Summary of laws regarding Interstate sales/transfers.

Rating - 100%
15   0   0
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
16,912
Likes
762
Location
BIOT
Thought I'd compile a list and post it since there have been about 40 threads about this so far this month. If it deserves to be stickied, someone please do [wink]

Corrections welcome.

Long guns

A person may purchase long guns in person in any state that does not have a law against selling such items to nonresidents. For example, Massachusetts does not allow the sale of firearms (or ammunition) to ANY nonresidents, including NR LTC-A ALP holders! Any such out of state purchase may only be made through an FFL. Therefore, while a Massachusetts resident could purchase a rifle or shotgun from a FFL in New Hampshire, he/she could not purchase a long arm from a private citizen of New Hampshire, or any other state, this would have to be transferred through an FFL. This is federal law.

You cannot purchase a assault weapon that is illegal in MA in another state, even if you do not bring it back.

Handguns

ANY handgun transfer between residents of two different states MUST involve an FFL in the state of the purchaser. One may not leave the state, purchase a handgun in NH, VT, or any other state, and bring it back, it MUST go through a MA dealer. This is why one cannot easily obtain firearms that are not Massachusetts compliant. And that goes for "free state" residents as well. Since most dealers will not receive shipments of handguns from persons not holding an FFL, this generally means that the firearm must be transferred from the seller to an FFL in his state, then shipped to the FFL in the purchaser's state to do the transfer. That's three transfers! Don't try to get around these laws, they are federal, not Massachusetts or any other state, and breaking them will land you a pristine spot in a federal penitentiary next to a 300lb. guy named Bubba.

The "gift" exemption

The BATFE has a very specific clause concerning purchasing a firearm as a gift for another person, which allows this to occur without being labeled a straw purchase. For those who think this might be a way around, it is not. The purchaser and recipient must be residents of the same state (and NO money may change hands.) Therefore, you cannot have a friend in a "free state" purchase, let's say, a non-compliant Glock, and transfer it to you as a gift, unless they purchase it, move into the state, get an LTC, and then give it to you for free. If you have friends like that, more power to you.

The Massachusetts online/mail order ammunition ban myth

It is NOT illegal for any person to receive a shipment of ammunition from an out of state source. This myth stems from the Attorney General who shall not be named who relentlessly pursued suppliers and wholesalers, threatening and litigating them for selling ammunition in MA without a MA ammo dealer's license. This was based on the premise that any sales of ammunition online or from another out of state source actually occurred within the state, and thus were subject to MA sales tax in addition to MA regulations concerning the sale of ammunition in MA. This is NOT true, but most of the big suppliers have been scared off by these tactics which are expensive just to defend oneself against, and as a result only a few suppliers who either keep a low profile or have beaten the AG in court will supply MA shooters with ammo.

Magazines and other parts

In the rest of New England, purchasing any high-cap magazines, parts, or accessories is legal providing that they comply with BATF regulations. For example, possession of certain parts along with certain firearms may require registration as a SBR, etc. However, these cases are usually more uncommon.

In Massachusetts, any magazines over ten rounds capacity that were made after 9/13/1994 are ILLEGAL and getting caught with them will land you in prison for a good amount of time. As many have stated, one will most likely never get arrested and charged with this crime on its own, but it would most likely be an additional charge to something bigger. That said, why take the chance? It is blatantly illegal. This leads to a problem to MA shooters and those who sell magazines online or through mail order, in which identifying pre-ban magazines has become considerably more difficult since the AWB sunsetted in the rest of the country. There may be features and sometimes it is clearly evident which magazines are preban (defunct manufacturers, distinguishing features) but just as often it is totally ambiguous (many Glock FML magazines that are unmarked are impossible to tell preban or postban). This especially holds true for AK mags and the like which were often never marked by the manufacturer. As a result, many dealers have simply decided to refuse to ship 10+ round mags to Massachusetts in order to cover their asses. If the buyer can find someone who will ship, it is at their own risk. That said, if the buyer can find certified preban mags, it is perfectly legal to ship them to MA.
 
Last edited:

drgrant

Moderator
NES Member
Rating - 100%
59   0   0
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Messages
68,438
Likes
26,364
And that goes for "free state" residents as well. Since most dealers will not receive shipments of handguns from persons not holding an FFL, this generally means that the firearm must be transferred from the seller to an FFL in his state, then shipped to the FFL in the purchaser's state to do the transfer. That's three transfers!
Just a nit....

In practicality it's really only two transfers. Any FFL that's going to
charge you twice, both for intake and then an oubound is an FFL best
avoided.


-Mike
 
Rating - 100%
49   0   0
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
23,187
Likes
995
Location
The Land of Confusion and Pissed off!
Why was I under the impression that you can only buy a long gun from a state that borders yours without involving an FFL.

The reason that Kittery has a shop in NH, so they can sell to MA folk.

If that's not true, then feel free to delete this post.
 
Rating - 100%
7   0   0
Joined
Feb 7, 2006
Messages
1,051
Likes
222
Location
Northern Zone 9
Why was I under the impression that you can only buy a long gun from a state that borders yours without involving an FFL.

The reason that Kittery has a shop in NH, so they can sell to MA folk.

If that's not true, then feel free to delete this post.
I think the bordering state issue was dropped as a part of the Regan 1986 change. Kittery has a shop in NH so NH residents don't have to pay the Maine sales tax.
 

drgrant

Moderator
NES Member
Rating - 100%
59   0   0
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Messages
68,438
Likes
26,364
I soon will have a shotgun shipped to an FFL transfer agent in MA. Will I have to buy a gun lock from the Agent?
Maybe, I think the law says they're supposed to sell you
one with a gun, but at numerous FFLs I've just been able to show up
with a case or a lock of my own and avoid having to buy a
lock.

-Mike
 
Rating - 100%
15   0   0
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
16,912
Likes
762
Location
BIOT
It's not an agent. An FFL is an FFL, whether he is selling the gun or transferring it to you. Transfer and purchase are really two sides of the same coin.

Any transfer of a firearm from a dealer to a private citizen is required by law in MA to be done along with a gun lock. By law, yes you will have to buy one. But, yes, some dealers will give you the option to provide your own lock. Not legal, strictly speaking, but if you hand him the lock and he puts it on, who's to say that you didn't give him ownership of the lock and then he gave it back to you?
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
May 22, 2006
Messages
12
Likes
0
Location
North Shore
Kittery Trading Post has a shop in Portsmouth so the can sell handguns to New Hampshire residents without shipping them to another FFL for transfer. They hold FFLs in Maine and New Hampshire.
 
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
309
Likes
28
The Massachusetts online/mail order ammunition ban myth

It is NOT illegal for any person to receive a shipment of ammunition from an out of state source. This myth ... and as a result only a few suppliers who either keep a low profile or have beaten the AG in court will supply MA shooters with ammo.
This is good news. Can anyone supply a list of low profile dealers (private message O.K.), and a list of those who have beaten the AG in court?

Thanks,
 

RKG

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
3,718
Likes
515
Location
Boston
This is good news. Can anyone supply a list of low profile dealers (private message O.K.), and a list of those who have beaten the AG in court?

Thanks,
Are you aware of any ammo dealers who have "beaten the AG in court"?
 

Len-2A Training

Instructor
Instructor
NES Life Member
NES Member
Rating - 98.1%
52   1   0
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
51,474
Likes
9,153
Location
Escaping to NH
Most of the people on this forum use discretion in giving out said info.
Especially when they don't know the person they are sending it to!

No offense, but one registered user from the AG's office (even if said person posted from home) and any list would be "null and void"!

A word to the wise!
 
Rating - 100%
13   0   0
Joined
Apr 30, 2007
Messages
144
Likes
5
Location
Worcester County
Had a question on Gift transfers from out of state. Can a handgun be give as a gift, from a family member and brought back to MA? If so how would you do this?
 
Last edited:

drgrant

Moderator
NES Member
Rating - 100%
59   0   0
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Messages
68,438
Likes
26,364
Had a question on Gift transfers from out of state. Can a handgun be give as a gift, from a family member and brought back to MA? If so how would you do this?
There is a gift exemption in federal law but I don't think it applies if the
recipient is a resident of a different state from the "giver". The only real legal
way to do this is to have the sender transfer it through an FFL to one in
MA. (you might be able to use an FFL in another state, including the "givers"
if the state is free by default and the gun is a rifle or shotgun... course in that
case if you bring it back to MA you will still have to register it on an FA-10 form
when you bring it in state. ) If we're talking about a handgun here you're
basically screwed, unless the handgun is "MA importable" via an MA FFL... since
handguns can only be transferred in a person's state of residence.... so given that,
your at the whim of whatever the receiving FFL is willing to transfer in. (You should
check with the local FFL you want to use before having a relative send a gun to them,
otherwise if the delivery "bounces" (eg, because the dealer doesn't want to transfer to
you) it you could be out some lot of money and into some aggravation.

-Mike
 
Last edited:

Len-2A Training

Instructor
Instructor
NES Life Member
NES Member
Rating - 98.1%
52   1   0
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
51,474
Likes
9,153
Location
Escaping to NH
No. Handguns by Fed Law MUST be transfered by a FFL in the state of the recipient's residence! ONLY exception is "inheritance" but if the person ain't dead yet [wink] , no go here.

Thus, as Mike points out above, MOST handguns are "NOT Transferable" into MA due to our requirements for being on an approved list (very short list) of handguns.
 
Rating - 100%
6   0   0
Joined
Jan 2, 2007
Messages
3,585
Likes
162
Location
Central MA
Does a handgun have to be shipped from and to an FFL or can a non-resident and a MA resident go to a MA FFL together and do a transfer in person?

Back story:
I was asked this question by a friend who has a friend from NY who wants to give his handguns to his brother who is a MA resident. It would be easier and cheaper for them to lock the guns up and meet at a FFL in MA rather then having to ship each gun.
 

Len-2A Training

Instructor
Instructor
NES Life Member
NES Member
Rating - 98.1%
52   1   0
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
51,474
Likes
9,153
Location
Escaping to NH
Legally you can ship a handgun from the owner to a MA FFL, buyer goes to MA FFL, does the paperwork and takes it home.

MANY FFLs will refuse shipments from anyone but another FFL. It's called "job security" and is NOT a legal requirement no matter what they tell you.

All transfers of handguns must be done in the buyer's state at an FFL. [Only exceptions are FFL to FFL and inheritance.]

Yes, it's legal for someone to bring the gun to the state line and meet a MA LTC holder and then go to a MA FFL to do the paperwork. [This assumes that the seller is legal to possess in home state and in state of destination (border can be argued as intersecting state to MA, but IANAL).
 
Rating - 100%
16   0   0
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
90
Likes
2
Can anyone please PM me with a MA FFL who will do a transfer on a pre-ban rifle from a private party/non-FFL outside of MA on a rifle.

After reading this thread and a few others my understanding is that it is legal under Fed. and MA law for me to purchase a rilfe over the phone/Internet from a non-FFL and have that person ship it to an FFL in MA and transfer it to me.

If I am wrong about this please set me straight-I don't think the pre-ban rifle changes/impacts the requirement? If I am correct I would appreicate it if someone can point me to an FFL who can help me perform a legal transaction inside 495/eastern part of state.
 
Rating - 100%
16   0   0
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
90
Likes
2
Actually yes, I am working on ZHA now but I called Four Season today and they told me today that I needed and FFL.........however I am thinking this may have been the particular person I talked to there.

So I figured I throw it out there to see if anyone else had one just in case.
 

NFD9

NES Member
Rating - 100%
22   0   0
Joined
Jan 24, 2007
Messages
916
Likes
68
Location
MA
Can anyone please PM me with a MA FFL who will do a transfer on a pre-ban rifle from a private party/non-FFL outside of MA on a rifle
Gonzo,
Are you still in need of an FFL to do the transfer?
I know of one in Natick that is a great guy to deal with. I sent another NES member to him for a transfer of a preban AR with no problems.
PM me if you would like his name and number.
Gary
 

Len-2A Training

Instructor
Instructor
NES Life Member
NES Member
Rating - 98.1%
52   1   0
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
51,474
Likes
9,153
Location
Escaping to NH
If you're working at ZHA, why won't they do it for you?

Something sounds fishy here! Pardon my skepticism, but if it is legal for you to possess I can't imagine why Jim wouldn't do it there.
 

drgrant

Moderator
NES Member
Rating - 100%
59   0   0
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Messages
68,438
Likes
26,364
If you're working at ZHA, why won't they do it for you?

Something sounds fishy here! Pardon my skepticism, but if it is legal for you to possess I can't imagine why Jim wouldn't do it there.
I think he meant "working on" asking them about it. If he worked
at an FFL I kinda doubt he'd be asking this question to begin
with... especially if it was ZHA!

-Mike
 

Len-2A Training

Instructor
Instructor
NES Life Member
NES Member
Rating - 98.1%
52   1   0
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
51,474
Likes
9,153
Location
Escaping to NH
What's to "work on"? A phone call or visit will give him the answer . . . unless the gun isn't legal to possess here (or he lives in Boston and the gun is a "Boston-banned" gun)??
 
Rating - 100%
16   0   0
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
90
Likes
2
The gun is legal to posses, I verified it with the manufacturer and went over the transaction with one of the esteemed lawyers that is a member and frequent contributor to this forum.

The issue I encountered both in person and on the phone at ZHA and Four Seasons was that depending on which employee I talked to I was getting different answers. The person at Four Seasons flatly said they needed an FFL to ship it on the phone and did not want to discuss it further. Ultimately ZHA said they would do it but it did not start out this way and I ended up driving down there-I'll add that I have bought a pre-ban rifle at ZHA before myself and like those guys and have nothing against ZHA or FS for that matter.

Since I was not getting consistent answers from ZHA and FS it did not give me alot of confidence in working with them so I asked about another FFL here. The rifle is not cheap and I did not want to put myself in a position where I paid for the rifle and then had any issues getting the transfer done depending on who happened to be doing the paper work at the shop when I went to recieve it.

I now am all set but I can say based on my first hand experience that you may have to ask twice before you get someone that really knows the law.
 
Top Bottom