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New Jersey
Rhode Island

Waiting Period for Guns by State 2024

Waiting Period for Guns by State 2024

States That Impose a Waiting Period for Purchases of All Guns and Firearms

With gun laws being an extremely controversial topic, states are starting to impose a mandatory waiting period between purchasing a firearm and its issuance. Hawaii has the largest waiting time for all firearm purchases, as a permit and an application must be submitted before obtaining a firearm. This takes about 14 days.

California and Washington D.C. impose a 10-day waiting limit before being able to purchase and acquire your firearm. Other waiting periods include 72 hours in Illinois and a week in Rhode Island. Florida requires purchasers to wait three days, or the period it takes to conduct a comprehensive background check on the individual requesting the firearm and permit, whichever is greater.

Rhode Island states that the seller must deliver the firearm to the purchaser after the 7-day waiting period. The period is shorter if the person is a police officer or a qualified member of law enforcement. If the seller does not receive any background information that may disqualify the purchaser from obtaining a firearm, that seller must complete delivery within the period.

States That Impose a Waiting Period for Certain Classes of Guns and Firearms

Minnesota has a waiting period in effect for handguns and assault weapons only. The waiting period is defined as seven days or five business days.

The timer starts from the day that the weapons dealers deliver a report of a firearm transfer to the respective sheriff, chief, or designated law enforcement officer. It is up to the discretion of the police chief or sheriff to waive the waiting period if they believe that the transfer of weapons must be done immediately. This is usually in the case of a threat to human life or if the person must use the firearm to stave off any danger. It is important to note that this waiting period does not apply to private sellers, causing some shops to attempt to circumvent this rule altogether.

Washington is another state that imposes a waiting period on certain gun classes. Semiautomatic rifle purchases have a required waiting period of 10 calendar days before transferring ownership of the firearm over to the purchaser. Of course, if the member is part of law enforcement and requires it for the job, the waiting period can be assessed by the police chief.

Maryland and New Jersey both have waiting periods of seven calendar days for the purchase of handguns. The timer starts in Maryland when the purchaser completes an application for purchase and is forwarded to the secretary of the Maryland State Police. New Jersey is unique in this respect, as all are required to wait seven days after a handgun purchase and valid permit issuance. The permit is individually granted for each handgun, meaning that the 7-day waiting period is mandatory for all handgun sales.

Why Waiting Periods are in Effect

States are imposing mandatory waiting periods to help stave off "heat-of-the-moment" issues such as suicides and reckless assault. It is believed that many of these problems can be resolved with proper background checks and waiting periods, as it will discourage those who wish to purchase firearms from inflicting harm on themselves or the public.

Waiting Period for Guns by State 2024

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Waiting Periods
Waiting Period Info
Hawaii14Wait applies to purchases of all firearms
California10Wait applies to purchases of all firearms
District of Columbia10Wait applies to purchases of all firearms
Washington10Wait applies to purchases of all firearms. Duration is 10 days for semiautomatic rifles, the lesser of 3 days or until background check completes for other gun types
Maryland7Wait applies to handguns only
Minnesota7Wait applies to handguns and assault weapons
New Jersey7Wait applies to handguns only
Rhode Island7Wait applies to purchases of all firearms. Wait is waived for law enforcement officials. After seven days, sale must be completed unless background check disqualifies it.
Florida3Wait applies to purchases of all firearms. Duration is three days or the time it takes to complete required background checks, whichever is longer
Illinois3Wait applies to purchases of all firearms