On one hand, a straw purchase is when one person buys a gun for someone else who cannot buy one, because they cannot pass a background check. The other hand shows a straw purchase as buying a gun and selling it directly to someone who can pass their own background check, without actually taking the background check. If they ask you to buy it, fill out the 4473 in your name, and then pay you for it, that's illegal. As stupid as that sounds, that's the way it is. Most of the time, however, it's the first one. Said person cannot buy a gun because he/she is a felon, mentally unstable, or too young. These are the rules no matter what your thoughts about it may be. If you get caught buying a gun for someone else, you may end up doing jail time, getting a hefty fine, or both.
It's a felony …
Straw purchases are wrong because the person who wants the gun might not be allowed to have one. While not always the case, the person may be a violent felon who cannot have access to firearms for the sake of others, and there really is no way of being 100% sure unless you were with that person each minute of your lives. If you decide to break this rule and buy a gun for another, you'll be committing a felony, and will be unable to buy your own guns from that point on, should you get caught. Remember that.
Many people who use guns in crime do so with guns purchased by someone else illegally or by guns that were stolen from someone who bought the firearm the right way. According to some estimates, somewhere close to 40% of guns used in crime are obtained via a straw purchase.
The irony, is that the person you're buying for doesn't even have to be a felon or any kind of law breaker. In fact, they may even be able to buy their own guns under their own background check, but want them to be under someone else's 4473 so that the gun can in no way be traced back to the shooter. According to the folks who make the rules, they want to be able to track the crimes back to the person who bought the gun.
The supreme court came up with these rules that you can't buy a gun for someone who can pass a background check, because they want to help police investigate the crimes. In other words, it doesn't matter if the person is allowed to have a gun or not– it is still considered to be an illegal purchase.
What does this mean for gifting guns?
Buying a gun as a gift may not necessarily be considered a straw purchase. However, you should always buy any firearm gifts with extreme caution and check the laws, first. I'm not going to get too heavily into it, because the topic has been covered greatly on the NSSF's website. So, I'll direct you there for more information about buying a gun as a gift.
One thing that you might do to save yourself a bit of a headache, is just use a gift card to your favorite gun shop. Even if they don't offer up a gift card, they may draft something up just for your one-time deal. Or, you could take the giftee shopping. Who knows, they may choose a different gun than you'd have bought them, anyway.
If you've ever been approached by someone asking you to make a straw purchase for them, don't do it. You could get into a lot of trouble if you're caught. Again, you won't be able to buy your own guns at that point. Ask yourself if it's worth it, and tread lightly. Sound Off Gun Carriers! Have you ever been approached about making a straw purchase? Or, do you know someone who has? What was the outcome? Let us know in the comments below. Then, make sure you sign up for Gun Carrier's FREE Newsletter so you never miss a shot.