Trafficking in Alabama

In 2011, Alabama enacted a law prohibiting any person from knowingly soliciting, encouraging, persuading, or enticing another person to transfer a firearm or ammunition under circumstances the person knows would violate federal or Alabama law.1

The 2011 law also penalizes someone who provides a seller of firearms or ammunition with what the person knows to be materially false information with the intent to deceive the seller about the legality of a transfer of a firearm or ammunition.2

Alabama law also prohibits:

  • Anyone from giving false information or offering false evidence of identity in purchasing or otherwise securing delivery of a handgun or in applying for a license to carry a handgun.3
  • A licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer from conducting the transfer or purchase of a firearm without conducting a background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”);4 and
  • The possession, receipt, sale, or use of a firearm after the maker, model, manufacturer’s number or other mark or identification has been changed, altered, removed, or obliterated.5

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for further information on this topic.

Notes
  1. Ala. Code § 13A-11-58.1. ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Ala. Code § 13A-11-81. ⤴︎
  4. Ala. Code § 41-9-649. ⤴︎
  5. Ala. Code § 13A-11-64(b). ⤴︎

Trafficking in Alaska

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Alaska law penalizes anyone who:

  • Removes, covers, alters, or destroys the manufacturer’s serial number on a firearm with intent to render the firearm untraceable; or
  • Possesses a firearm on which the manufacturer’s serial number has been removed, covered, altered, or destroyed, knowing that the serial number has been removed, covered, altered, or destroyed with the intent of rendering the firearm untraceable.1

Alaska does not:

  • Prohibit any person from giving false information or offering false evidence of his or her identity in purchasing or otherwise securing delivery of a firearm;
  • Prohibit obtaining a firearm with the intent to provide it to someone the person knows is ineligible to possess a firearm; or
  • Have any other laws aimed at firearms trafficking.
Notes
  1. Alaska Stat. § 11.61.200(a)(5), (6). ⤴︎

Trafficking in Arizona

In 2012, Arizona adopted a law penalizing knowingly “trafficking in weapons or explosives for financial gain in order to assist, promote or further the interests of a criminal street gang, a criminal syndicate or a racketeering enterprise.”1  Under the law, “trafficking” means to sell, transfer, distribute, dispense or otherwise dispose of a weapon or explosive to another person, or to buy, receive, possess or obtain control of a weapon or explosive, with the intent to sell, transfer, distribute, dispense or otherwise dispose of the weapon or explosive to another person.2

Arizona has no other laws aimed at firearms trafficking.

See our Firearms Trafficking Policy Summary for further information on this topic.

 

Notes
  1. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3102(A)(16). ⤴︎
  2. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3101(A)(9). ⤴︎

Trafficking in Arkansas

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Arkansas prohibits any person from transferring or furnishing a handgun to another individual who the transferor knows has been found guilty of, or who has pleaded guilty or no contest to, a felony.

Arkansas prohibits a person from selling, renting, or otherwise transferring a firearm to any person who he or she knows is prohibited by state or federal law from possessing the firearm.1 A violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the firearm is a handgun (or other specified firearm, such as a machine gun), in which case the violation rises to a Class B felony.2

Notes
  1. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-132(a). ⤴︎
  2. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-132(b). ⤴︎

Trafficking in California

Straw Purchases

California prohibits any person from selling, loaning, or transferring a firearm to any person he or she knows or has cause to believe is not the actual purchaser or transferee of the firearm, or person actually being loaned the firearm (such a person is known as a “straw purchaser” – someone not in a prohibited category who buys firearms on behalf of a convicted felon, juvenile or other prohibited purchaser), if he or she knows that the firearm is to be subsequently sold, loaned, or transferred in violation of California’s background check requirement and other requirements related to the sale, loan, or transfer of a firearm.1 California law also prohibits a person from acquiring a firearm with the intention of selling, loaning, or transferring it in violation of the requirement that private sales or transfers be conducted through a licensed dealer.2 A dealer is prohibited from acquiring a firearm with the intention of selling, loaning, or transferring it to a person under the age of 21 if the firearm is a handgun, or to a person under the age of 18 if the firearm is a long gun.3 Finally, a dealer is prohibited from acquiring a firearm with the intention of selling, loaning, or transferring it in violation of California’s requirements for the delivery of a firearm, including the mandatory 10-day waiting period, presentation of a firearm safety certificate, and the one-gun-per-month requirement.4

Shipments into California

California law prohibits any federal firearms licensee (“FFL”) in California from importing or receiving firearms into the state unless he or she is on: 1) the state’s centralized list of licensed firearms dealers; 2) the state’s centralized list of FFLs exempted from the state’s licensing requirement; or 3) the state’s centralized list of firearms manufacturers.5 Whenever an FFL intends to deliver, sell or transfer firearms to an FFL whose licensed premises are in California, the shipper must obtain from the California Department of Justice (“DOJ”), prior to delivery, a unique verification number.6 DOJ will issue a unique verification number only if the intended recipient of the firearms is on one of the three lists mentioned above.7 The shipper must then provide this number to the recipient upon delivery of the firearms.8 For more information, see DOJ’s FAQs regarding the California Firearms Licensee Check (“CFLC”) Program.

DOJ may use the fees that firearms purchasers must pay to DOJ during the purchase of any firearm (“DROS fees”) to fund, among other things, DOJ’s firearms-related regulatory and enforcement activities related to the sale, purchase, possession, loan, or transfer of firearms.9

Out-of-State Firearm Purchases by California Residents

Under a law passed in 2014, and effective January 1, 2015,  a California resident may not, with certain limited exceptions, transport or bring any firearm purchased or obtained from outside of the state, unless the firearm is delivered to a dealer within California for delivery to that resident in compliance with all of California’s requirements for sale of a firearm, including a background check of the purchaser, 10-day waiting period, and presentation of a valid firearm safety certificate by the purchaser.10 This requirement does not apply in certain limited circumstances, including to a licensed firearm dealer or wholesaler acting within the scope of his or her business activities as a dealer or wholesaler, or to a licensed collector who is otherwise in compliance with California law11

Self-Assembled Firearms and Firearms Without Serial Numbers

Federally licensed importers and manufacturers have been required to engrave a serial number on every firearm imported or manufactured since 1968.12 Federal law generally prohibits anyone from transporting, shipping, receiving, or possessing any firearm which has had the importer’s or manufacturer’s serial number removed, obliterated, or altered.13

California law prohibits the sale or transfer of any handgun unless the handgun bears either: 1) the name of the manufacturer, the manufacturer’s make or model, and a manufacturer’s serial number assigned to that firearm; or 2) the identification number or mark assigned to the firearm by DOJ.14 DOJ may, upon request, assign a distinguishing number or mark of identification to any firearm whenever it is without a manufacturer’s number, or other mark of identification.15

In 2016, California enacted a law that will require individuals who manufacture or assemble their own firearms, including either handguns or long guns, to first apply for a serial number from DOJ, pursuant to a background check. This requirement will become effective starting July 1, 2018.16 Subject to limited exceptions, any person who owns a firearm that does not bear a serial number as of July 1, 2018 will be required to apply to DOJ for a unique serial number before January 1, 2019.17 This law will also generally prohibit unlicensed individuals from selling or transferring self-assembled firearms after July 1, 2018,18 and it will make it a crime to knowingly allow, facilitate, or aid the manufacture or assembly of a firearm by a prohibited person.19

California law prohibits anyone from altering or removing the name of the maker, model, manufacturer’s number, or other mark of identification, including any distinguishing number or mark assigned by DOJ on any firearm, without DOJ’s permission.20 Under California law, with certain limited exceptions, it is a misdemeanor to knowingly buy, receive, sell, or possess a firearm that has had the name of the maker or model, or the manufacturer’s number or other mark of identification, including any distinguishing number or mark assigned by the Department of Justice, changed, altered, removed, or obliterated.21

Notes
  1. Cal. Penal Code § 27515. ⤴︎
  2. Cal. Penal Code § 27520(b). ⤴︎
  3. Cal. Penal Code §§ 27520(b), 27510. ⤴︎
  4. Cal. Penal Code §§ 27520(b), 27540. ⤴︎
  5. Cal. Penal Code § 28465. ⤴︎
  6. Cal. Penal Code § 27555. Shipments to or from entertainment firearms permit holders are exempt as long as the transfer involves the loan or return of a firearm used solely as a prop in a television, film, or theatrical production. Cal. Penal Code § 27835. ⤴︎
  7. Cal. Penal Code § 27555. ⤴︎
  8. Cal. Penal Code § 27555(c)(3). ⤴︎
  9. Cal. Penal Code § 28225. ⤴︎
  10. Cal. Penal Code § 27585. ⤴︎
  11. All exceptions to this requirement are listed at Cal. Penal Code § 27585(b). ⤴︎
  12. 18 U.S.C. § 923(i). ⤴︎
  13. 18 U.S.C. § 922(k). ⤴︎
  14. Cal. Penal Code § 27530. See also §§ 23920-23925. ⤴︎
  15. Cal. Penal Code § 23910. ⤴︎
  16. 2016 Cal. AB 857; Cal. Penal Code §§ 29180, 29182. ⤴︎
  17. Id. ⤴︎
  18. Cal. Penal Code § 29180(d). ⤴︎
  19. Cal. Penal Code § 29180(e). ⤴︎
  20. Cal. Penal Code § 23900. ⤴︎
  21. Cal. Penal Code § 23920. The exceptions to this requirement, including for acquisitions by peace officers and members of the military, are listed at Cal. Penal Code § 23925. ⤴︎

Trafficking in Colorado

In 2013, Colorado enacted a law requiring a background check when an unlicensed seller transfers a gun.  See Universal Background Checks in Colorado. 

Colorado also prohibits any person from knowingly purchasing or otherwise obtaining a firearm on behalf of or for transfer to a person who the transferor knows or reasonably should know is ineligible to possess a firearm pursuant to federal or state law.1

Colorado specifically penalizes anyone who gives false information in connection with the making a record of a handgun transfer.2 Colorado also prohibits any person, in connection with the acquisition or attempted acquisition of a firearm from any transferor, from willfully making any false or fictitious oral or written statement or furnishing or exhibiting any false, fictitious, or misrepresented identification, but only if the statement or identification is intended or likely to deceive such transferor with respect to any fact material to the lawfulness of the sale or other disposition of such firearm under federal or state law.3

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-111(1). ⤴︎
  2. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 12-26-103. ⤴︎
  3. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-33.5-424(10). ⤴︎

Trafficking in Connecticut

Criminal Prohibitions

Connecticut prohibits any person from knowingly and intentionally, directly or indirectly, causing one or more firearms that the person owns, possesses or controls to come into the possession or control of another person who the original owner knows or has reason to believe is prohibited from owning or possessing any firearm under state or federal law.1

A related Connecticut law prohibits any person from purchasing a firearm with the intent to transfer it to any other person the transferor knows or has reason to believe is prohibited from purchasing or otherwise receiving such a firearm under state law.2 The state bars any person who is prohibited from purchasing or otherwise receiving or possessing a firearm from soliciting, employing or assisting any person in violating this straw purchase-related prohibition.3

Similarly, any person who sells, delivers or otherwise transfers a firearm to a person knowing that person is prohibited from possessing such firearm “shall be strictly liable for damages for the injury or death of another person resulting from the use of such firearm by any person.”4

Connecticut also prohibits any person from making any false statement or giving any false information connected with any purchase, sale, delivery or other transfer of any pistol, revolver5 or long gun.6

Connecticut penalizes any person, firm or corporation who sells a long gun at retail or a handgun (whether a licensed dealer or private seller) without performing a background check.  See our Background Checks in Connecticut page.

Law Enforcement Initiatives

Connecticut has created a statewide firearms trafficking task force for the “effective cooperative enforcement” of state laws concerning the distribution and possession of firearms.7 This task force, comprised of municipal and state law enforcement officers, is tasked with:

  • Reviewing the problem of illegal firearms trafficking, including its effects on the public, and implementing solutions to address the problem;
  • Identifying persons illegally trafficking firearms and focusing resources to prosecute such persons;
  • Tracking firearms which were sold or distributed illegally and implementing solutions to remove such firearms from persons illegally in possession of them; and
  • Coordinating its activities with other law enforcement agencies within and without the state.8

The task force may enter into mutual assistance and cooperation agreements with other states pertaining to firearms law enforcement matters extending across state boundaries, and may consult and exchange information and personnel with agencies of other states with reference to firearms law enforcement problems of mutual concern.9

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202aa(a). The sentence is more severe if the person, on or after October 1, 2007, sells, delivers or otherwise transfers more than five firearms. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202aa(b). ⤴︎
  2. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-37j(a). ⤴︎
  3. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-37j(b).  The penalty is more severe if the violation involves more than one firearm. Id. ⤴︎
  4. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-571f. Connecticut also provides that any person who sells, delivers or provides any firearm to another person to “engage in conduct which constitutes an offense knowing or under circumstances in which he [or she] should know that such other person intends to use such firearm in such conduct shall be criminally liable for such conduct and shall be prosecuted and punished as if he [or she] were the principal offender.” Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-8(b). ⤴︎
  5. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-34(a). ⤴︎
  6. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-37e. ⤴︎
  7. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38e(a). ⤴︎
  8. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38e(b), (f). ⤴︎
  9. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38e(d). ⤴︎

Trafficking in Delaware

Delaware prohibits any person from purchasing or obtaining a firearm on behalf of a person not qualified to legally purchase, own or possess a gun, or for the purpose of selling, giving or otherwise transferring a firearm to a person not legally qualified to purchase, own or possess a firearm.1

Delaware imposes a felony upon any person who, in connection with the purchase, transfer, or attempted purchase or transfer of a firearm, willfully and intentionally makes any materially false oral or written statement, or willfully and intentionally furnishes or exhibits any false identification intended or likely to deceive the dealer.2

Finally, Delaware provides that a licensed firearms dealer may not sell, transfer, or deliver any firearm to another person (without a dealer’s license) until the dealer has conducted a background check in accordance with federal law.3

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1455. ⤴︎
  2. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1448A(f). ⤴︎
  3. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, §1448A(a), (g). ⤴︎

Trafficking in Florida

Florida law penalizes:

  • Any person who knowingly acquires a firearm intended for the use of a person who is prohibited by state or federal law from possessing or receiving a firearm.1
  • Any potential gun buyer or transferee from willfully and knowingly providing false information or false or fraudulent identification to complete the transaction.2
  • Any licensed gun dealer, importer, or manufacturer who fails to conduct the federally required background check on a gun purchaser.3

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(12)(d). ⤴︎
  2. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(12)(a). ⤴︎
  3. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(1), (12)(b). ⤴︎

Trafficking in Georgia

Federal law requires federally licensed firearms dealers to conduct a background check on all firearm purchasers using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Georgia law incorporates this requirement.1

Georgia law prohibits anyone from attempting to solicit, persuade, encourage, or entice any dealer to transfer or otherwise convey a firearm other than to the actual buyer.2

Georgia law also penalizes anyone who buys, sells, receives, disposes of, conceals, or has in his or her possession a firearm from which he or she knows the manufacturer’s serial number, or any other distinguishing number or identification mark has been removed for the purpose of concealing or destroying the firearm’s identity.3

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue. 

Notes
  1. Ga. Code Ann. §§ 16-11-171, 16-11-172. ⤴︎
  2. Ga. Code Ann. § 16-11-113. ⤴︎
  3. Ga. Code Ann. § 16-9-70(a). ⤴︎

Trafficking in Hawaii

Hawaii penalizes:

  • Any person who gives false information or offers false evidence of the person’s identity in complying with Hawaii’s gun permitting and registration laws;1
  • Any person who transfers a firearm without verifying that the transferee has obtained a permit to acquire a firearm, which may only be issued after a background check;2
  • Any person who acquires a firearm or brings a firearm into the state without registering it; 3
  • Any person who possesses a firearm that is owned by another without a permit, except that any lawfully acquired rifle or shotgun may be lent to an adult for use within the state for up to fifteen days without a permit.4

See the Licensing of Gun Owners & Purchasers in Hawaii and Registration of Firearms in Hawaii pages for further information.

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 134-17(a). ⤴︎
  2. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 134-2. ⤴︎
  3. Haw Rev. Stat. § 134-3. ⤴︎
  4. Haw Rev. Stat. § 134-4(b). ⤴︎

Trafficking in Idaho

Idaho prohibits supplying, selling, or giving possession or control of any firearm to any person who the transferor knows is a gang member.1

Idaho prohibits the direct or indirect sale of any pistol, revolver, or other gun to any minor under age 18 without the written consent of the minor’s parent or guardian.2 Additionally, any person, firm, association or corporation is prohibiting from selling or giving any firearm, gunpowder, shells, or fixed ammunition – other than shells loaded for use in a shotgun or rifle of 22 caliber or less – to any minor under age 16 without prior written consent of the minor’s parent or guardian.3

For additional information, see the Idaho Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess, Idaho Private Sales and Idaho Ammunition Regulation sections.

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Idaho Code Ann. § 18-8505. ⤴︎
  2. Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302A. ⤴︎
  3. Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3308. ⤴︎

Trafficking in Illinois

Illinois prohibits any person from:

  • Knowingly purchasing or attempting to purchase a firearm with the intent to deliver that firearm to another person who is prohibited by federal or State law from possessing a firearm.1
  • Intentionally providing false or misleading information on a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives transaction record to purchase or attempt to purchase a firearm.2
  • Forging or materially altering a Firearm Owner’s Identification (“FOID”) card, as well as the knowing possession of a forged or materially altered FOID card with intent to use it to purchase firearms and ammunition.3
  • Knowingly or intentionally altering, changing, removing or obliterating the name of the importer’s or manufacturer’s serial number on any firearm.4 Possession of a firearm upon which any such importer’s or manufacturer’s serial number has been changed, altered, removed or obliterated is also prohibited.5
  • Delivering a firearm, while not being entitled to the possession of the firearm, knowing it to have been stolen or converted.6

Illinois also enacted a law in 2016 that explicitly criminalizes “firearms trafficking” but defines this term very narrowly.  Under the new law, a person commits firearms trafficking if he or she does not have a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card and he or she brings, or causes to be brought, into Illinois, a firearm or firearm ammunition for the purpose of sale, delivery, or transfer to any other person or with the intent to sell, deliver, or transfer the firearm or firearm ammunition to any other person.  The law exempts a non-resident who may lawfully possess a firearm in his or her resident state.7

See our Trafficking policy summary for further information on this topic.

Gun Tracing in Illinois

Firearm tracing involves the systematic tracking of firearms from manufacturer to purchaser for the purpose of aiding law enforcement in identifying firearm ownership and persons suspected of being involved in criminal activity. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) is the sole federal agency responsible for tracing firearms used in crimes and recovered at crime scenes.

Local law enforcement are required by state law, upon recovering a firearm that was used in the commission of any felony offense or upon recovering a firearm that appears to have been lost, mislaid, stolen or otherwise unclaimed, to use the best available information, including a firearms trace when necessary, to determine prior ownership of the firearm.8 Upon recovering a firearm from the possession of any person who is not permitted by federal or state law to possess a firearm, local law enforcement must use the best available information, including a firearms trace when necessary, to determine how and from whom the person gained possession of the firearm.9

When appropriate, local law enforcement are required to use ATF’s National Tracing Center for these purposes.10

Local law enforcement agencies are also required to utilize the Illinois Department of State Police Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (“LEADS”) Gun File to enter all stolen, seized, or recovered firearms as prescribed by LEADS regulations and policies.11

 

Notes
  1. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-3.5(b). ⤴︎
  2. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-3.5(c). ⤴︎
  3. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/6.1(a), (b). ⤴︎
  4. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-5(a). ⤴︎
  5. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-5(b). ⤴︎
  6. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-3(A)(l). Illinois also provides for enhanced penalties for the crime of “gunrunning,” which is the transfer of three or more firearms involving the unlawful sale of firearms. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-3(A)(a). ⤴︎
  7. 2015 Ill. H.B. 6303. ⤴︎
  8. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-8(a). ⤴︎
  9. Id. ⤴︎
  10. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-8(b). ⤴︎
  11. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-8(c). ⤴︎

Trafficking in Indiana

In Indiana, any person who knowingly or intentionally makes a materially false statement on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Form 4473 (which federal law requires a purchaser to fill out when buying a firearm from a dealer) when purchasing a handgun commits a felony.1

A person who provides a firearm to an individual whom the person knows is prohibited from possessing or purchasing a firearm or intends to use the firearm to commit a crime commits criminal transfer of a firearm, a felony.2

A person who knowingly or intentionally sells, gives, or in any other manner transfers the ownership or possession of a handgun to another person who the seller knows is prohibited from purchasing a handgun or intends to use the handgun to commit a crime is guilty of a felony.3

Indiana also criminalizes the straw purchase of a handgun. A person who buys a firearm for another individual whom the buyer knows is ineligible to purchase or receive a handgun is guilty of a Level 5 felony.4 It is also a felony for an individual to purchase a handgun for someone the purchaser knows intends to use the handgun to commit a crime.5

A firearms dealer who knowingly or intentionally sells, rents, trades or transfers a handgun in violation of the state laws regulating such activities commits a misdemeanor.6

Notes
  1. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2.5-12. ⤴︎
  2. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2.5-16(b). ⤴︎
  3. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-7(b). ⤴︎
  4. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-7(c). ⤴︎
  5. Id. ⤴︎
  6. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2.5-13. ⤴︎

Trafficking in Iowa

Iowa prohibits any person from knowingly transferring or acquiring possession, or facilitating the transfer, of a stolen firearm.1

Iowa also prohibits any person from transferring a handgun to a person who does not possess a valid annual permit to acquire a handgun, and from transferring a handgun to a person the transferor knows is prohibited by Iowa’s permitting requirements from acquiring ownership of a handgun.2

Iowa bars any person from giving a false name or presenting false identification, or otherwise knowingly giving false material information to a person one from whom he or she seeks to acquire a handgun.3

Iowa provides that it is a felony to knowingly solicit, persuade, encourage, or entice a licensed firearms dealer or private seller of firearms or ammunition “to transfer a firearm or ammunition under circumstances that the person knows would violate the laws of this state or of the United States.”4 Furthermore, it is a felony to knowingly provide “materially false information to a licensed firearms dealer or private seller of firearms or ammunition with the intent to deceive the firearms dealer or seller about the legality of a transfer of a firearm or ammunition.”5

Finally, Iowa prohibits any person from making what he or she knows to be a false statement of material fact on an application submitted for a professional or nonprofessional permit to carry a firearm or an annual permit to acquire a handgun, or from submitting what he or she knows to be any materially falsified or forged documentation in connection with these applications.6

See our Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Iowa Code § 724.16A. ⤴︎
  2. Iowa Code § 724.16. ⤴︎
  3. Iowa Code § 724.21. ⤴︎
  4. Iowa Code § 724.29A(2). ⤴︎
  5. Iowa Code § 724.29A(3). ⤴︎
  6. Iowa Code §§ 724.10(3), 724.17. ⤴︎

Trafficking in Kentucky

In 2012, Kentucky enacted a law that created the state law felony crime of “fraudulent firearm transaction.”  The law penalizes anyone who knowingly:

  • Solicits, persuades, encourages, or entices a licensed dealer or private seller of firearms to transfer a firearm under circumstances which the person knows would violate federal or state law;
  • Provides to a licensed dealer or private seller of firearms what the person knows to be materially false information with intent to deceive the dealer or seller about the legality of a transfer of a firearm; or
  • Procures another to engage in such conduct.1

“Materially false information” means information that portrays an illegal transaction as legal or a legal transaction as illegal.2

Kentucky has no other laws aimed at firearms trafficking.

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

.

Notes
  1. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 527.090(2). ⤴︎
  2. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 527.090(1)(b). ⤴︎

Trafficking in Louisiana

In 2012, Louisiana enacted a law that makes it unlawful to:

  • Knowingly solicit, persuade, encourage, or entice a licensed dealer or private seller of firearms or ammunition to sell a firearm or ammunition under circumstances which the person knows would violate federal or state law;
  • Provide to a licensed dealer or private seller of firearms or ammunition what the person knows to be materially false information with intent to deceive the dealer or seller about the legality of a sale of a firearm or ammunition; or
  • Willfully procure another person to engage in such conduct.1

“Materially false information” means information that portrays an illegal transaction as legal or a legal transaction as illegal.2

Louisiana has no other laws addressing firearms trafficking.

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. La. Rev. Stat. § 14:95.1.3. ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎

Trafficking in Maine

Maine’s law regarding firearms sales records prohibits giving a false or fictitious name to a firearms dealer.1

Maine has no other laws addressing firearms trafficking.

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this topic.

 

Notes
  1. Me. Stat., 15 § 455. ⤴︎

Trafficking in Maryland

Maryland prohibits any person from knowingly or willfully participating in a straw purchase of a “regulated firearm” (handgun or assault weapon).1 Moreover, the state prohibits any person from being a knowing participant in a straw purchase of a regulated firearm to a minor or other prohibited person.2 “Straw purchase” means a sale of a regulated firearm in which a person uses another, known as the straw purchaser, to: (1) complete the application to purchase a regulated firearm; (2) take initial possession of the regulated firearm; and (3) subsequently transfer the regulated firearm to the person.3

In addition, Maryland prohibits any person from possessing, selling or otherwise transferring a stolen regulated firearm if the person knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the regulated firearm has been stolen.4 The state also prohibits any person from transporting a regulated firearm into Maryland for the purpose of unlawfully selling or trafficking of the gun.5

No person may knowingly participate in the illegal sale, rental, transfer, purchase, possession or receipt of a regulated firearm in violation of the Maryland laws governing regulated firearms.6

Persons may not knowingly provide false information or make a material misstatement in a firearm application or dealer’s license application.7

Maryland firearms dealer applications contain the following warning: “Any false information supplied or statement made in this application is a crime which may be punished by imprisonment for a period of not more than 3 years, or a fine of not more than $ 5,000 or both.”8

A licensed dealer may not transfer a regulated firearm until seven days have elapsed since the dealer has submitted a firearm transfer application, which has been completed by the buyer, to the Secretary of State Police, who then conducts a background check on the buyer.9 See Background Checks in Maryland.

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-136(b). See Md. Code Regs. 29.03.01.24 for specific straw purchase-related prohibitions. ⤴︎
  2. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-141. ⤴︎
  3. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-101(t). ⤴︎
  4. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-138. ⤴︎
  5. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-140. ⤴︎
  6. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-144(a). ⤴︎
  7. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-139. ⤴︎
  8. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-107(c). ⤴︎
  9. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety §§ 5-120, 5-123. ⤴︎

Trafficking in Massachusetts

Massachusetts law prohibits any person from using a Firearm Identification Card (FID) or license to carry for the purpose of purchasing a firearm for the unlawful use of another, or for resale of a firearm or giving a firearm to an unlicensed person.1

Massachusetts prohibits a person from giving a false or fictitious name or address or knowingly offering or giving false information concerning the date or place of birth, his or her citizenship status, occupation, or criminal record when purchasing, renting or hiring a firearm, or making application for any form of firearm license or permit.2 Massachusetts also generally prohibits knowingly filing an application for an FID containing false information.3

A state administrative regulation confirms the federal requirement that a gun dealer conduct a background check on the purchaser.4

In 2014, Massachusetts enacted a law requiring the local firearm licensing authority to trace firearms use to carry out crimes and report statistical data about the firearms and crimes in which they were used to the Department of State Police.5 The Colonel of State Police shall produce an annual report regarding crimes committed using firearms that will be submitted to the federal government.6

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 131E(b). ⤴︎
  2. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 129. ⤴︎
  3. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 129B(8). ⤴︎
  4. 803 Mass. Code Regs. 10.06(1)(e) (directing a gun dealer to contact the “national instant check system”). ⤴︎
  5. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 131Q. ⤴︎
  6. Id. ⤴︎

Trafficking in Michigan

Michigan prohibits any person from intentionally making a material false statement on an application for a license to purchase a handgun.1 Moreover, the state prohibits any person from using or attempting to use false identification or the identification of another person to purchase a firearm.2

Michigan also penalizes a private seller who knowingly sells a handgun to a person who has neither a license to purchase a handgun nor a concealed handgun license (both issued only after a background check).3

It is also a felony under Michigan law to sell a firearm or ammunition to a person if the seller knows that the person is under indictment for a felony that is punishable by imprisonment for 4 years or more or that the person is prohibited under Michigan law from possessing, using, transporting, selling, purchasing, carrying, shipping, receiving, or distributing a firearm.4

See the section entitled Private Sales in Michigan for other relevant laws.

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 750.232a(3). ⤴︎
  2. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 750.232a(4). ⤴︎
  3. Mich. Comp. Laws. Serv. §§ 28.422, 28.422a(1), 750.223(1). ⤴︎
  4. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 750.233(3), (4). ⤴︎

Trafficking in Minnesota

In Minnesota, a person other than a federally licensed dealer who transfers a handgun or semiautomatic military-style assault weapon without complying with state background check requirements is criminally liable only if the transferee possesses or uses the firearm within one year after the transfer in furtherance of a felony crime of violence, and:

• The transferee was prohibited from possessing the weapon under Minnesota law at the time of the transfer; or

• It was reasonably foreseeable at the time of the transfer that the transferee was likely to use or possess the weapon in furtherance of a felony crime of violence.1

A person who recklessly furnishes another person with a firearm in conscious disregard of a known substantial risk that it will be possessed or used in furtherance of a felony crime of violence is criminally liable for a felony.2

Minnesota also prohibits any persons from making a false statement in order to obtain a transferee permit to possess a handgun or semiautomatic military-style assault weapon knowing or having reason to know the statement is false.3

In 2015, Minnesota also enacted a law making it a “gross misdemeanor” to purchase or otherwise obtain a firearm on behalf of or for transfer to a person known to be ineligible to possess or purchase a firearm pursuant to federal or state law.4

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Minn. Stat. § 609.66, subd. 1f. ⤴︎
  2. Minn. Stat. § 609.66, subd. 1c. ⤴︎
  3. Minn. Stat. § 624.7131, subd. 11. ⤴︎
  4. Minn. Stat. § 624.7133. ⤴︎

Trafficking in Mississippi

Mississippi penalizes:

  • Any person who knowingly solicits, persuades, encourages or entices a licensed dealer or private seller of firearms or ammunition to transfer a firearm or ammunition under circumstances which the person knows would violate federal or state law; or
  • Any person who provides to a licensed dealer or private seller of firearms or ammunition what the person knows to be materially false information with intent to deceive the dealer or seller about the legality of a transfer of a firearm or ammunition.1

“Materially false information” means information that portrays an illegal transaction as legal or a legal transaction as illegal.2

Mississippi prohibits any person from knowingly or intentionally transferring, or attempting to transfer, a stolen firearm.3

Mississippi has no other laws aimed at firearms trafficking.

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. 2012 Miss. H.B. 353. ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Miss. Code Ann. § 97-37-35(2). ⤴︎

Trafficking in Missouri

In 2011, Missouri enacted a law making it the crime of fraudulent purchase of a firearm if a person:

  • Knowingly solicits, persuades, encourages or entices a licensed dealer or private seller of firearms or ammunition to transfer a firearm or ammunition under circumstances which the person knows would violate Missouri or federal law;
  • Provides to a licensed dealer or private seller of firearms or ammunition what the person knows to be materially false information with intent to deceive the dealer or seller about the legality of a transfer of a firearm or ammunition; or
  • Willfully procures another to violate either of these provisions.1

Missouri does not otherwise regulate firearms trafficking.

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 571.063. ⤴︎

Trafficking in Nebraska

Nebraska prohibits any person from knowingly and intentionally obtaining a handgun to transfer it to a person prohibited from receipt or possession of a handgun by federal or state law.1

Nebraska has no other laws aimed at firearms trafficking.

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 69-2422. ⤴︎

Trafficking in Nevada

Nevada criminalizes the straw purchase of a firearm by making it a felony to:

  • Sell , transfer or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to another person, or
  • Purchase a firearm on behalf of another person with the intent to transfer the firearm to that person,

if he or she has reasonable cause to believe that the other person is

  • Under indictment for, or has been convicted of, a felony in this or any other state;
  • Prohibited from possessing a firearm; or
  • Is a known member of a criminal gang.1

Nevada has no other laws aimed at firearms trafficking.

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 202.362. ⤴︎

Trafficking in New Hampshire

New Hampshire penalizes any person who, in purchasing or otherwise securing delivery of a firearm, gives false information or offers false evidence of his or her identity.1

New Hampshire has no other laws aimed at firearms trafficking.

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 159:11. ⤴︎

Trafficking in New Jersey

New Jersey criminalizes being the leader of a “firearms trafficking network,” prohibiting a person in this role from conspiring with others as an organizer, supervisor, financier or manager, to engage for profit in a scheme or course of conduct to unlawfully manufacture, transport, ship, sell or dispose of any firearm.1 A leader of a “firearms trafficking network” is defined as a person who occupies a position of authority or control over other persons in a scheme or organization of illegal gun manufacturing, transporting, shipping or selling and who exercises that authority or control over others involved in the scheme or organization.2

New Jersey penalizes anyone who signs a fictitious name, or gives, or causes someone else to give, false information when acquiring a firearm or any state firearm-related permit or license.3

New Jersey also requires that every manufacturer and wholesale dealer of firearms register with the state prior to engaging in the business of, or acting as a manufacturer or wholesale dealer of, or manufacturing or selling at wholesale, any firearm.4  Manufacturers and wholesale dealers also must keep detailed records of each firearm sold.5

The state also prohibits any person from knowingly transporting, shipping or otherwise bringing into New Jersey any firearm for the purpose of unlawfully selling, transferring, giving, assigning or otherwise disposing of that firearm to another individual.6 In addition, New Jersey prohibits the knowing purchase, receipt, disposal or concealment of a defaced firearm.7

Finally, New Jersey prohibits the possession, receipt or transfer of a “community gun,” which is defined as a firearm that is transferred among, between or within any association of two or more persons who, while possessing that firearm, engage in criminal activity or use it unlawfully against the person or property of another.8

See our Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-16. ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-10c, 10d, 10g. ⤴︎
  4. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-1a. ⤴︎
  5. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-1e. ⤴︎
  6. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-9i. ⤴︎
  7. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-9e. ⤴︎
  8. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-4a(2). ⤴︎

Trafficking in New York

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

New York law criminalizes and often imposes strict sentences on any person who:

• Knowing that he or she is prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, purchases or attempts to purchase a firearm from another person;1

• Knowing that it would be unlawful for another person to possess a firearm, purchases a firearm for, on behalf of, or for the use of the other person (a “straw purchase”);2

• Knowing that another person is prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, disposes of a firearm by transferring it to the prohibited person;3

• Is not authorized to possess a handgun, short-barreled shotgun or rifle, or assault weapon, and who: 1) transfers such a weapon or large capacity ammunition feeding device to another person; or 2) possesses such a weapon with the intent to sell it;4

• Is not authorized to possess a handgun, short-barreled shotgun or rifle, or assault weapon and transfers such a weapon to another person who is, or reasonably appears to be, under age 19 and not licensed to possess such a weapon;5

• Is over the age of eighteen and, knowingly solicits, requests, commands, importunes or intentionally aids a person under age 16 to knowingly and unlawfully sell, exchange, give or dispose of a handgun, short-barreled shotgun or rifle, or assault weapon;6

• Knowing that a written instrument (such as a firearms sales form) contains a false statement or false information, offers or presents it to a public office or public servant with the knowledge or belief that it will be filed with, registered or recorded in or otherwise become a part of the records of such public office or public servant;7

• Transports or ships firearms as merchandise.8 The regular and ordinary transport of firearms as merchandise is exempted if the person transporting such firearms, where he or she knows or has reasonable means of ascertaining what he or she is transporting, provides written notice to the local head of law enforcement at the place of delivery.9 The penalty for a violation of this provision is steeper if a machine gun, assault weapon, large capacity ammunition magazine, or five or more handguns are transported or shipped;10

• Willfully defaces any firearm;11 or

• Knowingly buys, receives, disposes of, or conceals a firearm which has been defaced for the purpose of concealment or prevention of the detection of a crime or misrepresenting the identity of the firearm.12

The possession by any person of a defaced firearm is presumptive evidence that such person defaced the weapon.13

New York law criminalizes making available or otherwise transferring a “community gun” which aids a person in committing a crime.  A “community gun” is defined as a gun that is shared among two or more people, at least one of whom is prohibited from possessing it.14

See Multiple Purchases & Sales of Firearms in New York for additional laws designed to curb gun trafficking.

Notes
  1. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.17(1). ⤴︎
  2. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.17(2). ⤴︎
  3. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.17(3). ⤴︎
  4. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.11. ⤴︎
  5. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.16. ⤴︎
  6. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.14. ⤴︎
  7. N.Y. Penal Law § 175.30. ⤴︎
  8. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.10(2). ⤴︎
  9. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.20(a)(9). ⤴︎
  10. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.10(2). ⤴︎
  11. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.10(6). ⤴︎
  12. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.10(3). ⤴︎
  13. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.15(5). ⤴︎
  14. N.Y. Penal Law § 115.20. ⤴︎

Trafficking in North Carolina

North Carolina law prohibits anyone from selling or otherwise transferring a handgun to a person who has not obtained a permit to purchase a handgun or a concealed handgun permit.1 Furthermore, it is unlawful for any person to receive a handgun from any postmaster, postal clerk, employee in the parcel post department, rural mail carrier, express agent or employee, railroad agent or employee within North Carolina without having a permit in his or her possession and without exhibiting the permit at the time of delivery to the person delivering the firearm.2 See the North Carolina Licensing of Gun Purchasers or Owners section for more information.

North Carolina enacted a law in 2011 that penalizes any person who knowingly solicits, persuades, encourages, or entices a licensed dealer or private seller of firearms or ammunition to transfer a firearm or ammunition under circumstances that the person knows would violate the laws of this State or the United States.3 The law also penalizes any person who provides to a licensed dealer or private seller of firearms or ammunition information that the person knows to be materially false information with the intent to deceive the dealer or seller about the legality of a transfer of a firearm or ammunition.4 Any person who willfully procures another to engage in conduct prohibited by this law may be held accountable as a principal.5

It is unlawful for any person to alter, deface, destroy, or remove the permanent serial number, manufacturer’s identification plate, or other permanent distinguishing number or identification mark from any firearm with the intent thereby to conceal or misrepresent the identity of the firearm.6 It is also unlawful for any person knowingly to sell, buy, or be in possession of any firearm on which the permanent serial number, manufacturer’s identification plate, or other permanent distinguishing number or identification mark has been altered, defaced, destroyed, or removed for the purpose of concealing or misrepresenting the identity of the firearm.7

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-402. ⤴︎
  2. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-402(a). ⤴︎
  3. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-408.1(b). ⤴︎
  4. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-408.1(c). ⤴︎
  5. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-408.1(d). ⤴︎
  6. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-160.2(a). ⤴︎
  7. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-160.2(b). ⤴︎

Trafficking in North Dakota

North Dakota prohibits anyone from:

  • Giving false information or offering false evidence of the person’s identity in purchasing or otherwise securing delivery of a handgun or in applying for a license to carry the handgun concealed1
  • Supplying a firearm or ammunition to a person the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe is prohibited by law from possessing them under state law.2
  • Selling, bartering, hiring, lending, or giving a handgun to a minor, unless the minor is using the handgun under the direct supervision of an adult for the purpose of firearm safety training, target shooting, or hunting.3
  • Delivering to or providing a penitentiary inmate with a firearm intended to be used for an assault or to damage property.4
  • Knowingly supplying a firearm for use in a riot.5
  • Changing, altering, removing, or obliterating any mark of identification on a handgun, such as the name of the maker, model, or manufacturer’s number or knowingly possessing a handgun on which such alterations have been made. Possession of any handgun upon which any such identification mark has been changed, altered, removed, or obliterated creates a rebuttable presumption that the possessor made the alterations.6

North Dakota does not, however, penalize a gun dealer who fails to conduct the federally required background check on a gun purchaser.

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.D. Cent. Code §§ 62.1-03-04. ⤴︎
  2. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-02-08; see also N.D Cent. Code §§ 62.1-02-01, 62.1-02-02. ⤴︎
  3. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-03-02. ⤴︎
  4. N.D. Cent. Code § 12-47-21(6). ⤴︎
  5. N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-25-02. ⤴︎
  6. N.D. Cent. Code §§ 62.1-03-05. ⤴︎

Trafficking in Ohio

Ohio law penalizes anyone who:

• Recklessly sells, lends, gives, or furnishes a firearm to a person prohibited by state law from acquiring a firearm;1

• Possesses a firearm with the purpose of selling, lending, giving, or furnishing it to a person prohibited by state law from acquiring a firearm;2

• Changes, alters, removes, or obliterates the name of the manufacturer, model, manufacturer’s serial number, or other mark of identification on a firearm;3

• Possesses a firearm knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the name of the manufacturer, model, manufacturer’s serial number, or other mark of identification on the firearm has been changed, altered, removed, or obliterated;4

• Sells or furnishes a firearm knowing or having reason to know that the person is purchasing or receiving the firearm for the purpose of selling or furnishing the firearm illegally to a person under age 18;5

• Sells or furnishes a handgun knowing or having reason to know that the person is purchasing or receiving the handgun for the purpose of selling or furnishing the handgun illegally to a person under age 21;6

• Purchases or attempts to purchase any firearm with the intent to sell or furnish the firearm illegally to a person under age 18;7 and

• Purchases or attempts to purchase any handgun with the intent to sell or furnish the handgun illegally to a person under age 21.8

Ohio does not:

• Penalize a firearms dealer for failing to conduct the federally required background check on a purchaser;

• Prohibit any person from giving false information or offering false evidence of his or her identity in purchasing or otherwise securing delivery of a firearm; or

• Have any other laws aimed at firearms trafficking.

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.20(A)(1). ⤴︎
  2. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.20(A)(2). ⤴︎
  3. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.201(A). ⤴︎
  4. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.201(A). ⤴︎
  5. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.21(A)(4). ⤴︎
  6. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.21(A)(5). ⤴︎
  7. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.21(A)(6). ⤴︎
  8. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.21(A)(7). ⤴︎

Trafficking in Oklahoma

In 2011, Oklahoma adopted an anti-trafficking law making it a felony for:

  • Any person who knowingly solicits, persuades, encourages or entices a licensed dealer or private seller of firearms or ammunition to transfer a firearm or ammunition under circumstances which the person knows would violate federal or state law;
  • Any person who provides to a licensed dealer or private seller of firearms or  ammunition what the person knows to be materially false information with intent to deceive the dealer or seller about the legality of a transfer of a firearm or ammunition; and
  • Any person who willfully procures another to engage in either of these types of conduct.1

“Materially false information” means information that portrays an illegal transaction as legal or a legal transaction as illegal.2

Oklahoma has no other laws aimed at firearms trafficking.

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1289.28. ⤴︎
  2. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1289.28(A)(4). ⤴︎

Trafficking in Oregon

 Oregon prohibits:

  • Anyone from knowingly providing a false name or false information or presenting false identification in connection with a purchase or transfer of a firearm.1
  • A firearms dealer from failing to conduct the background check that federal and state laws require prior to sale of a firearm.2
  • Any person from selling, delivering or otherwise transferring any firearm that the person knows or reasonably should know is stolen.3

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.416. ⤴︎
  2. Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 166.412, 166.418, 166.434. ⤴︎
  3. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.470(2). ⤴︎

Trafficking in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania law penalizes:

  • Anyone who knowingly and intentionally makes any materially false oral or written statement in connection with the purchase, delivery or transfer of a firearm, including a statement on any form promulgated by federal or state agencies;1
  • Anyone who willfully furnishes or exhibits any false identification intended or likely to deceive the seller, licensed dealer or licensed manufacturer in connection with the purchase, delivery or transfer of a firearm;2
  • Any seller who knowingly or intentionally sells, delivers or transfers a firearm under circumstances intended to provide a firearm to any person who is unqualified or ineligible to possess a firearm under Pennsylvania law;3 and
  • Any seller who delivers a firearm in violation of the requirements of Pennsylvania law and “who has reason to believe that the firearm is intended to be used in the commission of a crime or attempt to commit a crime.” This person may be held civilly and criminally liable for the crime or attempted crime.4

Pennsylvania law requires any licensed dealer, importer, or manufacturer who intends to transfer a handgun or short-barreled rifle or shotgun to utilize an “application/record of sale” which contains the following question:

Are you the actual buyer of the firearm(s), as defined under 18 Pa.C.S. § 6102 (relating to definitions), listed on this application/record of sale?  Warning: You are not the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person, unless you are legitimately acquiring the firearm as a gift for any of the following individuals who are legally eligible to own a firearm: (1) spouse; (2) parent; (3) child; (4) grandparent; or (5) grandchild.5

A person violating these provisions who has already been convicted under them previously (in other words, a repeat offender), receives an enhanced punishment under Pennsylvania law.6

Upon confiscating or recovering a firearm from the possession of anyone who is not permitted by federal or state law to possess a firearm, Pennsylvania law requires a local law enforcement agency to use the best available information, including a firearms trace where necessary, to determine how and from where the person gained possession of the firearm.7

In 2008, Pennsylvania established a “Straw Purchase Prevention Education Program,” within the state Attorney General’s office to provide resources and direct grant money for an educational and public service outreach program to inform individuals of the illegal nature of purchasing a firearm for an individual prohibited from owning firearms.8  However, the program had to be developed by a not-for-profit organization which:

  • Is a national trade association representing the shooting, hunting and firearm industry;
  • Has a membership consisting of firearm manufacturers, firearm distributors, firearm retailers, publishers and sportsmen’s organizations; and
  • Had been in existence for at least 45 years prior to the enactment of the program.9

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6111(g)(4)(i), (ii). ⤴︎
  2. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6111(g)(4)(iii). ⤴︎
  3. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6111(g)(2). ⤴︎
  4. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6111(g)(5), (6). ⤴︎
  5. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6111(b)(1). ⤴︎
  6. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6111(h). ⤴︎
  7. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6127. To comply with this requirement, local law enforcement must use the National Tracing Center of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6127(b). ⤴︎
  8. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6181- 6187. ⤴︎
  9. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6184(b). ⤴︎

Trafficking in Rhode Island

Rhode Island prohibits the theft of a firearm.1 The penalty is more severe if the person subsequently sells, lends, or transfers the firearm.2

Rhode Island also prohibits:

  • A firearm purchaser or other transferee from providing false information or offering false evidence of his or her identity to obtain a firearm or a license to carry.3
  • Any person from selling a handgun to someone who he or she has reasonable cause to believe is providing false information of this kind.4
  • Selling a firearm without conducting a background check on the purchaser.5
  • Any person from changing, altering, removing, or obliterating the name of the maker, model, manufacturer’s number, or if there is no name of the maker, model, or manufacturer’s number then any other mark of identification on any firearm.6
  • Any person, absent recertification paperwork, from knowingly receiving, transporting, or possessing any firearm which has had the name of the maker or manufacturer’s serial number removed, altered, or obliterated, or if there is no name of the maker, model, or manufacturer’s number than any other mark of identification on any firearm.7

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-5.1(a). ⤴︎
  2. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-5.1(b). ⤴︎
  3. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-23. ⤴︎
  4. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-37. ⤴︎
  5. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-47-35, 11-47-35.1, and 11-47-35.2. ⤴︎
  6. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-24(a). ⤴︎
  7. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-24(b). ⤴︎

Trafficking in South Carolina

In 2012, South Carolina repealed a prohibition against giving false evidence of identity when purchasing a handgun.1

South Carolina prohibits the knowing purchase, sale, transport, pawn, receipt or possession of any stolen handgun.2

South Carolina has no other laws that address gun trafficking.

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. 2012 S.C. Acts 285 (repealing former S.C. Code Ann. §§ 23-31-140, 23-31-160). ⤴︎
  2. S.C. Code Ann. § 16-23-30(C). ⤴︎

Trafficking in South Dakota

South Dakota law prohibits any person from giving false information or offering false evidence of his or her identity in purchasing or otherwise securing delivery of a pistol.1

South Dakota has no other laws aimed at firearms trafficking.

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. S.D. Codified Laws § 23-7-12. ⤴︎

Trafficking in Tennessee

Tennessee penalizes a gun dealer who fails to initiate the federally required background check.1 Tennessee law also requires a person who is purchasing a gun from a dealer to present valid identification.2

Tennessee administrative regulations state that anyone who performs or attempts a “straw purchase” or transfer is in violation of the law and will be reported to ATF.3 A “straw purchase” is defined as “[a] purchase or transfer of a firearm made by an individual who is not obtaining the firearm for himself/herself or as a gift but rather for an individual who is disqualified from receiving or possessing a firearm.”4 Another administrative regulation states that a firearm transfer must be denied if the purchaser “provide[s] false information to purchase or transfer a firearm.”5

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1316(c). ⤴︎
  2. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1316(c), (f). ⤴︎
  3. Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 1395-1-3-.05(5). ⤴︎
  4. Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 1395-1-3-.02(30). ⤴︎
  5. Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 1395-1-3-.05(1)(n). ⤴︎

Trafficking in Texas

As noted in the statistics discussed in the state law summary, Texas plays a major role in firearms trafficking.

Texas prohibits “firearm smuggling,” which is defined as knowingly engaging in the business of transporting or transferring a firearm that the person knows was acquired in violation of Texas or federal law. For purposes of this definition, a person is considered to engage in the business of transporting or transferring a firearm if the person engages in the conduct on more than one occasion, or for profit or other remuneration.1

Texas law also makes it an offense if, with the intent to establish, maintain, or participate in a “combination” (defined as three or more persons who collaborate in criminal activities2 ) or in the profits of a combination or as a member of a criminal street gang, a person commits or conspires to commit unlawful manufacture, transportation, repair, or sale of firearms.3

Texas has no other laws aimed at firearms trafficking.

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Tex. Penal Code § 46.14(a). ⤴︎
  2. Tex. Penal Code § 71.01(a). ⤴︎
  3. Tex. Penal Code § 71.02(a)(4). ⤴︎

Trafficking in the District of Columbia

The District of Columbia prohibits any person from providing false information or false evidence of his or her identity when purchasing a handgun or machine gun.1

Similarly, the District prohibits any person purchasing a firearm or ammunition or applying for a registration certificate from knowingly providing false information or offering false evidence of identity.2 Moreover, the District prohibits anyone from forging or altering any application or registration certificate.3

The District also prohibits any person from changing, altering, removing, or obliterating the name of the maker, model, manufacturer’s number, or other mark or identification on any handgun or machine gun. Possession of any handgun or machine gun upon which any such mark was changed, altered, removed or obliterated shall be prima facie evidence that the possessor has changed, altered, removed or obliterated the marks within the District.4

The District has created a “Firearms Bounty Fund” that makes payments of cash rewards to persons who provide District law enforcement agencies with tips that lead to the adjudication or conviction of: 1) a person or entity engaged in the illegal sale, rental, lease, or loan of a firearm in exchange for money or other thing of value; or 2) a person who has committed a crime with a firearm.5 Cash rewards shall be determined at the discretion of the Chief of Police of the Metropolitan Police Department and may range up to $100,000 per tip.6

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. D.C. Code Ann. § 22-4511. ⤴︎
  2. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2507.04(a). ⤴︎
  3. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2507.04(b). ⤴︎
  4. D.C. Code Ann. § 22-4512. ⤴︎
  5. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2531.04(b). ⤴︎
  6. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2531.04(c). District regulations state that the amount of each cash reward shall “not exceed” $100,000 per tip. D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 24,§ 2400.5. ⤴︎

Trafficking in Utah

Utah penalizes:

  • Any person who purchases a firearm with the intent to resell or otherwise provide the firearm to a person ineligible to purchase it from a licensed dealer;1
  • A firearms dealer who fails to conduct the required background check on a purchaser;2 and
  • Any person who willfully and intentionally makes a false statement of the information required for a criminal background check.3

In 2012, Utah enacted a law penalizing any person who:

  • Knowingly solicits, persuades, encourages or entices a dealer or other person to sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of a firearm under circumstances which the person knows would be a violation of the law; or
  • Provides to a dealer or other person any information that the person knows to be “materially false information” with intent to deceive the dealer or other person about the legality of a sale, transfer or other disposition of a firearm. “Materially false information” means information that portrays an illegal transaction as legal or a legal transaction as illegal.4

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-527(4)(a) and (b). ⤴︎
  2. Utah Code Ann. §§ 76-10-526, 76-10-527. ⤴︎
  3. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-527. ⤴︎
  4. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-503(9). ⤴︎

Trafficking in Vermont

Vermont does not:

  • Penalize a firearms dealer for failing to conduct the federally required background check on a purchaser;
  • Prohibit a person from obtaining a firearm with the intent to provide it to someone the person knows is ineligible to possess a firearm;
  • Prohibit any person from giving false information or offering false evidence of his or her identity in purchasing or otherwise securing delivery of a firearm; or
  • Have any other laws aimed at firearms trafficking.

See our Firearm Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Trafficking in Virginia

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

In 2016, Virginia enacted a law to require a law-enforcement agency, when it confiscates a firearm or otherwise recovers a firearm, to take all appropriate steps to identify and trace the history of such firearm.1 The 2016 law also requires law-enforcement agencies and political subdivisions to share with other Virginia law-enforcement agencies all information regarding firearms seized, forfeited, found, or otherwise coming into the agencies’ possession that are believed to have been used in the commission of a crime. The agencies must enter all information into a firearms tracing system maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice.2  The 2016 law eliminated the Criminal Firearms Clearinghouse, which had been a central state-level repository for this information.

In addition to these tracing requirements, Virginia penalizes the following trafficking crimes:

  • Any person who willfully and intentionally makes a materially false statement on the required firearm purchaser background check forms.3
  • Any dealer who willfully and intentionally sells, trades or transfers a firearm without the required background check.4
  • Any person who attempts to solicit, persuade, encourage, or entice any dealer to transfer or otherwise convey a firearm other than to the actual buyer, as well as any other person who willfully and intentionally aids or abets such person.5 Under Virginia law (unlike federal law), “actual buyer” means a person who executes the required consent form, or other such firearm transaction records as required by federal law – it does not mean the person who actually receives the gun.6
  • Any person who purchases a firearm with the intent to: (i) resell or otherwise provide such firearm to any person who he or she knows or has reason to believe is ineligible to purchase or otherwise receive from a dealer a firearm for whatever reason; or (ii) transport such firearm out of the Commonwealth to be resold or otherwise provided to another person who the transferor knows is ineligible to purchase or otherwise receive a firearm.7
  • Any person who is ineligible to purchase or otherwise receive or possess a firearm in the Commonwealth who solicits, employs or assists any person in purchasing a firearm for resale to an ineligible buyer.8
  • Any person who obtains, possesses, sells, or transfers a fictitious birth certificate or any document for the purpose of establishing a false status, occupation, membership, license or identity for himself or herself or any other person, with the intent that such document be used to purchase a firearm.9
  • Any person who intentionally removes, defaces, alters, changes, destroys or obliterates or who causes to be removed, defaced, altered, changed, destroyed or obliterated the name of the maker, model, manufacturer’s or serial number, or any other mark or identification on any firearm.10
Notes
  1. Va. Code Ann. § 52-25.1(a). ⤴︎
  2. Id. at (b). ⤴︎
  3. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.2:2(K). ⤴︎
  4. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.2:2(B), (L). ⤴︎
  5. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.2:2(L1). ⤴︎
  6. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.2:2(G). ⤴︎
  7. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.2:2(M). ⤴︎
  8. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.2:2(N). ⤴︎
  9. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-204.1(C). ⤴︎
  10. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-311.1. ⤴︎

Trafficking in Washington

Washington prohibits any person from delivering a firearm to any other person whom he or she has reasonable cause to believe is ineligible to possess a firearm.1

Washington also prohibits any person from changing, altering, removing, or obliterating the name of the maker, model, manufacturer’s number, or other mark of identification on any firearm.2

Washington law incorporates the federal requirement that licensed dealers must conduct background checks on prospective purchasers each time a dealer transfers a firearm.3 Washington also penalizes anyone who knowingly makes a false statement regarding identity or eligibility requirements on the application to purchase a handgun.4

Washington has no other laws aimed at firearms trafficking.

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.080. A violation is a class C felony, and any firearms dealer violating this prohibition is subject to mandatory permanent revocation of and permanent ineligibility for his or her dealer’s license. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 9.41.080, 9.41.110(8)(b). ⤴︎
  2. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.140. See Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.135 for information on the required annual verification of firearms dealer licenses and registration by the Washington Department of Licensing. ⤴︎
  3. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.090(2)(b). ⤴︎
  4. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.090(6). ⤴︎

Trafficking in West Virginia

West Virginia prohibits any person from knowingly soliciting, persuading, encouraging or enticing a firearms dealer or private firearms or ammunition seller to transfer a firearm or ammunition unlawfully.1 The state also penalizes anyone who willfully procures another to engage in such conduct.2

West Virginia has no other laws aimed at firearms trafficking.

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. W. Va. Code § 61-7-10(f). ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎

Trafficking in Wisconsin

Wisconsin requires a handgun purchaser to provide truthful information on the notification form used in the purchase of a handgun from a licensed firearms dealer.1 Wisconsin also penalizes a licensed firearms dealer who fails to conduct the required background check prior to transfer of a handgun.2

Wisconsin has no other laws specifically aimed at firearms trafficking.

See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Wis. Stat. § 175.35(2e). ⤴︎
  2. Wis. Stat. § 175.35(2). See also Wis. Adm. Code Jus 10.06 (requiring the dealer to “question the transferee to ensure that the form is truthfully and fully completed”). ⤴︎