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I currently live in Washington state. I am planning on moving to Utah fairly soon. A friend of mine would like to sell me their AR-15 rifle. I can't find any information outlining the restrictions on moving to a different state with a firearm. I would like to believe that so long as the firearm is legal in the state I am moving to, that I would be able to bring it, no problem.

My question is, if I purchase an AR-15 in Washington and move to Utah, would I be able to bring the gun, and if so is there any extra registration, paperwork, or fees I need to deal with?

  • A starting point might be Gun laws in Utah – Jason Aller Jan 19 '16 at 18:19
  • @JasonAller Unfortunately that doesn't answer my question about the transporting of fire arms. But based on their laws it seems like it would be OK, I just want a definitive source that says "You can bring fire arms from other states here with no added paperwork/fees" – tt9 Jan 19 '16 at 18:28
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    It wasn't posted as an answer. However in the complex mix of issues that can be encountered in an interstate move by a firearms owner it does show that Utah does not appear to require registration upon moving into the state, nor does it appear that Utah has bans that might impact the particular firearm in question. – Jason Aller Jan 19 '16 at 18:35
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    If you are driving, make sure you look up the firearm transportation and possession laws of each state you will be driving through. – mikeazo Jan 21 '16 at 12:59
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For regular firearms you only have to comply with the laws of the state to which you are moving. Since Utah (presently) has no state-specific restrictions on ownership or possession of AR-15 rifles that means in this case, as you say, "no problem."

(The only exception would be registered NFA items – e.g., machine-guns, suppressors, SBR, SBS, DD, AOW – for which the BATFE typically requires notice when you are moving them interstate. But if you have gone through the trouble of registering such an item, you probably already know that.)

Finally, you have to exercise some care in the actual interstate transportation of firearms: If you are passing through a jurisdiction where possession of them is restricted then you have to follow the rules provided in the Firearms Owners Protection Act. In particular:

Under FOPA, notwithstanding any state or local law, a person is entitled to transport a firearm from any place where he or she may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he or she may lawfully possess and carry it, if the firearm is unloaded and locked out of reach. In vehicles without a trunk, the unloaded firearm must be in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console. Ammunition that is either locked out of reach in the trunk or in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console is also covered.

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    This is a very good answer. However, you should understand that FOPA is an affirmative defense. This means that if you're arrested for having a firearm that is illegal in a jurisdiction through which you are traveling, you can use FOPA as a defense against the crime. Some jurisdictions, such as New York City and New Jersey have a policy of arresting under their local crimes and forcing the individual to us FOPA during a trial. Court cases have also held that FOPA doesn't apply when stopping at a hotel on a journey. Attempts to fix these issues have not gained traction. – Dave D Jan 19 '16 at 21:52

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