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Would this be considered a straw purchase?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by ehanger, Nov 28, 2010.

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  1. ehanger

    ehanger Member

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    Is it legal for me to give my parents money to buy an AR15 if it is legally theirs, but I am the only one shooting it? Once I turn 18 the gun would become mine assuming it complies with Maryland gun laws (adjustable stocks and certain kinds of barrels are for 21+). The gun would also be stored 15min away from my house with a consenting relative, 'cause my parents don't want a firearm in their house.

    btw, I'm 16 now.
     
  2. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Member

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    You are smart to be asking these questions

    Sorry that I do not know the answers.

    Just remember to get answers that cover Federal, State and any local laws.
     
  3. bsctov

    bsctov Member

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  4. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Member

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    From the ATF website:
    http://www.atf.gov/training/firearms/ffl-learning-theater/episode-4.html

    Straw Purchase Attempt Transcript

    Bobby: That’s it, Mr. Thomas, the black one — right there.

    Mr. Thomas: Okay, I see it.

    Carla: Can I help you with something?

    Mr. Thomas: Yes, we’ll take that one right there.

    Carla: You’re Mr. Thomas, right?

    Mr. Thomas: Yes, I am.

    Carla: Is this your son?

    Mr . Thomas: No, this is my neighbor Bobby.

    Mr. Lucas: Can I see you for a minute, Carla?

    Carla: Sure Mr. Lucas. What is it?

    Mr. Lucas: Do you think we should sell that gun to Mr. Thomas?

    Carla: I don’t think that it would be a legal transaction. It looks like Mr. Thomas wants to buy the gun for Bobby, who is obviously underage. Also, Mr. Thomas isn’t Bobby’s parent or guardian.

    Mr. Lucas: You’re right. There are two problems here. First, it looks like Mr. Thomas might be attempting to make an illegal “straw purchase” on Bobby’s behalf. Second, since Bobby is obviously under 21 it is unlawful for Western Arms to sell him a handgun. Whenever you doubt the legality of a firearms acquisition, you should deny the transaction. In this particular case, we’ll deny the sale.

    Carla: I’m sorry sir, I can’t sell you the handgun. You appear to be buying the gun for Bobby rather than for yourself. Also, I am prohibited under Federal law from selling a handgun to anyone under the age 21. This transaction is illegal.

    Here’s a pamphlet with more information about some current federal handgun laws.

    Mr. Lucas: Good work Carla. You handled that well.

    Carla: Do straw purchases only involve underage customers?

    Mr. Lucas: Not always. A straw purchase is a purchase in which the actual purchaser uses someone else — a.k.a. the “straw person” to make the purchase and complete the paperwork. Generally straw purchasers are utilized because the actual purchaser is not eligible to conduct a transaction because they’re in one or more legally prohibited categories, such as being addicted to a controlled substance, being a felon, being underage, and so on.

    However, a straw purchase occurs even when the actual purchaser is not a prohibited person. The crime committed is knowingly making a false statement on the Form 4473 indicating that the straw purchaser is the actual purchaser, when this is not the case.

    Felons, who are also prohibited from conducting a firearms transaction, will sometimes attempt to obtain guns this way, because they wouldn’t pass the NICS background check and could not truthfully fill out Form 4473. If, however, Bobby was with his father or other legal guardian, and his father was legally eligible to obtain the handgun as a gift for Bobby, his father would fill out Form 4473, undergo the NICS check, and assume legal responsibility for the transaction and the gun. Bobby’s father could truthfully complete the Form 4473 to indicate that he is the actual purchaser because he would take title to the weapon and then transfer the firearm to Bobby as a gift.

    Carla: What if a customer who qualifies to own a gun buys a firearm as a gift for someone else?

    Mr. Lucas: The same rules apply. A transaction is legal as long as the person who fills out form 4473 does so truthfully and completes it as the actual purchaser. In that particular situation, we usually like to make sure they are aware of the rules associated with ATF I 5300.2. Again, you should feel comfortable denying the purchase if you think the customer is being dishonest in any way.

    Carla: Suppose Bobby wanted to buy something other than a handgun, like a rifle or a shotgun? Would he still be ineligible?

    Mr. Lucas: Bobby would have to be 18 or older to buy a long gun from a Federal firearms licensee. Even then, if he can’t provide the appropriate photo identification, or if you believe he’s misrepresenting himself, you should deny the sale.

    Narrator: Keep in mind that a straw purchase is a purchase in which the actual purchaser uses someone else — a.k.a. the “straw person” — to purchase the firearm and complete the paperwork. Generally, the straw purchaser is used because the actual purchaser is not eligible to conduct a transaction because he or she is a felon or other prohibited person. However, a straw purchase occurs even when the actual purchaser is not a prohibited person. The crime committed is knowingly making a false statement on the Form 4473 indicating that the straw purchaser is the actual purchaser, when this is not the case. Additionally make sure you familiarize yourself and anyone who purchases a firearm as a gift with the rules associated with the ATF I 5300.2 pamphlet.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010
  5. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    To summarize what Bushmaster1313 posted and to answer the question you (ehanger) asked:

    YES.
     
  6. Bovice

    Bovice Member

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    Your parents DO realize that even if they bought the gun with the intention of letting you use it under their supervision until you were 18 (which is legal), leaving it at a relative's house is just a bad idea. It's always best to have a gun that's in your name (or your parent's name, in this case) under your control at all times, whether locked up or in your hands. That way you always know where it is. I unfortunately have relatives that would think nothing of loaning something sensitive such as a gun that did not belong to them personally to someone else. That may or may not be the case with your family but either way I wouldn't do that.
     
  7. 9mmforMe

    9mmforMe Member

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    There are some indoor gun ranges in either MD or VA that can rent you a gun locker so you can legally store the weapon and have control of it when needed. Additionally, it would be out of your parents house. -OR- Try to see if you can bargain with your parents to let them store it at your house first...they would hold the key and tell them its a good lesson in you becoming more responsible...to take it further...offer to pay a reasonable monthly rent to your folks thus showing you are being accountable to the law and to them as well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  8. bsctov

    bsctov Member

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    I guess I'm not special enough around here to be agreed with yet seeing as how I posted the exact same video before bushmaster did and people only commented on his post :neener:


    But a general rule of thumb is, If you are giving someone money or there is some sort of transfer of value in order for them to buy you a gun from an FFL, it's a straw purchase.

    I am not a lawyer, however.
     
  9. yeti

    yeti Member

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    We do all realize that the ATFE training video's relevance to this question ended with Carla's third question to, and Mr. Thomas' answer of "no," don't we? They don't make any effort to show how this sale may or may not have gone differently had Mr Thomas been the parent/guardian, but it does leave you to believe that it is more than possible that the "straw man" doesn't follow if the parent is doing the signing.

    To save having to search until my eyes bleed I'll just use a small portion of something else I had been reading that would indicate this, the OP's question, would not be a "straw purchase."

    United States Court of Appeals,
    Ninth Circuit.


    (line 144)

    I am about as far from a liar... um... lawyer as is possible, but using the training video, that brings up the strong possibility of an exception, and then leaves it hanging is not the best way to either prove or disprove the parents of the OP being "straw men."

    For storing the gun at a relatives home; if it is allowed by state and local laws, and they don't fall into that "prohibited persons" category, it seems to be something that would be between you, your parents, and the relative. If they trust them, and it is legal, then it really is none of our business what they do.
     
  10. bsctov

    bsctov Member

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    What confuses me is that the video is essentially contradicting itself, on one had they say that even if someone else is lawfully able to receive a firearm, its still a straw purchase if its made on their behalf.

    But they say giving it as a gift is OK because you are taking title to the weapon and THEN giving it away. It's basically the same thing, the only difference is a cheap technicality.
     
  11. PT1911

    PT1911 Member

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    Anyone who wants to get so nitpicky as to say that parents cannot buy a gun for their kid as it is a straw purchase is being just that....nitpicky... I understand he is giving them money and they are making the purchase... OK... So, OP, ask your parents for the remaining 5 dollars necessary to purchase the gun... then they gave you 5 dollars as a present and that allowed you to afford the gun, but rather than them giving you 5 bucks, you give them the money you have, minus the 5 needed and when all summed up, they gave you a gift of 5 bucks in the form of a brand spanking new gun.

    OR... give your money to your parents for being such good parents and, in appreciation for their son's (?) new found appreciation for them, they buy you a gift of the gun you have always wanted...

    Sorry, pretty much any purchase in which the original purchaser does not keep the gun can be considered a straw purchase if you try hard enough... Is it a straw purchase if a friend and i admire the same gun and I happen to buy it, but when I dont like the way it shoots I sell it to him? If you look hard enough it certainly could be. Does money changing hands before or after the purchase make the difference? If he gives me money to buy the gun it is illegal, but if he gives me money for the gun after I buy it is legal?
     
  12. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

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    A parent or guardian can buy a firearm for their underage child. This seems to be the only question relevant here.
     
  13. PT1911

    PT1911 Member

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    DING DING DING....

    Look out, it is really about to start flying now!!!
     
  14. bsctov

    bsctov Member

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    No, A straw purchase occurs when someone other than the person filling out ATF form 4473 is the actual purchaser of the firearm, as opposed to the guy who is swearing that it is for him.

    For example, If bob smith gave his friend billy 500 dollars to buy him a hunting rifle, that would be a straw purchase.

    But if bob smith said "Gee I sure like that rifle right there" and his friend billy buys it for him with his OWN MONEY, there is no straw purchase.

    In my opinion, no, because the only thing that matters is that you are buying it for yourself with your own money while you are buying it from the FFL. If you choose to sell it afterwards, that has no bearing aslong as its a lawful transaction.

    In my opinion, no, because the only thing that matters is that you are buying it for yourself with your own money while you are buying it from the FFL. If you choose to sell it afterwards, that has no bearing aslong as its a lawful transaction.


    I am not a lawyer, consult a lawyer for legal advice.

    This is true, aslong as you buy the firearm with your own money..ignore at your own peril.
     
  15. yeti

    yeti Member

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    Technicalities are bureaucracy's bread and butter.
     
  16. PT1911

    PT1911 Member

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    bsctov, look back at your post and notice the "in my opinion"'s... that is my point. I see it exactly as you do but someone will always argue another point of view on it. In the OP's case, i would say it falls into the gift category as there is no legal reason he cannot have the gun, but the gov decided he needs to wait another year to buy it. IMO, his parents gift to him can be and should be the act of buying the gun for him.

    For the most part i understand what constitutes a straw purchase, my point is that a lot of the interpretations that you will find are ridiculous. Many people will have you believe that if anyone buys a gun knowing that they themselves will never shoot it it is a straw sale...

    What if they are buying it as a gift? Acceptable as long as the person receiving this gift can legally own the gun.
    What if the gun isnt the gift (say the child has saved their money and the parents cannot afford it anyhow) but instead the purchase is the gift as he/she isnt old enough (case in point, this thread.)
    What if i see a gun that I dont want (say a CMP special grade Garand for 500 OTD) but know it is a stellar deal and i can make money on it to person x who can legally purchase a weapon?

    The point is, it is a mirky subject and a lot of purchases can be considered straw sales if you really try.

    The point of straw sales being illegal is to prevent those who cannot legally own a gun (felons, crazies, ect...) from sidestepping the backround check....with that being understood, why does it really matter if someone ,who could legally own a gun without consequence, obtains a new gun without a backround check? Technically nothing as they could buy the same gun used from an individual without said backround check, but somehow it becomes a big deal in cases such as this.

    What is even more irritating is how someone can come from outside the state and purchase a long gun without an issue but that same person cannot purchase a handgun without proof of at least 90(?) days residency...

    Oh the fun of these ridiculous regulations.
     
  17. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    A gift is something that the recipient does not pay or otherwise compensate for. In the OP's scenario, the child paid for the gun via the parent. It's not a gift. It's a straw purchase.

    There are no exceptions to Federal laws for parent-child relationships with the exception of a person under 18 years old being able to temporarily possess a handgun with written parental permission in 18 USC 922 (x).
     
  18. PT1911

    PT1911 Member

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    I know, I know... I am just cracking the knuckles and getting creative...IMO, which doesnt matter much here, a parent purchasing a gun for their child, no matter who earned and saved the money, constitutes a gift. A gift does not have to be of material value in order to be appreciated as in this case as well as many others. Now if he bribed them to buy the gun for him, then I would have a problem with it... :neener:

    As we all know, several of the ATF regulations are BS... The straw sales regulations serve a good purpose and are necessary, BUT cases like this show that someone needs to rethink the specifics.
     
  19. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

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    What if the child agreed to cut the lawn in exchange for the gun?
    What if the parent promised the gun if the child did the dishes after dinner?
    What if
    What if
    You can game that all day long. The point, and the only salient point here, is that a parent or guardian is allowed to purchase a gun for an underage child.
     
  20. yeti

    yeti Member

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    And yet it does seem that the courts, at least the 9th Circuit, does recognize that there is an exemption allowed under the ATFE's interpretation of the law.

    And reading the OP, he is giving the money to his parents to buy the gun for themselves, and their use would be to allow him to legally use their gun, and if he proves himself responsible they would give it to him as a gift when it becomes legal for him to own it.
     
  21. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    You all can justify it however you want to. It doesn't matter to me because I am not going to be the one trying to sell my story to a judge or jury if somethig goes wrong. I prefer to obey the law the way it is written, whether or not I agree with the law, or how stupid it is.
     
  22. turbojohn41

    turbojohn41 Member

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    What could go wrong that I would have to tell a judge that I bought my 12 year old daughter a 20 gauge to hunt with and she helped pay for it with babysitting money?
     
  23. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    The girl writes a school paper about what happened over Thanksgiving, the fun time she had with daddy shooting their own turkey to have with the gun that it took her all summer to save up for. Anti-gun teacher makes a stink over it.
     
  24. bsctov

    bsctov Member

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    Something tells me the US attorney is not going to be very moved by that explanation.
     
  25. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    And who knows what might happen a few years later....

    http://www.gazette.net/stories/080108/montnew124604_32392.shtml

    The outcome:

    http://kupferberglaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/BM-2010-Explosive-Charges.pdf

     
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