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Thread: purchasing across statelines

  1. #1
    Regular Member
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    Apr 2012
    NW Ohio

    purchasing across statelines

    With the background checks in place , why cant one purchase across state lines ?

  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    North Chesterfield VA
    Quote Originally Posted by Yiteurp View Post
    With the background checks in place , why cant one purchase across state lines ?
    Well, it really depends on how you define "purchasing". A purchaser in state A can presently purchase a handgun from a seller in state B but cannot take possession of the handgun in state A - they must have the seller ship the handgun from state A to a FFL in state B who will then run the background checks you note, and then transfer the handgun to the purchaser.

    But I believe you might be wondering why a person from state A cannot, while in state B, purchase a handgun and take immediate possession after having cleared the NICS check. Especially when a person from state A can purchase and take possession of a long gun (rifle or shotgun) in state B* after passing the NICS check. The best explanation I can give you is: Because handguns are evvvilllll-er than rifles and shotguns so therefore SHUDDER! (Yeah, I know. It makes as much sense as a fish on a bicycle. But then it was an idea that went through Congress.)

    The fix for this is gong to be a long haul - just look at what it took to get the rule on purchasing rifles/shotguns out-of-state changed. There is an additional component that most people will not talk about - that because handguns are evvvilllll-er than rifles and shotguns little support can be expected from the rifle and/or shotgun crowd unless the proposed change somehow threatens their toys.

    stay safe.

    * The current rule says that the purchase must be legal in both state A where the purchaser resides and in state B where the purchase takes place. This is a vast improvement over the previous rule that required additionally that this could only take place in contiguous states - ones that shared a common border.
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  3. #3
    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
    S. Kitsap, Washington state
    Quote Originally Posted by Yiteurp View Post
    With the background checks in place , why cant one purchase across state lines ?
    probably because at the time the GCA was passed handguns were regulated much differently between states and non-NFA long guns were virtually unregulated (and still are in most states)

    And what skidmark says, they're much EVIL-ER-ER then rifles. I mean you ever notice how many pistol boxes say "illegal in California" on them?
    they love our milk and honey, but they preach about some other way of living, when they're running down my country man they're walkin' on the fightin side of me

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  4. #4
    Founder's Club Member
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    Dec 2007
    Dallas, TX, ,
    I've been looking at this as part of research for Lane v. Holder and Dearth v. Holder. The short of it is that when the GCA of '68 was passed, there was no NICS. In fact there wasn't much of any federal law concerning handguns at all (the GCA was the first big piece of federal legislation for handguns, and the biggest since the NFA). In the interest of making whatever regulations the States wanted to enact stick, the Feds invoked their Commerce Clause powers and regulated interstate transfer of handguns and long guns. The long gun restriction (allowed only between a seller and buyer from contiguous states) was eventually removed, but citing "pressing concerns about handgun violence" the handgun transfer ban remains.

    The FFL is responsible for making sure the purchase is legal in the state in which they do business. That was true in 68 and it's true now; if it turns out an FFL sold a gun to a prohibited person, or in violation of state or federal laws, the feds will go over their books with a microscope, and if there's any evidence the FFL knew, or should have known, they were making an illegal sale, revocation of the FFL is the least of the seller's worries.

    The two-FFL system thus has one significant remaining value; the removal of responsibility of the FFL holder to know when an out-of-state purchase is legal and when it isn't. The FFL selling the weapon is in effect "selling" the weapon to the end buyer's FFL, who then resells it to the buyer. That's what the bound books will look like regardless of exactly how the money changes hands. Selling a firearm to another FFL is always legal regardless of how many state lines it crosses. Thus, responsibility for the final transfer to the end buyer ends up in the hands of someone in the buyer's home state, who *should* know the laws of that state as well as federal laws.

    That being said...

    There are two cases currently working their way through Fourth Circuit. The first is Dearth v. Holder; Stephen Dearth, a US citizen and Canada resident, is currently barred from purchasing a firearm from a U.S. FFL, because in the 4473 paperwork, the purchaser's State of Residence is required. Dearth has no such state of residence and thus cannot truthfully complete the Federal paperwork. The SAF is pursuing the suit on his behalf, stating that the GCA provision, as implemented by current ATF regs, is preventing Mr Dearth from exercising his right to bear arms in violation of the Second Amendment.

    The second case is Lane v Holder. Michelle Lane, a resident of the District of Columbia, is unable to take lawful possession of two handguns purchased from an FFL in Virginia, first because of the federal GCA law banning sale of handguns to out-of-state residents, and second because of a mirror Virginia law. To comply with these laws, the Plaintiff had originally arranged to handle the sale through an FFL licensed in D.C., Stephen Dykes, the only FFL in the District of Columbia; however his residential lease, which gave him an address and thus a "place of business" within DC, was revoked so as of right now there are currently no FFLs in DC that could accept the handgun transfer. The SAF is again pursuing this action on Ms. Lane's behalf, stating that the Federal and Virginia laws constitute a ban on the purchase of weapons by DC residents, as currently nobody can do so, and even if Mr. Dykes regains the ability to do business (as DC stated it was working to accomplish as of the motion hearings) the law effectively creates a government-mandated monopoly on the sale of firearms within DC in the hands of Mr. Dykes (who charges $125 per gun to transfer firearms into DC; the going rate most everywhere else I can see for a similar transfer is between $10 and $30 per gun).

    If either challenge is finally successful for the Plaintiffs, the Federal law will be struck down for everyone. How many State laws go with it depends on at what level the law is struck down; an appellate court ruling would affect only state laws in the same Circuit but establish the precedent in other Circuits that these laws are violative, while a SCOTUS victory would invalidate any ban on the transfer of non-NFA-registered handguns across State lines. Opinions from the Internet gallery are mixed as to the probability of success of either one; both cases were dismissed by Federal District Court due to "lack of standing"; the Plaintiffs didn't prove they had suffered any "injury" as a result of any action of the Defendants. Dearth was reversed and remanded (Mr Dearth is suffering an "ongoing injury" in the form of being prohibited from exercising his rights as a U.S. citizen under the Second Amendment, almost entirely due to the laws and regulations in place, and thus does indeed have standing), but the case was then again dismissed by the District Court and is again on the docket for the Fourth Circuit. Lane is pending its first go-round in Fourth Circuit, and the case here is weaker; the Plaintiffs admit that if an FFL were doing business in DC, Lane would have no case, while that isn't an option in Dearth's situation. However, they do still have the "ongoing injury" decision from Dearth going for them, because Mr. Dykes is *still* not doing business in DC, despite the reports filed for the hearing over a year ago.
    Last edited by Liko81; 10-09-2012 at 05:41 PM.

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