Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Buying firearms in PA as a weekend/summer resident of PA

    First of all, I want to mention that I am not a lawyer, and nothing I state below should be interpreted as legal advice. The only purpose of this posting is to share some results of my research and solicit comments. This is a somewhat lengthy posting. My questions (and frustrations) are stated at the end of this posting.

    There seems to be a growing number of people who have vacation homes in eastern PA where they spend their weekends/summers, but who work and spend most of their time in their homes in NY or NJ. When these people are in PA, they make their PA residences their homes, thus becoming residents of PA when they are there. At the same time, it is impractical for these people to change their driver’s licenses, voter registrations, etc. to PA.

    For the purposes of firearms purchases, this kind of dual state residency is recognized in the federal law - see the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 27, 478.11:

    https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-id....0.1.2.3.2.1.1

    I copy the relevant paragraphs below:
    "...
    State of residence. The State in which an individual resides. An individual resides in a State if he or she is present in a State with the intention of making a home in that State.
    ...
    Example 2. A maintains a home in State X and a home in State Y. A resides in State X except for weekends or the summer months of the year and in State Y for the weekends or the summer months of the year. During the time that A actually resides in State X, A is a resident of State X, and during the time that A actually resides in State Y, A is a resident of State Y.
    ..."

    This is also stated in Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide - 2014 Edition (ATF P 5300.4), Questions and Answers, B11 (Page 198):

    https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/gu...on-atf-p-53004

    This federal recognition of dual state residency for the purposes of firearms purchases is the reason for the presence of Box 18.b in addition to Box 18.a on Form 4473. I copy below instructions for Box 18.b of ATF Form 4473 (5300.9) Revised October 2016 (Page 5 of the form):

    “Question 18.b. Supplemental Documentation: Licensees may accept a combination of valid government-issued documents to satisfy the identification document requirements of the law. The required valid government-issued photo identification document bearing the name, photograph, and date of birth of transferee/buyer may be supplemented by another valid, government-issued document showing the transferee’s/buyer’s residence address. This supplemental documentation should be recorded in question 18.b., with the issuing authority and type of identification presented. For example, if the transferee/buyer has two States of residence and is trying to buy a handgun in State X, he may provide a driver’s license (showing his name, date of birth, and photograph) issued by State Y and another government issued document (such as a tax document) from State X showing his residence address.”

    ATF has confirmed in email correspondence that a real estate tax bill issued by a PA municipality and showing the name and PA address of a summer/weekend resident of PA can be recorded in 18.b as supplemental documentation in addition to a NY or NJ issued driver’s license recorded in 18.a.

    As far as PA law is concerned, I cannot find anything that could potentially create any issues for summer/weekend residents of PA buying firearms in PA as PA residents. More specifically, as far as the acts of law are concerned, there seems to be nothing in PA Title 18, Chapter 61 – see:

    http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/...&div=0&chpt=61

    As far as PA rules and regulations are concerned, there seems to be nothing to present any hurdles either in PA Code Title 37, Chapter 33 – see:

    http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/03...chap33toc.html

    Moreover, these rules seem to allow even more flexibility as far as supplemental address documentation is concerned than the federal rules - 33.102 states:

    “To be acceptable, a government-issued photo identification card shall contain the holder’s name, date of birth and signature. If it does not contain the holder’s current address, another document containing that address such as a current utility bill, residential lease agreement, mortgage, and the like, shall be presented.”

    What is presented above seems to clearly show that weekend/summer residents of PA with driver’s licenses issued by NY or NJ can legally purchase firearms in PA as PA residents. This means that they can purchase in PA even those firearms that are legal in PA and illegal in NY or NJ (such as AR pistols). Obviously, such firearms must stay in PA residencies. Bringing such firearms to NY or NJ would result in committing felony.

    Additionally, the NFA branch of ATF has confirmed in email correspondence that there are no additional hurdles associated with registering NFA items by weekend/summer residents. This means that weekend/summer residents of PA can legally purchase (and register) NFA items (such as suppressors) in PA as PA residents. Obviously, such NFA items must stay in PA residencies. Bringing such NFA items to NY or NJ would result in committing felony.

    Are there any problems with the analysis presented above?

    I have not been able to find a single coherent argument invalidating the above statements. Nonetheless, in all my contacts with PA FFLs (including Class III), I was getting the same response: if the address on the driver’s license is in NY or NJ, then the only firearms they are willing to sell are long guns that are legal in NY or NJ. In other words, these FFLs seem to be unfamiliar with dual residency recognized in the law for the purposes of firearms purchase. They insist on treating weekend/summer residents of PA as residents of the states that issue their driver’s licenses. This seems to be clearly incorrect.

    I understand that it is an individual decision of every FFL what kind of transactions they are willing to execute. They are perfectly within their right to decide not to deal with weekend/summer residents of PA. It is possible that this decision is rationalized by the consideration that a relatively small number of such firearms buyers would not justify the extra effort associated with learning rarely used provisions of the law.

    However, given the growing number of summer/weekend residents of PA and the currently happening slowdown in firearms sales, it seems that at least some FFLs should realize that the extra learning effort is now justified.

    Are there any FFLs in eastern PA that are familiar with dual state residency and treat weekend/summer residents of PA in the same way as all the other PA residents?
    Last edited by sorvanetzsorv; March 30th, 2017 at 07:51 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Buying firearms in PA as a weekend/summer resident of PA

    I dunno. How about homeless folks? Can the government keep them from buying ? They reside in the field/under the bridge/behind Circuit City in a refrigerator box, but it doesn't list that on their ID.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Buying firearms in PA as a weekend/summer resident of PA

    " it seems to" is not a legal defense.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Buying firearms in PA as a weekend/summer resident of PA

    Why not just buy in NY, NJ, MD, MA, or whatever other shit hole you live in most of the time?

    If it is because you find their gun laws unfavourable, maybe you should reconsider living in such shit holes most of the time.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Buying firearms in PA as a weekend/summer resident of PA

    If I was an FFL in PA, I wouldn't touch it.
    "Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Ben Franklin.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Buying firearms in PA as a weekend/summer resident of PA

    Quote Originally Posted by KCJones View Post
    If I was an FFL in PA, I wouldn't touch it.
    And I'm betting no smart one will

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Buying firearms in PA as a weekend/summer resident of PA

    You Jersey people trying to have it both ways crack me up.

    peeve #1 NJ, NY residents that join and list their forum location as Pa.
    #2 Switching residency to Pa (if you really own a home here) is simple, you just either: A) can't be bothered, or B) don't want to lose your NJ/NYC street cred. or C) possibly some residency requirement for your job/taxes....too bad.
    #3 You have no shortage of time attempting to circumvent your own states shitty gun laws, but living in Pa is out of the question because you either A)Can't bear the thought B)Need to earn crazy money or C)have ten other lame excuses blah, blah, blah.

    Now some Pa FFL is going to have to listen to you explain to them how they should be handling the situation you created for yourself?
    No FFL with half a brain is going to be your guinea pig. NYS, NYC, and NJ hate Pa! They hate our gun laws, and do everything to screw us and throw us under the bus, and you're frustrated? Read up how Bloomberg illegally conducted his own gun sting (no ATF involvement) and fucked over Pa FFL's that didn't break any laws. Then go to Dunkelbeger's and inform them of your research and see how sympathetic they are to your plight.
    Last edited by God's Country; March 31st, 2017 at 09:33 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Buying firearms in PA as a weekend/summer resident of PA

    What state is your driver license issued from?
    Don't be an ass.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Buying firearms in PA as a weekend/summer resident of PA

    I'm a former nj resident who works in new York City. My wife and I decided to make the move from nj to pa and buy our first home. I increased my commute to 1.5 hours each way to 1. Enjoy the beautiful scenery 2. Enjoy a comfortable home that doesn't cost 500k. 3. Become a member of the free United States in regards to my personal freedoms, and gun rights. If I can do it, anyone can. Keeping nj/ny residency for whatever reason while residing in pa is in my mind proving you just want to leech off of the perks of the state. Become a full resident = enjoy the full benefits, partial resident = enjoy partial benefits minus gun rights. Your call...

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Buying firearms in PA as a weekend/summer resident of PA

    Quote Originally Posted by SIGFAN86 View Post
    I'm a former nj resident who works in new York City. My wife and I decided to make the move from nj to pa and buy our first home. I increased my commute to 1.5 hours each way to 1. Enjoy the beautiful scenery 2. Enjoy a comfortable home that doesn't cost 500k. 3. Become a member of the free United States in regards to my personal freedoms, and gun rights. If I can do it, anyone can. Keeping nj/ny residency for whatever reason while residing in pa is in my mind proving you just want to leech off of the perks of the state. Become a full resident = enjoy the full benefits, partial resident = enjoy partial benefits minus gun rights. Your call...
    ^^^^Yes^^^^^ and WELCOME!

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