Eligibility to Purchase or Own a Firearm

In general, persons who are twenty-one years of age or older can purchase a firearm from a federally licensed dealer licensed to sell within the state. Purchasers of rifles or shotguns must be eighteen years or older and may purchase in any state.

However, the following classes of people are ineligible to possess, receive, ship, or transport firearms or ammunition:

  • Those convicted of crimes punishable by imprisonment for over one year, except state misdemeanors punishable by two years or less.
  • Fugitives from justice.
  • Unlawful users of certain depressant, narcotic, or stimulant drugs.
  • Those deemed legally incompetent and those committed to mental institutions.
  • Illegal aliens.
  • Citizens who have renounced their citizenship.
  • Those persons dishonorably discharged from the armed services.
  • Persons less than eighteen years of age for the purchase of a shotgun or rifle.
  • Persons less than twenty-one years of age for the purchase of a firearm that is other than a shotgun or rifle.
  • Persons subject to a court order that restrains such persons from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner.
  • Persons convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

Under limited conditions, exceptions may be granted by the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, or through a pardon, restoration of rights, or setting aside of a conviction.


Inside Eligibility to Purchase or Own a Firearm