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How legal, or illegal, is the following situation? A Vermont resident owns several firearms which they wish to sell to a gun shop in neighboring NH. They believe the transaction would be smoother if a relative who is a NH resident makes the sale for them. (Gun laws are much more relaxed in NH than in VT.)

They would travel together to the shop and sell the firearms. The NH resident would be paid, and then pass it onto the VT resident.

3 Answers 3

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Non-licensed individuals cannot sell firearms in the US across state lines.

Only licensed dealers can do this, and transfers to another state must be through another licensed dealer in that state.

The Vermont resident needs a licensed firearm dealer in Vermont to ship the firearms to the dealer in New Hampshire. There are people who offer this service.

See #4 here

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You would first consult §4019 of the Vermont statutes. The transfer is legal to transfer from unlicensed person to unlicensed person if they are an "immediate family member", which is

a spouse, parent, stepparent, child, stepchild, sibling, stepsibling, grandparent, step-grandparent, grandchild, step-grandchild, great-grandparent, step-great-grandparent, great-grandchild, and step-great-grandchild

otherwise you have to have a licensed dealer as an intermediary.

If this is a rifle, you can sell it in New Hampshire (Chapter 159-A was repealed in 1996). If it is a pistol, there are restrictions under N.H. Rev Stat §159, and unlicensed sale is a crime.

So, maybe, maybe not.

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The NH resident is selling the guns in VT

I have no idea whether this is legal or not but, as described, the VT resident is acting as an agent for the NH resident. Under agency law, the actions of an agent are also the actions of the principal under the principle of vicarious liability. So, it is legally no different from the NH resident doing it directly.

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