Firearms as Gifts

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Steve133
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Firearms as Gifts

#1

Post by Steve133 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:09 pm

I've been puzzling through some of the legal ramifications of this question and I still need to go back and re-read the relevant portions of the penal code to make sure, but the topic about FFLs for interstate sales reminded me that some of you probably some insight that's worth hearing.

A while back, my dad ran into some financial trouble and had to sell all of his guns. Said financial problems have been resolved and he's making good money again, and while he said several times that he wanted to replace all of the hardware that he sold, he's been reluctant to spend that amount of money on himself. The rest of the family has come up with idea of pooling our resources and just getting him a new gun the next time his birthday comes around, and being the only other firearms-literate person in the family, I'm probably going to wind up doing any required purchasing.

I'm sort of hesitant, but I'm sure that there's a legal way to do this, because it seems to happen a lot. The only potential hitch is that Dad lives in a different state. Neither of us is prohibited from owning a firearm by any federal law or state law in either of the states concerned. While I am by no means going to depend on this assumption, it seems kind of like once I purchase a firearm, it is becomes my property, and I should be able to transfer ownership however I like, as long as no laws are broken (i.e., I do not transfer it to someone underage, a convicted felon, or someone else barred from possession of a firearm). It's been a while since I read them, but I seem to remember the statutes about this prohibiting the sale of a firearm to an individual who is going to transfer it to someone incapable of purchasing it themselves. I don't think this applies here, but can see where there's a possibility that it could, with the interstate thing.

Thoughts?

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The Annoyed Man
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Re: Firearms as Gifts

#2

Post by The Annoyed Man » Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:51 pm

I bought a M1A for my son for Christmas a couple of years ago. He was legal to own the rifle, being 3 weeks shy of 20 years old at the time, and being free of criminal convictions or other disqualifying factors. So far as I know, it is legal in Texas to do that so long as the person buying the gift is not transacting a straw purchase on behalf of someone not lawfully permitted to own said firearm. People give firearms as gifts all the time.
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Re: Firearms as Gifts

#3

Post by Jumping Frog » Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:29 pm

The simplest way to understand the distinction is to remember the old saying called, "Follow the money".

It is illegal for someone else to give you money, you buy the firearm, and turn around give the firearm back to the person. That is a "straw purchase" and it does not matter whether the end recipient is disqualified from owning firearms or not.

It is perfectly legal for you to use your own money, or a group of people to chip in with you, and purchase a gun as a gift. The end recipient did not provide the funds, so it is a gift and not a straw purchase. Of course, the gift must be given to someone who is legally allowed to possess firearms and ammunition.

The FFL transfer would have to be into your name for you to be the purchaser. Then you would have to transfer the firearm from yourself through an FFL in your father's state to your father.

Nice present!
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Re: Firearms as Gifts

#4

Post by The Annoyed Man » Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:53 pm

Jumping Frog wrote:The simplest way to understand the distinction is to remember the old saying called, "Follow the money".

It is illegal for someone else to give you money, you buy the firearm, and turn around give the firearm back to the person. That is a "straw purchase" and it does not matter whether the end recipient is disqualified from owning firearms or not.

It is perfectly legal for you to use your own money, or a group of people to chip in with you, and purchase a gun as a gift. The end recipient did not provide the funds, so it is a gift and not a straw purchase. Of course, the gift must be given to someone who is legally allowed to possess firearms and ammunition.

The FFL transfer would have to be into your name for you to be the purchaser. Then you would have to transfer the firearm from yourself through an FFL in your father's state to your father.

Nice present!
A better explanation than mine, and I obviously missed the "out of state" part, or I would have further qualified my reply.
Give me Liberty, or I'll get up and get it myself.—Hookalakah Meshobbab
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Re: Firearms as Gifts

#5

Post by Rex B » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:59 pm

Jumping Frog wrote: It is illegal for someone else to give you money, you buy the firearm, and turn around give the firearm back to the person. That is a "straw purchase" and it does not matter whether the end recipient is disqualified from owning firearms or not.!
Do you have a cite for that?
It is my understanding that an illegal straw purchase involves an unqualified recipient.
I can go to a gun show and buy a gun that I know a close friend has been looking for, drop it off at his house and get reimbursed, and I'm good.


To the OP, I have the same issue with my son who is out of state. What I did was find a friendly FFL with a decent transfer rate that was close to where my son lives.
When I buy a gun to gift, I have my local FFL ship to that FFL. I enclose the FFL fee for the receiving end in cash, inside the gun case, clearly labeled "FFL fee for "____Guns Inc."
I also include my son's phone and email and ask him to contact my son to come get his gift.
I have also bought guns from online dealers and had them shipped straight to the FLL. I mailed the fee payment separately with instructions.
Works well for us.
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Re: Firearms as Gifts

#6

Post by Jumping Frog » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:25 pm

Rex B wrote:
Jumping Frog wrote: It is illegal for someone else to give you money, you buy the firearm, and turn around give the firearm back to the person. That is a "straw purchase" and it does not matter whether the end recipient is disqualified from owning firearms or not.!
Do you have a cite for that?
A a straw purchase can occur even when the actual purchaser is not a prohibited person. The crime committed is knowingly making a false statement on the Form 4473 indicating that the straw purchaser is the actual purchaser, when that is not the case.

I've expended as much time as I am willing to spend trying to find the cite on the ATF website. If you read this case study, it makes the ATF position clear: http://www.atf.gov/training/firearms/ff ... ode-4.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Keep in mind that a straw purchase is a purchase in which the actual purchaser uses someone else — a.k.a. the “straw person” — to purchase the firearm and complete the paperwork. Generally, the straw purchaser is used because the actual purchaser is not eligible to conduct a transaction because he or she is a felon or other prohibited person. However, a straw purchase occurs even when the actual purchaser is not a prohibited person. The crime committed is knowingly making a false statement on the Form 4473 indicating that the straw purchaser is the actual purchaser, when this is not the case. Additionally make sure you familiarize yourself and anyone who purchases a firearm as a gift with the rules associated with the ATF I 5300.2 pamphlet.
I know I have read clearer statement from the ATF in the past that basically laid this out, but cannot find the link now.
-Just call me Bob . . . Texas Firearms Coalition, NRA Life member, TSRA Life member, and OFCC Patron member

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Re: Firearms as Gifts

#7

Post by Rex B » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:34 pm

I wrote them and asked. Will post the answer.
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Re: Firearms as Gifts

#8

Post by smtimelevi » Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:08 pm

Depends on the state. If its a gun friendly state many allow inter family transfer without paperwork.


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Re: Firearms as Gifts

#9

Post by hirundo82 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:11 pm

smtimelevi wrote:Depends on the state. If its a gun friendly state many allow inter family transfer without paperwork.
Doesn't matter if they are residents of different states--there is no exception for family. The only time federal law allows an interstate transfer without involving an FFL is when settling an estate.
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Re: Firearms as Gifts

#10

Post by Rex B » Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:57 pm

I just got a call from an ATF person.
Nice lady, but I'm thinking English was not the primary language spoken in her household.
She assured me that it was legal to buy a firearm for a gift as long as I had no knowledge that the recipient is a prohibited person.
She said to fill out the 4473 as normal and answer Yes to the "Are you the buyer" question.
When I asked for documentation, she directed me to the instructions on the 4473 itself:
"You are also the actual transferee/buyer if you are legitimately purchasing the firearm as a gift for a third party"
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Re: Firearms as Gifts

#11

Post by RPB » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:29 am

oh,


I clicked this thinking it was a sign up sheet list for who wanted .... firearms as gifts ...
:mrgreen:
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Re: Firearms as Gifts

#12

Post by knotquiteawake » Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:24 am

I coordinated my Father's 50th birthday gift. All of us kids pooled the money together to buy him a Henry Golden Boy .22LR. I live in Texas and he lives in California. Here is how I did it:
I called around until I found a shop near him that had the rifle in stock.
I called them told them what I wanted to do.
The owner said I can just send him a check for the gun, and once he gets the check to have my dad come by and fill out the paperwork and wait the mandatory waiting period and then just go pickup the gun.
So then I mailed the guy a check.
Once he had the check I sent my dad a card with a picture of the gun, and directions to the gun shop.

He filled out the paperwork, waited, and now its his gun.

It was really easy. Its going to be a lot easier if you are willing to not actually put the gun in the gift box to be unwrapped.


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Re: Firearms as Gifts

#13

Post by medalguy » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:59 pm

On the 4473, the very first item in the checkoff section 11 asks

a. Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form? Warning: You are not the actual buyer if you are
acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person. If you are not the actual buyer, the dealer cannot transfer the firearm(s)
to you. (See Instructions for Question II.a.) Exception: If you are picking up a repaired firearm for another person, you are not
required to answer II.a. and may proceed to question II.b.

If you buy the gun with your money, and then really gift it to someone else, that is not a straw sale. If soneone gives you his money for a firearm, and you buy the gun, then give the gun to the person who gave you the money, that IS a straw sale.

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Re: Firearms as Gifts

#14

Post by OldCannon » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:37 am

knotquiteawake wrote:I coordinated my Father's 50th birthday gift. All of us kids pooled the money together to buy him a Henry Golden Boy .22LR. I live in Texas and he lives in California. Here is how I did it:
I called around until I found a shop near him that had the rifle in stock.
I called them told them what I wanted to do.
The owner said I can just send him a check for the gun, and once he gets the check to have my dad come by and fill out the paperwork and wait the mandatory waiting period and then just go pickup the gun.
So then I mailed the guy a check.
Once he had the check I sent my dad a card with a picture of the gun, and directions to the gun shop.

He filled out the paperwork, waited, and now its his gun.

It was really easy. Its going to be a lot easier if you are willing to not actually put the gun in the gift box to be unwrapped.
This is always the best way to "buy" a gun for somebody as a gift. Get them a "gift certificate" (should just be like a fancy statement like, "This entitles the person to $500 of credit at XXXXX Store") or do what you did above. Buying a gun for somebody and hauling it across state lines can raise a LOT of issues regarding the "delivery" of a firearm (not so much the purchase). There's more flexibility with long arms though, but my advice is to never give the ATF a reason to suspect anything. You get the wrong agent and you're going to spend a LOT of time answering questions, if not worse.

Even within the same state, there's the issue of getting a gun as a bona fide gift that somebody doesn't want. Unless you have a written guarantee, many retailers won't take back a gun once it has left the store. This happens often during Christmas time, especially with family members getting something for their mom or older relative ("What? But why don't you like that Beretta 92? That's what they use in the military!"). When it comes to guns, the true gift is helping them with their own gun purchasing experience, not forcing a gun decision on them.
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Re: Firearms as Gifts

#15

Post by punkndisorderly » Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:41 am

Ditto on the gift certificate. I assume you could use one of those prepaid visa's as well and they wouldn't be limited to just one store. Most of the time, what we pick out end up being along the line of our preferences and not necessarily theirs anyway.

Here's another good idea, give them a certificate for training or CHL class. Or set it up to meet up and take one together. I took my pops to an Appleseed this year. Bought him a rifle, registered for the class, and booked the hotel. Between the training and two days with each other, we had a great time. Spending quality time with family and friends beats even guns. :)
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