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Do you need to take a gun to a licensed FFL and have a background check done on the person (son in law) you are giving the gun too, if he lives in another state? I live in TN, he lives in South Carolina. 

We did this and the people in the gun store told us we didn't need too and all I needed to do is give him a signed paper telling I am giving the gun to him, sign and date it with the gun serial number. Told us we were wasting our money. 

Would like your input.  

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Doesn’t it also have to happen at an FFL in South Carolina ( the receiving state)? I always thought, even within your own family, unless the guns are given as part of an estate, you had to go through an FFL to transfer across state lines. 

Edited by Snaveba
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1 hour ago, FUJIMO said:

I could be totally wrong but im pretty sure if you are in TN and he lives in SC you have to transfer it if he plans on taking it back to SC with him. 

Yes, the transfer will need to go through an FFL in the son's resident state.  Many people recommend the axiom "FFL to FFL, every time" for these transfers, as that pretty much covers all transfer laws in all states.  If you don't want to fool with an FFL on the shipping end, you can find a carrier to send the gun to an FFL in the receiving state, assuming the said FFL allows guns to be shipped directly to them from individuals (some don't).  I suppose there are some states that impose further restrictions, however most of my transfers are milsurps using C&R credentials, so I don't really keep up with all these laws ...

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It has to be sent to an FFL in South Carolina and transferred to him there. The law doesn't care exactly how it gets to the S.C. FFL other than he can't take it to them because it's not his until it's transferred. Either you can hand deliver it to the SC FFL or you can ship it. Shipping is where things get sketchy. Most carriers like USPS, FedEx and UPS won't take a handgun from a private party and ship it to an FFL. They will ship to a manufacturer for things like safety recalls, but not to a normal dealer. That's why most interstate private party transfers end up going FFL to FFL. You'll pay your local TN FFL to ship it to his local SC FFL who will then charge him their transfer fee.

The other option is that you can loan a firearm across state lines for lawful sporting purposes. The laws make no mention of how long a loan can last. You could loan it to him indefinitely but it remains your property. He can't sell it or give it away because it's not his. If you leave it to him in your will and you die while it's still loaned to him, it will simply become his property at the time of your death. Inherited firearms do not have to pass through an FFL, even across state lines. See Question #4 here: https://www.atf.gov/resource-center/docs/0813-firearms-top-12-qaspdf/download

You could also loan it to him until you go for a visit in SC, then you can hand deliver it to a local FFL who will do a 4473 transfer to him.

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BTW, the people you spoke with in that gun store are ignorant of the law. Do NOT trust their legal advice on anything. Nowhere under any circumstances is a self-made paper trail needed under federal law*. For interstate transfers, a firearm must go through an FFL in the receiver's state. For same-state private transfers, no paperwork is required at all by the law.


*It's probably a good idea to do a Bill of Sale when selling, but that's a personal decision and sometimes one made on a case-by-case basis. The law does not require it on a private transfer between two residents of the same state. It's possible that some states may have additional restrictions. I don't know the laws in 50 states, just Tennessee where nothing at all is required.


Edited by monkeylizard
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