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Assertive Representation In State & Federal Court

Can you buy a gun for someone else?

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2021 | Criminal Defense

With most products, naturally, it’s no big deal to pick them up for someone else and then have that person send you the money. It could be as simple as using a cash transfer app on your phone. You don’t think twice about it. 


But what if that product is a firearm? If you’re heading to the sporting goods store anyway, can you grab a gun for someone else and then get the money from them after the fact? Or can they give you the money in advance and have you make the purchase on their behalf? 

Before you make that purchase, understand how the law works.

The legality of gifts

This question often comes up in the context of guns as gifts. Say you know your friend wants a hunting rifle, so you get them one for their birthday. This is often legal, though you may have to note that they’re going to get the gun in the end so that the seller can run a background check. You also need to know that it is legal for that person to own the gun. 

When you really run into issues is if you lie at the time of purchase — saying the gun is for you — and/or if you know the person cannot own a gun and so you’re trying to skirt the law. Maybe they have a felony record, for example, or are too young to own the type of gun you’re buying. This can qualify as a straw purchase, and there are very serious consequences for doing so. 

If you get arrested

As you can imagine, an innocent mistake could lead to legal trouble, and weapons charges are always serious. Don’t assume you can always buy a gun as a gift or a favor. If you do get arrested, then you must make sure you understand your legal defense options. 

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