Residency Requirement for Buying Handguns Struck Down

Since the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968 it has been prohibited for individuals without a Federal Firearms License (FFL) to purchase a handgun outside of their own state. If you wanted to acquire a handgun from an individual or dealer in another state it had to be transferred to an FFL in your state. A federal district court in Texas just ruled that provision of the Gun Control Act unconstitutional:

A federal district court in Texas overturned a 1968 gun law prohibiting the sale of handguns to out-of-state residents, granting those who live in Washington, D.C., the ability to travel to an out-of-state gun store, buy a handgun and bring it home without a middleman.

The ruling takes aim at the federal Gun Control Act of 1968, which prohibited handgun sales to out-of-state residents and was defended by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who argued that the law doesn’t violate the Second Amendment.

Proponents of lifting the ban said the 1968 law had become dated given technological advances in instant background checks, which are performed every time a gun is purchased from a federally licensed firearm dealer. It also prohibited a robust national handgun market from developing, as rifles and shotguns can be purchased regardless of state residency, but handguns are not.

This is good news since the restriction made no sense when it was passed and makes even less sense now. However I’m guessing federally licensed dealers aren’t going to start selling handguns to out of state buyers until the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) give them permission. Angering the ATF, which is very easy to do, is a quick way to lose your FFL and therefore your business.

As the story notes the real winners will be the residents of Washington DC since the city has no federally licensed dealers.