Edit: we have an excellent general counsel who runs our legal team; I'm asking here firstly to get familiar with roughly the shape of this thing, and secondly to learn a little about how things in other states.
We're trying to suss out legal considerations of a situation where we'd need to borrow firearms for the purpose of performing private for-profit scientific research on them. We're not purchasing them outright at this time because frankly, guns are expensive, we don't actually want to use them, we're in Texas, and most of all, because our investors are happy to loan them to us for this purpose.
The guns will be unloaded and not fired for this research, used in the specified manner and then when we're done each owner will fetch back his or her gun. I've found information relating to legally loaning guns for target shooting or hunting, but nothing much for science.
I'm obviously interested primarily in specifically laws governing the lending of firearms in Texas for science. However, because Texas is extra weird about gun laws, I am also interested in guidance or general information from any other state, as well as federal.
What laws apply to borrowing firearms in such a situation?