Beware POSSIBLE gun buy sting.


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leadcounsel
June 19, 2007, 12:25 PM
When selling your guns, make sure you’re following the law! This was probably not a sting, but it got me thinking that this could have been very serious.

Over the weekend I found a potential buyer for a handgun I have for sale. I met the buyer at a neutral location of his suggestion, a gas station. I always prepare a bill of transfer for both parties benefit (I just like to CYA; so buyer has proof of the date purchased and seller has proof of the date sold). Seller had offered a partial trade for a POLICE Mossberg 500A Riot gun and cash for my Beretta. It was a pretty good deal for me and I was looking forward to it. Seller showed up with a friend who waited in the car.

Seller seemed too young to buy the handgun and his license revealed he was only 19. I questioned him on this and he said that he really wanted to buy the handgun. He kept pressing the point. When I told him I wouldn’t sell it to him he suggested that I sell it to his friend. Again, I said no and I explained to him that would be a straw purchase and still illegal. I walked away from what was a pretty good deal and felt very good about walking away.

Keep that in mind when doing your next sale.

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longwatch
June 19, 2007, 12:32 PM
What state are you in and is it in fact illegal for someone under 21 to buy a handgun there? Just saying, in many states it is perfectly legal for an 18-20 year old to buy a pistol from a FTF sale.

Telperion
June 19, 2007, 12:32 PM
Private sales of handguns to people over the age of 18 are legal per Federal law.

Straw purchase is not meaningful in this situation since it only applies to sales from an FFL on a 4473.

Car Knocker
June 19, 2007, 12:33 PM
Seller seemed too young to buy the handgun and his license revealed he was only 19.
There is no federal law preventing a non-dealer from selling a handgun to someone over the age of 18. Does your state prohibit it?

Deanimator
June 19, 2007, 12:33 PM
That reeks to high heaven of BATFE attempt to entrap.

Titan6
June 19, 2007, 12:33 PM
Walking away was probably one of the smartest things you have done all year. It certainly is not worth losing a career and becoming a felon over. What kind of Berretta?

leadcounsel
June 19, 2007, 12:35 PM
92FS for sale on THR.

longwatch
June 19, 2007, 12:55 PM
Just took a look at the KY and TN codes and both criminalize furnishing handguns to minors (both states define as under 18) but are mute about adults. Looks like it would have been legal to sell to them.
Edit to add the relevant codes:
http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/527%2D00/100.pdf
http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/527%2D00/110.pdf
http://tinyurl.com/3yls4h
http://tinyurl.com/268gkm

Tim James
June 19, 2007, 01:04 PM
92FS for sale on THR.Uh, way to follow-up there on the other questions. :scrutiny: :)

Daniel T
June 19, 2007, 01:26 PM
That reeks to high heaven of BATFE attempt to entrap.

Yeah, damn the ATF for entrapping someone by getting them to do something legal.


Wait, what?

Tim James
June 19, 2007, 01:30 PM
Yeah, damn the ATF for entrapping someone by getting them to do something legal.

Wait, what?I know it's popular to use sarcasm on the gun forums, but your post doesn't make sense. The guy was just offering his opinion that the shady sale the original poster went through sounds like a sting operation to him.

Make sure you are an experienced practitioner of wit and irony before utilizing them in public discourse.

Deanimator
June 19, 2007, 01:35 PM
I say just sell the sigma, add a little more money and buy something you'll really like

Straw sales aren't legal, and that's what the purported buyer is alleged to have requested.

Waco started when a delivery truck driver reported the delivery of LEGAL items to the Branch Davidians.

You're more likely to get chocolate milk from a crocodile than honesty, decency or justice from the BATFE.

longwatch
June 19, 2007, 01:38 PM
Except where does it say that the sale was illegal?

Telperion
June 19, 2007, 01:43 PM
Straw sales aren't legal, and that's what the purported buyer is alleged to have requested.
There is no such thing as straw purchase/sale when it comes to private sales. It is a concept that only applies to purchases from an FFL because the form asks you if you are the actual buyer.

Rumble
June 19, 2007, 01:46 PM
Except where does it say that the sale was illegal?

Nowhere. If it was legal to sell it to a 19-year-old in that state, then it was legal.

On the other hand, the OP was not comfortable with the sale, and was not sure it was legal at the time, and therefore made (IMHO) a wise choice. Worst thing he did was bag the sale and maybe tick off the potential buyer. I don't really see a downside from where I'm standing.

Tim James
June 19, 2007, 01:58 PM
Ah, some actual straightforward tech from the Internet instead of snippy comments! ;) (I'm the worst at this, I know.) Thanks for clearing that up. Now if we can only get the guy to tell us which state he is in. Isn't it annoying when people post their stories in a legal and political forum but don't mention their state?

Titan6
June 19, 2007, 02:00 PM
Straw purchases are illegal. You will go to jail. It is a felony.

Telperion
June 19, 2007, 02:05 PM
Go look at Federal law and see where it describes straw purchase. You'll be looking for a long time because it's not there. Straw purchase is not a legal term, it's a convenient description for the illegal act of lying on the Federal form 4473 when it asks you if you are the actual buyer of the firearm.

There is no Federal form for private sales, so the concept does not apply.

longwatch
June 19, 2007, 02:06 PM
But the circumstances of this case don't fall under the definition of a straw purchase. Primarily in that the OP is not an FFL holder, and the actual purchaser was not a prohibited person as far as we know.

anygunanywhere
June 19, 2007, 02:07 PM
Federal, state, what law? This was a FTF sale.

Of course if you ask Brady Center this might have been a gun show loophole??

Daniel T
June 19, 2007, 02:22 PM
Make sure you are an experienced practitioner of wit and irony before utilizing them in public discourse.

Two helpful hints for you:

1. Try not to be a hypocrite. Deriding someone for using sarcasm over something you don't even understand, and then using it yourself qualifies.

2. Know what you are actually talking about.

There was absolutely nothing illegal suggested by the buyer in the OP. While the OP is free to walk away from any deal for any reason, the hysterical suggestions that it was a "BATFE sting" are more than deserving of sarcasm.

S.P.E.C.T.R.E.
June 19, 2007, 02:28 PM
I would have no problem selling a handgun to a 19 year old. When that 19 year old was 17, he was eligible to kill the enemy for the US in the armed forces. Having two demarcated ages of majority (18 and 21) is the dumbest thing we ever came up with.

Also, the OP should have asked the age before arranging the sale if he was going to be fussy about it.

Tim James
June 19, 2007, 02:49 PM
Daniel, I will grant you that I may have jumped too soon (unless there are some state laws we are unaware of), but I do think we all would be better served by less sarcasm. I do it a lot like everyone on the board, and sometimes it makes it more difficult than it should be to have a positive, useful conversation with facts and accuracy. :)

AntiqueCollector
June 19, 2007, 02:54 PM
Gun sting? I bought my first handguns before 21 through private sales. Unless there's a state law that says otherwise, it was a legal sale...

tinygnat219
June 19, 2007, 03:11 PM
It's because of situations like this that I only sell to trusted friends and family. If I sell a handgun, it's on consignment. This way, the paper trail stops at the dealer and if the gun is used in a crime, it doesn't come back and bite me in the A$$.

Good on you for walking away. You saved yourself some pain there.

Daniel T
June 19, 2007, 03:17 PM
Tim,

There certainly could be a state with a law forbidding the private purchase of a handgun by someone under the age of 21. I don't know of any in particular, outside of states that already essentially outlaw private sales, but it's possible.

...but in any case, even if there were a state law, then it would be the state enforcing it, not the ATF.

Thus the use sarcasm to show how silly it is to proclaim the situation a "BATFE sting".

Rumble
June 19, 2007, 03:28 PM
Daniel, I don't know if you'd consider this "outlawing" private sales*, but handguns in PA must be sold via an FFL, even if it's ostensibly a "private" transaction. Since FFL's are bound to stick to the 21-year-old rule, in PA private handgun sales to people under the age of 21 are a no-go.


* I assume it would, because--it's not private if it goes through an FFL.

Daniel T
June 19, 2007, 03:45 PM
Yes Rumble, that's exactly what I'm talking about.

I assume that the OP isn't in a state that forces NICS on all sales, because then he would have been breaking the law anyhow, and I doubt that's the case.

leadcounsel
June 19, 2007, 06:55 PM
I am, currently, in TN. I did look up the statute and it does say 18 years of age. I just moved to TN.

I've lived in other states where I was under the impression that a person had to be 21 to own a handgun. Bad on me for not looking at the law here and just assuming the age to purchase is 18 from a private seller. I may very well have pi$$ed someone off.

Good on me for believing I was following the law. I didn't anticipate this being an issue and when presented with it, at a gas station, under unusual circumstances, I went with my gut and did what I believed to be the legal thing. I was also very suspicious that he was trying to get me to sell it to his friend, who would clearly be a middle man. I did not feel comfortable with that.

The last thing I'm wanting to do is get arrested, even if cleared later. And I'm also not interested in selling to someone shady b/c if used in a crime the private sales are the next "loophole" to be attacked by the left.

Honestly, the laws are so absurdly complex, illogical, and vary so much that it's difficult to transact with people sometimes. I may owe this guy an appology.

For those of you that are overly critical, I think you're being unfair. Put yourself in a similar situation where you're not sure about the law and I guarantee you you'll take the safe bet and walk away.

Yes, I am an attorney but I haven't memorized the entire legal code and, quite honestly, wasn't expecting this guy to be 19 or I would have looked that up. I've only sold guns to people in their 20's and 30's and this has never been and issue b/c they are all clearly over 21, which is what I thought the law was here before I actually read the statute.

longwatch
June 19, 2007, 07:10 PM
I think its a common misconception, but now you know and knowing is half the battle. Even better a lot of other people know now too.

cassandrasdaddy
June 19, 2007, 07:19 PM
no such thing as too safe saying you owe him an apology speaks volumes about your character. all good

Daniel T
June 19, 2007, 07:36 PM
Honestly, the laws are so absurdly complex, illogical, and vary so much that it's difficult to transact with people sometimes.

Absolutely. I don't think anyone faults you for leaving when you got a bad feeling and were uncertain. It doesn't have to be a sting for Bad Things to happen.

bogie
June 19, 2007, 08:29 PM
Screw the "letter of the law." If I don't like your face, I ain't gonna sell you squat. That's _all_ I need.

Stevie-Ray
June 19, 2007, 08:45 PM
For those of you that are overly critical, I think you're being unfair. Put yourself in a similar situation where you're not sure about the law and I guarantee you you'll take the safe bet and walk away. Oh, I'm sure most would. I guess that if the buyer told me to look it up to be satisfied, I would get his number for the future sale, but in the meantime, I'd feel safer. Better to err on the side of caution.

LAR-15
June 19, 2007, 08:52 PM
If you were uncomfortable with the sale you did the right thing.

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