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Old December 28, 2015, 11:08 PM   #1
Happytobehere
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L1-B Visa and gun ownership

Hi guys, and thank you for your time and knowledge in advance.

I'm a British citizen who has recently discovered a passion for target and potentially competition shooting. I'm also here by the grace of God (and the government) on a 5 year L1-B visa and as the name says, I'm happy and proud to be here.

Having now been bitten by the bug, please can anyone simplify gun ownership for me based on my current status? My residence is in New Hampshire if that assists at all.

Thanks so much and I look forward to reading TFL avidly!
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Old December 29, 2015, 12:11 AM   #2
rwilson452
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To answer your question, I don't know. But If you can and do buy a gun, How are you going to take it back to England?
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Old December 29, 2015, 12:17 AM   #3
Armed_Chicagoan
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If you're a legal US resident you can buy firearms. It doesn't have to be a permanent residency. Might help to get a New Hampshire driver's license if you don't already.
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Old December 29, 2015, 12:40 AM   #4
tangolima
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L1b and h1b are non-immigrant visas. I had h1b many years ago before I got green card. People on non-immigrant visas are aliens (legal) but they are not resident aliens till they got their green cards.

Resident aliens can own firearms, but aliens can't. Even you have become resident aliens (green card), you will need to provide your alien number (A number) when you fill out the federal form.

I am afraid you probably can't legally own a firearm just yet. You want to be patient and very careful. If you make a mistake it could be gravely detrimental to your immigration process down the road.

Sorry to bring you the bad news. On behalf of those who have reached the shore a few steps before you, welcome brother. Courage!

-TL
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Old December 29, 2015, 12:57 AM   #5
THEWELSHM
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Id agree mate, your done until permanent resident But then you can own a gun and cant vote Go with Citizenship mate!

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Old December 29, 2015, 01:30 AM   #6
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Armed_Chicagoan
If you're a legal US resident you can buy firearms. It doesn't have to be a permanent residency. Might help to get a New Hampshire driver's license if you don't already.
Wrong.

Let's look at current federal law, see 18 USC 922(g)(5):
Quote:
(g) It shall be unlawful for any person—
(1) …

(2) …

(3) …

(4) …

(5) who, being an alien—
(A) is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or

(B) except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 (a)(26)));
(6) …

(7) …

(8) …

(9) …
to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.
and 18 USC 922(y):
Quote:
(y) Provisions Relating to Aliens Admitted Under Nonimmigrant Visas.—
(1) Definitions.— In this subsection—
(A) the term “alien” has the same meaning as in section 101(a)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 (a)(3)); and

(B) the term “nonimmigrant visa” has the same meaning as in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 (a)(26)).
(2) Exceptions.— Subsections (d)(5)(B), (g)(5)(B), and (s)(3)(B)(v)(II) do not apply to any alien who has been lawfully admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa, if that alien is—
(A) admitted to the United States for lawful hunting or sporting purposes or is in possession of a hunting license or permit lawfully issued in the United States;

(B) an official representative of a foreign government who is—
(i) accredited to the United States Government or the Government’s mission to an international organization having its headquarters in the United States; or

(ii) en route to or from another country to which that alien is accredited;
(C) an official of a foreign government or a distinguished foreign visitor who has been so designated by the Department of State; or

(D) a foreign law enforcement officer of a friendly foreign government entering the United States on official law enforcement business.
There is a wrinkle that makes things more complicated.

The statutes I cited generally prohibit possession of guns or ammunition by aliens admitted present in the United States on a non-immigrant visa. The OP can come within an exception by getting and maintaining a hunting license.
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Old December 29, 2015, 05:27 AM   #7
gyvel
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Quote:
The L-1 visa may legally be used as a stepping stone to a green card under the doctrine of dual intent.
Try to apply for a green card. Once you are a resident alien, you may own a firearm.
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Old December 29, 2015, 11:09 AM   #8
carguychris
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Quote:
I am afraid you probably can't legally own a firearm just yet.
Incorrect.

Let's look at 18 USC § 922(y) more closely, my emphasis in boldface:
Quote:
(y) Provisions Relating to Aliens Admitted Under Nonimmigrant Visas.—
(1) Definitions.— In this subsection—
(A) the term “alien” has the same meaning as in section 101(a)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 (a)(3)); and
(B) the term “nonimmigrant visa” has the same meaning as in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 (a)(26)).

(2) Exceptions.— Subsections (d)(5)(B), (g)(5)(B), and (s)(3)(B)(v)(II) do not apply to any alien who has been lawfully admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa, if that alien is
(A) admitted to the United States for lawful hunting or sporting purposes or is in possession of a hunting license or permit lawfully issued in the United States;
(B) [omitted]
Get a hunting license and you're good to go. FWIW whether you actually intend to hunt anything is immaterial; mere possession of the license satisfies the the law. However, please note that the license must be valid, so pay attention to the expiration date!

I strongly suggest downloading and carefully reading the instructions for ATF Form 4473. Pay particular attention to the instructions for questions #12, #13 and #20a thru #20c. You must establish residency in a particular state in order for the transaction to be completed, and this can get tricky if your ID shows a different address than your current residence. Additionally, if purchasing a firearm other than a rifle or shotgun (i.e. a handgun or "Other Firearm", e.g. a stripped rifle receiver), you must reside in the same state where the transaction takes place.

Mandatory disclaimer: I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV. This is not legal advice. Caveat emptor and YMMV.
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Old December 29, 2015, 04:48 PM   #9
tangolima
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I realize there are ways to own firearms before permanent residency is established. Hunting license is one of them. But I wouldn't push limit too hard if I plan to start immigration process in the future. It is not worth the headache should any step mistaken. I'm not an attorney either. It was my experience of 5 long years. I used to joke that it could be faster if I went to Mexico and smuggle myself back into the States.

-TL
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Old December 31, 2018, 01:15 PM   #10
Diverbelow
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Thanks for adding me !! And will be glad to participate to this forum!

I go to a shooting range and love this sport so planning to buy my own gun soon.

Question : on visa L1 you can buy a gun with a hunting licence. If you do so, what happens when you become resident ( green card ), you don’t need to renew your hunting licence right ? Any process that should be done so the authorities know that you are not possessing a firearms with hunting licence anymore but that you are a resident ?
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Old December 31, 2018, 01:54 PM   #11
ice monkey
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This is a good place to start the information gathering process, especially to know if you’ve retained a lazy lawyer, or a lawyer who hates immigrants for that matter. But the fact is, you really should retain a lawyer. In today’s climate I wouldn’t even come close to making anything even close to a mistake if staying is at all important.

Remember, just because your visa says 5 years, doesn’t mean you can’t be asked to leave, or denied re-entry if you go “home” for a funeral or whatever.

Anyway, shooting IS fun! One of my favorite YouTube pastimes is watching dudes on the isles hunt rabbits/crows at distance! Learning to shoot a good .204 would be good times back “home” if you’re licensed.
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Old December 31, 2018, 02:51 PM   #12
tangolima
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Again I am not an attorney, so you need to consult a real one or do your own research to be sure. What I am going to say is just my understanding.

A valid hunting license establishes qualification for a non-resident alien to poccess firearm. It is indeed an exemption to the normal process, so that's why I consider it "pushing the limit". You need to maintain the validity of the license, or you immediately commit a felony, a huge problem. Once you become a resident alien, you no longer need the hunting license, and I don't believe you need to do anything.

Again it is my recommendation that you wait till you get your green card. It is just too risky to push the limit.

-TL

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Old January 2, 2019, 01:19 PM   #13
dogtown tom
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Quote:
tangolima Again I am not an attorney, so you need to consult a real one or do your own research to be sure. What I am going to say is just my understanding.

A valid hunting license establishes qualification for a non-resident alien to poccess firearm. It is indeed an exemption to the normal process, so that's why I consider it "pushing the limit". You need to maintain the validity of the license, or you immediately commit a felony, a huge problem. Once you become a resident alien, you no longer need the hunting license, and I don't believe you need to do anything.

Again it is my recommendation that you wait till you get your green card. It is just too risky to push the limit.
Nonsense.
It's not "pushing the limit", its simply complying with federal law. FFL's sell/transfer guns every day to nonimmigrant aliens who possess a hunting license with zero problems.

Good grief, the paranoia.
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Old January 2, 2019, 05:50 PM   #14
tangolima
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogtown tom View Post
Nonsense.

It's not "pushing the limit", its simply complying with federal law. FFL's sell/transfer guns every day to nonimmigrant aliens who possess a hunting license with zero problems.



Good grief, the paranoia.
You may think differently if you are in an immigration process for real. I did as I was. There are so much to lose if anything goes wrong. Things as simple as forgetting to renew the hunting license may get you deported and never to come back again.

-TL

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Old January 2, 2019, 09:03 PM   #15
dogtown tom
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Quote:
tangolima Quote: You may think differently if you are in an immigration process for real. I did as I was. There are so much to lose if anything goes wrong. Things as simple as forgetting to renew the hunting license may get you deported and never to come back again.
Well, you could also forget to renew your nonimmigrant visa, drive drunk, bounce a check or any of a hundred other offences.

The point I'm making is it isn't "pushing the limit".....its complying with the law. And not difficult to do.

To warn someone to not buy a firearm serves what purpose for you?
Why on earth would you seek to deny Diverbelow his Second Amendment rights?

I've transferred 20-30 firearms every year for the last ten years to nonimmigrant aliens with ZERO problems. Ever think that once you discover your hunting license has expired you can just drive down to Wal Mart and get another one?
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Old January 2, 2019, 09:16 PM   #16
Frank Ettin
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tangolima and dogtown tom, no more bickering please. You’ve each had your say, and there’s no reason to further belabor the point.
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Old January 5, 2019, 03:55 AM   #17
DaleA
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I got my formal shooting education at a club using one of their .22 long rifle target rifles.

They had several different models of rifles and as you improved you could move your way up the food chain as it were. We competed individually and on teams in city and state tournaments.

We shot indoors at 50 feet. Because it was indoors and .22 LR it was cheap and we didn't worry about the weather. We shot once or twice a week for practice and then at tournaments when they occurred. All the time using the club's rifles.

Maybe a range near you has such a program.
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Old January 5, 2019, 12:34 PM   #18
Dufus
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An old school buddy opened a gun shop and did rather well.

One day, a Hispanic guy came in the shop and wanted to buy a firearm.

Frank (not his real name) was in a quandary as to what proof of citizenship he needed as the guy did not have a drivers license.

He called the ATF to inquire as to what proof he needed. The agent told him what was acceptable, and Frank recorded the agents name etc. on the transaction.

A couple of weeks later, 5 agents appeared in his shop, pushed him against the wall and handcuffed him. They took all his records.

Long story short, all the witnesses for the government were proven to perjure themselves. Even though Frank was proven innocent and all charges were dismissed, it cost him $37,000 and his business to prove his innocence.

Last edited by Dufus; January 6, 2019 at 03:26 PM.
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Old January 7, 2019, 02:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Long story short, all the witnesses for the government were proven to perjure themselves. Even though Frank was proven innocent and all charges were dismissed, it cost him $37,000 and his business to prove his innocence.
So, the moral of the story is never sell anyone a firearm who does not have a valid instate drivers license or state issued ID?
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Old January 7, 2019, 10:24 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skans View Post
So, the moral of the story is never sell anyone a firearm who does not have a valid instate drivers license or state issued ID?
Absolutely. From ATF Form 4473:

Question 18.a. Identification:
Before a licensee may sell or deliver a firearm to a nonlicensee, the licensee must establish the identity, place of residence, and age of the transferee/buyer. The transferee/buyer must provide a valid government- issued photo identification document to the transferor/seller that contains the transferee's/buyer's name, residence address, and date of birth. A driver's license or an identification card issued by a State in place of a license is acceptable.


Nothing unclear about it.
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Old January 8, 2019, 09:45 PM   #21
dogtown tom
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Fishy story is fishy

Quote:
Dufus An old school buddy opened a gun shop and did rather well.

One day, a Hispanic guy came in the shop and wanted to buy a firearm.

Frank (not his real name) was in a quandary as to what proof of citizenship he needed as the guy did not have a drivers license.
1. A drivers license isn't "proof of citizenship"
2. Citizenship has never been a requirement to purchase or possess firearms.
3. Frank (not his real name) is an idiot of the highest degree. If he was in such a quandary, he should have just read the instructions contained in the Form 4473.


Quote:
He called the ATF to inquire as to what proof he needed. The agent told him what was acceptable, and Frank recorded the agents name etc. on the transaction.
Anyone taking verbal advice from an ATF (or any gov employee) is a fool. In all of my dealings with ATF over the last 10+ years they always make it a point to refer me to the actual federal law or ATF regulation. They don't give verbal opinions and those wouldn't be binding if they did.


Quote:
A couple of weeks later, 5 agents appeared in his shop, pushed him against the wall and handcuffed him. They took all his records.
For what?
ATF enforcement agents investigate crimes. I've met one agent in ten years, but several Industry Operations Investigators (who do not carry guns or handcuffs) and conduct compliance inspections.

They sure as heck didn't know about the transaction with the Hispanic customer, because ATF isn't involved with the FBI background check.
They sure as heck didn't know about the gun the Hispanic customer bought because the dealer Frank (not his real name) keeps those records himself. ATF doesn't get them until Frank discontinues business.


Quote:
Long story short, all the witnesses for the government were proven to perjure themselves. Even though Frank was proven innocent and all charges were dismissed, it cost him $37,000 and his business to prove his innocence.
Uh, huh.

I think Frank (not his real name) is pulling your leg.
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Old January 8, 2019, 09:51 PM   #22
dogtown tom
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Quote:
Skans So, the moral of the story is never sell anyone a firearm who does not have a valid instate drivers license or state issued ID?
It is completely legal to use an out of state photo ID and a combination other government issued documents to show the buyers state of residence.

Happens every day with active duty military and many others.

Quote:
natman
Absolutely. From ATF Form 4473:

Question 18.a. Identification:
Before a licensee may sell or deliver a firearm to a nonlicensee, the licensee must establish the identity, place of residence, and age of the transferee/buyer. The transferee/buyer must provide a valid government- issued photo identification document to the transferor/seller that contains the transferee's/buyer's name, residence address, and date of birth. A driver's license or an identification card issued by a State in place of a license is acceptable.

Nothing unclear about it.
It would be if you included ALL the instructions to 18a and 18b.
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Old January 8, 2019, 11:20 PM   #23
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Deleted and I apologize for posting it.

I thought mentioning the penalties could be relevant.

Last edited by Dufus; January 9, 2019 at 09:00 AM.
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Old January 9, 2019, 02:28 AM   #24
Frank Ettin
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Enough about that other Frank (not his real name)!

It's pointless to continue discussing the matter because, among other things:
  1. We have little information and no documentation regarding the situation.

  2. What information we have is not corroborated.

  3. It was over 40 years ago.

  4. Details matter, and we don't know all the details.

If there are any further posts on that other Frank (not his real name), the thread will at least be closed.
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