Purchasing Firearms - International student in Montana
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Old 04-04-2010, 09:39 AM   #1
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Default Purchasing Firearms - International student in Montana

Hi, I'm new to this forum, my name's Daniel and I'm a NON-citizen studying in the beautiful state of Montana.

Now my question(s) and my problem(s):

I would like to purchase a firearm, partly to go hunting (so a rifle, most likely a 30.06 or something with a little more power) and partly as means of self-defense (so a handgun/shotgun/rifle; if you venture into the wild around here and go camping you are pretty much on your own).

The way I understand the law and the information I find online, it should not be an issue (except for a CCW, which I do not want or need at this point). However the friendly clerk of a FFL dealership informed me that a)I will not be able to purchase a handgun and that b)I will need to be a Montana resident for 3 years before I'll be able to purchase a rifle/shotgun.

Of course I could borrow a weapon from a friend or simply have him/her buy it and lend it to me permanently, to work around the system but I don't like that idea very much. I'm sure there is a solution to my problem. I know how to handle basically any weapon and I'm definitely able to pass any kind of test I would have to undergo. It is simply about the legal status and that issue is giving me somewhat of a headache.

The recommendation is to go and talk to the local sheriff/police office and/or ATF representative but I'd definitely like to know what other persons know/have encountered.

If anything is unclear please ask, I'd really appreciate any kind of advice/support.

-Daniel

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Old 04-04-2010, 02:42 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Hetzig View Post
Hi, I'm new to this forum, my name's Daniel and I'm a NON-citizen studying in the beautiful state of Montana.

Of course I could borrow a weapon from a friend or simply have him/her buy it and lend it to me permanently, to work around the system but I don't like that idea very much. I'm sure there is a solution to my problem. I know how to handle basically any weapon and I'm definitely able to pass any kind of test I would have to undergo. It is simply about the legal status and that issue is giving me somewhat of a headache.

-Daniel
First, welcome to the forum. Most new members stop by the introduction thread and give a chance for the rest of the members to get to know them.

Second, what you are suggesting by a way to "work around the system" is highly illegal. Would make you and the purchaser both felons and you most likely deported and not allowed to return.

Third, says here must be a US Citizen.

Montana Gun Laws - What Are the Gun Laws in Montana?
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Old 04-04-2010, 03:48 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Hetzig View Post
Hi, I'm new to this forum, my name's Daniel and I'm a NON-citizen studying in the beautiful state of Montana.

Now my question(s) and my problem(s):

I would like to purchase a firearm, partly to go hunting (so a rifle, most likely a 30.06 or something with a little more power) and partly as means of self-defense (so a handgun/shotgun/rifle; if you venture into the wild around here and go camping you are pretty much on your own).

The way I understand the law and the information I find online, it should not be an issue (except for a CCW, which I do not want or need at this point). However the friendly clerk of a FFL dealership informed me that a)I will not be able to purchase a handgun and that b)I will need to be a Montana resident for 3 years before I'll be able to purchase a rifle/shotgun.

Of course I could borrow a weapon from a friend or simply have him/her buy it and lend it to me permanently, to work around the system but I don't like that idea very much. I'm sure there is a solution to my problem. I know how to handle basically any weapon and I'm definitely able to pass any kind of test I would have to undergo. It is simply about the legal status and that issue is giving me somewhat of a headache.

The recommendation is to go and talk to the local sheriff/police office and/or ATF representative but I'd definitely like to know what other persons know/have encountered.

If anything is unclear please ask, I'd really appreciate any kind of advice/support.

-Daniel


Are you a Resident Alien, are you a F1 visa holder, or are you illegal? Skull is correct that having someone buy a gun and loan it to you permanently is called a straw purchase and is illegal and I would like to know why you think it is ok to try and find a way “around” our legal system?
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:53 PM   #4
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Daniel- unless you are an illegal alien, US Law permits you to purchase a rifle or shotgun under certain conditions. And no, there is no "3 year" residency requirement. If you are here on a student visa, and have a hunting license, and are not a person prohibited from owning a gun (under 18, convicted felon, mental case, etc) you CAN buy one.

I have a friend that is a professor at Virginia Tech- who has a very good blog called he NRV outdoors. One of his articles was taking a student from New Zealand to buy a rifle. THE NEW RIVER VALLEY OUTDOORSMAN. You may need to scroll down the articles on LEFT side of screen. "Mike buys a rifle"

State law in my home state requires that certain Assault Rifles may only be sold to a citizen or Permanent Resident Aliens, but does not affect buying an ordinary hunting rilfe or shotgun. Read the article, get a hunting license (which MAY have a residency requirement) and go find a dealer that knows the law. Many ARE under the impression that you must be a citizen- but not so.

Having someone else buy a firearm for you is a BIG no-no, known as a strawman sale. THAT could result in extending your stay in the US by 5 years- and the food at THAT resort sucks!

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Old 04-04-2010, 07:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dzscubie View Post
Are you a Resident Alien, are you a F1 visa holder, or are you illegal? Skull is correct that having someone buy a gun and loan it to you permanently is called a straw purchase and is illegal and I would like to know why you think it is ok to try and find a way “around” our legal system?
A guy recently bought a gun here in Astoria for a felon friend and his return payment was getting his junk blown off by said felon who didnt know how to handle the gun. I do not condone Illegal purchases, makes all us legal second amendment purchasers look bad.
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Old 04-04-2010, 07:55 PM   #6
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I do not condone Illegal purchases, makes all us legal second amendment purchasers look bad.
Indeed it does and I whole heartily concur Doc.

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Old 04-04-2010, 08:38 PM   #7
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Alright, thank you for the replies so far. When I posted my original question, please note how I said that "I don't like that idea very much" of working around that system, what you call a straw purchase. I meant to include so that someone does not use it as a suggestion. I did not mean to suggest that I want to work around the legal system and thus make myself guilty of a felony offense. Sorry about that fellas.

However, currently I'm an F1. I'm not interested in assault rifles or Class 3 merchandise. Currently I do not hold a hunting license here. On the respective website, (FWP), I can't seem to find any option for a "normal" hunting license, which is to say a permit to hunt. The only options that I can find are directly related to the particular animals I would be hunting, so an Elk, a Deer or a Black Bear.

I am in possession of a Montana Drivers License, a Montana Conservation License (I am in the system) and passed the Bear ID & Mountain Lion ID tests today.

I read the article you linked, c3shooter, and that is pretty much what I expected to happen. A lot of legal back and forth but an eventual sale of a rifle into my hands. I have all the necessary paperwork except that hunting license, which I'm not certain how to acquire at this point. It can't be as simple as to buy a tag for an Elk, can it?

Skullcrusher, I've seen the regulation you're referring to and if interpret that document correctly, then the citizen status is related to the CCW and not the actual purchase of a firearm.

I've looked at what the BATF has to say about that (ATF)and there are a couple of exceptions to the general rule of 'not selling'. First would be to simply have a hunting license. There are a couple I do not fall into, so target competition etc. But there is also one for a waiver from the Attorney General.

The question for me is, should I go see the local sheriff next? Or contact the BATF via email?

Do you guys know any good resources to consult when it comes to fringe areas? For instance keeping that weapon, a rifle/handgun stored in the car.

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Old 04-04-2010, 11:16 PM   #8
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hope he meant a legal alternative????

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Old 04-06-2010, 03:03 AM   #9
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I would start by talking with the folks that will issue the huntng license. In some states its Dept of Natural Resources, here it is Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries. Re: transport- unloaded, in the trunk, NOT in areas where arms are forbidden (military reservations come to mind) will keep you out of jail. The game warden may have something to say about a loaded rifle in a car. (poachers)

Forget the "waiver from the attorney general"- that is usually for embassy staff, etc. Simple route is usually the best- go for the hunting license. The actual regs are in Title 18 US Code section 922. You can google that and read thru it, if you get stuck, send me a PM.

BTW, the gent that writes the NRV Outdoorsman knows his stuff- if he said it is so, you can take that to the bank.

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Old 04-06-2010, 03:23 AM   #10
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Hetzig, I realized later that US citizen thing was for CCW, but it says nothing about having to have a license or permit to purchase a firearm. Not sure how they do it in Montana, but you might be able to purchase a hunting license at WalMart. Have you been to the Montana State Wildlife web site? Or look up hunting regulations.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks :: Hunting Regulations

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks :: Hunting and Trapping Licenses

Montana Tourism & Recreation - mt.gov - Montana's Official State Website

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