Straw Purchase definition???

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Straw Purchase definition???

Postby TxRVer » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:00 am

Discussing straw purchase on another forum and after some research I find differing views. Some say a straw purchase only applies to purchases for another person that can't legally buy for him/herself. Other definitions say it's ANY purchase made for someone else. Does anyone know how the BATFE defines straw purchase?
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Re: Straw Purchase definition???

Postby G.A. Heath » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:05 am

Read the 4473. You are the actual buyer if you are buying it for yourself or to give as a gift. You can not legally be the actual buyer if someone gives you the money to go buy it for them.
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Re: Straw Purchase definition???

Postby Kythas » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:13 am

“I’m all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let’s start with typewriters.” - Frank Lloyd Wright

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Re: Straw Purchase definition???

Postby OldCannon » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:18 am

Rather than torturing you with reading the 4473 (which I do every day :grumble ), let me summarize:

A straw purchase basically entails a purchaser buying a gun for another person who unable to pass a background check OR is unwilling to undergo a background check.

Because dealers can't always detect the intention of a purchaser when buying a gun, it's called a straw purchase and not a "straw sale."

If a dealer gets the slightest whiff the purchase is a straw purchase, they're obligated to cancel the sale. That's because the ATF can revoke a dealer's license if they think they've violated the Gun Control Act in even the slightest way.
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Re: Straw Purchase definition???

Postby TxRVer » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:45 am

Thanks for the information. Until yesterday I thought a straw purchase only applied if you were buying for someone that couldn't or wouldn't fill out the forms. Yesterday's readings changed my mind but I was still in doubt. Right now, I'm still a little confused about private sales. When buying from a dealer and you fill out the forms, you're guilty of falsifying the form if you buy for someone else and check yes. In a private sale, you aren't claiming to buy for yourself, so is it legal?

What confuses me the most are the purchases made in the behalf of Bloomberg, The Today Show, newspapers and magazines that send people to gun shows to buy guns. To my knowledge none of these people has been arrested for making a straw purchase.
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Re: Straw Purchase definition???

Postby Keith B » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:57 am

TxRVer wrote:Thanks for the information. Until yesterday I thought a straw purchase only applied if you were buying for someone that couldn't or wouldn't fill out the forms. Yesterday's readings changed my mind but I was still in doubt. Right now, I'm still a little confused about private sales. When buying from a dealer and you fill out the forms, you're guilty of falsifying the form if you buy for someone else and check yes. In a private sale, you aren't claiming to buy for yourself, so is it legal?

What confuses me the most are the purchases made in the behalf of Bloomberg, The Today Show, newspapers and magazines that send people to gun shows to buy guns. To my knowledge none of these people has been arrested for making a straw purchase.


It really boils down to who they were purchasing them for. If they were buying them for themselves, then not a straw purchase. Even if money is given you you to purchase it, as long as you stay the owner, then not a straw purchase (i.e. Friend 'gifts' you the money and you use it to buy yourself a gun.) However, if you get the money from them to buy them a gun and then give it to them, that is legally a straw purchase as the intent was never for you to own the gun. You CAN use your money to buy and then gift it to them (you buy it with YOUR money and then gift it to them).

Hope that clarifies it.
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Re: Straw Purchase definition???

Postby TxRVer » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:06 pm

Keith B wrote:
It really boils down to who they were purchasing them for. If they were buying them for themselves, then not a straw purchase. Even if money is given you you to purchase it, as long as you stay the owner, then not a straw purchase (i.e. Friend 'gifts' you the money and you use it to buy yourself a gun.) However, if you get the money from them to buy them a gun and then give it to them, that is legally a straw purchase as the intent was never for you to own the gun. You CAN use your money to buy and then gift it to them (you buy it with YOUR money and then gift it to them).

Hope that clarifies it.

That's pretty much the way I see it now. Thanks.

I assume if a person is given money by The Today Show to buy guns the show found online, and then turns those guns over to the police for destruction, they never intended to possess the guns. Therefore, it was a straw purchase.
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Re: Straw Purchase definition???

Postby Kythas » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:23 pm

You can still check "Yes" on the box if you're buying the gun as a legitimate gift for another person, and that's not a straw purchase. That's in the instructions for 11.a on Form 4473.
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Re: Straw Purchase definition???

Postby OldCannon » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:44 pm

TxRVer wrote:Thanks for the information. Until yesterday I thought a straw purchase only applied if you were buying for someone that couldn't or wouldn't fill out the forms. Yesterday's readings changed my mind but I was still in doubt. Right now, I'm still a little confused about private sales. When buying from a dealer and you fill out the forms, you're guilty of falsifying the form if you buy for someone else and check yes. In a private sale, you aren't claiming to buy for yourself, so is it legal?

What confuses me the most are the purchases made in the behalf of Bloomberg, The Today Show, newspapers and magazines that send people to gun shows to buy guns. To my knowledge none of these people has been arrested for making a straw purchase.


Private sales are not subject to the Gun Control Act in Texas (in California, private sales are ILLEGAL). However, there's two issues to pay attention to:
1) If you purchase a gun one day, and sell it to somebody the next, and it is ever used in a crime/confiscated, you can be sure the ATF or FBI will be asking you some questions. It's still legal, say, for you to buy a gun, shoot it, determine you don't like it, and then privately sell it (here in Texas). That's not unusual.
2) If you know, or have reason to believe, that the purchaser is not allowed to own a firearm, you can be charged with various crimes. Most people will keep a Bill of Sale to record the transaction. Some will even require you show a CHL before selling. Most importantly though is that the sale must be done to a resident of that same state. If you sell a handgun to an out-of-state person, even if they're 100% "legitimate", you could (more likely: "will") be in violation of federal laws.

BTW: The acts taken by Bloomberg and the Today Show ARE illegal. The current administration has no interest, however, in discouraging these illegal acts so long as they advance their agenda. If Glenn Beck went out and did the same thing, you can be sure the ATF would swarm his household in a microsecond (my opinion ;-) ).
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Re: Straw Purchase definition???

Postby bayouhazard » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:50 pm

Kythas wrote:You can still check "Yes" on the box if you're buying the gun as a legitimate gift for another person, and that's not a straw purchase. That's in the instructions for 11.a on Form 4473.

Correct. If I buy a gun for my dad as a birthday gift, that's not a straw purchase. However, if my dad gives me $500 to buy a gun for him, that is a straw purchase. If I buy a gun for myself and I don't like it and sell it to my dad a month later, that's not a straw purchase, unless that's what I planned all along. :mrgreen:
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Re: Straw Purchase definition???

Postby TxRVer » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:44 pm

Would it be legal if Today had an FFL make the purchase? Would any paperwork have to be done when the FFL made the purchase?
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Re: Straw Purchase definition???

Postby smoothoperator » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:01 pm

TxRVer wrote:Would any paperwork have to be done when the FFL made the purchase?

Bound book entries by both. Then normal 4473 and such if the second FFL disposes of it to a non-FFL.
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