Quantcast
  1. Upgrade efforts paused for now. Thanks for your patience. More details in the thread in Tech Support for those who are interested.
    Dismiss Notice

Potential Straw Purchase Scenario

Discussion in 'Legal' started by The Glockodile, Jan 18, 2022.

  1. The Glockodile

    The Glockodile Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2020
    Messages:
    1,468
    Let’s say I purchased a firearm on Gunbroker for a friend (I know, friend needs to figure out bidding on his own, but him and computers - that’s another story).

    I bring my friend to the FFL and I assume he can fill out the 4473.

    1. Would the FFL permit that given that I purchased the firearm (my name on the purchase),
    2. If I filled out the 4473 and subsequently did another 4473 transfer to him,

    ...would any of the above constitute some sort of offense?
     
  2. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2021
    Messages:
    4,136
    Location:
    Shamokin/Coal twp Pa.
    My son bought me a gun. The FFL wouldn't let me do the 4473. They said i could be doing a straw purchase. They said after he's approved. They can do a transfer to me. For the transfer it would be 25.00. I think they wanted to make an extra 25 bucks. I said let it in my sons name. He will get it after im gone anyways.

    To answer your question. If you do the form and get approved. Yes you can then transfer it to him after he gets approved.
     
    shoobe01 and The Glockodile like this.
  3. entropy

    entropy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    14,982
    Location:
    G_d's Country, WI
    If the seller knew the info you've told us; yes it would be a straw purchase. The end user does not have to be a prohibited person.

    It can be a gray area, because people purchase guns 'for' their kids all the time, (Nobody is going to believe a 6' man is buying a Youth .243 Axis in Muddy Girl camo for himself) and of course they are prohibited persons by definition, but since it is expected the parent will retain control of the gun and supervise it's use, that's generally 'wink wink'd' at.

    Keep in mind the seller has the right to refuse a sale if they believe a straw purchase is being attempted. If a 4473 is required for non-FFL transfers or sales in your state, and you tried to do both in my shop, I'd refuse your transfer to him. (Glad I don't have a shop, or work in one anymore.)
     
    The Glockodile likes this.
  4. The Glockodile

    The Glockodile Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2020
    Messages:
    1,468
    Thanks, guys.
     
  5. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    18,791
    Location:
    DFW Area
    A straw purchase is lying on the 4473 about who is the actual purchaser.

    If he fills out the 4473 form as the purchaser and he is the actual purchaser then no straw purchase took place. Whether the FFL will allow that, given the circumstances of the situation, is another story.

    If you go this route, I would certainly tell the FFL in advance what is going on to make sure that everything is understood and approved in advance. Make it clear that he is the purchaser, he is providing the money for the purchase and he is the one who will be filling out the 4473 even though you are the one whose name will show up on the package when it comes in.

    If you fill out the 4473 form as the purchaser when he is the actual purchaser then a straw purchase took place.

    Ok, what about the two step option where you fill a 4473 out with you as the purchaser and then transfer to him with another 4473 later. There is no option on the 4473 that says: I am not the actual purchaser but I will transfer it to that person via another 4473 later. You either are or you aren't, and from what you are saying, you aren't.
     
  6. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    9,831
    Location:
    Florida
    Glockodille is the purchaser. He bought it on GB. So when it is shipped to his FFL he needs to fill out the 4473 and have it transferred to him.

    If he then wants to sell it to his friend and that friend is not prohibited than he can sell it to the friend following all the State laws. which may or may not involve another 4473.

    Here in FL if I bought the gun on GB I can then sell it to a Fl resident with no 4473 involved.

    I am sure DogTown will chime in and set us all straight!
     
    1KPerDay likes this.
  7. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    18,791
    Location:
    DFW Area
    Not according to his own statement:
    If HE wants to buy a gun and then LATER decides to sell it, he is certainly free to do so and that would be perfectly legal assuming he follows any applicable state and federal laws during the resale.

    However, using the information that he provided, he is not the purchaser, he is purchasing it for a friend.
    YES. If you buy a gun and then LATER decide you don't want it, you can certainly sell it to someone else.

    However, it is not legal to purchase a gun from an FFL for someone else unless you are giving it to them as a gift.

    Also, the legality of purchasing a gun with the express intent to resell it is problematic since people who want to be in the business of selling guns need to be licensed to do so legally.
     
  8. sota

    sota Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    951
    I checked out this scenario with my FFL when a friend of mine wanted a specific pistol.
    I found what he wanted, he gave me cash, I paid the seller, he sent it to my FFL, we and my friend went to said FFL, and my friend filled out the 4473 and took possession of the firearm.

    I was told that, as long as the person taking possession of the firearm is the person that filled out the 4473, it was good.
     
  9. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    18,791
    Location:
    DFW Area
    Correct. Just make sure the FFL understands what is going on in advance so there's no misunderstanding at the last moment.
     
  10. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    12,747
    Location:
    California - San Francisco Bay Area
    No, I'm going to set you straight. You're wrong, and you're irresponsible. We've covered this enough, so there's no excuse for you getting it wrong.

    Glockodille is not he actual purchaser. He is buying the gun, as arranged in advance, for his friend; and his friend is paying for it. His friend is the actual purchaser, and Glockodille is acting as his agent.

    See this post:
     
    entropy, shoobe01 and Spats McGee like this.
  11. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    7,623
    Location:
    Plano, Texas
    Bruce Abramski's uncle gave him a check to buy a Glock 19. Abramski used his expired LE credentials to get that Glock Blue Label discount and signed the Form 4473 certifying that he was the actual buyer/transferee. Abramski then drove to an FFL in his uncles state of residence and that dealer transferred the Glock to the uncle.

    The violation of federal law occurred when Abramski lied on the Form 4473 that he was the actual buyer/transferee. He wasn't. Read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abramski_v._United_States (BTW, Abramski was under investigation for other crimes, thtas how they found the check from his uncle)

    Further, As a result of https://www.cohenmilstein.com/case-study/englund-v-world-pawn-exchange-llc-et-al more than a few online retailers are including a warning to the receiving dealer to transfer the firearm to the person named on the invoice only. Although J&G did absolutely nothing wrong, they were included in the lawsuit and paid out $$$$.

    TLDR version: Buy your own damn guns & you can always buy a gun to give to someone as a bonafide gift.
     
    alsaqr, PzGren, CapnMac and 2 others like this.
  12. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    7,623
    Location:
    Plano, Texas
    Absolutely this.
     
  13. danez71

    danez71 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,736
    Location:
    CA,AZ,CA,TX
    What's the statute of limitations for a straw purchase?
     
  14. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Messages:
    6,378
    Location:
    Northern KY
    As I was reading the linked article I was thinking the same thing. J&G had no way of knowing a remote buyer in a different state wasn't buying the firearms for herself, unless it's the expectation that gun dealers should apply gender stereotypes and question why a woman wants to buy an AK.
     
  15. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    9,831
    Location:
    Florida
    I said he (Glock) needs to fill out the 4473
    Did Glock actually say that in is OP.?
    He did not say his friend gave him the money.
    You assumed that. If purchased on GB then payment must be made before it was shipped So the seller revived payment from who exactly?? Glock paid for it. But that is the problem with hypothetical situations.

    No actual transfer occurred yet to Glock, the transfer was made to the FFL So he is the one that needs to fill out the 4473.

    I go into a gunshop with my best friend, it's his birthday I want to buy him a gun. He picks out one and passes the 4473 background, I pay for it. What's the difference? Is that a straw purchase??
    I paid but am not the actual person transferred to.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2022
  16. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    16,073
    NO! The problem was that the payment was intended.

    Got it?

    GIFT.
     
  17. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    7,623
    Location:
    Plano, Texas
    Unless you are forthcoming prior to the transaction about this being a gift........I'll refuse the sale.
    What you describe is a classis example of a straw sale.

    Federal law doesn't prohibit YOU from buying a firearm, filling out the Form 4473 undergoing NICS and subsequently giving the gun as a bonafide gift to your best friend.
    But what you describe does not meet that exception.

    Want to get shut down fast? Do what you describe.
    Want to gift a friend a gun? Buy the gun yourself per federal law and gift it to him later, give him cash or a gift card/certificate. If you want to accompany him and let him choose......call the dealer beforehand and explain your intentions to gift your friend a gun. The dealer may refuse the transaction, he may be fine with you paying, he may require the payment to come from the best friend.
     
  18. The Glockodile

    The Glockodile Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2020
    Messages:
    1,468
    Apologies for the confusion - I read through the replies, and perhaps I should have articulated better - what follows below is what I was thinking of at the time.

    1. Let's say I purchased a firearm and paid for it on Gunbroker with the full intent of having my friend be in possession of it. The firearm gets shipped to the FFL.
    2. I bring my friend to the FFL (a dealer I am very familiar with but haven't discussed this arrangement in advance), and say that I acquired the firearm through Gunbroker - my friend's eBay and Gunbroker illiterate - but it's really going to him.
    • I ask the FFL - can my friend fill in the 4473 and take possession of the firearm, or...
    • ...if he can't fill in the 4473 - can I fill it in, take possession of the firearm, and have him do another 4473 to "transfer" possession of the firearm from myself to him
    ...would any of the above constitute some sort of offense?
     
  19. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    12,747
    Location:
    California - San Francisco Bay Area
    Are you giving your friend a free gift of the gun? Is he in any way reimbursing you for putting up the cash to buy the gun, e. g., cash reimbursement or giving you something? If he in any way reimbursing you, it is an illegal straw purchase. See this post:
     
  20. The Glockodile

    The Glockodile Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2020
    Messages:
    1,468
    Not free, but with reimbursement afterwards.

    Read the post, thanks.

    Those four links below are helpful.
     
  21. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    12,747
    Location:
    California - San Francisco Bay Area
    I need to clarify one point. You outlined one alternate scenario:

    That would be okay (the friend is filling out the 4473 as the actual purchaser, and he is); but considering how much that transaction looks like a straw purchase, an FFL might be unwilling to do it, and he would be within his rights to thus decline the deal.
     
  22. The Glockodile

    The Glockodile Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2020
    Messages:
    1,468
    That was my "main scenario," actually. I buy online, friend comes with me to the FFL, friend fills in the 4473 for himself, gets the firearm for himself, pays me back later.

    Funny - I just got off the phone with my FFL a few minutes ago.

    He says - knowing me, he's okay with the first scenario. But say, a total stranger (to him) brought his friend for the same scenario - it'd appear that the friend was committing the straw purchase for the stranger by filling in the 4473, and he'd decline on the basis of suspicion alone.
     
  23. The Glockodile

    The Glockodile Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2020
    Messages:
    1,468
    Thanks for all the perspectives - I didn't realize the potential ambiguity of things when making purchases online for other individuals.
     
  24. 45CalPal

    45CalPal Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2022
    Messages:
    222
    Location:
    Midwest

    Here in my state No shop will allow this they will only allow the name on the gunbroker papers be the one to buy it. However my state also does not regulate the sale to "private" sales. meaning that you can complete the purchase as the buyer from the gunbroker paperwork, then just go home and sell it to your friend. I do this sometiimes, but I use a firearms sale release form for all of them. this protects me in the future if he sells it and its used to comit a crime. this paper shows the firearm left my posession and responsibility on such and such date.

    its in a mocrosoft word format if anyone is interested in it, just ask and i will upload it.
     
  25. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    12,747
    Location:
    California - San Francisco Bay Area
    If your sale to a friend was arranged ahead of time, both you and your friend have violated federal law:

    1. You would not, as described, be the actual purchase of the gun. Therefore, if you claim to be the actual purchaser on 11a you would violating 18 USC 922(a)(6) by making a false statement on the 4473.

    2. Your friend would be subject to federal prosecution as a co-conspirator or as an aider and abettor.

    (If your friend is a resident of a different State, you would also be violating federal interstate gun transfer law.)
     
    Cowhide Cliff, alsaqr and 45CalPal like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice