Can I Gift A Gun? – Texas

Do you have the question, can I gift a gun for the holidays? Watch this video with Independent Program Attorney Edwin Walker teaching what you need to know before you buy.

Edwin: Hi I’m Edwin Walker, Independent Program Attorney for Texas LawShield. It’s that time of year again when we give gifts to those that we love and care about. Some of you may care enough about your loved ones to give them the gift of a firearm for self-defense.

Many of you may be familiar with the ATF slogan: Don’t Lie For the Other Guy, and know that it is a federal felony to buy a gun as a straw purchaser for someone else. Obviously, this law is to prevent someone who is disqualified from obtaining firearms. However, this law also applies even if the person is not disqualified.

Does this law impact your ability to purchase a firearm as a gift? The simple answer is no. In fact, the ATF goes to great lengths to explain this in the instructions for ATF Form 4473 Question 11A: If the firearm legitimately purchased as a bona fide gift to a third person it does not violate the law.

This is straight-forward enough but it is really only half the story. You may be able to lawfully purchase a firearm as a gift, but you must be sure the person to whom you are giving the firearm is eligible to receive it. It is a violation of the law to sell, rent, lease, loan, or give a firearm to a person who the transferrer knows is disqualified from purchasing or possessing a gun because they are a convicted felon, convicted of a crime of domestic abuse, subject to a family violence protective order, or subject to some other federal disqualification.

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Further, it is illegal for you to purchase and give a firearm to a person who is a resident in another state without having a federally-licensed firearms dealer conduct a background check on the individual receiving the gun.

Also, you may want to consider that when giving a firearm as a gift that there are so many variables and personal preferences involved with regard to make, model, features and caliber that it might be better to give that person a gift certificate to their favorite gun store.

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Comment section

18 comments on “Can I Gift A Gun? – Texas

  1. Thank you very much! I always have friends asking or “telling” about this topic. Of course, I get all kinds of wild “Iknow this, or that” and….

    I will use this to provide solid feedback.

  2. I have a question somewhat related to the feature presentation cautions about who can legally receive a firearm.
    I have a distant relative who is a felon. He has not had his gun rights restored. He has a 15 yr old son who hunts. Sometimes the 15 yr old hunts with his grandfather and sometimes with his father (the felon).
    To what extent am I at risk of violating the law if I am aware that the father (the felon) is taking his son hunting and not saying something. What if they are on property owned by my family? Is my family at risk of a violation?

    • Hi Abiud. Thank you for your question. Please see the below response from one of our Independent Program Attorneys here in Texas.

      “We advise against purchasing a firearm for a person under the age of 18. This is because Texas Penal Code 46.06 makes it illegal to give a firearm to a minor unless there is the consent of the parent or legal guardian. While there is nothing specific that says that a parent who is a felon cannot give consent, we would not want to put that parent in the position to where they can be accused by the police or prosecutors of using their consent as a subterfuge for actually obtaining possession of the firearm.”

  3. I am on a very limited WiFi connection and have trouble viewing videos. It would help greatly to have text with the information.

    • Ken, if you go to the page now we have added text to make it easier for you, and others like you, to enjoy our videos.

      Have a happy holidays.

  4. My wife and I are both LTC certified. Would there be an issue or concern if I purchase a pistol and she uses it as her carry firearm?

  5. The wife and I have given each other firearms several times over the past 20 years. We still have them all and we are both American by birth, Non Restricted Firearm Owners plus we both have Texas CHL’s. Does this mean we must now go find an FFL and transfer the ownership of said firearm to the other spouse?

    And I gifted a 22 rifle to my 12 yo grandson several years ago and he has since moved out of Texas to Colorado with his parents last month. He is not restricted to own firearms by Law. As in a Felon or such!
    Does this open up a big can of worms for us?

    I won’t even mention my deceased Grandaddy’s shotgun I got when I turned 13.

    • Hi Curtis. Thank you for your question. Please see the below response from one of our Independent Program Attorneys.

      “No, it is completely legal for people who are residents of the same state to give and receive firearms from each other without going through an FFL. This is true as long as the persons receiving the firearm are otherwise lawful to possess them. It does not matter if that person later on moves to another state. This does not have any effect on the previous transfer. Every transaction that you described in your question appears to be a lawful transfer at the time it occurred, even receiving your Grandfather’s shotgun when you were 13.”

  6. I did not listen to the video but I’m guessing the text in the post is the same. My question is, if you mark yes on the 4473, how do you field questions from the dealer? What do you do if they decide to not sell you the firearms? Just curious.

  7. The video seems to say giving a gun to a person in another state without a background check is illegal while the text of the article says it is legal.

    • Hi Steve. Thank you for pointing this out to us! We have corrected the error. It is illegal to buy a gun and give it to a person in another state without an FFL dealer doing a background check.

  8. I’m in Texas, can I purchase a gun and my wife carry it as her EDC? We are both LTC licensed.

  9. Can a father transfer his gun collection to son without sons knowledge? It’s not a will situation and in Texas

  10. U.S Texas lawshield, I’m 19 years old and was gifted a handgun bought by my stepfather from a private seller, although I can’t find the bill of sale is that a problem when it comes to legal matters? And is it legal for me (19yrs old) to POSSESS a handgun In my vehicle as long as it’s in my glove box and not on my person? Would I be committing any offense or I am perfectly protected under Texas laws? Answer appreciated thank you

  11. My father is a LTC holder in Texas and gifted me a handgun I am also a LTC holder in texas..will there be any problems with that if I should get pulled over for some reason?

  12. Can I legally gift a gun to my 17yr old daughter for protection?

  13. Can I buy a gun for my wife as a gift and then just do a bill of sale. So the gun will be hers and not mine?

  14. My Mom is planning on purchasing a gun to gift to me. Is it legal for me to be in the shop at the time of purchase to help pick it out or would that be considered a straw purchase?

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