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What about private sales of firearms?
What do I need to buy a gun?
What kind of airgun should I buy?
What about private sales of firearms?

In this instance, the laws vary as well. Federal law says you cannot sell a firearm to anyone who does not reside in the same state that you do. You are also responsible to meet the requirements of the 1968 gun control act. You cannot sell a firearm to someone who has been convicted of a felony, convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, a known user of drugs, dishonorably discharged from the armed forces, subject to a restraining order, etc. In other words, you are bound by the same laws that we are, only you do not have a federal form or a background check to fall back on. Unless you really know your purchaser, I would not sell a personal firearm. If on the other hand you do really know the purchaser and say for instance it is your neighbor, in the state of Maine all you do is have him or her sign a bill of sale. That would cover you in case the gun is ever stolen and used in a crime.

What do I need to buy a gun?

This is a loaded question (pun intended) for you see it depends on what kind of firearm you intend to purchase and where you reside. Federal law states that you must be 18 years old to purchase a long gun (rifle or shotgun), and 21 years old to purchase a handgun. Individual states have their own sets of laws and requirements. In Maine, we start with a state or federal ID that meets the ID requirements for firearm purchases. This should be a photo ID that shows age, residence, physical description and must be current, (driver's license, pistol permit, non-driver ID with an expiration date, etc.). Then you fill out the federal form 4473 and complete a federal background check. The background check gets called into the FBI much the same as a police officer would do if you were stopped on the road. The check usually takes about 10-15 minutes. If all goes well, the entire process should take less than 1/2 hour. That would be for a handgun or long gun, provided you meet with the criteria required for either purchase.   If you live out of state then there are different rules. The federal government says that you must comply with the laws where the sale takes place, as well as the state where you reside. Handguns can only be purchased in your home state. If for instance you come from New York, you would be required to have a pistol permit and the handgun would have to be shipped to a dealer in your home area. We have several dealers in various states to handle this type of transaction. All you do is buy the pistol here and we ship it to our transfer dealer in your state and you pick it up from him.   If you were purchasing a rifle or shotgun, you can now buy it like a Maine resident. The Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 changed a few things with regards to long gun purchases. Before 1986 all firearms had to be received in your home state. The law changed in 1986 to allow over the counter sales of firearms out of your state of residence, provided that it did not violate any state ordinances where the sale took place, or in the buyers home state.   Most states now require the standard background check to purchase all firearms. Some states require special permits to own guns but most do not. Transporting and carrying a firearm has its own set of rules and we will cover that in later articles. An interesting part of the Firearms Owners Protection Act also allows for the legal transportation of legally owned firearms provided you are legal where you start your journey and legal where you end up. Say for instance you wanted to bring your gun from Maine to Wyoming, and it is a handgun. You would lock the pistol in a locked box in the trunk of your car and any ammunition you have has to also be locked separately in another container. You then can drive through the states that may be more restrictive than your beginning and ending destinations. You cannot carry the gun loaded, or spend a week in New York City on your way, but you can drive through. This would also be the way you could bring a gun to us if you wanted to sell it or trade it for another gun. Also see Policies/Purchase Info

What kind of airgun should I buy?

That depends on what you are going to do with it and how much you want to spend. Airguns come in three basic varieties and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.   The first type is the "Spring-piston." It comes in several forms; one being the common "BB" gun that most of us are familiar with. The popular Daisy "Red Ryder" (SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT) gun from "A Christmas Story" has a piston attached to a spring. When you cock the gun the energy is stored in the spring. As the trigger is pulled, the spring releases and the piston is forced forward compressing the air in front of it, which fires the BB. This is a simple design and very efficient. In this system you will find your lower power rifles with moderate accuracy (the smooth bore BB gun), as well as your high velocity magnum air rifles (RWS, Gamo, Beman). The advantage of this system is that it loads quickly, is very consistent, and no energy is lost in the form of heat. Velocities in this type of gun can range from 300fps for the BB guns, to over 1100fps for the magnum adult rifles.   The second type of airgun system is the pneumatic or pump-up gun. These are found in guns such as the Daisy 880 and Crosman 760. The more you pump the gun, the higher the velocity. Maximum velocity with most models of this type is about 750fps in 177 cal. This is usually achieved with about ten pumps. With the pneumatic rifles, the more you pump the less additional velocity you get for each pump. The rifles are equipped with a pressure relief valve to prevent over pumping. One of the drawbacks with pneumatic rifles is the amount of effort required to charge the guns. Much of this energy is lost in the form of heat as you pump the rifle up. The advantages of pneumatic guns are the ability to vary velocities for specific tasks, and like the spring piston gun, you always have a source of power.   The third type is the CO2 gun. These operate by using a twelve-gram CO2 cartridge to propel the pellet or BB depending on the model. The gun meters out a small amount of CO2 for each shot. The advantage is that they are convenient to fire. There is no pumping or cocking and you can have semi-auto repeaters with this design. The disadvantages are that you have to buy CO2 cartridges, the power drops after about forty shots, and the guns will eventually leak. The velocities are usually around 600fps.   Depending on what you are trying to accomplish with the airgun, there are models in each of the categories that will work. For pest control, you generally want a gun that will generate about 600fps in the .177cal or abut 500fps in a .22 or .20 caliber. We frequently get people living in residential areas that want to eliminate a squirrel from the attic or bird feeder. Occasionally a woodchuck or skunk can be a problem and these animals would require the higher velocities of the so called "magnum airguns", or about 800-1100fps.   Now there are modifications to the systems I have mentioned which are more exotic, but the principals remain the same. Depending on your needs, there is an airgun to fill the niche. With the encroachment of civilization nowadays, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a place to shoot. With a good airgun you have virtually unlimited shooting opportunities in your own basement or back yard.

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For inquiries by phone: call toll free 1-800-USA-GUNS (872-4867) or FAX (207) 752-9015
By mail: Attn: Shooting Sports, Kittery Trading Post, 301 U.S. Route One, PO Box 904, Kittery, ME 03904
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