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View Full Version : Buying a handgun as a gift (Keeping it a surprise)


jasminecs0cal
05-26-2009, 11:42 PM
Good evening,

I apologize if this is the wrong section of the forums and for failing to introduce myself first in the other one; but I've got myself a bit of a boggle here.

After almost thirty years, my husband's .45 1911 (I don't know the exact varietal.) has seen so much use that even his gunsmith says it's time to retire the poor thing and purchase a replacement. He's rather distraught, as it was his father's pistol before him. I'd like to surprise him with a replacement for hs birthday. It's in the middle of the summer; so there's no special hurry; but I do like to get these sorts of things squared away early.

My boggle is this: Is it possible to accomplish my task whilst keeping it a surprise for his birthday?

He's always been the one to buy the guns for the family; including mine and our sons. Now, I've read the procedures and settled on buying it in my name, having the background check done on myself, and doing a spousal transfer form after his birthday. But it simply would not do to spoil the surprise by having paperwork related to the same arriving in our mail. And for the life of me; I can't recall if the registration and background check came to our house before, or if that was all handled through the dealer. And I think most of these procedures are new since he bought our last gun anyway.

So, the short form of the question: Does the paperwork come in the mail; or is it all handled by the dealer. There's no worry about keeping the surprise until August otherwise. He's never found his birthday presents' hiding places in thirty years. But I worry that the mail could spoil everything. And if the government would normally send mail to our home; is there any other chance to keep the surprise? They don't appear to like PO Boxes, for example.

We're in California, of course, and neither of us has any record which would cause us to fail a background check.

Regards,
Jasmine

KCM222
05-26-2009, 11:46 PM
The dealer handles all the paperwork, so no need to worry about it coming to your home and ruining the surprise.

trilogy
05-27-2009, 12:16 AM
Like KCM222 said all paperwork will be handled by the dealer nothing will come to your house.

Now, I've read the procedures and settled on buying it in my name, having the background check done on myself, and doing a spousal transfer form after his birthday.

IIRC When the intra-family transfer form is processed they send you a letter back saying so, so be sure to wait till after.

Have you decided what your getting him?

--Matt

JDay
05-27-2009, 12:41 AM
Like KCM222 said all paperwork will be handled by the dealer nothing will come to your house.



IIRC When the intra-family transfer form is processed they send you a letter back saying so, so be sure to wait till after.

Have you decided what your getting him?

--Matt

No need to wait, only time you ever have to be worried is if you are carrying an un-registered handgun.

domokun
05-27-2009, 12:56 AM
Another option is to pay for the handgun and then have your husband do the paperwork. The day he does the paperwork is when he finds out about his surprise. :) Pickup should be ten 24hr periods after the paperwork has been submitted.

DDT
05-27-2009, 8:17 AM
Another option is to pay for the handgun and then have your husband do the paperwork. The day he does the paperwork is when he finds out about his surprise. :) Pickup should be ten 24hr periods after the paperwork has been submitted.

Who wants to wait 10 days? Do as you planned and he can unwrap his gun on his birthday.

Now for the important part; which 1911 are you buying him?

fairfaxjim
05-27-2009, 8:34 AM
Nothing will come to the house, it is all done right at the gun dealers.

On another note, I know you think you have lots of time, but given the "Obama" factor in firearm supply and demand, I would recommend selecting the desired 1911 and getting it locked up or ordered with some degree of certainty that it will be available when you need it. So much stuff is just plain not available right now that you could end up disappointed.

CaliforniaLiberal
05-27-2009, 8:58 AM
You're a wonderful wife.

I agree with everything already said, the paperwork stays with the dealer, but I would emphasize that there is a nationwide gun buying frenzy going on and there is sometimes a months long delay getting guns if you have to order them.

If you can not find a gun shop with the firearm you want give yourself lots of time to order one.

CL

highpowermatch
05-27-2009, 9:02 AM
Wow! what a gal! go to you're local dealer and they will help you sort it all out with what options are available to you.

Glock22Fan
05-27-2009, 9:06 AM
And remember, if you are selecting a 1911 from a catalogue, reviews or whatever, that many makes and models are not certified for California. You need to do a reality check with the dealer. So it would be best to get a shortlist and check it. Posters here can probably provide a link to the list, but I'm afraid I don't have one.

Frijolito1988
05-27-2009, 9:06 AM
Also, not sure when was the last time you or your husband bough a gun. but you must have an HSC = Handgun safecty ceritificate . It is very easy and common sense. So when you decide what you want OR a local dealer of your's has the 1911 in stock, go and take the HSC=$25 , take your car registration or utility bill, and start the dros, then pick up the handgun 10 / 24 hr periods later, and hide it till the big day :)

sorensen440
05-27-2009, 9:11 AM
as long as your husband is not a calgunner keeping it a secret shouldnt be hard.

Gun store will help ya fill out the paperwork and nothing will be mailed to your house
I would make sure the gun store had your cell phone and not your home phone if they had a problem and needed to contact you.

Maestro Pistolero
05-27-2009, 9:42 AM
What are you getting for him? (the lucky b@$t^rd)

jasminecs0cal
05-27-2009, 7:03 PM
Good evening again.

I'd like to thank everyone for the kind replies. It has, in fact, been many years since we've bought a gun. We keep ours well-maintained and buy them to last. Any my husband always handled the actual buying anyway. So, other than what I've read on the internet, I'm not up-to-date on what's involved anymore. There do seem to be more contrivances than before.

It's quite a blessing that I'll be able to keep his birthday surprise a surprise. I'm not worried about paperwork and mailings for the spouse transfer. That will be after his birthday, after all. I need only keep the surprise for a couple of months.

And, truth be told, I'm somewhat torn as to exactly what to get him. It will, for sure, be another .45 of course. He never really took to anything smaller, even when the Corp finally made him switch to that 9mm Beretta that's preferred now. But I'm not sure if a new 1911 so soon would make him miss the old one too much. He had it for years and years and it was a gift from his father, rest his dear soul. He was quite attached to it. The other option I'm considering, is a more modern .45: the Glock 21. My own pistol is their model 17 in 9mm (That's about as powerful a cartridge as I can handle at my age. In fact, I may sadly have to give it up for something smaller in a few more years.) and I've been quite happy with it for the many years since he bought it for me... about ten years now actually; how time flies.

I'm a bit of an early bird anyway. I've even started on my christmas shopping already. So I'll probably follow the advice to go early to see which 1911s are on this California list and which are in stock or available for timely order; and try to divine if any of them would suit him without invoking melancholy. Otherwise, probably I'll get him the Glock model 21 in the .45. Really, nothing but a .45 for my dearest. He can be so traditional sometimes.

Thank you all again for the help. It is a true bit of happiness that I'll be able to sucessfully deliver a surprise for his birthday.

Regards,
Jasmine

rivviepop
05-27-2009, 7:27 PM
Can you somehow sneak his old gun out of the safe, take a picture and upload it for us so we can see what he already has? I'm sure nothing would please him better than to receive a new gun that has the same soul as the old one, something that might give him the same type of sentimental attachment.

Bagelthief
05-27-2009, 7:44 PM
id wager that he wouldnt want to get a "watered down" gun like a glock (opinion) after having a manly 1911 for so long. to me it would be akin to getting a mini poodle after your German shepherd died...thats just me though. you probably know him much better than i do...at least i would hope so after 30 years...haha.

andrewj
05-27-2009, 7:52 PM
Thats gonna be one hell of a gift. You rock!

Ding126
05-27-2009, 7:59 PM
Wife wants to buy a pistol for husband....what a lucky man. Congrats!

1859sharps
05-27-2009, 8:15 PM
Another option is to pay for the handgun and then have your husband do the paperwork. The day he does the paperwork is when he finds out about his surprise. :) Pickup should be ten 24hr periods after the paperwork has been submitted.

this is often my advice in situations similar to this. However, since they are husband and wife, the ability to open a wrapped gift at home on your birthday is worth the extra dros free in my opinion.

Since your considering the Glock rather then automatically just replacing with another 1911 style, you might also consider the Smith and Wesson M&P in 45. With today's market it's good to have backup choices and I am hearing a lot of good things about the M&P line from SW.

Another option is to try and replace with as similar 1911 as he has now. Particularly if your husband really likes the 1911 style in addition to the sentimental value.

obeygiant
05-27-2009, 8:19 PM
Can you somehow sneak his old gun out of the safe, take a picture and upload it for us so we can see what he already has? I'm sure nothing would please him better than to receive a new gun that has the same soul as the old one, something that might give him the same type of sentimental attachment.

If you are able to get a picture just reply to this thread and I'm sure one of us would be happy to help you get the picture posted so we can help you find a suitable handgun for your husband.

CHS
05-27-2009, 8:21 PM
Jasmine, just to re-iterate what's already been said:

Purchasing a firearm as a gift for another person is very clearly and explicitly NOT a straw sale. Since you are the wife, in CA you can just gift the firearm to your husband. All you have to do is the proper paperwork. When filling out the form 4473, the first question asks you if you are the real purchaser of the firearm. Many people get confused by this when buying a gun as a gift. In your case you would truthfully and lawfully answer "yes", since the BATFE does not consider that type of purchase a straw sale and for the purposes of that question you *ARE* the legal buyer of the firearm.

Good luck!

obeygiant
05-27-2009, 8:25 PM
Does this look like your husband's 1911?

http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp347/pickle37849/P1030351.jpg


Or this one?

http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/1853/ww1191150.jpg

HowardW56
05-27-2009, 8:42 PM
Good evening,

I apologize if this is the wrong section of the forums and for failing to introduce myself first in the other one; but I've got myself a bit of a boggle here.

After almost thirty years, my husband's .45 1911 (I don't know the exact varietal.) has seen so much use that even his gunsmith says it's time to retire the poor thing and purchase a replacement. He's rather distraught, as it was his father's pistol before him. I'd like to surprise him with a replacement for hs birthday. It's in the middle of the summer; so there's no special hurry; but I do like to get these sorts of things squared away early.

My boggle is this: Is it possible to accomplish my task whilst keeping it a surprise for his birthday?

He's always been the one to buy the guns for the family; including mine and our sons. Now, I've read the procedures and settled on buying it in my name, having the background check done on myself, and doing a spousal transfer form after his birthday. But it simply would not do to spoil the surprise by having paperwork related to the same arriving in our mail. And for the life of me; I can't recall if the registration and background check came to our house before, or if that was all handled through the dealer. And I think most of these procedures are new since he bought our last gun anyway.

So, the short form of the question: Does the paperwork come in the mail; or is it all handled by the dealer. There's no worry about keeping the surprise until August otherwise. He's never found his birthday presents' hiding places in thirty years. But I worry that the mail could spoil everything. And if the government would normally send mail to our home; is there any other chance to keep the surprise? They don't appear to like PO Boxes, for example.

We're in California, of course, and neither of us has any record which would cause us to fail a background check.

Regards,
Jasmine

What a wonderful gift.... You are a very nice wife!

hawk1
05-27-2009, 9:16 PM
Keep in mind if all this is overwhelming to you, his beloved pistol can be fitted with a new barrel and parts to run as good or better than a lot of the ones being sold. I'm a bit surprised that his gunsmith didn't suggest this, unless the frame and/or slide is cracked...

Mulay El Raisuli
05-28-2009, 7:41 AM
What a wonderful gift.... You are a very nice wife!



I agree. She should be cloned.

The Raisuli