ATF

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

May a nonimmigrant alien who has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant alien visa purchase or possess a firearm in the U.S. ?

An alien admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa is not prohibited from purchasing, receiving, or possessing a firearm if the alien falls within one of the following exceptions: (1) is in possession of a hunting license or permit lawfully issued by the Federal Government, a State, or local government, or an Indian tribe federally recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which is valid and unexpired; (2) was admitted to the United States for lawful hunting or sporting purposes; (3) has received a waiver from the prohibition from the Attorney General of the United States; (4) is an official representative of a foreign government who is accredited to the United States Government or the Government’s mission to an international organization having its headquarters in the United States; (5) is en route to or from another country to which that alien is accredited; (6) is an official of a foreign government or a distinguished foreign visitor who has been so designated by the Department of State; or (7) is a foreign law enforcement officer of a friendly foreign government entering the United States on official law enforcement business.

In addition, a nonimmigrant alien legally in the United States with or without a nonimmigrant visa may lawfully acquire a firearm only if he/she meets State of residence requirements as required by the Federal government. For more information, see ATF Ruling 2010-6 at: https://www.atf.gov/files/regulations-rulings/rulings/atf-rulings/atf-ruling-2010-6.pdf.