Do You Need A Background Check To Buy A Muzzleloader?

Muzzleloaders are a traditional type of firearm that has been used for centuries. They are typically single-shot, meaning that only one round can be fired at a time, and they use black powder or a substitute as a propellant. Usually, Muzzleloaders refer to an ‘Antique firearm’, it doesn’t require any background check to use but when you want to own or purchase one. And most importantly, you must be 18yo or more to purchase Black Powder.

Muzzleloaders are not considered modern firearms, many people believe that they do not require a background check to purchase. However, this is not necessarily the case. Depending on the state in which you live, you may still be required to undergo a background check before you can purchase a muzzleloader.

Understanding the Laws Surrounding Muzzleloader Ownership

Muzzleloaders are a type of firearm that uses a musket or shotgun barrel to hold a single metallic cartridge such as a round ball or a pellet. Muzzleloaders are often used for hunting, target shooting, or historical reenactment. The laws surrounding muzzleloader ownership vary greatly from state to state, with some states having much stricter regulations than others.

In Ohio, Colorado, and the Northeast side of the US residents do not need any documents or legal papers regarding owning a Muzzleloader. but this is not the whole scenario for all states. So, you must check your federal law, or take a look over the ATF website to be sure about that.

Matt P. States this matter quite well.

If it is muzzleloading, black powder gun, then legally it is not a firearm and not subject to Federal background checks. A couple of states do regulate black powder guns as firearms or bar felons from possessing them. Some State laws impose additional restrictions on them even though legally they aren’t guns Federally.

If is a breech-loading black powder gun it depends on when it was made.

  • If it was made prior to January 1, 1899, it legally is an antique firearm and not a firearm under Federal law.
  • If it is made after that date, original or replica, then it is legally a firearm and must be transferred on a Form 4473 like any other modern gun. It is the action type, not the propulsion mechanism, that determines the legality.

This is why an original Sharps rifle from the Civil War is legally not a gun but a modern replica using the exact same ammunition. Because of the date of manufacture. Breech loaders fall under antique firearm definitions. Muzzleloaders that use black powder are a separate class of guns.

Typically, most states require muzzleloader owners to obtain a permit before purchasing a muzzleloader. The permit is typically obtained from a local law enforcement agency, such as a sheriff’s office. The permit will usually contain information about the type of muzzleloader being purchased, as well as safety requirements and any restrictions on the use of the firearm.

In addition to obtaining a permit, many states require muzzleloader owners to take a safety course before using their firearms. This course is designed to educate muzzleloader owners on the proper use, handling, and storage of their firearms. It also covers topics such as hunting laws and regulations and the proper etiquette when hunting with a muzzleloader.

The Bottom Line

It is not necessary to have a background check to purchase a muzzleloader. You need to ensure that the person purchasing the weapon is legally allowed, as laws vary from state to state. And never forget to store your firearms securely, with the purchaser taking all necessary safety precautions. And if you have any legal issues that would interfere with your ability to pass a background check, you are strongly advised to consult with a licensed attorney in your state before buying, carrying, or using an antique firearm.