The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > Law and Civil Rights

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old February 1, 2014, 12:52 AM   #1
dakota.potts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 25, 2013
Location: Saint Augustine, Florida
Posts: 965
How to do this?

I've heard about groups that have bought firearms in bulk and provided training for people at the end of which they take home the firearm they trained with.

I feel like this is a great way to provide arms to those who otherwise wouldn't be able to get them. I think it's a good thing to provide arms and training to as much of the populace as possible, increasing those who can defend themselves as well as increasing the voting population who may be gun friendly.

I'm curious what, legally, would be involved in an undertaking like this. If I wanted to do this as a private citizen privately funded with donation and transferring the guns through an FFL, would I need anything special beyond that? I would buy the guns personally and then go to a local FFL and pay the transfer/NICS fee to have them transfer the firearms - if that is the legal way to do it.

My concern is that I'm not eligible for an FFL for a couple of years so I wouldn't want to have to worry about dealing in firearms for business. I'm also curious if there is any tax status I need to worry about to accept donations. If not donations, are sponsorships kosher? Other than that, the only thing I can think of is insurance/liability.

If someone donates money and I use that to buy guns, can I then give them away after training without an FFL if I use an FFL to transfer them? If not, what if I get sponsorships from local businesses in return for, say, including their contact info in a package or a deal to use them for my FFL transfers?

Is there anything else I should know or think about? I'm a big believer in fighting the fight on the ground to win over peoples' opinions as well as empowering people and it's an idea I'm excited about but I don't want to get into something that's bigger than myself (ie. federally regulated) without knowing what I'm doing.
__________________
For firearms news and discussion from a fellow TFL member, visit shootersreportblog.wordpress.com. If you have a suggestion or would like to comment or contribute, I welcome private messages!

The Shooter's Report is also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theshootersreport
dakota.potts is offline  
Old February 1, 2014, 08:01 AM   #2
Don P
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 17, 2005
Location: East Central Florida
Posts: 4,716
The simplest way would be, have everyone purchase their very own firearm filling out the 4473 and do it with previous arrangements as a group purchase. As it has been taken to the SCOTUS the possibility of straw purchase has come into play, http://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/opinions...d/114992.p.pdf
and here at this thread,http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=534441
__________________
NRA Life Member, NRA Range Safety Officer, IDPA Safety Officer
As you are, I once was, As I am, You will be.

Last edited by Don P; February 1, 2014 at 08:08 AM.
Don P is offline  
Old February 1, 2014, 10:54 AM   #3
sfwusc
Member
 
Join Date: July 14, 2013
Posts: 59
I am not attorney but that straw purchase scares me. You can't buy a gun and already have it sold. I guess you can if you are an Ffl 01 bc you have a lic. To resell.
sfwusc is offline  
Old February 1, 2014, 11:33 AM   #4
JimDandy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 8, 2012
Posts: 2,083
I haven't seen the Straw Purchase stuff yet, but this is not a Straw Purchase. And you missed the point of the OP's idea. He wants to provide firearms for those who can't afford them themselves. I.e. People sign up for a class at their local Y, Boys and Girls Club, Senior Center, Community Center or what have you... they attend all the training classes, and take home the firearm they trained on. So he may buy 50 .38 Snubbies, 50 people take the class, and then take home a .38 snubbie.

This would not be a straw purchase. When you take possession through your 4473 form, you are either receiving them to give them away as a gift after the class, for your own use in instructing other people, or to give away as an everybody wins sweepstakes. Additionally, as you're not taking Poor Person A's money to give Poor Person A a firearm, that firearm is certainly a bona fide gift when given to Poor Person A.

Some things to worry about:

Getting everyone NICS checked before you hand out the firearms for training, let alone for keeps. This isn't required (for the training part), but it's not a bad idea.

Getting a good tax exempt charity set up. You don't want to take donations and grants. You want to take donations and grants on behalf of "Arming Americans Who Can't Afford It" or some such organization.

You may or may not be "in the business" of dealing in firearms with this class, even if you don't collect a dime from the people who take your class. Heck, you may not be, but some activist US Attorney wants to make sure by having you defend it in court. Until you can get your own FFL, I'd look into seeing if any local gun shop's FFL will partner up with you. Then you have an FFL in the organization and you're covered.

I'd try the combination range/gunshops first. If you're very lucky, you'll find a shop owner who sympathizes with your goal. You might be able to get your pistols, NICS checks and range time at cost that way. It's certainly in their interest to get more people shooting and practicing on their range, and buying in their store- and at least some of these folks may end up improving their income enough to upgrade or expand their gun collection.
JimDandy is offline  
Old February 1, 2014, 12:21 PM   #5
Frank Ettin
Staff
 
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 6,298
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakota.potts
I've heard about groups...
I suspect that if such groups are operating they worked with a lawyer to work out exactly what to do and how to do it.

The details are important, and things like written procedures and a formal plan help assure that things get done properly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dakota.potts
...I'm also curious if there is any tax status I need to worry about to accept donations...
Yes, you would want to apply to the IRS for a 501(c)(3) tax exemption. You would also want to apply for a state tax exemption. These tax exemptions are necessary to allow donors to take tax deductions for contributions.
__________________
Formerly known as fiddletown
Frank Ettin is offline  
Old February 1, 2014, 03:59 PM   #6
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 5,964
Quote:
I haven't seen the Straw Purchase stuff yet, but this is not a Straw Purchase. And you missed the point of the OP's idea. He wants to provide firearms for those who can't afford them themselves. I.e. People sign up for a class at their local Y, Boys and Girls Club, Senior Center, Community Center or what have you... they attend all the training classes, and take home the firearm they trained on. So he may buy 50 .38 Snubbies, 50 people take the class, and then take home a .38 snubbie.

This would not be a straw purchase. When you take possession through your 4473 form, you are either receiving them to give them away as a gift after the class, for your own use in instructing other people, or to give away as an everybody wins sweepstakes. Additionally, as you're not taking Poor Person A's money to give Poor Person A a firearm, that firearm is certainly a bona fide gift when given to Poor Person A.
How is it NOT a straw purchase? The buyer (the guy offering the class and the guns) is not an FFL. HE is signing one or more 4473s attesting that HE is the actual buyer of the guns, but in fact the guns are to be transferred to the students.

Or ... scenario B ... the instructor is paying for the guns but each student fills out his/her own 4473 attesting that he/she is the actual buyer. But that's not true, because the instructor has already paid for the guns.

IMHO it would be much MUCH cleaner to handle it as a pre-arranged group buy, with each student purchasing his/her own firearm directly from the FFL dealer. (As has already been suggested.)
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old February 1, 2014, 04:17 PM   #7
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 10,631
Quote:
I feel like this is a great way to provide arms to those who otherwise wouldn't be able to get them.
?

Most of the time, the only reason anyone who "otherwise wouldn't be able toi get them" is because they are in some class of prohibited person. (felon, underage, etc.)

I really don't understand that statement. And if "otherwise wouldn't be able to" is because of money, how do they afford a training course that provides a firearm anyway?

There are a lot of potential ways a training group could go about providing the firearms, but as others have said the devil is in the details and someone would have to research it carefully.

One way, to avoid the strawman purchase issue is for the group to hold an FFL, so that when the person taking the class "buys" the gun (included in the course fee?) they are the "original purchaser". This would mean the training group would have to meet the requirements as the FFL retailer, but I think it might be done, legally. Again, there are details which might make it impossible, I just don't know.

Another possibility (and again the details matter) might be the training group is the "purchaser" and later, they decide to sell the gun. Lots of complications in that route, but it might be legally possible, I just don't know. Be tough to avoid being considered a dealer though....

I'm still stuck on "people who otherwise..." If they are legal to buy one, they are legal to buy one. I don't see any "otherwise".

Are you talking about a training class that gifts a gun? That might be legal (again, details), but the recipient still has to be legally qualified to own one.

confused...
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old February 1, 2014, 05:48 PM   #8
dakota.potts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 25, 2013
Location: Saint Augustine, Florida
Posts: 965
Hi 44,

I do mean money wise. It would be a volunteer effort on my part and on whoever would choose to donate. A lot of times, people end up without a weapon to defend themselves with because they can't see spending $250 plus range fees, ammunition, etc. and the money always ends up finding a home doing something that is more immediately pressing -- food, rent, getting the car fixed, etc.

The course would be free and upon satisfactory completion they could receive the exact weapon that they trained as well as perhaps a box of ammo intended for them to keep the weapon loaded for home defense use.

Basically, say I find a company that really believes in what I do and thinks it would be ultimately beneficial for them.

They donate an amount of money ($1,000, for instance) to me, and I use that to go buy 5 shotguns and a box of ammo for each (wishful thinking, right?).

I then go to a range which will allow me to hold a training course. We cover the 4 rules of safety, basic self defense practice, and then we demonstrate loading and unloading as well as clearing stoppages before a certain amount of live fire training. If they complete it to a satisfactory amount, I go to my FFL of choice and do a background check to transfer the shotgun to the FFL (because I feel that's a responsible thing for an organization to do).

Of course details are important. You have to be 21 to be eligible for an FFL and I'm not. It's part of the reason I've decided on basic shotguns first rather than pistols - pistols are much harder for an 18 year old to buy and transfer.

There are some other things to think about. Is another business furnishing the money for me to buy the guns and I'm using them to buy them? Is that a straw purchase? Or can they donate to me as a private individual because they like what I'm doing or whatever benefits I can offer (such as a sponsorship/advertisement deal)? Can I amass the money, give it to the FFL, and say "I want you to order X amount because X amount of people are coming to free class"?
__________________
For firearms news and discussion from a fellow TFL member, visit shootersreportblog.wordpress.com. If you have a suggestion or would like to comment or contribute, I welcome private messages!

The Shooter's Report is also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theshootersreport
dakota.potts is offline  
Old February 1, 2014, 05:53 PM   #9
dakota.potts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 25, 2013
Location: Saint Augustine, Florida
Posts: 965
Personally, I like the idea of a group buy. I'm not sure how to navigate that though if money is coming from donations (I'm not rich) through me and then into the hands of the buyers themselves. Is it not grey legal ground to say "Here's the exact price for this shotgun after tax and NICS check that I'm giving you as a gift but only if you spend it on that shotgun"?
__________________
For firearms news and discussion from a fellow TFL member, visit shootersreportblog.wordpress.com. If you have a suggestion or would like to comment or contribute, I welcome private messages!

The Shooter's Report is also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theshootersreport
dakota.potts is offline  
Old February 1, 2014, 06:50 PM   #10
ClydeFrog
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 1, 2010
Posts: 5,798
News story....

I'm not sure Im following exactly what you are asking, but I do recall a TFL post a few months ago, maybe a year, about a 2A group/crime prevention effort where they bought a few new & LE surplus 12ga pump shotguns then offered to arm the residents of a high crime area.
The group wanted to lower the crime rate & demonstrate how citizens can safely own guns.
I think it was in the Fort Myers FL area or south Fl but Id need to research it.
The "free 12ga shotgun" program was a media item & Im not sure if it helped lower the crime stats.

EDIT; I checked Google.com . The news story is dated 09/25/2013, www.cbsnews.com . The Armed Citizens Project is the Texas based group who gave away free 12ga shotguns to the residents of a Orlando area neighborhood.
The weapons were free to residents who took a safety class & met the ATF/legal requirements. I'm not sure if the program was a success or what other plans they had but you can contact them directly for details.

Last edited by ClydeFrog; February 1, 2014 at 06:57 PM.
ClydeFrog is offline  
Old February 1, 2014, 07:45 PM   #11
dakota.potts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 25, 2013
Location: Saint Augustine, Florida
Posts: 965
Clyde, that might be the group I was thinking of.

I'm not sure it affected crime stats (nor am I sure that even 100 people armed with guns would drop crime down by a statistically significant number in less than a year) but they had similar goals.

I wonder if I couldn't contact them and ask to bring part of their program to my area rather than starting my own... or at least get advice from them.
__________________
For firearms news and discussion from a fellow TFL member, visit shootersreportblog.wordpress.com. If you have a suggestion or would like to comment or contribute, I welcome private messages!

The Shooter's Report is also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theshootersreport
dakota.potts is offline  
Old February 1, 2014, 08:50 PM   #12
ClydeFrog
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 1, 2010
Posts: 5,798
The Armed Citizen Project....

The 2A group; The Armed Citizen Project is on Facebook.
The group founder is Kyle Copelan.
You can contact them for more details & how to set up a 12ga shotgun/firearm plan in your area.

CF
ClydeFrog is offline  
Old February 1, 2014, 09:03 PM   #13
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 5,964
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakota.potts
Basically, say I find a company that really believes in what I do and thinks it would be ultimately beneficial for them.

They donate an amount of money ($1,000, for instance) to me, and I use that to go buy 5 shotguns and a box of ammo for each (wishful thinking, right?).

I then go to a range which will allow me to hold a training course. We cover the 4 rules of safety, basic self defense practice, and then we demonstrate loading and unloading as well as clearing stoppages before a certain amount of live fire training. If they complete it to a satisfactory amount, I go to my FFL of choice and do a background check to transfer the shotgun to the FFL (because I feel that's a responsible thing for an organization to do).

Of course details are important. You have to be 21 to be eligible for an FFL and I'm not. It's part of the reason I've decided on basic shotguns first rather than pistols - pistols are much harder for an 18 year old to buy and transfer.
Have you considered the potential liability TO YOU (and, by extension, to anyone or any company backing you financially) if you "train" someone and give them a gun, and they have an ND and someone gets killed or injured? Are you certified by the NRA (or by any credible "authority" or agency) to be instructing people in safe firearms use? The curriculum you described soes not sound to me like even enough to allow someone to shoot a firearm, let alone to own one. I think your plan leaves you wide open to an expensive lawsuit.
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old February 2, 2014, 01:56 AM   #14
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 10,631
OK, if I've got this straight, you are looking to philanthropically train and arm folks, for the good of us all. But since you aren't rich, you'd need someone else's money to do it.

Sounds like a good and noble idea, therefore, I'm sure that there must be at least one law against it, even if I can't point straight to it right now...

If the gun is a gift, then then the students are not the buyers of the gun. That puts a different legal perspective on things, I would think.

My father was an NRA certified rifle and pistol instructor, and gave Hunter Safety classes every year for decades. From the time I was big enough to do fetch and carry chores until I enlisted in the Army, I helped him.

So, I think I have a fairly good idea what ought to be in any basic firearms instruction. Based on what you have already said, I'd really recommend you do some more research into the instruction side of things as well. Take a look at what the NRA has for material about hunter safety. There's a bit more there than the thumbnail sketch you gave us for your proposed course. I'm sure there are some things there you would find useful.

Quote:
We cover the 4 rules of safety, basic self defense practice, and then we demonstrate loading and unloading as well as clearing stoppages before a certain amount of live fire training.
That doesn't sound like much, but to do it right, there is a lot more than it sounds like. There are more than 4 rules of safety (Remington used to print a card with 10), and a lot more to basic self defense than just how do shoot to stop an attack, there is when you can shoot, and when you cannot, legally. And that is a large area to cover in itself. Remember that its possible someone will have their life at risk, because of their understanding of what you teach them. To do less than the best possible job is a disservivce to all involved.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old February 2, 2014, 03:57 AM   #15
dakota.potts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 25, 2013
Location: Saint Augustine, Florida
Posts: 965
I have, of course, oversimplified things. I did want to avoid giving legal advice like self-defense laws and advise contacting a lawyer or getting a professionally printed reference guide for the purposes of liability. I don't plan on starting, say, this week, as I need time to grow myself, but I am thinking that time will be before my 3 years to get an FFL is up. I have also thought about coordinating with another local teacher here (such as an appleseed instructor, someone doing NRA classes, etc.) for the very reasons listed here. I want to be involved and help make it happen but if I can find someone who is willing to work with me (or even a different vetted instructor every time), that might actually be the best way to make it happen.
__________________
For firearms news and discussion from a fellow TFL member, visit shootersreportblog.wordpress.com. If you have a suggestion or would like to comment or contribute, I welcome private messages!

The Shooter's Report is also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theshootersreport
dakota.potts is offline  
Old February 2, 2014, 08:36 AM   #16
rdmallory
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 10, 2009
Location: Deltona FL
Posts: 958
Quote:
I'm not sure it affected crime stats (nor am I sure that even 100 people armed with guns would drop crime down by a statistically significant number in less than a year) but they had similar goals.
It would be interesting to go back after a year or so and see if any of the 100 people had to use the shotgun for protection. I bet just announcing that 100 people in any given neighborhood was armed would lower the crime rate.
rdmallory is offline  
Old February 2, 2014, 01:10 PM   #17
Frank Ettin
Staff
 
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 6,298
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakota.potts
....I don't plan on starting, say, this week, as I need time to grow myself, but I am thinking that time will be before my 3 years to get an FFL is up. I have also thought about coordinating with another local teacher here (such as an appleseed instructor, someone doing NRA classes, etc.) for the very reasons listed here. I want to be involved and help make it happen but if I can find someone who is willing to work with me (or even a different vetted instructor every time), that might actually be the best way to make it happen....
A lot of possibilities and in the future. We're not going to get anywhere trying to work it all out here.
__________________
Formerly known as fiddletown
Frank Ettin is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2013 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10774 seconds with 9 queries