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Thread: Active military considered resident?

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    Hi everybody. If somebody has a non-WA drivers license, but is active duty military here in WA, is it legal for them to buy pistols through an FFL or private party?

    I've read a few people say they are considered to be a resident for all firearms related situations, but haven't been able to see any actual laws I can read for myself. Any help?

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    A gun carrying JAG friend of mine who works out of Ft. Lewis answered this question that, for purposes of purchasing a firearm, active duty military personnel are "residents" where they are currently stationed AND where their home/resident state is designated. He also added that some FFLs may not understand this and may be hesitant to start a transaction without ID showing an address in whatever state they were in. I have never found reason to doubt this person before.

    -adamsesq

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    Would bringing in a couple bills with your name and address or something like that be beneficial in proving that your residing here?

    When I was in the Army I had plenty of friend with an out of state drivers license buy guns while stationed at Ft. Lewis. So I know you can, I just don't know the in's and out's of it.

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    I work in that business. Washington state law requires that you be a resident to purchase a hand gun. A little know fact is that a non resident can purchase a hand gun from an FFL dealer, but there is a 2 month waiting period. What is required is any state issued picture ID, or original orders from your command showing your permanent duty station. The simple solution is to just go to DOL office and get a state ID card for about $10.50. These documents are to establish residency. TDY orders do not qualify.

    With your military ID and a document such as a power bill, car insurance, vehicle registration, etc. you can purchase a handgun.

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    Ok, good to know about FFL. What about private party?

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    FTF is legal, as long as you are legally qualified to own a firearm. Also, the CPL does not qualify to establish residency, as the same license is issued to non residents. The fact that it has a Wa. address makes no difference.

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    (B11) What constitutes residency in a State? [Back]
    The State of residence is the State in which an individual is present; the individual also must have an intention of making a home in that State. 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 purchase a firearm in either the State where the duty station is located or the State where the home is maintained. An alien who is legally in the United States is considered to be a resident of a State only if the alien is residing in that State and has resided in that State continuously for a period of at least 90 days prior to the date of sale of the firearm. See also Item 5, “Sales to Aliens in the United States,” in the General Information section of this publication.
    [18 U.S.C. 921(b), 922(a) (3), and 922(b)(3), 27 CFR 478.11]


    http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/faq2.htm#b11

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    Active military with an out of state drivers license can purchase firearms in the state they are stationed in permitted that their current military ID correctly lists their current address as being in that state. So long as all other applicable laws are followed pertaining to legal ownership of firearms, you're good to go.

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    Your military ID never has an address on it.

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    You guys are amazing. Thanks for the quick and accurate response including the actual ATF site link. I searched the atf website and that thing is hard as heck to find what you want.

    I LOVE THIS SITE!

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    Brandnew,

    Not sure if it is for all states. I was told that because I am a Fl. resident i needed a copy of my orders showing i'm stationed in WA. All I do when I buy a gun is give them my DL, Mil id, cpl, and orders. CPL is just so I don't have to wait for my gun.Never had a problem. Also if you don't know Ft. Lewis has a civ range to go shoot.

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    "For the purposes of this chapter, a member of the Armed Forces on active duty is a resident of the State in which his permanent duty station is located." 18 U.S.C. § 921(b).
    James M. "Jim" Mullins, Jr., Esq.
    Admitted to practice in West Virginia and Florida.

    Founder, Past President, Treasurer, and General Counsel, West Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
    Life Member, NRA

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    dlnwoody wrote:
    Brandnew,

    Not sure if it is for all states. I was told that because I am a Fl. resident i needed a copy of my orders showing i'm stationed in WA. All I do when I buy a gun is give them my DL, Mil id, cpl, and orders. CPL is just so I don't have to wait for my gun.Never had a problem. Also if you don't know Ft. Lewis has a civ range to go shoot.
    This is the correct answer for Washington state.

    I purchased a firearm when I was active duty in South Carolina as a Washington resident. It took a copy of my orders to get the sale completed.

    Can you shoot 600 to 1000 yards at Ft Lewis?

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    NavyLT wrote:
    adamsesq wrote:
    A gun carrying JAG friend of mine who works out of Ft. Lewis answered this question that, for purposes of purchasing a firearm, active duty military personnel are "residents" where they are currently stationed AND where their home/resident state is designated. He also added that some FFLs may not understand this and may be hesitant to start a transaction without ID showing an address in whatever state they were in. I have never found reason to doubt this person before.

    -adamsesq
    Your JAG friend was incorrect. A military member cannot claim residency for firearms transactions based solely upon home of record state (IE: home state where their driver's license is from). In order to claim residency in a home of record state, an actual residence where the military member resides for part of the year must be established. My DL is from Wyoming, for tax purposes I am a Wyoming state resident, however, for firearms purposes and for divorce purposes, I cannot claim Wyoming as a state of residence because I do not maintain an actual, physical address there.
    Actually he was correct and that is shown in the BATF FAQ quoted above. But so are you - we are saying the same thing. His permanent orders state is one. His home/resident state is the second as long has he as a home there and it is his resident state that is two. He has two "residences" for fire arms transfers.


    And to be REALLY techincally correct: A FFL can SELL to anyone he wishes. He just can't TRANSFER the firearm to them. A Wa. FFL can sell to me as an Oregon resident. But he has to TRANSFER it to an Oregon FFL before I can get my hands on it.

    -adamsesq


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    Ok...check this out. Anywhere I've gone to buy a firearm from a FFL has just required my military orders, ID, and driver's license. Thats it.



    Now...for ***** and grins,I am an Idaho resident. I can buy a gun here without my orders because I am froma neighboring state. I can buy guns in WA, OR, MT, WY, NV, and ID depending on where I go.

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    Huh...weird. I'll have to check that out. When I was at one of the sporting goods stores (don't remember which one because I visited several that day) I was told that because I was a neighboring state resident, they didn't need anything other than my D/L.

    I'll have to remember which store told me that and ask them again.

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    NavyLT,

    As far as long guns go. There are some states that WA will not sell long guns to unless they have orders. I am a resident of FL, when I tried to by a shotgun i was told I needed my orders due to being a resident of FL.

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    NavyLT, actually, the Florida law would prohibit purchase in WA State.

    The law says that FL residents can purchase from "contiguous" states: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contiguous

    That means only Alabama and Georgia, unless they're meaning contiguous as in "unbroken," which is not normally the term... but then it would be the Continental 48, which would then make your argument correct.

    I'm guessing they mean that only states that directly connect to their borders have that permission, but I could be wrong.
    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
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    NavyLt,

    With all due respect, you're the one that needs to re-read. Quoting yourself:

    that unless a state law specifically PROHIBITS the purchase of a long gun from a particular state
    And the Florida law you cite specifically does prohibit residents from purchasing long guns in non-contiguous states.

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    kparker wrote:
    NavyLt,

    With all due respect, you're the one that needs to re-read. Quoting yourself:

    that unless a state law specifically PROHIBITS the purchase of a long gun from a particular state
    And the Florida law you cite specifically does prohibit residents from purchasing long guns in non-contiguous states.
    The Florida law that you cited does not prohibit anything. It merely allows the purchase of long guns in contiguous states. Is there more wording that you didn't post that says you can't purchase in other states?

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    Well that was an annoying quotation. What happened there? Here is the relevant part as far as I can see.

    "ATF takes the position that if the laws of a given State allow its residents to acquire a long gun in a contiguous State, those laws also allow its residents to acquire a long gun in any other State where the laws of that State permit such"


    Be nice if we could have a .pdf copy of the relevant newsletter or a link to an official website that states this.



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    NavyLT wrote: This is a good place to get interesting information. Thanks.

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    NavyLT,

    My apologies--I just assumed the Florida law you quoted was current, rather than never having been updated since the Federal requirements changed.

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    NavyLT wrote:
    Trigger Dr wrote:
    I work in that business. Washington state law requires that you be a resident to purchase a hand gun. A little know fact is that a non resident can purchase a hand gun from an FFL dealer, but there is a 2 month waiting period. What is required is any state issued picture ID, or original orders from your command showing your permanent duty station. The simple solution is to just go to DOL office and get a state ID card for about $10.50. These documents are to establish residency. TDY orders do not qualify.

    With your military ID and a document such as a power bill, car insurance, vehicle registration, etc. you can purchase a handgun.
    OK. What law allows for a non-resident to purchase a handgun from an FFL with a two month waiting period? I would really like to see the citation of that law. Federal Law, Title 44 Chapter 18 Section 922 better known as 18 USC 922 specifically forbids and makes it illegal (a felony) for an FFL to sell a handgun to an out of state resident. It also forbids and makes it illegal for the purchaser to transport that handgun into his state of residence. I can post the citations, if desired, of that Federal Law.

    and, BTW, according to BATFE, the document that accompanies the Military ID to purchase firearms is permanent change of station orders because a military member can have a Military ID and can have all the other documents that you mentioned in your post and still not be a resident of that state. Because my last duty station was Oklahoma, I can give you all those documents with an Oklahoma address on them, but my state of residence is now Washington.

    And finally, in addition to WA state law requiring residency to purchase a handgun from an FFL, it is the Federal Law as stated above.
    RCW 9.41.090, section 1 c
    (c) Five business days, meaning days on which state offices are open, have elapsed from the time of receipt of the application for the purchase thereof as provided herein by the chief of police or sheriff designated in subsection (5) of this section, and, when delivered, the pistol shall be securely wrapped and shall be unloaded. However, if the purchaser does not have a valid permanent Washington driver's license or state identification card or has not been a resident of the state for the previous consecutive ninety days, the waiting period under this subsection (1)(c) shall be up to sixty days.


    I see where you could have misunderstood my post. I should have specified Wa State ID and permanent duty station orders for an installation Wa. The other documents such as power bill etc, are to verify duty orders.

    My comments on this are over.

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    I have not tried it here in Washington, but was able to buy firearms in Arizona by showing my Military ID, Social Security Card, and a couple letters addressed to me in state. I even bought a shotgun at wal-mart doing this. That was about 2 years ago.

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