Can a Firearm be Registered in Two Names?

Posted by Jessica Koenes on Nov 26th 2021

Can a firearm be registered in two names? Is it possible to register a firearm in two names?

When & why would you want to do this? Is registration handled by the Fed or State & what about NFA or Class III guns?

The Question at Hand

Registration regulations change depending on which state you live in. A question was brought up the other day that posed an interesting discussion. Can my wife register for the same gun that I am registered to? This is a dilemma that I had not previously considered, but it does bring to light a topic that those who are in the process of marrying may need to consider. There are loads of documents that need to get in order for the name change, will change, and setting up a future when getting married. But is it possible for two people to be registered to one gun?

Colt by mwewering from Pixabay

Registration of Firearm

The first part we need to look into is registration. If you are new to owning a firearm, registration can seem like a hazy topic. The reason why there may be confusion regarding registration of a firearm is because different states have different registration requirements.

Let’s look at the registration requirements in each state:


Firearm Registration Requirements
Alaska Do not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
Arizona Do not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
ArkansasDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
California Registration Required for Assault Weapons and .50 Caliber Rifles
Colorado Do not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
ConnecticutRegistration Required for Assault Weapons and Large Capacity Magazines
DelawareFirearm Registries are Prohibited
District of ColumbiaRegistration for ALL Firearms Required
Florida Firearm Registries are Prohibited
Georgia Firearm Registries are Prohibited
HawaiiRegistration for ALL Firearms Required
IdahoFirearm Registries are Prohibited
IllinoisDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
IndianaDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
IowaDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
KansasDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
KentuckyDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
Louisiana Do not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
MaineDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
MarylandRequired Registration for Assault Pistols
MassachusettsDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
MichiganLocal License and Entry into Pistol Database Required
MinnesotaDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
MississippiDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
MissouriDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
Montana Do not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
Nebraska Do not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
Nevada Do not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
New HampshireDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
New JerseyRequired Registration for Assault Weapons
New MexicoDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
New YorkRegistration Required for Assault Weapons and Handguns
North CarolinaDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
North DakotaDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
OhioDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
OklahomaDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
OregonDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
PennsylvaniaFirearm Registries are Prohibited
Rhode IslandFirearm Registries are Prohibited
South CarolinaDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
South DakotaFirearm Registries are Prohibited
TennesseeDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
TexasDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
UtahDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
Vermont Firearm Registries are Prohibited
Virgina Do not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
WashingtonDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
West VirginiaDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
Wisconsin Do not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries
WyomingDo not Require or Prohibit Firearm Registries

Should you be Aware of Dual Ownership?

Some states choose to have registration requirements. Registering your firearms can be a hassle, but the thought is that having a registration system in place could potentially help minimize illegal gun activity while encouraging responsible gun practices.

If you are one of the lucky states that does not require firearm registration, then this whole article does not pertain to you. You do not have to concern yourself with dual gun registration seeing as registration is not a requirement.

There are some individuals who are legally not allowed to own a firearm and sharing ownership is illegal, regardless of registration regulations. If you are considering sharing your gun, consider the difference between ownership and possession of a firearm.

Guns by premiumadz13 from Pixabay

Owning a Firearm

Consider ownership of your firearm as the same as owning and buying your property: Yes, there are still home ownership laws that must be followed, but the land is your and the property is yours. Possession is more like renting. You are in possession of the place, but it is not yours and there are even other rules and regulations for renting.

Ownership vs possession is similar for firearms: You are most likely looking to allow someone possession of your firearm opposed to giving over the ownership. There are regulations you will need to comply with if you are in a state without registrations, but still are looking to let someone else take possession of your gun.

Class III firearms are a whole different matter: If you are in possession of a class three firearm/title two firearms, do your research and handle that responsibility with care.

State with Firearm Registrations

If you are in a state with registration requirements, you will need to look up your specific state laws. Contact an attorney and make sure you are complying with your state regulations. Each state is different and you will want to make sure you have the most up to date information concerning registration.

References:

https://www.defensivecarry.com/threads/can-more-than-one-person-own-the-same-gun.26330/

https://nfa.ca/2005/02/25/dual-registration-under-c-68/

https://ballotpedia.org/Firearm_registration_requirements_by_state

https://giffords.org/lawcenter/gun-laws/policy-areas/owner-responsibilities/registration/