.

Long explanation of long gun sales interstate

shootuadealshootuadeal Member Posts: 4,707 ✭✭✭
edited June 2018 in General Discussion
I see all the time flat out wrong information regarding buying long guns out of state, the reason it is wrong...it is very complicated. An Ohio resident buying a long gun in New York is completely different than a Nevada Resident buying in South Dakota.

I am going to attempt to explain it for you but first a little backstory. I had a friend that also has a gun shop in the same state as me and I had this discussion several years back and he was of the very strong opinion he could sell a long gun to any state. After some discussion he saw that I was correct on the matter and over the next few weeks all 50 ATF branches were called by him and asked if we could sell residents of their respective states a gun, almost all of them kicked the answer down the road and said we had to contact the Attorney Generals of each state. Well, we also did that. The AG's office's were also not much help. They basically leave it up to the FFL, SORT OF... I was written up for a major violation on an FFL inspection around 10 years ago regarding an interstate sale that resulted in a warning conference (1 step below revocation on the FFL punishment scale) and that was what made me start paying better attention to the subject. The result of us doing this was together we came up with a map of states that were ok for us to sell to and those that weren't that we can defend to this day, I printed out each states applicable law and highlighted the relevant wording.

Here is the actual laws that need to be navigated:

From the "State Laws and Published Ordnances" publication:

https://www.atf.gov/firearms/special-message-atf-state-laws-and-published-ordinances

The two operative laws regarding Interstate sales of long guns are in that link:
"The GCA prohibits licensees from selling or delivering a firearm to a nonlicensee whose receipt or possession of the firearm would violate State or local laws applicable at the place of sale or delivery. In addition, this book will help you make lawful over-the-counter sales of rifles and shotguns to out-of-State residents, transactions that must meet the legal requirements of both your the Federal firearms licensee's (FFL's) and the purchaser's States of residence."

To sum that up the transaction has to be legal regarding Federal law, the State the FFL is in AND the state the buyer is from.(I'll ignore the city ordinances because they are usually found in states that the sale would already be prohibited)

Federal law prohibits the sale of Handguns to an out of state resident but generally allows the sale of long guns to a non resident.

Most of the problems comes from state laws.

Many have wording like this from Wisconsin:
https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/guide/firearmsstatutesandcodes-wisconsinpdf/download

The relevant part:
"175.30. Purchase of firearms in other states permitted. A resident of this state or a corporation or other business entity
maintaining a place of business in this state may purchase or otherwise obtain a rifle or shotgun in a state other than this
state if the transfer complies with federal law and the laws of both states."

So with that above I am good because I met the 3 criteria needed:

1. Federal law says I can sell a long gun to a non resident.

2. My state law used to say I can sell a gun to anyone as long as I follow my state law and the law of the state the buyer resides.(they took all the language out the last time they updated the law)

3. Wisconsin state law says their residents can buy a gun in other states or more specifically doesn't prohibit it.

Now lets look at a the states that act as their own POC(Point of Contact) which means that they in those states their is a state check instead of/in addition to the Federal Nics:

States that Act as the Point of Contact (POC) for All Firearms Transactions
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Hawaii
Illinois
Nevada
New Jersey
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Tennessee
Utah
Virginia

So those 12 states have a background check that I do not have access to so if, for instance, an Oregon resident wanted to buy a long gun from me:
1. Federal law says I can sell it to them.

2. My state law says I can sell it to them.

3 Oregon state law says I have to use them for a background check, which I may or may not have access to but since I know nothing about doing an Oregon POC check I would not be following the law of the buyers state if I just punched it in to the regular FBI NICS check.

So that transaction and those other 11 states on the list I cannot follow the law to complete the transaction.

Here is the kicker though, had I done a NICS check on long gun sale to an Oregon resident it would go through with a proceed since federal law says it is fine, they do not stop transactions that violate state law. That is why some dealers will sell to residents of any state and the next one will not sell to certain states, THERE IS LITERALLY NO GUIDANCE ON THIS WITHOUT DOING A LOT OF LEG WORK. Many times dealers will do what I did, unknowingly sell to almost all states until the unlawful sale is found during an ATF inspection.

I could go on with examples all night due to every single state selling to another state presents a whole new set of problems but in our research we came up with approximately 32 or so states that we can sell to given the combination of federal law, our state law and the laws of the other 49 states.

There are also city ordinances, waiting period requirements and other such intricacies that an FFL has to watch out for. Many supposedly gun friendly states do not have wording allowing their residents to purchase guns in other states but have other disqualifiers such as state checks rather than NICS

Sorry for the long post, I was merely trying to explain how it works. It never fails that when someone on the internet from X state inquires about purchasing a long gun in another state 30 people from different states all chime in saying what they think is legal when the 30 different people all have different circumstances regarding the sale. Throw in all the different state laws at play, the fact that many FFL's interpret the law differently or even recklessly and you see where they problem lies. Even the ATF and Attorney Generals of the state cannot give a definitive answer...until it is interpreted as an FFL doing it wrong and getting a serious reprimand.

My problem was a long time ago and I've had two audits since then that went great, maybe partly due to how myself and my friend with his own store interpreted the law after much time doing the research.

Thanks for reading

Comments

  • grumpygygrumpygy Member Posts: 53,466
    edited November -1
    Why did you have to use Oregon.
  • oldWinchesterfanoldWinchesterfan Member Posts: 984 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks, very good info.
  • nmyersnmyers Member Posts: 16,365 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Great research, & I'm sure both dealers & nonlicensees will enjoy reading this post. I've opined that "the gun business" is more "business" than "guns", & dealers have to be aware of many regulations. That's probably why most dealers will not sell long guns to nonlicensees from other states; those that do, usually limit it to adjacent states without a lot of restrictions.

    I never thought that this was a problem. I would be surprised to see someone from, say, Oregon drive to a gun shop in North Dakota to buy a rifle or shotgun. But, I guess that it happens, especially if the airline loses your rifle while you are on your annual hunting trip to ND.

    Neal

    Neal
  • SCOUT5SCOUT5 Member Posts: 14,679 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I appreciate you taking the time to post this. I'm not a FFL, but it is useful information to know as I do hunt out of state and occasionally run across a long gun I would like to buy.
  • shootuadealshootuadeal Member Posts: 4,707 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by nmyers
    Great research, & I'm sure both dealers & nonlicensees will enjoy reading this post. I've opined that "the gun business" is more "business" than "guns", & dealers have to be aware of many regulations. That's probably why most dealers will not sell long guns to nonlicensees from other states; those that do, usually limit it to adjacent states without a lot of restrictions.

    I never thought that this was a problem. I would be surprised to see someone from, say, Oregon drive to a gun shop in North Dakota to buy a rifle or shotgun. But, I guess that it happens, especially if the airline loses your rifle while you are on your annual hunting trip to ND.

    Neal

    Neal


    We get a lot of "passer throughs" here give our location, we are in the middle of nowhere on a busy highway. Lots of people from out of state see our giant billboard and stop in to look around.

    Of course the boom in the western part of the state brings workers from all over the country and half of them drive right by the store.
Sign In or Register to comment.