I believe you need a federal permit. I am also interested in trying out a captive gull or two someday. I hear when kept on a healthy, natural diet, their poop isn't as nasty as that of most scavenging street gulls. I also hear preparing a proper diet for them is one of the hardest parts of keeping one. They are also capable of giving you a right good chomp.
Well, out here, in coastal New England, where there are skyrats by the billions, they seem to do pretty well on a steady diet of garbage from the landfills. I guess if you live inland and don't see them very often, they may have some apeal to people, but those of us that live amongst the "dump chickens" get a little smile on our faces if we see one splattered on the road while driving.
Well if your serious about getting Gulls they are out there. I believe they were a type of Australian Gull, and they were big$. But they were on softbillsforsale.com awhile ago. And being from Aust. no permit needed.
Ah, good point. Non-native gulls need no permit. But, be careful about the softbillsforsale site. A ton of scammers seem to hang around there. I received seven replies for a wanted ad I posted for fertile dove/pigeon or starling eggs. Each one was an obvious scam.
Any native Gull would require a Fed and State permit that is very hard to get. You would have to submit a proposal for WHY you want them (research, eductaion). Your facilities would problby be inspected to assure they are adequate. Gulls are not easy or cheap to keep. You need a large flight, and they need a varied diet of fish and crustaceans. Non-native gulls can be purchased, but their care requirements are similar. It's a HUGE commitment.
Because they are invasive, in most states they are legal to keep without a permit, but illegal to release them (same with feral pidges). But, the non native kinds (well, non native, non invasive) are, well, expensive, but also legal.
. But I don't doubt some states have kill on sight orders for them.