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How to Buy a Gun in Texas - Handgun, Shotgun, or Rifle

Discussion in 'Beginner Articles' started by Texas1911, Jul 21, 2009.

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  1. Texas1911

    Texas1911 TGT Addict

    May 29, 2017
    Austin, TX
    There are many misconceptions out there regarding the general public and what is required to purchase a firearm in Texas. This thread will highlight what is required to be eligible to purchase a firearm in the state of Texas.

    This thread is subject to errors and as such, should be verified prior to any action. I am not a lawyer, and I am not liable for you going to jail as a result of you doing something stupid. That being said...


    - No Waiting Period
    - No Registration or Transfer of Registration
    - NFA OK
    - FTF OK (Unless NFA)
    - No Restricted Firearms or Magazine Capacities (NFA Rules Apply)


    4473 - The form you fill out to purchase a firearm from a dealer.
    NICS - "Nicks", it is a FBI instant background check based off of a crime database.
    AOW - Any other Weapon (Most commonly a pistol grip shotgun)


    First off, there is no "Gun show loophole". The dealers present at the gun show are required to process a 4473 form for the transfer of the firearm. It is no different than buying from a walk-in store. There is a background check.

    It is legal to purchase, own, and possess items such as machine guns, suppressors, destructive devices, short barrel rifles, short barrel shotguns, and AOWs so long as they are legally possessed in accordance to Federal Law. For more info on how to purchase these items legally, see this FAQ:

    The penal code surrounding Texas firearm possession and commerce is Chapter 46 - Weapons: Penal Code

    FFL Dealer (Gun Shop)

    Required Items

    - Texas Driver's License (Valid! Current Address, Not Expired)
    - Qualification to Possess a Firearm (See Above)
    - 18 Years of Age for a Long Gun (Rifle or Shotgun)
    - 21 Years of Age for a Handgun or Pistol Grip Shotgun (AOW)

    Once you've picked out your gun you'll be asked to fill out the 4473 form. At this time you will present your Texas driver's license so that the information can be recorded onto the 2nd page of the 4473 by the salesman. Once you've finished filling out the 4473 the salesman will then call it in for the NICS check. This is a short, routine, phone call that is required to transfer the firearm from the dealer's books. At the end of the phone call the salesman will be directed one of three ways:

    1.) Proceed - Everything is good to go, and the firearm can be transferred to the purchaser.

    2.) Delayed - This is fairly common and can mean one of a million things. You might have had a similar name to someone not eligible, similar description, credit holds (lost / stolen credit cards), etc. They even do it at random. By law, the firearm can be transferred within 3 business days (government business days) if the NICS examiner does not call back.

    3.) Denied - This occurs because you've been flagged as a possibly uneligible purchaser of the firearm. Sometimes ex-felons and people who've only recently become eligible will be denied, and they are able to challenge the denial. Generally the dealer will have paperwork outlining the process for challenging the NICS ruling.

    There is no waiting period in Texas. Once you've recieved a proceed or the delayed time frame has elapsed you are free to walk out the door with your gun.

    If you hold a Texas Concealed Handgun License (CHL) you can present that as proof that you can legally own the firearm, and a NICS check does not have to be performed. You still have to fill out the 4473 form.

    Face to Face Purchase (FTF)

    Face to face transactions are legal in Texas so long as it is not a Class III item such as a machine gun, suppressor, short barrel rifle, etc. Items of that nature require a tax stamp and ATF paperwork.

    Texas law only mandates you to not knowingly sell a firearm to someone whom cannot legally possess the firearm. The seller is not responsible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the eligibilty of the purchaser.

    If you are from out of state it is illegal to purchase a firearm in the state of Texas from a Texas resident in a face to face transfer. This is engaging in innerstate commerce and requires an FFL (Federal Firearms License).

    There are no requirements for record keeping in regards to firearms sales.

    If you are unsure what the eligibility requirements are for the state of Texas please read Texas Penal Code Chapter 46 - Weapons: Penal Code

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