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Old December 19, 2010, 05:49 PM   #1
trg42wraglefragle
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Working in US

Hi there.
I may have the opportunity to work in the US for a year of more in Colorado.
I am 19 and live in New Zealand and have a NZ firearms licence.
I was wondering if I did go over for work, would I be able to either use firearms or purchase them?
The US firearm laws are completely different to th NZ ones.

Thank you
Sam
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Old December 19, 2010, 06:30 PM   #2
wogpotter
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It is legal to buy sell & use firearms as long as you are a LEGAL RESIDENT ALIEN.
You will probably have to jump through local hoops about time to establish residence & so on to comply with a patchwork quilt of local & state laws, but there is no specific prohibition on Resident Aliens firearms ownership as such.
I know as I are one.
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Old December 19, 2010, 11:07 PM   #3
Carne Frio
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You would need to be 21 to purchase handguns, 18 for
long guns plus have residency.

You can shoot them at any age.
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Old December 20, 2010, 02:07 AM   #4
trg42wraglefragle
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Thats cool! Atleast I could use them.
I could get a work visa for sure but I dont know about residency, from what i've read and heard its quite hard to become a resident. Was it hard wogpotter?

Ill at least buy a few scopes, because they're about half the price over there.
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Old December 20, 2010, 03:42 AM   #5
natman
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It is relatively simple to buy firearms if you are a resident alien, i.e. you have a "green" card. However resident alien status is for those who live in the US permanently and have established residence.

If you are a non-resident alien, then it is a bit more complex. You can buy a firearm if you have a hunting license, but the regulations for getting one vary from state to state.

For more info:

http://www.atf.gov/publications/news...er-2008-11.pdf
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Old December 20, 2010, 04:32 AM   #6
divil
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trg42wraglefragle, you will be what's known as a "non-immigrant alien". Under federal law must have a valid hunting license in order to be in possession of firearms or ammunition. Even if you go to a range that rents guns, or someone takes you shooting, you still need that. If you're not actually going to go hunting, then it doesn't matter what state your hunting license is from. Some states will sell them to you online.

Once you have a hunting license, in order to buy a gun, you'll need the following:
-utility bills proving 90 days of residency (don't bother trying until you've been in the country for more than 90 continuous days, you will be denied at the background check)
-your immigration documentation (probably an I-94 form stapled into your passport) with your alien/admission number
-a driver's license for the state you're in
-your social security number (optional but highly recommended)
-a firearms dealer who won't freak out at the idea of having to fill in the form a little differently (these can be hard to find)

You will need to write your alien number on the form (there's a section specially for that). If they call in the background check in front of you, listen carefully - if they get stuck on the alien number, i.e. you hear the dealer repeating it to the NICS agent again and again, it usually means they have missed the fact that you're a non-immigrant alien. There's a question on the form specifically for that but they often overlook it because they'll expect you to have answered "no". I've had to point this out while they're on the phone a few times and it has always solved the problem.

Finally, don't be surprised if you get denied the first time. You can appeal but it takes quite a while. I would simply try again a month later if I were you.
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Old December 20, 2010, 07:05 AM   #7
1911rocks
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Another detail

trg42wraglefragle:

Another consideration is that since we are a Democratic Republic and the 10th Amendment sets aside (vaguely) Rights for the States, there can be Major differences in Firearms Regulations from State to State. I live in Indiana and our Firearms Statutes are quite liberal compared to many ie California (probably the strictest) to Vermont (one of the least regulated). So it will also depend on what State you are in. There is seldom reciprocity between States. The exception that comes to mind is the Utah Concealed Carry Permit which, I believe is recognized by 29 States. Oh, and Suppressors, though openly accessible in NZ are strictly regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934.

Hopefully, you won't get saddle with all the California Regulations. I would not be surprise if CA has additional restrictions on Aliens. They have a Magazine Capacity limitation of 10 rounds. Regulations regarding which handgun can be purchased. That is why many of us refer to CA as the People Republik of Kalifornia.
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Old December 20, 2010, 07:20 AM   #8
trg42wraglefragle
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Thanks for the info guys, it sounds like its going to be alot of hard work, maybe i'll just make friends with gun owners.
You've mentioned holding a green card and getting permanent residence, how hard is this to obtain? I'd love to live in the great US of A
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Old December 20, 2010, 09:47 AM   #9
atlctyslkr
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It's hard to get a green card. I know several law abiding hard working immigrants who pay taxes (the kind of immigrants we need here) who have been struggling for years. If you plan to stay here just marry a citizen.
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Old December 20, 2010, 10:12 AM   #10
brickeyee
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"It's hard to get a green card. I know several law abiding hard working immigrants who pay taxes (the kind of immigrants we need here) who have been struggling for years. If you plan to stay here just marry a citizen."

There are numerous visas available for skilled workers, and the employer normally sponsors them and obtains the visa.

Under a tourist visa (or no visa from select countries) employment is prohibited.

For gun buying purposes establishing residency is actually not that hard.

It does vary from state to state though, but a lease is good in most places.
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Old December 20, 2010, 01:00 PM   #11
Carne Frio
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I'll bet that when you start you job here, that more than a few of
you coworkers are shooters. Offer to buy them ammo and trade
them for trigger time on their guns. You could very well end up
shooting a wider variety of guns than you could purchase, make
new friends and have a lot of fun. Anytime I hear "Who wants to
go shooting" I'm up for it.
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Old December 20, 2010, 01:08 PM   #12
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atlctyslkr
It's hard to get a green card. I know several law abiding hard working immigrants who pay taxes (the kind of immigrants we need here) who have been struggling for years. If you plan to stay here just marry a citizen.
Just how have these "law abiding" immigrants been working here and paying taxes if they don't have green cards? Are they here legally? If not ... how can you possibly describe them as "law abiding"?
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Old December 20, 2010, 02:10 PM   #13
brickeyee
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Illegals are normally required to return to their home country and apply.

There is a lottery for unskilled workers.
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Old December 20, 2010, 09:05 PM   #14
wally626
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Quote:
Just how have these "law abiding" immigrants been working here and paying taxes if they don't have green cards? Are they here legally? If not ... how can you possibly describe them as "law abiding"?
There are forms of immigrant status that allow you to work, but are not permanent. Many companies hire skilled workers using these Visa. I have no idea what the requirements required to get switched to a permanent visa, i.e. Green Card.
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Old December 21, 2010, 11:22 AM   #15
mes227
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Several posts here have given excellent advise on the process for a resident alien (and by "resident" the law only requires that you be currently living in the US, there's no requirement for "permanent" status nor is there really any such thing). Immigration papers plus proof that you currently live here (utility bills, etc) are what the law requires, but each FFL (retail store where you'll be buying the gun) apply those laws to differing levels of strictness and thus if one store denies you simply try another. As an example, I live in a rural area and my driver's license has as my address a PO Box. The law requires that I have something government issued with my physical address. Most stores accept a print-out from the DMV that is obtainable off the internet (one's driving history) or a my property tax bill. But Cabela's won't accept the DMV document unless it was obtained in person from DMV nor will they accept my property tax bill because it has in addition to the street address my company's mailing address which is across the state line in Calif. Neither of these restrictions are required by the law but Cabela's takes a very conservative approach.

An interesting loop-hole exists with sales between private people (in some states) and purchasing at gun shows, both of which allow abbreviated proof of residency. In Nevada, for example, any legal resident can sell a handgun to any other legal resident (of proper age) without going through an FFL or registering the sale. Thus, a drivers license or state-issued ID card (or presumably utility bill or rental contract for your home) is shown and that's the end of it - no calling in for background checks, etc. This approach saves both the federal transfer fee and sales tax. (by the way, many states will issue driver's licenses or ID card to legal aliens.)
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Old December 21, 2010, 01:05 PM   #16
wogpotter
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To clarify.
"Legal Resident" is different from "Legal Immigrant" which is in turn different from "Illegal Immigrant", or "Undocumented Alien".

You need to be a "Legal Resident", nothing more to qualify for firearms ownership, but you will have to meet multiple sets of rules, for things like age & so on, as well as others have described. "Illegal Immigrant", or "Undocumented Alien" is NOT a legal status & isn't qualified for anything other than a visit to "Club Fed" & a free ride back home.

Now it is possible to be working here 100% legally without a green card. A green card is for Immigration, not right to work, which are two separate issues. To legally work here you'd need to have the visas with the right to work stamp, but this has nothing at all to do with immigration processing or status.

& Just for the record I am a 100% legal Resident Alien with the right to work & I have a bigger problem with illegals than most of you do I suspect. I jumped through all the hoops because the host country required guests to do so. I had more respect for the process & still do than some fence-jumper who believes he can just cheat the system before even becoming a part of it.
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