Questions on "Gifting" a Handgun

This is a discussion on Questions on "Gifting" a Handgun within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I actually have two questions on this issue. I'll ask them separately. First: I live in Florida. My two sons live in Pennsylvania. Both have ...

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Thread: Questions on "Gifting" a Handgun

  1. #1
    Member Array Quiet1's Avatar
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    Questions on "Gifting" a Handgun

    I actually have two questions on this issue. I'll ask them separately.

    First: I live in Florida. My two sons live in Pennsylvania. Both have Pennsylvania CCP's. First scenario: If they visit me in Florida may we visit a Florida FFL and do a transfer which would allow them to legally transport the handgun back to Pennsylvania and legally "own" the guns? Or, if I legally transport the handguns to Pennsylvania can we visit a Pennsylvania FFL and have him do the transfer?

    Or, do I have to have my Florida FFL ship to a Pennsylvania FFL?

    Remember, these are my sons. We share the same last name, and it is a gift, not a sale. I would obviously like to avoid paying any FFL fees.

    I'll list my second question concerning transfer, after death, through a will, separately.
    Illegitimus Non Carborundum

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    Member Array Riana's Avatar
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    If you can find a PA FFL who will do an in-person transfer from a private individual (some do not), then you can do it that way. I believe the FFL has to be in the state of the receiving individual(s).

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    Member Array sureshot1's Avatar
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    Why do you have to even do a transfer? Does it have something to do with Pennsylvania law, or is there another reason? I've never notified anyone when getting a firearm from a private party. Is this something new in the laws?
    " The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it." Thomas Jefferson

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    PA and FL neither one have gun registraion. Since the person recieving the gun is not prohibited from owning a gun, you should be able to give it as a gift without any paperwork being conducted. If you wanted to you could probably do a notarized statement saying that "such and such gun, serial # XXX-XXXX was given to Joe Blow as a gift".

    IANAL so my opinion is worth what you paid for it.
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    Member Array Riana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    PA and FL neither one have gun registraion. Since the person recieving the gun is not prohibited from owning a gun, you should be able to give it as a gift without any paperwork being conducted. If you wanted to you could probably do a notarized statement saying that "such and such gun, serial # XXX-XXXX was given to Joe Blow as a gift".

    IANAL so my opinion is worth what you paid for it.
    Technically, if the gun is going to cross state lines, it is supposed to go through an FFL. If you are both residents of the same state, then you can just hand it to them and be legal.
    Hopyard likes this.

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    Member Array Eaglebeak's Avatar
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    Perhaps it would be much less complicated to send them each a gift certificate so they could purchase the gun they wanted locally and in their name.

    Terms of transfer through a will after death will probably vary quite a bit with different state laws - that might be a question more reliably answered by an attorney specializing in wills, probate, and property transfer.

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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    Federal law states that the transfer of a handgun must at least go through a FFL in the recipient's state of residence. It doesn't matter if it is gifted, sold, or traded, any time ownership is transferred between residents of different states a FFL in the recipient's state of residence has to be involved.

    ATF Online - Firearms - Frequently Asked Questions - Unlicensed Persons

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    Member Array Quiet1's Avatar
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    Thank you to each of you for your thoughtful, and in a few cases, thought provoking, replies. It seems that the majority consensus is a transfer should be done through an FFL in the recipient's state.

    However, as some have noted, since they're my kids and we both live in "non registration" states, I like the idea of simply transferring ownership with a notarized statement giving them "custodianship" of the firearm with ownership passing to them upon my death.

    IANAL either but I think that may be the way to go. It may not be the "letter-of-the-law" but at least it leaves a paper trail that would appear, on it's face, to be attempting to follow the law. Thanks again to all who responded. This is a great forum.
    Illegitimus Non Carborundum

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quiet1 View Post
    Thank you to each of you for your thoughtful, and in a few cases, thought provoking, replies. It seems that the majority consensus is a transfer should be done through an FFL in the recipient's state.

    However, as some have noted, since they're my kids and we both live in "non registration" states, I like the idea of simply transferring ownership with a notarized statement giving them "custodianship" of the firearm with ownership passing to them upon my death.

    IANAL either but I think that may be the way to go. It may not be the "letter-of-the-law" but at least it leaves a paper trail that would appear, on it's face, to be attempting to follow the law. Thanks again to all who responded. This is a great forum.
    Look at what is in bold. If it is illegal to do what you are proposing (interstate transfer without going through an FFL, and this has been mentioned here in the past) then keeping a paper trail could hang you.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
    Andrew Jackson

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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quiet1 View Post
    Thank you to each of you for your thoughtful, and in a few cases, thought provoking, replies. It seems that the majority consensus is a transfer should be done through an FFL in the recipient's state.

    However, as some have noted, since they're my kids and we both live in "non registration" states, I like the idea of simply transferring ownership with a notarized statement giving them "custodianship" of the firearm with ownership passing to them upon my death.

    IANAL either but I think that may be the way to go. It may not be the "letter-of-the-law" but at least it leaves a paper trail that would appear, on it's face, to be attempting to follow the law. Thanks again to all who responded. This is a great forum.
    Your guns, your choice. Just remember, in this case, not following the "letter-of-the-law" in this case could easily cost you the right to own firearms the rest of your life and your sons the rest of their lives.

    The FEDS don't play that "almost legal" game.

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    Member Array Quiet1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NC Bullseye View Post
    Your guns, your choice. Just remember, in this case, not following the "letter-of-the-law" in this case could easily cost you the right to own firearms the rest of your life and your sons the rest of their lives.

    The FEDS don't play that "almost legal" game.
    Yeah. You and Hopyard make a very compelling and sobering point. I've always liked to say that my mama didn't raise any dumb children so I'm just going to bequeath them, by description and serial number, through my will. If, for any compelling reason, I want or need to give them before I die, I'll go ahead and pay the transfer fee's. Oh for the good old days, life used to be so much simpler.

    Thanks again for all the excellent responses and to NC Bullseye for the reality check.
    Illegitimus Non Carborundum

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    Member Array muddy's Avatar
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    Why make a big deal out of this. You gave the kids the guns when they lived with you or when they lived in Florida before moving to PA. Do you guys realize how many guns are given to people across state lines every year? I can buy a gun off the local classifieds today with no paper work, move to another state and sell it with no paper work and it could be sold again and again with no paper work. If its ever checked it would track back to the original owner who would say I sold that weapon year ago. Who is going to check the weapon, last I heard there are no serial number police running around checking to see who has what weapon where. How many parents buy there kids or grandkids a weapon for Christmas and after it gets opened Christmas morning say now tomorrow we need to go down to the local gun store and do an FFL transfer.

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    Member Array automan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riana View Post
    Technically, if the gun is going to cross state lines, it is supposed to go through an FFL. If you are both residents of the same state, then you can just hand it to them and be legal.
    Riana is correct: any transfer of handguns between individuals living in different states, and even within some states, requires a legal transfer using an FFL within the receipient's state. Any other way is illegal unless it is by inheritance.

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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by muddy View Post
    Why make a big deal out of this. You gave the kids the guns when they lived with you or when they lived in Florida before moving to PA. Do you guys realize how many guns are given to people across state lines every year? I can buy a gun off the local classifieds today with no paper work, move to another state and sell it with no paper work and it could be sold again and again with no paper work. If its ever checked it would track back to the original owner who would say I sold that weapon year ago. Who is going to check the weapon, last I heard there are no serial number police running around checking to see who has what weapon where. How many parents buy there kids or grandkids a weapon for Christmas and after it gets opened Christmas morning say now tomorrow we need to go down to the local gun store and do an FFL transfer.
    That's right! We ALL know that ONLY bad guys break laws and us good guys never would.




    Wait a sec.....



    Never mind.

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    For what it will cost you to do the transfer and be above board free and clear with a supporting paper trail, it would most likely be worth the modest investment. Otherwise, I guess you have already posted your solution(s).

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