Gifting a Gun? Do It Legally
The Christmas season is upon us and like many my favorite gifts are guns. I love guns and when someone gives me one I am more than psyched. A big question people have, especially new gun buyers have, is it legal to gift a gun?
The first question of the 4473 makes it seem like it’s illegal and seems quite serious about you being the owner of the firearm. Some folks may think gifting a gun is a straw purchase, but there is a big difference in buying someone a gun as a gift and buying a gun so someone can avoid a background check. In general, it’s perfectly fine for you to buy someone a gun as a gift.
In general, is a vague term, but I use it because some states make it impossible to gift a gun without jumping through hoops.
When It’s Illegal to Gift a Gun
If you are buying a gun for someone you know is a felon then even if its a gift it is illegal. You can’t give someone you know is a felon a firearm so that’s the first way gifting a gun can be illegal.
Does your state have universal background checks? If so it’s not necessarily illegal to gift someone a gun, they just have to undertake a background check to receive it.
With family often traveling across the country to visit it can be a pain to gift guns. An individual from state A cannot transfer a gun to a person from state B. In this case, you’ll need to transfer the gun to the receiver’s FFL.
Gifting a gun can be complicated legally. If you the person you are gifting the gun to isn’t a felon, lives in your state, and you don’t have universal background checks in your state you can legally give the gun as a gift.
The ATF agrees it’s legal to gift a gun, but suggests buying a gift card in the amount of the gun to the gun store or website your giftee prefers. This method is full proof, as is a prepaid gift card or cash. Admittedly it’s not as fun, but it’s legal if the above illegal situations apply.
Oh, also an 80% lower jig and lower of some kind is a quick and simple way to gift a non-gun that can become a gun. These are all options one can undertake to legally kinda gift a gun over state lines, or in states with UCBs.
So gifting guns isn’t complicated, but it can be difficult if you meet a few unique situations. Just remember that gifting a gun isn’t worth losing your rights to own guns, so follow the law.