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Old June 9, 2011, 08:29 AM   #1
l98ster
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Speaking of Straw Purchases...

Hi everyone,

I just finished reading the thread on gifting and straw purchases. It brings up a good question that I have. Here is the situation:

A friend and I were talking the other day (we both live in NY). He has a relative in North Carolina. He was visiting his relative when he walked into a gunstore in NC, and found a pistol that he wanted. The store told him that since he was not a NC resident, they could not sell him the pistol (he has a NY pistol permit).

A day later, he brought his relative into the gunstore to buy that pistol. His relative kept posession of the pistol in NC until he got back home and filed the appropriate paperwork to legally take possesion of it in NY. When his NY pistol permit was amended and the pistol from NC was put on it, he had his relative send him the pistol through the proper FFL channels.

Is this a straw purchase??

-George
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Old June 9, 2011, 09:11 AM   #2
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I'd vote YES because the relative bought it with the specific intention of transferring it to the other guy AND with the intention of specifically avoiding a purchase restriction.
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Old June 9, 2011, 09:35 AM   #3
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Quote:
Is this a straw purchase??
The layman definition of straw purchase includes any use of a third party the legal definition used by the AtF is lying on question 11 on the 4473.
Your situation fits both definitions so yes it's a straw purchase. However to convict they would need to prove intent at the time of the sale.

BTW the legal way to do it would be to just buy it and have the NC dealer ship it to a NY dealer and the actual buyer do the transfer in NY.
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Old June 9, 2011, 10:11 AM   #4
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Meh, since it went through a NY ffl they could always use the NC guy bought it, then SOLD it to the NY guy. Nothing illegal about that.

It's intent and proving that intent that causes the problems.
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Old June 9, 2011, 08:21 PM   #5
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The North Carolina dealer could easily have sold you the pistol and shipped it to your New York FFL holder, who could then have completed the genuine official paper work.
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Old June 10, 2011, 06:26 AM   #6
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Technically, he did not lie on the form as he was the person receiving the firearm since he maintained possession then transferred it over through a legal transferal in NY. I think the key thing here is the additional 4473 that was filled out in NY for a transfer.
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Old June 10, 2011, 07:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Technically, he did not lie on the form as he was the person receiving the firearm since he maintained possession then transferred it over through a legal transferal in NY. I think the key thing here is the additional 4473 that was filled out in NY for a transfer
Not true. The RELATIVE filled out the 4473 in NC. That makes it a straw purchase.
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Old June 10, 2011, 08:17 AM   #8
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I assume the OP filled out a 4473 in NY.

I would say it is a violation of the law. In this case I doubt you would be prosecuted because the actual buyer filled out a 4473 and went through a background check.

In the future talk to the dealer, pay for the pistol, and have it shipped to a dealer in NY. This way you are 100% within the law.
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Old June 10, 2011, 09:38 AM   #9
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Not necessarily a straw purchase, but maybe a case for selling without a license.
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Old June 10, 2011, 10:19 AM   #10
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Except for question 11--a straw purchase (my definition) is purchasing a gun for someone who cannot legally purchase themselves. How did this fit?
I am not emp by any govt agency and never have been, other than the US ARMY.

Couple yrs ago, I purchased (paid for) a handgun from a gunshop in CO. They shipped it it MI and I completed (purchased the gun?) the paperwork in MI.
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Old June 10, 2011, 11:58 AM   #11
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by langenc
Except for question 11--a straw purchase (my definition) is purchasing a gun for someone who cannot legally purchase themselves. How did this fit?...
Because your definition doesn't count. What counts is ATF's definition, and that's based strictly on question 11.
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Old June 10, 2011, 04:44 PM   #12
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Hi everyone,

Im the OP on this thread. Although the ultimate intent was for my friend to ultimately own the pistol, his relative maintained possession of the pistol UNTIL the proper paperwork could be filled out in NY.

The way he sees it (and I tend to agree), is that the relative purchased and possessed it legally, and then when the paperwork was complete in NY and was sent via FFL, that to was a legal transaction.

In fact, the way I see it, every step of the way was legal. It cannot be determined from a legal standpoint the mindset of the relative for the original purchase. All steps in the process were legal. The relative knew that he was going to transfer it legally, so my friends arguement was that it was NOT a straw purchase.

What say you???
-George
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Old June 10, 2011, 05:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Although the ultimate intent was for my friend to ultimately own the pistol
Which ultimatly is what makes it an illegal straw purchase.
The relative lied when he answered question 11. I know it, you know it and he knows it.
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Old June 10, 2011, 05:57 PM   #14
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l98ster
...It cannot be determined from a legal standpoint the mindset of the relative for the original purchase....
It actual can be, because you've already told everyone in the world with Internet access what his mindset was. You've nicely explained how the NC relative was buying the gun on behalf of the NY friend, and that makes it a straw purchase in the eyes of the ATF.
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Old June 10, 2011, 06:18 PM   #15
l98ster
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well, im not worried of the legal ramifications due to it being on the internet. However, what I am interested in is if given this exact situation, can anyone get in trouble? Remeber, the gun was purchased legal and transfered to NY legal. A straw purchase is illegal. That means someone can be in trouble with the law if they perform such an act. Since the relative purchased it legal and transfered it to my friend legally, nobody can be in trouble. So, how is this a straw purchase?
-George
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Old June 10, 2011, 06:27 PM   #16
vranasaurus
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Yes, your relative could be prosecuted for lying on the 4473.

I doubt the US Attorney's office in NC would prosecute in this case. The ultimate trasnfer went through an FFL in NY where you filled out the appropriate paperwork and underwent a background check.

While it is unlikely that someone will get in trouble the fact remains that they could.
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Old June 10, 2011, 06:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Although the ultimate intent was for my friend to ultimately own the pistol,


At issue would be the entire information block questions 1-10, 11a, and 13.


Let us consult the opinion of the BATFE.

Quote:
15. STRAW PURCHASES
Questions have arisen concerning the lawfulness of firearms purchases from licensees by persons who use a "straw purchaser" (another person) to acquire the firearms. Specifically, the actual buyer uses the straw purchaser to execute the Form 4473 purporting to show that the straw purchaser is the actual purchaser of the firearm. In some instances, a straw purchaser is used because the actual purchaser is prohibited from acquiring the firearm. That is to say, the actual purchaser is a felon or is within one of the other prohibited categories of persons who may not lawfully acquire firearms or is a resident of a State other than that in which the licensee's business premises is located. Because of his or her disability, the person uses a straw purchaser who is not prohibited from purchasing a firearm from the licensee. In other instances, neither the straw purchaser nor the actual purchaser is prohibited from acquiring the firearm.

In both instances, the straw purchaser violates Federal law by making
false statements on Form 4473 to the licensee with respect to the identity of
the actual purchaser of the firearm, as well as the actual purchaser's residence address and date of birth. The actual purchaser who utilized the straw purchaser to acquire a firearm has unlawfully aided and abetted or caused the making of the false statements. The licensee selling the firearm under these circumstances also violates Federal law if the licensee is aware of the false statements on the form. It is immaterial that the actual purchaser and the straw purchaser are residents of the State in which the licensee's business premises is located, are not prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms, and could have lawfully purchased firearms from the licensee.
(from the atf's 2005 guide: http://www.atf.gov/publications/down...f-p-5300-4.pdf )

Are the ATF and their regs stupid? Yes. Does it matter how stupid they are? Not really.
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Old June 10, 2011, 07:24 PM   #18
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l98ster
...That means someone can be in trouble with the law if they perform such an act. Since the relative purchased it legal and transfered it to my friend legally, nobody can be in trouble. So, how is this a straw purchase?...
It has already been pointed out that you don't understand what a straw purchase is. But I'm going to reiterate it a little differently, because too many people don't seem to have a clue what a straw purchase is.

A straw purchase is simply lying to the first question on the 4473 -- "are you the actual purchaser?". See the ATF publication Federal Firearms Regulation Reference Guide, 2005, at page 165 (emphasis added):
Quote:
15. STRAW PURCHASES

Questions have arisen concerning the lawfulness of firearms purchases from licensees by persons who use a "straw purchaser" (another person) to acquire the firearms. Specifically, the actual buyer uses the straw purchaser to execute the Form 4473 purporting to show that the straw purchaser is the actual purchaser of the firearm. In some instances, a straw purchaser is used because the actual purchaser is prohibited from acquiring the firearm. That is to say, the actual purchaser is a felon or is within one of the other prohibited categories of persons who may not lawfully acquire firearms or is a resident of a State other than that in which the licensee's business premises is located. Because of his or her disability, the person uses a straw purchaser who is not prohibited from purchasing a firearm from the licensee. In other instances, neither the straw purchaser nor the actual purchaser is prohibited from acquiring the firearm.

In both instances, the straw purchaser violates Federal law by making false statements on Form 4473 to the licensee with respect to the identity of the actual purchaser of the firearm, as well as the actual purchaser's residence address and date of birth. The actual purchaser who utilized the straw purchaser to acquire a firearm has unlawfully aided and abetted or caused the making of the false statements. The licensee selling the firearm under these circumstances also violates Federal law if the licensee is aware of the false statements on the form. It is immaterial that the actual purchaser and the straw purchaser are residents of the State in which the licensee's business premises is located, are not prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms, and could have lawfully purchased firearms...
So even if the actual, intended ultimate purchaser is not a prohibited person and could have legally bought the gun himself, it is an unlawful straw purchase when someone else buys the gun on his behalf.

So George, you just fingered your NY friend and his NC relative on the World Wide Web for engaging in a straw firearm purchase.
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Old June 10, 2011, 07:29 PM   #19
Eghad
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You were prohibited from buying the firearm because you were out of state...

You gave your friend the money to buy the gun for you

He lied on the form when he said he was the actual purchaser because he was purchasing it for you because you were ineligible.

straw man purchase.

Its a wonder they made the sale... I would not have.
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Old June 10, 2011, 07:41 PM   #20
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Quote:

Originally posted by Eghad

You were prohibited from buying the firearm because you were out of state...
That is iirelevant. The ability of the actual buyer to complete the purchase is not an element of the offense.
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Old June 10, 2011, 07:44 PM   #21
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The law should change, straw purchase should not be illegal if both partys are CCW permit holders, or in the case bringing it back to another state.

It should be illegal for anyone to buy gun(s) at a store then turn around and sell them NIB privately for profit.

I cannot see how it's a "straw purchase" if both partys are legally able to own/buy guns.

But the law is the law right now so I vote straw, even though it went through a FFL. :barf:

Why didn't he just buy it in NY, order from online ship to FFL?
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Old June 10, 2011, 07:55 PM   #22
vranasaurus
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The crime is making false statements in connection with the acquisition of a firearm.

The actual statute is 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;

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Old June 11, 2011, 07:31 AM   #23
l98ster
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Hi everyone,

OK, so I am understanding a bit better. Im just trying to play devils advocate here. In the original conversation with my friend, I had told him at face value that it WAS a straw purchase. HIS arguement was what I had posted in the original thread.

Playing devils advocate again, what is the difference between the relative buying it for himself, having a change of heart 15 minutes later, and selling it to someone who can lawfully own a pistol versus what actually happened here?


-George
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Old June 11, 2011, 08:34 AM   #24
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You could have just had the NC FFL send it to an NY FFL.
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Old June 11, 2011, 08:38 AM   #25
vranasaurus
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The length of time one owns it prior to transfering it would be used as evidence to prove the intent of the person who filled out the form.

While it is possible to have a change of heart in 15 minutes it would be a hard sell to a jury.
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