To whom may an unlicensed person transfer firearms under the GCA?
A person may sell a firearm to an unlicensed resident of his State, if he does not know or have
reasonable cause to believe the person is prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms under
Federal law. A person may loan or rent a firearm to a resident of any State for temporary use for
lawful sporting purposes, if he does not know or have reasonable cause to believe the person is
prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms under Federal law. A person may sell or
transfer a firearm to a licensee in any State. However, a firearm other than a curio or relic may
not be transferred interstate to a licensed collector.
[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(3) and (5), 922(d), 27 CFR 478.29 and 478.30]
From whom may an unlicensed person acquire a firearm under the GCA?
A person may only acquire a firearm within the person’s own State, except that he or she may
purchase or otherwise acquire 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 resides. A person may borrow or rent a firearm in any State for temporary use for
lawful sporting purposes.
[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(3) and (5), 922(b)(3), 27 CFR 478.29 and 478.30]
May an unlicensed person obtain a firearm from an out-of-State source if the person
arranges to obtain the firearm through a licensed dealer in the purchaser’s own State?
A person not licensed under the GCA and not prohibited from acquiring firearms may purchase a
firearm from an out-of-State source and obtain the firearm if an arrangement is made with a
licensed dealer in the purchaser's State of residence for the purchaser to obtain the firearm from
[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(3) and 922(b)(3)]
What record-keeping procedures should be followed when two private individuals want to
engage in a firearms transaction?
When a transaction takes place between private (unlicensed) persons who reside in the same
State, the Gun Control Act (GCA) does not require any record keeping. A private person may
sell a firearm to another private individual in his or her State of residence and, similarly, a
private individual may buy a firearm from another private person who resides in the same State.
It is not necessary under Federal law for a Federal firearms licensee (FFL) to assist in the sale or
transfer when the buyer and seller are "same-State" residents. Of course, the transferor/seller may
not knowingly transfer a firearm to someone who falls within any of the categories of prohibited
persons contained in the GCA. See 18 U.S. C. §§ 922(g) and (n). However, as stated above, there
are no GCA-required records to be completed by either party to the transfer.
There may be State or local laws or regulations that govern this type of transaction. Contact State
Police units or the office of your State Attorney General for information on any such
Please note that if a private person wants to obtain a firearm from a private person who resides in
another State, the firearm will have to be shipped to an FFL in the buyer's State. The FFL will be
responsible for record keeping.