21 to own a pistol?...
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:57 AM   #1
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Default 21 to own a pistol?...

So ive been buying guns since the day i turned 18 and shooting since i was 9. I currently own 2 bolt rifles, 2 semi rifles and a pump shotgun and im only 19.. As i get closer and closer to being 21 and adding more rifles and shotguns to my collection i keep wondering why cant i get a pistol!? I dont understand why I have to wait till im 21 to get a pistol when i can go to the store and leave 15 minutes later with a rifle or shotgun that can do a lot more damage than a pistol..Also im working on joining the army and before i turn 21 i can walk around walk around with and m4 on my chest and a 1911 on my hip. What im basicaly trying to do is find out why I cant buy a pistol untill i turn 21 Who made this law and why? What was the reasoning? Sorry for the rant but I really want to know.

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Old 01-10-2012, 02:06 AM   #2
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Most likely at some point in history we decided there should be age limits on gun ownership and 18 made sense at the time. Then someone pointed out that handguns statistically used in more crimes than rifles and should be more controlled, so the next American "age of responsibility" is 21. You could say all the same things about a 19 year old having a beer. They can vote and enlist...why not. The difference is, joining the military allows you to play with pistols, it won't let you have a legal beer.../boggle

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Old 01-10-2012, 02:19 AM   #3
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The federal law on the 21 age limit is that a FFL is restricted from selling a handgun or ammunition to persons under 21,it does not restrict legal adults under 21 from owning handguns or buying them through private sales. Check your state and local laws,in many states its legal for anyone over 18 to own a handgun. In Tennessee where I am its completely legal,you just can't buy from a FFL dealer which is the case for ALL states because all gun shops are licensed by the batfe (a federal bureau) so they are subject to federal gun laws.

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Old 01-10-2012, 02:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jstrong
The federal law on the 21 age limit is that a FFL is restricted from selling a handgun or ammunition to persons under 21,it does not restrict legal adults under 21 from owning handguns or buying them through private sales. Check your state and local laws,in many states its legal for anyone over 18 to own a handgun. In Tennessee where I am its completely legal,you just can't buy from a FFL dealer which is the case for ALL states because all gun shops are licensed by the batfe (a federal bureau) so they are subject to federal gun laws.
I was under the impression that private gun sales are against the law. What do you mean by private sales like buying from say your father compared to some guy in an alley way?
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jon1992d

I was under the impression that private gun sales are against the law. What do you mean by private sales like buying from say your father compared to some guy in an alley way?
Lol private sales are in no way illegal, You can buy a gun from a complete stranger... and yes in an alley if that's where you prefer (not that I'd recommend it). All you are federally (and in most states) obligated to do during a private sale is make sure the buyer is a legal adult,and when the gun in question is a handgun... make sure the buyer is a resident from the same state the seller is, and where the transaction is taking place. You are actually not even legally obligated to fill out a bill of sale,even though I would recommend It to cover your own a$$. Now some people wont sell a handgun to a buyer under 21 because they aren't fully versed in their gun laws. But whoever told you private sales are illegal severely misguided you.

BUT as always... check your state and local laws,some of the anti gun states may have their own legislation limiting handgun ownership and private sales
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:09 AM   #6
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Jon- I do not know where you got the impression that a private sale of a firearm is illegal. In most states, you may buy a firearm from another resident of your home state. When gun is being transferred across a state line, THEN you need to involve a dealer.

Where did that law (age 21) come from? 1968 Gun Control Act. Thank you, Lyndon Johnson. Before that, you could look through the ads, send the sellers your money, and the mailman would bring you your gun. That law created the whole FFL/ Dealer thing.

Gun Control Act of 1968 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

At some point I plan to visit LBJ's grave- and for SEVERAL reasons (the 1968 GCA being only ONE of them) I plan to have SEVERAL draft beers before going there.

Prime the pump, so o speak. And yes, have my bail money saved up.


BTW, I DO feel your pain. At the age of 20, I had 3 years military service behind me, was an Infantry Company Commander, had enough firepower to flatten a small town- but I could not buy a box of .45 ACP ammo.

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Old 01-10-2012, 04:16 AM   #7
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After doing some research about pennsylvania it seems i can own a pistol only if a parent or grandparent "gifts" it to me. I cant find any acual laws supporting this but from what other pa residents are saying it is totally legal as long as i dont buy it from an ffl dealer. Also they said i have to get a sherriff to transfer it and many will not. Also another person said i can get an ffl to transfer it from parent to myself and i dont need to involve a sheriff. Kind of confusing without the acual law or document saying i can own one. Also another thing people were saying is not to bother becuase nobody would belive me that it is legal so nobody would sell to me.

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Old 01-10-2012, 04:21 AM   #8
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And c3 Ill save up some money to help post your bail on that one. I remember seing an old movie in black and white called panic in year zero and the main character walked into a hardware store in some small town and bought a few guns. I was shocked and my dad told me thats how they used to do it. I know what older people mean when they say 'Those were the good ol days'!

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Old 01-10-2012, 05:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jon1992d
After doing some research about pennsylvania it seems i can own a pistol only if a parent or grandparent "gifts" it to me. I cant find any acual laws supporting this but from what other pa residents are saying it is totally legal as long as i dont buy it from an ffl dealer. Also they said i have to get a sherriff to transfer it and many will not. Also another person said i can get an ffl to transfer it from parent to myself and i dont need to involve a sheriff. Kind of confusing without the acual law or document saying i can own one. Also another thing people were saying is not to bother becuase nobody would belive me that it is legal so nobody would sell to me.
Well the thing is laws aren't there to tell you what you CAN do,just what you CANT do. So if there's no laws stating you can't do something than that would make it legal. Plus there's a lot left to the imagination with these types of firearms laws, nothing clear cut and definative. Example being "an FFL licensed dealer may not sell a handgun or handgun ammunition to persons under 21". When most people think of buying guns they think of getting them from a gun store,so they assume persons under 21 can't buy handguns. Once they come to that assumption they then assume since they think persons under 21 can't buy a handgun that that must mean They can't own one. When in all actuality,going back to the law,it never said anything about such matters.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:22 AM   #10
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Ok, Jon...here's what I've found so far. I have the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes regarding fireams here in my office. I spent some time tonight going through it. There's nothing I could find in there specifically prohibiting those between 18 and 21 from posessing a handgun. However, the Federal laws specifically prohibit legal FFL transfer of a handgun to anyone under 21, but you already knew that. So, if I read all the legalese right (my eyes were tearing and crossed between the small print and all of the legal jargon and references to other statutes within the same code by the time I was done. ), the contentions of those answering you so far are correct. The only specific references to age were for prohibition all together for under 18. Now, how could anyone between 18 and 21 legally obtain a handgun in the Commonwealth?

Now, just as point of law and not advising you to do this (disclaimer, CYA protocol), under law here, a father/mother can physically and legally transfer ownership of a gun of any type, except NFA, to a son/daughter without the intervention of a FFL or doing any transfer paperwork. So, basically your contentions about having your father buy it and do the paperwork then give it to you later is correct.

You still cannot buy ammo for the handgun yourself until you turn 21.

FYI, a gun willed to anyone as part of an estate doesn't need to be transferred unless the executor insists or it is specifically stated in the will. I researched this a while back for someone that had two estate pistols and wanted to transfer them to him. He was already in posession of them for some time. I saved him the bother and cost.

One issue that may come up if you both walked into a gun shop together and it slipped that he was buying it for you or the dealer got suspicious that you were the real end buyer but dad was doing the buying at the counter is that the inferred intent of a straw purchase might be thought of by the salesman and he may refuse to go through with the sale. You'll have to be careful of this. If you don't know what this means, a straw purchase is when someone can legally buy guns and does so with the intention of handing them over to someone that cannot. The money part is inconsequential. It's the act that is. The penalty is 10 years in a Federal prison and up to $250,000 fine. I'm not saying that your dad would end up in Leavenworth, but a suspicious dealer could make things potentially unpleasant for him if you both aren't careful. I know, it's extreme and not real likely to happen, but stranger things do happen.

Another issue is that way too many, including park rangers, many cops, and dealers etc. don't know all of the nuts & bolts of the firearm laws. While I did research this topic with the proper books, many don't. I'm referring to posession. I, myself, was under the impression for a long time that you couldn't posess a handgun if you were between 18 and 21. Apparently, I was wrong.

So, I hope you got some clarification here. If I can help you in any other way, don't hesitate to get hold of me. I'm just 45 minutes north of the Burgh.

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