I do turtle adoptions in my spare time, so I've compiled a list of states that I know don't allow RES or don't allow them to be sold.
It is illegal to SELL red-eared sliders in OR, TN, VA, NC, IN, FL, and NJ. There may be other states, but these are the once I know about. I suspect it's illegal to sell them in WV, but I haven't been able to prove that yet. OH requires a permit for keeping and selling red-eared sliders.
- OR doesn't allow them, period. Any found by authorities in OR will likely be euthanized.
- NJ doesn't allow the sale of any turtles, but you can have RES and other turtles in NJ with a permit.
- VA allows the possession of up to 5 RES per person, but no selling. They're considered "naturalized" (NOT native) in VA.
- FL allows RES to be kept as pets IF they were in possession before the regulation when into place (2008?), and "color morphs" are allowed to be sold, but not "regular" red-eared sliders. It's illegal to send a RES to FL unless it's going to a licensed dealer, who can then breed and sell OUT OF STATE. I guess if you find a "feral" RES in FL, you can keep it, just so long as you're not selling or trading within FL.
- IN does not allow the sale of native species, and they consider RES to be native. You can own them in IN, but there might be regulations about how many you can have. A permit may be required in some cases. IN doesn't allow the possession of turtles under 4".
- NC allows them as pets, but none can be sold in NC. There may be number limits or a permit required in some cases.
- TN doesn't allow the sale of any native turtles, and it appears that thier health code prevents bringing turtles into the state. I'm not completely clear on that, so you'd want to talk to a TN wildlife agent to check on the regulations.
- OH requires a permit for keeping and selling red-eared sliders.
- TX allows up to 6 per person. I'm not up on the TX regs right now in terms of breeding, permits, and selling. I thought it was illegal to sell native turtles (they consider RES native) in TX without a permit, but I could be wrong. I know that they can be harvested from private land for commercial sale, though.
- MD requires a permit to keep a turtle under 4".
It is an FDA federal regulation - all 50 states - that makes it illegal to sell baby turtles (under 4" in shell length) as a pet in connection with a business. So, "hobbyists" can sell baby turtles, and they can be sold for "bona fide" scientific or educational purposes. Since the FDA does not consider a mall kiosk or pet store to be "bona fide", the sale of a baby RES as a pet from a mall kiosk or pet store is illegal.
I donn't know where people are getting their information on PA, but sliders are NOT native to Pennsylvania. In fact, last I heard, the state of PA was doing a study to see how RES are affecting the native turtles, especially the northern red-belly. As far as I know, RES aren't native to the east coast, unless there's a population in western GA. Yellowbellied sliders go from FL to VA on the east coast.