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Can I Gift a Gun?-Pennsylvania

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

Justin McShane: One of the things we want to do is talk about giving and receiving firearms in Pennsylvania. So the law is really simple. It doesn’t have anything to do with the holidays or what the situation is. But I will tell you the law in Pennsylvania is rather simple.

You may absolutely give a firearm to someone you know not to be prohibited in the case of a long gun. So what we are talking about is a shotgun and what we are talking about is a rifle. You may literally give it to someone as long as they are of age and you have no reason to know that they should be prohibited.

Now, when it comes to handguns it’s a little bit different, and we’ll talk about an exception to that. When it comes to handguns, and I’m talking about modern pistols and revolvers. The law in Pennsylvania is if you are going to give it to someone then you have to go through the background check type of situation when it comes to 4473 and the state police form. It has to go through the sheriff’s office or an FFL, up to you which one. There is a major exception to that.

The major exception to that has to do with what we call the first line of sanguinity. Meaning your family members. Your immediate family members. So father to son, a ok you don’t have to do a background check. Provided that you have no reason to know the person is a prohibited person because of either age or the fact that they have some sort of background. Also is true when it comes to husband and wife. So you can be like that most awesome wife on planet Earth and can gift that gun to your husband.

That’s the basic breakdown in Pennsylvania. So it has to be immediate basic family members that you can give a handgun to without going through the background check. So if it is not an immediate family member, such as your cousin or else your best friend, they have to go through the 4473 and the state police form background check through the FFL or the sheriff’s office of the local county.

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2 comments on “Can I Gift a Gun?-Pennsylvania

    What about grandparents to grandchildren

      Hi David. Thank you for your question. Please see the below response from one of our Independent Program Attorneys in Pennsylvania.

      “Yes, provided that they are all in Pennsylvania and no one is a person not to possess. It is a specific exception under the law.”

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