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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

If I’m a nonimmigrant alien legally in the United States with a nonimmigrant visa, what documentation must I provide to the Federal firearms licensee (FFL) prior to acquiring a firearm?

It is unlawful for a FFL to sell or deliver any firearm to any nonlicensee who the licensee knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in the State in which the licensee’s place of business is located. Exceptions are provided for over-the-counter transfers of a rifle or shotgun to out-of-State residents if the transfers fully comply with the State laws of the buyer and seller, and for loans and rentals of a firearm for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes. To acquire a firearm, you must demonstrate the intention of making a home in a particular State. The intention of making a home in a State must be demonstrated to a Federal firearms licensee by presenting valid government issued
identification documents indicating an address in the state in which the licensee’s place of business is located. Such documents include, but are not limited to, driver’s licenses, voter registration, tax records, or vehicle registration. For more information, see ATF Ruling 2001-5 available at: In addition, you must also demonstrate that you fall within one of the exceptions outlined in 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(2). (Refer to Question #3 above).