We highly value our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in Texas, which is why we have some of the least intrusive gun laws in the country. However, the buying, selling and possession of weapons remains strictly controlled. It’s easy to get into trouble if you don’t know the rules and follow them. Keep reading to learn more about how to gift someone a gun in the Lone Star State.
Is it legal to give away a gun in Texas?
Yes, it is legal to give someone a gun as a gift in the state of Texas. However, if you plan to purchase a gun as a gift, you should do so carefully to avoid violating federal law.
Title 18, United States Code, § 932“Straw buying,” which means knowingly purchasing a firearm on behalf of another person, is prohibited. This law is intended to prevent firearms from falling into the hands of people with felonies, domestic violence convictions, restraining orders, or other federally disqualifying characteristics.
Importantly, this law does not prevent you from legally purchasing a firearm as a gift, but you will have to follow the proper procedures if you choose to do so.
Can you gift someone a gun? The do’s and don’ts of gifting a gun in Texas
Here are some basic things you should and shouldn’t keep in mind if you’re planning to gift someone a gun in Texas:
- Make sure the recipient is legally qualified to own the gun. You may face criminal charges if you give a gun to someone who cannot afford it.
- Do not mail the weapon to the recipient. You can only mail guns to licensed retailers, not private citizens. Sending a gun across state lines is a federal crime.
- Ask the gun dealer for a gift certificate. You can simplify things by sending the recipient a certificate so they can pick up their gift at a local store.
- Do not gift a gun to someone in another state yourself. You must have a licensed firearms dealer perform a background check before you can do so.
Background Check Texas Gun Purchase
Texas does not have a law requiring private sellers to conduct background checks to transfer firearms to other individuals. However, if you plan to give a gun to someone as a gift and they live in another state, the transfer is subject to federal background check requirements. You will need to find a federally licensed firearms dealer to run a background check on the recipient before you can legally transfer the gun to them.
Texas firearms fees
under § 46.06 of the Texas Penal Code, selling, renting, leasing, lending, or giving a firearm to a recipient who cannot legally possess it is a first-degree misdemeanor. Texas punishes first-degree misdemeanors with fines of up to $4,000 and up to one year in prison.
Contact a Texas criminal defense attorney now
Are you facing firearms charges or curious about how to gift someone a gun in Texas? Contact Broden & Mickelsen, LLP now for a free initial consultation.