FFL Sales – Contiguous States Sales
Once you obtain your FFL License and have the ability to sell guns, it’s important to know who you can actually sell guns to. The obvious rules are pretty easy to follow. Don’t sell any gun to someone if you know it to be a straw purchase. (For more information on that subject, see our blog on Straw Purchases). Also, don’t sell a long gun to a person under 18 years of age or a handgun to a person under 21 years of age.
A law that some, but not all, are aware of is the “contiguous state” provision of the Gun Control Act (CGA). Within this provision unlicensed persons are allowed to purchase a long gun from a FFL dealer located in a state contiguous to the state in which the person resides, as long as (1) the sale would be permitted in the purchaser’s state of residence; and (2) the sale fully complied with all legal conditions of sale in both states.
In 1986, the provision of the GCA was amended regarding the sale or disposition of long guns to residents of contiguous states. The provision now allows FFL dealers to sell or dispose of long guns to any resident of any state (not just contiguous) as long as (1) the transferee meets in person with the FFL dealer to actually perform the transfer; and (2) every part of the sale (sale itself, delivery, and receipt) fully comply with the laws surrounding gun sales in both the buyer’s and seller’s states.
It’s important to take a look at your state’s laws. Despite this update in the GCA, some states have not changed their laws to reflect the update. The most stringent law must be followed when comparing state and federal laws, therefore; if the wording of your state’s law specifically prohibits FFL dealers from making a sale and transferring a long gun to a resident of a non-contiguous state, that must be followed. However, if your state’s wording allows FFL dealers to make a sale and transfer of a long gun to residents of a contiguous state (and doesn’t say anything regarding non-contiguous states) then the state law also authorizes FFL dealers to sell and transfer long guns to residents of non-contiguous states.