Black Powder Gun Kits - Do They Make Any Sense?
Black powder gunpowder, black powder gun kits, historical firearms (firing black powder cartridges) and antique firearms (made before or after 1898) are all often sold unregulated. Interestingly, some states may impose additional burden on the groups buying these arms. Firearms accessories traditionally are not regulated, but magazine and grenade launching devices (as well as historic antique firearms) are routinely regulated in some states. Still, no regulation can hope to cover the hundreds of thousands of category A weapons in the country.
One major difference between antique firearms and black powder gun kits is that antique firearms must be certified by the FHA prior to importation. The Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) status of antique firearms ensures they are legal to sell and purchase in all the states; firearms must be offered for sale by businesses licensed by the state to do business. However, antique firearms cannot be transferred between owners, so they are subject to state law restrictions when it comes to licensing. Moreover, most states have enacted "strictly observe laws" to ensure the "safekeeping" of firearms.
The bestseller lists on internet websites are subjective, but can be useful in determining which types of firearms are more popular. Interestingly enough, one type of firearm that is frequently purchased in black powder gun kits is the police rifle. As one might expect, the firearm industry has historically favored the police rifle over all other types of firearms. The current trend might change with changes in federal law.
Although many states permit the transfer of antique firearms between private parties, they frequently regulate the sale and possession of antique firearms, including black powder guns. Prior to enactment of recent state-level gun control measures, there was no regulation on the transfer or possession of antique firearms; consequently, it was extremely easy to get a firearm, whether or not you needed an ammunition to "load" the firearm. Today, some states severely curtail the transfer or possession of any firearm unless the person can show proof that he is a legitimate buyer of that firearm.
Black powder firearms are especially attractive to people who favor concealment of a gun (such as those who wish to own a handgun). For instance, many people who choose to use a gun for self-defense prefer to use black powder firearms, because black powder smoke can be blown away from the person who is shooting the gun. In addition, black powder handguns (also called "smokeless" handguns) produce lesser smoke than do traditional handguns. Therefore, a person may use a "black powder gun" to defend himself against intruders, or to protect his family members, if that person were attacked. Because black powder handguns are less likely to cause damage to people or property than are fire arms, their use may be preferable for self-defense situations.
In spite of the fact that black powder firearms are a type of firearm, they fall under the heading of "regulated firearms" rather than "firearms." This is because the federal law specifically bans the manufacturing, importation, or possession of these types of firearms by anyone other than licensed dealers. However, like other "regulated" items, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms does have the authority to temporarily reinstate or temporarily deny the registration of any firearm to anyone who violates federal law. Therefore, if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms finds that you are violating state law by making and selling your "black powder" firearm in another state, you may be temporarily allowed to possess your gun under the supervision of the bureau.
However, in most states, including California and New York, neither the state nor local government require that any individual purchase a handgun in order to legally own one. However, both California and New York prohibit the carrying of handguns "in the open," which means that a person cannot carry a handgun " openly " even with the proper licensing and registration." This does not prevent people from taking active precautions to ensure that they keep their guns in a secure location. For instance, California law requires that any handgun owner register the weapon and submit the form to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; however, many people do not know that the state has implemented an "open-storage provision" for pistols and shotguns that requires the owner to store the weapon in a secure location, like a locked cabinet inside a home or office, or in a storage magazine, while the weapon is not in use. Similarly, a California magazine capacity limit requires that handguns be kept in magazine cases or securely locked storage boxes. Many states require that owners register their handguns, and some have a flat minimum magazine capacity as well.
Some state level legislation has been introduced to eliminate the open-storage requirement for firearms in other states, but to date such bills have not been passed. Therefore, California and New York still allow the use of these weapons by private persons while they are not in use, but the regulations and exceptions for this is still developing. For example, California only allows concealed handguns with a licensed reciprocity to be used by the residents of the state. Similarly, there are no reciprocity between New York and New Jersey for handguns, so both states generally treat New York with disdain when it comes to any attempts to regulate the use of firearms by private citizens.