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What is a "Straw Purchase?" (see post 23)

Discussion in 'Legal' started by HEAVY METAL 1, Jan 31, 2013.

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  1. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    From post #49:

     
  2. Aceoky

    Aceoky Member

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    Yes I read that, however he had also stated words to the effect of IF you buy it knowing you were asked to "pick one up" etc. So my question is not if she sees it and wants to buy it for you, rather she CALLS you and asks you IF you would like to have it- probably the same but it's made me curious
     
  3. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    There are clearly some grey areas. But there's probably no practical need to scrutinize this quite that closely.

    And in some ways the "follow the money" answer is pretty useful. If someone buys it for you with their money and gives it to you, with no compensation -- that's a gift.

    If someone gives you $500 and tells you to go buy them a Glock, that's not a gift.

    If your wife uses money from your joint checking account to buy you a gun...just don't worry about "if it is or if it ain't." That's not going to end up in court.
     
  4. Aceoky

    Aceoky Member

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    Thanks!!!
     
  5. -Xero-

    -Xero- member

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    ========================= This site needs a delete option ========
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
  6. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Yikes. Please don't admit to things like this on public web sites (too late now, of course).

    The law regarding this type of transfer involves who possesses the gun, not who bought it or whether it was "officially" sold or "officially" given or not.

    To quote NavyLCDR on this:

     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  7. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    As you posit the question, the answer would appear to be "no." But as I'll outline in more detail, you really have no clue what you're talking about.

    The law regarding straw purchases is discussed in detail in post 23. I suggest you review this thread completely and in detail until you understand it. In the meantime, please refrain from posting erroneous, unsupported information.

    It's also evident that you don't understand the law. You should avoid attempting to provide advice on legal matters when you're not qualified to do so and when your misinformation, if followed, could put someone in serious legal jeopardy.

    Nope. See post 23. If you are buying the gun at an FFL with money given to you (or promised to you) by another for the purpose of transferring it to that person, in the eyes of the law you are not the actual purchaser. You are buying the gun on behalf of, as the agent or proxy for, that person.

    If you were to then claim of the 4473 to be the actual purchaser, you would be violating 18 USC 922(a)(6).

    Wrong again. See post 23.

    Also wrong.

    The laws in many States require no formalities in connection with a private transfer of a gun from one resident of the State to another resident of that State. But federal generally prohibits (with a couple of narrow exceptions) any transfer of a gun from a resident of one State to a resident of another. Furthermore, a number of States require certain formalities, including background checks, in connection with intrastate transfers.

    Garbage.

    Let's look at the applicable statutes:

    1. 18 USC 922(a)(3), which provides in pertinent part (emphasis added) as follows:

    2. And 18 USC 922(a)(5), which provides in pertinent part (emphasis added) as follows:

    You may go to another State where (under 18 USC 922(a)(5)) a friend may loan you a gun to, for example, go target shooting together, or an outfitter may rent you a gun for a guided hunt. But if you were to take the gun back to your home State with you, you would be violating 18 USC 922(a)(3), which has no "loan" exception, thus becoming eligible for five years in federal prison and a lifetime loss of gun rights. Since there is no loan" exception in 18 USC 922(a)(3), a load of a firearm may not cross state lines to the borrower's State of residence.

    Balderdash!

    1. Let's see some good evidence such as the proper citation to the law.

    2. Your "community property" statement is preposterous. Community property refers to property within a marriage (and only in a State using the community property system for marital property -- like Texas).
     
  8. Deadclown

    Deadclown Member

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    I'm glad I read this post. I happen to live in NY where Cuomo decided that only criminals own firearms. Thanks to his blinding genius the Saiga 12 shotgun is banned here unless already owned or whatever.
    I happen to be considered a LEO (NYC Correction Dept.) and having some exemptions on owning what they call an "assault weapon", was considering trying to obtain said firearm from another state by buying it from a family member and having it shipped (if possible) to an FFL here. But I see that more than likely that would be considered illegal seeing as no one in my family owns one and they sure as hell wouldn't "gift" it to me unless they were going to get their money back.
     
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  9. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    Wow, did you bring up an interesting twist/grey area. I can't get a certain firearm in my location (even though it is completely legal for me to own), so someone buys it for me in their area, but they don't transfer the gun to me directly, they ship it to an FFL for transfer to me. So, technically, by the letter of the law, they performed a straw purchase, and yet, I ended up with the gun, with the NICS check, with a form 4473 completed and signed by me, and the transfer approved. Interesting....
     
  10. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    It's not so much a gray area as it is, perhaps, a bizarre result.

    The actual federal crime is violation of 18 USC 922(a)(6), making a false statement on the 4473 -- specifically a false statement as to the actual purchaser is. So if A arranges with B for B to buy a gun on his (A's) behalf, B is legally not the actual buyer. Rather B is buying the gun on behalf of A, as A's agent or proxy. So if B claims of the 4473 to be the actual purchaser, he has made a false statement, in violation of 18 USC 922(a)(6), on the 4473 (and if he doesn't, he won't get the gun).

    The federal crime is committed when B makes the false statement. That's not necessarily cured when A receives the gun on another 4473. It has been suggested that B could perhaps avoid criminal responsibility for the false statement because the subsequent transfer on a 4473 makes that false statement immaterial. That's an interesting theory, but I'm unaware that it has every been supported by a federal court. Testing the theory in court would be an expensive and high risk proposition.
     
  11. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    There is a fairly common perception on gun boards that if you pass the gun through a dealer it renders moot whatever arrangements or transactions transpired before. Sort of "gun laundering" if you will. Frank's suggestion here is that this is not necessarily so.
     
  12. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Member

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    I ran into a strange issue (well not so much strange now looking at the laws posted). Was with the wife in a gun store looking at something (it was years ago, I think it was a Kel-tec SU16). I decided I wanted it. Looked for my voter ID and noticed I didn't have it on me, outside of my license that's all I would have had for the second form of ID. So I told the guy that my wife would be the one filling out the form as she had all the proper ID on her.....well he flew into this big rant about straw purchases and of course refused the sale.

    I was thinking in my head, our money is in the same account, technically everything I own is half hers anyway so technically she is buying it for herself....bah, all these laws that only complicate things for law abiding citizens.
     
  13. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Ironically, if she said, "I'm buying this gun as a gift for my husband here..." the clerk would have had no real reason to refuse. That's perfectly legal.

    But no, saying "I'm going to buy this gun...no, wait, she's going to buy this gun for me," isn't going to fly. Some clerks will see a married couple sorting out their joint finances and turn a blind eye, but there's a risk for them in that the law is pretty specific that they shouldn't do that.
     
  14. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    We can't expect an FFL to do something which he thinks might put his license/livelihood on the line.
     
  15. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    And, we also have every opportunity to go to a dealer who isn't afraid to engage in a legal firearms transaction. For example - I get military orders to state A and my wife lives in state A with me. For the purposes of firearms transactions both my wife and I are residents of state A. I can prove residency to the FFL via my military orders and military ID card, but my wife cannot because all she has is her driver's license from our home of record state (state B). State A law allows her to keep her state B driver's license.

    On more than one occasion we have gone into different retail stores and she has picked out a handgun that she likes by handling the different handguns and picking the one she wants. I have purchased the handgun right there on the spot as a gift to her. I signed the form 4473, NICS check on me, personal check from our joint checking account signed by me, she walks out of the gun store with the gun in a case in her possession. All perfectly legal.

    However, I would not begrudge an FFL for refusing that transaction even though it is perfectly legal. I would just walk down the street and hope I could get the same price at a dealer that doesn't have any qualms about it.

    At least in my family it is fairly common for us to pick out our own Christmas, birthday or just "I love you" gifts. "I want to buy you a computer for your birthday, but I want you to have the one that you want, so you tell me which one you want."

    I know this is not the same scenario presented in post #58 because my wife never paid me for the gun I bought for her as a gift.
     
  16. Bubbles

    Bubbles Member

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  17. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    The Supreme Court has taken a case dealing with a straw purchase. It's under discussion in this thread.
     
  18. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    A law enforcement officer buys 2 glock 40's. One for his Dad and the other for his brother. Both are legal to own, but wanted to take advantage of glock's blue box discounts. Money changes hands and transfer of ownership from the leo to the Dad and brother is completed.

    The leo lied on the 4473. Does that make him a felon?
     
  19. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    As of this moment the answer would be "yes", definitely in States in the Fourth, Sixth and Eleventh Circuits, and possibly in others as well, except those in the Fifth Circuit.

    But we'll know for sure nationwide most likely by the end of this year. See post 67.
     
  20. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    Not until he is convicted. Until he is convicted he is just someone who has allegedly committed a felony.
     
  21. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    351 WINCHESTER posited a hypothetical. The acts described in the hypothetical constitute the elements of a felony under federal law (at least in the Fourth, Sixth and Eleventh Circuits).
     
  22. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    This straw purchase actually happened. I told my friend that his son (leo) could get in trouble and loose his job for lying on the 4473. He told me that his son could legally purchase and transfer ownership of the pistols, but since money was given to the leo by the Dad and brother the intent to circumvent the law was quite evident imho.

    Now, If I bought a gun and gave it to my son that would be ok.
     
  23. Kuyong_Chuin

    Kuyong_Chuin Member

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    Is this situation legal? And no I did not do this and would never do so. It is hypothetical question. A son-in-law talks his father in law into purchasing a handgun for him and the paperwork shows that the son in law is the purchaser the father in law just paid for it. The son in law brings how the gun shoots 1 Mag through the weapon then proceeded to place an ad online the same day to sell the gun. He finds a buyer a few days later online and meets him late at night makes the transfer face to face. Is this legal to do and if not what laws were broken?
     
  24. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Yes, that is legal, though it appears you've got two issues tied up in one question.

    A) It is legal for the son-in-law to buy that gun. That his F-I-L gave him the money really isn't the question. Now, it could become the question, as the dealer could easily misconstrue the situation and deny the sale. The "who's money" question gets sketchy because it could look like the FIL is the real buyer and the SIL is purchasing it FOR the FIL. Best not to get into who's money it is while standing there at the dealer's counter as that just muddles the matter.

    SO...what should really happen in that case is the FIL buys the gun and fills out the paperwork. HE is the buyer. He then GIVES the gun outright to his SIL. That's perfectly legal. Buying a firearm yourself, with the purpose of giving it as a gift is perfectly lawful.

    Fronting the money for someone else to buy a gun FOR YOU is where this runs afoul of the law.

    B) So he sold it again quickly? Not a problem. He was still the purchaser. The gun was still FOR HIM. He shot it and didn't like it? He didn't shoot it but decided he didn't want it? He had a bad dream about guns and decided to sell it the next morning? Whatever. That's all fine and legal.

    Now, do that 10 times and come to the attention of the BATFE, and you're likely to be answering questions about "dealing in firearms without a license" -- but the transactions as described in this one scenario are lawful.
     
  25. Kuyong_Chuin

    Kuyong_Chuin Member

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    Thanks Sam.
     
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