‘Tis the season to give a gun as a gift. One thing to keep in mind: your choice of the right gun may not be the recipient’s idea of appropriate ballistic largesse. This is especially true for handguns, where the way a firearm fits the hand is critical to recoil management. But hey, you know your stuff, right? Do you know the two rules for gun gift giving you must follow to avoid falling afoul of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (and Really Big Fires)?
1. No money must be exchanged
It must be a gift and only a gift. No exchange of money or, um, services must occur. (Take that last part as you may.) It’s an excellent idea to provide documentation of the transfer from the giver to the recipient listing the firearm’s serial number. Or pay your FFL to do the transfer the traditional way.
2. The person receiving the gift must not be a prohibited person
The law is clear: you cannot knowingly lend, sell or give a gun to a prohibited person (someone under the legal age limit, a convicted felon or known drug user or someone who’s been committed to a mental institution). If in doubt, don’t.
If you want to avoid the possibility of a problem, you can always give a gift card from your local gun store to let the recipient choose their own firearm and jump through the necessary legal hoops. And, I dunno, include a picture. But where’s the fun in that?