Foreigners owning firearms

Martini Enfield’s thread asking about emigration had nary a mention of firearms (aside from his name), but you know how random thoughts pop into one’s head.

Can non-citizens own firearms in the U.S. if they are residents? Is there a mechanism in place that would allow a non-resident to own a firearm in the U.S.? For example, suppose a Canadian in Surrey wants to own a firearm that is prohibited in Canada, and wants to keep it in secure storage in Blaine, WA (just across the border) so that he can shoot it in the U.S. Can he buy the firearm legally and keep it in the U.S.? What about someone who already owns a firearm, moves to Canada, and for some reason cannot transfer it to Canada? Can he import the firearm to the U.S., arrange for secure storage, and come to the U.S. to use it?

Generally one needs to be a resident of the state in which he buys a firearm. ‘Straw sales’ are prohibited. So the buyer could not say, ‘Hey Jimmy. Here’s some money. buy me this gun.’ and have Jimmy keep the firearm for him for his use.

As a general rule, non-resident aliens may not possess or acquire firearms in the US

I do not believe that I, as a private citizen, am required to check the residency of anyone to whom I might sell a firearm.

But, private party sales aside, from CBI

Not an alien illegally or unlawfully in the U.S. or an alien admitted to U.S. under a non-immigrant visa, should be fine.

This is Colorado, probably doesn’t apply to the other states, districts and/or principalities.

Er, ignore that. Whether or not I’m able to verify residency is immaterial - if they are not residents, they aren’t supposed to have one. The rest of the post is probably ok, tho.

From what I understand, though, Firearms manufactured before 1898, or modern replicas thereof, are not treated as “Firearms” under Federal Legislation.

It should, theoretically, be legal from Joe Canadian to own a replica 1851 Navy Colt or a S&W No. 3 Russian without any major legal hassles.

Note that I say “theoretically”. I don’t live in the US and I’m by no means an expert on US State or Federal Arms Laws, so don’t go getting any ideas. :wink:

I know that one of my professors is an Australian citizen, but permanent resident here, and he has a few (presumably legal) hunting weapons. So it is possible, though I don’t know what hoops he had to jump through to get them. Then, too, Montana is probably more permissive of guns than most states.

The distinction here is between resident [the Professor] and non-resident aliens

Although it’s possible a State law might trump it in a specific State, there is no Federal law prohibiting lawful permanent residents from buying, selling, or owning firearms. I can confirm that I know a lot of lawful permanent residents who legally and with no additional paperwork or hassle bought and possess firearms. Note that in some States (such as Kansas) CCW permits may be restricted to citizens only.

You can get blackpowder replicas through the mail. I bought one 1851 Navy from Dixie Gun Works, and five or six (all at the same time) from Uberti USA. But then, I’m a citizen and a resident.