Firearms are regulated by Federal, State and local statutes, which deal with various purchase, possession and transport requirements. Often these statutes conflict with one another. What follows is a greatly simplified statement of some items of interest to our clients. It is not intended to be a comprehensive legal treatise covering all aspects regarding firearms nationwide.
To acquire firearms, all persons must meet certain purchase requirements and complete specific forms, which vary from state to state. Generally, one must be 18 years of age to purchase a shotgun or rifle and provide a government-issued photo ID showing current residence address and date of birth. In addition, residents of New Jersey and New York City must present their Firearms Owner ID. (Other New York State residents need not have a New York City long gun permit.) Connecticut mandates a 14 day waiting period for purchasers who do not have a Connecticut-issued hunting license or pistol license.
Please note that one does not have to be a resident of the state in which our store is located in order to take possession of a gun, but we are required to ensure that the sale is legal in both your state of residence, as well as the state of sale. One need not be a United States citizen in order to acquire firearms. Resident Aliens are eligible to purchase firearms and ammunition but must provide additional documentation indicating their status and proving their residence in a State in excess of 90 days.
Upon completing the required forms, we will call a government agency, provide your information and request a NICS clearance. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is a national requirement designed to identify ineligible firearms purchasers at the point of sale. Persons are prohibited from acquiring or possessing firearms in this country if they have been convicted of, or are under indictment for, a serious crime, have a history of substance abuse or mental disorder, reside illegally in the United States or have renounced U. S. citizenship, are subject to a restraining order or have been convicted of a crime of domestic violence.
We are required to follow these same procedures when we receive firearms on your behalf as a result of transfer from another dealer, importation into the country or when we return guns to you from our consigned gun inventory. This acquisition procedure is not required to reclaim firearms after repair or storage.
Transport of your firearms is generally legal when traveling throughout the United States and to most hunting locations abroad. The firearms must be lawful to possess at both ends of your journey and one is wise to check for regional laws in jurisdictions through which one expects to travel, especially if an overnight visit is contemplated.
When traveling by motor vehicle, firearms must be unloaded and secured outside of the passenger compartment or transported in locked cases, separate from ammunition. When traveling by commercial aircraft, guns must be unloaded and secured in sturdy locked cases, which can be opened for inspection. They must be declared as firearms at point of baggage check and must be placed in the baggage compartment. It is imperative that one complete a United States Customs Declaration form listing all guns before embarking on an overseas journey, to avoid difficulty upon returning home. U. S. Customs officers will not allow the guns into the country without proof that the guns were here previously.