If Santa Brings You a Gun… | Texas

The following is a video transcript.

What could be better? It’s Christmas morning, and you just received a new firearm as a gift. While this can be very exciting, there are probably some questions going through your head. Today we’ll address some of those questions.

Is it Legal for You to Receive a Firearm as a Gift?

The simple answer is yes. It is perfectly legal for you to receive a firearm as a gift, so long as you are legally allowed to possess firearms.

Is this a Straw Man Purchase?

What is the difference between a straw man purchase and a gift? The typical straw man purchase involves one person buying a gun for someone else, usually because the other person cannot pass a background check or does not want a record of the purchase in their name.

The ATF has clarified you are not engaging in a straw man purchase if you are the actual purchaser or transferee. What does this mean? The ATF states that you are the actual purchaser or transferee if you are purchasing the firearm for yourself or otherwise acquiring the firearm for yourself. Most importantly for our purposes here, the ATF goes on to state that you are also the actual purchaser or transferee if you are legitimately purchasing the firearm as a gift for a third party.

So, receiving a firearm as a gift from your loved one does not implicate the law against straw man purchases.

Do You Need to Register Your New Gun?

No, you do not have to register it. There is no gun registry in Texas or on the federal level, so there is no one for you to register your gun with. For your own records, you will want to write down the make, model, and serial number of the firearm, along with when, and from whom you received the firearm. This way, if the firearm is ever lost or stolen, you will have this information available to provide to law enforcement.

Gifts from Out-of-State Residents

What if your uncle from Florida gives you a handgun for the holidays? This is problematic and qualifies as an interstate transfer of a handgun, even if your uncle is temporarily in Texas. Interstate handgun transfers must go through an FFL. In this scenario, you should politely decline to take possession of the firearm and ask your uncle to transfer it through an FFL.

Is it Legal for Me to Drive Home with My New Firearm in the Car?

Yes, in Texas it is legal for a person with or without a License to Carry (“LTC”) to carry a loaded, concealed handgun in their vehicle. If you have an LTC, then you can openly carry the handgun in a belt or shoulder holster, as well.

What if You Were Given a Long Gun Rather than a Handgun?

In Texas, you do not need to have an LTC to carry a long gun either concealed or visible in your car, as long as you are not displaying the firearm in a manner calculated to alarm.

If you have any questions about being gifted a gun for the holidays, call Texas LawShield and ask to speak to an Independent Program Attorney.


Interested in knowing more?

Check out our previous articles “Can I Gift a Gun?,” “Can I Go to Jail for Gifting a Gun?,” and “Giving Guns as Gifts: Doing It Right.”

First Aid for Gunshot Wounds 2A Institute

Comment section

3 comments on “If Santa Brings You a Gun… | Texas

  1. Thank you for this important feed on this issue. I have been wondering about this since I received my Gun as a gift from a Texas resident.

  2. Thanks ya’ll. Very useful information.

  3. It is always interesting to me that we are told there is no gun registry on the state level in Texas nor on the federal level. Yet, when a purchase or transfer through an FFL, a 4473 is completed which is filed with the ATF. Does this not constitute a registry of sorts since they can essentially “track” that firearm?
    It’s for this reason that I would never sell a firearm to another individual who I did not know without going through a transfer with an FFL.

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