Saturday, September 9, 2023

Major Pandemic’s Hip Pocket Survival - Getting a Gun

Major Pandemic’s Hip Pocket Survival - Getting a Gun

This of course will review the legal ways to obtain a firearm both in your home state and also while traveling out of state in the US. By Federal Law and ATF regulations (which seem to change daily) there is a requirement that you must be legally able to possess a firearm which does not necessarily mean a background check. In any case, if you are in possession of a firearm without legal ability to possess the firearm or lie on the 4073 ATF form, it almost always means jail time…. unless you are from some family from the executive branch.

Gun Dealer Purchases - If you purchase through a Federal Firearms Licensed gun dealer (FFL) you will need to complete Form 4473 at the dealership plus will be required to show your concealed carry permit, state issued firearms purchase permit and/or pass a phone based ATF instant check which usually is not “instant”. Some states or cities have waiting periods as well. This process can take 20-30 minutes or days based on where you live and whether you have some of these documents already. Even if you purchase via an online gun auction, all these transactions by law MUST be transferred through an FFL and require the same above appropriate paperwork. No, you cannot buy guns by mail without an FFL involved.

Gun Show Purchases - If you purchase from a gun show, usually these are FFL dealers and will require all the same documents to be completed at the show. 

Individual Purchases - For individual purchases, legally this is not required as long as the seller has no knowledge or suspicion that you are not able to legally own a firearm. Almost everyone I know as responsible gun owners who sells firearms personally requires proof of a CCW or state issued purchase permit. Private sales are rarely outside of friends and family because no one wants that potential hassle. Outside of selling personally to friends and family, generally everyone will pay the extra $25-$50 to an FFL to handle the transfer if the sale is someone they do not directly know and legally is the smart route when in doubt of a buyer including friends/family/other. 

Purchasing Firearms Out of State - Unless you are in one of those non-free states, the above processes are well defined, but let’s say you have a legitimate need for a firearm while traveling out of state. For example, let’s say you traveled out-of-state to Texas and a friend unexpectedly asks you to join them on a hog hunt, but you need to bring a gun. In most “free” states and according to ATF regulations, you can purchase and take possession of a rifle or shotgun in a non-resident state however the sale must be through a local FFL dealer and with proper background checks or credentials as required locally. Some states do require proof of an out of state hunting permit, but federally it is legal to purchase and take possession of a rifle or shotgun as an out of state purchase. Pistols can be purchased out of state, but they must be shipped and transferred back to your in-state FFL dealership to receive possession.  I purchased a rather extremely low priced set of pistols out of state and just picked them up from my local FFL when returning home. Federally there are no restrictions as to the type of firearm as long as it fits into the long-gun classification of rifle or shotgun. BATF regulated items can be purchased however the same rules apply as pistols with all paperwork through a local dealer.  The exception to all these out of state purchase rules is if you are an FFL dealer yourself and then you can purchase and take possession of any firearm with the exception of BATF regulated items such as short barreled rifles, shotguns and suppressors.

Out of State Firearm Transport - If you are traveling out of state, just keep in mind you can purchase any locally permitted shotgun or rifle, however keep in mind many states do have very strict firearms transportation laws. For Example - One of the very goofy laws in many states is one which generally states that the firearm could be within reach/accessible of the driver. There are many cases where gun owners get in hot water from having an unloaded and cased firearm in the rear seat of a car or truck which legally fits into this overreaching law. In these cases I would suggest a lockable case to assure that the firearm is in no way accessible to the driver.

Driving Through or To Anti-A2 States - There are states that are really horrible but most have allowances for out of state hunters. At one time I worked in the very strong anti-2A state of Illinois in the Chicago metro area, however I wanted a firearm with me. I chose a Ruger Mk 2 .22LR to leave unloaded and cased in my truck. Obviously in Chicago this was not allowed even for residents at that time, however a legal loop-hole was that as a non-resident with an out-of-state hunting permit and/or with a purpose to possess such as traveling to family land/property it was legal. Basically I was viewed as a transient traveler as a hunter and/or viewed in transit to a family property even through I was working in the city. Know the laws.

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