It is illegal to make straw gun purchases. Doing so can have legal ramifications for both the person making the purchase and the individual receiving the weapon.
A straw purchase occurs when one individual buys a gun for someone else. When making the purchase, they will be asked if the firearm is for them. They will then be subjected to a background check. If they say that the gun is for them, but they are actually buying it for someone else, this is known as a straw purchase.
Why would someone do this?
One of the most common reasons that this happens is because one person knows they would not pass a background check. Perhaps they are not legally allowed to own a firearm. They give another person the money for the purchase, knowing that this person has a clean record and will pass the background check. That person then makes the purchase and gives the firearm to the other individual.
Does this mean you can’t give firearms as a gift?
People sometimes say that they weren’t trying to make a straw purchase, but that the weapon in question was just a gift. And there are certainly circumstances wherein you can buy firearms and give them to other individuals. But it’s important to remember that you still have to follow all of the proper steps to do so, and that the person who eventually owns or possesses that firearm needs to be legally allowed to have possession of one. A straw purchase is specifically illegal because of the deliberate intent to skirt these laws.
That being said, you can see how there are certainly situations in which you may think that you are just giving someone a thoughtful gift, but you may be accused of trying to break gun laws and making a straw purchase. Since this is such a very serious accusation, it’s quite important to know about all the legal options at your disposal and to seek legal guidance if you’re facing charges.