Bulk Gun Purchases in California

California law places some restrictions on bulk firearm purchases.

Currently, California law generally prohibits people from purchasing more than one handgun from a licensed dealer per month,1 and restricts dealers from selling a handgun to a buyer if they are notified by the California Department of Justice that the buyer has already applied to acquire another handgun from a dealer within the preceding 30-day period.2

Effective July 1, 2021, state law will extend this bulk purchase limit to include the purchase from a dealer of handguns or semiautomatic centerfire rifles.3 Dealers will be prevented from selling either type of firearm if they are notified that the buyer has already applied to acquire a handgun or semiautomatic centerfire rifle from a dealer within the preceding 30 days.

However, these restrictions do not (and will not) apply to firearm transfers between unlicensed parties, even when those transactions are processed through a licensed dealer.4

Firearms dealers are required to post a notification on their premises, in block letters at least one inch in height, that notifies potential purchasers of these bulk purchase restrictions.5

See our Bulk Gun Purchases policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Cal. Penal Code § 27535. ⤴︎
  2. Cal. Penal Code § 27540(f). ⤴︎
  3. See 2019 CA SB 61. ⤴︎
  4. Cal. Penal Code § 27535. There are a number of other exceptions to these restrictions laid out in this section, including, but not limited to, exceptions for law enforcement agencies, private security companies, licensed collectors, and the replacement of a lost or stolen firearm. Id. ⤴︎
  5. Cal. Penal Code § 26835(g). ⤴︎

Bulk Gun Purchases in Maryland

Maryland prohibits any person from purchasing more than one handgun or assault weapon within a 30-day period.1 A person whose handgun or assault weapon is stolen or irretrievably lost and who “considers it essential” that the firearm be replaced immediately may obtain another handgun or assault weapon if he or she provides a copy of an official police report which contains relevant information regarding the owner of the firearm and information regarding the loss or theft of the firearm.2

See our Bulk Gun Purchases policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-128(b). ⤴︎
  2. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-128(a)(8). See Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-129 for additional grounds for allowing multiple purchases of handguns or assault weapons. See also Md. Code Regs. 29.03.01.04. ⤴︎

Bulk Gun Purchases in Minnesota

Minnesota has no law restricting sales or purchases of multiple firearms. Minnesota law affirmatively provides that the transfer of any number of handguns or semiautomatic military-style assault weapons may be treated as a single transfer for purposes of the state background check requirement and that nothing in the Minnesota laws regarding transferee permits and transfers when the transferee does not have a permit limits or restricts the number of such weapons a person may acquire.1

See our Bulk Gun Purchases policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Minn. Stat. § 624.7132, subd. 9. ⤴︎

Bulk Gun Purchases in New Jersey

New Jersey prohibits licensed retail firearms dealers from knowingly delivering more than one handgun to any person within any 30-day period.1 Moreover, a person may purchase no more than one handgun within any 30-day period.2

See our Bulk Gun Purchases policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-2a(7). ⤴︎
  2. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-3i. The Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police may grant an exemption from this purchaser restriction if the applicant satisfactorily demonstrates that he or she: 1) obtained the handguns through inheritance or intestacy; 2) is a demonstrated collector of handguns; or 3) participates in handgun shooting competitions and needs multiple handguns for such competitive activities. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-3.4a. ⤴︎

Bulk Gun Purchases in New York

It is a class C felony in New York to unlawfully sell, exchange, give or dispose of five or more handguns, short-barreled shotguns or rifles, or assault weapons to another person or persons in a period of not more than one year.1 It is a class B felony to unlawfully transfer ten or more such weapons to a person or persons in a period of not more than one year.2 These provisions only apply to otherwise unlawful transfers. In addition, if an unlicensed individual possesses five or more handguns, short-barreled shotguns or rifles, or assault weapons, New York law presumes that the person intends to sell those weapons.3

New York has no other laws limiting the number of firearms that may be sold to a single person in any given period of time.

See our Bulk Gun Purchases policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.12. ⤴︎
  2. N.Y. Penal Law §§ 265.12, 265.13. ⤴︎
  3. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.15(6). ⤴︎

Bulk Gun Purchases in the District of Columbia

The District of Columbia previously had a law prohibiting a person from registering more than one handgun in the District during any 30-day period, with a limited exception for new residents.1 However, this “one-handgun-a-month” registration requirement was struck down under the Second Amendment by a federal appeals court in a case known as Heller III. The court did not rule that such a requirement would always be unconstitutional, but determined that the District had not presented adequate evidence to justify its 30-day registration limit on public safety grounds. Heller v. District of Columbia, (“Heller III”), 801 F.3d 264, 279-80 (D.C. Cir. 2015).

See our Bulk Gun Purchases policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2502.03(e). See also D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 24, § 2305.3. ⤴︎

Bulk Gun Purchases in Virginia

Effective July 1, 2020, it is generally unlawful for anyone to purchase more than one handgun within any 30-day period in Virginia.1

However, this prohibition does not apply to the following kinds of purchases:

  • A purchase made after the buyer has submitted a special application to the State Police and undergone an enhanced background check pursuant to State Police regulations. The buyer must sign the application under oath, state the purpose for the purchase above the limit, and list the number and type of handguns to be purchased and transferred “for lawful business or personal use, in a collector series, for collections, as a bulk purchase from estate sales, and for similar purposes.” The State Police must immediately issue a certificate to an applicant who has met the requirements, including proof of residency and identity. That certificate remains valid for seven days. The buyer must surrender the certificate to the dealer before the sale, and the dealer must keep it on file for two years. The State Police may also allow local law enforcement agencies to issue these certificates, provided all requirements are met.
  • A “private sale” of a handgun, defined to mean “a purchase from a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection of curios or relics or who sells all or part of such collection of curious and relics.”2

The prohibition against purchasing more than one handgun within 30 days also does not apply to the following buyers:

  • Licensed firearms dealers;
  • Law enforcement officers, law enforcement agencies, and agencies duly authorized to perform law enforcement duties;
  • State and local correctional facilities;
  • Licensed private security companies;
  • A person who is exchanging or replacing a handgun that he or she purchased within the last 30 days from the same seller;
  • A person who is trading in one handgun for another, provided that no more than one trade-in is completed per day;
  • A person whose handgun is stolen or irretrievably lost who deems it essential that such handgun be replaced immediately; and
  • Virginia concealed handgun permit holders.3

See our Bulk Gun Purchases policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Va. Code Ann. § 308.2:2(R). ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Id. ⤴︎