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Gifting Firearms

Gifting Firearms

Are you thinking of buying a gun as a gift for someone this holiday season? If so, you might want to make sure you are doing it lawfully.

’Tis the season! Well, it just about is anyway. In a matter of weeks, the gift buying frenzy is going to ramp up something fierce. The National Retail Federation is expecting buying this season to increase by up to 4.2% over holiday spending last year. I am sure firearms will be some component of that.

You may have your heart set on buying your nephew that prized hunting rifle for Christmas, or your newly self-defense conscious daughter the new Springfield Armory Hellcat for concealed carry. While there is no federal law that prohibits the transfer of firearms from one person to the other, there are definitely things you need to consider to ensure you are doing it legally.

In State

The process is definitely much easier when you and the person you’re giving a gift to both live within the same state within most states. However, there are some states; California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, DC, and Washington State that require the transfer be made through a local FFL so a background check can be done, which does add some complexity.

First and foremost, you must ensure that the person receiving the gift is able to legally posses a firearm. You can read about those laws here. There is also a stipulation that the person receiving the gift can have no knowledge of the gift prior to receiving it. In other words, someone can’t have someone else knowingly purchase a firearm for them because it’s more convenient to do so or because they may not pass a background check, for example. 

Out Of State

The rules for giving firearms across state lines make it a little more difficult. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t just pertain to gift giving, but transferring of firearms altogether across state lines. 

Any time a gun is acquiring new ownership across state lines, the transfer must take place through an FFL within the state the gun is going to. If the gun is being shipped across state lines, it must be shipped to an FFL where the transfer can take place. Long guns can be shipped via the US Postal Service. Handguns, however, can only be shipped via common carrier like UPS or FedEx. There may be some carrier specific requirements that must be followed. It is best to check with the carrier beforehand. Of course the guns must be unloaded. In addition, the federal government requires that you declare that your package contains an unloaded firearm.

The Best Alternative

Considering everything just covered, there is a far better alternative to purchasing a firearm for someone as a gift, and that is giving them a gift card instead. This way, they can purchase the gun that works best for them rather than what you think is the best gun for them. We all know you should never buy a gun that you haven’t test driven. They all fit hands differently. Giving gift cards also gets you around all the red tape that can exist when transferring firearms. 

While you’re at it, you can also purchase a gift certificate from Safe Family Defense for a CWP class, some personal training, or a Beginners Pistol class!

Be safe,

Joe Shahoud

Joe Shahoud is the owner and lead instructor at Safe Family Defense LLC, a firearms training academy that serves the greater Columbia, SC area specializing in pistol, concealed weapons permits, personal defense, and general education in personal safety. Visit their classes page to see what is available and enroll.

Joe is also the owner of Safe Family Safes, an online retailer that specializes in fast-access smart gun safes and other gear essential to the concealed carry lifestyle.

Copyright 2020 – All Rights Reserved, Safe Family Defense LLC

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