There is a big argument amongst a couple of FFLs and myself in another thread regarding the following. So I emailed the Seattle Office of the BATF to seek their opinion. Any comments/conjectures in the meantime are welcome to be posted. Heck, we might even get a couple side bets going!
Seattle ATF Division,
I am currently stationed in Iraq. Can you please answer the following question via email, as I am afraid I will not receive your answer in time via US Mail from/to Iraq before Christmas.
My girlfriend's son turned 18 this month. When I return to Washington state in December I would like to give him a handgun for a Christmas/Birthday present. Obviously, neither my girlfriend nor her son are related to me in any way. I am a Washington state resident, am over 21, possess a WA State CPL, and I am eligible to purchase/possess a handgun. My girlfriend's son is also a WA State resident and is eligible to possess a handgun.
Would it be illegal in any way for me to take him to an FFL dealer, explain to the dealer that I am purchasing the handgun with my own money as a gift for him, allow him to pick out the handgun that he would like, I fill out the 4473 with my information as the purchaser, pay for the handgun with my money, walk out of the store and give the handgun to my girlfriend's son as a present. The FFL dealer would, of course, know that I was purchasing this gun as a gift, and if he chose to inquire, would know that the son was 18 years old.
Thank you for your help,
LT John H., US Navy
With the ATF's answer I will also post the Seattle Field Divisions phone number so that the answer to the question may be verified.