922. Unlawful acts (a) It shall be unlawful - (1) for any person - (A)
except a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer,
to engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in
firearms, or in the course of such business to ship, transport, or
receive any firearm in interstate or foreign commerce...
Why, yes, flying to another state to conduct the purchase would count as "receiving a firearm in interstate commerce".
UPDATE: I think CNN can skate on this one. They are not in the
business of manufacturing, importing, or dealing in firearms.
However, the ATF FAQ on this topic (see below) does not include this
exception! So the official position may be different, and less
favorable to CNN, than the plain language of the law.
(3) for any person, other than a licensed importer, licensed
manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to transport into
or receive in the State where he resides (or if the person is a
corporation or other business entity, the State where it maintains a
place of business) any firearm purchased or otherwise obtained by such
person outside that State...
Why yes, flying home with it is also a crime.
UPDATE: After the collective wisdom of gunblogger analysis, this
violation seems to hold up to scrutiny IF, and ONLY IF, CNN's reporter
is considered to have bought the gun. That's a very tough
question that isn't covered by the law itself, that I know it.
That means it would be a jury question.
From whom may an unlicensed person acquire a firearm under the GCA?
person may only buy a firearm within the person s own State, except
that he or she may buy a rifle or shotgun, in person, at a licensee's
premises in any State, provided the sale complies with State laws
applicable in the State of sale and the State where the purchaser
So the short answer is, you can buy a firearm out of your state of residence from a licensed dealer only. CNN's story involves a private sale; they make an explicit point of that in their voiceover.
UPDATE: The story also says they "made sure the buyer and seller were
in the same state". That might mean physically, in which case
this applies, or it might mean residing in the same state, in which
case the initial sale was legal. The conclusion I am reaching
here is that the video doesn't tell us enough. There are gray
For those who are wondering if these rules include the modifications in
the Firearms Owner's Protection Act, the answer is yes. Later in
that same document, the transportation rules from that law are
May a nonlicensee transport firearms for sporting or other lawful
Yes. Federal law provides a person, who is not prohibited by
the GCA from receiving or transporting firearms, the right to transport
a firearm under certain conditions, notwithstanding State or local law
to the contrary. The firearms must be unloaded and in a locked trunk
or, in a vehicle lacking a trunk, in a locked container other than the
glove compartment or console. Also, the carrying and possession must be
lawful at the place of origin and destination.
of that, I will take this data as reflecting the current state of the
law. CNN [ed- may have] fucked up big. But will they get prosecuted?
We'll have to wait and see.
This entry was published Sat Sep 24 10:43:35 CDT 2005 by TriggerFinger
and last updated 2005-09-24 10:43:35.0.