Can I Gift a Gun? – Florida

Do you have the question, can I gift a gun for the holidays? Watch Independent Program Attorney David Katz teach what you need to know before you buy. 

David: In the state of Florida, it is perfectly legal to give a gun as a gift. Further, there are no gun registries in this state. So all you have to do is give the gun to the person you want to receive it. There is no paperwork that must be done.

It’s probably a good idea to write the type of firearm and serial number on a piece of paper and get the person receiving the gift to sign the paper. In case the firearm is later used in a crime or stolen, the giver of the gift will have a record that they no longer possess the firearm.

On the other hand, you cannot buy a gun for someone else. What is the difference? In the first case, you’re giving the gun as a gift. You’re paying for it with your own money and you expect nothing in return. In the second, someone is compensating you to get a gun for them. They give you the money to make the purchase, or trade you something else of value, for purchasing the gun for them. This is called a straw man purchase or straw purchase.

Straw purchases violate both federal and state laws and are serious felonies.

An example would be if you’re going to the range to shoot and tells you he wants to give his adult child a gun for Christmas. He then tells you he knows nothing about guns and give you $500 and asks you to buy a good one for him to give to his son. If the neighbor went to the gun store and purchased the firearm then gave it to his son as a gift there would be no problem. However, if you purchased a gun with your neighbor’s money for him to give it as a gift you have participated in a straw man transaction and are subject to up five years in person and up to a $5,000 fine and so is your neighbor.