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Old June 25, 2011, 08:41 PM   #1
chasep255
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Is there such thing as straw purchasing ammo?

Say a 21 year old purchases handgun ammo for an 18 year old. Legal?
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Last edited by chasep255; June 25, 2011 at 10:25 PM.
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Old June 25, 2011, 10:14 PM   #2
KyJim
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I know nothing about Jersey law but I sure wouldn't do it, especially living in Jersey.
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Old June 27, 2011, 07:49 AM   #3
Don P
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Would you buy alcohol for a 18 year old if the drinking age were 21?
I don;t think any of us need to slam our fingers in the door to see if its going to hurt
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Old June 27, 2011, 08:37 AM   #4
Don H
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OK, I'll play.

18 USC 922(b) specifically prohibits a "licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector" from selling or delivering handgun ammo (I'll use a broad definition) to a person under 21 years-old.

18 USC 922(x) prohibits a "person" from furnishing a juvenile with handgun ammo (again a broad definition).

18 USC 922(x)(5) defines a juvenile as "a person who is less than 18 years of age".

It appears to be legal under federal law for a person who is not specifically prohibited from doing so to furnish an 18 year-old with handgun ammo; at least there doesn't appear to be any code that specifically prohibits such an act. I use the term 'appears' advisedly because I didn't search legal precedent on this issue.

Of interest to me, it appears that while it would be legal under federal law for my wife to furnish handgun ammo to an 18 year-old, I, as a 03FFL, am specifically prohibited from doing so; I will speculate, however, that the exceptions listed under 18 USC 922(x) would apply.

State law may well be much more restrictive than federal law and furnishing handgun ammo to an 18 year-old may well be a felony in some states.

Consultation with an attorney versed in this area of the law may be the prudent course of action.

Relevant portions of 18 USC 922 are quoted below:

Quote:
(b) It shall be unlawful for any licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to sell or deliver—
(1) any firearm or ammunition to any individual who the licensee knows or has reasonable cause to believe is less than eighteen years of age, and, if the firearm, or ammunition is other than a shotgun or rifle, or ammunition for a shotgun or rifle, to any individual who the licensee knows or has reasonable cause to believe is less than twenty-one years of age;
Quote:
(x)
(1) It shall be unlawful for a person to sell, deliver, or otherwise transfer to a person who the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe is a juvenile

(A) a handgun; or

(B) ammunition that is suitable for use only in a handgun.
Quote:
(5) For purposes of this subsection, the term “juvenile” means a person who is less than 18 years of age.
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Old June 27, 2011, 08:40 AM   #5
vranasaurus
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18 USC 922 a(6) states:

Quote:
(6) for any person in connection with the acquisition or attempted acquisition of any firearm or ammunition from a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector, knowingly to make any false or fictitious oral or written statement or to furnish or exhibit any false,
fictitious, or misrepresented identification, intended or likely to deceive such importer, manufacturer, dealer, or collector with respect to any fact material to the lawfulness of the sale or other disposition of such firearm or ammunition under the provisions of this chapter;

If they ask you if the ammunition is for you and you say yes but you intend to give it to someone else then yes you can committ a straw purchase of ammunition.

This section would also apply to someone under 21 who, when asked if the ammo is for rifle or handgun, says that it is for a rifle when they intend to use it in a handgun.

18 USC 922 (b)(1) states:

Quote:
(b) It shall be unlawful for any licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to sell or deliver -

(1) any firearm or ammunition to any individual who the licensee knows or has reasonable cause to believe is less than eighteen years of age, and, if the firearm, or ammunition is other than a shotgun or rifle, or ammunition for a shotgun or rifle, to any individual who the licensee knows or has reasonable
cause to believe is less than twenty-one years of age;

Nothing in the gun control act bans possession of handgun ammunition by those over 18 but less than 21. The two possible crimes under federal law are making false statements in connection with the purchase of ammunition and being a licensed dealer and selling to someone under 21.

That is federal law, however, New Jersey law is much more restrictive.

Title 2C Section 58-3.3 states:

Quote:
1. a. As used in this act, "handgun ammunition" means ammunition specifically designed to be used only in a handgun. "Handgun ammunition" shall not include blank ammunition, air gun pellets, flare gun ammunition, nail gun ammunition, paint ball ammunition, or any non-fixed ammunition.

b.No person shall sell, give, transfer, assign or otherwise dispose of, or receive, purchase, or otherwise acquire handgun ammunition unless the purchaser, assignee, donee, receiver or holder is licensed as a manufacturer, wholesaler, or dealer under this chapter or is the holder of and possesses a valid firearms purchaser identification card, a valid copy of a permit to purchase a handgun, or a valid permit to carry a handgun and first exhibits such card or permit to the seller, donor, transferor or assignor.

c.No person shall sell, give, transfer, assign or otherwise dispose of handgun ammunition to a person who is under 21 years of age.

Unlike the federal law it prohibits any person, not just licensed dealers, from transfering handgun ammunition to someone under 21. I would hate to be standing tall in a NJ court trying to explain that "he told me he was going to use it in a rifle." Under NJ law I think the answer to your question is that it is illegal for you to give someone under 21 handgun ammunition.

To sum it up:

Whether or not it is a crime to give or sell handgun ammunition to someone between 18 and 21 years old depends on:

1. State Law

2. Whether you are a licensed dealer

3. Whether or not you were asked any questions about the ammunition at the time of purchase and made knowingly false statements.

This assumes that the transferee is not prohibited from possessing ammunition under state or federal law. (convicted felon, MCD, etc.)
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Old June 27, 2011, 10:09 AM   #6
NJgunowner
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I don't recommend it. You'd be on shaky ground at best here in Jersey. If his parents bought it for him to use at a range, you MIGHT have some legal leeway. However if he took any of it for home use, you'd probably be in trouble again.
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Old June 27, 2011, 10:51 AM   #7
chasep255
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Well I reload all of my handgun ammo so I guess that is a way around the law.
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I have mostly non-sporting firearms
In NJ, technically speaking, ALL guns are illegal
Also in my state there is such thing as a Class III BB gun :barf:
Happy to say that despite the NJ AWB I still manage to make my guns look scary
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Old June 27, 2011, 11:16 AM   #8
mavracer
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Quote:
Is there such thing as straw purchasing ammo?
Of course you can you can use a strawman to purchase anything. If I give my kid $5 to go buy me a soda it's a straw purchase.
Quote:
Legal?
Is a different question. look's like from vranasaurus' post it is Illegal.
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Old June 27, 2011, 11:24 AM   #9
Uncle Buck
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Why would you want to do it? I have been asked by people (Youngsters) to buy them XYZ. My response is always the same: If you can not buy it legally yourself, you probably do not need it.


I was with my nephew when he tried to buy ammo for his .45 Colt Rossi. The lady said she had never heard of a .45 Colt rifle before. In this case, I would have bought it for him, because I knew what it was being used for and he is a family member.
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Old June 27, 2011, 12:36 PM   #10
hogdogs
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Quote:
Would you buy alcohol for a 18 year old if the drinking age were 21?
But this isn't the issue... The legal age to buy ammo is 18 for rifle and shotgun ammo and 21 to buy handgun ammo...

But unlike the quoted scenario... 21 is NOT the "Legal shooting Age"... How is an 18 year old going to shoot the pistol someone legally sold to him if someone won't buy the ammo for him?

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Old June 27, 2011, 01:01 PM   #11
Ruthless4christ
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any gun store I have ever been to in NJ will not sell handgun ammo untill a pistol permit is shown.
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Old June 27, 2011, 03:13 PM   #12
silentargus
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I can't recall ever having to show a handgun permit to be able to buy handgun ammo in NJ, but ever since they passed a law requiring that every ammo sale be logged I've been asked for my FPID every time. If you're 21 and have a valid FPID, you can buy handgun ammo. Some dealers might go the extra step and ask you to show your handgun permit, but I've never had it happen.
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Old June 27, 2011, 04:58 PM   #13
markj
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Man I am not even going to get into this one.... When I was 18 I walked into the store and bought my 357 ammo no questions asked. I thiught we lived in a free country
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Old June 27, 2011, 10:59 PM   #14
silentargus
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There was actually an effort some years ago in NJ (before I started shooting) to restrict purchases of .22 ammo to 21 years or older because it can be used in a handgun.

There are a few of us who are still sane, but we're in the minority to be sure.
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Old June 28, 2011, 04:53 PM   #15
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vranasaurus
18 USC 922 a(6) states:
Quote:
(6) for any person in connection with the acquisition or attempted acquisition of any firearm or ammunition from a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector, knowingly to make any false or fictitious oral or written statement or to furnish or exhibit any false,
fictitious, or misrepresented identification, intended or likely to deceive such importer, manufacturer, dealer, or collector with respect to any fact material to the lawfulness of the sale or other disposition of such firearm or ammunition under the provisions of this chapter;
If they ask you if the ammunition is for you and you say yes but you intend to give it to someone else then yes you can committ a straw purchase of ammunition.
So I can't buy handgun ammo for an 18-year old from an FFL, IF he asks me if the ammo is for my own use. But in over 60 years wandering this planet, I have never had ANYONE from whom I was buying ammo ask that question.

And then ... at Wal-Mart they only ask if I am over 21 (and they usually don't ask, because the answer is rather patently obvious), not if I am buying the ammo for myself. And Wal-Mart isn't "licensed" to sell ammunition. Wal-Mart no longer sells firearms in my state, so does Wal-Mart have a corporate FFL for those stores that still sell guns, or does each store have a separate FFL?
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Old June 28, 2011, 05:21 PM   #16
vranasaurus
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AB,

Each location has to be licensed separately. I'm not sure if the ATF considers walmart as a whole licensed or not.

The crime is not necessarily a straw purchase but making false statements in connection with the purchase of firearms or ammo.

The biggest opportunity for this crime, as it relates to ammunition purchases, to be committed is by someone 18-20 years old who tells the clerk that the ammo is for a rifle when it is really for a handgun.
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Old June 29, 2011, 11:00 AM   #17
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vranasaurus
The crime is not necessarily a straw purchase but making false statements in connection with the purchase of firearms or ammo.
Understood. But, first there's no 4473, so any such statement (while false) would not be made under oath. Second ... as I commented above, I'm a senior citizen, and in all my years of buying ammo I have NEVER been asked if the ammo was for my own use. If nobody asks the question, I don't have to lie.

Quote:
The biggest opportunity for this crime, as it relates to ammunition purchases, to be committed is by someone 18-20 years old who tells the clerk that the ammo is for a rifle when it is really for a handgun.
But the question that is the topic for THIS thread is not about handgun/long gun ammo, it is about buying ammo for someone else who is over 18 but younger than 21. Let's not confuse the discussion by introducing a separate question.
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Old June 29, 2011, 11:56 AM   #18
Frank Ettin
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The generic definition for "straw purchase" is, "...any purchase wherein the purchaser knowingly acquires an item or service for someone who is, for whatever reason, unable to purchase the item or service themself. This term can be applied to any such purchase,...", at least according to Wickipedia. So yes, if you buy handgun ammunition for someone who is under 21, it's a straw purchase. The real question is whether or not it's illegal.

We know that the straw purchase of a gun at a dealer is illegal, and the crime there is specifically lying on the 4473, and it's a crime whether or not the person you're buying the gun for could have bought it himself. And since it's also a crime to furnish a gun to someone you know can't possess it, it would also be a crime to do a straw purchase, as defined by Wickipedia, for someone you know is a prohibited person.

If I do a straw purchase of liquor or pornography for my 13 year old nephew, it's probably a crime of some sort; because, at least most places, it's a crime to furnish a minor with alcohol or dirty pictures.

So the question is really whether it's a crime, or when it's a crime, to furnish handgun ammunition to someone less than 21 years of age.

And as vranasaurus pointed out, it can be a crime under some circumstances:
Quote:
Originally Posted by vranasaurus

...Whether or not it is a crime to give or sell handgun ammunition to someone between 18 and 21 years old depends on:

1. State Law

2. Whether you are a licensed dealer

3. Whether or not you were asked any questions about the ammunition at the time of purchase and made knowingly false statements.

This assumes that the transferee is not prohibited from possessing ammunition under state or federal law. (convicted felon, MCD, etc.)
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Old June 29, 2011, 12:18 PM   #19
vranasaurus
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The statements made in the connection with the purchase do not have to be under oath. They must simply be false and material to the lawfullness of the sale.

The original question was "is there such a thing as.." and the answer is yes. However, just because you may not be asked to make any statements in connection with the purchase of ammo doesn't mean a dealer couldn't ask.

I merely pointed out under what circumstances the crime could occur. Whether or not those cirumstances are likely to occur is another issue.
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Old June 29, 2011, 09:51 PM   #20
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vranasaurus
I merely pointed out under what circumstances the crime could occur. Whether or not those cirumstances are likely to occur is another issue.
I think we are basically on the same page, but toward the end you took a left turn off the topic. The question was about a "straw purchase" of ammunition. Pretty much by definition, that's buying ammunition for someone else. Then you brought up buying handgun ammo by someone under the age of 21 by saying it's for a long gun. Yes, that's illegal ... but it's not a straw purchase, and it doesn't relate to the topic of this thread.
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