What is a straw gun purchase?

| Jan 26, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

When you buy a gun, you must be very careful to follow all of the rules properly. This is especially true if you are buying that firearm for someone else. This can be done in some cases, such as buying a present for someone’s birthday, but not all.

Breaking the law while buying firearms can bring on major legal ramifications if you’re accused of making a straw purchase.

What makes a gun purchase unlawful?

Reports filed with the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) define straw purchasing as the act of buying a gun unlawfully for someone else. Some people do this when they know that person — a friend, perhaps, or someone willing to pay them — is barred from buying a gun. The individual who can legally buy intentionally purchases the firearm for the other. 

One example would be if someone wanted to buy a handgun but was too young. While some teens and young adults can buy rifles and other such weapons, handguns are not permitted for those under 21 in Massachusetts. If a 20-year-old got a 21-year-old friend to make the purchase on their behalf, that is a straw purchase. 

It’s important to keep laws like this in mind when choosing presents for family members. If you buy a handgun for someone who is underage or who has lost their right to own such a firearm — through a felony conviction, for instance — you could be breaking the law, even if your intent was just to give them a gift they would enjoy. 

Your defense options when you’re facing weapons charges

If you find yourself facing serious charges of this nature, be sure you know what defense options you have. A conviction on weapons charges can be life-changing. Start talking to an experienced defense attorney right away.