Home » Federal Firearms Laws »Out-of-State Carry »State Firearms Laws »Vehicle Carry » Currently Reading:

Private Party Firearm Sales to Non-Residents

Question:  I am a Texas resident, but working in Utah.  I purchased 2 firearms while in Utah.  I am going back to Texas, but have to drive through Arizona, and New Mexico.   What are the laws for those particular states regarding transporting firearms through them?

Answer:  Thanks for your question.  While I’m sure you have no intent to do this, if you drive home with those two firearms you bought, you are actually violating Federal law.

Federal law provides that a face to face transfer of a firearm can only occur between residents of the same state if such transactions are permitted by state law.  If you are not a resident of Utah, but in fact are a resident of Texas, you should not have been able to purchase firearms from a licensed dealer without them shipping those firearms to an FFL in Texas.  Assuming you bought them from a private party, again they can only be legally transferred through an FFL since you are not a Utah resident.

The deal here is that the Feds want any person buying a firearm in ‘interstate commerce’ to be legally allowed to own a firearm in their state of residence.  The only way they can do that is by transferring them through an FFL that is in the state of residence of the purchaser.

Because many are ignorant of the law, they find themselves in the same situation that you do now.  Will you get caught?  Most probably not as long as you are a law-abiding person and don’t do anything illegal or to draw attention to the fact that you have the guns, but it will make it more difficult to establish your legal ownership of the guns.  Any bill of sale that you might have received would be evidence of your violation of Federal law.

To answer your more specific question, you can legally transport your firearm in Arizona as long as it is plain sight in the vehicle in any condition you wish.  In New Mexico, you can carry your firearm in any condition either concealed or openly in your vehicle. My recommendation would probably be to keep them unloaded and cased in the trunk or storage compartment as this is universally permitted under Federal law.  The exception to this would be any firearm that you would wish to carry for personal defense.  That one I would probably keep handy.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (5 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 3 votes)

Private Party Firearm Sales to Non-Residents, 8.0 out of 10 based on 5 ratings