Can you Buy a Gun as a Gift? Safety-First Purchasing Guide
- by Admin 1
It’s a big question to ask: can you gift someone a gun? While giving a friend or family member a new firearm may sound like a nice gesture, giving someone a gun is more complicated than handing a hunting rifle in wrapping paper to them.
Continue reading to learn about six safety-first considerations for gifting guns the right way, and how you can successfully buy a gun as a gift.
Tip #1 - Research State Laws before Gifting a Firearm
If you're thinking about gifting a firearm to someone who lives in your state, you need to review your state's laws about transferring firearms. According to the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Administration, in most cases, you can transfer a firearm to an unlicensed resident of your state, meaning they don't have a Federal Firearms License (FFL).
If you want to know how to transfer gun ownership across state lines, you need to contact someone who holds an FFL. You can only complete cross-state transactions through an FFL just as you would a private sale.
Tip #2 - Decide How to Safely Gift a Gun to a Minor
Passing down a family firearm to a child or grandchild is a strong tradition for many families. However, the recipient has to be of age according to the state they live in to own it. If they are too young, the firearm must remain in an adult's possession until they turn the legal age.
Tip #3 - Remember Legality when Passing Down a Gun
If you have a special rifle or handgun that you want to pass on to a family member, you may be able to transfer it to them without going through a background check in many states. Again, it's essential to review your state's laws on transferring family firearm heirlooms.
Tip #4 - Consider Purchasing from a Gun Shop
When you purchase a firearm, the state considers you to be the owner of that firearm until you transfer it to the intended person. Whenever you visit the gun shop to make a purchase, you will fill out an ATF Form 4473. This form is the standard way to record the transaction.
This form will ask if you are the actual buyer of the firearm. If the recipient of the gift can legally purchase and own a gun, lives in the same state as you and doesn't know that you are making a purchase for them, you can technically purchase a firearm for them as a "gift."
If you are unsure if they fit this mold, talk with the gun shop owner about the situation. They can help you determine if the gift purchase will work with state and federal standards.
Tip #5 - Only Gift a Gun to Legally-Sound Individual
Never purchase a firearm for someone you have reasonable cause to believe can't legally own a gun. These individuals include but aren't limited to:
- Those who have been convicted of a felony
- Those who are considered fugitives of the state or country
- Those who have been diagnosed with mental illness
- Those who are addicted to drugs
A purchase for someone who can't legally own a firearm is known as a "straw purchase." A straw purchase is considered a federal felony and is punishable with fines or jail time.
Tip #6 - Gift Money or a Gift Card Instead of Gifting a Firearm
If you are looking to purchase a firearm for a loved one as a gift, consider going with a gift card or money toward a gun. This way, you can still help them get their dream gun without getting into legal issues.
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