Q: How can I use gift certificates to guard against unknowingly selling a firearm to a straw purchaser?
A: As you are aware, the law permits an individual to purchase a firearm as a legitimate gift for a third party. See, ATF Form 4473, pg. 4, question 11a. However, it is easy to see how individuals may seek to exploit this aspect of the law to purchase firearms for individuals who are prohibited from doing so themselves. One surefire way of avoiding such a situation altogether is to offer the purchaser the option of giving a gift certificate which, in turn, would avail the recipient of the gift the opportunity to have greater input on the selection of the firearm they ultimately receive. Accordingly, it is FFLGuard policy (and best practices) for its members to recommend the purchase of a gift certificate to any individual that indicates that the are buying a firearm as a gift. Only if the customer declines such should the FFL proceed with its customary inquiries and evaluation of whether the transaction appears to be a legitimate gift. Under no circumstances should you complete the sale of a “gift” firearm if you have reason to doubt the legitimacy of the gift. Further, remember to review the Law Plus Guidelines for methods of preventing straw purchases.
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