It's the time of year where people start wanting firearms as gifts and, hopefully, people start thinking about giving firearms as gifts.
Contrary to what some believe, it is perfectly legal to purchase a firearm from a gun store/FFL as a gift for someone else.
But, there are a couple of important nuances to buying a firearm as a gift for someone else:
- You must actually be the one buying the firearm as a true gift. This means it is your money and you are not buying it to be reimbursed with money, services, or an item in exchange.
- You must not have any reason to believe that the recipient of the gift is a prohibited person and they are otherwise allowed to possess that firearm (age restrictions and state laws apply). To learn more about prohibited persons, check out episode #4.
The Form 4473 (the form you fill out to purchase a firearm from an FFL) asks if you are the actual purchaser. If the purchase is a bona fide gift, then you select "yes."
Once you've purchased the firearm, you can now gift it is you would any other firearm you already own.
If the person is a resident of your state, and your state doesn't have any laws about personal transfers, then you can just give the firearm to the recipient (you can even mail it in your own state).
If the person is a resident of another state, you MUST ship the item to an FFL in the recipient's state - the recipient then must go to the FFL and have the firearm transferred to them. If you know that this is your plan, you can just purchase the firearm from the FFL and have them ship it to the other FFL - there's no need to fill out the 4473 and transfer it to yourself if you don;t need to take possession of the firearm.
To learn more about this, check out this article: Firearms as Gifts