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Interstate Transfer of Firearms When the Recipient is Under 21…

Question: My Father wants to sign my guns over to me since I’m living in Arizona but I’m under 21.  I know its legal for me to own a handgun here in Arizona, but I am unclear on how or if I could buy them from him since he is living in California.  I went to one gun dealer and they said all he has to do is give them to me but we don’t want to get in any trouble since they are registered to him in California.  So is there a way we can do this or is not not possible?

Answer:  I’m glad you didn’t listen to the gun dealer.  Under Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Section 922, Paragraph  it is illegal “for any person to transfer, sell, trade, give, transport or deliver any firearm to any person other than a licensed dealer, who the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in the State where the transferor resides; except that this paragraph shall not apply to:  a) the transfer transportation, or deliver of a firearm made to carry out the bequest of a firearm to, or an acquisition be intestate succession of a firearm by, a person who is permitted to acquire or possess a firearm under the laws of the State of his residence, and b) the loan or rental of a firearm to any person for temporary use for lawful sporting purpose.

The gun dealer you talked to probably is confused about the law, which because of its complexity is understandable.  If your father died and left the guns to you in his will, it would be perfectly legal for you to take them and bring them home with you.  Since your father is still very much alive, that part of the law does not apply.

The short version is this.  Under normal circumstances, you could legally transfer the firearm through a federally licensed firearms dealer.  The problem is that you are not 21 years old.  Federally licensed firearms dealers are not permitted to sell or transfer firearms to anyone under the age of 21.  While you can legally own a firearm at age 18 in Arizona, the only way you can acquire one is through a private party transfer with another Arizona resident.

Based on my understanding of the law, I don’t see any way you can legally transfer the firearms from your father to you until you turn 21.

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