The Firing Line Forums

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old November 21, 2009, 01:18 AM   #1
rburch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2007
Location: Blacksburg VA
Posts: 687
Straw Purchase & stripped AR lowers

Okay, so I'm confused on particulars of straw purchase in this case.

My Brother is 16, and wants an AR-15. I can't buy one for him using his money (straw purchase) but I also can't afford to give him the full gun (I'm broke)

If I was to buy him a stripped lower for his Birthday, and then build the gun for him, but let him pay for the rest of the parts himself, is it a straw purchase?

As I understand it, the Lower Receiver is "The Gun" on an AR-15, and it's the only part that requires a 4473, am I right on this?

This is probably just a hypothetical, since he'll most likely turn 18 and buy his own before I get around to buying it for him (I'm a procrastinator) but I'm curious about it anyway.
__________________
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Last edited by rburch; November 21, 2009 at 01:21 AM. Reason: Add the last sentence.
rburch is offline  
Old November 21, 2009, 03:00 AM   #2
M4Sherman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 408
As long as your buying the lower for your father for him to allow his son to use with out yourself wanting compensation then there should be no problem
M4Sherman is offline  
Old November 21, 2009, 04:48 AM   #3
jgcoastie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Location: Kodiak, Alaska
Posts: 2,112
Most states allow you to "gift" a gun to a family member, not sure about VA laws though...
__________________
"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." -Richard Henry Lee, Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress, initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights.
jgcoastie is offline  
Old November 21, 2009, 09:49 AM   #4
Technosavant
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO area
Posts: 3,920
A stripped lower for the AR is generally treated as a pistol (although on the 4473 it gets "other" checked) because it can be turned into a handgun. So your brother would not be able to buy one from a FFL until he turns 21, not 18. However, he can purchase a completed lower (with LPK and stock installed) at 18, because the attached stock means it is a long gun.

Yeah, it's silly, but last I heard, that's the interpretation of the law.
Technosavant is offline  
Old November 21, 2009, 09:55 AM   #5
M4Sherman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 408
he was not asking if his brother was old enough yo buy the rifle but rather the accessories
M4Sherman is offline  
Old November 21, 2009, 10:30 AM   #6
Tom Servo
Staff
 
Join Date: September 27, 2008
Location: Foothills of the Appalachians
Posts: 10,613
Quote:
A stripped lower for the AR is generally treated as a pistol (although on the 4473 it gets "other" checked) because it can be turned into a handgun. So your brother would not be able to buy one from a FFL until he turns 21, not 18. However, he can purchase a completed lower (with LPK and stock installed) at 18, because the attached stock means it is a long gun.
Actually, the age limit for all receivers is 21.

According to the newest ATF interpretation [pdf], the receiver is not explicitly a "rifle" or "shotgun."

As per 921(a)(3), you can receive a rifle or shotgun at age 18. By ATF logic, the receiver is not specifically a rifle or shotgun, so they've put the age limit at 21.
__________________
Sometimes it’s nice not to destroy the world for a change.
--Randall Munroe
Tom Servo is offline  
Old November 21, 2009, 10:44 AM   #7
ilbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 29, 2006
Location: Northern Illinois
Posts: 515
Quote:
As per 921(a)(3), you can receive a rifle or shotgun at age 18. By ATF logic, the receiver is not specifically a rifle or shotgun, so they've put the age limit at 21.
I don't think you can blame the ATF for following the law. The law says what it says.
__________________
bob

Disclaimers: I am not a lawyer, cop, soldier, gunsmith, politician, plumber, electrician, or a professional practitioner of many of the other things I comment on in this forum.
ilbob is offline  
Old November 21, 2009, 11:04 AM   #8
rburch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2007
Location: Blacksburg VA
Posts: 687
Sorry about the confusion. I guess another way to ask this would be:

Would it be a straw purchase to buy an AR-15 upper for my brother?

I'd be buying it online, and he doesn't have a credit card, so he'd be giving me his money, and I'd be buying it.

This would be a straw purchase if it was a gun, but since the upper doesn't need a 4473, it wouldn't be?

Quote:
Quote:
A stripped lower for the AR is generally treated as a pistol (although on the 4473 it gets "other" checked) because it can be turned into a handgun. So your brother would not be able to buy one from a FFL until he turns 21, not 18. However, he can purchase a completed lower (with LPK and stock installed) at 18, because the attached stock means it is a long gun.
Actually, the age limit for all receivers is 21
According to the newest ATF interpretation [pdf], the receiver is not explicitly a "rifle" or "shotgun."

As per 921(a)(3), you can receive a rifle or shotgun at age 18. By ATF logic, the receiver is not specifically a rifle or shotgun, so they've put the age limit at 21.
I realize he couldn't get the receiver at 18, I was saying he'll probably buy himself a complete AR-15 when he turns 18.
__________________
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Last edited by rburch; November 21, 2009 at 11:54 AM. Reason: adding the n't to does to make doesn't
rburch is offline  
Old November 21, 2009, 11:09 AM   #9
Tom Servo
Staff
 
Join Date: September 27, 2008
Location: Foothills of the Appalachians
Posts: 10,613
Quote:
I don't think you can blame the ATF for following the law. The law says what it says.
Not placing blame, but the law doesn't specify an age limit for receivers. The ATF has chosen to interpret it as 21, when it had previously been interpreted as 18.
__________________
Sometimes it’s nice not to destroy the world for a change.
--Randall Munroe
Tom Servo is offline  
Old November 21, 2009, 11:51 AM   #10
NavyLT
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 25, 2006
Location: Oak Harbor, WA
Posts: 1,719
Quote:
Originally Posted by rburch
This would be a straw purchase if it was a gun, but since the upper does need a 4473, it wouldn't be?
Why does an upper need a 4473?
NavyLT is offline  
Old November 21, 2009, 11:56 AM   #11
Tom Servo
Staff
 
Join Date: September 27, 2008
Location: Foothills of the Appalachians
Posts: 10,613
Uppers don't need a 4473, nor do any parts besides the receiver.
__________________
Sometimes it’s nice not to destroy the world for a change.
--Randall Munroe
Tom Servo is offline  
Old November 21, 2009, 11:57 AM   #12
rburch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2007
Location: Blacksburg VA
Posts: 687
Sorry for the typo NavyLT, I fixed it.

My brain is faster than my fingers on a keyboard, and I sometimes leave bits off words.
__________________
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
rburch is offline  
Old November 21, 2009, 12:07 PM   #13
NavyLT
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 25, 2006
Location: Oak Harbor, WA
Posts: 1,719
Once again, on this subject, there is much confusion and misinformation...

1. I am not sure about the age limits for lower receivers. HOWEVER, the Federal age limits for those receivers put in place by the BATFE would ONLY apply when those receivers were purchased from the FFL. They would not apply in the case of private sales and gifts. So, just because the person can't buy one from an FFL until they are 21, a private sale or gift would be legal down to the age limit of state law, which, in most states is 18 The same is true of just plain ol' handguns.

2. Gifting is allowed to ANY person who can lawfully possess that firearm, it is not restricted to just family members. As long as the two parties are residents of the same state there is no Federal law that requires an FFL to be involved with a gift. State law might be more restrictive, most states are not.

3. A straw purchase has NOTHING to do with age limits, felonies, etc... A straw purchase is made when a person buys a firearm from a licensed dealer with the intention of not being the owner of that firearm at the time of purchase. As long as you intend to OWN and USE that firearm when you buy it from a dealer, it is not a straw purchase. USING the firearm as a GIFT is a legal and legitimate use of the firearm. If you bought the firearm from a dealer and ONLY intended to transfer that firearm immediately to another person for some sort of compensation, that is a straw purchase REGARDLESS of who that other person is.

4. Straw purchase only applies to firearms and ammunition purchased from dealers. AR-15 uppers are NOT considered to be firearms by the BATFE, so there can be no straw purchase involving an upper. Also, straw purchase is not only lying on the 4473.... a straw purchase can be made by verbally lying to a licensed dealer regarding the purchase of a firearm or ammunition.

5. Violating age limits or giving a gun to an otherwise prohibited person is completely separate from a straw purchase and is it's own violation of a different section of the statute (18 USC 922).

So, if YOU purchase the lower receiver from a dealer and intend to USE that lower receiver as a gift to someone else, there is no straw purchase. It does not matter if the recipient of that gift then gives you all the other parts and you make a rifle (or pistol) out of it. It also does not matter if you buy the upper with the intention of providing that upper to someone else for compensation, because the upper is not considered the firearm.
NavyLT is offline  
Old November 22, 2009, 06:41 AM   #14
blume357
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 2, 2005
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 3,943
I think you are fine... but then I think if you had the money

you could go out and buy an AR and give it to your brother....

Your brother may or may not be able to buy the other parts for the AR... it won't depend on the government but who he is buying those parts from.

I think you are good to go legally with what you ask.... assuming you both reside in the same state.

The straw purchase 'law' is a bunch of crap and would never stand up in a real court anyway. In fact, I'm not even sure it is a law.
blume357 is offline  
Old November 22, 2009, 09:09 AM   #15
ilbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 29, 2006
Location: Northern Illinois
Posts: 515
Quote:
Not placing blame, but the law doesn't specify an age limit for receivers. The ATF has chosen to interpret it as 21, when it had previously been interpreted as 18.
I think if you read the law carefully, that you will be forced to come to the conclusion that whatever interpretation they may have made is the correct one, as absurd as it may seem on the face of it.

Its only fairly recently that sales of frames and receivers have really become common so they probably never thought much about it before. It also would not surprise me a whole lot to find that the Brady bunch or a similar group of hatemongers were the ones that actually brought it to their attention.
__________________
bob

Disclaimers: I am not a lawyer, cop, soldier, gunsmith, politician, plumber, electrician, or a professional practitioner of many of the other things I comment on in this forum.
ilbob is offline  
Old November 22, 2009, 10:27 AM   #16
mskdgunman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2008
Posts: 127
The only time I have ever seen anything remotely like a straw purchase handled by ATF it involved two individuals who were purchasing multiple AR-15's and multiple handguns from several different gun shops in the area. The guns were earmarked for a couple of fellows who would then ship the guns to PR as part of a firearms trafficking ring. Now THAT is a clasic straw purchase. They couple doing the buying were squeeky clean with CCW permits...who better to use?

Anyway, as has been pointed out, the whole straw purchase thing would not apply in the OP's described situation.
mskdgunman is offline  
Old November 22, 2009, 10:40 AM   #17
Tom Servo
Staff
 
Join Date: September 27, 2008
Location: Foothills of the Appalachians
Posts: 10,613
Quote:
Anyway, as has been pointed out, the whole straw purchase thing would not apply in the OP's described situation.
The OP is buying it legally, and he is gifting it to a family member. As long as the younger brother is not legally prohibited from owning a firearm, then it's OK.

I'm just not sure if being under 18 constitutes "legally prohibited." That'll depend on Virginia law. If it's OK as per state law, then there's no problem.
__________________
Sometimes it’s nice not to destroy the world for a change.
--Randall Munroe
Tom Servo is offline  
Old November 22, 2009, 11:24 AM   #18
RDak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 17, 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 734
It would seem that if you used your brother's money to buy him a lower, in your name, it would be a straw purchase IMHO (i.e., assuming he can't buy one from a FFL because he is too young).

I mean, you could say he gifted me the money, then I gifted him the lower. That wouldn't hold much water IMHO.
RDak is offline  
Old November 22, 2009, 12:31 PM   #19
NavyLT
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 25, 2006
Location: Oak Harbor, WA
Posts: 1,719
Quote:
Originally Posted by blume357
The straw purchase 'law' is a bunch of crap and would never stand up in a real court anyway. In fact, I'm not even sure it is a law
18 USC 922(a)(6):
Quote:
(a) It shall be unlawful—
(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;
First question of the form 4473:
Are you the actual purchaser of the firearm?

That is the whole extent of the "straw purchase" statute.
NavyLT is offline  
Old November 22, 2009, 12:46 PM   #20
raimius
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2008
Posts: 1,360
So, how does this work with ammo?
I was unfamiliar that "straw purchases" included ammo.

So this doesn't go off topic, please PM me.
raimius is offline  
Old November 22, 2009, 02:05 PM   #21
brickeyee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2004
Posts: 3,342
Quote:
Not placing blame, but the law doesn't specify an age limit for receivers. The ATF has chosen to interpret it as 21, when it had previously been interpreted as 18.
The way the law is written it specifies that long guns can be purchased at age 18.

The 18 age is explicit for long guns.

Sine a lower is NOT a long gun, the age defaults to 21.
brickeyee is offline  
Old November 22, 2009, 03:26 PM   #22
rburch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2007
Location: Blacksburg VA
Posts: 687
Quote:
Your brother may or may not be able to buy the other parts for the AR... it won't depend on the government but who he is buying those parts from.

I think you are good to go legally with what you ask.... assuming you both reside in the same state.
We do live in the same state.

As far as his age and the parts, he would be giving me the money for them, and I would purchase them and assemble the weapon.
__________________
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
rburch is offline  
Old November 22, 2009, 03:50 PM   #23
bcarver
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 22, 2007
Location: Jackson,Mississippi
Posts: 836
charge your brother

let your brother buy the upper,a lpk and stock.(or a rifle kit)
Charge your brother 100 bucks to assemble the rifle.
Buy a lower, assemble the weapon, give it to your brother.
He did not give you money for a gun. You gave him a gift.
you are not out any money. Just be sure to claim the 100 bucks as income.
bcarver is offline  
Old November 22, 2009, 05:38 PM   #24
NavyLT
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 25, 2006
Location: Oak Harbor, WA
Posts: 1,719
Quote:
Charge your brother 100 bucks to assemble the rifle.
And now a felony is committed for manufacturing a firearm without a license. It's just like reloading - if you charge someone for the act of assembly, you now become a manufacturer.
NavyLT is offline  
Old November 22, 2009, 10:32 PM   #25
rburch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2007
Location: Blacksburg VA
Posts: 687
Quote:
Quote:
Charge your brother 100 bucks to assemble the rifle.
And now a felony is committed for manufacturing a firearm without a license. It's just like reloading - if you charge someone for the act of assembly, you now become a manufacturer.
Yeah I'm aware of that one.

The assembling would be part of the gift.

Only compensation I'd be getting is the option to borrow the gun when he's not using it. (Since I chose an AR-180b as my EBR, I don't actually have an AR-15)
__________________
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
rburch is offline  
Reply

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 11:51 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13102 seconds with 7 queries