Washington FFL Question. Needed or not, this looks grey to me

Transfer via FFL?

  • Yes

    Votes: 7 70.0%
  • No

    Votes: 3 30.0%

  • Total voters
    10

coltemp

Messages
347
Reactions
341
So we have a 1898 Krag that is in play. It's been sporterized but still shoots the original ammo. It does have a serial number that confirms it was manufactured in 1898.

According to RCW 9.41.010 definitions
(1) "Antique firearm" means a firearm or replica of a firearm not designed or redesigned for using rim fire or conventional center fire ignition with fixed ammunition and manufactured in or before 1898, including any matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system and also any firearm using fixed ammunition manufactured in or before 1898, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.

Antique Firearms do not need an FFL to do background checks for transfers or sales.

This rifle meets first part. In or before 1898. Check
not redesigned, check
using fixed ammunition, not sure but maybe OK
The last phrase for which no longer manufactured or readily available, Fails this one. 30-40 ammo while not cheap is readily available and still in production from several ammo suppliers.

So question to the FFL's. Would this rifle be OK to sell direct or does it need to follow the regular background check process?
 
Messages
460
Reactions
279
Having to find ammo online does not make it readily available and it is highly unlikely you will find 30/40 anywhere at the retail level. Old stock ammo shows up on occasion but any new manufacture by a major ammo company would be very short runs and very expensive. I have seen many Krags sold as antique no ffl required from reputable sellers and ffl dealers.
 

ma96782

Messages
4,551
Reactions
7,969
Given your already provided definition of "Antique Firearm" add.......

RCW 9.41.113
Firearm sales or transfers—Background checks—Requirements—Exceptions.
(1) All firearm sales or transfers, in whole or part in this state including without limitation a sale or transfer where either the purchaser or seller or transferee or transferor is in Washington, shall be subject to background checks unless specifically exempted by state or federal law. The background check requirement applies to all sales or transfers including, but not limited to, sales and transfers through a licensed dealer, at gun shows, online, and between unlicensed persons.

Then continue to this part....

(4) This section does not apply to:
(a) A transfer between immediate family members, which for this subsection shall be limited to spouses, domestic partners, parents, parents-in-law, children, siblings, siblings-in-law, grandparents, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, first cousins, aunts, and uncles, that is a bona fide gift or loan;
(b) The sale or transfer of an antique firearm;

Seems to me that the BIG question is: Does this particular rifle qualify as an "Antique".

And how does one define: "....and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade."

I'm NOT a lawyer and this is NOT intended as legal advice. For the advice of a real lawyer. Well, you can probably find a few at the Seattle (or Portland) Protest Marches. Or you could also write to the AG of the State of WA for a clarification. It will take a while but someone from the office will get back to you.......eventually.:eek:

Aloha, Mark
 
Last edited:
OP
coltemp

coltemp

Messages
347
Reactions
341
Having to find ammo online does not make it readily available and it is highly unlikely you will find 30/40 anywhere at the retail level. Old stock ammo shows up on occasion but any new manufacture by a major ammo company would be very short runs and very expensive. I have seen many Krags sold as antique no ffl required from reputable sellers and ffl dealers.
And that sums up the grey area. Just because they do does not make it legal. And as Mark put it, that is the key to the matter. comes down to that definition of ordinary channels.
I'm leaning towards Andy belief as well. And jsut becuase there are limited runs and its expensive, but then again I shoot 32 Win Special in one of my levers. A little more common commercially produced but can be hard to find and expensive when ammo gets tight.

Thanks to those who have chimed in. Wonder if anyone has actually asked the AG.
My usual FFL asked around his shop and they all concluded that it needs a transfer.
 
Messages
460
Reactions
279
And that sums up the grey area. Just because they do does not make it legal. And as Mark put it, that is the key to the matter. comes down to that definition of ordinary channels.
I'm leaning towards Andy belief as well. And jsut becuase there are limited runs and its expensive, but then again I shoot 32 Win Special in one of my levers. A little more common commercially produced but can be hard to find and expensive when ammo gets tight.

Thanks to those who have chimed in. Wonder if anyone has actually asked the AG.
My usual FFL asked around his shop and they all concluded that it needs a transfer.
Actually the question should go to ATF as federal law defines antique firearms. Would like to hear their answer.
 
Messages
460
Reactions
279
Springfield trapdoors are always sold as antiques and you would probably find 45/70 ammo easier to find than 30/40. Even 43 Spanish rolling blocks have ammo available online and for sure they are classified antique. Some dealers won't bother to look up a manufacture date and BGC everything and others will actually do a little research and provide good service to the buyer. Never volunteer to go beyond the minimum requirement of the law when it comes to your God given rights.
 

ma96782

Messages
4,551
Reactions
7,969
Thinking.......

If you need a "custom reloader" to produce ammo.....then?

If you have "limited runs" by factories.......then?

Bottom line: Laws should be made so that anyone with a 6th grade education could understand.

F@#^ the politicians/lawyers!

Remember when....
Life use to be easier. Then......someone thought it was a good idea to re-define and criminalize........

Not to mention that the 2nd A doesn't say.......


A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, unless I say it's reasonable.


Aloha, Mark
 
Last edited:
Messages
4,143
Reactions
8,990
Actually the question should go to ATF as federal law defines antique firearms. Would like to hear their answer.
This involves application of state law, not Federal, so the AG is probably appropriate ... Of course considering who our AG is, the answer will likely be that it ought to be confiscated for reasons.
 
Messages
2,284
Reactions
5,498
I'm confused by this. I'm pretty sure that if it's original and manufactured before 1899, it's legally an antique by Federal standards, regardless of caliber. An 1894 Winchester in .30-30 (super common) that was made in 1898 is an antique, and not subject to federal paperwork.
I believe that it's replicas of antique firearms that must be either primitive ignition systems, or oddball calibers.

The ATF seems to agree:

"The term “Antique Firearm” means:
A. Any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; and

B. Any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica
1. is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or
2. uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade."




Here's another FAQ I found from an online gun shop:
"Q: I saw a post that said that pre-1899s are considered modern “firearms” if they are chambered to fire
ammunition that is available off-the-shelf. Is this correct?

That is absolutely incorrect. ANY gun manufactured before Jan. 1, 1899 (other than a machinegun or
other NFA category, such as a short-barreled gun) is NOT controlled in any way by Federal law.
There is NO Federal requirement for sales of these guns to be handled by Federally licensed dealers.
They may be freely bought and sold across State lines by private parties, regardless of what cartridge
they are chambered in. (However, State or local laws vary.)"
 
Last edited:

v0lcom13sn0w

Messages
10,129
Reactions
37,622
im all about live free or die. take that any which way you will. not intended as advice or an answer to your question. :) just a statement :D




when in doubt call an FFL :s0155:
 

ma96782

Messages
4,551
Reactions
7,969
That is absolutely incorrect. ANY gun manufactured before Jan. 1, 1899 (other than a machinegun or
other NFA category, such as a short-barreled gun) is NOT controlled in any way by Federal law.
There is NO Federal requirement for sales of these guns to be handled by Federally licensed dealers.
They may be freely bought and sold across State lines by private parties, regardless of what cartridge
they are chambered in (However, State or local laws vary.)"
Right....and FFLs must follow ALL Federal and ALL local laws in which they reside. So then?? Perhaps, WA State has decided to make the definition of Antique...."tougher?" Ha, ha, ha....filling in the Loophole?

Aloha, Mark
 
Messages
2,284
Reactions
5,498
Well, unless they have "antique" defined differently elsewhere, Washington state appears to follow the federal definition of antique.

According to the information I can find, including from the "horse's mouth", the Krag in question is most definitely an antique and therefore exempt from federal paperwork. It seems pretty clear cut.

Don't take my word for it though. I've been wrong before.

Perhaps, WA State has decided to make the definition of Antique...."tougher?" Ha, ha, ha....filling in the Loophole?
It wouldn't surprise me if they'd try. That "antique" loophole is a bad one, tons of felons and gang-bangers using '51 Colt Navy revolvers for their dirty deeds. :)
 
Last edited:
Messages
4,143
Reactions
8,990
Well, unless they have "antique" defined differently elsewhere, Washington state appears to follow the federal definition of antique.
...
While the exact same wording might be used in the Fed and state statutes, the Federal interpretation is not binding on the state (unless the WA Supreme Court has ruled that it is). The Federal usage would be potentially influential in state court, but it would not be mandatory for a state court to follow it. It is entirely possible for two different jurisdictions (here those would be Federal and WA State), to interpret the exact same sentences in different ways.
 
There is no question it is a antique, under fed or state law.
the question remains, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.
Since ammo is available, as a FFL I would require background.
 
Messages
2,284
Reactions
5,498
There is no question it is a antique, under fed or state law.
the question remains, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.
Since ammo is available, as a FFL I would require background.
I think you misunderstand. Accodring to the ATF, if it is an original manufactured before 1899, whether ammunition is available or not is irrelevant. From the ATF website, ammunition availability is only relevant if it's a replica.
 
Messages
2,284
Reactions
5,498
I am confused by what you are saying. The Washington definition of an antique is word-for-word the same as the Federal definition, and the feds say that your Krag does not need to go through an FFL, regardless of the ammo it uses. This is very clear. Availability of ammo is simply not relevant for that gun.

Awshoot makes the point that although the federal and state statutes are verbatim, the state could theoretically interpret them differently. While possible I suppose, this seems incredibly far-fetched to me. Why copy something verbatim and then interpret it differently?
The reality is that people buy and sell antique guns in common calibers all the time, with the common knowledge and blessing of the feds that if it was made before 1899, and not NFA, no federal paperwork is needed. Reading something into a word-for-word state statute to require something more seems a real stretch to me.
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Cerberus Training Group - Skill Builder
Cerberus Training Group
47 Cattle Dr, Goldendale, WA 98620, USA
Cerberus Training Group - Skill Builder
Cerberus Training Group
47 Cattle Dr, Goldendale, WA 98620, USA
Arms Collectors of SW Washington Gun Show
Battleground Community Center
912 E Main St, Battle Ground, WA 98604, USA
Cerberus Training Group - Run the Gun Pistol
Cerberus Training Group
47 Cattle Dr, Goldendale, WA 98620, USA
Cerberus Training Group - Run the Gun Rifle
Cerberus Training Group
47 Cattle Dr, Goldendale, WA 98620, USA

LATEST RESOURCE REVIEWS

  • Sunset Firearms
    5.00 star(s)
    Gordon is a great guy, highly recommend doing business with him.
    • NWGN
  • Rapid Fire Arms
    5.00 star(s)
    Have done several transfers through this shop. All were pleasant experiences. Folks were friendly and pleasant, prices were fair. I wouldn't...
  • Gorge Guns
    5.00 star(s)
    Good little shop. Have transferred numerous pieces here and it's always been pain free. My only little gripe is limited hours (currently not...
  • Money Market Pawn Shop
    5.00 star(s)
    Great place to pickup from sites like Davidson's. Low fees. Friendly folks.
  • Money Market Pawn Shop
    5.00 star(s)
    This has been my go to for all transfers. Peter, the two Jasons and Joe have always been very professional and accommodating. The transfer...
Top Bottom