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Here is the form for reference. http://www.atf.gov/forms/download/atf-f-4473-1.pdf

Another thread on here got me thinking. It's perfectly legal to sell a gun privately, and to give a gun as a gift. Yet, there is a question (Question 11a) that asks specifically, "Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form? Warning: You are not the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person. If you are not the actual buyer, the dealer cannot transfer the firearm(s) to you. ....Yes / No"

Why is it legal to buy a gun and then give it to someone, but it's not legal for a gun shop to sell you a gun if it's for someone else?

I know the BATFE is not known for making laws easy to understand, or even making laws that don't contradict one another out right, but does anyone have a logical explanation for this?
 

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i dont have an answer, but something to think about is how long must someone own a gun before selling it privately? couldnt they argue, technically, that is was a straw purchase?
 

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CYA, perhaps? Or more likely, some third rate federal employee said "there's not enough questions, let's stick this one in there." What, me, a cynic?
 
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I don't know how logical it is, but it is in there to give them the ability to prosecute people from doing just what the Feds did in Fast and Furious:

They (the ATF) (at least so far, that could change soon) aren't going to hassle you if you give it to a family member or friend, or business associate as a gift, or decide to sell or trade it to a honest citizen....
But if it turns up at a crime scene or a bust, you are likely to get a visit from the authorities,and could be prosecuted if you can't convince them that you weren't a straw purchaser for a badguy.

It won't prevent anyone from doing straw purchase, just give them something to punish the buyer if they find out later.
 

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I don't know how logical it is, but it is in there to give them the ability to prosecute people from doing just what the Feds did in Fast and Furious:

They (the ATF) (at least so far, that could change soon) aren't going to hassle you if you give it to a family member or friend, or business associate as a gift, or decide to sell or trade it to a honest citizen....
But if it turns up at a crime scene or a bust, you are likely to get a visit from the authorities,and could be prosecuted if you can't convince them that you weren't a straw purchaser for a badguy.

It won't prevent anyone from doing straw purchase, just give them something to punish the buyer if they find out later.
+1, same explination i was given from my cousin in the Justice Department.
 

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Moondawg hit it. It has to do with strawman purchases. If you are buying it for a prohibited person it is a crime. It is not a crime to buy a gift for a non-prohibited person.
 

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Why is it legal to buy a gun and then give it to someone, but it's not legal for a gun shop to sell you a gun if it's for someone else?
Good question. I wondered that myself.
 

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Here is the form for reference. http://www.atf.gov/forms/download/atf-f-4473-1.pdf

Another thread on here got me thinking. It's perfectly legal to sell a gun privately, and to give a gun as a gift. Yet, there is a question (Question 11a) that asks specifically, "Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form? Warning: You are not the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person. If you are not the actual buyer, the dealer cannot transfer the firearm(s) to you. ....Yes / No"

Why is it legal to buy a gun and then give it to someone, but it's not legal for a gun shop to sell you a gun if it's for someone else?

I know the BATFE is not known for making laws easy to understand, or even making laws that don't contradict one another out right, but does anyone have a logical explanation for this?
Are you the actual buyer...if you are paying for it with your money and in your name....you are the actual buyer.

If you are buying it with another persons money to give the firearm to them (for any reason) then you are not the actual buyer. This would be a straw purchase, and you go directly to jail.

If you are buying it with the intention of giving as a gift, as long as it is paid for with your money and in your name you may do so. However some states will require you to upon gifting to transfer the firearm into the new owners name.

At least that is the way it was explained to me. The wording is simple to read and understand....as long as you don't attempt to read into the words. Use the KISS principal and just read the words not looking for an under lying message.
 

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It is all about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. Buying a .410 Mossberg 500 pistol grip pump shotgun for your law abiding granny as a home defense Christmas gift is fine.
Buying the same weapon for Peter the crack peddler is a crime.
 

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"Or more likely, some third rate federal employee said "there's not enough questions, let's stick this one in there."

"The wording is simple to read and understand....as long as you don't attempt to read into the words. Use the KISS principal and just read the words not looking for an under lying message."


Perhaps it's the third rate civilian definition that's the problem?
 

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Are you the actual buyer...if you are paying for it with your money and in your name....you are the actual buyer.

If you are buying it with another persons money to give the firearm to them (for any reason) then you are not the actual buyer. This would be a straw purchase, and you go directly to jail.

If you are buying it with the intention of giving as a gift, as long as it is paid for with your money and in your name you may do so. However some states will require you to upon gifting to transfer the firearm into the new owners name.

At least that is the way it was explained to me. The wording is simple to read and understand....as long as you don't attempt to read into the words. Use the KISS principal and just read the words not looking for an under lying message.
^^^
THIS.

Caveat: If you are buying it as a gift for a convicted felon and the BATFErs find out, they may want to discuss your thought process at considerable length. ;)
 

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"Caveat: If you are buying it as a gift for a convicted felon and the BATFErs find out, they may want to discuss your thought process at considerable length."

The OP, and others commenting, are aware enough of the form 4473 to ask questions. Why would they lack the knowledge of straw man, even though it's mentioned several times?
 

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"Caveat: If you are buying it as a gift for a convicted felon and the BATFErs find out, they may want to discuss your thought process at considerable length."

The OP, and others commenting, are aware enough of the form 4473 to ask questions. Why would they lack the knowledge of straw man, even though it's mentioned several times?
Well, it seems I just can't win. :( If I had failed to mention it, a different nit picker would have called me out for my lack of thoroughness. :p
 

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The members above stated matters perfectly for federal laws.

That being established I must point out two factors to remember.

It would be wise to ensure that the person you intend on giving the firearm to is not a prohibited person.It is unlikely that your wife or family members could be crooks without your knowledge; but anything is possible.

Finding out that cupcake long long ago in a galaxy far far away did some felonious things from an ATF agent jamming you up on felony straw purchase charges is an awful way to conclude the holidays. For obvious reasons people are usually not in a hurry to disclose a dark past.

The second point is that state law must be considered before making any decision to purchase a weapon for someone else. Some states like Maryland require a background check by the state police to own a category of weapon,some states like Illinois require a recipient to have an ID card to posses a gun and ammunition, and some states like California require a dealer-run background check on private transfers & appropriate registration of the handgun with the state Department of Justice.

For a personal example, it would be illegal for me to give my mother a firearm. As she is an Illinois resident she would require a FOID card to own any firearm or ammunition. She'd pass the background check so as far as the feds are concerned she's GTG to own a gun, but the state is empowered to arrest her should they discover a gun in her posession without the state ID.

To wit, a state's idea of a 'Prohibited Person' can be very different from the Federal guideline. A state for example can decree any misdemeanor assault arrest is enough to deny someone's RKBA, whereas the Federal law decrees that being convicted is the standard to deny a purchase. Should your recipient use a firearm you gave them and it turns out they were prohibited under state law you are still on the hook for charges.

Let me be clear in stating I am no lawyer-however I researched this matter when trying to find a way to gift a firearm to my mom for her home defense as an out of state resident and found out that depending on the circumstance it would be a one-way ticket to the Joliet Lockup.
 
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Unnecessary complication here. I will agree that a gift shouldn't be to a felon. However, the 4473 question has nothing to do with that. Nor does the 4473 have anything to do with Illinois, California, or Maryland law.

In fact, if your wife is a past visitor to lands far away dimensionally, a caught visitor, and you didn't know it, ATF will have a wonderful time with both of you. Her for being in possession of a gun, and/or ammunition, and you for giving the gun to a known felon. Believe me, the idea of the 4473 being drawn into play here is small. It would be your word against theirs, and BATFE is suffering a small crisis in believability.
 

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Unnecessary complication here. I will agree that a gift shouldn't be to a felon. However, the 4473 question has nothing to do with that. Nor does the 4473 have anything to do with Illinois, California, or Maryland law.
It would be your word against theirs, and BATFE is suffering a small crisis in believability.
It does if the firearm is used by the giftee and the authorities are called.

Should it turn up that the person you gave the firearm to was 'prohibited' the burden will be on you to prove to the ATF and Federal court you didn't know that fact to avoid a straw purchase rap .Good luck.

Likewise if the state determines your benefactor did not legally own the firearm. Should the authorities find a firearm in your benefactors posession-which can be as easy as them consenting to a vehicle search en route to the range-the five oh will ask the logical question of how they got the piece.

Should you live in a different state, congratulations...because now the ATF has jurisdiction to investigate the matter, interstate transport of a firearm and all.Give a weapon to who you believe is an upstanding citizen and you may find out the hard way things may not be what they seem.

One husband was shocked last year when the cops came to collect his wife of 22 years, because she was wanted on several serious warrants in the 1970's and it took that long for the long arm of the Law to catch her. She married him under a false identity and lived like that with a family and all for decades before the U.S. Marshall Service caught up to her. Imagine if he bought her a gun for Christmas?
 

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If you look at the directions to the purchaser on the back of the form. In the instructions for question 11a.
Question 11.a. Actual Transferee/Buyer: For purposes of this form, you are the actual transferee/buyer if you are purchasing the firearm for yourself or otherwise acquiring the firearm for yourself (e.g., redeeming the firearm from pawn/retrieving it from consignment, firearm raffle winner). You are also the actual transferee/buyer if you are legitimately purchasing the firearm as a gift for a third party.
If you compare this to the directions for the seller, confusion is understandable.
 
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