The following is a video transcript.
A common question I receive around the holiday season is whether you can give or receive the gift of a firearm.
How do both parties stay on the right side of the law? What needs to happen to stay legal? What if the parties are residents of different states?
In Georgia, there is no firearm registry. If the recipient of the firearm gift is not prohibited from legally possessing the firearm and the rules on transfer are followed, the gift is legal under federal and state law.
Requirement Number One
Both the gift giver and the receiver must be residents of the same state.
You cannot transfer a firearm to a person who lives in another state without making the transfer through a Federal Firearms Licensed Dealer (“FFL”) in the home state of the one who receives the firearm as a gift. The recipient must fill out ATF form 4473 and pass a NICS background check to receive the gifted firearm.
Requirement Number Two
The receiver must be able to legally possess the gifted firearm under Georgia law.
For a handgun, a person must be over the age of 18, with no felony convictions or pending felony cases, no misdemeanor convictions for family violence, and must not be on first offender probation.
For a rifle, there is no minimum age, but all rules on lawful possession must be met.
Are you worried the gift of a firearm may be considered a straw man purchase? Don’t be. A straw purchase arises when someone asks you to purchase a gun for him or her. They then give you money to purchase the gun, and you complete the purchase. That is a straw man purchase, and it is a violation of federal law.
If, however, you purchase a firearm with the intention of giving it as a gift, it is not a violation of the law so long as you and the recipient are residents of the same state. A Georgia resident gifting a firearm to another Georgia resident is perfectly fine. Go ahead and give the gift; follow the rules and make holiday wishes come true.
Gifting a Gun to Out-of-State Residents
What if you wish to gift a firearm to someone who resides out of state? You must transfer the gift through an FFL in the home state of the recipient. Find an FFL in your state, ship to the FFL in the recipient’s state, and he or she will take possession through the FFL process. If you can legally transport the firearm yourself to their state, that’s fine. Just make sure you follow all the laws of the state you’re visiting on possession of a firearm. Please go through the FFL process to transfer the weapon. It’s the only way you’ll both stay out of trouble.
Transporting a Gifted Firearm
What if you’re at a Christmas party and you receive a firearm? Can you get the firearm home in your car? Absolutely, so long as you are otherwise lawful to possess it. Remember, you are lawful to possess a handgun (over the age of 18, no pending felonies or felony convictions, no misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence, and no first offender probations), you can carry it anywhere in your vehicle, loaded or unloaded. The rules are the same for a rifle or shotgun, except there are no age restrictions on rifles or shotguns. Neither federal law nor state law provides a minimum age for possession of long guns or ammunition for long guns.
For any questions regarding gifting or being gifted a gun over the holidays, please call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to an Independent Program Attorney.