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Gonna buy a buddy a handgun...which one?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Archangel14, Feb 11, 2013.

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  1. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    Firearms are subject to lots of laws that don't apply to other purchasing situations. You can't straw purchase a trampoline. There are special circumstances that come into play when the item being purchased is a firearm.

    I stated earlier, if you had over the money for the gun directly or by proxy, then you are the purchaser of the firearms, regardless of who ultimately takes possession.
     
  2. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    Here's what one source has to say about straw purchases of firearms:

    A “straw purchase” occurs when the actual buyer of a firearm uses another person, a “straw purchaser,” to execute the paperwork necessary to purchase a firearm from a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL). A straw purchaser is a person with a clean background who purchases firearms specifically on behalf of a person prohibited from purchasing a firearm because he or she is a convicted felon, domestic violence misdemeanants, juvenile, mentally ill individual or other federally or state-defined prohibited person. The straw purchaser violates federal law by making a false statement to the FFL about a material fact by lying on ATF Form 4473 (the firearm transaction record) or presenting false identification in connection with the purchase.

    Source:

    http://smartgunlaws.org/straw-purchases-policy-summary/


    The underlying key element here is that the gun is intentionally purchased by a person who is legally allowed to buy a firearm for the purpose of providing it to another who is prohibited from purchasing, owning, or possessing a firearm. Yes, technically answering the questions wrong on the documentation qualifies because you're falsifying information. It could probably be argued in a court successfully under these circumstances so long as he was legally able to purchase the firearm. (and he must be if the check comes back OK.)

    However, it's recommended that shady areas in terms of definitions be avoided by making sure that the transaction is clearly NOT a straw purchase by a variety of means.

    The best would be to provide the other person with a gift certificate, gift card, or other monetary gift beforehand, which he could make the purchase himself. He is thus clearly the recipient of a cash gift which he may legally spend as he sees fit.

    Another way would be to make the purchase yourself and then give it as a gift. You may do this in a variety of ways. One is to annotate that it's a gift on the forms you fill out at the time of purchase. Another is to make it a private transaction afterwards, and keep the records for posterity. If you do this as a private transaction, the onus is completely on you to ensure (with reasonable knowledge) that he is legally able to otherwise purchase a firearm. If you and your friend are residents of different states, you must do the transfer through an FFL.


    I would say that it's clear that the INTENT here was not to conduct an actual straw purchase. We can argue about semantics and legal interpretations all day: However, the lesson that you should walk away with is that you should ALWAYS conduct these types of transactions in a way which leaves no legal doubt that it was not a straw purchase.

    :)
     
  3. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    Legal issues aside, buying a gun for a friend would be sort of like buying that friend a dog or selecting for him a girlfriend.

    A firearm is personal, something that can be properly selected only by the person who's going to use it. Advice is fine, but the final choice should be in the hands that will hold that gun.
     
  4. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    That might be the only way some of us can get girlfriends :neener:
     
  5. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Member

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    I disagree. If I had the funds, I could name about 3 perfect gift guns for several of my friends, just based on our guy-talk conversations and them telling me what they like, dislike, hate/love, et cetera. I could also probably pick out some girlfriends for them too. Maybe I just know my friends. For the OP's friend, I think a .22LR would be good, being new to handguns, and a revolver is always a good choice for a newbie, but if you think he might be interested in your centerfire semi-autos down the road, a semi-auto .22 may be better for him.

    Anyway, even if this particular friend hasn't explicitly stated, "Gee, I sure would love to have a .22LR revolver, something like a blued Ruger .22 Single Six Convertable in 5.5 inch barrel..." being new to guns, you can reasonably think of a good fit for him, and then it is a more meaningful gift than to say "here is $500, go buy yourself a gun." I think way too much is made of being a "perfect fit" and such, especially for someone who will only use it at the range. Also, I have never met a person who hasn't comfortably shot my Buck Mark, and loved it. That might also be a good gift, although I do think a nice revolver in a slick presentation box would be awesome.

    Regarding the straw purchase, my parents had bought me one gun and I filled out the paperwork. We were unsure if I had to pay for it (my mom brought their checkbook to write me a check after I paid for it, if necessary). We just asked the clerks at Cabela's and they said it didn't matter, so my parents put it on their plastic. I think "purchaser" is misleading. They don't care who pays for it, so much as who takes possession.
     
  6. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    There's a whole lot of misunderstanding about what an illegal straw purchase is. See this thread and note post 23:
     
  7. powder

    powder member

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    I recommend the S&W .357 wheel guns for noobs: simple to operate and can run .38 Special loads for plinking and learning. You're a great friend!
     
  8. JellyJar

    JellyJar Member

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    To avoid inadvertently committing an illegal straw sale find out if you can get a gift certificate for the gun in question. Let him go by himself to the GS to purchase it so they won't think you are having him buy it for you.

    Also, see if the GS will allow him to purchase a different gun instead in case he would rather have something different.
     
  9. CPshooter

    CPshooter Member

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    I'm not sure why people are arguing about straw purchases here. If both of you are legally allowed to purchase and own the firearm in question, why does it matter who pays for it? Did I miss an important detail somewhere?
     
  10. CPshooter

    CPshooter Member

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    I disagree. This question is asking whether or not the person filling out the 4473 is the person who will actually end up taking ownership of the firearm. It is not asking, "Are you the actual supplier of the funds used to purchase the firearm?" It's amazing how people like to read into things that aren't even there.
     
  11. Onward Allusion

    Onward Allusion Member

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    Good gawd. So many wannabe lawyers here. OP should either give his friend the cash and let him do whatever he wants with it OR go and buy the gun by himself and gift it to the friend. The OP is really purchasing the gun for himself, so that he can make a gift of it to his buddy. What's the difference between that and buying and gifting the friend a hammer? OP can make it less complex by not involving his friend and make it a surprise. Better yet, get the friend a gift card or cash!

    It really isn't that complicated. Really. ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  12. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    Don't forget, I'm a real lawyer.

    Correct. It is perfectly legal to buy a person a gun as a gift. Of course the transfer to the recipient must comply with applicable state law.
     
  13. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    Yes you did miss an important detail. See post 31.

    It all has to do with an area of law called "agency" or "principal and agent." But instead of going into a lengthy discussion of that area of the law, I'll simply point you to the April 2012 revision of the 4473 and the instructions for question 11.a (emphasis in original):
     
  14. CPshooter

    CPshooter Member

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    No offense, but I wouldn't pay you to be my lawyer. :)

    The scenario presented with Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones is not even close to the situation we are discussing. Not sure how that applies here.

    I still don't see what the argument is here. OP is merely funding a purchase that his friend is making for himself. His friend would be the actual purchaser of the firearm because he is the intended recipient and owner, regardless of who paid for it. Would you say buying a firearm for yourself and paying with a credit card is illegal too? In both cases, you are buying the gun for yourself with someone else's money. Nothing about that is illegal.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  15. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    Best idea so far, as its the only foolproof route. I would never buy anyone a gun without the person first expressing significant interest in the gun in question. Doesn't matter how classy you might think a gift is, some people just don't have any interest in a revolver.
     
  16. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    It's true that it's not related to the OP's question. But the discussion of what constitutes a straw purchase arose because so many folks in this thread were confused and suggesting that the OP was engaged in a straw purchase.

    And the Smith and Jones situation is directly responsive to your ignorant statement:
    The point is that it can matter who pays for it.

    You couldn't pay me to be your lawyer. I'm comfortably retired now and have no need to work.
     
  17. s9601694

    s9601694 Member

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    a .22 are you guys kidding?!

    Get him a Glock 19 gen 4, shoots like a 17 but is still concealable (if he ever wants to go get his CHP) and its a REAL gun! Anyone can shoot a 9mm glock, my daughter started shooting my Glock 17 when she was 12 and had nice groupings at 15 feet!


    You will give him a handgun he will always love the best out of all his guns (unless he ends up getting a 23 one day)

    (i really like Glocks if you hadn't noticed)
     
  18. Manny

    Manny Member

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    If your friend is a newbie to guns I think a revolver would serve best. If you like S&W's the 686 SSR would be my choice. A factory custom that is something really special IMO.

    I like your idea for showing appreciation, were I the "giftee" I would be mighty happy.
     
  19. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    If I'm not mistaken there is quite a price difference between a G17 and a S&W revolver.

    I think a S&W Model 63 is a great revolver, very nice SA trigger.

    I also like the 7.25 Buckmark

    If I was going to get someone a Glock I'd get the a 17L and drop in a trigger kit. Because of it's size / long slide, it's a pretty soft shooter.
     
  20. ku4hx

    ku4hx Member

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    Deleted: redundant post
     
  21. returningfire

    returningfire Member

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    Revolver

    If your friend has no handgun experience, then buy them a revolver, any kind. If they don't like it go with them to trade, help them make their decision for something they like and at that point let them fill out the 4473. You can buy a gun and give it to your friend and it is not a straw purchase as long as that person is not prohibited from owning a firearm.
     
  22. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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    Just my take... an heirloom type .22

    Easy shooting, great triggers, accurate, all quality's that will make a new shooter feel good about handguns.

    Examples might be guns that have stood the test of time. Find an older well kept piece.

    High Standard target models
    S&W 41
    S&W target revolvers
     
  23. HankR

    HankR Member

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    You probably know him well enough to guess whether this will be his first gun or his only gun?

    I guess I'd go for something cool (1911) if it was to be his first gun. Let him spring for the boring .22 that gets used 100 times as much. If it's to be his only gun, some more thought (and maybe some input from him) is required). Probably a 4 inch .357 revolver if it's to be more than a range toy--so he'll have options. j If only a range toy -- no self defense, then a .22. I'd go Ruger Mark III (prefer II personally, but I'd go "new" for a gift) or a single six (just like the cowboys used, kinda, only smaller holes).
     
  24. Archangel14

    Archangel14 Member

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    Talked to my buddy tonight and asked him what type of handgun he's interested in (he doesn't know what I'm up to). He's not interested in a revolver. IMHO I think a solid .357 platform is a great starter piece. If I could have but one handgun, it would be a 4-inch .357. But I'm decided to get him a Glock 17. Reasonably priced, totally reliable, ammo is cheap (in normal times), as idiot proof as an autoloader can get. And handgun newbies go ga-ga over Glocks. In fact, I just helped a first time handgun buyer and he selected a Glock. No matter how I tried to expand his field of possibility, he just kept coming back to the Glock! I was thinking Sig, but for a first time hand gunner the Glock wins out.

    So that's it gents....it will be a Glock. Thanks for all you input!

    PS: for you worry warts, I'm going to have him do all the paper and I'll just put the purchase on my credit card. :evil:
     
  25. s9601694

    s9601694 Member

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    Great choice! If you run into a 19 before a 17 don't hesitate ;)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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