May a nonimmigrant alien who has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa and who falls within an exception, purchase a firearm or ammunition in the United States?

A nonimmigrant alien without residency in any State may not purchase and take possession of a firearm. A nonimmigrant alien may only purchase a firearm through a licensee where the licensee arranges to have the firearm directly exported. A nonimmigrant alien who falls within an exception may, however, purchase and take possession of ammunition.

A nonimmigrant alien who has established residency in a State may purchase and take possession of a firearm from an unlicensed person, provided the buyer and seller are residents of the same State, and no other State or local law prohibits the transaction. A nonimmigrant alien with residency in a State may purchase a firearm from a licensee, provided the sale complies with all applicable laws and regulations.

[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(9); 27 CFR 478.29a]

Last Reviewed September 21, 2015