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Old November 1, 2011, 03:48 PM   #1
Join Date: October 5, 2011
Location: RI
Posts: 51
Private Sale in RI to out of state resident

I am a RI resident, we require private sales to go through FFL transfer process to allow for 7 day waiting period. I have read all of the R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-47-35 – 11-47-35.2 and cannot find a law regarding selling a firearm to someone in another state such as MA or CT.

Does anyone know the legal process I should be going through to sell a gun to an out of state resident? So frustrating that even when you want to follow the law, you cant figure out how to...

My first inclination would be to get the gun to an FFL in their state, but I don't know if i can give the individual the gun to bring to the FFL or if i need to drop off, or can i mail it etc? any info would be greatly appreciated.
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Old November 1, 2011, 03:51 PM   #2
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I would take it an FFL in your state and have them transfer it to an FFL in the other state. There are probably other legal ways but that will cover your SIX.
Seams like once we the people give what, at the time, seams like a reasonable inch and "they" take the unreasonable mile we can only get that mile back one inch at a time.

No spelun and grammar is not my specialty. So please don't hurt my sensitive little feelings by teasing me about it.
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Old November 1, 2011, 08:28 PM   #3
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 8,750
Originally Posted by raceroch
..I don't know if i can give the individual the gun to bring to the FFL...
No, you can't give him the gun.

[1] Under federal law, any transfer (with a few, narrow exceptions, e. g., by bequest under a will) from a resident of one State to a resident of another must be through an FFL.

[2] In the case of handguns, it must be an FFL in the transferee's State of residence.

[3] In the case of long guns, it may be any FFL as long as (1) the long gun is legal in the transferee's State of residence; and (2) the transfer is in compliance with the laws of the State in which it takes place; and (3) the transfer complied with the law of the transferee's State of residence.

[4] In connection with the transfer of a long gun, some FFLs will not want to handle the transfer to a resident of another State, because they may be uncertain about the laws of that State. And if the transferee resides in some States (e. g., California), the laws of the State may be such that an out-of-state FFL will not be able to conduct a transfer that complies.

[5] This applies to all interstate transfers, whether a sale, a gift, a trade or anything else. There are no exceptions under the applicable federal laws for gifts, whether between relatives or otherwise, nor is there any exception for transactions between relatives.

[6] The relevant federal laws may be found at: 18 USC 922(a)(3); 18 USC 922(a)(5); and 18 USC 922(b)(3).

The the common way to do this sort of thing is for the buyer to find a local FFL who will do the transfer. The seller, or an FFL on his behalf, can then simply send the gun to buyer's transfer FFL who will transfer the gun. It would be legal for the seller to personally send the gun directly to the transfer FFL, but some FFLs will not, as a matter of business practice, accept a gun for transfer directly from an individual. Similarly, while it would generally be legal for the seller to hand deliver the gun to the FFL for transfer, some FFLs might not want to do it that way. And the FFL can charge a fee.

When doing this sort of interstate sale it's a good idea to work out all the details ahead of time, e. g., when and how payment will be made, how the transfer FFL wants the gun shipped or delivered, what his fee will be, who will pay shipping (buyer or seller) and who will pay the FFL's fee (buyer or seller).
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Old November 1, 2011, 09:06 PM   #4
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I don't know if i can give the individual the gun to bring to the FFL or if i need to drop off, or can i mail it etc?
Here's the answer to the mailing question, culled from some earlier posts of mine, with some edits.

Federal law requires a FFL transfer on the receiving end. (Read FT's post above.) Although it's technically legal, not all FFLs accept shipments from unfamiliar nonlicensees; this is a private business decision to avoid potential legal hassles if the shipper's ID is illegitimate or missing, or the gun turns out to be stolen or illegally modified. ALWAYS check with the destination FFL before you ship, or they may reject the shipment!

03 C&R FFLs may accept C&R-eligible guns shipped directly from out-of-state nonlicensees, but the gun must be C&R for the shipment to be legal. Make sure there is no doubt about the gun's provenance before engaging in such a transaction.

Rifles and shotguns may be sent via US Mail including regular Parcel Post. You may run into ignorant postal clerks who claim it's not legal; ask them to look in the regulations or ask to see their supervisor. However, some people have reported having to try another post office. Rifles and shotguns may also be sent via UPS or FedEx ground, which is generally a bit cheaper, but you have to ship it from an actual company-operated hub, NOT from a drop box or one of their strip-center "UPS Store" locations, which are franchises and aren't authorized to handle firearms. Hubs can generally be found at your nearest commercial airport with scheduled airline service. The inconvenience of reaching a hub may be a deal-killer if you live in a rural area.

It's illegal for nonlicensees (you) and 03 FFL C&R licensees to send a handgun via the U.S. mail. Period. It's a violation of postal regulations. You may find some people who claim it's legal because it doesn't show up in the federal firearms regulations, but they're not looking in the right place. Only licensed dealers, manufacturers, and pawnbrokers may mail handguns.

Nonlicensees can send a handgun out-of-state via UPS or FedEx, but company regulations require that you send it Next Day Air rather than ground. (See above for dropoff restrictions.) Generally the cheapest option is UPS "Next Day Air Saver", which doesn't guarantee AM delivery, but will save you $8-$10. However, the package will still typically cost $35-$60 to the CONUS and substantially more to and from AK or HI.

Due to the expense and hassle, it's often cheaper and easier to send handguns via a Dealer FFL because they can ship in a USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Box. Most handguns will easily fit in the "Medium" box and ship for ~$11 anywhere in the USA, including AK and HI- an instant ~$20-$30 savings over the cheapest UPS/FedEx rate. The cost savings compared to Next Day Air will probably offset the FFL transfer fee.

Some unethical folks will tell you "well, you can lie about what's in the package and send that handgun by UPS Ground...", but you will lose any hope of recovering any insurance compensation if the gun goes missing. Air shipments are subject to extra security, hence the policy.

By federal law, nobody can require you to label a package saying that it contains a firearm if it is going to a FFL for legal purposes. This applies to the USPS and common carriers equally.

*FOOTNOTE: The above post addresses conventional, modern, non-NFA firearms that fire commonplace metallic cartridge ammunition. Legal antiques, including modern muzzleloaders, are exempt from most of these restrictions. OTOH NFA firearms are subject to additional restrictions. The above may not apply if you are shipping such a firearm. YMMV.
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak

Last edited by carguychris; November 1, 2011 at 09:14 PM.
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Old November 2, 2011, 02:46 PM   #5
Don P
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What are you selling????????? Rifle or Handgun?????????????????????????
Why not go to a gun dealer and ask them?????????????
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Old November 4, 2011, 10:02 AM   #6
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Why not go to a gun dealer and ask them?????????????
A fair number of FFLs do not seem to understand the law.
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Old November 4, 2011, 11:56 AM   #7
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A fair number of FFLs do not seem to understand the law.
True, and unfortunately, some of them frankly aren't interested in understanding this portion of the law because they don't want to do transfers- they're only interesting in selling from inventory.
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak
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