the assumption that you reside in TX, as well. If not, that changes the equation.

(1) As a one-time or occasional trade, this is not prohibited by federal law. However, I would be cautious about doing this on a regular basis, espeically if you have an eye towards getting the guns, then selling them for cash. If that's the plan, the BATFE could decide that you are "engaged in the business" of dealing in firearms. If you are "engaged in the business," then you have to have your FFL. The BATFE says, "[t]he term “engaged in the business,” as applicable to a firearms dealer, is defined as a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms." citing 27 CFR 478.11. Source:

(2) If anyone who is not a resident of TX wants to make such a trade, you'll need to go through an FFL. If it's a long gun that the person wants to trade you, it can go through an FFL in either your state (TX) or that person's state. If the person wants to trade you a handgun, it must be an FFL in your state (TX).

(3) If it's someone who resides in TX, and you also reside in TX, then TX law governs that. Federal law doesn't require anything special on transfers between private (non-FFL) parties who are residents of the same state.

Hope this was of some help.
I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. If you need some honest-to-goodness legal advice, go buy some.
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