Buying guns for gifts guidelines - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Buying guns for gifts guidelines

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When it comes to thoughtful gift giving a nice sweater, jewelry, or maybe a new tech toy is what you may be planning to buy a loved one this year, but for many people , perhaps a child coming of age; a firearm could be an option as well.

Unlike those other gifts, a firearm comes with federal regulations.

While most Americans have the right to bear arms... Do we have the right to *buy* arms for someone else... Perhaps as a gift?

The short answer is yes... But it can be complicated.

"We will only sell a firearm as a gift to family members. If you're going to gift it to a family member, that just covers us against liabilities. I think most stores have more stringent rules than the ATF that way you're not floating that thin line," said Andrew Stapleton from Black Butte Indoor Shooting Range.

Andrew Stapleton says the problem for firearms retailers is weeding out straw purchases.

A straw purchase is when a buyer is purchasing a gun for someone who is not allowed to own a gun by law such as a convicted felon. Another example of a straw purchase is purchasing a gun for someone else who does not want their name associated with the firearm.

"What we try to do is fill out the person as they're talking to us. We ask them specific questions that we'll try to weed out a straw purchase, because that's what we do is prevent a straw purchase, which is you buying the firearm for somebody else who can't legally own a firearms," Stapleton adds.

Stapleton says his company will work with their customers who intend to give a gun as a gift. Especially when it comes to children.     

"We ask people to do gift cards and then that person can choose with that money to buy a firearm and then that is the best result because if the firearm is going to be yours then you do the paperwork for it instead of somebody doing the paperwork and then gifting it you," Stapleton said.

Now while this policy works well for Black Butte Indoor Shooting Range, each business will have their own policies and procedures...

An associate with Cabela's said consumers could purchase a gun as a gift for a family member without that family member present, but that does not apply to hand guns.

As for Scheels, an associate said consumers can purchase any fire arm to give as a gift provided the family member was a spouse or a blood relative. 

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