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August NICS background check figures sets record month

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Advice from Gun Shops to Holiday Gun Buyers

Gun Christmas Shopping Guide

With Christmas just around the corner, people are now making their wish list of presents to purchase. If you have checked your list twice and a gun is part of that list, then you might want to keep in mind a few advices from local gun dealers.

Although the number of gun background checks for this black Friday has not been as much as the two consecutive record-breaking black Fridays, the number of firearm purchases are still quite high.

Buying the Right Gun

A common mistake for most buyers is buying a gun even before trying or firing it, especially if it is a gift for someone else. The gun might feel right while holding it, but completely different during firing. Most end up returning the gun they bought for someone, because they failed to select the one that “fits”.

A good analogy would be buying a pair of shoes for someone, if you or the person you are buying the shoes for does not test or walk around the store in them first, then most of the time you will end up returning the shoe.

Taking a training class and fire the gun before you buy it, get a gift certificate for a concealed-carry class in lieu of a gun. You can borrow a gun from someone or rent one from the store and attend the training, and then you can make an educated purchase and select the right firearm.

Know who you are buying for

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has a list of people who cannot legally receive or possess a firearm, including anyone convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year in prison; anyone who is an unlawful user or addicted to a controlled substance; and anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. Knowingly purchasing or giving a firearm to someone who is forbidden to own one can land you both in federal prison.

A parent may purchase a firearm for their child less than 18 years of age, as long as the parent passes the background check or has a concealed-carry permit.

Safety First

If you plan to purchase a gun for someone, be aware of any issues they have that may preclude them from owning a gun.

You need to take into consideration their circumstances – if someone is going through some tough times and they’re depressed, or they have some emotional issues they should be seeking help for

If the recipient has children, take that into account when making your purchase and also get them a lock box, a safe or a trigger lock to keep the gun from being accessed by children.

Buying for Someone in another State

Gun laws vary from state to state. If you plan to purchase a gun for someone living in another state, it’s a good idea to research the gun laws and make sure that person will be legal to possess a gun.

It’s still possible to purchase a gun for someone in another state, but that requires going to a licensed gun dealer in your area, purchasing the gun and having the dealer ship it to a dealer where the gun recipient lives. There, that dealer will run the background check process on the recipient. In those cases, a gift certificate for a dealer where the recipient lives may be the best way to go.

Since federal law dictates the owner of a purchased gun is the person who purchases it from a licensed dealer (even if they plan to give it as a gift), it’s a good idea to have written documentation of transferring the gun to the recipient. Date the paperwork and make sure the purchaser and recipient each have a copy.

Shoppers also have to beware of private purchases, especially those across state lines.

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