How to Properly Buy Guns Online to Give as a Gift
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How to Properly Buy Guns Online to Give as a Gift

Apr 06 2020

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Everyone loves getting gifts, and not just during the holidays or for birthdays. Almost every type of gift has a pretty simple gift-giving procedure: Buy the item, wrap it or put a big, pretty bow on it, and give it to your loved one at the right time. Gifting a gun, however, has just a few more steps than that. So, you want to be careful and make sure that when you buy your loved one the pistol he or she has been eyeing, you do it the right way.

If you’ve never gifted someone a gun before, you must understand that, to buy firearms and guns online is not quite so simple. Here is what you need to understand before deciding to buy guns online as a gift to someone else.

Before setting foot in a gun store, consider this: if you have any reason to believe the person you are buying a firearm for may use it to commit a crime or is otherwise prohibited from owning a firearm, DO NOT GIVE THEM A GUN. Doing so is a federal offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison and possibly $250,000 in fines. When in doubt, go a different gift route.

Gifting as well as having a firearm comes with legal responsibilities as a U.S. citizen. Here are a few concepts you should know.

Federal Firearms License or FF: An FFL is a license that allows an individual or a company to own, sell, manufacture, or import firearms and ammunition, including the interstate and intrastate sale of firearms. FFLs range from Type 1 to Type 11.

Private Gun Sales: The occasional gun sale, exchanging, or gifting of a firearm does not require an FFL. Still, you must follow federal, state, and local laws when purchasing and gifting a firearm. That includes knowing if your state allows the private sale of firearms and which restrictions, if private sales are allowed, are applied.

For example: California, New York, and Colorado, you can’t just buy guns online. These states require that private firearms sales be completed through a licensed firearms dealer. There, a background check will be conducted on the person you want to present the gun to. And in Connecticut the private sale of long guns is prohibited unless certain conditions are met. And residents must get an authorization number before privately selling a firearm.

It’s also illegal to sell a firearm across state lines without going through an FFL dealer. Also, guns cannot be shipped to non-FFL buyers. If you want to learn more about your state’s particular gun laws, you can visit and select your state.

Once you’ve researched your state’s gun laws. It’s time to make a purchase. When you get to your FFL dealer, you will fill out ATF Form 4473. There is a question, “Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm listed on this form?” When you answer “Yes” you are the legal buyer and owner of that firearm UNTIL you legally transfer that firearm to another person. You are responsible for that firearm until you transfer it. And though the ATF form satisfies the federal obligation, your state may have additional requirements.

A good idea for gifting someone a firearm is to simply get them a gift card. Or, you could talk to the gun specialists at the best online gun store in Michigan, Lakeshore.

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