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Posted: 11/8/2003 2:49:03 PM EDT
Hey guys,

I'm not sure if anyone can answer this, but I was curious as to the legality of buying a pistol while home in the US on R&R leave from the Middle East. I'm a Virginia resident in the military, but being stationed (not deployed) overseas right now, I don't actually have an address in Virginia. Is it legal to buy a pistol while I'm back in VA on leave? I obviously wouldn't be bringing it back here, but the address on my driver's license is an old one, and probably shouldn't be used for the purchase.

Anyone have any experience with this kind of situation?

Dave
Camp Doha, Kuwait
Link Posted: 11/8/2003 3:09:14 PM EDT
Technically I don't think you should buy the pistol. When filling out the forms you are supposed to list your current address, so you would be lying on the paperwork if you claimed your old address and this is a big no-no. Does this mean you wouldn't be able to get one? Is the address in VA the one that you lived at before entering the military? If your two forms of ID haven't expired and they are for a VA address, you should be able to buy the pistol without any problems.
Link Posted: 11/9/2003 4:49:57 AM EDT
3ACR
Where is your home of record? This is a legal residence for you. Therefore you can purchase a firearm from that residence. In fact the whole purchasing a firearm in the state you are stationed in deal is kinda a gimme on that state being nice that's why they always ask for orders. However you should be paying taxes in your home of record and that's where you're planning to live when you get out so I say go ahead and buy it. That's just my thing though. I've never gotten into trouble buying in TX.
Link Posted: 11/9/2003 10:21:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By woodrow1976:
Where is your home of record? This is a legal residence for you.



My home of record is Alexandria, but address on my driver's license is the apartment that I was renting when I lived there (so obviously someone else is probably living there now). I just figured it would be a problem when the time came to write an address down when I fill out the paperwork. I don't think they'll take an APO...

Thanks to both you guys for the response. I just saw the new Springfield WWII mil-spec 1911A1 for the first time, and I'm itching to get one!

Dave
Link Posted: 11/9/2003 11:31:18 AM EDT
Well, for starters that SA WWII mil spec is sweet! I bought a SA mil spec last week and they asked me for 2 ID's with the same address on it. Now I am living in VA of course so it was not a problem. I would think you would be ok. You should call a few shops and ask them what they would do in you situation, before going in to buy it.
Link Posted: 11/9/2003 2:04:22 PM EDT
You are going to need 2 forms of ID..

Primary ID must be your VA Driver's license or Personal Identification Card (since you are a VA resident).

Secondary ID has to be an "official" form of ID: this can be a current/valid hunting/fishing license, current bank check, current utility bill, current vehicle/boat registration, valid voter ID card, copy of a current lease agreement, etc.

These forms of ID must have your current residential address on it. If both forms have a PO Box address on them, then you will need something from list 2, with an actuall mailing/911 address on it.

Since you are a VA resident, the fact that you are on active duty assignment doesn't really matter (although, we thank you for your duty).

When/if you were to use your old DL info and second ID, you could be committing a criminal offense when you complete and sign the paperwork (unless, you just moved w/in 30 days).


Best choice of actions: Go to DMV the day you get back and change your driver's license and vehicle registration address to your actual place of residence in the state. This can be a barracks address on base, if that is the case.

Make sure that you ask for a new ID, not just the change of address card to be mailed to you. Your new DL will then have a "REI" code on it, indicating it is a reissue and not a new DL. That way, DMV knows you have lived in the state for over 90 days and you won't have to wait 30 days as a "non-resident just moving into the state.

This will enable you to go to your local dealer and purchase whatever you want. (Except assault rifles, which need a form of ID that proves citizenship).


I think I have been pretty thorough...but if I missed something, shoot me an email and ask. Since I have sold firearms for about 10 years, I like to think I am about 95% correct on current rules/regs...but I have been wrong once or twice!


NSTG8R
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 10:49:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Nstg8r:
You are going to need 2 forms of ID..

(snip)

When/if you were to use your old DL info and second ID, you could be committing a criminal offense when you complete and sign the paperwork (unless, you just moved w/in 30 days).



NSTG8R,

Thanks for the detailed information. It sounds like I won't be able to buy the pistol as long as I'm stationed over here. My address is my APO address here in Kuwait, because I am permanently assigned here (for a year), not deployed from my home station like most people. I believe an active duty military member can actually get a drivers license that has an out-of-state address on it, but I don't think that would work for me.

It does seem kind of strange that I'm a legal VA resident paying taxes to the state, but based on the information you provided, I'm not allowed to buy a firearm there. I wonder if it would make a difference if I had a legal address in another state, as opposed to living overseas right now.

I guess it's another reason to change my residency to Texas when I move to Fort Hood - I can't think of anything I'm getting out of the Commonwealth of Virginia other than the "privilege" of paying them taxes...

Dave
Camp Doha, Kuwait
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 5:22:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/10/2003 5:33:30 PM EDT by nvcdl]
double tap
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 5:25:09 PM EDT
Consider a private purchase :-)

I think someone I know has a PO box on his VA
drivers license and is able to buy guns. Could be his second form of ID having an address is enough?

Easy enough to get a fishing license. The second ID thing is a VA thing not a federal law.

If you consider VA your state of residence I would the address of the place you call home - be it a Army base or a friends home or whatever. I don't think ATF or the State Police are trying to bust servicemen for arcane legal issues of residence.
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 10:03:49 PM EDT
Uh.....yeah they are nvcdl. That's called a straw sale and it's 5 years minimum Federal time.

ATFE is currently auditing a number of shops, imcluding mine, looking for any screw ups, and what you just suggested, while I may agree with in spirit, is blatantly illegal and could get a number of people in trouble.

The only way he could do it legally is if he has "permanent duty station" here in VA and has a copy of his orders to give to the dealer.
Link Posted: 11/11/2003 7:13:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/11/2003 7:13:39 AM EDT by 3ACR_Scout]
I just wanted to clear something up, because I'm not sure if people are aware of how residency works in the military (if you are, just disregard this).

When you're a member of the active duty military, you may live in a different state every 3 years or so, but that is not your state of residency. Your state where you claim residency is whatever state you put down when you fill out your W-2 (W-4? I'm blanking) - basically it's the state that takes taxes out of your paycheck. I could conceiveably spend 20 years in the military as a Virginia resident, yet never live in the Commonwealth of VA. So I don't have an address in Virginia (I haven't lived there since 2000), but I am a Virginia resident.

Some people keep their original home state as their state of residency, mainly for sentimental reasons, I guess. Most people in the military will claim residency in a state that doesn't have state taxes, or doesn't charge taxes for military members that are not currently residing in the state. So 80% of the military claims Texas, Alaska, Florida, etc. Everyone keeps telling me to change my residency to Texas so I don't have to pay taxes, but I've been playing by the rules and waiting until I actually move to Texas next year and get a driver's license, etc.

Anyway, it sounds like this is an issue I'd have to take up with the State Police or someone to get a clear answer - I don't know if it's ever come up before. As a resident of Virginia, I should be able to buy a firearm there, but I'm not sure if they'd accept an out-of-state address - there must be some precedent for this...

Dave
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 6:41:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/16/2003 6:44:15 PM EDT by nvcdl]
Incorrect - if he is a Virginia resident, paying taxes and voting he isn't breaking any laws as long as he fills out forms truthfully.

Having "orders" allows GIs who maintain legal residency in another state to buy guns in VA - if he is a VA resident he doesn't need orders.


Certainly isn't a straw purchase - that is by definition using a "straw" purchaser buy a gun for somone unable to purchase a gun legally.

BTW - At least one Judge has ruled that it is not an illegal straw purchase if the person who ultimatly got the gun could have legally purchased it.



Originally Posted By Templar:
Uh.....yeah they are nvcdl. That's called a straw sale and it's 5 years minimum Federal time.

ATFE is currently auditing a number of shops, imcluding mine, looking for any screw ups, and what you just suggested, while I may agree with in spirit, is blatantly illegal and could get a number of people in trouble.

The only way he could do it legally is if he has "permanent duty station" here in VA and has a copy of his orders to give to the dealer.

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