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Old October 19, 2011, 07:27 AM   #1
Uncle Buck
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Buying Ammo for Underage Pistol Owners

I was asked to purchase handgun ammo for a kid I hardly know. I do not purchase it for kids I do know, but this last request was just weird.

I know if you purchase handgun ammo they ask your age and if under 21 years old will deny you the purchase.

What are the ramifications of purchasing ammo for someone else who can not legally purchase it? (Is it kind of like buying alcohol for minors?)

Thanks for the anticipated replies.
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Old October 19, 2011, 08:38 AM   #2
natman
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I don't know of any direct criminal penalty (which isn't to say there might not be one).

However, it sure sounds like a bad idea to me. The potential civil liability would be limited only by the amount of trouble a teenager could get into with a handgun.
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Old October 19, 2011, 08:54 AM   #3
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IMHO, it depends on the person your purchasing for. As I understand things, a person under 21 (but over 18) can legally own a handgun. Purchasing ammo for it is another issue. Would I be able to be present for the expenditure of said ammo? If it was a kid I was familiar with and trusted, say a 19 yo Marine, that's one thing. Jamal & his crew of bangers is another issue entirely. Of course compliance with applicable laws comes first.
Then of course is the "handgun" ammo issue as a whole. I will be getting a CX4 .45 in the next few days. An 18 yo could legally own it and feed it. But I imagine ammo purchases could get interesting at times.
Talk to the guys at your LGS. They will probably have a fair bit of info you can use.
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Old October 19, 2011, 09:35 AM   #4
Uncle Buck
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I know an 18 year old can go in and say the ammo (9mm) is being used for a rifle and it is legal to sell to him.
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Old October 19, 2011, 11:27 AM   #5
brickeyee
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Quote:
I know if you purchase handgun ammo they ask your age and if under 21 years old will deny you the purchase.
It is a restriction on FFLs.
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Old October 19, 2011, 05:20 PM   #6
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Can one legally be an underage pistol owner?
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Old October 19, 2011, 05:48 PM   #7
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Buck
I know an 18 year old can go in and say the ammo (9mm) is being used for a rifle and it is legal to sell to him.
Legal for the seller, but now a double offense for the minor -- buying ammunition under false pretenses, and making a false statement.
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Old October 19, 2011, 05:58 PM   #8
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I don't think I'd do something like that. If the kid gets in trouble you might be too.
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Old October 19, 2011, 06:26 PM   #9
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Fed law says an FFL can't sell a pistol to an 18y/o . In PA you can be gifted with a pistol from your parent or grand parent sans paperwork. A sheriff can do the paperwork but i don't know any that will do that. I'm not sure about ammo. I don't think I would buy ammo for someone under 21 unless I knew them like a son.
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Old October 19, 2011, 07:07 PM   #10
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Why do it when it is against the state law for the kid to do it. If the kid gets into trouble guess who will be the next.
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Old October 19, 2011, 07:29 PM   #11
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Here in Texas, years ago, you could be a Peace Officer at 18 but by Federal Law couldn't buy a handgun or ammo for it until you were 21.You could submit a special form and get permission, eventually, but the Law itself was goofy.
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Old October 19, 2011, 07:36 PM   #12
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Unless it was a family member or someone I knew very well (that includes their parents) I would not purchase for them. Why would you even subject yourself to the possibility of aiding a crime or bringing trouble upon yourself.
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Old October 19, 2011, 08:14 PM   #13
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Thanks guys. I did refuse to buy the ammo (and conveniently forgot to tell the kid just to say it was for a rifle). I don't buy liquor/beer for underage kids, so I am not buying ammo neither.
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Old October 20, 2011, 10:25 AM   #14
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Uncle Buck, I'd say you made the right call.

However, when it comes to 18-20 year olds, while I won't buy them ammo or alcohol, I will certainly vote for their right to be able to buy it themselves, at every opportunity.

I've always believed that "status offenses" for legal adults are pure BS. Old people in this country should worry, if our population trends ever shift, because laws that a majority of seniors vote on that restrict young adults for the "general good," could easily become laws that a majority of young people vote on that restrict seniors for the same general good.

So don't break the law, but do try to change the law when it's not a good law.
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Old October 20, 2011, 11:16 AM   #15
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Most every handgun caliber is made into a rifle... Just sayin
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Old October 20, 2011, 11:25 AM   #16
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Interesting question.
But you made the right decision.
Tough to think these laws exist when many of us started shooting, and buying our own ammo, when we were only eight or ten years old.
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Old October 20, 2011, 11:39 AM   #17
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This topic was discussed at length here.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=455180

Here's my take on the issue.

It is NOT a federal crime for an 18- to 20-year-old to possess ammo for a handgun.

It is NOT a federal crime for an unlicensed person 21 and over to give ammo to an 18- to 20-year-old for use in a handgun (assuming neither party is prohibited by law from possessing it, for some other reason).

It IS a federal crime for a FFL to sell an 18- to 20-year-old ammo that the FFL reasonably believes will be used in a handgun. Note, however, that the crime is committed by the FFL; it is legal for the recipient to possess the ammo.

It IS a federal crime for a FFL to deliver ammo to a straw buyer whom the FFL reasonably believes will deliver the ammo to an 18- to 20-year-old for use in a handgun. However, once again, the crime is committed by the FFL; it is legal for the recipient to possess the ammo.

It IS a federal crime for an 18- to 20-year-old to lie when asked if the ammo will be used in a handgun.

It IS a federal crime for a straw buyer to lie when asked if he or she intends to deliver the ammo to an 18- to 20-year-old for use in a handgun.

The critical key underlying all this: it is NOT a federal crime for the FFL to fail to ask how and/or by whom the ammo will be used. (There is no legally-required "are you the actual buyer?" question like when you purchase a firearm.)

IOW this is a de facto "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. If nobody asks questions and nobody lies in answering them, no federal crime is committed by anyone.

OTOH if the recipient is under 18, giving him or her a handgun or ammo for it is only legal under certain circumstances spelled out in 18 USC 922(x), and pretty much everyone involved in the transfer can be held criminally liable.
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Last edited by carguychris; October 20, 2011 at 11:45 AM.
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Old October 20, 2011, 12:08 PM   #18
jimmy jam
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This kind of throws up a red flag for me because if you have to be 21 to purchase a handgun, he obviously had a parent or relative purchase it for him or it was gifted to him. In this case why couldn't they purchase the ammo for him also? Kinda makes me wonder what the ownership status of said firearm is. Short answer: heck no, aside from the legality perspective I wouldn't want to see him on the news later, having committed a gun crime and knowing that I was an accomplice in a sense.
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Old October 20, 2011, 01:38 PM   #19
MLeake
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jimmy jam, wow... just wow.

I owned a handgun when I was 20. It was perfectly legal in Florida for me to buy one in a private transaction, as the seller was not an FFL.

I could and did get my parents to buy ammo for me; however, if I'd been going to a range, and wanted more ammo, I'd have needed an intermediary. Don't know about you, but at 20 I didn't typically travel with my parents.

So long as ownership of the weapon isn't a crime in and of itself, assuming that the weapon owner is a criminal is ridiculous, barring some other cues.

Feel free not to buy ammo for underage shooters. That's playing it safe, and I have no problem with that. Your assumptions, however, are out of line.
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Old October 20, 2011, 01:43 PM   #20
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Quote:
This kind of throws up a red flag for me because if you have to be 21 to purchase a handgun, he obviously had a parent or relative purchase it for him or it was gifted to him.
FWIW if the handgun is purchased for someone under 21 in exchange for money or some other form of compensation, this is an illegal straw purchase and a federal crime.

OTOH giving it as a gift is legal under federal law.
Quote:
In this case why couldn't [the parents] purchase the ammo for him also?
They can, and he (or she) can legally purchase it too, as long as everyone keeps their mouths shut. See my prior post.
Quote:
Kinda makes me wonder what the ownership status of said firearm is.
It's perfectly legal under federal law for an 18- to 20-year-old to own a handgun. State laws vary.

BTW how's Terry Lewis doing? (Music joke. Forgive the diversion. )
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Old October 20, 2011, 01:52 PM   #21
Don H
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy jam
This kind of throws up a red flag for me because if you have to be 21 to purchase a handgun
Federal law doesn't mandate that one must be 21 to own a handgun..that's the perogative of the state and many states allow those who are 18+ to own handguns.
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Old October 20, 2011, 09:05 PM   #22
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What would the situation most likely be if an under 21 yr old has to go and ask a stranger to buy handgun ammo for him? Or someone he "hardly knows"?

Big red flag for me.

I was producing my own handgun ammo for many years before I turned 21. TO shoot in my father's pistols. But the world seemed a saner place back then.
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Old October 21, 2011, 08:51 PM   #23
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Maybe the boy wanted to go camping with his gun and everyone was too paranoid to get him some ammo. That's what I think it was. You guys are way too paranoid and are making ammo a specialized thing with your words and behaviors. Bad move.

If the boy was some punk homey type he wouldn't even be in the livingroom asking so my presumption is that the boy is a young legit gun owner being ousted by his kind from their paranoia. Geesh.
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Old October 22, 2011, 09:04 AM   #24
Uncle Buck
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A little background: This kid was a friend of a friends son. They came up to do some shooting and my friend asked if they could bring him. He recently moved here from Detroit. He says he has "Almost a thousand rounds of ammunition for his 9mm and needs more."

Apparently he bought this handgun when he was 18 and his parents have purchased ammo for him in the past. His parents are still in Detroit. He appears to be a somewhat normal kid (Like the rest of us when we were 20 ) but something in his attitude made the request very uncomfortable to me.

Instead of carrying the pistol in a holster or a gun bag, he had it stuck in his britches. I read him the riot act about that and explained a little of the conceal carry laws here in Missouri. I also gave him a gun case to carry the pistol in when he went home and told him when he comes back, he had better be using it.

When it comes to guns, I prefer to err on the side of caution. My nephews regularly use my handguns when I am confined to the house/porch area of the old homestead. (They seem to try to use more ammo than I can produce and laugh when I tell them to shoot it like they bought it.) They use the guns on my property and do not run all over town with the things hidden and concealed.

The town he lives in has had one murder in the last 20 years, (Lady got drunk and killed her child.) and one armed robbery in the last five years (Drug dealer got robbed).

I would rather be a part of this kids positive "gun Culture" than to have him get it off the TV and video games.

I with-held the background info so that it would not prejudice the answers, of which I really appreciate them all.
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