So in California all transfers (except for C&R long guns) have to go through and FFL, and CA FFLs are required to do them for a nominal fee set by the CA DOJ (correct me if Iâ€™m wrong but I think itâ€™s $35). It sucks, and itâ€™s occasionally bizarre, sometimes itâ€™s cool â€“ Iâ€™ve met one of my best friends and shooting buddies via a PPT (private party transfer). Here are some of the byproducts of this system: some FFLs will â€œrun outâ€ of Handgun Safety Cards (required for transfers) if you go to do a transfer and donâ€™t have one (to avoid doing it). Some stores will flat out refuse if they are busy or make you wait so long you leave.
Sometimes it takes hours. You need 2 proofs of ID and if the store does not like your proofs, go home and get something else (I have waited a couple times for someone to go get a utility bill). Unless you are a veteran of PPTs, you are pretty much guaranteed to fail on your first attempt. Some stores will give you a gun lock, free, most stores make you buy one, and once the store only stocked locks that sold for $30. Then you get dealers that only do internet sales and PPTs, who are awesome, but… itâ€™s crazy, itâ€™s bizarre, and tons of people do illegal FTF transactions all the time â€“ not because they are trying to break the law, but because the law is so complex as to be difficult to follow. This is what you can look forward to!
The ban on private transfers of handguns here in Pennsylvania is probably the most oft broken law by people who ordinarily aren’t lawbreakers, most of the time out of sheer ignorance of the law. Generally speaking, you can get a transfer done, but the price isn’t set by the state, and around here, about $35 bucks is about the floor. Some dealers charge as much as $50 to do a transfer between two parties, and many won’t do them at all. There’s also a problem in lending a handgun to someone, which is generally prohibited. The law makes an exception if the person is licensed to carry handguns.
For people cohabiting, but not married, this can be a problem if the two aren’t licensed. For instance, the law allows handguns to be given as gifts, but only between spouses, parents and children, and grandparents and grandchildren. For those who want to say you can duplicate the benefits of marriage with contracts, well, here’s a benefit you can’t duplicate with a contract. If you’re married, you can let your wife take your gun to the range, and he or she is legally entitled to receive your guns either temporarily or permanently. If you’re not married, you can’t let your significant other do the same, unless they have a license to carry, in which case you can temporarily lend your significant other a gun. It’s even questionable whether they could use your firearm in a self-defense situation.
This isn’t a place we want to go federally, and if I could, I would undo here in Pennsylvania too.