Dec 16 2016

There is a natural tendency to want to share the things we enjoy with the people we love. A person who enjoys firing a gun in hunting or in shooting competitions is often eager to spread the joy they feel in engaging in this hobby. A gun can open up new recreation opportunities for people and can also help them feel safer.

Giving a gift of firearms is not as simple as giving other presents, though, because ownership entails both legal and ethical obligations. You can’t simply giftwrap a gun and walk away due to different laws that govern gun purchases and ownership.

Legal Capacity to Own

The first issue to weigh when considering gifting someone a gun is the legal capacity of the person to own a gun. Not everybody can own a gun, especially if the intended recipient is still a minor. If the person is of a legal age, make sure to find out if they meet requirements for the area that they live in. Different states have different laws governing gun ownership. Do your research to make sure your intended recipient qualifies.

How to Give a Gun

Guns, in most jurisdictions, cannot just be handed over like an ordinary gift. Federal laws allow you to give a gift of firearms to family members or friends living in your home state. However, a person who receives a gifted firearm must follow the same process as someone who is buying the firearm for himself. This means that the purchase or transfer of the firearm must be done through a firearms retailer who will take the required steps in selling the gun. In essence, the recipient will be treated as the purchaser of the gun.

One easy way to give the gift of a firearm is to purchase a gift certificate from the gun retailer. The recipient can then go to the gun store to select the gun and comply with all necessary purchase requirements.

If the gift of a gun is for a person living in another state, the gift must be sent to a federally licensed gun retailer but not to a non-licensed individual in that state. A handgun can be shipped to another state by a common or contract carrier, not through the U.S. Postal Service. A rifle can be shipped through the postal system and by common carrier.

A gift of a firearm is one way to share with your loved ones your passion for guns, but make sure that they will also share your sense of responsibility in their gun ownership.

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