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Thread: Private Sales

  1. #1
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    Question Private Sales

    Just a general question about the legalities of private sales. I've been bouncing around the web and I'm seeing conflicting info.

    First off, obviously, if the other party isn't - legally - allowed to own or purchase a firearm, you cannot sell it to them. That said, from what I recall, privates sales - between PA residents - are legal for long guns (the typical hunting rifles and shotguns). However, what about AR-10/15-style rifles? They're long guns, as the term "rifle" implies, but I recall them being treated as pistols in the commonwealth and required an FFL to handle the paperwork. What about something like an old M1 Garand? It's a rifle but, it's generally considered a military rifle and I didn't know if it would need to be logged like a pistol sale. What about something like a Ruger 10/22? It's a rifle but it's semi-automatic... Just curious where some of these "long guns", that have historically not been used for hunting, fall under the law when selling them. (I know one can now use a 10/22 but, historically, that wasn't the case.)
    Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6...

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    Default Re: Private Sales

    Quote Originally Posted by RKillcrazy View Post
    Just a general question about the legalities of private sales. I've been bouncing around the web and I'm seeing conflicting info.

    First off, obviously, if the other party isn't - legally - allowed to own or purchase a firearm, you cannot sell it to them. That said, from what I recall, privates sales - between PA residents - are legal for long guns (the typical hunting rifles and shotguns). However, what about AR-10/15-style rifles? They're long guns, as the term "rifle" implies, but I recall them being treated as pistols in the commonwealth and required an FFL to handle the paperwork. What about something like an old M1 Garand? It's a rifle but, it's generally considered a military rifle and I didn't know if it would need to be logged like a pistol sale. What about something like a Ruger 10/22? It's a rifle but it's semi-automatic... Just curious where some of these "long guns", that have historically not been used for hunting, fall under the law when selling them. (I know one can now use a 10/22 but, historically, that wasn't the case.)
    There's long guns and firearms technically for what you're asking. Everything you mentioned falls under long gun and can be transferred without or with an FFL (that's up to you and the buyer). Long guns are generally anything with a stock and a barrel over 16". Firearms have no stock (could have a brace) and a barrel under 16". Obviously there's a little more to it than that, but that'll give you the idea. There's no designation based on mag capacity, semi auto/manually operated, etc.

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    Default Re: Private Sales

    OP - ALL of the firearms you mention in your post are classed as long guns which can be sold privately without the use of a FFL between PA residents - as long as the seller does not have any reason to believe that the buyer is prohibited from owning/possessing firearms. That is why many sellers ask to see a PA LTCF (which gives reasonable belief that the buyer is not prohibited).

    AR-15's are treated as either a long gun, pistol or "Other" (a virgin receiver) depending on how it is configured either when bought or after being built. That said, the AR platform is rife with misinformation, one thing being that PA treats them a pistols. The PSP tried to do that 12-13 years ago and tried to force PA FFL's to do what they said. They subsequently got spanked hard by lawsuits AND by the BATFE and they had to retract what they were trying to do. And they did and it was published in their FFL Newsletter in July 2009.
    Last edited by Xringshooter; February 28th, 2021 at 09:12 PM.
    Ron USAF Ret E-8 FFL01/SOT3 NRA Benefactor Member

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    Default Re: Private Sales

    Thanks for the clarification, guys!
    Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6...

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    Default Re: Private Sales

    To simplify things, PA regulates the transfer of "firearms", which is defined as: Any handgun with a barrel less than 15", any rifle with a barrel less than 16", any shotgun with a barrel less than 18", and any handgun, rifle, or shotgun with an overall length less than 26".

    Anything else is not in the scope of involvement regardless of action or intended use. Rifles and shotgun have shoulder stocks, handguns do not. Virgin receivers haven't established a build status, thus are just "other firearm" under Federal status and not a "firearm" under PA law because PA law requires a build status and certain measurements.
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    Default Re: Private Sales

    Looks like everyone else has you squared away already, but one clarifying note on your last point, OP:

    In just about every state other than PA, semi-autos--and the AR-15/AR-10 in particular--are perfectly legal and quite common for hunting. Obviously caliber must be appropriate for the game/game laws, but they are frequently used for hunting/sporting purposes.

    But whenever hunting is mentioned in relation to types of firearms, it's also worth reiterating explicitly: the 2nd Amendment is NOT about hunting.
    I am not a lawyer.

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    Default Re: Private Sales

    Quote Originally Posted by buckengr View Post
    Looks like everyone else has you squared away already, but one clarifying note on your last point, OP:

    In just about every state other than PA, semi-autos--and the AR-15/AR-10 in particular--are perfectly legal and quite common for hunting. Obviously caliber must be appropriate for the game/game laws, but they are frequently used for hunting/sporting purposes.

    But whenever hunting is mentioned in relation to types of firearms, it's also worth reiterating explicitly: the 2nd Amendment is NOT about hunting.
    Agreed. I mentioned "hunting" rifles only because that seems to be the typical nomenclature used when talking with folks around the range or at gun shows.

    And, I would love for PA to allow hunting with AR style rifles. I have a condition where I bruise easily and shooting an AR is great for me because the buffer spring soaks up so much of the recoil. Shooting is so much more enjoyable when I don't have to deal with all the bruising afterwards.
    Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6...

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    Default Re: Private Sales

    Quote Originally Posted by RKillcrazy View Post
    Agreed. I mentioned "hunting" rifles only because that seems to be the typical nomenclature used when talking with folks around the range or at gun shows.

    And, I would love for PA to allow hunting with AR style rifles. I have a condition where I bruise easily and shooting an AR is great for me because the buffer spring soaks up so much of the recoil. Shooting is so much more enjoyable when I don't have to deal with all the bruising afterwards.
    I hear ya on PA's game laws. In the meantime one thing you can do is grab a soft rubber buttpad that slips on. Makes all the difference for me when shooting a relatively hard kicking bolt gun like a Mosin (and adds LOP on the stocks meant for tiny malnourished Russian conscripts). Luckily semi auto shotguns are now allowed for big game a gas-operated system really eats up the recoil.

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