He's never owned a gun? Have you let this friend shoot any of yours?
I'm fairly adamant that a newbie should own a .22 rifle and work on eye-finger coordination with sight picture. A good used bolt-action gun is as much as is needed.
For deer and home defense, an SKS is as adequate as any other. A decent soft-point bullet will serve either use.
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!