Giving Guns as Gifts

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

One of the questions that many gun lovers face is whether it is legal to give guns as gifts. That not only applies to giving our children a gun as a Christmas or birthday present; but also affects inheritance, as that is also passing a gun on from one person to another, even though it is in the family.

This can be a bit of a sticky subject in some states. Although the federal government is not permitted by law to maintain a registry of firearms owners, there are many, myself included, who think there’s a strong possibility that they are breaking that statute and doing so. Specifically, the NICS system, which is part of the FBI could be keeping records that they are supposed to be destroying and the ATF could be maintaining “private files” from when they inspect the records of federally licensed firearms dealers.

In regards to the second of these two, a gun store owner I used to know related to me how the local office of the ATF had asked them for records of some specific gun sales, something that happens fairly regularly in the course of criminal investigations. The request came in the form of a spreadsheet, which listed information about specific sales, namely all the AR-15 style rifles they had sold in the last year. Not only was there much more information on the spreadsheet than the ATF should have known, but it also included a column with an internal file number, assigned by the gun shop, which they could only have gotten from the gun shop’s records. Apparently that office of the ATF was keeping at least some records that they weren’t supposed to keep.

Some states do have gun registrations at the state level, as there is no federal law prohibiting them from doing so. But as of last count, there were only six states which had an official gun registry and in some cases, that registry was only for certain types of guns.

Assuming that you don’t live in one of those states, there should not be any problem with gifting a gun to a family member. Even if the state’s legislature were to succeed in passing a law requiring what they are referring to as “universal background checks,” where a NICS type background check must be done before giving a gun to a family member or inheritance, how could they prove that the family member didn’t already own the gun, without records?

Please note that there is some muddy water in this entire area, simply because there are federally required records of all gun sales (ATF Form 4473), besides private sales. If you’ve bought a gun from a federally licensed seller, then they have records of that sale and are required to keep those records for a minimum of 20 years. Should the store go out of business, those records are transferred to the government.

So where am I going with all this? Assuming that you live in a state which doesn’t already have a gun registration in effect, then gifting guns to your responsible mature children might just be one of the best things you can do for them. Should there ever be a criminal investigation involving that firearm, the paper trail will stop with you. There will be no record of you having given that gun to your child or of them owning it.

If left-leaning politicians ever get their way and gun registration is established, whatever guns you give your children might be the only guns that they can get, which there is no record of. Once you pass on, there would be no way for government agents to follow the trail from you to them, except by making a guess and questioning your children. But if you’ve trained them properly, that shouldn’t go anywhere.

I’m not saying that the left is going to succeed in passing such a law; I just like playing it safe. If I can do something to ensure that my now-adult children are safe and that they are able to keep their families safe, then I want to do so. Buying them guns seems to fit in the spirit of that. Besides, who doesn’t like getting a new gun for Christmas?

That will go along well with them keeping their powder dry and their survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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