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November 4th, 2022

Find FFL Locations and Compare Fees with FFL Finder Sites

gunbroker sportsman's guide FFL finder index search engine Federal Firearms license map

Do you need to find an FFL for a firearms transfer in your local area? Or perhaps you are selling a gun and need it shipped to an FFL in another city or state. Thankfully, there are two good online resource that can, in a matter of seconds, provide a list of Federal Firearms License holders in the area you need. These web resources will even locate those FFLs on a map AND list the fees they typically charge for transfers.

Sportsman’s Guide FFL Finder
The first resource is the Sportsman’s Guide FFL LOOKUP Page. This online search tool is fast and easy to use. Simply enter a Zip Code and then select a radius (in miles) within which to find FFLs. Here is an example for Billings, Montana with Zip Code 59103. Note that the transfer fees are listed for the first three “In-Network” FFLs. Click on each FFL business name to get more details.

gunbroker sportsman's guide FFL finder index search engine Federal Firearms license map

gunbroker sportsman's guide FFL finder index search engine Federal Firearms license mapGunbroker FFL Finder
A good second resource is offered by GunBroker, the online gun trading/auction site. Gunbroker offers a handy online FFL Finder. This resource allows you to quickly find an FFL by zip code or state. Along with the FFL business name, this also lists fees. Click the “Map It” button to see a local map.

Gunbroker states: “Use our FFL Finder to locate FFL dealers in your area. You can search for FFL dealers by your zip code or by state. Use our FFL finder to get in touch with a local FFL dealer in order to complete your firearms purchase, or sign up to be part of our FFL Dealer Network.”

Shown below are the FFL Finder results for Billings, Montana and Zip Code 59103:

gunbroker sportsman's guide FFL finder index search engine Federal Firearms license map

Permalink Hot Deals, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
March 3rd, 2022

ShipMyGun.com — Smart Option for Handgun Shipping

shipmygun.com ups shipping service pistol handgun rifle shotgun label insurance FFL

If you want to ship handguns, as a private party (non-FFL), there are now very limited options. You cannot use the U.S. Postal Service, and, since September 2021, you cannot use FEDEX. Yes, that’s right, FEDEX no longer allows non-FFLs to ship handguns.

So UPS is currently the only choice for handguns (for non-FFLs). But this can be very expensive because of rules requiring overnight shipping. There IS an alternative that can save you significant money. By ordering your shipping labels from ShipMyGun.com, you could save $50 or more on UPS handgun shipping. It is quick and easy.

shipmygun.com ups shipping service pistol handgun rifle shotgun label insurance FFLShipMyGun.com has a large FFL database, so you can verify the recipient’s address and FFL status. The ShipMyGun.com website has a simple to use label-printing process.

All handgun shipments are fulfilled via next day air. Long guns are shipped quickly via ground and typically arrive within 3-5 business days. (NOTE: For rifles and shotguns it is still possible to use U.S. Postal Service and FEDEX, following their rules.)

shipmygun.com ups shipping service pistol handgun rifle shotgun label insurance FFL

How ShipMyGun.com Works

Go to ShipMyGun.com. Click the Get Started Link. The choose handgun or long gun (rifle, shotgun). Use the FFL Database to find the address for the FFL shop to which the gun will be shipped. All shipments must go to an FFL. Then you fill out the billing information. After confirming all the info, print the label. Then you attach the label to your shipment box and take it to a participating UPS facility. (NOTE: some private UPS stores will NOT handle ANY firearms).

Shipping Questions? Read the FAQ Page
ShipMyGun.com has a helpful Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Page. We suggest you read over this before your first shipment. GO TO FAQ PAGE.

Here are some notable Questions & Answers:

Q. Can I ship ammo with my gun?

A. NO, it is against the law to include ammo with your firearm shipment. Loose ammo or boxed ammo cannot be included. Also, inspect (clear) your firearm to ensure it is NOT LOADED prior to packaging.

Q. Should I include identification?

A. Yes, you MUST include a copy of your driver’s license. Dealers will not accept a private party transfer without it. Failing to include your drivers license could delay the recipient from being able to accept their transfer or result in the firearm being returned to you at an additional cost.

Q. Are there any restrictions on what I can and cannot ship?

A. Simply put, yes. You can find our restrictions on our State Restrictions Page. Please note: it is your responsibility to ensure that the firearm you’re shipping is legal to own at its destination. If it is not, the dealer who receives the firearm will not transfer it to its intended recipient[.]

About ShipMyGun.com

ShipMyGun.com is a division of BudsGunShop.com. The business has now shipped over 1 million guns for over 250,000 customers. This allow ShipMyGun.com to pass on significant discounts for both private party shippers and FFL shippers.

shipmygun.com ups shipping service pistol handgun rifle shotgun label insurance FFL

Permalink Handguns, News, Tech Tip No Comments »
January 29th, 2022

Shipping Guns via FedEx Now Limited to FFLs & Gov’t Agencies

Fedex firearms pistol rifle shipping policy ban FFL Federal Firearms license

IMPORTANT: FedEx policies now prohibit regular persons from shipping ANY firearms through FedEx. The shipping company now limits firearms shipping privileges to FFL-holders and certain government agencies. NOTE: This is not a new change for 2022. The restrictions went into effect in Q3 2021. However, the great majority of gun owners may not be aware of this restrictive policy, because it does represent a major change from the past. SEE FedEx Firearms Shipping Rules.

This represents a significant FedEx rule change that severely restricts the gun shipping options available to normal Americans who do not have Federal Firearms Licenses. FedEx policies state: “Nonlicensee shippers — Nonlicensees are prohibited from shipping firearms with FedEx.”

In years past, a regular gun owner (without an FFL) could ship both long guns and handguns from primary FedEx locations, provided you disclosed the contents. That was important for returning guns to manufacturers for warranty work, or shipping guns to a gunsmith. Now the options are limited. Long guns (rifles, shotguns) can still be shipped via the U.S. Postal Service and via UPS. However, the USPS prohibits shipping handguns. So the only viable alternative for private individuals to ship handguns (pistols and revolvers), is through UPS. And even with UPS, some affiliate locations will not handle firearms.

Here is the official FedEx Policy found at Fedex.com/en-us/shipping/how-to-ship-firearms.html:

Fedex firearms pistol rifle shipping policy ban FFL Federal Firearms license

Permalink Handguns, News, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
December 4th, 2021

Gifts of Firearms — How to Stay Out of Trouble

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

‘Tis the season of gift-giving (and Christmas Day is nearly here). Perhaps you’re considering giving a a first rifle to your grandson or perhaps a carry pistol to a spouse. When making a gun gift to a friend or family member, however, there are some very important legal considerations. Also the rules on firearms gift transfers vary 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.

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.

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF

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.

(more…)

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November 2nd, 2021

Firearms Transfers — Gifts and Sales — What You Need to Know

Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell

Are you planning to purchase or sell a gun? Or perhaps you want to give one to a family member. Maybe you want to transfer a gun to a friend out of state. These are all situations that demand you understand the law before you buy, sell, or transfer a gun. Thankfully the NRA Blog has a series of helpful articles that can guide you through firearms transfers and transactions.

Do note that laws on private transfers vary from state to state. Also, some of these articles are a few years old. Laws do change, typically becoming more restrictive. You should carefully review current laws in your state before buying/selling any firearm. For a summary of state gun laws, we recommend Attorney Bryan Ciyou’s Gun Laws by State 2021 reference book.

Here are five articles providing key facts you need to know.
Click each title to read the specific article.

Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell


Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell gift giving


Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell gift family


Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell private gift

Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell private gift

IMPORTANT: All five of these articles reference general rules that apply nationally and in MOST states. However, some states, such as California, New Jersey, and New York (and others) have very special rules and regulations on gun transfers. If you have ANY questions about gun transfers in your state/region, you should consult an attorney familiar the laws of YOUR state and municipality.

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December 13th, 2020

Thinking of Giving a Gun as a Gift? Understand the Law…

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

‘Tis the season of gift-giving (and Christmas Day is nearly here). Perhaps you’re considering giving a a first rifle to your grandson or perhaps a carry pistol to a spouse. When making a gun gift to a friend or family member, however, there are some very important legal considerations. Also the rules on firearms gift transfers vary 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.

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.

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF

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.

(more…)

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March 23rd, 2020

Gun Rights Threatened by Health-Related State Executive Orders

Coronavirus heath covid-19 executive order health shelter place stay home crisis gun store FFL

This article is written from California where gun stores are shuttered due to the ordered closure of “non-essential businesses”, as part of the effort to slow spread of the Coronavirus. While there is no outright ban on purchasing a gun in California, from a practical standpoint, the gunshops are all closed now. It’s very difficult to purchase ammo as well. But you CAN buy cannabis (marijuana). Yes, that’s right, California Governor Newsom declared Cannabis Dispensaries (Pot Shops) to be essential businesses. Oh well…

Currently 14 U.S. states have issued Stay-at-Home executive orders. In most locations these orders mandate business shutdowns as part of the “Stay at Home/Shelter in Place” strategies. Some states are closing gun stores, others are not. We think gun stores do provide “essential services” that help Americans defend themselves, their families, their homes, and their property. We applaud Illinois which stated that gun and ammo dealers are “essential businesses” that would NOT be closed as part of the Illinois Stay at Home program.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is working to ensure that firearms-related businesses are allowed to keep their doors open during these difficult times. The NSSF stated:

[T]he National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is hard at work for you during this challenging time as the nation faces the COVID-19 pandemic. NSSF is in contact with the White House, Capitol Hill, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advocating that our industry — from manufacturers to distributors to retailers to ranges — be declared by DHS as a “national critical infrastructure industry”. The DHS list is only guidance to states and local governments and does not carry the force of law. Therefore, NSSF is proactively working at the state and local level to advocate that our industry be exempted from any emergency ordinances or orders as “essential businesses”.

For example, through NSSF’s efforts, a proposed city ordnance in Albuquerque, NM, to shutter firearm retailers was defeated. Most recently, in response to NSSF’s efforts, the Governor of Illinois, in his emergency “shelter in place” executive order, declared that firearm and ammunition suppliers and retailers are “essential” and may remain open for business. Please see official statement below:

Supplies for Essential Businesses and Operations (Illinois):
Businesses that sell, manufacture, or supply other Essential Businesses and Operations with the support or materials necessary to operate, including computers, audio and video electronics, household appliances; IT and telecommunication equipment; hardware, paint, flat glass; electrical, plumbing and heating material; sanitary equipment; personal hygiene products; food, food additives, ingredients and components; medical and orthopedic equipment; optics and photography equipment; diagnostics, food and beverages, chemicals, soaps and detergent; and firearm and ammunition suppliers and retailers for purposes of safety and security;

Coronavirus heath covid-19 executive order health shelter place stay home crisis gun store FFL

The NSSF is also providing guidance for gunshop owners and FFLs. If you operate a sporting goods store or gunshop that sells firearms, you may want to visit the NSSF website, NSSF.org, for guidance on securing your inventory and dealing with increased demand and panic buying.

(more…)

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, News 1 Comment »
January 17th, 2020

Firearms Sales and Transfers — What You Need to Know

Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell

Are you planning to purchase or sell a gun? Or perhaps you want to give one to a family member. Maybe you want to transfer a gun to a friend out of state. These are all situations that demand you understand the law before you buy, sell, or transfer a gun. Thankfully the NRA Blog has a series of helpful articles that can guide you through firearms transfers and transactions. Do note that laws on private transfers vary from state to state.

Here are five articles providing key facts you need to know.
Click each title to read the specific article.

Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell
Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell gift giving
Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell gift family
Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell private gift
Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell private gift

Permalink - Articles, Handguns, News No Comments »
December 24th, 2019

Tips for Selling Firearms Online Through Auctions and Classifieds

Gunbroker shooters forum gun classified ads

online sales auctionsThese days, online gun Auctions and Classifieds attract more attention than ever. With so many folks accessing the internet daily, many gun owners find it easier to sell their firearms online rather than in the local gun store. Online selling opens up a much larger audience. With nearly 50,000 members in the AccurateShooter Forum, we have a very active gun Classifieds area. And then of course, there are the big dogs — Gunbroker and GunsAmerica. You’ll find tens of thousands of guns for sale on those big sites.

Before selling your stuff online, you should survey the major online sales and auction sites, comparing their fees and features. The costs are NOT all the same. For example, though you can list an item on Gunbroker for free, if the gun sells you may end up paying a LOT of money. Confirm this with the Gunbroker FEE Calculator. Using Gunbroker’s Fee Calculator we determined that, for a $2500.00 gun, the seller will pay $93.75 in fees! Yes, that’s for a single sale. That’s why many sellers prefer to list their rifles on Benchrest.com, or right here on AccurateShooter.com for FREE. Currently, basic members get five (5) free adverts in a 12-month period, while Gold and Silver members get unlimited classifieds for 12 months.

SEVEN TIPS for Selling Your Gear Online

1. Include Good, Sharp Photos: A custom rifle or expensive optic will sell two to three times as quickly, at a higher price, if you include good sharp photos. We can’t over-emphasize the importance of good photos. For all products, show multiple angles, and include the original boxes if you still have them. For a rifle, include detail shots as well as a photo of the complete gun.

2. Resize Your Photos Before Posting: Remember that many readers have monitors that only display 800-1000 pixels in screen width. We recommend you size your photos down to 600×480 pixels, or 800×600 at the most.

3. Be Fair and Complete in Your Description: Buyers appreciate honesty and thoroughness in product descriptions. Potential buyers want details. For a rifle, list the gunsmith, barrel-maker, round count, and provide the specifications. If the rifle has a winning competition history, say so. Always highlight the positives in your description, but you should disclose significant flaws. A buyer will be more willing to purchase if he thinks the seller is 100% honest.

4. Don’t Forget Contact Info: We’re amazed by how many adverts omit key contact info. In a forum classified ad, include a first name, e.g. “Ask for Dan.” We also suggest you list your residence city and state. Some buyers will prefer to buy from a seller in their home state. When communicating with a buyer, provide your phone number and email address. We recommend that all buyers and sellers actually talk live on the phone before concluding high-value deals.

5. Make the Price Attractive: Buyers, everywhere, are looking for good deals. If you want your item to move quickly, set the price accordingly and don’t expect top dollar. Check comparable listings and then discount by 10-15% if you want the item to move fast.

6. Include a Call to Action: Advertisements can be twice as effective if they include a “Call to Action”, i.e. a statement that directly inspires the potential buyer to respond. Sample calls to action are: “Free Shipping — today only.” Or, you can use a time limit: “Special Sale Price good ’til the end of the month”.

7. Always Follow ALL Applicable Laws: Even in states where private face-to-face gun sales are allowed, we recommend ALWAYS using an FFL for firearms transfers. This will protect YOU the seller. In addition, do your homework. Don’t sell to a buyer in a city or state (such as California) state or city where the particular firearm (such as an AR15) may be restricted

Classified Advert vs. Auctions
For benchrest, F-Class, Silhouette, Tactical or High Power rifles, you may get the best results posting a For Sale ad on a Forum that caters to the right discipline. You want your ad to reach the right audience. On the other hand, a GunBroker.com auction will have tens of thousands of potential buyers. Realistically, however, if you price your rig attractively, it should sell quickly in a Forum Classified Advert. Plus with conventional Classifieds, you can sell immediately — you don’t have to wait for the auction to end. For scopes and reloading equipment (but not firearms, actions, barrels etc.), also consider eBay, which still allows many gun-related items.

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December 4th, 2019

Important Rules for Firearms Gift Transfers

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

‘Tis the season of gift-giving — Christmas is just 3 weeks away. Perhaps you’re considering giving a a first rifle to your grandson or perhaps a carry pistol to a spouse. When making a gun gift to a friend or family member, however, there are some very important legal considerations. Also the rules on firearms gift transfers vary 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

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.

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF

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.

Intra-Family Transfers and Antique Arms
What if you want to give “Old Betsy,” your favorite old deer rifle, to your son or daughter as a college graduation gift? Again, in most states, there’s no law that says you can’t, but some states require even intra-family transfers to go through a licensed dealer. Remember, you can never transfer a firearm directly to another person who is a resident of a different state. In that case, you must transfer the firearm through a licensed dealer in the state where the person receiving the gift resides. Using a gift certificate from a firearms retailer near where the recipient lives might be a good solution. Pre-1898 antique firearms are generally exempt from the dealer requirement. [But check with the laws in your jurisdiction]. Be safe and check with your dealer or local law enforcement before you hand over your prized possession.

Regulations on Firearms Shipping to Third Parties
When you intend to transfer a gun, there are important rules on interstate shipping*. Generally speaking, you can only ship a handgun by common carrier (but not U.S. Mail) and a long gun by U.S. Mail or common carrier to a federally licensed dealer, but not to a non-licensed individual. With all carriers, federal law requires you to declare that your package contains an unloaded firearm. To be safe, always consult your carrier in advance about its regulations for shipping firearms. Also check your state laws on transfers.


*Different rules may apply to shipping to parties IN-STATE or shipping firearms to yourself in temporary care of others. Always consult your own state laws, but here are some FAQs copied directly from the ATF.GOV website:

(more…)

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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.

(more…)

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December 23rd, 2018

What You Need to Know about Firearms Gift Transfers

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

‘Tis the season of gift-giving (and Christmas Day is nearly here). Perhaps you’re considering giving a a first rifle to your grandson or perhaps a carry pistol to a spouse. When making a gun gift to a friend or family member, however, there are some very important legal considerations. Also the rules on firearms gift transfers vary 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.

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.

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF

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.

Intra-Family Transfers and Antique Arms
What if you want to give “Old Betsy,” your favorite old deer rifle, to your son or daughter as a college graduation gift? Again, in most states, there’s no law that says you can’t, but some states require even intra-family transfers to go through a licensed dealer. Remember, you can never transfer a firearm directly to another person who is a resident of a different state. In that case, you must transfer the firearm through a licensed dealer in the state where the person receiving the gift resides. Using a gift certificate from a firearms retailer near where the recipient lives might be a good solution. Pre-1898 antique firearms are generally exempt from the dealer requirement. [But check with the laws in your jurisdiction]. Be safe and check with your dealer or local law enforcement before you hand over your prized possession.

Regulations on Firearms Shipping to Third Parties
When you intend to transfer a gun, there are important rules on interstate shipping*. Generally speaking, you can only ship a handgun by common carrier (but not U.S. Mail) and a long gun by U.S. Mail or common carrier to a federally licensed dealer, but not to a non-licensed individual. With all carriers, federal law requires you to declare that your package contains an unloaded firearm. To be safe, always consult your carrier in advance about its regulations for shipping firearms. Also check your state laws on transfers.


*Different rules may apply to shipping to parties IN-STATE or shipping firearms to yourself in temporary care of others. Always consult your own state laws, but here are some FAQs copied directly from the ATF.GOV website:

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October 11th, 2018

Transferring Firearms — What You Need to Know

Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell

Are you planning to purchase or sell a gun? Or perhaps you want to give one to a family member. Maybe you want to transfer a gun to a friend out of state. These are all situations that demand you understand the law before you buy, sell, or transfer a gun. Thankfully the NRA Blog has a series of helpful articles that can guide you through firearms transfers and transactions. Do note that laws on private transfers vary from state to state.

Here are five articles providing key facts you need to know.
Click each title to read the specific article.

Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell
Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell gift giving
Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell gift family
Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell private gift
Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell private gift

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August 8th, 2018

Firearms Transfers — Federal Form 4473 and Cannabis

ATF Form 4473 Marijuana Cannabis background check
Read Orchid Advisors’ Full Form 4473 Revision Report on Ammoland.com.

Dope or Guns. But Not Both…
Federal law is clear on this. Make your choice. — Dennis Santiago

You may live in a state where private use of marijuana has been decriminalized, but you still have to worry about the Federal Government. Use of marijuana (cannabis) is still prohibited under Federal law. Admitting that you smoke dope can and will prevent you from being able to purchase firearms. We raise this point because in 2016 ATF modified Forum 4473, the Federal Firearms Transaction Record, to include a new warning. The Shooting Wire explains:

ATF Form 4473 Marijuana Cannabis background check “ATF notified licensees last week that ATF Form 4473… has again been revised. There’s now a warning attached to question 11.e.

11.e is the famous question, ‘Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?’

The warning simply says that use and possession is illegal under federal statute regardless of the state’s rules. Some on social media said, ‘ATF is telling you to mark that answer “no”. Apparently they don’t remember Scooter Libby.

Lying on ATF Form 4473, as noted right above Block 14, is a federal felony — punishable by fines and a term of imprisonment. Want an all-expense paid vacation at Club Fed? If not, don’t mess with the [Federal Government].”

There are a number of other small changes and additions in the latest revision of Form 4473. These changes are reviewed in great detail by Orchid Advisors, firearms industry compliance experts. If you sell firearms, we recommend you read Orchid Advisors’ full Form 4473 Report on Ammoland.com. Below you can read all six pages of ATF Form 4473.

Download current Form 4473 from the ATF’s website at https://www.atf.gov/firearms/firearms-forms. FFL dealers should note that all six pages of Form 4473 must be printed and retained as permanent transaction records.

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June 5th, 2018

NSSF Answers Tough Firearms Transfer Questions

FFL license holders questions and answers about transfersThe National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has published a Q & A Page about FFL transfers and other FFL-related matters. The NSSF’s experts provide answers to common questions to ensure that neither FFLs nor their customers get caught in regulatory traps. Here are some of the recent questions and answers:

1. Purchase of Firearm by Parent for Child.

Q: May a parent or guardian purchase firearms or ammunition as a gift for a juvenile (under 18 years of age)?

Yes. However, possession of handguns by juveniles (less than 18 years of age) is generally unlawful. Juveniles generally may only receive and possess handguns with the written permission of a parent or guardian for limited purposes (e.g., employment, ranching, farming, target practice or hunting), and that permission slip must be carried by the juvenile while possessing the handgun. [18 U.S.C. 922(x)]

2. May an FFL Transfer a Firearm by Way of a “House Call”?

Q: I have an elderly customer who cannot leave his home. I have a gun in my store that he wants to buy. Can I go to his house, have the Form 4473 completed, call for a background check and deliver the gun to him, providing that all the background checks clear?

A: Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) are required to conduct business from their licensed “business premises.” The Form 4473, Part 1, is for an over-the-counter transaction. The buyer must appear in person at the FFL premises. Licensees may not conduct firearms transactions from locations other than their licensed premises, with the exception of gun shows or other events dedicated to the sporting use of firearms and held in the state where the FFL’s premises is located. An FFL who locates purchasers by other means must complete the transaction and all required paperwork at the business premises indicated on the FFL’s license.

3. Can the Spouse of a Transferee (Buyer) Pick Up a Firearm?

Q: A customer filled out a Form 4473 on a shotgun. The NICS background check reply was delayed, but the following day NICS approved the purchase. The customer could not get back to my store during open hours, however, so he sent his wife to pick it up. May I transfer the shotgun to her?

A: The shotgun may not be transferred to the customer’s wife, as she is not the intended transferee. The customer must return to the store himself and complete the ATF Form 4473 to receive the firearm. He must recertify that his answers in section A are still true, correct and complete by signing and dating Section C on the ATF Form 4473.

4. What Is the Procedure for an Older Firearm with No Serial Number?

Q: I have received a firearm on trade. It was made before 1968 and has no serial number. I must note the physical markings on the firearm in my records. What do I do in this case?

A: Unfortunately, marking requirements that existed before 1968 did not apply to all firearms. Many of the firearms manufactured and imported prior to 1968 bear no serial numbers or other markings. Licensees who receive these firearms should note in each descriptive column in the acquisition record the physical markings that appear on the firearms. If no serial number was placed on the firearm, it should be specifically noted that “Firearm has no serial number” or recorded “NSN.” Remember, however, it is illegal to remove or alter a firearm’s serial number, and a licensee should report such a firearm to the nearest ATF office. Refer to the ATF P 3317.2, Safety and Security Information for Federal Firearms Licensees.

5. What Should Be Done if an FFL Finds a Firearm That Was Previously Reported Lost?

Q: I’ve reported a lost firearm. I’ve done all the necessary paperwork and notifications. Now, I’ve found the firearm. What is my course of action?

A: FFLs who report a firearm as missing and later discover its whereabouts should advise the ATF, as well as their local law enforcement agency, that the firearms have been located. The ATF can be contacted at 888-930-9275. In addition, once the firearms are located, they must be re-entered into the Acquisition and Disposition (A&D) record as an acquisition entry.

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