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Old January 16, 2020, 11:56 AM   #1
5whiskey
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Uugggghhhhhh Stupid Federal Laws and Why We Don’t Need Any More

Just a rant, that is all. I understand the desire to try and thwart straw purchases. I really do. But the absolutist principle and letter of the law at times prevents peaceful citizens from doing something they should be able to do by any rights.

Case in point. I’m currently an activated reservist and deployed. Occasionally I peruse armslist in my home area just to see what’s out there. Well, I happen to have found a couple of No 4 Enfields local to my home at a really good price. The problem is buying a firearm without being there is... well... not possible. I could get my son to pick it up for me, but very technically he would not be the actual person for which the gun is meant for. Nor would it be a bona fide gift if I gave him the money for it (which I would). The only unquestionably legal way I see to handle it would be to have him buy it and do the transfer through an ffl. Then transfer it to me through an ffl when I get back. That’s a lot of hassle, and on top of it I would want to ask the seller questions and get more pictures as my son isn’t into collecting and doesn’t know all of hat I’m looking for. As soon as I start emailing but my son shows up, to ffl or otherwise, that’ll probably shut that down.

It’s one more reason why we don’t need any more laws on the books. There shouldn’t be a thing in the world wrong with me sending my son to buy a rifle for me and hold it until I get home. But it’s against the letter of the law. Laws are often made without common sense provisions to prevent such impediments. And they often have no appreciable affect on the very behaviors they are intended to prevent. Just a rant, and another argument against UBCs. I get it UBCs aren’t affecting my personal situation, but how many unintended consequences will they have?
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Old January 16, 2020, 12:07 PM   #2
zxcvbob
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[Lawyers watch this subforum and might know this] Could you give him a power of attorney, then he purchase them in your name on your behalf?
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Old January 16, 2020, 12:31 PM   #3
zukiphile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5whisky
I get it UBCs aren’t affecting my personal situation, but how many unintended consequences will they have?
UBCs will frustrate many legitimate lawful buyers, but I wouldn't call that an unintended consequence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zxcvbob
Could you give him a power of attorney, then he purchase them in your name on your behalf?
In most real world matters, that would not be a straw purchase. The true buyer is disclosed so there is no fraud. Also in most of the real world, buying on behalf of 5Whisky wouldn't be a straw purchase because he isn't barred from such a purchase himself.

Introduce the BATF, an FFL and the 4473, and these ordinary rules don't apply. Significantly, the person who signs the 4473 asserts that he is the true buyer, and that's never true where the person signing has a POA or is purchasing for someone himself entitled to purchase.

Yes, it's a stupid rule. However it's not as if it makes sense to charge people a tax for suppressors either, so we are already in a context of arbitrary rules.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5whisky
The only unquestionably legal way I see to handle it would be to have him buy it and do the transfer through an ffl. Then transfer it to me through an ffl when I get back.
That first transaction would be a BATF defined straw purchase (i.e. not a straw purchase, but prohibited). AB's idea is better.

Of course, none of that solves your problem of a long distance purchase of a non-fungible item. This comes up for car collectors too.

Last edited by zukiphile; January 16, 2020 at 12:37 PM.
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Old January 16, 2020, 12:32 PM   #4
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5Whiskey
I could get my son to pick it up for me, but very technically he would not be the actual person for which the gun is meant for.
He would not be "very technically" not the person actually buying the gun; he would not be the person buying the gun. That's a fact, not a technicality.

Quote:
Nor would it be a bona fide gift if I gave him the money for it (which I would).
Correct.

Quote:
The only unquestionably legal way I see to handle it would be to have him buy it and do the transfer through an ffl. Then transfer it to me through an ffl when I get back.
Why not just arrange with your FFL to hold the gun until you return? I did that a number of years ago when I was out of the country and I saw a pistol on Gunbroker that I wanted. In my case it was at a gunshop in my home state so I contacted the shop and arranged to have them just hold the gun for me until I returned. I don't remember if I paid a deposit or if I paid the full price up front but, when I got home, I drove to the shop and picked up the gun.

If the gun you're looking at is being sold by someone not physically near your home, it seems to me that you have two legal options:
  • Pay the seller and arrange for him to hold the gun until you get home; or
  • Pay the seller and arrange with your receiving FFL to hold the gun until you get home.
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Old January 16, 2020, 02:53 PM   #5
5whiskey
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Quote:
Why not just arrange with your FFL to hold the gun until you return? I did that a number of years ago when I was out of the country and I saw a pistol on Gunbroker that I wanted. In my case it was at a gunshop in my home state so I contacted the shop and arranged to have them just hold the gun for me until I returned. I don't remember if I paid a deposit or if I paid the full price up front but, when I got home, I drove to the shop and picked up the gun.
That’s actually about the best solution I suppose. I’m not messing with that there are actually a couple of rifles I’m interested in that popped up I would like to consider both. It’s just more than I’m willing to ask of a random stranger, my son, and then paying for an ffl to do a transfer and hold.

I toyed with the idea of paying up front and having the seller hold the rifle if I liked what I saw in pictures. I may. Or more likely I’ll probably just be patient and wait until I get home. And likely not find as good of a deal but I digress. It was just a rant really.

Quote:
UBCs will frustrate many legitimate lawful buyers, but I wouldn't call that an unintended consequence.
Touché. The ultimate intention is to frustrate any firearm purchase, any time, any where. Fair point.
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Old January 16, 2020, 03:01 PM   #6
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To clarify, both rifles that I’m interested in appear to be private sellers. So if I did decide to commit to one, the option would be to have them take it to an ffl and have it held for me there after I pay them. Or just pay the seller to hold it. But still I digress, I’ll look around when I’m a little closer to getting home.
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Old January 16, 2020, 03:07 PM   #7
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I thought family members could gift a gun between each other without it being a "Straw Purchase". If I remember it right the son could purchase the gun and then gift/give it to his father when he returns. Maybe I misread the article since it was quite a while ago or it was a state-specific issue.
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Old January 16, 2020, 03:14 PM   #8
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It is possible but it has to be a bona fide gift. If I reimburse my son any amount for it, it does not qualify.
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Old January 16, 2020, 04:34 PM   #9
Bartholomew Roberts
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Everyone should be aware that the federal government successfully prosecuted a police officer who was not a prohibited person and used his law enforcement discount to purchase a firearm for his uncle (also not a prohibited person) who then reimbursed him for the purchase. The feds fought this at both the district court and appeals level. Edited to add a link to a biased but factually correct explanation of the Abramski case: https://www.npr.org/2014/06/16/32265...-gun-purchases

Meanwhile, the same government was telling FFLs to allow straw purchases to Mexican drug cartels and then using those same purchases to justify more restrictions on FFLs:
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/documen...n-regulations/

Criminals aren’t the target. The government already has the power to imprison them and take their stuff. Criminals are basically governmental contractors or applying for that status. YOU are the target.

Last edited by Bartholomew Roberts; January 16, 2020 at 05:24 PM.
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Old January 16, 2020, 04:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remington74
I thought family members could gift a gun between each other without it being a "Straw Purchase". If I remember it right the son could purchase the gun and then gift/give it to his father when he returns. Maybe I misread the article since it was quite a while ago or it was a state-specific issue.
This is true and correct. But the gift must be a gift. That means 5whiskey's son could purchase the rifle for his father, using his own (the son's) money, and give it to his father when his father returns. In order for this not to be a straw purchase, the father cannot reimburse or otherwise compensate the son for the purchase. There absolutely cannot be any "You buy it now and I'll pay you for it later" understanding.

5whiskey is trying to understand and comply with the laws. Laws are written using words, and words have meanings. Let's not try to stretch those words beyond any reasonable approximation of what they mean. If you go to the BATFE web site, they have a FAQ that addresses situations encountered by non-licensees (that's those of us who aren't FFLs):

https://www.atf.gov/qa-category/unlicensed-persons

The case mentioned by Bartholomew Roberts in post #9 should serve as an example.
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Old January 16, 2020, 04:49 PM   #11
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Let's take this one step further. Is there anything that says the 4473 has to be filled out in front of the FFL? Meaning, the OP fills out the 4473, signs it, and returns it to the receiving FFL. At this point, HE (the OP) has paid for the guns, filled out the 4437 and is in fact the actual purchaser.

At that point can the son simply "pick up" the guns for his Dad?
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Old January 16, 2020, 04:57 PM   #12
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How is 5whiskey going to fill out the 4473 if he's deployed out of country?

I am NOT suggesting that doing so would be legal (I'm pretty certain it would not), but I don't see any way it could be done. In any case, if the FFL had a 4473 signed by 5whiskey as the transferee, the FFL couldn't then transfer the firearm to someone else. That would make the son the transferee.

As I wrote above, "Laws are written using words, and words have meanings. Let's not try to stretch those words beyond any reasonable approximation of what they mean."
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Old January 16, 2020, 09:26 PM   #13
zxcvbob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doyle View Post
Let's take this one step further. Is there anything that says the 4473 has to be filled out in front of the FFL? Meaning, the OP fills out the 4473, signs it, and returns it to the receiving FFL. At this point, HE (the OP) has paid for the guns, filled out the 4437 and is in fact the actual purchaser.

At that point can the son simply "pick up" the guns for his Dad?
That might work, if instead of the son picking up the guns, the dealer just stores them until 5W can pick them up himself. Might be a storage fee for that.

Aren't the guns in question C&R? He could get his own 03 FFL for $30 and skip a lot of this crap.

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Old January 16, 2020, 10:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by zxcvbob
That might work, if instead of the son picking up the guns, the dealer just stores them until 5W can pick them up himself.
Back to what I suggested in post #4.
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Old January 17, 2020, 01:38 AM   #15
5whiskey
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Aren't the guns in question C&R? He could get his own 03 FFL for $30 and skip a lot of this crap.
I’m glad you mentioned that. I’m going to try and have my 03 ffl by the time I can get back. That actually would simplify things a great deal IF I were buying from a dealer. Have my boy look it over and have it mailed to my house upon purchase. Wife puts it up and we’re done. At any rate I’m about 90% that I’m just going to pass on it for now or I’m going to pay the seller to hold it for me. I really was just ranting about laws that place arbitrary hardships on peaceful, otherwise law abiding, activities that harm no one. Like collecting 80 year old bolt action rifles. And this a long standing generally accepted law no less. So why should any us excitedly accept any new arbitrary laws when there is scant evidence that they will prevent any future gun violence?
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Old January 17, 2020, 03:03 AM   #16
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Quote:
or I’m going to pay the seller to hold it for me.
If you trust them that much...fine.

Seems to me we are talking about the various nuances of possession, ownership, transfer, and delivery.

I see no need to do anything that even remotely skirts the "strawman purchase" law.

I see no reason why you couldn't buy the rifles the same way it is legally done with any purchase "out of state", internet or whatever. You need an FFL in your home state willing to receive them and process the transfer. you buy the gun from the owner, he takes it to his ffl, they ship it to your ffl, and then you pick it up, filling out the required forms/background check at the time you physically take possession. All you should need is an FFL willing to hold YOUR PROPERTY until your deployment is over and you can personally take possession, complying with the legal transfer requirements to take possession at that time.

The dealer can certainly charge you a reasonable storage fee. If they don't want to hold it for you, find a different FFL who will.

I'm not a lawyer, this is not legal advice, its just what I see as the common sense way to stay within the law. Worth what you paid for it, or possibly, less..

First thing to do is find the FFL you want to use on your end, and make sure they understand what you need and are willing to do it. After that, it should be no different than any other non-face to face purchase, just with a time delay before actual delivery. As long as this is understood and arranged for in advance I don't see where it would be a problem.

Legal eagles, if I'm wrong about this, PLEASE correct me for the benefit of us all. Thanks.
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