Clarification of a straw purchase?

Clarification of a straw purchase?

This is a discussion on Clarification of a straw purchase? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; A straw purchase is defined as someone buying a firearm for someone who would be unable to own it right? If the above is the ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array bal_g23's Avatar
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    Clarification of a straw purchase?

    A straw purchase is defined as someone buying a firearm for someone who would be unable to own it right?

    If the above is the true definition, then assuming someone is 18 but not 21, could you have someone buy a handgun for you legally?
    In Washington State, you can legally own a handgun at 18, can carry it concealed in your home, your work, and any property owned by your family, but you cannot buy one from an FFL until youre 21.

    Since someone who is 18 could legally own a handgun, wouldn't that be an exemption of a straw purchase? Or am I completely wrong?
    Is there a legal solution?
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  2. #2
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    That could be one of those ‘pends on situations, if a parent or guardian purchased a handgun as a gift for someone who is less than 21 that is legal, but if someone bought a handgun for someone else then it may fall into the straw purchase category.

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    Distinguished Member Array Agave's Avatar
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    If the 18 year old gives you money and you buy a handgun for him, that is a straw purchase.

    If you buy a handgun and give it to an 18 year old as a gift, that is not a straw purchase, per the examples on the 4473.
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    If you read the form, it clearly states that you are buying the gun FOR YOURSELF, not someone else.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    A distinction is made between the purchase and any subsequent transfer you may choose to do. A "straw" purchase is one done on behalf of someone else.

    As with the proverbial bottle o' scotch at the corner liquor store, the person who's truly "buying" the liquor shouldn't have a proxy do it instead. There's no reason not to, unless that purchaser is seeking to sidestep something (ie, is underage). In the case of firearms, that sort of purchase is made illegal, given the fears over guns getting into the hands of folks who should not have them.

    You can certainly purchase a gun yourself, then give it as a gift, but then transfer laws come into play, not "straw" purchase laws. Your state will generally list all sorts of minimum requirements for someone you're giving it to.
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    Member Array bal_g23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    A distinction is made between the purchase and any subsequent transfer you may choose to do. A "straw" purchase is one done on behalf of someone else.

    As with the proverbial bottle o' scotch at the corner liquor store, the person who's truly "buying" the liquor shouldn't have a proxy do it instead. There's no reason not to, unless that purchaser is seeking to sidestep something (ie, is underage). In the case of firearms, that sort of purchase is made illegal, given the fears over guns getting into the hands of folks who should not have them.

    You can certainly purchase a gun yourself, then give it as a gift, but then transfer laws come into play, not "straw" purchase laws. Your state will generally list all sorts of minimum requirements for someone you're giving it to.
    Gotcha
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    Senior Member Array fernset's Avatar
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    Is there a minimal time from when ou buy the gun to when you sell t so it won't be a straw? If you buy a gun today, go shoot it, hate it and sell it 2morrow, is that a straw purchase? No, right?

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    There is no specific time limit, as time is not a determining factor in whether it is a straw purchase. The determing factor is your "intent" when purchasing the gun.

    That said, time between purchase and subsequent transfer will almost always be used (by one side or the other) to shed light on "intent".

    the second (and IMHO, more relevant) issue is the status of the person to whom you subsequently transfer the gun. If they can legally purchase the same from an FLL, then it is unlikely to be ruled a straw purchase. If they cannot legally purchase said gun, then I wouldn't want to be transfering it to them anyway.

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    My impression is that in general with respect to gun laws, more so than other stuff we do, the laws are very complex, ambiguous, and situationally sensitive. It is best to err on the side of caution. That is, if you are not sure something is O.K., don't do it.

    So, with respect to straw purchases the thing is to be really sure that the person to whom the gun is being given can lawfully have it; and be sure that the subsequent transfer was either a true gift or a legal sale/transfer.

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    Member Array Rusty Bouquett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    So, with respect to straw purchases the thing is to be really sure that the person to whom the gun is being given can lawfully have it........
    And THAT'S the fly in the oatmeal. Unless you can do a legal background check on the guy then you don't know if he can legally possess a gun or not.

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    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    Straw purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by bal_g23 View Post
    A straw purchase is defined as someone buying a firearm for someone who would be unable to own it right?

    If the above is the true definition, then assuming someone is 18 but not 21, could you have someone buy a handgun for you legally?
    In Washington State, you can legally own a handgun at 18, can carry it concealed in your home, your work, and any property owned by your family, but you cannot buy one from an FFL until youre 21.

    Since someone who is 18 could legally own a handgun, wouldn't that be an exemption of a straw purchase? Or am I completely wrong?
    Is there a legal solution?
    Different rules apply when purchasing from an FFL as opposed to a civilian. Federal rules govern what the FFL may and may not do. A civilian on the other hand is not required to run a background check, not usually required to sell to someone over 21 (depending on state) and is not required to maintain records.
    If you buy a gun as a gift for someone, once it's left the dealers possession, it's your property. You may give it to whoever meets the legal requirements under state law.
    I frequently buy at gun shows, I'm obviously over 19 (law in NM) and usually just show my drivers license as proof of residence. That's it.
    If you're purchasing as a gift, then no money is changing hands between you and the person you're giving it to, so there is no straw purchase.
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    I would not buy a firearm for anyone else for any reason...period! Now a gift for a family member, or an in-law...well, it depends, but I would not jeopardize my right to buy/sell/own a firearm...not worth any risk.
    If someone else cannot buy a firearm...there's a reason.

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    So are you wanting to acquire a handgun prior to being 21? There are legal ways to do it if thats your goal.
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    Member Array bal_g23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    So are you wanting to acquire a handgun prior to being 21? There are legal ways to do it if thats your goal.
    Yes, and Im aware of private sales being legal here in WA, but I believe that would limit my selection, especially my selection of NIB handguns. Also, Im kind of unsure where I would go to find out about private sales, the major gun show in Washington is members only I believe. And guess what, you need to be 21 to become a member
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    Distinguished Member Array Pro2A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bal_g23 View Post
    A straw purchase is defined as someone buying a firearm for someone who would be unable to own it right?

    If the above is the true definition, then assuming someone is 18 but not 21, could you have someone buy a handgun for you legally?
    In Washington State, you can legally own a handgun at 18, can carry it concealed in your home, your work, and any property owned by your family, but you cannot buy one from an FFL until youre 21.

    Since someone who is 18 could legally own a handgun, wouldn't that be an exemption of a straw purchase? Or am I completely wrong?
    Is there a legal solution?
    I think the law is more along the lines of person A slipping person B $300 dollars on the street to buy person A a gun because he is a felon. Person B would have a clean record, and would be breaking the law buying a gun for person A who is a felon.

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