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Legality of selling a gun "for" someone else in a private, FTF sale

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Boomerang, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. Boomerang

    Boomerang Portland area Active Member

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    I've seen an ad or two in the classified section where someone states they are selling the gun "for" someone else (a family member). Is this legal? I know FTF transactions in state between residents of the state are fine, but what about if the seller is selling someone else's gun?
     
  2. benja455

    benja455 Seattle, WA Member

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    I've also wondered this.
     
  3. krkruse

    krkruse Salem area Active Member

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    well if it were illegal, couldnt you just give your friend the gun, then they could give you the money.
    or you could buy it for 3 cents and some lint then you could sell your gun then you could buy back the lint for the price of the gun.
     
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  4. WhyteCheddar

    WhyteCheddar East of Moscow by the Willamette Well-Known Member

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    My impression for many of those ads is that the 'seller' is just using the forum to make the contact for the actual owner. Its probably not the case in all instances but thats how I read some of them.
    And I dont see a problem with selling someone elses gun for them as long as all parties involved are legally allowed to transact firearms.
     
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  5. PX4WA

    PX4WA Tacoma, WA Active Member

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    As long as all are residents of the same state
     
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  6. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Well since there is no registration in our states,basically you give your friend the gun and they sell it. Then they give you the money.
    But I believe the people are just placing the ad for the gun and helping them with the price.They may not know computers or gun prices.
     
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  7. 22many

    22many PNW Well-Known Member

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    I don't have a problem buying a gun from someone that is selling it for a friend. After all, I don't see how it is any different than buying a car from someone selling it for a friend or buying something off craigslist.
     
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  8. waltermitty

    waltermitty seattle Active Member

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    perhaps we're trying to read too much into this, as there are a variety of ways in which such
    a sale could be legal or illegal. also, if not illegal, the seller posting the sale does not have the
    legal authority to consummate the sale.

    so we can presume that what they really mean most of the time is simply that they're brokering
    the sale, ie putting people in touch with each other or some such.

    firearm sales are not all created equal, depending on where one lives. after all, local laws can restrict
    how the sale is to be conducted.

    edited: oops, i just read the other posts above mine, espec the one by mjbskwim. in other words....what he said. :)
     
  9. fd15k

    fd15k Tigard,OR Well-Known Member

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    Federal law seems to have a problem with two gun trade activities: straw purchases and selling for profit without a license. I think that's why this scenario never came up in ATF FAQs or related publications. E-mail ATF maybe ?
     
  10. accessbob

    accessbob Molalla, OR 2A Supporter

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    Would be interesting to note which ads are saying that they are selling for a friend/family member. In the ad I posted recently, I posted for my brother-in-law but gave his contact information and stated on the ad for people to contact him directly. So that is perfectly legal and above-board.
     
  11. fd15k

    fd15k Tigard,OR Well-Known Member

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    And perfectly boring :D I will try to find some time this week to send a letter to the ATF on this topic. I'm curious.
     
  12. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    If I am going to the local gun show and my neighbor asked me to sell his old 30-30 on my table its perfectly legal as far as I know.

    This is I think the first time I have ever heard anyone bring this question up. I have been going to guns shows since the mid 1960's from 1983 to 1996 I sold at 1-2 shows a month I bought sold and traded. Never heard anything about selling someone elses firearm. Granted it would obviously have to be with their permission.

    Unless someone finds a citation against it.
     
  13. fd15k

    fd15k Tigard,OR Well-Known Member

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    While it's a good ground to stand in an argument, it's not very practical in the real world. Finding a law may take a lot of effort (that's why they invented lawyers who make big bucks for it!), and if you fail to find it, doesn't mean you won't be popped for a violation if you missed something. ATF has been known to respond well to these types of questions, without much of misinterpretation (shoelace machineguns don't count) or delays. Besides, they are the executive authority on the matter - i.e. their opinions bear weight of the law.
     
  14. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    I am one of those sellers. I live on one side of the state yet I work with guys that live on the other side of the state. So if someone from the west side of the state wants to by my gun we make a deal. Then I take it to one of the guys I work with. They then take it to the buyer and pick up my money and bring it back. I believe this is called USPS, or was it Fedex, no wait, UPS?

    What is illegal about any of that assuming all are legal parties and in the same state?
     
  15. fd15k

    fd15k Tigard,OR Well-Known Member

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    They are called "common carriers", and have specific provisions in the federal law. Your buddies aren't :) Not saying it would be illegal, just saying it's not the same kind of apples. This topic really hasn't been hashed out yet, at least not here, not recently.
     
  16. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Even so it is still not illegal for me to give, loan or sell my guns to anyone in my state as long as "does not know or have reasonable cause to believe the person is prohibited".
     
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  17. PhysicsGuy

    PhysicsGuy Corvallis, OR Resident Science Nut

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    I have brought this subject up before, and I have never seen any evidence that demonstrates this as illegal. There is no provision or law in place that prohibits a 3rd party from acting on the sale end of the transaction on the sellers behalf. However on the buying end it is a little different, having your friend buy you a gun with your money would qualify as a straw purchase.
     
  18. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    You can only have a straw if purchased from an FFL. Without an FFL there is no 4473, meaning no question 11a to answer so no way to have a straw......
     
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  19. PhysicsGuy

    PhysicsGuy Corvallis, OR Resident Science Nut

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    A straw purchase by definition is purchasing an item for someone else that cannot obtain the item. Whether it is illegal or not in private sales I do not know, I do know the GCA of 68 applies the "straw purchase" restriction to those obtained through FFLs.
     
  20. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you for the most part. One big hang up people have on the straw purchase is that it has to be someone buying a gun from someone that can not legally own one. That part is not true. If you answer "No" to question 11a then it is a straw. If your wife (who can legally own a gun) gives you $500 when you go to town to buy her that new gun she has been looking at then you legally have to answer "No" on 11a. Even if the person you are buying it for can legally own it the purchase is a straw.

    Now if you are buying the gun with your money and plan on giving it to someone as a gift the answer to 11a is "Yes" and it is not a straw.