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Old March 9, 2014, 12:53 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: January 22, 2014
Location: Floyd, VA
Posts: 110
Identification documentation confusion in buying a handgun

I am finding a discrepancy between Federal law (BATFE) and State law (Virginia) regarding the identification documentation needed to purchase a firearm (handgun).

I own homes in two States (NJ and VA) and live part of the year in each State. Under 27 CFR 478.11 (page 39), I am a resident of Virginia while living in VA, and a resident of NJ while living in NJ, but I have an NJ driver's license. Since I am a dual resident, according to BATFE I can buy a handgun in any State using my NJ license provided I also have a government issued document showing my address in the State of purchase.

The following is from BATFE form 4473 for purchasing firearms:

"For example, if a U.S. citizen has two States of residence and is trying to buy a handgun in State X, he may provide a driver's license (showing his name, date of birth, and photograph) issued by State Y and another government-issued document (such as a tax document) from State X showing his residence address."

This conflicts, however, with the Code of Virginia, 18.2-308.2:2, which states:

"To establish personal identification and residence in Virginia for purposes of this section, a dealer must require any prospective purchaser to present one photo-identification form issued by a governmental agency of the Commonwealth or by the United States Department of Defense, and other documentation of residence." (emphasis added)

So, while BATFE says my NJ license is acceptable ID (when supplemented by proof of residency in VA), the State of Virginia requires that my photo ID must be issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Can States add such additional restrictions to Federal law? In cases of such conflict, who prevails?

In NJ, the bad guys are armed and the households are alarmed. In VA, the households are armed and the bad guys are alarmed.
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