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dfletcher
02-24-2012, 6:27 PM
First, this is entirely theoretical, question came up on another site, kind of peaked my interest. I suppose we should apply "non-CA" standards to the Q & A - no getting around the "LE exemption" or "safe handgun" roster is involved. In a nutshell, does using an FFL for transfer to a person in another state eliminate a straw purchase offense? The example .....

Let's say a friend in another state contacts me, asks me to purchase a handgun for him - suppose he knows nothing of guns and no one else likes him enough to help. The person is not a prohibited individual, I'm selling the gun to him for the same amount of $$$ it costs me. I purchase the handgun, I answer "yes" to the "are you the owner?" question. Ten days later I pick up the gun, mail the pistol to an FFL dealer.

Has a straw purchase been committed?

If a straw purchase has been committed, is that offense eliminated when I mail the pistol off to the FFL in another state?

BTW, here's the thread:

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=354801

707electrician
02-24-2012, 6:31 PM
If you transfer ownership to him legally then it is not

dfletcher
02-24-2012, 7:30 PM
If you transfer ownership to him legally then it is not

Then in CA there's no such thing as a straw purchase (federally) since we must go through an FFL when transferring ownership of a handgun, correct? I don't think that's true. The question on the 4473 doesn't say anything about subsequent disposal of the gun, it asks if the purchaser is the owner of the gun? If he's buying for someone else, if that's his intent at the point of sale, he's not the owner. What he may subsequently do with the gun is beside the point.

Here's question 11a:

"Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form? Warning: You are not the actual buyer if you are
acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person. If you are not the actual buyer, the dealer cannot transfer the firearm(s)
to you."

And the explanation:

Actual Transferee/Buyer: For purposes of this fonn. you are
the actual transferee/buyer if you are purchasing the firearm for yourself or
otherwise acquiring the firearm for yourself (e.g., redeeming the firearm from
pawn/retrieving it fom consignment, firearm raffle winner). You are also the
acual transferee/buyer if you arc legitimately purchasing the firearm as a gift
for a third party.

ACTUAL TRANSFEREE/BUYER EXAMPLES: Mr.Smith asks Mr. Jones to purchase a
firearm for Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith gives Mr. Jones the money for the tirearm. Mr. Jones
is NOT THE ACTUAL TRANSFEREE/BUYER of the firearm and must answer "NO" to question 11a.
The licensee may not transfer the firearm to Mr. Jones. However, if Mr. Brown goes to buy a
firearm with his own money to give to Mr. Black as a present, Mr. Brown is the actual
transferee/buyer of the firearm and should answer "YES" to question 11.a.
However, you may not transfer a firearm to any person you know or have reasonable
cause to believe is prohibited under 18 U.S.c. § 922(g), (n), or (x).

There's nothing about subsequent disposition.

Ubermcoupe
02-24-2012, 7:38 PM
I’ll kick this can around.

... it asks if the purchaser is the owner of the gun? ...

But by that definition wouldn’t the purchaser be the owner? I mean Does that mean FFLs commit straw purchases every day? Their intention isn’t to purchase firearms, its to buy and then sell them. NVM. :shrug:

Ubermcoupe
02-24-2012, 7:40 PM
Seems the preliminary responses in the 1911 forum are anything not through an FFL, with the purpose of sidestepping the background process.

NytWolf
02-24-2012, 7:42 PM
OP has an interesting scenario.

He guys the gun legally, then immediately transfers it to another person via FFL, legally again.

How is that different from a LEO buying an off-roster handgun, then immediately transferring it to a civilian, legally?

It doesn't seem like either of those purchases are straw purchases. The first purchaser takes possession of the firearm, then sells it to another person.

NytWolf
02-24-2012, 7:42 PM
OP has an interesting scenario.

He guys the gun legally, then immediately transfers it to another person via FFL, legally again.

How is that different from a LEO buying an off-roster handgun, then immediately transferring it to a civilian, legally?

It doesn't seem like either of those purchases are straw purchases. The first purchaser takes possession of the firearm, then sells it to another person.

littlejake
02-24-2012, 8:00 PM
In my opinion (and I am not a lawyer), it is not a straw purchase. However, it must not be done frequently with regularity (fed language) or in excess of 5 times per year (CA language) or a person is in essence dealing in arms and is not licensed to do so.

Anyone who does this creates a paper trail for that gun both federally and state in their name. I'd prefer not to in that paper trail. Even thought it is an acquisition followed by a disposition; CA DOJ makes mistakes and it may still appear on your AFS printout. Comparing a 2007 AFS printout to a 2011 AFS printout for myself, I found DOJ added back some handguns previously disposed of. With that type of incompetence in Sacramento; best to limit their chances of making mistakes -- or you'll end up doing their job by submitting proof of disposition.

quiet-wyatt
02-24-2012, 8:10 PM
ACTUAL TRANSFEREE/BUYER EXAMPLES: Mr.Smith asks Mr. Jones to purchase a
firearm for Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith gives Mr. Jones the money for the firearm. Mr. Jones
is NOT THE ACTUAL TRANSFEREE/BUYER of the firearm and must answer "NO" to question 11a.
The licensee may not transfer the firearm to Mr. Jones.

But isn't this the scenario of the original posting?


Has a straw purchase been committed?

I'd say YES...

"In the context of United States federal gun laws, a straw purchase is defined as any purchase from a dealer holding a Federal Firearms License where the buyer conducting the transaction is acting as a proxy for another person. The law does not distinguish between someone who is purchasing on behalf of a person who legally cannot purchase or possess a firearm, and one who is not."
Straw Purchase (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_purchase#Firearms)

NytWolf
02-24-2012, 8:12 PM
Then in CA there's no such thing as a straw purchase (federally) since we must go through an FFL when transferring ownership of a handgun, correct? I don't think that's true. ...

Yes, there is.

A straw purchase is where one person purchases a firearm for someone who is a prohibited person. Therefore, there is no other legal transfer once the purchaser takes possession of the firearm. A straw purchase occurs if the intended recipient of the firearm is the prohibited person.

dfletcher
02-24-2012, 8:14 PM
In my opinion (and I am not a lawyer), it is not a straw purchase. However, it must not be done frequently with regularity (fed language) or in excess of 5 times per year (CA language) or a person is in essence dealing in arms and is not licensed to do so.



To avoid the separate issue of "engaging in the business" I would limit the scenario to a "one time deal" only.

NytWolf - on the "in CA there is no straw purchase" I was being rhetorical and addressing the assertion that going through an FFL precludes straw purchase.

quiet-wyatt
02-24-2012, 8:18 PM
A straw purchase occurs if the intended recipient of the firearm is the prohibited person.

Not necessarily...

"In the context of United States federal gun laws, a straw purchase is defined as any purchase from a dealer holding a Federal Firearms License where the buyer conducting the transaction is acting as a proxy for another person. The law does not distinguish between someone who is purchasing on behalf of a person who legally cannot purchase or possess a firearm, and one who is not."
Straw Purchase (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_purchase#Firearms)

Librarian
02-24-2012, 8:25 PM
Yes, there is.

A straw purchase is where one person purchases a firearm for someone who is a prohibited person. Therefore, there is no other legal transfer once the purchaser takes possession of the firearm. A straw purchase occurs if the intended recipient of the firearm is the prohibited person.

That's the most frequent subset, and the one that seems to me to be the one of legitimate concern, but the definition is broader: excluding gifts, BATF (http://www.atf.gov/training/firearms/ffl-learning-theater/episode-4.html) says A straw purchase is a purchase in which the actual purchaser uses someone else — a.k.a. the “straw person” to make the purchase and complete the paperwork. Generally straw purchasers are utilized because the actual purchaser is not eligible to conduct a transaction because they’re in one or more legally prohibited categories, such as being addicted to a controlled substance, being a felon, being underage, and so on.

However, a straw purchase occurs even when the actual purchaser is not a prohibited person. The crime committed is knowingly making a false statement on the Form 4473 indicating that the straw purchaser is the actual purchaser, when this is not the case.

See also http://www.atf.gov/firearms/programs/dont-lie/

NytWolf
02-24-2012, 8:29 PM
Not necessarily...

"In the context of United States federal gun laws, a straw purchase is defined as any purchase from a dealer holding a Federal Firearms License where the buyer conducting the transaction is acting as a proxy for another person. The law does not distinguish between someone who is purchasing on behalf of a person who legally cannot purchase or possess a firearm, and one who is not."
Straw Purchase (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_purchase#Firearms)

That's a poor source and it doesn't state the actual verbiage.

The next paragraph says, "that individual intends to transfer the firearm to a nonresident or other unqualified purchaser."

Here is some good reading material from BATF which may shed some light on the posted scenario.
Training Transcript 4 (http://www.atf.gov/training/firearms/ffl-learning-theater/episode-4.html)

pdq_wizzard
02-24-2012, 8:31 PM
Not necessarily...

"In the context of United States federal gun laws, a straw purchase is defined as any purchase from a dealer holding a Federal Firearms License where the buyer conducting the transaction is acting as a proxy for another person. The law does not distinguish between someone who is purchasing on behalf of a person who legally cannot purchase or possess a firearm, and one who is not."
Straw Purchase (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_purchase#Firearms)

I would not want to be the "test case", but if Mr. Smith buys a gun to sell to Mr. Johnson and Mr. Johnson goes through the same background check as Mr. Smith I don't see how that could be construed as a "Straw-Purchase" as Mr. Johnson would have went through the background check and as such not a prohibited person.

then again some DA "I'm sure" could poke holes through my argument :facepalm:

fiddletown
02-24-2012, 8:32 PM
The subject has been discussed at length on this board -- most recently I think in this thread. (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=465008) In any case, pretty much everything is set out in that thread, so you can decide for yourself if you're interested in taking whatever risk might be involved.

bigcalidave
02-24-2012, 8:33 PM
I'm on my phone so I can't find it but the ATF lost a case where the same situation happened but the judge said that since the person who finally received the gun wasn't prohibited it didnt meet the intent of the law.

NytWolf
02-24-2012, 8:38 PM
However, a straw purchase occurs even when the actual purchaser is not a prohibited person. The crime committed is knowingly making a false statement on the Form 4473 indicating that the straw purchaser is the actual purchaser, when this is not the case.

I read that too and I see how the law can be misinterpreted, which is what I did. However, I see the point now. The ATF doesn't care about the firearm, they just care that the crime was committed -- in this case, the straw purchase involved perjury.

CSACANNONEER
02-24-2012, 8:40 PM
OP has an interesting scenario.

He guys the gun legally, then immediately transfers it to another person via FFL, legally again.

How is that different from a LEO buying an off-roster handgun, then immediately transferring it to a civilian, legally?

It doesn't seem like either of those purchases are straw purchases. The first purchaser takes possession of the firearm, then sells it to another person.

Both sound like probable straw purchases to me. In fact, many LEOs are under federal investigation right now for doing this exact thing. But, if taking possession of a certain firearm is worth the risk to you, do what you want. Just be awware that you might bring others down with you.

Paperchasin
02-24-2012, 8:45 PM
I think that the biggest concern in this scenario is the State in which the buyer resides. If someone in CA asked a friend outside of CA to sell him a gun that isn't on the roster, then you'd have problems. The whole thing regarding LEO purchases in CA of NON-Roster handguns is simply because that would seem to me like a legal way to import and sell NON-Roster'd guns, because LEO are exempt from the Roster requirements. As a result, when they decide to sell the non-roster gun, it would be considered a PPT and thus also exempt from the roster requirements. But if they can somehow prove that the LEO purchased the non-roster gun for a friend, then that would seem to me like a straw purchase.

NytWolf
02-24-2012, 8:45 PM
Both sound like probable straw purchases to me. In fact, many LEOs are under federal investigation right now for doing this exact thing. But, if taking possession of a certain firearm is worth the risk to you, do what you want. Just be awware that you might bring others down with you.

That's the problem of the law. It is very up to interpretation -- it's not written for every scenario, it can't be. So it becomes the DA's discretion to try the case.

snobord99
02-24-2012, 9:29 PM
The subject has been discussed at length on this board -- most recently I think in this thread. ("http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=465008) In any case, pretty much everything is set out in that thread, so you can decide for yourself if you're interested in taking whatever risk might be involved.

This.

ldivinag
02-24-2012, 9:32 PM
ask sarah brady. she has had a history of a straw purchase for her son...

Ubermcoupe
02-24-2012, 9:34 PM
See also http://www.atf.gov/firearms/programs/dont-lie/

From the site:
The goal of the °Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” program is to reduce firearm straw purchases at the retail level and to educate would-be straw purchasers of the penalties of knowingly participating in an illegal firearm purchase. The denial of guns to prohibited persons is critical to the mission of ATF in preventing violent crime and protecting the nation.

It would seem in this context that the implication from the ATF’s “dont lie...” program is to deter the procuring of guns for prohibited persons via “straw purchases.”

CSACANNONEER
02-24-2012, 9:50 PM
That's the problem of the law. It is very up to interpretation -- it's not written for every scenario, it can't be. So it becomes the DA's discretion to try the case.

OK, so, are you actually going to attempt a transfer like this knowing full well that it could cost you $100,000 or more in legal fees with no guarantee that you'll be found Innocent? Then, if found guilty, you'll loose your rights (including the right to own any firearm) forever. To me, it's not worth the risk at this point in time. Maybe, in the future, transfers like the ones you've described will have enough case law behind them to make the law clear. But, it's not going to be a case that I had to fund with time. freedom or cash.

tenpercentfirearms
02-24-2012, 10:25 PM
First, this is entirely theoretical, question came up on another site, kind of peaked my interest. I suppose we should apply "non-CA" standards to the Q & A - no getting around the "LE exemption" or "safe handgun" roster is involved. In a nutshell, does using an FFL for transfer to a person in another state eliminate a straw purchase offense? The example .....

Let's say a friend in another state contacts me, asks me to purchase a handgun for him - suppose he knows nothing of guns and no one else likes him enough to help. The person is not a prohibited individual, I'm selling the gun to him for the same amount of $$$ it costs me. I purchase the handgun, I answer "yes" to the "are you the owner?" question. Ten days later I pick up the gun, mail the pistol to an FFL dealer.

Has a straw purchase been committed?

If a straw purchase has been committed, is that offense eliminated when I mail the pistol off to the FFL in another state?

BTW, here's the thread:

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=354801

Another option is to find the gun your buddy wants and tell him to go to his local store and buy it himself. Or if you find it at your local store, have him call them and ask if they will ship it to his FFL. Then it never comes into your possession and then it definitely isn't a straw purchase.

I don't think it is a straw purchase either way as long as it is your money buying the firearm to begin with. Nothing stops you from buying and selling guns as long as it isn't frequent.

dfletcher
02-24-2012, 11:14 PM
I think that the biggest concern in this scenario is the State in which the buyer resides. If someone in CA asked a friend outside of CA to sell him a gun that isn't on the roster, then you'd have problems. The whole thing regarding LEO purchases in CA of NON-Roster handguns is simply because that would seem to me like a legal way to import and sell NON-Roster'd guns, because LEO are exempt from the Roster requirements. As a result, when they decide to sell the non-roster gun, it would be considered a PPT and thus also exempt from the roster requirements. But if they can somehow prove that the LEO purchased the non-roster gun for a friend, then that would seem to me like a straw purchase.

To avoid the LE, non-roster questions on straw purchase and CA law (PPTS) in general I kept the scenario as not involving CA. The fellow on the other forum isn't from CA and I figured if we brought our peculiar laws into the equation regarding federal law it would be unfamiliar to them.

littlejake
02-25-2012, 5:55 AM
Although I would not do it the way the OP is framing the scenario. Best advice has been stated, find the gun for the 2nd party; then have him buy it in his state. It would be less expensive than all the DROS and FFL transfer fees the OP scenario involves.

Having said that. I think a straw purchase is when one buys a gun and hands it to another person with no dealer transfer (such as doing a PPT.) That once a dealer (FFL) is involved in the disposition it cannot be called a straw purchase. Just my opinion.

tenpercentfirearms
02-25-2012, 6:16 AM
Having said that. I think a straw purchase is when one buys a gun and hands it to another person with no dealer transfer (such as doing a PPT.) That once a dealer (FFL) is involved in the disposition it cannot be called a straw purchase. Just my opinion.

Too bad your opinion does not take a 4473 and what it actually says into account. "Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form? Warning: You are not the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person. If you are not the actual buyer , the dealer cannot transfer the firearm(s)to you."

It doesn't matter if it goes through another FFL, if the guy isn't prohibited, or if he is in another state. If you are not the actual transferee or buyer, then it is a straw purchase. Now does anyone really care? Probably not, but these are questions you want to think about and be able to answer should someone come knocking on your door.

So if you really want to buy that gun, then make sure you really buy it and it is really for you. You can turn around and sell it after the fact, but if the question is ever asked who did you really buy it for, you better make sure you give an answer consistent with the 4473 you checked "Yes" to under penalty of perjury.

The whole straw purchase thing is a huge quandary. You are much better off finding the gun for the guy and having him purchase it and you not being involved at all. Then you don't have to fill out a 4473 and then that question never gets asked of you.

dantodd
02-25-2012, 7:37 AM
Leaving the roster out of it as the OP asked.

First, taking money up front for the purchase will put the deal clearly in the arena of a straw purchase.

Second, if the intent of having someone buy a gun is to avoid having your name on a 4473 then it is a straw purchase whether you are prohibited or not. (There is on point case law that I can't recall the. Ate of right now, it may be in the linked thread.) this is really only applicable in states that allow unpapered person to person transfers.

Finally, buying a gun with the specific intent of immediately selling it where each transfer is properly documented and is not done done with the intent of obscuring the possessor of the weapon has never (AFAIK) been successfully prosecuted.

littlejake
02-25-2012, 8:30 AM
Too bad your opinion does not take a 4473 and what it actually says into account. ...

As I said, I would not do it.

..."Anyone who does this creates a paper trail for that gun both federally and state in their name. I'd prefer not to be in that paper trail. Even thought it is an acquisition followed by a disposition; CA DOJ makes mistakes and it may still appear on your AFS printout. Comparing a 2007 AFS printout to a 2011 AFS printout for myself, I found DOJ added back some handguns previously disposed of. With that type of incompetence in Sacramento; best to limit their chances of making mistakes -- or you'll end up doing their job by submitting proof of disposition."

xenophobe
02-25-2012, 9:19 AM
As far as I'm concerned, the scenario the OP posted isn't an issue. Technically it would fall under the definition of a straw purchase but the intent here isn't to circumvent the law and any secondary transfer would be going through another FFL.

As far as I'm aware, the only straw purchase cases that I've heard to be prosecuted were where the intent was to deliberately avoid either multiple purchases or to avoid a background check in the case of prohibited purchasers, but in both of these scenarios it would involve an illegal transfer. The only straw purchase cases that I've been personally aware of are from Mexican traffickers and firearms that were used in crimes and the straw purchase was used by prohibited persons to acquire firearms.

Honestly, I think this is a case of looking too close to the text of the law without looking at the intent of what it seeks to accomplish.

The ATF has far more important things to do than trying to determine if the money given to the dealer was yours or a friends, especially when that determination is the hinge where there is no other intent of actually circumventing the law.

If you're paranoid, just have your friend send you a Cashier's Check or Money Order. Don't cash it until after you buy the firearm and have the FFL ship it off. If you're really paranoid, put a deposit on the gun to hold it (in the case if it's something rare or collectible) and have your friend send payment directly to the dealer.


No, I'm not a laywer. I have had my own FFL and had worked for one for 6+ years. If you tell me the firearm is not for you, I would not release it. I would, however, ship it to another FFL to transfer to the person who is.

SilverTauron
02-25-2012, 9:37 AM
The practical answer to the problem is that if one buys a gun and transfers it to someone else then they risk prosecution from the ATF for violating the 4473.

Do not mistake the lack of convictions as evidence the BATFE doesn't care or charge for straw purchase violations.In most cases the BATFE offers a Faustian bargain to whomever runs afoul of the rules;either eat the charge in court and face possible Federal conviction and prison time for marking a box wrong on the 4473,or act as an "agent provocateur"by engaging in illegal undercover activity on their behalf in exchange for dropping the charges.

It goes without saying that either situation would be a horrible punishment for deciding to step outside of the rules,which is why as a gun owner one should never do business with friends "under the table".

xenophobe
02-25-2012, 10:01 AM
NOT TO BE TAKEN AS ADVICE:

There's always a 5th Amendment argument of how much disclosure must you give.

As far as I'm concerned, and I'm sure a few people will jump at me... but if a friend calls me from out of state, says "hey, there's something at that shop that I want, can you get it for me?" I will say "certainly". I'll put my money down, buy it as the intended purchaser and then ship it off to my friend's FFL to transfer for them.

And, as far as I or the ATF is concerned much of that is none of their business. I bought a gun. I gave it to my friend. FFLs were involved at both ends of the transaction. Our conversations are private. End of story.


And to those that are bound to think: OMG you said that in a public forum. Why, yes, I did.

littlejake
02-25-2012, 11:42 AM
:beatdeadhorse5:
I think we're all in agreement that doing what has the smell of a straw purchase should never be done; and that the collective "we" would not do it.

And, I can truthfully say that I have never made a straw purchase -- if the other guy wants it, he buys it period.

I'm sure this is not the first thread on the subject nor will it be the last.

Does anyone remember the 4473 first incarnation after the GCA of 1968? It did not have the straw purchase question. All the correct answers were NO. And I put correct in italics because, of course, the correct answers are the truthful answers. Just saying the answers that didn't raise a red flag were negative responses. First time I was filling out the 4473 with the straw purchase question I said NO -- an automatic response. And the shop owner said, "would you care to review your answers?" Lesson -- always read the questions as they may change them.

dantodd
02-25-2012, 12:20 PM
:beatdeadhorse5:
I think we're all in agreement that doing what has the smell of a straw purchase should never be done; and that the collective "we" would not do it.


I'm not sure what you mean. I would happily do what the OP suggested for my brother who lives out of state or for any number of my cousins etc. doesn't smell of a straw purchase to me in the least. Another example would be if my brother were looking for a birth year 1911 and I happened to find one at a gun shop or show. Some FFLs don't want to ship etc.

SilverTauron
02-25-2012, 12:32 PM
I'm not sure what you mean. I would happily do what the OP suggested for my brother who lives out of state or for any number of my cousins etc. doesn't smell of a straw purchase to me in the least. Another example would be if my brother were looking for a birth year 1911 and I happened to find one at a gun shop or show. Some FFLs don't want to ship etc.

From ATF 4473-1

a. Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form? Warning: You are not the actual buyer if you are
acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person. If you are not the actual buyer, the dealer cannot transfer the firearm(s)
to you.



At the very top of the next page is the following:

I certify that my answers to Section A are true, correct, and complete. I have read and understand the Notices, Instructions, and Definitions
on ATF Form 4473. I understand that answering "yes" to question 11.a. if I am not the actual buyer is a crime punishable as a felony under
Federal law, and may also violate State andlor local law. I understand that a person who answers "yes" to any of the questions l1.b. through
11.k. is prohibited from purchasing or receiving a firearm. I understand that a person who answers "yes" to question 11.1. is prohibited from
purchasing or receiving a firearm, unless tbe person also answers "yes" to question 12. I also understand tbat making any false oral or
written statement, or exhibiting any false or misrepresented identification with respect to tbis transaction, is a crime punisbable as a felony
under Federal law, and may also violate State and/or local law. I further understand tbat tbe repetitive purchase of firearms for tbe purpose
of resale for livelihood and profit without a Federal firearms license is a violation of law


Document located here:http://www.atf.gov/forms/download/atf-f-4473-1.pdf

motorhead
02-26-2012, 11:50 AM
as long as all federal and state laws are observed, it would seem to hinge on intent by the original buyer. absent said buyer incriminating himself, i don't see a case against him. "i bought a gun, decided i didn't like it and sold it". other things could come into play, such as accepting money from party 2 BEFORE the purchase. or telling others about it! that would come under criminal stupidity statutes!

fiddletown
02-26-2012, 12:10 PM
as long as all federal and state laws are observed, it would seem to hinge on intent by the original buyer. absent said buyer incriminating himself, i don't see a case against him...[1] If someone has lied on the 4473, all federal laws have not been observed.

[2] It's all a matter of intent, and prosecutors prove intent to juries all the time using a variety of types of evidence, including circumstantial evidence.

[3] Yes, this would be a hard crime to prosecute and win a conviction on. But whether or not a prosecutor could win a conviction will depend on the totality of the circumstances.

[4] If you do get prosecuted, it's going to cost you a lot of money even if you win.

[5] A good way to avoid the problem entirely is simply not to buy guns for other people (except perhaps as a bona fide gift). That way you won't have to wonder whether you've covered your tracks well enough, or have really avoided saying the wrong things to the wrong people, or done whatever else you might need to have done to keep from getting caught.

dantodd
02-26-2012, 12:21 PM
I can read. If I am buying it with my own money with the intention of selling it I AM the ACTUAL BUYER.


Ask yourself what happens if the person you intend to sell/give/transfer the gun to decides they don't want the gun. Do they "own" the gun or do you keep the gun or try to dispose of it in some other fashion? If the answer is the latter then you are the actual buyer.


From ATF 4473-1

a. Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form? Warning: You are not the actual buyer if you are
acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person. If you are not the actual buyer, the dealer cannot transfer the firearm(s)
to you.



At the very top of the next page is the following:

I certify that my answers to Section A are true, correct, and complete. I have read and understand the Notices, Instructions, and Definitions
on ATF Form 4473. I understand that answering "yes" to question 11.a. if I am not the actual buyer is a crime punishable as a felony under
Federal law, and may also violate State andlor local law. I understand that a person who answers "yes" to any of the questions l1.b. through
11.k. is prohibited from purchasing or receiving a firearm. I understand that a person who answers "yes" to question 11.1. is prohibited from
purchasing or receiving a firearm, unless tbe person also answers "yes" to question 12. I also understand tbat making any false oral or
written statement, or exhibiting any false or misrepresented identification with respect to tbis transaction, is a crime punisbable as a felony
under Federal law, and may also violate State and/or local law. I further understand tbat tbe repetitive purchase of firearms for tbe purpose
of resale for livelihood and profit without a Federal firearms license is a violation of law


Document located here:http://www.atf.gov/forms/download/atf-f-4473-1.pdf

fiddletown
02-26-2012, 12:31 PM
I can read. If I am buying it with my own money with the intention of selling it I AM the ACTUAL BUYER...But if you are buying it on behalf of another person (i. e., as the agent or proxy of the other person), and even if you are advancing your own money to pay the price, you are not the actual buyer -- your principal is.

Connor P Price
02-26-2012, 12:41 PM
But if you are buying it on behalf of another person (i. e., as the agent or proxy of the other person), and even if you are advancing your own money to pay the price, you are not the actual buyer -- your principal is.

This is what I've always said. I never get anywhere with anyone though. As soon as the second person enlists the first to make the purchase or the first agrees to make the purchase with the intent of the second being the final purchaser they have created an agency relationship.

dantodd
02-26-2012, 1:29 PM
But if you are buying it on behalf of another person (i. e., as the agent or proxy of the other person), and even if you are advancing your own money to pay the price, you are not the actual buyer -- your principal is.

With the intention of selling it is not synonymous with an agency agreement.

Here's an example. Friend goes into the local gun store and sees a specific gun he wants in there. The owner of the shop doesn't like my friend and doesn't want to sell to him. If he tells me he wants THAT gun and I go in and buy the gun and walk across the street to another FFL and ppt the gun to him I would say that I am not the actual buyer. But if someone tells me he is looking for a certain model, year etc. gun and can't find it locally I would not feel an agency is created and I would be comfortable buying said gun of I were to run into it in my travels with the intent of selling it to my friend.

Also, an agency relationship is a legal concept, unless there is a legal obligation on the person who you intend to sell the gun to then I would argue there is no agency.

Connor P Price
02-26-2012, 2:26 PM
With the intention of selling it is not synonymous with an agency agreement.

Here's an example. Friend goes into the local gun store and sees a specific gun he wants in there. The owner of the shop doesn't like my friend and doesn't want to sell to him. If he tells me he wants THAT gun and I go in and buy the gun and walk across the street to another FFL and ppt the gun to him I would say that I am not the actual buyer. But if someone tells me he is looking for a certain model, year etc. gun and can't find it locally I would not feel an agency is created and I would be comfortable buying said gun of I were to run into it in my travels with the intent of selling it to my friend.

Also, an agency relationship is a legal concept, unless there is a legal obligation on the person who you intend to sell the gun to then I would argue there is no agency.

I agree with the examples you put forth there. If you're making the purchase on your own without prior planning with the other party, even under the assumption that you can sell it afterwards, there is no agency relationship. As long as you don't do it frequently you probably wouldn't have any issues with dealing without a license either.

If on the other hand your friend took it a few steps further, found the specific gun he wanted and said, "Would you go buy this particular gun at this particular store so that you can transfer it to me?" Then I believe the agency relationship is created and you're starting to run a risk of looking like you're lying on 4473. In this case both parties created an oral contract to make the subsequent transfer and that would satisfy the legal obligation you mention right?

It's all quite nebulous and could go a hundred different ways depending on the particulars of the situation. Your point that "intent to sell is not synonymous with an agency agreement" is true though. Would you agree that in a case where an agency relationship is created, one is potentially guilty of lying on form 4473?

ETA: I think Dan's on to something and I'm slightly rethinking my position on the matter, so here's an example to see what you all think:

If I see a Davis pocket gun at the gun store this evening and think to myself, "Hey, Dan wants one of those." So I buy it knowing I'll be up north later and can most likely sell it to Dan. I'd think this is not a case of lying on form 4473 and so long as I'm not making a profit or making a habit of this type of transaction I'm not dealing without a license. Sounds fine to me.

If on the other hand Dan gets word that there's a Davis pocket gun at the gun store down the street from my house and says to me, "Connor, can you head to the store by your house and buy the Davis pistol then transfer it to me when you're up north next?" I'd think I'd be guilty of lying on form 4473 if I followed through with that.

Thoughts?

snobord99
02-26-2012, 4:21 PM
ETA: I think Dan's on to something and I'm slightly rethinking my position on the matter, so here's an example to see what you all think:

If I see a Davis pocket gun at the gun store this evening and think to myself, "Hey, Dan wants one of those." So I buy it knowing I'll be up north later and can most likely sell it to Dan. I'd think this is not a case of lying on form 4473 and so long as I'm not making a profit or making a habit of this type of transaction I'm not dealing without a license. Sounds fine to me.

If on the other hand Dan gets word that there's a Davis pocket gun at the gun store down the street from my house and says to me, "Connor, can you head to the store by your house and buy the Davis pistol then transfer it to me when you're up north next?" I'd think I'd be guilty of lying on form 4473 if I followed through with that.

Thoughts?

Agreed. In the former, no pre-existing agreement was made and you know you'll "most likely" sell it to Dan but are obviously OK with taking the risk that he doesn't actually want it. In the latter, a pre-existing agreement was made and while a risk exists that Dan changes his mind, you're probably not thinking that you'll end up having to keep it.

fiddletown
02-26-2012, 7:04 PM
With the intention of selling it is not synonymous with an agency agreement....Correct, but this is where these threads all turn nonsensical.

[1] There is a difference between buying a gun expressly for someone and buying a gun expecting or hoping to later sell it.

[2] But these threads usually start out with some sort of question based on some variation of the premise, "my friend wants me to buy this gun for him." For example, this thread starts with the premise: ...Let's say a friend in another state contacts me, asks me to purchase a handgun for him...

This other thread (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=465008)I linked to started with the premise: ...I have a buddy whom is LEO and if I were to give him some cash or talk him into purchasing an off roster hand gun for me,...

[3] So this thread (and at least one other) started off by positing facts from which an agency arrangement might be inferred.

[4] Then others participating in the thread start proposing hypotheticals changing the facts to no longer support an inference that an agency arrangement is contemplated by the parties. And sometimes someone introduces the "wink-wink/nudge-nudge factor" by claiming that someone can always argue "xxxxxxxx" without recognizing that while one might say "xxxxxxxx", no one necessarily has to believe it, especially if there is some evidence that "xxxxxxxx" isn't truly the case.

[5] So if there is reason to infer that the parties contemplated an agency arrangement whereby A would buy the gun on behalf of B, and that A would then transfer the gun to B, A can not truthfully claim on the 4473 to be the actual buyer. In that regard, note that an agency arrangement may generally be established orally. Also note that if a agency arrangement exists, B would have an enforceable obligation to reimburse A for funds advanced by A to complete the purchase.

[6] You will always be able to construct a hypothetical with different facts that would necessarily lead to a different conclusion. So what?