Giving An Out-Of-State Handgun Gift


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Mazeman
November 30, 2007, 06:03 PM
I know that under federal law, you can't purchase a handgun from a party in another state without using an FFL.

What about if it's a gift? I'm hoping to give my brother a new handgun as a gift. He lives in PA, I live in NH. I was hoping to buy it here.

Besides issues of transportation, can I legally do this? I tried searching the net, but can't find a clear answer.

PA does not require licensing of handguns or handgun owners. One other option is for me to call in an order to a local gun store in PA. I'd pay, but he'd go through the background check when he picks it up. It's just seems a lot nicer if I can hand him the gift-wrapped gun.

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Liko81
November 30, 2007, 06:11 PM
Firearms cannot cross state lines unless in your possession, and cannot be received from a courier other than yourself except by an FFL. Them's the rules. "Gifted" handguns end up on the street every day; a crooked but still legitimate buyer buys used firearms, then "gifts" them to their Uncle Bernie, who happens to be an L.A. Blood. Without the involvement of an FFL, the entire supply chain is gone once the transaction is complete. FFLs have to keep a paper trail.

Do not for a second think I'm implying you'd do that; I'm just stating the reason behind the rule.

Mazeman
November 30, 2007, 06:17 PM
Let's say I'm the courier. So I go to PA. Can I just give him the gun? (He's not purchasing it). Or do I have to still go through an FFL?

Believe me, this question is legit. I want to give my brother a handgun. It's just too bad it's not that simple.

BobbyQuickdraw
November 30, 2007, 06:18 PM
I used to live in PA, but am, of course, no legal expert. All handgun transfers in Pennsylvania, unless Parent to Child or Spouse to Spouse, must go through an FFL.

Now, if you're visiting him, I'm not sure. You could probably go through an FFL or a Sheriff (The Sheriff can handle all firearms transactions, but call to make sure they're available).

If you're shipping it, it must be from an FFL to an FFL. The background check at the Sheriff's should be truly instant and you should be in and out quickly.

Since you said you want to hand it to him, I'd probably say buy it, take it with you, give it to him for Christmas, than go together a few days later to get the FFL out. The handgun won't officially/legally be his until that moment, but you won't ruin the surprise.

You may want to consider calling the Sheriff of his county though, just to double check. You've got a friend in Pennsylvania! We're all very nice, so just give a call.

This may help answer the question more fully:

http://www.psp.state.pa.us/psp/cwp/browse.asp?A=15&BMDRN=2000&BCOB=0&C=34765

civilwarcollector
November 30, 2007, 06:36 PM
Is it a modern handgun, or cap and ball revolver? Antique's, and replica's of them, can be bought through the mail, at least in Michigan.

JerryM
November 30, 2007, 06:55 PM
One cannot transfer a handgun to a resident in another state except through a FFL in the receiver's state. You do not need to go through a FFL in your state, according to Federal law.

Having given a handgun as a gift to a cousin in another state, I checked with the ATF and was told that I could hand carry it and then go through a dealer in my cousin's state.

Even dealers are not all clear on this, and when I got to the other state, the dealer said I could just give it to him, and so I had to call the ATF there and let him talk to them.

It is not really much of a problem if you carry it, and the only problem in shipping to another state is the cost of UPS or FedX shipping to the dealer.

Naturally state laws apply, so make sure it is legal for him to receive the gun.

Best,
Jerry

Mazeman
November 30, 2007, 07:03 PM
Is it a modern handgun, or cap and ball revolver? Antique's, and replica's of them, can be bought through the mail, at least in Michigan.

I'd be giving him a brand new handgun. His first, although he's 50 yrs old.

I was thinking of a Mark III.

JWarren
November 30, 2007, 10:03 PM
I also appreciate the info on this thread. I'm giving my Father-in-Law a 1911A1 for Christmas this year, and he lives across the state line in Louisana.

Seems that I need to jump through a couple hoops.


-- John

hexidismal
November 30, 2007, 10:11 PM
I'm wondering.. I don't know if a store would generally allow this, or if they would construe it as a straw purchase in the making.. but perhaps you could contact a gun store local to your brother and explain to them what you intent is. Pay them for the gun. And then allow your brother to simply go purchase it in his own name.. just with the gun price being pre-paid. I'm not sure if that's doable, you might want to ask someone here who works at a shop about that.

American By Blood
November 30, 2007, 10:14 PM
I also appreciate the info on this thread. I'm giving my Father-in-Law a 1911A1 for Christmas this year, and he lives across the state line in Louisana.

Seems that I need to jump through a couple hoops.

You do.

And it's not just because you're gifting a handgun. Long guns that are changing hands between residents of different states must also go through FFLs. If you both have the same state on your drivers licenses then that state's rules for private transfers apply. If that's not the case then the Feds get involved. This is one of the few instances of the Interstate Commerce Clause being applied legitimately.

rxraptor02
November 30, 2007, 10:38 PM
find a dealer that has the gun near him. Pay the dealer for the gun, have your brother go to the dealer and fill out the paperwork. or buy him a giftcard for the cost of the pistol and have him use that to buy it and have him doall the paperwork.

From my understanding it does not matter who pays for it. just the person who does the paperwork must keep it and not give it back to the person who pays for it.

hexidismal
November 30, 2007, 10:49 PM
In regards to my own post (#9) and rxraptor02's similar thoughts above, I've written a PM to fellow THR member Ala Dan who works at a gun store in AL to see what he thought about that. I'll let you know what he says.

MAKster
December 1, 2007, 12:58 PM
Don't over complicate things. Buy the gun at your local dealer and bring it with you when you visit your brother. The two of you can then go to a local gun store and pay $20 dollars and fill out the transfer paperwork. Also, there is no need to add confusion by telling the FFL it is a gift.

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