Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    Default Question regarding handgun transfer

    Hello all,

    I am curious of who would be in legal trouble in this scenario:

    On my 21st birthday I was gifted a handgun from my mom. I am aware it does not to be registered to me if it's a transfer from my mom.
    What I just found out 5 years later today, is that it was never registered to my mom. She bought it from her now ex boyfriend who is a gun collector, directly. I have tried contacting him to transfer it into my name but there is always an excuse of why he's busy and can't meet. (The gun was never used in a crime or anything like that. Hes a big time collector who does this as a side job, and is just super lazy).

    I never take this gun out to a range or anything because I'm concerned of the legality. It sits at home as just a home defense handgun. (Kimber 1911). My question is, if there were ever a home invasion, and I used the firearm in a self defense case, and say the castle doctrine took effect and i was deemed okay to use deadly force-- do i still get charged for possessing an illegal firearm? Or does my mom's ex boyfriend get in trouble for illegally selling it to my mom, or does my mom get in trouble for buying it and giving it to me with ignorance of the law?

    Either way I'm going to keep hounding this guy about meeting at a gun shop to get it transferred, but right now I'm paranoid about having it as I live in a bit of a rough neighborhood where a break in wouldn't be breaking news. I don't want to go to jail in that event due to the firearm not being registered to me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    NEPA, Pennsylvania
    (Wyoming County)
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    Default Re: Question regarding handgun transfer

    Ohhhh boy. (I am not a lawyer)

    You got the gun legally in accordance with PA law, however your Mother did not. Both she and her ex-BF have done an illegal transfer.

    *It would behoove someone like the Ex-BF whom apparently cherishes his collection to rectify the situation ASAP, else he may loose his collection
    "It seems that the Constitution is more or less guidelines than actual rules"
    My feedback: http://forum.pafoa.org/showthread.php?t=305685

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: Question regarding handgun transfer

    “He's a big time collector who does this as a side job, and is just super lazy”

    Aren’t these just the worst kind ?

  4. #4
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    se, Pennsylvania
    (Bucks County)
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    Default Re: Question regarding handgun transfer

    Quote Originally Posted by Toast317 View Post
    She bought it from her now ex boyfriend who is a gun collector
    Quote Originally Posted by Toast317 View Post
    Hes a big time collector who does this as a side job, and is just super lazy).
    So is he a 'collector' or is he a FFL since you say this is his 'side job'?

    Or is he a 'collector' who sells 'as a side job' which means he should have a FFL to so so?


    .
    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."- The Papers of Ben Franklin

  5. #5
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    Aug 2013
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    Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
    (Lehigh County)
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    Default Re: Question regarding handgun transfer

    Do you know for sure that your mom got the gun directly and no FFL (legal) transfer took place?
    Illegitimus non carborundum est

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: Question regarding handgun transfer

    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Longneck (Formerly Northern Lancaster County), Delaware
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    Default Re: Question regarding handgun transfer

    Quote Originally Posted by Toast317 View Post
    I have tried contacting him to transfer it into my name but there is always an excuse of why he's busy and can't meet.
    Is it possible he received it without a legal transfer? If that is the case, it could explain his hesitance to do a transfer now.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Dover, Pennsylvania
    (York County)
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    Default Re: Question regarding handgun transfer

    If it bothers you that much, transfer it to yourself as long as you know for certain it isn’t stolen. If asked, explain that your mother gave it to you under unknown circumstances and you know how PPD acts around “unregistered” firearms. There are plenty of firearms that exchange hands outside of this state before making their way into our books.

    Personally I wouldn’t worry about it; there’s no such thing as a registry, but then again I don’t live in a city of first class!
    Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    State College, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Question regarding handgun transfer

    SOOO many questions have to be answered.

    When your Mom bought the gun, did she have her LTCF?

    1. Did your mom's boyfriend actually sell her the gun without doing a transfer?
    2. Did your mom know that it should have been transferred through a FFL?

    #1 & #2 Yes - that was an illegal transfer and both parties could be prosecuted.
    #1 Yes, #2 No - still an illegal transfer. If BF knew it had to be transferred he would be in trouble, Mom could probably beg mercy from a judge saying she didn't know (but in many cases ignorance of the law is not a defense)

    Even if Mom had her LTCF, BF cannot sell her the gun without a proper transfer.

    BF being a gun collector he should know the laws so he really doesn't have a defense.

    You can approach the BF with the knowledge you gain here on the forum and present him with the facts that he needs to do the proper transfer or the fact that if the BATFE or PSP finds out, his gun collection could be in SERIOUS jeopardy.

    Or take the the gun back to the BF and give it back to him and get your moms money back. If he wants your mom or you to have it he will do the proper transfer.

    I am curious also about this guy. Does he have an FFL? What type of FFL does he hold.? As a "collector" he may have a 03 FFL which is just for collectors. The Type 03 FFL is not a license to deal in firearms (regularly buy and sell firearms with the intent to make a profit), but to have Curios and Relics transferred and shipped directly to them. An 03 holder still has to follow the federal and state laws concerning the transfer of modern firearms to and from other people.


    Now, if you had said nothing about the past history of this gun, and you had said your mom gave it to you and you wanted to make sure that it was associated with your name in the PSP Sales database (the non-registry that is used like a registry by some LE organizations) then the replies would have been completely different. But since the history is now out there for everyone in the world to see if they want, do it right. Either get the Ex-BF to transfer it to you or give it back.
    Ron USAF Ret E-8 FFL01/SOT3 NRA Benefactor Member

  10. #10
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    Southwest, Pennsylvania
    (Washington County)
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    Default Re: Question regarding handgun transfer

    Quote Originally Posted by Xringshooter View Post
    SOOO many questions have to be answered.

    When your Mom bought the gun, did she have her LTCF?

    1. Did your mom's boyfriend actually sell her the gun without doing a transfer?
    2. Did your mom know that it should have been transferred through a FFL?

    #1 & #2 Yes - that was an illegal transfer and both parties could be prosecuted...
    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.

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