2nd Amendment and Right to Bear Arms/Private purchase of a pistol


I have an unrestricted carry permit for New York and I also have a non-resident carry permit for Pennsylvania.   I often go to Pennsylvania to shoot with friends and have been offered opportunites to purchase a pistol from a private individual while in that state.  Since I have the Pennsylvania pistol permit and the New York permit, can I purchase a pistol from a private individual while in Pennsylvania and then bring it back to New York with my other licensed pistols and immediately register it in New York?  I would have a recept and the sellers information that would be used for ammending my current New York carry permit.  I realize a purchase from a dealer in that state would probably be required to go thru a New York dealer but the private purchase area is a bit gray especially when I have permits in both states and can carry guns back and forth across the state lines.   I would appreciate some clarification on the possibility of a private purchase using the Pennsylvania permit while in that state and then transporting back to my home state for registration also.   Thanks!

Under federal law, a non-licensee (i.e., one without a federal firearms license) may not transport a firearm from another state and bring it into his state of residence, even if he has an out-of-state carry license, with certain limited exceptions. Here is the relevant federal regulation:

27 CFR 478.29   Out-of-State acquisition of firearms by nonlicensees.

No person, other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector, shall transport into or receive in the State where the person resides (or if a corporation or other business entity, where it maintains a place of business) any firearm purchased or otherwise obtained by such person outside that State: Provided, That the provisions of this section:

(a) Shall not preclude any person who lawfully acquires a firearm by bequest or intestate succession in a State other than his State of residence from transporting the firearm into or receiving it in that State, if it is lawful for such person to purchase or possess such firearm in that State,

(b) Shall not apply to the transportation or receipt of a rifle or shotgun obtained from a licensed manufacturer, licensed importer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector in a State other than the transferee's State of residence in an over-the-counter transaction at the licensee's premises obtained in conformity with the provisions of 478.96(c) and

(c) Shall not apply to the transportation or receipt of a firearm obtained in conformity with the provisions of 478.30 and 478.97.

Regarding the last two exceptions, the first makes it generally illegal for a non-licensee to transfer a firearm to a non-resident of the state. The second deals with loans or rentals of firearms.

478.30   Out-of-State disposition of firearms by nonlicensees.

No nonlicensee shall transfer, sell, trade, give, transport, or deliver any firearm to any other nonlicensee, who the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in (or if the person is a corporation or other business entity, does not maintain a place of business in) the State in which the transferor resides: Provided, That the provisions of this section:

(a) shall not apply to the transfer, transportation, or delivery of a firearm made to carry out a bequest of a firearm to, or any acquisition by intestate succession of a firearm by, a person who is permitted to acquire or possess a firearm under the laws of the State of his residence; and

(b) shall not apply to the loan or rental of a firearm to any person for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes.

So, while you could not lawfully purchase the pistol and bring it back in to New York, you could pay the seller in Pennsylvania for it, but not take possession. Your seller in Pennsylvania then could lawfully ship the pistol to an FFL dealer in New York State, who is also a state licensed firearms dealer, and that dealer may transfer the pistol to you once you have obtained a purchase authorization from your county licensing authority.


2nd Amendment and Right to Bear Arms

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Robert P. Firriolo


General constitutional (Second Amendment) and federal firearm law inquiries. New York State and New York City laws and regulations on firearms. Use of force in self-defense. DISCLAIMER: While this site is called AllExperts and this field is captioned "Expertise," this individual is not holding himself out as an "expert" in any legal area of practice. Some jurisdictions require certain qualifications and/or certifications in order to use the label "expert" in connection with a law practice. Participation in this online service is not intended to state or imply "expert" qualifications in any jurisdiction.


Practicing firearms law attorney, including representation of individuals, gun clubs, sportsmen's organizations, shooting ranges, and businesses. Over 20 years of grassroots activism, including involvement in campaigns and elections; writing and editing articles, letters, press-releases, policy papers, and op-ed columns; interaction with firearm regulatory agencies; former board member and current legal advisor to the board of sportsmen's and firearm civil rights organizations; pro-bono counsel on select firearms-related legal cases; debated leaders of the gun-control lobby on national television. Lecturer on lawful use of deadly physical force and crime prevention.

Attorney at law. Extensive practice, independent study and research in this field. NRA-certified firearms instructor (rifle, pistol, shotgun, home firearm safety, personal protection) and Chief Range Safety Officer.

Awards and Honors
Martindale-Hubbell "AV" Peer-Review Rating.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.