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Gift vs straw purchase.

Discussion in 'Legal' started by BBQJOE, Feb 26, 2013.

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    BBQJOE Well-Known Member

    This one has baffled me some.

    Let's say it's my dad's birthday. I know he wants a particular firearm.
    I decide to get it for him as a gift.

    I am the buyer as per the 4473, but the purchase is actually for someone else.
    Am I lying on this form?
    Must I hold onto this firearm for a particular amount of time before I give it away?
    Who's to say what, if any pretenses were involved?

    Common sense might say it would be better to take him to the shop, and provide the money for his purchase.
    It would take the fun out of the whole thing though.

    Fortunately, this isn't a real case, just something I have thought about many times.
  2. Solo

    Solo Well-Known Member

    It's only a straw purchase if you buy it for a prohibited person iirc.
  3. Ken70

    Ken70 Well-Known Member

    Govt doesn't see it that way. Your way makes sense, I believe it's not a straw buy, but not the gov.
  4. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Well-Known Member

  5. akv3g4n

    akv3g4n Well-Known Member

    From the 4473 form:

    Purchasing a firearms for a person in the same state as you as a gift is completely legal.

    Also, from ATF.gov site:

  6. M G

    M G Member

    My local gun shop handles this by using gift certificates. This way, the "gift recipient" is making the firearm purchase from the FFL and does the required paperwork. Still not the same as handing someone a gift wrapped box with the gun enclosed, but better than going to the store and handing them the money to make the purchase (which if litterally done, would likely raise the suspicion of the dealer). Saves having to be concerned about unknown skeletons, misunderstandings, appearances, etc, etc. My father, an FFL at the time, gave me a gun this way. He was prepared to accept the transfer and subsequently make the appropriate transfer to me, but the gun shop offered the simpler gift certificate solution.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  7. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Well-Known Member

    BBQJOE This one has baffled me some.

    Read the instructions to Question 11a on the Form 4473. ATF states in clear and simple language that a gift is allowed and is not a straw purchase.

    Not true.
    A straw purchase occurs when you acquire a firearm from a licensed dealer on behalf of someone else. The third party does not have to be a prohibited person.
  8. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Well-Known Member

    Here's how you blur the lines between a gift and a straw purchase...

    My brother and I are going to split the cost of a rifle that we're going to give Dad for his birthday; a true bona-fide gift. We both enter the gun store and pick out the rifle and I complete the 4473/NICS. When the NICS is approved I go to pay, but oops, where's my checkbook? Dang.

    Brother says, 'Don't worry, I got this' and attempts to financially cover the transaction so that we can proceed to give the rifle to our Dad as planned.
  9. Blackbeard

    Blackbeard Well-Known Member

    If you buy it as a gift, you are the actual purchaser and you fill out the 4473 with your info.

    If he told you to go buy him a gun and gives you money for the purchase, then that's a straw purchase.
  10. Pacsd

    Pacsd Well-Known Member

    I don't see the big deal in it. It IS for my use. What I use it for is no one's business. Say. I sell it the next day or give it away to a person that is lawfully capable of owning it, then what? I say give it to dad and don't sweat it.
  11. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    Why not just the buy the gun from them and not say anything at all about your intention to give the gun away? It's none of the gun store's concern what legal action you intend to take with the gun after you buy it, whether it is to take it to the range and shoot it, carry it with the proper permit (if required), or give it as a legal gift to a resident of the same state as you are.
  12. sansone

    sansone Well-Known Member

    please see post #5... taken from the 4473 in black & white
  13. M G

    M G Member

    In the particular case I wrote about, it might have had something to do with the fact that my father lived about 60 miles from the gun store and I lived about 5 miles from the gun store. Others might have other reasons.

    As far as the rest, I only mentioned it as risk mitigation. For example, person A gives gun to person B, not realizing that at some point in their past, person B had committed an offense that would disqualify them from possessing a gun. Person B is caught with gun. Does person A really want their only defense to be their own word that they gave the gun as a gift?
  14. medalguy

    medalguy Well-Known Member

    Similar to my own situation. My adult son has been wanting a Colt Officer Model .45 for some time. Recently he found one on GB and sent me a link to the auction and mentioned that his birthday is coming up very soon. ;)

    I took the hint, purchased the gun, and will present it to him on his 35th birthday. It is a bona-fide gift, bought with my money, and gifted to my son. He is not prohibited, I didn't use his money, and the 4473 is filled out in my name as the actual purchaser. No problem. I also bought him seveal extra magazines, and I'm giving him a can of .45 GI hardball to start out with. And no, I'm not adopting anyone. :neener:
  15. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    We have a game we play here at THR. If we think folks really need to understand a concept, we hide it in a super secret location no one can find. Those super secret hiding places are called "Sticky" threads and they appear at the top of each forum. Like this one: "What is a Straw Purchase?"

    But once more because folks do find it confusing, and because we hide things so cleverly...;)

    1) Whether the buyer or recipient is a prohibited person has nothing to do with a straw purchase. NOTHING.

    2) A straw purchase happens ANY TIME the person filling out the paperwork isn't the person buying the gun. (Often translated as, "who's putting up the cash?")

    3) YES, even if you send your own loving, sunday-school-teaching wife or grandma in to buy you a gun while you feed the starving orphans ... that's a straw purchase. Even if your brother, who's a cop and a minister, gives you some cash and asks you to buy a gun for him -- that's a straw purchase.

    4) NO, a GIFT is not a straw purchase. You want to GIVE someone a present of a gun. You buy them the gun and give it to them out of the sheer goodness of your heart. YOU are the purchaser and your reason for purchasing this gun is as a gift. This is expressly lawful according to the BATFE and the law.

    This is NOT a straw purchase, but it might cause a dealer to squint at you because without a bit of explaining (and believing on his part) it rather looks like one.

    In that case the best thing would be to go in to the dealer and just say, "We're buying this together as a present for our dad." Or...better yet, figure out which one of you has the friggin' money before you fill out the paperwork and just not discuss who/what/why. Dealers are supposed to look for suspicious hyjinx and pulling an I-write/he-pays switcheroo is going to look not quite proper.
  16. Ken70

    Ken70 Well-Known Member

    LGS had a major discount for LEO's. I axed about having a LEO I knew buying a gun and then transferring it to me via an FFL. LGS salesmen went ballistic; I hadn't heard about straw men 20 years ago. I still think the whole thing is BS regarding someone that can pass the background check. There's a paper trail of exactly who bought what....
  17. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Well-Known Member

    This is where I'm at as well, I did once get my wife to pick up a gun for me because I wasn't secheduled a day off for over a week. When she came home with it I though "humm, did we just commit a felony?" I still don't know. I just say that one is her's.
  18. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    OP's question has been well-answered.
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