Lending Out a Firearm? You MUST Read This First

Have you ever let a buddy borrow a hunting rifle to take on a trip? There are some rules that vary per the state you are in, but federal law is pretty clear on this subject.

For example, in a state like Texas it’s perfectly legal to lend a friend your firearm as long as you are both in the clear to legally own one. In another state, Pennsylvania, it’s legal to loan out a shotgun or rifle, but you can’t let someone borrow a handgun.

So what does the federal law declare about the lending of firearms? Here are the details.

The Federal Law is 18 USC 922

The federal law is pretty clear. You cannot lend someone a firearm unless it’s for the specific purpose of hunting or shooting sports. You both don’t have to live in the same state for some reason either. So if you have a buddy that lives right over the state border from you, and you want to lend them your gun for a hunt, it’s legal. 

You can also lend someone your gun if you go on a hunting trip with them. That makes logical sense that it would be legal to share shotguns and rifles on a hunting trip. 

Who Can Legally Possess a Gun

According to the federal law, the person that you lend the gun to must not be a fugitive, have not committed a crime with the punishment of more than a year in jail, be addicted to drugs, have a mental defect, or be an illegal alien. Those are just a few of the rules that can prohibit someone from legally possessing a firearm. As a gun owner, you are probably already aware of this fact. 

Check Your State Laws

Even if it’s federally allowed to loan out your firearm to someone for the purpose of hunting, it makes sense to check out your state laws. Each state has their own laws on the books about this subject, so it’s easy to do a quick Google search to find out if it’s okay to do where you live. 

Some States’ Rules

Here’s an interesting piece of information about Hawaii. You can’t loan someone your gun unless you have a specific permit from the police department, unless it’s for hunting. Then you can lend out your firearm for 15 days only. 

In Massachusetts, you can only lend your gun to someone who has a concealed carry permit or firearm identification card. 

For Oregon residents, you have to make the transfer for lending your firearm in the presence of a licensed gun dealer so they can do a background check. There is also a weird loophole that if the lending period is going to be less than seven days, you can do this background check over the phone with a gun dealer. 

So you can see the laws are pretty different in these examples of states around the country. Checking with your own state laws can make sure that you aren’t breaking them, no matter how random and weird they are when pertaining to lending out your firearm.

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