Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Purchasing handguns under 21

    Hello all,

    First time poster here, been using this site/forum as a reference for a while though - great site.

    Anyways, during my "research" I have found several posts saying that someone under 21 (and over 18) can purchase a handgun in a private party transfer through your local sheriff's office. So, deciding to get final confirmation from the horse's mouth itself before going out and finding a suitable purchase, I called my local sheriff's office in Northampton County (Easton, PA). I got some deputy (didn't catch the name) and asked him to confirm this. All I got was a terse "NO!" and then the dial tone. Basically the point is, can anyone either confirm (through personal experience or reputable links) that it is legal to purchase handguns through private parties/sheriff transfer in PA. Also, any other suggestions of different methods to go about doing this/other more helpful offices I can contact perhaps?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Purchasing handguns under 21

    Quote Originally Posted by Diagza View Post
    Hello all,

    First time poster here, been using this site/forum as a reference for a while though - great site.

    Anyways, during my "research" I have found several posts saying that someone under 21 (and over 18) can purchase a handgun in a private party transfer through your local sheriff's office. So, deciding to get final confirmation from the horse's mouth itself before going out and finding a suitable purchase, I called my local sheriff's office in Northampton County (Easton, PA). I got some deputy (didn't catch the name) and asked him to confirm this. All I got was a terse "NO!" and then the dial tone. Basically the point is, can anyone either confirm (through personal experience or reputable links) that it is legal to purchase handguns through private parties/sheriff transfer in PA. Also, any other suggestions of different methods to go about doing this/other more helpful offices I can contact perhaps?

    Thanks in advance.
    Wow...that was rude...I'd call and ask to speak to the sheriff himself to mention this deputy's rudeness and ask him the question directly.

    PA sheriff's can do a transfer like this (over 18 but under 21), but some apparently are not willing to do so or do not realize that they can do it.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Purchasing handguns under 21

    My understanding is that it's not legal for anyone under 21 to purchase a handgun in PA under any legal circumstances.

    The only circumstances I've ever heard of an 18-21yo legally owning a handgun are in situations where a father gifts or loans a handgun to his son, for example. It's not illegal for an 18-21yo to own or possess a handgun, just to purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredGoon View Post
    PA sheriff's can do a transfer like this (over 18 but under 21), but some apparently are not willing to do so or do not realize that they can do it.
    While this might be true (I don't know myself), IMHO there are likely very few sheriffs who would do this, as transfer of ownership could infer purchase, even a $0 purchase.
    Last edited by ChamberedRound; November 14th, 2008 at 02:44 PM.
    "Political Correctness is just tyranny with manners"
    -Charlton Heston

    "[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation...(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
    -James Madison, Federalist Papers, No. 46.

    "America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy." [sic]
    -John Quincy Adams

    "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies."
    -Thomas Jefferson

    Μολών λαβέ!
    -King Leonidas

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Purchasing handguns under 21

    What if you are under 21 but in the military? Can you purchase a handgun then, with Military ID?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Purchasing handguns under 21

    Quote Originally Posted by michaelchica View Post
    What if you are under 21 but in the military? Can you purchase a handgun then, with Military ID?
    To my knowledge, not in PA.

    Ironic, isn't it? The military can issue you a sidearm, and you can carry it in execution of military duties, but take off the uniform and not only can't you carry one, but you can't buy one either.
    "Political Correctness is just tyranny with manners"
    -Charlton Heston

    "[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation...(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
    -James Madison, Federalist Papers, No. 46.

    "America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy." [sic]
    -John Quincy Adams

    "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies."
    -Thomas Jefferson

    Μολών λαβέ!
    -King Leonidas

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Purchasing handguns under 21


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Purchasing handguns under 21

    The sheriff's deputy is WRONG.


    The prohibiting age, per 6110.1 is 18

    There is NO such restriction, in Pa. law, that prohibits a 18-20 year old from purchasing a handgun. NONE!

    A Pa. resident most absolutely CAN purchase a handgun, in Pa., at age 18.

    AND, the sheriff's office absolutely CAN perform the transfer in accordance with:
    18Pa.C.S.6111(c)
    (c) Duty of other persons.--Any person who is not a licensed
    importer, manufacturer or dealer and who desires to sell or
    transfer a firearm to another unlicensed person shall do so only
    upon the place of business of a licensed importer, manufacturer,
    dealer or county sheriff's office, the latter of whom shall
    follow the procedure set forth in this section as if he were the
    seller of the firearm. The provisions of this section shall not
    apply to transfers between spouses or to transfers between a
    parent and child or to transfers between grandparent and
    grandchild.


    Now, that said. FEDERAL law prohibits licensed dealers (FFL's) from selling/transferring handguns to anyone under 21. Guess who that leaves as the only available transfer agent for 18-20 yr olds? Yep - the Sheriff's office

    In addition to the above there are also exceptions to 6111.
    The end of Paragraph (c) of 6111 states:
    ..The provisions of this section shall not
    apply to transfers between spouses or to transfers between a
    parent and child or to transfers between grandparent and
    grandchild.

    So you can legally "buy" or be gifted a handgun from your parent, grandparent, spouse, children or grandchildren WITHOUT the need for execution of a "transfer" at a FFL or Sheriff's office.


    Per paragraph (e), Antique and replica firearms are also exempt.


    RECAP: 18-20 year olds

    CAN:
    Purchase handgun (from private party) and have it transferred at the sheriff's office.
    Be sold or gifted handgun by parent/grandparent/spouse with NO transfer required.

    Can NOT:
    Buy hadgun from FFL dealer.
    Have private sale transferred by FFL dealer.
    Purchase handgun ammo from licenced dealer.
    Last edited by Pa. Patriot; November 14th, 2008 at 03:32 PM.
    _________________________________________

    danbus wrote: ...Like I said before, I open carry because you don't, I fight for all my rights because
    you won't, I will not sit with my thumb up my bum and complain, because you will.
    Remember Meleanie

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Purchasing handguns under 21

    Pa. Patriot,

    Thanks for the clarification, I stand corrected.
    "Political Correctness is just tyranny with manners"
    -Charlton Heston

    "[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation...(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
    -James Madison, Federalist Papers, No. 46.

    "America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy." [sic]
    -John Quincy Adams

    "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies."
    -Thomas Jefferson

    Μολών λαβέ!
    -King Leonidas

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Purchasing handguns under 21

    Quote Originally Posted by Pa. Patriot View Post
    The sheriff's deputy is WRONG.


    The prohibiting age, per 6110.1 is 18

    There is NO such restriction, in Pa. law, that prohibits a 18-20 year old from purchasing a handgun. NONE!

    A Pa. resident most absolutely CAN purchase a handgun, in Pa., at age 18.

    AND, the sheriff's office absolutely CAN perform the transfer in accordance with:
    18Pa.C.S.6111(c)
    (c) Duty of other persons.--Any person who is not a licensed
    importer, manufacturer or dealer and who desires to sell or
    transfer a firearm to another unlicensed person shall do so only
    upon the place of business of a licensed importer, manufacturer,
    dealer or county sheriff's office, the latter of whom shall
    follow the procedure set forth in this section as if he were the
    seller of the firearm. The provisions of this section shall not
    apply to transfers between spouses or to transfers between a
    parent and child or to transfers between grandparent and
    grandchild.


    Now, that said. FEDERAL law prohibits licensed dealers (FFL's) from selling/transferring handguns to anyone under 21. Guess who that leaves as the only available transfer agent for 18-20 yr olds? Yep - the Sheriff's office

    In addition to the above there are also exceptions to 6111.
    The end of Paragraph (c) of 6111 states:
    ..The provisions of this section shall not
    apply to transfers between spouses or to transfers between a
    parent and child or to transfers between grandparent and
    grandchild.

    So you can legally "buy" or be gifted a handgun from your parent, grandparent, spouse, children or grandchildren WITHOUT the need for execution of a "transfer" at a FFL or Sheriff's office.


    Per paragraph (e), Antique and replica firearms are also exempt.


    RECAP: 18-20 year olds

    CAN:
    Purchase handgun (from private party) and have it transferred at the sheriff's office.
    Be sold or gifted handgun by parent/grandparent/spouse with NO transfer required.

    Can NOT:
    Buy hadgun from FFL dealer.
    Have private sale transferred by FFL dealer.
    Purchase handgun ammo from licenced dealer.
    Pa. ... gee that's a little vague...could you be more specific? LOL!

    Seriously...excellent and complete info

    Now...finding a PA sheriff who will actually do a transfer........

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Purchasing handguns under 21

    A person under 21, but at least 18, is legally allowed to purchase, receive, be gifted, or traded a handgun. To do a lawful transfer, it must be done at a sheriff's office. But there are only a couple in the state that know the law well enough or dont have a prejudice against <21yo transfers.

    The only law against a <21yo buying a handgun is by federal law that regulates FFL transfers and only FFL transfers.

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