April 24, 2013, 03:40 AM
I was asked a question by my 18 year old nephew regarding handguns. In my state-Louisiana- an 18 year old may legally own a handgun but cannot buy one from a dealer. Now back in the day our mom or dad would buy it for us and then gift it to us or we just inherited them. My question is there any legal way for him to get a handgun? He and I have hunted and shot together for years and his father was LEO. So as far as safety and skills go he has that.
April 24, 2013, 04:09 AM
I'm not positive about Louisiana law specifically (because I haven't studied it) but he should be able to legally do a private FTF purchase of a pistol. This means that you or a family member (or anyone for that matter) can just give him the gun assuming they are also residents of Louisiana, or he can purchase it from any resident of LA as long as they're not a FFL. Federal code regarding this should be found in 922 (x).
Now, just a word of caution to pass on to him. I purchased my first pistol at 18 and had a difficult time convincing others that it was legal for me to even possess it. It even got so bad that I started carrying highlighted copies of both AL and Fed code to show people when I had problems. I have several stories of gun stores refusing to help me, one gunsmith telling me flat out that I was breaking the law and he should have me arrested (but would "look the other way, just for me" :rolleyes:) and I even had one gun store try to confiscate my pistol until I pulled out my copies of the code and threatened to get the police involved. And selling a pistol was a nightmare. I had multiple people tell me that I was breaking the law and that they'd take my gun for 10% of its value in exchange for them not reporting me to "the authorities". In fact, before I turned 21 I had as my sig line something to the effect of "before you tell me that my pistols are illegal, take a look at these sections of AL and FED code".
This isn't to say that he shouldn't get a pistol at 18 (I'd do it again) but just go into it knowing that nearly everyone you come into contact with, even most gun guys, will think you're doing something illegal just because they don't want to be bothered with finding out what the law actually says.
April 24, 2013, 04:29 AM
Thank you for that detailed answer. I am not smart on all the registration issues and such. I remember when I was 18 I saw a revolver I wanted and my folks bought it for as a graduation gift. I still wonder now as an 29 year old if I had to use it in an SD situation would the fact my mother or father bought it bring legal issues to the table, since they filled out the form and the BG check was on them. I hear so many things now about "straw purchase".
April 24, 2013, 05:20 AM
Unless I'm mistaken (it's happened before) there is no registration of pistols in Louisiana.
As far as your parent's buying you that revolver, as long as it was a legitimate gift (which it seems it was) you are fine. It would only be a straw purchase if you handed them the money and had them fill out the background check as if they were the true buyer. IIRC there is an exception to the "straw purchase" rule for parents buying firearms for the use of their children, but I believe it only applies when the children are minors. Honestly, 11 years after the fact, I highly doubt that anyone would care to try and peg it as a straw purchase if you had to use it for self defense.
April 24, 2013, 05:45 AM
Thanks. No one talks about it much it happens a lot down here, parents or grandparents buying a handgun for a 18+ guy as a gift. It never made me ask until now with all the legal talk going on now. It is a confusing law in some ways, being able to own a handgun at 18 or 19 but not being able to buy it from an FFL.
April 24, 2013, 10:49 AM
I bought my first handgun at 19 from a guy off of a State-wide firearm group.
Its the CZ75B I carry with me every day. Best decision I ever made.
My suggestion is that since it may be construed as a straw purchase, since you are buying it for someone who is ineligible to buy from a dealer, would be to find a state-wide firearm forum (or the trading post here on THR) and have your son buy directly from there.
April 24, 2013, 11:18 AM
BTR, Per Fed Law, you can purchase a non-NFA firearm and gift it to your nephew as long as he's a resident of your State and you have no reason to believe he is prohibited from ownership (exp. felon, wife beater, ...).
Edit: Example of Straw Purchase: Nephew gives you the money for the pistol and you purchase it from a dealer for him. That would be illegal.