Posted on May 18, 2012
Click here to see current summaries of all fifty states’ laws in this area.
A firearms dealer is a person licensed by the federal government to engage in the business of purchasing and reselling firearms. Once licensed, a dealer may purchase unlimited quantities of firearms through the mail, at wholesale prices, without being subject to background checks or state waiting periods, if any.
As discussed below, federally licensed firearms dealers (FFLs) must comply with several federal statutes, including those requiring dealers to initiate background checks on unlicensed purchasers, document gun sales and report the loss or theft of a firearm. Federal law does not require all firearm sellers to obtain a license, however. A person who “makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms” is exempt from federal licensing laws.1
Summary of Federal Law
Licensing Requirements: Federal law makes it unlawful for any person except a licensed dealer to engage in the business of dealing in firearms.2 As applied to a firearms dealer, the term “engaged in the business” is defined as:
[A] person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms.3
The Gun Control Act of 19684 established the federal licensing system for firearms dealers. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), however, that system was “overly simple” from 1968 until 1993.5 During that time, any person who was over 21, paid a $10 annual fee, had premises from which to operate, and was not prohibited from possessing firearms was issued a license.6 As a result, the number of FFLs soared, reaching a peak of more than 284,000 in 1992.7 In 1993, ATF estimated that 46% of all FFLs conducted no business at all, but used their licenses to buy and sell firearms in violation of state and local zoning or tax laws.8
In 1993 and 1994, Congress adopted laws to strengthen the licensing system. The 1993 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act increased the license fee to $200 for the first three years and $90 for each additional three-year period.9 That law also required applicants to certify that they had informed local law enforcement of their intent to apply for a license.10 The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 required applicants to submit photographs and fingerprints, and to certify that their business was not prohibited by state or local laws, and would, within 30 days, comply with such laws.11
The FFL population decreased substantially as a result of these reforms. By 1997, after the first three-year cycle of relicensing under the new laws had been complete, the number of FFLs had dropped by 49% nationwide, to 107,554.12 As of December 1, 1999, that number had fallen to 103,845, the lowest number since 1969.13 The total number of FFLs has remained significantly below pre-reform levels. As of 2007, there were 108,842 FFLs nationwide.14 The number of “Type 1” FFLs15 saw an even more dramatic decline since the reforms of the early 1990’s. The number of Type 1 FFLs dropped 79 percent between1994 and 2007 (from 245,628 to 50,630).16
According to ATF, the reduction in the number of FFLs has been beneficial because it has enabled ATF to inspect a higher proportion of licensees.17 ATF’s inspection of FFLs remains inadequate, however. The U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General issued a report in July 2004 assessing the effectiveness of ATF’s program for inspecting FFLs. That report stated:
We found that the ATF’s inspection program is not fully effective for ensuring that FFLs comply with federal firearms laws because inspections are infrequent and of inconsistent quality, and follow-up inspections and adverse actions have been sporadic. Specifically, the ATF does not conduct in-person inspections on all applicants before licensing them to sell guns, and ATF compliance inspections of active dealers, including large-scale retailers, are infrequent and vary in quality. Even when numerous or serious violations were found, the ATF did not uniformly take adverse actions, refer FFLs for investigation, or conduct timely follow-up inspections.18
Another study found that between 1975 and 2005, ATF revoked, on average, fewer than 20 federal firearms licenses per year.19 Furthermore, ATF prosecuted only 88 corrupt gun dealers between 2000 and 2002.20 ATF faces numerous obstacles that limit its ability to enforce the law. For example, ATF may conduct only one unannounced inspection of each FFL per year, the burden of proof for prosecution and revocation are extremely high, serious violations of firearms law have been classified as misdemeanors rather than felonies, and ATF has historically been grossly understaffed.21
The ability to conduct effective inspections and enforcement against corrupt FFLs is crucial. According to ATF, one percent of FFLs are responsible for selling almost sixty percent of the guns that are found at crime scenes and traced to dealers.22 Therefore, identifying and stopping even one corrupt dealer could lead to a significant reduction in the number of crime guns.
FFL Duties and Prohibitions: Once licensed, federal law requires dealers to:
- Initiate background checks on unlicensed firearm purchasers;23
- Maintain records of the acquisition and sale of firearms;24
- Report multiple sales of handguns (i.e., the sale of two or more pistols or revolvers to an unlicensed person within any five consecutive business days);25 and
- Report the theft or loss of a firearm within 48 hours after the theft or loss is discovered.26
FFLs must also submit to a maximum of one ATF inspection per year to ensure compliance with federal recordkeeping requirements.27 More frequent inspections are permitted if a federal magistrate has issued a search warrant or if the search is incidental to a criminal investigation.28 In addition, FFLs must respond to requests for information from ATF regarding the disposition of a firearm if such request is made during the course of a bona fide criminal investigation.29
A FFL may not sell or deliver: (1) a handgun to a resident of another state; (2) a shotgun or rifle or ammunition for that firearm to a person the dealer knows or has reasonable cause to believe is under the age of 18; or (3) a handgun or handgun ammunition to a person the dealer knows or has reasonable cause to believe is under the age of 21.30
FFLs may temporarily conduct business at a location other than that specified on the FFL’s license if the temporary location is a gun show in the state specified on the license.31
ATF has found that FFLs who violate federal laws are a major source of trafficked firearms. In June of 2000, ATF issued a comprehensive report of firearms trafficking in this country. That report analyzed 1,530 trafficking investigations during the period July 1996 through December 1998, involving more than 84,000 diverted firearms.32 ATF found that FFLs were associated with the largest number of trafficked guns – over 40,000 – and concluded that “FFLs’ access to large numbers of firearms makes them a particular threat to public safety when they fail to comply with the law.”33 Random inspections by ATF have uncovered that a large percentage of FFLs do violate federal law and that this percentage is growing.34
Finally, according to a 1998 ATF random sample of FFLs nationwide, 56% of all dealers operated out of their homes.35 Of the remaining 44%, 25% operated out of commercial premises that were gun shops or sporting goods or hardware stores.36 The remainder were located in businesses that are not usually associated with gun sales, such as funeral homes or auto parts stores.37
SUMMARY OF STATE LAWS REGULATING FIREARMS DEALERS
Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws regulating firearms dealers, with additional states requiring dealers to conduct background checks, retain records of sales, or report sales to law enforcement. See the Background Checks and Retention of Records and Reporting of Sales Policy Summaries for these additional laws.
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia require firearms dealers to obtain a license. The regulations cited below also apply.
|State||State License Required||Bans Residential Dealers||Background Checks on Employees||Security Measures||Warnings to Purchasers||Theft or Loss Reporting38||Strict Liability|
The other 24 states do not have any of these laws.
Description of State Laws Regulating Gun Dealers
For citations, please see the chart above.
1. Dealer Licensing: Sixteen states and the District of Columbia require firearms dealers to obtain a state-issued license. The following states require licensing for the sale of all firearms: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey (dealer employees must also be licensed), Pennsylvania, Rhode Island,93 and Washington. The District of Columbia also requires licensing for the sale of all firearms.
California appears to have the most comprehensive dealer licensing requirements in the nation. Under California law, a firearms “dealer” or “licensee” must have all of the following:
• A valid federal firearms license;
• Any regulatory or business license, or licenses, required by local government, or a letter from the duly constituted local licensing authority stating that the jurisdiction does Not require any form of regulatory or business license and does Not otherwise restrict or regulate the sale of firearms;
• A valid seller’s permit issued by the State Board of Equalization; and
• A certificate of eligibility issued by the Department of Justice (showing that the person is not prohibited from possessing firearms).
The dealer also must be included in the centralized list of licensees maintained by the California Department of Justice.
The following states require licensing for the sale of handguns or other specified firearms only: Alabama, Connecticut (any person who sells ten or more handguns per year or is an FFL), Delaware (dealer sales of pistols, revolvers or “other deadly weapons made especially for the defense of one’s person”), Georgia, Indiana, Maryland (dealer sales of “regulated firearms,” defined as handguns and certain listed assault weapons), New Hampshire, and New York (dealer sales of handguns, assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices).
In Wisconsin, before a dealer may offer a handgun for sale, the dealer must register each handgun store he or she owns or operates with the Wisconsin Department of Justice. The Department of Justice will provide the dealer with a unique identification number for each store.
2. Banning Residential Dealers: Massachusetts is the only state that prohibits dealers from operating in a residence or dwelling.
3. Employee Background Checks: Five states – Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia and Washington – require background checks on firearms dealer employees. In Connecticut, however, employee background checks are only required where “the principal part of such trade or business is the retail sale of goods other than firearms.”
In Delaware, employee background checks must be conducted annually. In New Jersey, employees of retail firearms dealers must first obtain a state-issued license, which is valid for 3 years.
In California, firearms dealers may require employees who handle, sell or deliver firearms at the dealers’ place of business to undergo background checks, but such background checks are Not mandatory.94 California law explicitly permits local governments to require background checks of firearms dealer employees.95
4. Security Measures: Nine states — Alabama, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia require firearms dealers to utilize security measures to reduce the risk of theft from their premises. Dealers in the following states may not display firearms, ammunition and/or advertising so that they can readily be seen from the outside by the public – Alabama, California and Rhode Island (handguns, imitation handguns and handgun advertising), Massachusetts (firearms), New Jersey (firearms and imitation firearms), Pennsylvania (handguns or short-barreled rifles or shotguns), West Virginia (firearms and ammunition). In California and Minnesota, dealers must store firearms in a specified manner after business hours. In Connecticut, businesses that sell firearms at retail must have burglar alarms that are connected directly to the local police department. New Jersey dealers must install a state-approved theft detection and prevention system and implement security and safe storage measures. Minnesota also requires all firearms dealers to install electronic security systems that meet state specifications.
In the District of Columbia, firearms dealers must keep all firearms and ammunition “in a securely locked place affixed to the premises except when being shown to a customer, being repaired, or otherwise being worked on.”
5. Warnings to Purchasers: Fifteen states require dealers to post and/or deliver written warnings to purchasers regarding the risks of storing firearms in a manner accessible to children. Those states are: California, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York (applies to all retail firearms sellers), North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin.
In California, dealers must post additional warnings, including those regarding the risk of lead exposure from firearms and the state’s one-handgun-a-month law.96
6. Theft or Loss Reporting: Three states specifically require dealers to report to state and/or local authorities the theft or loss of any firearm, while other states apply this requirement to firearm owners generally, as described in the Reporting of Lost or Stolen Firearms Policy Summary. California requires dealers to report theft or loss of any firearm to the local law enforcement agency where the dealer is located within 48 hours. Massachusetts requires dealers to report any theft or loss to the local licensing authority and to the state Criminal History Systems Board. New Jersey requires dealers to report the loss or theft of firearms or ammunition to the local police force or the state police within 36 hours.
7. Strict Liability:97 Two states – Connecticut and Pennsylvania – as well as the District of Columbia, impose strict liability on firearms dealers under certain circumstances. In Connecticut, any person who sells, delivers or otherwise transfers a firearm to a person knowing that person is prohibited from possessing such firearm “shall be strictly liable for damages for the injury or death of another person resulting from the use of such firearm by any person.” Connecticut also provides that any person who sells, delivers or provides any firearm to another person to “engage in conduct which constitutes an offense knowing or under circumstances in which he should know that such other person intends to use such firearm in such conduct shall be criminally liable for such conduct and shall be prosecuted and punished as if he were the principal offender.”
Pennsylvania’s law is similar to Connecticut’s.
The District of Columbia provides that any firearms dealer who can be shown by a preponderance of the evidence to have knowingly and willfully engaged in the illegal sale of a firearm will be strictly liable in tort for all damages caused by the discharge of the firearm in the District, regardless of whether the person operating the firearm is the original, illegal purchaser. A strict liability action may not be brought, however:
• When the basis of the strict liability is a firearm originally distributed to a law enforcement agency or a law enforcement officer;
• By a person who can be shown by a preponderance of the evidence to have committed a self-inflicted injury or who was injured by a firearm while committing a crime, attempting to commit a crime, engaged in criminal activity, or engaged in a delinquent act;
• By a person who can be shown by a preponderance of the evidence to be engaged in the sale or distribution of illegal narcotics; or
• By a person who either assumed the risk of the injury that occurred or negligently contributed to the injury that occurred.
Dealers of assault weapons or machine guns in the District will also, with certain exceptions, be held strictly liable in tort for all direct and consequential damages arising from bodily injury or death if the bodily injury or death proximately results from the discharge of the assault weapon or machine gun in the District.
SELECTED LOCAL LAW
San Francisco, California
The City of San Francisco has enacted several comprehensive ordinances to ensure that local firearms dealers utilize common sense and responsible business practices.98 It is illegal to engage in the business of selling firearms or ammunition in the City without first obtaining a license from the San Francisco Police Department. In order to obtain a license, a potential firearms dealer must comply with a number of basic and important requirements including mandatory background checks for the dealer and the dealer’s employees, the installation of a minimum level of security measures to prevent theft, and proof of adequate liability insurance. In addition, dealers may not operate in sensitive public locations such as schools or day care centers. To discourage theft and trafficking, dealers must conduct bi-annual inventories of all firearms and immediately report any weapons which are either lost or stolen. People who are prohibited from possessing firearms are not allowed on the premises of a firearms dealer. Finally, information related to sales of ammunition must be recorded and stored by the dealer. To ensure that all requirements are being met, the San Francisco Police have the right to inspect a dealer’s premises at any time during business hours. Over 30 other local jurisdictions in California have enacted similar ordinances.
The Law Center has drafted a Model Ordinance Regulating Firearms Dealers and Ammunitions for Local Jurisdictions in California. For more information, contact the Law Center.
FEATURES OF COMPREHENSIVE DEALER LICENSING AND REGULATION LAW
The features listed below are intended to provide a framework from which policy options may be considered and debated. The Law Center has not attempted to include every provision or every creative approach identified in the analysis above, nor have we addressed appropriate exceptions so that the regulation does not produce unintended consequences. A jurisdiction considering modifying existing, or developing new legislation in this area should consult with counsel to ensure its legal sufficiency and compatibility with existing codes and statutes, as appropriate.
- All firearms dealers selling any class of firearm are required to obtain a state and/or local license and undergo a background check (California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, District of Columbia)
- Dealers in residential and other sensitive neighborhoods are prohibited (Massachusetts)
- Dealer employees are required to undergo background checks (Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia, Washington)
- Dealers are required to take security precautions to reduce the risk of theft (security measures may include safe storage requirements, alarm systems, and limitations on the display of firearms) (Alabama, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia, District of Columbia)
- Dealers are required to report all firearm sales to state and local law enforcement
- Dealers are required to provide law enforcement with a physical inventory of all firearms at least annually99
- Dealers are required to obtain liability insurance to ensure that persons harmed by the dealers’ actions will be adequately compensated100
- Dealers are required to post warnings to consumers regarding safe storage of firearms and the consequences of improperly storing firearms (California, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin)
- Dealers are required to report the theft or loss of any firearm to state and local authorities (Massachusetts)
- Dealers are subject to civil liability for negligent entrustment, negligence per se, and knowing violations of federal or state statutes applicable to the sale or marketing of the firearms101
- 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(21)(C). Additional information about unlicensed sellers is contained in our Private Sales policy summary. [↩]
- 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(1)(A). [↩]
- 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(21)(C). [↩]
- 18 U.S.C. § 922. [↩]
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Commerce in Firearms in the United States 11 (Feb. 2000). [↩]
- Id. [↩]
- Id. [↩]
- Id. at 13. [↩]
- 18 U.S.C. § 923(a)(3)(B). [↩]
- 18 U.S.C. § 923(d)(1)(F)(iii). [↩]
- 27 C.F.R. § 478.44(a)(1)(ii); 18 U.S.C. § 923(d)(1)(F)(i), (ii). [↩]
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Commerce in Firearms in the United States 14 (Feb. 2000). [↩]
- Id. at 15. [↩]
- Federal firearms licensee totals as of November 8, 2007 were provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. [↩]
- A “Type 1” license is the basic license required for selling firearms (as opposed to manufacturing firearms or selling ammunition or curios). [↩]
- Violence Policy Center, An Analysis of the Decline in Gun Dealers: 1994 to 2007 3 (Aug. 2007). The Violence Policy Center report is based on data compiled as of February 13, 2007. [↩]
- Commerce in Firearms in the United States, supra note 12, at 17. [↩]
- Office of the Inspector General, Evaluation and Inspections Division, U.S. Department of Justice, Inspection of Firearms Dealers by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives i (July 2004). [↩]
- Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Shady Dealings, Illegal Gun Trafficking From Licensed Gun Dealers 23 (January 2007). The report notes that in 2006, ATF increased its total revocations to 131. Id. at 23. [↩]
- Americans for Gun Safety Foundation, The Enforcement Gap: Federal Gun Laws Ignored 4 (May 2003). [↩]
- Shady Dealings, Illegal Gun Trafficking From Licensed Gun Dealers, supra note 19, at 24-25. [↩]
- Commerce in Firearms in the United States, supra note 12, at 9. [↩]
- The FFL must: (a) receive from the transferee a completed and signed Firearms Transaction Record (ATF Form 4473), providing detailed information about the transferee; (b) verify the identity of the transferee through a government-issued photo identification; and (c) contact the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), through either the FBI or a state point of contact, for a determination of whether the transfer may proceed. 27 C.F.R. §§ 478.11, 478.102, 478.124; 18 U.S.C. § 922(t)(1). The dealer may transfer the firearm if NICS provides the dealer with a unique identification number for the transfer or if three business days have elapsed since the dealer contacted NICS and the system has not notified the dealer that the transfer would be unlawful. 18 U.S.C. § 922(t)(1). Detailed information on these requirements is contained in our Background Checks policy summary. [↩]
- 18 U.S.C. § 923(g)(1)(A). The dealer must record, “in bound form,” the purchase or other acquisition of a firearm not later than the close of the next business day following the purchase or acquisition. 27 C.F.R. § 478.125(e). The dealer must similarly record the sale or other disposition of a firearm not later than seven days following the date of such transaction and retain the Firearms Transaction Record (ATF Form 4473) obtained in the course of transferring custody of each firearm. Id.; § 478.124(b). When a firearms business is discontinued, these records must be delivered to the successor or, if none exists, to the Attorney General. 18 U.S.C. § 923(g)(4). [↩]
- 18 U.S.C. § 923(g)(3)(A). [↩]
- The report must be made to the Attorney General and to the “appropriate local authorities.” 18 U.S.C. § 923(g)(6). [↩]
- 18 U.S.C. § 923(g)(1)(B). [↩]
- 18 U.S.C. § 923(g)(1)(A), (B). [↩]
- 18 U.S.C. § 923(g)(7). [↩]
- 18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(1), (3). [↩]
- 18 U.S.C. § 923(j). [↩]
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Following the Gun: Enforcing Federal Laws Against Firearms Traffickers ix (June 2000). [↩]
- Id. at x. [↩]
- Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “‘Trivial Violations’? The Myth of Overzealous Federal Enforcement Actions Against Licensed Gun Dealers” 1 (September 2006). [↩]
- Commerce in Firearms in the United States, supra note 12, at 16. [↩]
- Id. [↩]
- Id. [↩]
- See the Reporting of Lost or Stolen Firearms Policy Summary for laws generally requiring the reporting of lost or stolen firearms. [↩]
- Ala. Code §§ 13A-11-78, 13A-11-79, 13A-11-83. [↩]
- Ala. Code § 13A-11-79. [↩]
- Cal. Penal Code §§ 26500, 26700-26710. [↩]
- Cal. Penal Code § 26820, 26890(a). [↩]
- Cal. Penal Code §§ 26835, 23635(e), 23640. [↩]
- Cal. Penal Code § 26885. [↩]
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-28. [↩]
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-37f. [↩]
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-37d. [↩]
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-37b. [↩]
- Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 52-571f, 53a-8(b). [↩]
- Del. Code Ann. tit. 24, §§ 901-902. [↩]
- Del. Code Ann. tit. 24, § 904(b). [↩]
- D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2504.01(b); D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 24, § 2321. [↩]
- D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2504.07. [↩]
- D.C. Code Ann. §§ 7-2531.02, 7-2531.03, 7-2551.02, 7-2551.03. [↩]
- Fla. Stat. Ann. § 790.175. [↩]
- Ga. Code Ann. § 43-16-2. [↩]
- Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-31. [↩]
- Ind. Code Ann. §§ 35-47-2-14 – 35-47-2-16. [↩]
- Me. Rev. Stat. Ann tit. 15, § 455-A. [↩]
- Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety §§ 5-101, 5-106. [↩]
- Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, §§ 122, 122B, 123, 128. [↩]
- Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 123. [↩]
- Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 123. [↩]
- Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 123. [↩]
- Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140 §§ 123, 129C. [↩]
- Mich. Comp. Laws § 28.435(6). [↩]
- Minn. Stat. § 624.7161; Minn. Admin. Rules Ch. 7504. [↩]
- Minn. Stat. § 624.7162. [↩]
- Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 69-2426. [↩]
- N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 159:8, 159:10. [↩]
- N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 650-C:1(VII). [↩]
- N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-2(a); N.J. Admin. Code § 13:54-3.2. [↩]
- N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-2(a). [↩]
- N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-2(a), N.J. Admin. Code §§ 13:54-3.11, 13:54-6.1-13:54-6.5. [↩]
- N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2C:58-16, 2C:58-17. [↩]
- N.J. Admin. Code § 13:54-6.6. [↩]
- N.Y. Penal Law §§ 265.00(9), 400.00. [↩]
- N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law § 396-ee. [↩]
- N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-315.1, 14-315.2. [↩]
- Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §§ 2923.25, 5502.63(A). [↩]
- 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6112. [↩]
- 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6113. [↩]
- 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§ 6111(g)(5), (6). [↩]
- R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-47-38, 11-47-39. [↩]
- R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-40(b). [↩]
- Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 46.13(g). [↩]
- Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.2:3. [↩]
- Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.110. [↩]
- Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.110(5)(b). [↩]
- W. Va. Code § 61-7-10(a)(1). [↩]
- Wis. Admin. Code Jus § 10.04. [↩]
- Wis. Stat. § 175.37. [↩]
- Note that R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-38 requires all firearms dealers to be licensed. However, state law provides a mechanism for the licensing of dealers in handguns only. [↩]
- Cal. Penal Code § 26915(a), (b). [↩]
- Cal. Penal Code § 26915(c), (d). [↩]
- In addition, Colorado requires FFLs to post a sign describing the state’s prohibition on straw purchasers. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-111. [↩]
- In 2005, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). The PLCAA grants firearms dealers and others immunity from some civil lawsuits. 15 U.S.C. §§ 7901 – 7903. The Act includes, inter alia, the following exceptions:
(ii) an action brought against a seller for negligent entrustment or negligence per se;
(iii) an action in which a manufacturer or seller of a [firearm] knowingly violated a State or Federal statute applicable to the sale or marketing of the [firearm], and the violation was a proximate cause of the harm for which relief is sought, including:
(I) any case in which the manufacturer or seller knowingly made any false entry in, or failed to make appropriate entry in, any record required to be kept under Federal or State law with respect to the firearm or aided, abetted, or conspired with any person in making any false or fictitious oral or written statement with respect to any fact material to the lawfulness of the sale or other disposition of a [firearm]; or
(II) any case in which the manufacturer or seller aided, abetted, or conspired with any other person to sell or otherwise dispose of a [firearm], knowing, or having reasonable cause to believe, that the actual buyer of the [firearm] was prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm or ammunition under subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 of title 18, United States Code[.]
15 U.S.C. § 7903(5)(A)(ii), (iii). The scope of the PLCAA and its exceptions is being tested in the courts in several pending cases. [↩]
- San Francisco Police Code §§ 613-619. [↩]
- Certain local jurisdictions, such as New York City and San Francisco, impose this requirement. [↩]
- Certain local jurisdictions, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, impose this requirement. [↩]
- New York City and San Francisco impose civil liability on dealers and others for some gun injuries and deaths. Civil liability laws require careful drafting in light of the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). [↩]