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Old May 9, 2012, 12:35 PM   #1
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Location: Central Texas
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Transfer Question

When my grandfather died he split up his guns between the three grandsons. I have a cousin that doesn't use his. He has agreed to GIVE me his. The question lies in that he lives in Arkanasas and I live in TX. Can I just go get them or do I have to have them each shipped.

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Old May 9, 2012, 12:48 PM   #2
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Your cousin has to ship them to an FFL (licensed dealer) in TX, who will then transfer them to you (on a Form 4473 and with a NICS check). Alternatively, your cousin could bring them to a TX FFL who would transfer them to you.

Try to find an FFL close to you who doesn't charge too much for handling the transfer. Long guns can be shipped by USPS (only an FFL can ship a handgun by USPS). FedEx and UPS will ship either, but usually they must be taken to a main hub (not a suburban Kinkos or "self ship" location). Generally, the carrier requires that handguns be shipped by overnight priority. That costs a bit, but the shipment is carefully tracked.
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Old May 9, 2012, 12:56 PM   #3
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Kinda figured. Thanks for the reply
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Old May 9, 2012, 01:22 PM   #4
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In addition to what Armorer-At-Law said...

If the gun in question is a long gun, i.e. rifle or shotgun, the transaction may legally take place at an FFL in any state provided that the transaction is legal in both the current owner's and intended recipient's states of residence. In the case of TX, there is no law against it, although I am not sure about AR. A phone call to an AR FFL located near the TX border will probably put the question to rest.

FWIW if you decide to check AR state law yourself, be aware that federal law used to disallow adjacent-state transfers by default unless both states passed laws allowing them. Many states subsequently passed laws allowing adjacent-state transfers, but these laws are often worded in confusing double negatives, e.g. "...long gun transfers from duly licensed TX dealers are not prohibited". These statutes are now legal dead weight because the federal restriction was removed long ago, but they remain on the books in many places. IOW if you encounter a law that seems to prohibit a transfer through a TX FFL, read the "nots" carefully, it may not say what you initially think.

OTOH handguns must be transferred through an FFL in the intended recipient's state of residence, period.

Expect to pay a $10-$50 fee per firearm for the transfer. $20-$30 is typical.

If your cousin decides to ship to a TX FFL (handgun or not), make sure to check beforehand whether the FFL will accept the shipment. Although federal law allows FFLs to accept handguns from non-FFLs, it doesn't require them to do it. Some FFLs choose not to accept shipments from non-FFLs because they don't want to be stuck holding the bag if the gun turns out to be stolen or illegally modified, or deal with the consequences if the shipper's identifying information is missing, illegible, or incomplete (the receiving FFL is legally required to record this).

Other tidbits...
  • If a gun is over 50 years old or appears on the ATF's Curio & Relics list, a Curio & Relic FFL holder (aka 03 FFL, C&R licensee, or licensed collector) may receive it from a resident of any state provided that the transaction is legal in both the current owner's and intended recipient's states of residence. You can apply for a C&R FFL yourself; it's intended for individuals, and most people who are eligible to purchase a firearm through a standard background check can get one. You also get discounts from mail-order shooting supply houses, which will often offset the $30 license fee in a hurry. Search the Curio & Relic forum for more info.
  • Legal antiques do not require FFL transfers. The most commonly encountered types of legal antiques are black powder muzzleloaders, black powder replicas that don't accept metallic cartridges, and firearms made before 1/1/1899.
What I've written above does not necessarily apply to firearms subject to the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA). They are subject to many additional restrictions.
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Last edited by carguychris; May 9, 2012 at 01:29 PM.
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Old May 12, 2012, 11:05 PM   #5
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Find out how old the family guns are, you may be able to use a Curio and Relic license if you want to wait a few weeks for a license to arrive. Then just go and pick them up, I believe, and enter them into your log book.
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