Hey guys, I really need some input on the legality of pistol ownership for someone under the age of 21 but over the age of 18.
I know that you cannot purchase a handgun from an FFL dealer if you're under 21 and that you cannot apply for a CHL or carry under the age of 21 unless you are in the military.
From what I gathered from reading some of the NFA laws, it only says that it is ILLEGAL for anyone to sell a MINOR (under 18) a handgun or any firearm in that matter, but it doesn't say anything about ownership of a pistol for people +18 but under 21.
I've read and heard of a few people legally owning pistols under21/but +18 and I am a bit confused. Can someone clarify if this is legal and correct?
I am 19 and have my heart set on owning a pistol through private purchase then transfer to my name, but do not know if this is legal and or what processes are involved.
If it is legal, what paperwork do I need to file in order for the pistol to be registered under my name?
Any input at all would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
First off, pistols are not registered in Texas. There is no 'putting it in your name', so to speak.
Second off, I'm 18. I own a Walther P22, and a Walther P38. If you see a pistol for sale from a private seller (i.e. a Non-FFL dealer) you may buy it with no paperwork. Hand the seller the cash and walk away with a pistol.
Now, the only catch to this process is you can only buy pistol ammo from private sellers as well. Federal Law states that a FFL cannot sell pistol ammo to a person under 21. As a result I don't shoot my P38 much unless one of my friends or family is giving some away or selling it.
But ya, you can own pistols when under 21, but over 18.
Thanks for your response, that's great news! Very glad to be a texan.
Welcome to a free state!` :)
Welcome to ARFCOM.
I read through the TPC www.capitol.state.tx.us/statutes/petoc.html and did not see anything stating it is illegal for someone older than 18 to own a handgun. I am not a lawyer though. The only source you should really be concerned with is your local DA. They would be who prosecutes you.
Yeah, but unlike firearms, there's no such thing as a "straw purchase" for ammo. Give your >21yo friend/relative some money and have them go buy all your ammo for you.
Good to know!
and thanks for the welcomes!
It is legal for an 18 year old to own a handgun but not buy ammo for it.
I had a friend long ago who became a cop when he was 20. He had to have someone buy his duty ammo.
His "friends" use to wrap it in pink paper with a bow.
He couldn't turn 21 fast enough!
Even LEO's under 21 can't buy duty ammo? I would imagine them having an exception to that law.
Unless things have changed since the '80s when I was in the copshop he can't. His dept. can issue it, his brother officers can buy it for him, his mom or dad can buy it for him, but he can't. There just isn't an LEO exception for some things.
Of course looking back I think a cop should have to be at least 25 to apply. There are always exceptions, but the cops I have known under 25 haven't been emotionally mature enough for the job. I was 27 when I started and that was about the right age to habdle the awesome responsibility of enforcing the law. It is a huge responsibility too. In a split second a cop has to decide whether to take someone's life, or make a decision that will take away a year, 5 years, or more of someone's life. A street cop uses judgement every day, and rookies start on the street.
I have known several cops younger than 25, but they were the exception, not the norm.
that depends on the seller. i've seen many private sellers ask to see some sort of ID to prove you are a TX resident and are of age to own the firearm. most "responsible" private sellers don't want to sell a pistol to a youngin' due to liability reasons.
bet your bottom dollar that if you were a private citizen and sold a pistol to a minor (which means under 21, not under 18) and that pistol ended up at a crime scene, and L.E. can prove you sold it to a minor, then you may have some serious explaining to do.
yes, while there is no state law you violated, try this one on for size:
BATF says you are "engaged in the business" of selling firearms. guess what? selling guns without an FFL is a federal offense, a felony.
there are alot of people at gun shows that are a "private collectors" who should have FFL's. they are clearly engaged in the business. they may or may not have a table, but they buy and sell by walking around a gun show practically every weekend.
the thing is, the State of Texas has no laws regarding this, so all they care about is collecting sales tax. they don't care if you have an FFL, but they do care if you have a state sales tax and use permit. if you are engaged in the business, and are selling guns, the State Comptroller of Texas wants you to collect and give them sales tax.
then the BATF steps in and says you are engaged in the business without an FFL. that is a much more serious offense.
believe me, if you're engaged in the business without an FFL, it is only a matter of time before BATF pays you a visit. i know a guy who used to work the gun show scene, he had 1 table. he used to work the Oklahoma gun show circuit, then moved to San Antonio and was doing the Texas gun show circuit, which is almost weekly if you can travel between Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas.
well, one day, he was at the local grocery store picking up a birthday cake for his wife, when he was surrounded by ATF agents in the parking lot. he was charged with a felony for selling guns without an FFL. the warrant was issued out of Tulsa, OK. he was extradited to Tulsa Federal Court to stand trial. he had to post bail and then get permission to leave OK to go back to TX.
needless to say, he has spent money on a lawyer as well as travel expenses to stand trial. he can't afford any more guns, he sold them all to help pay his legal expenses.
i know another guy who got busted by the US State Department because he was selling guns off paper and they ended up in Mexico. Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. left at the scene of a drug war shootout.
State Department charged him with selling guns to a terrorist organization. guess what? he has no guns either. he is in federal prison.
BATF sent a friendly "cease and desist or get an FFL" letter to another person i know. he shut down immediately.
not to hijack this thread, but just some food for thought. you may not agree with the BATF but guess what.....they have more money and more lawyers than the average gun owner.
That's some good info to know, thanks spreadfirearms. But how does that affect the average gun owner that might sell a firearm from their personall collection, once a year or less, to finance buying another firearm for their collection? The BATF would'nt consider that "engaged in the business" would they?
I thought someone under the age of 18 was considered a minor, not under the age of 21?
Can someone confirm this?
I was looking through the Texas State Penal Code on unlawful transfer of certain weapons, and it only says it's illegal to sell to someone under 18, a felon, or someone who will use it unlawfully.
§ 46.06. UNLAWFUL TRANSFER OF CERTAIN WEAPONS. (a) A
person commits an offense if the person:
(1) sells, rents, leases, loans, or gives a handgun to
any person knowing that the person to whom the handgun is to be
delivered intends to use it unlawfully or in the commission of an
(2) intentionally or knowingly sells, rents, leases,
or gives or offers to sell, rent, lease, or give to any child
younger than 18 years any firearm, club, or illegal knife;
(3) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly sells a
firearm or ammunition for a firearm to any person who is
(4) knowingly sells a firearm or ammunition for a
firearm to any person who has been convicted of a felony before the
fifth anniversary of the later of the following dates:
(A) the person's release from confinement
following conviction of the felony; or
(B) the person's release from supervision under
community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision following
conviction of the felony;
(5) sells, rents, leases, loans, or gives a handgun to
any person knowing that an active protective order is directed to
the person to whom the handgun is to be delivered; or
(6) knowingly purchases, rents, leases, or receives as
a loan or gift from another a handgun while an active protective
order is directed to the actor.
(b) In this section:
(1) "Intoxicated" means substantial impairment of
mental or physical capacity resulting from introduction of any
substance into the body.
(2) "Active protective order" means a protective order
issued under Title 4, Family Code, that is in effect. The term does
not include a temporary protective order issued before the court
holds a hearing on the matter.
(c) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under
Subsection (a)(2) that the transfer was to a minor whose parent or
the person having legal custody of the minor had given written
permission for the sale or, if the transfer was other than a sale,
the parent or person having legal custody had given effective
(d) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor,
except that an offense under Subsection (a)(2) is a state jail
felony if the weapon that is the subject of the offense is a
Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974.
Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 686, § 1, eff. Sept. 1,
1985. Renumbered from V.T.C.A., Penal Code § 46.07 and amended
by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, § 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.
Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 324, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1996;
Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1193, § 22, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts
1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1304, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999,
76th Leg., ch. 62, § 15.02(f), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.
Texas State Penal code, www.capitol.state.tx.us/statutes/petoc.html
This was taken from NRAila.org on texas state gun laws
It is unlawful to sell, rent, loan or give a handgun to any person if it is known that the person intends to use it unlawfully. It is unlawful to knowingly sell, rent, give or offer to sell, rent or give any firearm to a person under 18 years of age, without the written consent of his parent or guardian. It is unlawful to knowingly or recklessly sell any firearm or ammunition to any person who is intoxicated.
you hit it right on the head. it is a very vague definition. what constitutes being "engaged in the business?" there is no statutory quantity of guns bought and re-sold. there is nothing that says you can only make a certain profit, etc.
i don't know what BATF's criteria is. im not a lawyer, or a BATF representative, but i suppose if you sold a gun every now and then (and im not even sure what THAT means) then you should be fine.
i read a newspaper article where this Asian fellow in Austin was selling firearms w/o an FFL by advertising in the newspaper. it caught the BATF's eye because it listed a bunch of guns and said "and more...." they called him up and arranged to buy a pistol in a parking lot of a shopping mall in Cedar Park/N. Austin (lakeline mall).
it compounded the matter when a real customer bought a pistol from him and carried it through the mall to get to his car on the other side, and was stopped by Security. he told them he just bought the gun in the parking lot from somebody. while that isn't illegal, it probably caused them to call the police.
it was even further compounded when the guy's dealer reported to the BATF that this guy may be making straw purchases. the dealer was being used as a transfer dealer and yellow sheeted over 100 firearms to this guy in a year.
i think BATF did a few parking lot deals, several times with several agents, all buying from the same guy.
here's where it got worse.
they asked him if he could get someone a gun who was a felon. he was stupid enough to say "sure" and in fact delivered a handgun to the alleged "felon," who was actually another ATF agent.
so they got a warrant and took him to jail. he is still awaiting trial. his defense is that he is from another country, working here on a work visa, and did not know the laws in the U.S.
while his is an extreme case of violating alot of laws, i believe he was charged only with being "engaged in the business" without an FFL. he didn't actually deliver a firearm to a felon, he delivered it to an undercover BATF agent posing as a felon.
anyway, the point is, i don't know what BATF's criteria is to say you are "engaged in the business." if you are only selling a gun or two a year chances are you wouldn't be bothered. the safest way is to consign your gun through an FFL, but again, he probably wants a cut of the money. however, if someone over at BATF decides they want to charge you of "selling firearms without a license," be it TRUE or NOT, then you will have to spend money getting an attorney to defend yourself in a court of law.
and yes, while Texas state law does not address people under 21 being able or not able to purchase handguns, Texas state law further does not require you to have an FFL to sell guns either.
however, the BATF is on a federal level, and their definition is that persons under 21 years of age are not to be sold handguns (or pistol grip shotguns, or any NFA item). i wouldn't put out of the realm of possibility that a youthful looking BATF agent comes into a gun show looking to hand-to-hand deals clearly stating that he is 18 years old looking for a handgun.
the last show in Pharr, TX, supposedly BATF agents were busting people doing parking lot deals, since they were selling guns off paper to Mexican nationals. supposedly everyone knew BATF was there after one of their cars caught on fire and they had to remove their raid gear out of the trunk of the burning vehicle, with "BATF" on their raid jackets they removed from the trunk.
there were undercover agents supposedly in the show looking for any sort of violation. on the Texas-Mexico border, im sure that is a major problem there.
as a disclaimer, i do support the enforcement actions of the BATF. i've never had any problems with them because i don't engage in any questionable activity. they are trying to keep guns out of the hands of the bad guys, and when you hand-to-hand a gun to someone who you don't know, you risk that firearm getting into the hands of a bad guy.
personally i wish they made everyone with a table at a gun show selling firearms have an FFL, because it makes an even playing field for everyone. im sure i've lost more than 1 sale because someone didn't want to pay sales tax or fill out a yellow sheet, or got a "delay" on the NICS check and went and bought something hand-to-hand instead of waiting.
As to "pistol" ammo...
Lot of rifles out there shoot "pistol" ammo. tell them it is for your 9mm AR15, etc.
the P-22 Shoots "rifle" ammo.
Sorry But the BATF is not at all interested in keeping guns out of the hands of bad guys. If they were they would be coming down like a shitstorm on bad people.....when was the last time we heard about a bad person being arrested by the Batfe? Nope it is always some body just trying to make a dollar.......sorry hijack over.
That was my point about ammo. Kel Tec makes a carbine in 9mm or .40 tell the dude at wally world that it is for your marlin camp9 or your .44 lever action
You can buy 9mm "rifle" Ammo but not 9mm Pistol ammo
Or worse case the dept would issue it to them, and then bill them.. or some similar accouting trick.
i dont know about telling them that the pistol ammo is for a rifle, its never worked for me or any of my friends. (we were all 18 at the time)
a friend had a .357 lever action and couldnt buy ammo for it.
what strikes me as odd is .22lr its used in pistols and rifles all the time and i usually buy about 1000rds at a time and they never say anything. my .22 SAA is the only pistol i can by ammo for (im 19).
it seems pretty rediculous to me since (ive heard) that more people are killed by .22lr than another other caliber every year
i just hate having to call a friend to buy me ammo for my .45 when im in a hurry to go hog hunting and i need a sidearm
i guess the only way around this is having a +21 friend buy you a stockpile of ammo for your pistols..
i dont mean to hijack this thread, but i want to get a 1911for myself (im 19) whats the best way to go about this? should i just give the money to my dad and get him to go buy it for me? what do i need to do so its legally mine?
You could always start handloading.