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15 December 2017 by Online Carry Training

Tis the season of gift giving and for many that know that their dad, mom, son, daughter, brother, sister etc. are concealed carry gun owners. What better gift than a handgun?

If you walk into a gun store and tell them that you are purchasing a gun for someone else, expect to get a lot of questions. Gun storeowners have a responsibility not to sell someone a gun if they believe it is a “straw purchase”.

A straw purchase is an illegal firearm purchase. It is buying a gun for someone who is prohibited by law from possessing one or for someone who does not want his or her name associated with the transaction. Straw purchases are one of the main ways criminals and terrorists, who can’t pass a background check, obtain guns. A straw purchase is a federal crime.

The two big factors that rule out a straw purchase are: (1) You can buy a gun as a gift for another person under federal law as long as the person being given the firearm is legally allowed to own one. (2) You cannot receive any compensation from the person you give the firearm to-it has to be a gift.

A gun is not a toy or just any other gift. It is a weapon and gifting a gun could trigger some legal issues. Gun laws vary from state to state so before you buy a gun, you might want to consider these


1. How old is the recipient? If you're giving a gun to a child, check your state law's age requirements first. In many states, gun ownership may not be transferred to a person until he or she is 18 years old. The minimum age requirements in many states will also depend on whether it's a handgun or long gun.

2. Does the recipient have the proper license? Make sure both you and your gift's recipient are in compliance with state and federal requirements to possess a firearm. For example, in Illinois, you can lawfully purchase a firearm as a gift for someone else, but both you and the recipient of the gun must have a valid state-issued firearm owner's identification card.

3. Are you buying a new gun as a gift? Buying a new gun as a gift can raise legal issues about who the actual buyer of the firearm is -- a question that must be certified on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Federal Form 4473 at the time of purchase.

4. Are you transferring ownership of a used or heirloom gun as a gift? If you're looking to gift your dad's ol' deer rifle to your kid for graduation, keep in mind that some states require all transfers -- even inter-family transfers -- to go through a licensed dealer. You must go through a licensed dealer if you're transferring ownership to someone in another state.

5. Are you planning to ship it? You can ship a handgun (by common carrier but not U.S. Mail) or a long gun (by U.S. Mail or common carrier) to a federally l icensed dealer, but not to a non-licensed individual. Federal law requires you to declare that your package contains an unloaded firearm. The NSSP suggests that you consult your carrier beforehand about its regulations for shipping firearms.

You may be better off to avoid the ownership issue altogether by purchasing a gift certificate from the gun retailer rather than the gun itself. That way the recipient can try out different styles and models and get the firearm they want and you can avoid all the hassle.

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