May 10th, 2019

Rules of Firearms Gift Transfers — How to Stay Out of Trouble

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12th, and Father’s Day is just a month away. Perhaps you’re thinking about giving your parent(s) a firearm for sporting use or self-protection. While gifting a gun is allowed in most jurisdictions, there are important state and Federal laws with which you must comply. And while Federal laws cover the whole country, the rules on firearms gift transfers vary significantly from state to state.

Bottom line here — you need to know the law BEFORE you deliver that shiny new firearm to a family member, close friend, or relative.

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF. This story is based on an NSSF Article.

The first thing to remember if you’re thinking about giving someone a gun is that … it’s a gun! You already know that ownership of a firearm brings with it some serious legal and ethical obligations that other consumer products don’t. So let’s look at some questions you may have about giving a firearm as a gift.

ATF Firearms gun giftsThe first question you have to ask is whether the intended recipient can legally own the firearm where he or she lives. With more than 20,000 different gun laws on the books, even the kinds of firearms that law-abiding citizens can own vary from place to place. For example, juveniles (under age 18) generally speaking are precluded by law from possessing a handgun. Check out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) website for an overview of local laws and, whatever you do, don’t forget that you can never under any circumstances transfer a firearm to someone you know — or have reasonable cause to believe — legally can’t own one. That’s a federal felony, so be careful.

There’s no federal law that prohibits a gift of a firearm to a relative or friend who lives in your home state. Abramski v. United States, a recent Supreme Court decision involving a “straw purchase” of a firearm did not change the law regarding firearms as gifts. The following states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington State) and the District of Columbia require you to transfer a firearm through a local firearms retailer so an instant background check will be performed to make sure the recipient is not legally prohibited from owning the gun. Maryland and Pennsylvania require a background check for private party transfer of a handgun. There are exceptions, so it’s important to check the law of your state or ask your local firearms retailer.

ATF Firearms gun giftsConsider a Gift Card Instead of Direct Gift
The ATF recommends that if you want to give someone a new firearm, rather than going to a gun store and buying the gun on your own, consider instead purchasing a gift certificate/card from your favorite gun retailer. Then give that gift card as the present. That way the recipient can choose the exact gun he or she wants, and there’s no question about who is “the actual buyer of the firearm,” which is a question any purchaser must certify on the Federal Form 4473 at the time of purchase. The Gift Card option avoids any “straw purchaser” issues.

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April 15th, 2019

State Gun Law Guides — Online and Print Resources

Gun Laws by State PewPewtactical.com Pew Pew Byran Ciyou attorney book

Gun Laws by State PewPewtactical.com Pew Pew Byran Ciyou attorney bookWill you be traveling to other states this winter? Are you concerned about the laws that might apply when you are transporting firearms across state lines? Or are you puzzled about the requirements for obtaining a carry permit in your own state? If you have any of these (and related questions) you should definitely get some expert guidance on State statutes and regulations controlling firearms. To do that, you can purchase Attorney Bryan Ciyou’s comprehensive Gun Laws by State reference book. This is worth the money, and the $20 cost also includes access to an online legal database and other services.

If you don’t want to spend the twenty bucks, there is a good FREE alternative. There’s a very helpful set of State Law Summaries on the web, presented by PewPewTactical.com. Despite the silly name, the PewPewTactical website has an abundance of information that is particularly beneficial for pistol shooters and CCW holders.

One of the best features of PewPewTactical.com is the Gun Laws by State online reference guide. We looked through four of these State Law Summaries and were impressed by the depth of the coverage. But we caution — if you have specific legal questions, particularly with recently-enacted statutes, you should consult a licensed attorney for your state (or the state to which you will travel). In addition, some of the State Law Summaries have not been updated for a year or two. But they are still a good place to start. Below are links to state law articles from PewPewTactical.com. To access any State summary, simply click the State name below:

Gun Laws by State — FREE Summaries

CLICK state name to access each article.

Alabama Gun Laws

Alaska Gun Laws

Arizona Gun Laws

Arkansas Gun Laws

California Gun Laws

Colorado Gun Laws

Connecticut Gun Laws

Delaware Gun Laws

Florida Gun Laws

Georgia Gun Laws

Hawaii Gun Laws

Idaho Gun Laws

Illinois Gun Laws

Indiana Gun Laws

Iowa Gun Laws

Kansas Gun Laws

Kentucky Gun Laws

Louisiana Gun Laws

Maine Gun Laws

Maryland Gun Laws

Massachusetts Gun Laws

Michigan Gun Laws

Minnesota Gun Laws

Mississippi Gun Laws

Missouri Gun Laws

Montana Gun Laws

Nebraska Gun Laws

Nevada Gun Laws

New Hampshire Gun Laws

New Jersey Gun Laws

New Mexico Gun Laws

New York Gun Laws

North Carolina Gun Laws

North Dakota Gun Laws

Ohio Gun Laws

Oklahoma Gun Laws

Oregon Gun Laws

Pennsylvania Gun Laws

Rhode Island Gun Laws

South Carolina Gun Laws

South Dakota Gun Laws

Tennessee Gun Laws

Texas Gun Laws

Utah Gun Laws

Vermont Gun Laws

Virginia Gun Laws

Washington Gun Laws

West Virginia Gun Laws

Wisconsin Gun Laws

Wyoming Gun Laws

Washington, D.C. Gun Laws

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February 4th, 2019

Top Gun States — Trends in Gun Ownership Around the USA

state background checks gun ownership

Where in the USA are guns most popular, on a per-capita basis? Look at this chart. The states with darker purple have the most background checks per capita. The Top 10, in order, are:

1. Kentucky – 1012
2. Illinois – 198
3. Indiana – 123
4. West Virginia – 119
5. Idaho – 109
6. Montana – 101
7. Minnesota – 98
8. South Dakota – 94
9. Tennesse – 92 (Tie)
10. Wyoming – 92 (Tie)

Kentucky has a far higher number than any other state — 1012 per 1000 residents, and 4,508,298 overall per year. That’s not because the Bluegrass State has more avid gun owners (per capita) than elsewhere in the country. Rather, Kentucky has more background checks per capita because it is the only state that requires all concealed carry permit holders to undergo automatic monthly rechecks. That means 12 checks per year. Other states might have a single background check when the firearm is acquired.

state background checks gun ownership

Trends in Background Checks and Gun Ownership
The total number of background checks has risen steadily for nearly the past 20 years (though there was a slight decrease in 2017). In 2018, Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealers initiated more than 23 million background checks, with significant variations in how many requests came in from each state.

state background checks gun ownership

Gun Control Legislation on the Rise Nationwide
In 2018, the 50 U.S. states passed 69 new gun control measures. Those 69 new laws are more than three times the number passed in 2017.

The struggle between gun rights and gun control continues on both a state and a national level. Seeing this wave of new legislation makes one wonder, “how many of these new laws will really reduce crime or enhance personal safety?” Or, rather, are the vast majority of these laws merely intended to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens, banning new classes of arms or creating new costs (and hassles) for gun owners. The anti-gunners’ strategy is to work incrementally, banning one type of firearm after another. The goal, ultimately, is to ban handguns altogether, and to ban all semi-automatic rifles.

Information in this report provided by YourLocalSecurity.com.

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May 1st, 2017

Lawsuit Challenges California Magazine Laws in Federal Court

California CA magazine ban law lawsuit Prop 63 Second Amendment Foundation

The Second Amendment Foundation, joined by several other groups and individuals, has filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in California, challenging that state’s laws prohibiting the possession, use or acquisition of so-called “large capacity magazines,” calling the state’s bans on magazines “hopelessly vague and ambiguous.”

Joining SAF are the Calguns Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation and six individuals including one retired California peace officer. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

The lawsuit raises a constitutional challenge to California Penal Code § 32310, as recently amended by Senate Bill 1446 and Proposition 63, and Penal Code § 32390 (the “Large-Capacity Magazine Ban”). Collectively those laws require Californians to relinquish, forfeit, or destroy lawfully-obtained full capacity magazines. The penalties for non-compliance are severe. The lawsuit alleges that if these measures are enforced as applied, they would “individually and collectively prohibit law-abiding citizens from continuing to possess, use, or acquire lawfully-owned firearms, in common use for lawful purposes such as self-defense (inside and outside the home), competition, sport, and hunting.”

“What we see in the enactment of such laws,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “is continued erosion by the state of its citizens’ Constitutional rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment. When the U.S. Supreme Court incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment under the 2010 McDonald ruling, it automatically should have stopped this kind of prohibition.

“As we state in our lawsuit,” he continued, “this magazine ban fails to provide fair or even adequate notice to law-abiding gun owners of what they may do with their personal property without being subject to criminal sanctions. In effect, this ban amounts to a backdoor form of confiscation, in part, of bearable arms that are protected by the Constitution.”

“Enforcement of this ban,” Gottlieb concluded, “would immediately place thousands of law-abiding California gun owners in jeopardy of criminal liability and subjects their personal property to forfeiture, seizure and permanent confiscation, which is government taking, without due process or compensation. We cannot allow that to go unchallenged.”

The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

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April 15th, 2017

Know Your Rights — Get Info on Gun Laws in All 50 States

Gun Laws by State Brian Ciyou

Many of our readers travel far and wide during summer months, both on family vacations and to participate in shooting matches. When transporting firearms across state lines, it is vital to understand the laws and regulations that apply in each jurisdiction. Moreover, all of us need to stay informed about gun laws in our home states, since new laws are passed every year.

Indiana attorney Brian Ciyou has created an outstanding resource, Gun Laws by State (2017 Ed.) (GLBS), that explains firearms laws in all 50 states. Ciyou’s gun law treatise, available in both book and online (web) formats, covers state laws as well as key federal laws that apply in federal buildings, airports, National Parks, and school zones. There is a handy Reciprocity Map showing which states recognize concealed weapon permits issued in other jurisdictions. Moreover, GLBS covers Reciprocal Carry for all 50 states, Constitutional Law, Federal Statutory Law, Use of Force, Criminal Provisions, Civil and Criminal Liability, Preemption, Federal Property Rules, and Interstate Transportation. The web version of Gun Laws by State is updated regularly, and Ciyou even provides a GLBS Gun Laws Blog with current topics on gun regulations nationwide.

Gun Laws by State Brian CiyouFREE Access to Many Database Features
Access key state and Federal legal information for FREE on the GLBS website. Simply click on an interactive map to quickly review gun laws in any state (See Texas example at right). Other Navigation links provide quick access to particular topics, such as rules for Airline Travel, Amtrak, National Parks, and Federal properties.

We recommend that readers bookmark the GLBS website. Though much free info is available, you should definitely consider buying the book if you frequently travel with firearms outside your home state. The printed book version costs $20.00, while a digital eBook is $10.00 (or get both for $25.00). CLICK HERE to purchase Gun Law Books and/or eBooks.

WATCH Gun Laws by State Introduction Video

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December 11th, 2016

Gun Law Books and Seminars Explain Key Legal Principles

Gun Law Book states Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Colorado U.S. Law Shield

Do you really know (and understand) the gun laws in your home state? Do you know when the use of deadly force is allowed? Do you know if the “Castle Doctrine” applies in your state or whether your state has a “Stand Your Ground” law in effect? If you ever carry a firearm for self-protection, you should know the answer to these and other important questions. Thankfully there are some excellent, up-to-date resources that explain the gun laws in five key states: Colorado, Florida, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas. These gun law treatises, published by U.S. Law Shield, provide the text of important gun laws, along with expert commentary from experienced attorneys. The books provide clear explanations of gun laws in easy-to-understand language.

Gun Law Seminar Programs in Eleven States
In addition to its Gun Law books (offered for five states), U.S. Law Shield conducts legal seminars in 11 states across the country: CO, FL, GA, KS, MO, NJ, OH, OK, PA, TX, and VA. At these Gun Law Seminars, you can ask questions and get state-specific answers from Law Shield Independent Program Attorneys in each jurisdiction. CLICK HERE to find a seminar in your state.

Law Shield Gun Law Texas book Amazon

Law Shield Gun Law Florida book Amazon

Colorado Gun Law: Armed and Educated
Paperback: 394 pages
ISBN-10: 069264072X
ISBN-13: 978-0692640722
Colorado Gun Law: Armed and Educated Digital Download

Florida Gun Law: Armed and Educated
Paperback: 329 pages
ISBN-10: 0692680217
ISBN-13: 978-0692680216
Florida Gun Law: Armed and Educated Digital Download

Oklahoma Gun Law: Armed and Educated
Paperback: 415 pages
ISBN-10: 0692758046
ISBN-13: 978-0692758045
Oklahoma Gun Law: Armed and Educated Digital Download

Pennsylvania Gun Law: Armed and Educated
Paperback: 378 pages
ISBN-10: 069268011X
ISBN-13: 978-0692680117
Pennsylvania Gun Law: Armed and Educated Digital Download

Texas Gun Law: Armed and Educated
Paperback: 382 pages
ISBN-10: 0692506500
ISBN-13: 978-0692506509
Texas Gun Law: Armed and Educated Digital Download


Video Reviews Texas Gun Laws Book:

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June 18th, 2013

State Gun Laws Resource Website, Paperback, eBook

Gun Laws by State Brian CiyouMany of our readers travel far and wide during summer months, both on family vacations and to participate in shooting matches. When transporting firearms across state lines, it is vital to understand the laws and regulations that apply in each jurisdiction. Moreover, all of us need to stay informed about gun laws in our home states, since new laws are passed every year.

Indiana attorney Brian Ciyou has created an outstanding resource, Gun Laws by State (2013 Ed.) (GLBS), that explains firearms laws in all 50 states. Ciyou’s gun law treatise, available in both book and online (web) formats, covers state laws as well as key federal laws that apply in federal buildings, airports, National Parks, and school zones. There is a handy Reciprocity Map showing which states recognize concealed weapon permits issued in other jurisdictions. GLBS covers Reciprocal Carry for all 50 states, Constitutional Law, Federal Statutory Law, Use of Force, Criminal Provisions, Civil and Criminal Liability, Preemption, Federal Property Rules, and Interstate Transportation.

Gun Laws by State Brian CiyouAmazingly, you can access all this important legal information for FREE on the GLBS website. Click on an interactive map to quickly review gun laws in any state. Navigation links provide quick access to particular topics, such as rules for Airline Travel, Amtrak, National Parks, and Federal properties. The web version of Gun Laws by State is updated regularly, and Ciyou even provides a GLBS Gun Laws Blog with current “news and views” on gun regulations nationwide. This Editor regularly references the Gun Laws by State website. I suggest readers bookmark the site, and consider buying the book if you frequently travel with firearms outside your home state. The printed book version costs $19.95, while a digital eBook is $9.95. Click here to purchase GLBS books and eBooks.

WATCH Gun Laws by State Introduction Video

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August 25th, 2012

Gun Laws by State Resource Website and Book

Gun Laws by State Brian CiyouMany of our readers travel far and wide during summer months, both on family vacations and to participate in shooting matches. When transporting firearms across state lines, it is vital to understand the laws that apply in each jurisdiction. Moreover, all of us need to stay informed about gun laws in our home states, since new laws are passed every year.

Indiana attorney Brian Ciyou has created an outstanding resource, Gun Laws by State (2012 Ed.) (GLBS), that explains firearms laws in all 50 states. Ciyou’s gun law treatise, available in both book and online (web) formats, covers state laws as well as key federal laws that apply in federal buildings, airports, National Parks, and school zones. There is a handy Reciprocity Map showing which states recognize concealed weapon permits issued in other jurisdictions. GLBS covers Reciprocal Carry for all 50 states, Constitutional Law, Federal Statutory Law, Use of Force, Criminal Provisions, Civil and Criminal Liability, Preemption, Federal Property Rules, and Interstate Transportation.

Gun Laws by State Brian CiyouAmazingly, you can access all this important legal information for FREE on the GLBS website. Click on an interactive map to quickly review gun laws in any state. Navigation links provide quick access to particular topics, such as rules for Airline Travel, Amtrak, National Parks, and Federal properties. The web version of Gun Laws by State is updated regularly, and Ciyou even provides a GLBS Gun Laws Blog with current “news and views” on gun regulations nationwide. This Editor regularly references the Gun Laws by State website. I suggest readers bookmark the site, and consider buying the book if you frequently travel with firearms outside your home state. The printed book version costs $19.95, while a digital eBook is $9.95. Click here to purchase GLBS books.

WATCH Gun Laws by State “Getting Started” Video

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February 21st, 2009

Updated 2009 Traveler's Guide to Firearms Laws

Many readers will be driving across multiple states this spring and summer to attend competitions. Other shooters will be heading out of state for a game hunt or to spend a week in the prairie dog fields. For $13.95 you can purchase a state-by-state Traveler’s Guide to firearms laws. Written by a lawyer, this 68-page guide covers all firearms types and all 50 states. It even has information for Canada and Mexico. The latest edition of the Traveler’s guide, updated with 38 changes for 2009, has just been released.

CLICK HERE for Sample Page.

The Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States has sold more than 700,000 copies since it was first released in 1996. The book’s author, Attorney J. Scott Kappas, has written numerous magazine articles and has appeared on television, explaining the unexpected pitfalls that shooters may encounter when traveling with firearms. Along with being an attorney, Mr. Kappas serves as a director on the Board of the Kentucky Firearms Foundation, and Kappas is a Class III firearms dealer.

The Traveler’s Guide has proven especially useful for shooters traveling in RVs and motorhomes. One reader from Texas noted: “”I used to think that my RV was the same as my home when it came to gun carry….the Traveler’s Guide set me straight. Now I know my motorhome is subject to the same laws as any vehicle when it comes to guns.”

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