During the first burst of post-Newtown gun regulation chatter I got into a conversation with my one vocal pro-gun (not sure that's a perfect description but I do think it's accurate) reader, Our Laura (aka Falnfenix). She linked a few articles for me, which she does on occasion, and I wound up asking about gun registration laws. I felt as though I needed to have a better handle on what the registration rules were in order to continue speaking intelligently on the topic. Our Laura then made what might have seemed like an offhand promise that turned out to be the work of a dissertation, she said she'd pull together that information and get it to me.
To be clear, gun registration is regulated by the states so "that information" is 50 states worth of research. She checks in with me periodically, promising to keep going. Last night she sent me the laws for MD (I'll paste them in below) and I, finally, had a good idea.
This is a lot of work for one person to do if they aren't doing it as a full time job. It's a lot of work for a few people to do. However, if we didn't ask for help that would be stupid, right? So I'm asking here (and Our Laura will ask in her places) if anyone would be willing to look into the laws in their own state. I'll do NY and I may do MI for good measure, since I did live there once and I don't know that I have any readers from that state, and if I get on a roll I may do more. If you can distill what you learn into a paragraph like Laura's (below) then I'll put up a post with all our paragraphs. You can give us the heads up that you're doing a state by saying so in comments below. I believe we can get this information on the internet and without too much difficulty.
We probably won't get information on all 50 states but if we got half or even a third of them that feels like a good enough cross section for discussion to me. I don't know about any of the rest of you but, while I have a well formed opinion of what I think gun regulation should look like, I am not well enough informed about what the regulations look like now and the one isn't as useful as it could be without the other.
Thank you, Laura, for getting this ball rolling. Thank you, everyone else, in advance for your enthusiasm and assistance!
Our Laura on MD:
"The AR15 is considered a restricted firearm, and as such it requires at least a NICS check before it's sold to a buyer. a NICS check is an instant check with the FBI. there is paperwork associated with this, and a quick background check. some states require more information than that - Maryland is one of them. we have an 8-10 day minimum wait while our state police perform a full background check (this goes for all pistol transfers, as well). the rules about second-hand sales are muddy, though. each state is different. some allow face-to-face sales, others require a transfer be performed by the state police or an FFL holder. Maryland is a state that requires all transfers of restricted firearms go through the Maryland police. transfers from out-of-state must go through an FFL. Maryland residents may not go out-of-state for pistol and other restricted firearm purchases. we may go out of state for other rifles and shotguns. i don't know anyone who will sell a long gun to a stranger, as they want to cover their posteriors."