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Buy Guns From Private Owners

The Vesel case is not the only murder involving a weapon procured through Armslist. In Wisconsin in October, three days after his wife obtained a restraining order against him for domestic violence, Radcliffe Haughton purchased a gun from a private seller he contacted through Armslist, after posting a rather desperate ad on the site that read:

buy guns from private owners

Federal law barred Haughton from buying or possessing a firearm after his wife obtained a domestic violence restraining order against him, he was able to avoid an instant background check by purchasing a gun through a private, unlicensed seller on While licensed gun dealers are required by federal law to conduct background checks, private sellers are not. For Haughton, this lethal loophole made breaking the law to buy a .40-caliber handgun as easy as searching the internet.

This article originally appeared on and has been reprinted with permission.Continuing with our series on buying and selling firearms, in this article we are going to talk about private sales. In our last post, we explained FFLs and background checks, so we already covered how buying firearms from a gun shop works, but what about private sales?

There are many things to consider when dealing with private sales, and the first is if it is legal in your state. Not all states allow private sales, and some have certain restrictions that you should be aware of. For example, in California private sales must be completed through licensed firearm dealers. Connecticut requires the person making the transfer to get an authorization number before such sales can be completed, and forbids the transfer of long guns unless certain conditions are met. A number of other states have similar restrictions. It is also illegal to sell a firearm to a resident of another state without going through a dealer, and sellers cannot ship directly to (non-FFL) buyers in another state. Selling to convicted felons and any other prohibited purchaser is illegal as well.

For example, in 1991, California famously banned private sales of handguns in response to an escalation of drug-related crimes. However, experts say that the escalation of crime in the early 1990s was mostly accounted for by juveniles, who are already prohibited from buying or possessing handguns.

In Texas, law-abiding citizens but also criminals, the mentally ill, and domestic abusers can buy guns from private sellers through gun shows or online. This is called the private sale or gun show loophole.

The critical fact here is that there is no such Michigan law that covers the private sale of a long gun. Accordingly, a private purchaser of a long gun need not obtain a purchase license of any kind and the private seller is not required to perform any sort of background check. The same cannot be said of retail sales. The purchase of a rifle from an FFL dealer does require the dealer to run a background check.

Ask a cop on the beat how criminals get guns and you're likely to hear thishard boiled response: "They steal them." But this street wisdom is wrong,according to one frustrated Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agentwho is tired of battling this popularmisconception. An expert on crime gun patterns, ATF agent Jay Wachtel says thatmost guns used in crimes are not stolen out of private gunowners' homes and cars. "Stolen guns account for only about 10% to 15% of gunsused in crimes," Wachtel said. Because whenthey want guns they want them immediately the wait is usually too long fora weapon to be stolen and find its way to a criminal.

The next biggest source of illegal gun transactions where criminals get guns are sales made by legally licensed but corrupt at-home and commercial gun dealers. Several recentreports back up Wachtel's own studies about this, and make the case thatillegal activity by those licensed to sell guns, known as Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs), is a huge source of crime guns and greatly surpasses the sale of guns stolen from John Q. Citizen. Like bank robbers, who are interested in banks, gun traffickers are interested in FFLs because that's where the guns are. This is why FFLs are a large source of illegal guns for traffickers, who ultimately wind up selling the guns on thestreet.

According to a recent ATF report, there is a significantdiversion to the illegal gun market from FFLs. The report states that "of the120,370 crime guns that were traced to purchases from the FFLs then inbusiness, 27.7 % of these firearms were seized by law enforcement in connectionwith a crime within two years of the original sale. This rapid `time to crime'of a gun purchased from an FFL is a strong indicator that the initial seller orpurchaser may have been engaged in unlawful activity."

The report goes on to state that "over-the-counter purchases are not the onlymeans by which guns reach the illegal market from FFLs" and reveals that 23,775guns have been reported lost, missing or stolen from FFLs since September 13, 1994, when a new law took effect requiring dealers to report gun thefts within 48 hours.This makes the theft of 6,000 guns reported in the CIR/Frontline show"Hot Guns" only 25% of all cases reported to ATF in the past two andone-half years.

Another large source of guns used in crimes are unlicensed street dealers whoeither get their guns through illegal transactions with licensed dealers, straw purchases, or from gun thefts. These illegal dealers turn around and sell these illegally on the street. An additional way criminals gain access to guns is family and friends, either through sales, theft or as gifts.

ATF officials say that only about 8% of the nation's 124,000 retail gun dealerssell the majority of handguns that are used in crimes. They conclude thatthese licensed retailers are part of a block of rogue entrepreneurs tempted bythe big profits of gun trafficking. Cracking down on these dealers continuesto be a priority for the ATF. What's needed, according to Wachtel, is better monitoring of the activities of legally licensed gun dealers. This means examining FFL paperwork to see where their guns are coming from, and makingsure that those guns are being sold legally. But he says, "Let's be honest. Ifsomeone wants a gun, it's obvious the person will not have difficulty buying agun, either legally or through the extensive United States black market."

In a new survey conducted by Webster's research center and published online in Preventive Medicine, 85 percent of gun owners said there should be background checks for every individual seeking to buy a gun, regardless of who wants to sell the weapon or where the transaction takes place. That's 2 percentage points higher than for non-gun owners asked the same question. This echoes what Webster and his colleagues found two years ago, shortly after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that left 20 students and six teachers dead. "The idea that we want to keep guns from dangerous people is common sense, whether you are a lifetime member of the NRA and grew up with guns or you're a pacifist," says Webster.

It is ILLEGAL, and a Federal Felony, for a Utah resident to purchase any firearm from a resident of another state through a private party transaction or have the firearm shipped directly to the buyer in Utah.

Herein Arkansas, you can buy or sell a gun from a private owner byexchanging money and exchanging the gun. Period. By state law, there areno other requirements. But there are consequences for selling to thewrong person.

Bottomline: If you live in a state that doesn't require anything for privatefirearm transfer, that doesn't mean you have to be stupid. If you boughtyour gun from a private owner with no paperwork, it's no big deal. Butif you bought it from a dealer, your name and all personal informationand background check is the only one that can possibly be traced back tothe dealer and your corresponding firearm purchase.

A private seller of a firearm is not required to have a license to sell guns. Federal laws only require that individuals be licensed as dealers if they are engaged in the business of selling firearms.

Because a private seller is not federally licensed, they are not required to run a background check on a prospective purchaser under the Brady Law. In addition, a private seller is not required to comply with other Brady Law provisions, including keeping records of sales of firearms or selling firearms from a specific business location.

Idaho statute allows residents 18 years of age, not disqualified from having a permit, to carry a concealed firearm statewide without a permit except in certain designated places including a courthouse, juvenile detention or jail facility, or public or private school unless specifically authorized.

Are there places where I cannot carry a concealed weapon? Yes. You may not carry a concealed weapon in a courthouse, juvenile detention facility, adult correctional facility, prison, jail, public school or private school. Federal law may prohibit you from carrying a weapon in places such as federal courthouses and airports. If you have any doubt, you should contact the government entity prior to carrying a weapon onto its premises.

Aside from purchasing at a gun shop, Pennsylvanians may also purchase firearms at a gun show or from a private dealer. If you purchase a firearm from a federally licensed dealer at the gun show, the process is the same as if you purchased it from a gun shop. You will have to fill out an application to purchase a firearm and go through a PICS background check.

HelloI am a permanent resident of US and stay in Downingtown, PA. I am interested in buying a handgun (Pistol/Revolver) but I need training to load and fire it.I have couple of questions.1. Can I fill up and submit the form online?2. Can I do the online payment for all the requisite formalities for buying process?3. While buying the handgun, Do I have to visit the store to buy or could buy it online from the registered store in my locality?4. Do I need to initiate the police verification during the gun buying process?5. After purchase of the handgun, do I have to visit the Police station in-person to let them know about this?6. Is there any place I can be trained how to handle and fire handguns in my locality (Zip: PA 19335)? (Could you suggest any such facility?) 041b061a72


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