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What is a straw gun purchase?

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2023 | Criminal Defense

One of the key components of buying a firearm is that the process has to be completed properly and legally. Not everyone is allowed to purchase a firearm. For example, someone with a felony record will be disqualified from making firearm purchases.

To get around this law, people will sometimes make straw purchases. This takes two people to accomplish, and both of them could potentially find themselves facing various firearms charges if they are arrested. So what is a straw purchase and why would it be done?

Purchasing a firearm for someone else

Essentially, a straw purchase happens when the first person knows that they would fail a background check or otherwise wouldn’t qualify. They cannot make the purchase that they want, but they are still trying to find a way to get their hands on a firearm.

They then go to someone else who they know will pass the background check, and give them the money for the purchase. That person buys the firearm for themselves, claiming it is a personal purchase. Once they have obtained it, they give the gun to the individual who is not allowed to make the purchase.

This is different than giving a firearm as a gift, which is sometimes permissible – although not to someone who is not legally allowed to own a gun. The difference, of course, starts with the fact that the person receiving the firearm isn’t allowed to have it. But there’s also an element of intent here. Both people were working together to try to circumvent the law, which is illegal.

What are your options?

As you can imagine, there are some situations in which you may be accused of making a straw firearm purchase when you didn’t know that you’d done anything wrong. If you are facing such serious allegations – that could result in up to 15 years behind bars – it’s very important to know about all the defense options at your disposal.