Private Gun Sale Between States

Private Gun Sales Between States

Recently we posted about Private Gun Sales.  In that post we wrote: Under federal law, an unlicensed (non-dealer) may only “transfer” a firearm to another unlicensed person in the same state.  But what happens if the buyer or seller have a home in more than one state?   What about Members of the Armed Forces, stationed outside their home state?  Can you have private gun sales between states? Today, we answer those questions.

You can have Private Gun Sales Between States when a Buyer or Seller has Multiple State Residences.

What if a person maintains a home in two or more states?

A private gun sale usually may only occur between residents of the same state unless done through an FFL.  However, if a person maintains a home in two (or more) states and resides in those states for periods of the year, he or she may, during the period of time the person actually resides in a particular state, purchase a firearm in that state.  However, simply owning property in another state does not qualify a person as a resident of that state so as to purchase a firearm in that state.  To meet the residency requirements, a person must actually maintain a home in a state which includes an intention to make a particular state a residence.  See 27 CFR §478.11This issue may ultimately be a fact question with evidence of residency including a driver’s license, insurance records, recurring expenses in the state, as well as other things related to making a state a person’s residence.

Members of the Armed Forces

A member of the Armed Forces on active duty is a resident of the state in which his or her permanent duty station is located.  If a member of the Armed Forces maintains a home in one state and the member’s permanent duty station is in a nearby state to which he or she commutes each day, then the member has two states of residence and may sell or purchase a firearm in a private gun sale in either state.  See 18 U.S.C. §921(b).  See also ATF FAQs on residency at

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The Expert Firearm Attorneys at The Firearm Firm are here to help.  Further, our primary goal is to keep gun owners legal.  If you have any firearm related questions, visit our website.  There, you can search our knowledge base, or leave a question for us to answer.  The Firearm Firm is a statewide Second Amendment and Self-Defense law firm.


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