If a person had and will never have a use for gun and wanted to insure nobody can use his identity to potentially buy one (through identity theft, for example), would that be possible?

Obviously committing a crime seems like a bad way of doing this but I believe if you have been jailed you can't legally own a gun.

3 Answers 3


It sounds like you're asking not about how to ensure that you never own a gun, but rather how to make sure that no one else uses your identity to own a gun.

If that's the case, part of the trouble you're going to encounter is in the patchwork of laws around the country. In different states, there are different things that would disqualify you from owning a gun. Just "going to jail" would not be enough anywhere in the country.

At the federal level, though, 18 U.S.C. § 922(d) prohibits gun sales to:

  • felons and people under indictment for a felony;
  • fugitives;
  • people who unlawfully use or are addicted to drugs prohibited by the Controlled Substances Act;
  • illegal aliens;
  • people adjudicated mentally defective;
  • people committed to a mental institution;
  • people who have been dishonorably discharged from the military;
  • former U.S. citizens who have renounced their citizenship;
  • people subject to court order restraining them from harassing or threatening a family member or intimate partner; and
  • people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence.

So if you satisfy any of those criteria, no one's allowed to sell a gun to you. Of course, only some of those are actually knowable to the public in a way that would get you on the FBI's list so that you'd show up when someone runs a background check.

So if you want to really get yourself on a list, you could get yourself convicted of a felony, but that seems like a pretty steep price to pay to prevent the highly unlikely possibility of someone using your identity to purchase a gun.


The right to bear arms does not entail an obligation to do so: you can "opt out" by not owning any arms. Your interest, however, seems to be narrowly tailored to preventing anyone from fraudulently using your identity to acquire firearms. Not all firearms purchases require a background check and identification, but if there is no background check, then you're not being used. In the realm of background check purchases, 18 USC 922(g) disqualifies certain persons from purchasing a gun if they have been convicted of a felony, are a fugitive from justice, are addicted to an illegal substance, are adjudged mentally defective, are an alien or renounced their citizenship, were dishonorably discharged from the military, are subject to harassment-type court restraining orders, or were convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor.

  • So what is the least detrimental(job and years in jail wise) list to myself that would prevent me from owning a firearm? Illegal substance mind be easy to enough to fake but not have legal issues. Weed as an example.
    – William
    Commented Jun 24, 2018 at 1:52

I can think of three options:

1) Renounce your citizenship.
a) You can do that at any US consulate in a foreign country after obtaining citizenship there

b) Become an officer in another nation's military.

You may regret giving up the other freedoms that came with that citizenship though, so I hope you think hard about this decision before following through.

2) Register for a Medical Marajuana Card Medical marajuana has always been completely illegal federally. It's very likely that when processing a 4473, your identity is checked against the medical marajuana registeries in those states that permit it. The 4473 form specifically calls out illegal drug use, which would certainly be implied by being on a Medical Marajuana registry.

3) Get a Red Flag put on yourself. Tell the police you're suicidal and a danger to yourself if you're in a state that does those. This might be your most discrete option. But I doubt that 4473's, processed nationally, would check against the (mostly local) red flag lists.

  • Option 1) also requires that you be a citizen of some other country.
    – Ross Ridge
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 4:24
  • @RossRidge that is not correct. The US does not require its citizens to have another nationality as a prerequisite to renouncing US nationality. But I doubt that renouncing US citizenship would be particularly effective in preventing someone from using one's stolen identity to purchase firearms.
    – phoog
    Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 3:14

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