Would this be considered a straw purchase?


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ehanger
November 28, 2010, 10:38 PM
Is it legal for me to give my parents money to buy an AR15 if it is legally theirs, but I am the only one shooting it? Once I turn 18 the gun would become mine assuming it complies with Maryland gun laws (adjustable stocks and certain kinds of barrels are for 21+). The gun would also be stored 15min away from my house with a consenting relative, 'cause my parents don't want a firearm in their house.

btw, I'm 16 now.

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bushmaster1313
November 28, 2010, 10:58 PM
You are smart to be asking these questions

Sorry that I do not know the answers.

Just remember to get answers that cover Federal, State and any local laws.

bsctov
November 28, 2010, 11:22 PM
This ATF training video may provide some guidance, consult an attorney for legal advice, however.


http://www.atf.gov/training/firearms/ffl-learning-theater/swf/toon4.html

bushmaster1313
November 28, 2010, 11:31 PM
From the ATF website:
http://www.atf.gov/training/firearms/ffl-learning-theater/episode-4.html

Straw Purchase Attempt Transcript

Bobby: That’s it, Mr. Thomas, the black one — right there.

Mr. Thomas: Okay, I see it.

Carla: Can I help you with something?

Mr. Thomas: Yes, we’ll take that one right there.

Carla: You’re Mr. Thomas, right?

Mr. Thomas: Yes, I am.

Carla: Is this your son?

Mr . Thomas: No, this is my neighbor Bobby.

Mr. Lucas: Can I see you for a minute, Carla?

Carla: Sure Mr. Lucas. What is it?

Mr. Lucas: Do you think we should sell that gun to Mr. Thomas?

Carla: I don’t think that it would be a legal transaction. It looks like Mr. Thomas wants to buy the gun for Bobby, who is obviously underage. Also, Mr. Thomas isn’t Bobby’s parent or guardian.

Mr. Lucas: You’re right. There are two problems here. First, it looks like Mr. Thomas might be attempting to make an illegal “straw purchase” on Bobby’s behalf. Second, since Bobby is obviously under 21 it is unlawful for Western Arms to sell him a handgun. Whenever you doubt the legality of a firearms acquisition, you should deny the transaction. In this particular case, we’ll deny the sale.

Carla: I’m sorry sir, I can’t sell you the handgun. You appear to be buying the gun for Bobby rather than for yourself. Also, I am prohibited under Federal law from selling a handgun to anyone under the age 21. This transaction is illegal.

Here’s a pamphlet with more information about some current federal handgun laws.

Mr. Lucas: Good work Carla. You handled that well.

Carla: Do straw purchases only involve underage customers?

Mr. Lucas: Not always. A straw purchase is a purchase in which the actual purchaser uses someone else — a.k.a. the “straw person” to make the purchase and complete the paperwork. Generally straw purchasers are utilized because the actual purchaser is not eligible to conduct a transaction because they’re in one or more legally prohibited categories, such as being addicted to a controlled substance, being a felon, being underage, and so on.

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.

Felons, who are also prohibited from conducting a firearms transaction, will sometimes attempt to obtain guns this way, because they wouldn’t pass the NICS background check and could not truthfully fill out Form 4473. If, however, Bobby was with his father or other legal guardian, and his father was legally eligible to obtain the handgun as a gift for Bobby, his father would fill out Form 4473, undergo the NICS check, and assume legal responsibility for the transaction and the gun. Bobby’s father could truthfully complete the Form 4473 to indicate that he is the actual purchaser because he would take title to the weapon and then transfer the firearm to Bobby as a gift.

Carla: What if a customer who qualifies to own a gun buys a firearm as a gift for someone else?

Mr. Lucas: The same rules apply. A transaction is legal as long as the person who fills out form 4473 does so truthfully and completes it as the actual purchaser. In that particular situation, we usually like to make sure they are aware of the rules associated with ATF I 5300.2. Again, you should feel comfortable denying the purchase if you think the customer is being dishonest in any way.

Carla: Suppose Bobby wanted to buy something other than a handgun, like a rifle or a shotgun? Would he still be ineligible?

Mr. Lucas: Bobby would have to be 18 or older to buy a long gun from a Federal firearms licensee. Even then, if he can’t provide the appropriate photo identification, or if you believe he’s misrepresenting himself, you should deny the sale.

Narrator: 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.

NavyLCDR
November 29, 2010, 02:00 AM
To summarize what Bushmaster1313 posted and to answer the question you (ehanger) asked:

YES.

Bovice
November 29, 2010, 02:13 AM
Your parents DO realize that even if they bought the gun with the intention of letting you use it under their supervision until you were 18 (which is legal), leaving it at a relative's house is just a bad idea. It's always best to have a gun that's in your name (or your parent's name, in this case) under your control at all times, whether locked up or in your hands. That way you always know where it is. I unfortunately have relatives that would think nothing of loaning something sensitive such as a gun that did not belong to them personally to someone else. That may or may not be the case with your family but either way I wouldn't do that.

9mmforMe
November 29, 2010, 06:10 AM
There are some indoor gun ranges in either MD or VA that can rent you a gun locker so you can legally store the weapon and have control of it when needed. Additionally, it would be out of your parents house. -OR- Try to see if you can bargain with your parents to let them store it at your house first...they would hold the key and tell them its a good lesson in you becoming more responsible...to take it further...offer to pay a reasonable monthly rent to your folks thus showing you are being accountable to the law and to them as well.

bsctov
November 29, 2010, 06:53 AM
I guess I'm not special enough around here to be agreed with yet seeing as how I posted the exact same video before bushmaster did and people only commented on his post :neener:


But a general rule of thumb is, If you are giving someone money or there is some sort of transfer of value in order for them to buy you a gun from an FFL, it's a straw purchase.

I am not a lawyer, however.

yeti
November 29, 2010, 11:50 AM
We do all realize that the ATFE training video's relevance to this question ended with Carla's third question to, and Mr. Thomas' answer of "no," don't we? They don't make any effort to show how this sale may or may not have gone differently had Mr Thomas been the parent/guardian, but it does leave you to believe that it is more than possible that the "straw man" doesn't follow if the parent is doing the signing.

To save having to search until my eyes bleed I'll just use a small portion of something else I had been reading that would indicate this, the OP's question, would not be a "straw purchase."

United States Court of Appeals,
Ninth Circuit. (http://ftp.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F3/109/109.F3d.1456.94-30454.94-30453.html#fn4)

(line 144)
Even the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms ("BATF") agrees that Congress intended that guns purchased for juveniles by their parents be excepted from the Gun Control Act's ("GCA") prohibition, and has administered the GCA to recognize such an exception. However, the BATF would limit that exception to transactions in which the parent herself or himself is the purchaser--the "Transferee (Buyer)."


I am about as far from a liar... um... lawyer as is possible, but using the training video, that brings up the strong possibility of an exception, and then leaves it hanging is not the best way to either prove or disprove the parents of the OP being "straw men."

For storing the gun at a relatives home; if it is allowed by state and local laws, and they don't fall into that "prohibited persons" category, it seems to be something that would be between you, your parents, and the relative. If they trust them, and it is legal, then it really is none of our business what they do.

bsctov
November 29, 2010, 11:54 AM
What confuses me is that the video is essentially contradicting itself, on one had they say that even if someone else is lawfully able to receive a firearm, its still a straw purchase if its made on their behalf.

But they say giving it as a gift is OK because you are taking title to the weapon and THEN giving it away. It's basically the same thing, the only difference is a cheap technicality.

PT1911
November 29, 2010, 12:02 PM
Anyone who wants to get so nitpicky as to say that parents cannot buy a gun for their kid as it is a straw purchase is being just that....nitpicky... I understand he is giving them money and they are making the purchase... OK... So, OP, ask your parents for the remaining 5 dollars necessary to purchase the gun... then they gave you 5 dollars as a present and that allowed you to afford the gun, but rather than them giving you 5 bucks, you give them the money you have, minus the 5 needed and when all summed up, they gave you a gift of 5 bucks in the form of a brand spanking new gun.

OR... give your money to your parents for being such good parents and, in appreciation for their son's (?) new found appreciation for them, they buy you a gift of the gun you have always wanted...

Sorry, pretty much any purchase in which the original purchaser does not keep the gun can be considered a straw purchase if you try hard enough... Is it a straw purchase if a friend and i admire the same gun and I happen to buy it, but when I dont like the way it shoots I sell it to him? If you look hard enough it certainly could be. Does money changing hands before or after the purchase make the difference? If he gives me money to buy the gun it is illegal, but if he gives me money for the gun after I buy it is legal?

Bubba613
November 29, 2010, 12:03 PM
A parent or guardian can buy a firearm for their underage child. This seems to be the only question relevant here.

PT1911
November 29, 2010, 12:05 PM
A parent or guardian can buy a firearm for their underage child. This seems to be the only question relevant here.
DING DING DING....

Look out, it is really about to start flying now!!!

bsctov
November 29, 2010, 12:10 PM
Sorry, pretty much any purchase in which the original purchaser does not keep the gun can be considered a straw purchase if you try hard enough

No, A straw purchase occurs when someone other than the person filling out ATF form 4473 is the actual purchaser of the firearm, as opposed to the guy who is swearing that it is for him.

For example, If bob smith gave his friend billy 500 dollars to buy him a hunting rifle, that would be a straw purchase.

But if bob smith said "Gee I sure like that rifle right there" and his friend billy buys it for him with his OWN MONEY, there is no straw purchase.

Is it a straw purchase if a friend and i admire the same gun and I happen to buy it, but when I dont like the way it shoots I sell it to him?

In my opinion, no, because the only thing that matters is that you are buying it for yourself with your own money while you are buying it from the FFL. If you choose to sell it afterwards, that has no bearing aslong as its a lawful transaction.

If he gives me money to buy the gun it is illegal, but if he gives me money for the gun after I buy it is legal?

In my opinion, no, because the only thing that matters is that you are buying it for yourself with your own money while you are buying it from the FFL. If you choose to sell it afterwards, that has no bearing aslong as its a lawful transaction.


I am not a lawyer, consult a lawyer for legal advice.

A parent or guardian can buy a firearm for their underage child. This seems to be the only question relevant here.

This is true, aslong as you buy the firearm with your own money..ignore at your own peril.

yeti
November 29, 2010, 12:17 PM
Technicalities are bureaucracy's bread and butter.

PT1911
November 29, 2010, 12:28 PM
bsctov, look back at your post and notice the "in my opinion"'s... that is my point. I see it exactly as you do but someone will always argue another point of view on it. In the OP's case, i would say it falls into the gift category as there is no legal reason he cannot have the gun, but the gov decided he needs to wait another year to buy it. IMO, his parents gift to him can be and should be the act of buying the gun for him.

For the most part i understand what constitutes a straw purchase, my point is that a lot of the interpretations that you will find are ridiculous. Many people will have you believe that if anyone buys a gun knowing that they themselves will never shoot it it is a straw sale...

What if they are buying it as a gift? Acceptable as long as the person receiving this gift can legally own the gun.
What if the gun isnt the gift (say the child has saved their money and the parents cannot afford it anyhow) but instead the purchase is the gift as he/she isnt old enough (case in point, this thread.)
What if i see a gun that I dont want (say a CMP special grade Garand for 500 OTD) but know it is a stellar deal and i can make money on it to person x who can legally purchase a weapon?

The point is, it is a mirky subject and a lot of purchases can be considered straw sales if you really try.

The point of straw sales being illegal is to prevent those who cannot legally own a gun (felons, crazies, ect...) from sidestepping the backround check....with that being understood, why does it really matter if someone ,who could legally own a gun without consequence, obtains a new gun without a backround check? Technically nothing as they could buy the same gun used from an individual without said backround check, but somehow it becomes a big deal in cases such as this.

What is even more irritating is how someone can come from outside the state and purchase a long gun without an issue but that same person cannot purchase a handgun without proof of at least 90(?) days residency...

Oh the fun of these ridiculous regulations.

NavyLCDR
November 29, 2010, 12:39 PM
In the OP's case, i would say it falls into the gift category as there is no legal reason he cannot have the gun, but the gov decided he needs to wait another year to buy it. IMO, his parents gift to him can be and should be the act of buying the gun for him.

A gift is something that the recipient does not pay or otherwise compensate for. In the OP's scenario, the child paid for the gun via the parent. It's not a gift. It's a straw purchase.

There are no exceptions to Federal laws for parent-child relationships with the exception of a person under 18 years old being able to temporarily possess a handgun with written parental permission in 18 USC 922 (x).

PT1911
November 29, 2010, 01:02 PM
A gift is something that the recipient does not pay or otherwise compensate for. In our case, the child paid for the gun via the parent. It's not a gift. It's a straw purchase.

I know, I know... I am just cracking the knuckles and getting creative...IMO, which doesnt matter much here, a parent purchasing a gun for their child, no matter who earned and saved the money, constitutes a gift. A gift does not have to be of material value in order to be appreciated as in this case as well as many others. Now if he bribed them to buy the gun for him, then I would have a problem with it... :neener:

As we all know, several of the ATF regulations are BS... The straw sales regulations serve a good purpose and are necessary, BUT cases like this show that someone needs to rethink the specifics.

Bubba613
November 29, 2010, 01:08 PM
A gift is something that the recipient does not pay or otherwise compensate for. In the OP's scenario, the child paid for the gun via the parent. It's not a gift. It's a straw purchase.
What if the child agreed to cut the lawn in exchange for the gun?
What if the parent promised the gun if the child did the dishes after dinner?
What if
What if
You can game that all day long. The point, and the only salient point here, is that a parent or guardian is allowed to purchase a gun for an underage child.

yeti
November 29, 2010, 01:12 PM
There are no exceptions to Federal laws for parent-child relationships with the exception of a person under 18 years old being able to temporarily possess a handgun with written parental permission in 18 USC 922 (x).

And yet it does seem that the courts, at least the 9th Circuit, does recognize that there is an exemption allowed under the ATFE's interpretation of the law.

And reading the OP, he is giving the money to his parents to buy the gun for themselves, and their use would be to allow him to legally use their gun, and if he proves himself responsible they would give it to him as a gift when it becomes legal for him to own it.

NavyLCDR
November 29, 2010, 01:54 PM
You all can justify it however you want to. It doesn't matter to me because I am not going to be the one trying to sell my story to a judge or jury if somethig goes wrong. I prefer to obey the law the way it is written, whether or not I agree with the law, or how stupid it is.

turbojohn41
November 29, 2010, 05:08 PM
What could go wrong that I would have to tell a judge that I bought my 12 year old daughter a 20 gauge to hunt with and she helped pay for it with babysitting money?

NavyLCDR
November 29, 2010, 05:39 PM
What could go wrong that I would have to tell a judge that I bought my 12 year old daughter a 20 gauge to hunt with and she helped pay for it with babysitting money?

The girl writes a school paper about what happened over Thanksgiving, the fun time she had with daddy shooting their own turkey to have with the gun that it took her all summer to save up for. Anti-gun teacher makes a stink over it.

bsctov
November 29, 2010, 06:12 PM
And reading the OP, he is giving the money to his parents to buy the gun for themselves, and their use would be to allow him to legally use their gun, and if he proves himself responsible they would give it to him as a gift when it becomes legal for him to own it.


Something tells me the US attorney is not going to be very moved by that explanation.

NavyLCDR
November 29, 2010, 06:17 PM
And who knows what might happen a few years later....

http://www.gazette.net/stories/080108/montnew124604_32392.shtml

During the investigation, police learned that McKenzie-Gude's father, Joseph Lane Gude Jr., 62, of the same address, had purchased the guns for his son. He has been charged by court summons with perjury, straw purchase of a firearm (purchasing a firearm for someone not legally allowed to own it) and straw purchase to a minor prohibited of possessing a firearm.

The outcome:

http://kupferberglaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/BM-2010-Explosive-Charges.pdf

Collin's father, Joseph Gude Jr., a U.S. Treasury Department employee, pleaded no contest last May to a misdemeanor charge related to purchasing an AK-47 assault rifle for his son. Gude received probation, allowing him to keep his federal job.

Bubba613
November 29, 2010, 07:15 PM
You might want to try being honest here. Like posting the headline for starters:
Bethesda teen jailed again on additional explosives charges
And reading along the boy had been arrested previously on explosives charges. He was out on bond at the time. Had he been an adult he would be prohibited.
Just for good measure this happened in "gun friendly" Maryland.

This is not the dad who buys his son a hunting rifle in exchange for help with the chores.
fail.

NavyLCDR
November 29, 2010, 07:21 PM
This is not the dad who buys his son a hunting rifle in exchange for help with the chores.
fail.

and neither is this:

Is it legal for me to give my parents money to buy an AR15 if it is legally theirs, but I am the only one shooting it? Once I turn 18 the gun would become mine

Just for good measure this happened in "gun friendly" Maryland.

and so did this!:

Once I turn 18 the gun would become mine assuming it complies with Maryland gun laws


http://www.ghettowebmaster.com/images/epic-fail.jpg

rbernie
November 29, 2010, 08:40 PM
The scenario, as described, IS NOT LEGAL and we will not use THR to advise others to pish-posh ignore that pesky CFR stuff because some folk don't believe that such details are worth worryin' about.....

Again - the stated scenario is illegal so long as the child provides the money to the parents. Absent an exchange of money between them, the purchase can be legally made by the parent and the firearm legally gifted to the child in accordance with Federal and state laws.

NOLAEMT
November 30, 2010, 06:27 AM
this would be a straw purchase.

If your parents bought the rifle for you, and then you bought it from them when you turn 18, that would be legal, but for you to give them the money is a straw purchase and 100% illegal.

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