Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #11
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    Default Re: Question regarding handgun transfer

    It's so hard to give the correct answer because it sounds like the OP doesn't understand the law/how sales/transfers work judging by the "she didn't have it registered" comment.

    Does he really not know, or did he MEAN "transferred" when he said registered.

    Lots of life long gun owners think that guns are all "registered" to their owners. I once had a guy semi-whisper to me that he took possession of his father's hunting rifles and that "none of them are registered" - like it was a secret that he was keeping from the government, or something.
    There IS NO REGISTRATION in PA.

  2. #12
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    Aug 2019
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    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    (Philadelphia County)
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    Default Re: Question regarding handgun transfer

    Thank you for the fast replies everyone. Let me clarify my bad wording. The ex boyfriend does not actually do this as a job. He's just a big time collector with more guns than I can count.
    I know he has licenses to own speciality weapons and attachments that are typically illegal and went through extensive background checks to obtain it, but I do not know if that also includes an FFL.

    This all came about when he mentioned doing a buy back a few weeks ago, saying his nephew would love that gun-- but it was a low price so when I declined then he followed up with "well, then we should probably get it in your name sometime because it's still registered to me." And I was just like ".. hold up. It's what?"

    My mom does have a conceal and carry permit so I'm surprised that she's completely ignorant of the laws. She was of the mind that "well, I just trusted him cause he has so many guns that he handled all of that."

    If he had a license to sell it, I doubt he would have mentioned the whole "well, we should probablyyy get it in your name then at a gun shop."

    You guys are right though. I can just purchase a cheap gun on my own without such a headache. If he doesn't make time soon, I'll just take whatever money he's offering for it just to get it off my hands.

    Thanks everyone for confirming my suspicions. Wanted to make sure I wasn't over thinking it or if there was some unknown law he used to sell it still registered to him.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Question regarding handgun transfer

    Quote Originally Posted by Emptymag View Post
    It's so hard to give the correct answer because it sounds like the OP doesn't understand the law/how sales/transfers work judging by the "she didn't have it registered" comment.

    Does he really not know, or did he MEAN "transferred" when he said registered.

    Lots of life long gun owners think that guns are all "registered" to their owners. I once had a guy semi-whisper to me that he took possession of his father's hunting rifles and that "none of them are registered" - like it was a secret that he was keeping from the government, or something.
    There IS NO REGISTRATION in PA.
    Sorry, I'm pretty new to this still. I was under the impression long guns can be sold directly in PA with no issues (as long as you're not selling to a felon etc). And handguns had to be sold at a certified retailer or sheriff's office to be registered in your name and have the background check conducted.

  4. #14
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    Southwest, Pennsylvania
    (Washington County)
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    Default Re: Question regarding handgun transfer

    Quote Originally Posted by Toast317 View Post
    Sorry, I'm pretty new to this still. I was under the impression long guns can be sold directly in PA with no issues (as long as you're not selling to a felon etc). And handguns had to be sold at a certified retailer or sheriff's office to be registered in your name and have the background check conducted.
    Basically, your understanding is correct. The technical difference is that they aren't actually registered, since a govt registry is illegal in PA. Practically though, the system in place is basically a registry. The PA supreme court allowed it to continue, on the grounds that it is an 'incomplete database' rather than a registry, since firearms brought from out of state, or your dad's old collection, won't be in your name in the not-a-registry.

  5. #15
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    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Question regarding handgun transfer

    Quote Originally Posted by Toast317 View Post
    Sorry, I'm pretty new to this still. I was under the impression long guns can be sold directly in PA with no issues (as long as you're not selling to a felon etc). And handguns had to be sold at a certified retailer or sheriff's office to be registered in your name and have the background check conducted.
    Correct, but they are NOT "registered in your name" - there IS a record of sale database, and while it's virtually the same as "registration", it's technically not.
    There is no registration in PA.

    There are untold thousands upon thousands of firearms of all types - long guns and handguns - that are legally owned by PA residents that have NO "record" on file showing ownership. (because guns are not registered in PA)

    A transfer and it's paperwork are what many people consider "registered" - but that's not the correct terminology.

    Like calling a magazine a "clip".

  6. #16
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    May 2007
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    Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
    (Franklin County)
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    Default Re: Question regarding handgun transfer

    Quote Originally Posted by marinville View Post
    Do you have a citation for that? I recall a past thread with a similar situation where it was decided that only the transferer (in this case, the boyfriend) was guilty of a crime.
    Agree, unless the mother knowingly and admittedly participated...then a "conspiracy to...." charge *could* apply (maybe).
    Attention NRA Life and voting members - LPRGCFRANK running for NRA board of directors

  7. #17
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    Dec 2014
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    lewistown, Pennsylvania
    (Mifflin County)
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    Default Re: Question regarding handgun transfer

    Quote Originally Posted by Emptymag View Post
    Give it back to mom, or him - or disassemble it and chuck it into several bodies of water.
    I'm joking. Sort of.

    I wouldn't want it.
    Buy your own. If money is tight and you feel a real need for protection, there are many affordable options.
    Yea really, I just don't get these posts about a single gun( yes 1 gun ). Is 1 gun really worth the possibility of being a felon for the REST OF YOUR LIFE .

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Question regarding handgun transfer

    Go to an FFL and have him transfer the gun into his books from you, and then back to you after a PICS check. That fixes the Record of Sale Database, eventually (there's a backlog on recording these.)

    Yes, the BF broke the law, probably, in his gift to the mom. But that was years ago, and likely the statute has tolled and it's too late to prosecute.

    Possessing an unregistered gun isn't even a crime, since we don't have registration. It's not stolen, and PA law says it's illegal to transfer a firearm in violation of the statutes, it doesn't say it's illegal to receive it under these circumstances (the Feds have other rules, not relevant here.) Arguing that the gun is prohibited contraband is a stretch, although the po po could make that argument in a forfeiture proceeding. So avoid that.
    Attorney Phil Kline, AKA gunlawyer001@gmail.com
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  9. #19
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    Default Re: Question regarding handgun transfer

    Quote Originally Posted by GunLawyer001 View Post
    Go to an FFL and have him transfer the gun into his books from you, and then back to you after a PICS check. That fixes the Record of Sale Database, eventually (there's a backlog on recording these.)

    Yes, the BF broke the law, probably, in his gift to the mom. But that was years ago, and likely the statute has tolled and it's too late to prosecute.

    Possessing an unregistered gun isn't even a crime, since we don't have registration. It's not stolen, and PA law says it's illegal to transfer a firearm in violation of the statutes, it doesn't say it's illegal to receive it under these circumstances (the Feds have other rules, not relevant here.) Arguing that the gun is prohibited contraband is a stretch, although the po po could make that argument in a forfeiture proceeding. So avoid that.
    Listen to the firearms lawyer!

    Dont risk breaking any more laws trying to rectify an issue that might not be an issue.

  10. #20
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    Jan 2007
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    State College, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Question regarding handgun transfer

    Quote Originally Posted by marinville View Post
    Do you have a citation for that? I recall a past thread with a similar situation where it was decided that only the transferer (in this case, the boyfriend) was guilty of a crime.
    If mom KNEW it was supposed to be transferred to her by doing the paperwork and she didn't push have it done, she could be prosecuted for conspiracy to commit an illegal act. She probably wouldn't be charged, but they could if they wanted. Also, as said, it probably happened long enough ago that the statute of limitations have now negated any prosecution.

    I agree the OP probably doesn't have as good of a grasp of gun laws as a lot of us here have. I am guessing that this statement from him "I know he has licenses to own speciality weapons and attachments that are typically illegal and went through extensive background checks to obtain it, but I do not know if that also includes an FFL." He is probably talking about NFA items that the BF needed background checks done to get the tax stamps.

    OP - Gunlawyer001 gave you good advice for free. Listen to him. If you want to keep the gun, do as he said, take it to a FFL, and have it transferred to yourself, a FFL will know what to do. Once that is done, it is yours with no worries.
    Ron USAF Ret E-8 FFL01/SOT3 NRA Benefactor Member

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