Do You Know the Right Way to Gift a Gun? Watch This Video

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There’s still time left. But if you’re going to give a gun as a gift, make sure you do it right. This video from the National Shooting Sports Foundation is helpful. Also see this post of ours.

Whatever you’ll be putting under the tree, ho, ho, ho and have a Merry Christmas.

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  1. You can’t “gift” anything. “Gift” is a noun. You want to give somebody something? Fine. If you try to “gift” something, you will sound like an illiterate phony who is trying to fit in with God-knows-what kind of people.

    NOBODY TALKS LIKE THAT. Please stop destroying my beautiful English language.

  2. That seems unnecessarily complicated. Most of the times I gave someone a firearm it was my son. He would walk in and I would say, “Hey, John. I bought you a rifle/handgun/shotgun today.” John, “Thanks, Dad! What/where is it!?” Transfer complete.

      • People say that. “It’s in my name”. I’ve never quite understood that.

        If you paid the FFL but the other person filled out the 4473 and got processed through NICS, would that work? Surely that wouldn’t be seen as a straw purchase?

        • Who said she filled out anything? Martial property is divided at divorce or death. What’s there to understand???

        • It is not a strawman purchase if the person filling out the 4473 is the intended recipient. It does not matter who is paying for it. A strawman purchase is when A fills out the 4473, pays for it with B’s money, and then gives the firearm to B.

        • A “straw” purchase is a firearm purchase when one person buys the firearm with the intent of giving the gun to another person for their primary use (as in ownership usage) – IF IF IF in your state a firearm can not be transferred to another without going through an FFL for transfer.

          If its legal in your state for personal sales or gifting or loan of firearms without going through an FFL for transfer, it is not a “straw” purchase if that person to who you are giving the firearm is not a disqualified person (basically no felony or domestic violence convictions) under state and federal law.

        • Prndll,

          Mark N. described a straw purchase perfectly.

          What you describe is technically NOT a straw purchase. Having said that, many/most FFLs will refuse to finish the sale when they see you trying to pay for the firearm for which your acquaintance just filled out the paperwork.

          A regional sporting goods chain in my neck of the woods tells customers that up-front. Their policy: if you want to purchase a firearm at their store and give it to someone as a gift, purchase gift certificates (for the amount of the purchase price of the gun), give those to your someone, and then have that someone come into their store and buy the firearm.

          I know that seems like a distinction without a difference. Retailers really nitpick about straw purchases.

        • Prndll,

          I can give you two more first-hand examples of retailers being reluctant to complete sales which they thought could be straw purchases.

          My spouse wanted a handgun in our home for self-defense. We both went to a regional sporting-goods store and handled various handguns. My spouse settled on a certain revolver and I asked the salesperson to give me a Form 4473 to fill out so we could purchase the handgun. He balked and said that he did not want to complete the sale because I was a straw purchaser for my spouse.

          Another example: my cousin and I wanted a certain carbine that was selling as fast as they came in to all local gun stores. My cousin and I both called two local gun store and “ordered” the same carbine, thinking that we would each buy one from whichever stores received them first. His arrived first at Store A. Next, one arrived for his “order” at Store B. So we both drove to Store B so that he could tell Store B to allocate “his” carbine to me instead. Store B balked and accused us of a straw purchase and did not want to sell that carbine to me.

          In both of the above cases, it took me several minutes explaining that I was the actual buyer using MY money to purchase those firearms that I was going to keep at MY home for MY use. Even that was not enough for both FFLs to complete the sale. Both FFLs finally relented and completed the sales after verifying that all of us (my spouse in the first case, my cousin in the second case, and me in both cases) were legally eligible to purchase firearms (e.g. none of us were “prohibited persons”).

          So, if you want to give someone a firearm as a gift and you are purchasing it from a local gun store, I strongly recommend that you just buy it without saying anything about your intention to give it to someone as a gift. After you complete the purchase and take that firearm home, then you can give it as a gift to your intended recipient.

    • “Most of the times I gave someone a firearm it was my son.”

      GF, have I ever told you how I consider you the dad I never had?


      Stick it in my *what*? 🙂

      • Geoff, you’re not the first to express that sentiment. Most recently I told a friend I had a Randall #27 Trailblazer for John’s Christmas present. He wanted to know if it was too late for me to adopt him. Mark is older than me. So, yeah.

  3. Dictionaries follow; they don’t lead. They tell us how we talk, not how we should talk. “Gift” as a verb is about 5 years old.

    • “They tell us how we talk, not how we should talk.”
      So are you telling us how we should talk, “nobody should use it because it sounds like crap.”?
      You are gifted!

      • Just a suggestion. I mean, really. Do you go around asking people to help you “source” things? Betcha don’t.

        • I did it all the time as a Systems Engineer working for L3 Harris before retiring last year. We had sourcing manuals of approved DoD venders for different projects.

        • Hate to break it to you there Steve, but ‘source’ can be, and does get used as a verb. “To source materials from a supplier”.

  4. “…and now Virginia are among states that require a background check for a private party transfer of a handgun.”
    1. Virginia’s UBC law applies not only to handgun sales but also rifles and shotguns
    2. Nowhere does it prevent gifting of firearms(among Virginia residents), key words are sell for money, goods, services, or anything of value.
    I’m not an attorney, this is not legal advice.

  5. I know. I know it’s used. It sounds awful, is all. It started when people started to “party,” instead of having a party. I’ve watched the language deteriorate. Pet peeve; I don’t personally berate people about it. Everybody can talk any way they’d like as long as they’re understood.
    I’m a retired teacher and I’ve sadly watched students adopt new and awful ways of speaking. No big deal; I don’t think it’s a nat’l. security risk.

    • It’s like hearing people say “I seen”- that’s decidedly cringeworthy, but having to read where someone has actually typed “I seen” in a sentence… that’s simply shuddersome.

  6. I don’t see any mention on how to answer that one question on the form. Will you get turned down if you say you’re buying it for someone else, as in a gift?

    • 4473 page 4 has the details
      Question 21.a. Actual Transferee/Buyer: For purposes of this form, a person is the actual transferee/buyer if he/she is purchasing the firearm for him/herself or otherwise acquiring the firearm for him/herself. (e.g., redeeming the firearm from pawn, retrieving it from consignment, firearm raffle winner). A person is also the actual transferee/buyer if he/she is legitimately purchasing the firearm as a bona fide gift for a third party. A gift is not bona fide if another person offered or gave the person completing this form money, service(s), or item(s) of value to acquire the firearm for him/her, or if the other person is prohibited by law from receiving or possessing the firearm.

  7. I go to the gun store, I pick out the gun, purchase it, bring it home, and gift wrap it. My son unwraps it, admires it, and asks if I want to go out and shoot it with him. We all get dressed, and all the grand children want to go to, so it takes an hour before we are actually ready to go out the door. We set up some targets, Son fires off a few rounds, then the grandchildren all get to fire it a couple times, and then it’s time for everyone to go home. Grandpa is left to clean up the mess in the yard, and Son probably asks Grandpa if he’ll clean the gun, and put it away until he comes to pick it up next week.

    It’s been a great day, everyone!


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