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Old November 18, 2008, 12:22 PM   #1
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Join Date: November 18, 2008
Location: Chicago-land, Illinois
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Help a newbie: C&R and collecting

Hello everyone,

I'm looking to get into firearms - mostly for plinking. I love history and historical weapons are pretty cool to me. Basically, I'm trying to find out if I need a C&R for my purposes:

I don't plan on amassing a huge arsenal of historical weapons, total I envision about a half dozen; where should I start looking if I don't have a C&R? Pawn shops? Gun shows? I don't need a C&R to buy at those places as long as I have a FOID, correct?

How much of a hassle is it to get a C&R? I have seen some really good deals on neat historical weapons (including the Nagant revolver it looks like some people on here have) for low prices online. I do most of my shopping online, so figure it would only be a natural step forward to shop for firearms online.

Of those who collect historical firearms, do you mostly just display/collect them or do you shoot with them? Firearms are (usually) pretty simple mechanisms, so as long as they are maintained well I would assume they still shoot well. I can't imagine myself doing much shooting, but I would like to be able to take a prized historical piece to the range and let it do its thing.
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Old November 18, 2008, 12:34 PM   #2
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Location: Phoenix, Arizona
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Most people get a c&r license to help them buy firearms for a lesser cost than the average Joe. It is quite simple to fill out the forms. The wait can be a little long, but not always. You can buy c&r weapons without a license at almost any gun store, pawn shop, gun show etc. I personally have never bought a gun from a pawn shop, but have heard of people getting good deals, I'm not sure that most pawnshop workers are adept at judging the quality of a firearm, so most of my purchases were at gun shops. Once I became more confident in my ability to tell the clunkers from the good ones, I started making gun show buys. I've gotten some breauties over the years.
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Old November 18, 2008, 12:35 PM   #3
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C&R is really easy to get if you don't have a criminal hostory or such. Took me less than six weeks. Cost $30. You will probably be money ahead on your first or second gun. Also you add a number to the ranks of FFL holders, so politicians know who they are ticking off. If everyone who was interested in firearms got a '03 FFL at a cost of $30 what a point that would make.
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Old November 18, 2008, 12:43 PM   #4
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Join Date: October 20, 2007
Location: Richardson, TX
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I'm not familiar with the regulations in Chicago-land, so I can't comment on the FOID thing or other such restrictions. Check your local laws.

You don't necessarily need a C&R to collect old firearms. The main benefits are:

1) You can buy C&R firearms from out-of-state individuals.

2) You can buy C&R firearms through the mail, and have them shipped directly to you.

3) If you go to an out-of-state gun show, you can buy C&R firearms directly from an out-of-state FFL without having to go to their registered place of business to complete the transaction (rifle or shotgun) or being forced to do a transfer through an in-state FFL (handgun).

4) It simplifies the background-check process for C&R firearms. Unless otherwise restricted by state law (check your local regulations), you can simply hand the dealer a signed copy of your C&R FFL and the money and walk out with the gun, rather than having to fill out a Form 4473 and wait for the FFL to make the phone call. (This only works for C&R guns though.)

5) You get discounts from mail-order houses such as Midway and Brownells on regular everyday gun stuff (ammo, tools, apparel, etc.), not just stuff directly associated with C&R guns. This in itself can pay for the C&R FFL fees in short order.

Regarding #2, you can often save significant amounts of money this way if buying from mail order surplus dealers such as J&G Sales, AIM Surplus, or Classic Arms. The disadvantage is that you obviously don't get a chance to inspect the guns before you buy.

The license is easy and cheap to get, the only problem is the wait. It's short in some areas but not in others. Figure on at least a month.
I don't plan on amassing a huge arsenal of historical weapons, total I envision about a half dozen...
<snicker snicker> heh heh... let me know how that goes. <Runs out the door and busts out laughing>
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak
carguychris is offline  
Old November 18, 2008, 01:06 PM   #5
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Join Date: October 20, 2007
Location: Richardson, TX
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It occured to me that it's probably wise to explain what a C&R license won't do. The federal regulations regarding C&Rs are generally written to work within the context of state laws, not to trump them. To that end:

1) A C&R FFL does not allow you to make an end run around state-imposed AWB-style restrictions on the types of firearms that may be purchased or owned. Some C&R firearms remain illegal in some states.

2) It does not exempt you from laws requring gun registration, licensing, or training for gun owners.

3) AFAIK it does not exempt you from all Brady background checks in all states under all circumstances. (Sombody feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on this one.)

4) It does not give you the magical ability to purchase special guns that could not be purchased by a private individual who's willing to jump through the regular out-of-state transfer hoops.*

5) It does not give you any special priveleges related to the purchase of guns that are not C&R-eligible.

6) It does not give you any special priveleges for carrying certain types of guns (including concealed carry) and/or hunting with them.

{EDIT} *Footnote: Of course, an out-of-state seller may refuse to sell you a gun simply because they don't want to bother with shipping it to your local FFL! The law doesn't tell them that they're required to ship it to any potential buyer...
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak

Last edited by carguychris; November 18, 2008 at 01:18 PM.
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