SECTION 1: STRAW PURCHASE
A “straw purchase” occurs when the actual buyer of a firearm uses another person, a “straw purchaser,” to execute the paperwork necessary to purchase a firearm from a firearms dealer. People who are prohibited from purchasing firearms and people who do not want to be identified through crime gun tracing often obtain firearms through straw purchases. By intentionally buying firearms for someone else, straw purchasers undermine background checks and gun safety laws and allow firearms to be funneled to violent criminals, domestic abusers, and other prohibited people.
- An illegal firearm purchase (straw purchase) is a federal crime.
- An illegal firearm purchase can bring a felony conviction sentence of ten years in jail and a fine of up to $250,000.
- Buying a gun for someone who is underage or otherwise prohibited from owning and/or possessing a gun can cost you your good name and land you in serious trouble.
Never buy a gun for someone who is unwilling or unable to do so.
Whatever you do, Don’t Lie for the Other Guy!
SECTION 2: GUN TRAFFICKING
Gun trafficking is the process by which guns enter the black market where they often end up used in crimes that threaten the lives of innocent people across the country. There is currently no clear and effective federal statute making gun trafficking a federal crime, making it all too easy for criminals to exploit weaknesses in the system and flood communities with illegal guns. Arms Industries does not engage in or condone “trafficked firearms,” illegal purchases or illegal use of firearms.
Federal law makes certain people, such as convicted felons, ineligible to purchase or possess firearms. Federal law also makes it unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of a firearm to a person if the seller has “reasonable cause to believe” he or she falls within one of these categories. Federal law only requires licensed dealers, and not unlicensed private sellers, to conduct background checks on purchasers and maintain records of sales. As a result, guns are often sold or transferred to dangerous people even though they are ineligible to purchase or possess firearms.
Gun traffickers exploit the loopholes in federal law by purposefully purchasing guns through sales that do not require background checks or sale records. Federal law does not generally prohibit this behavior except in the context of straw purchases.
As described above, a straw purchaser buys a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer on behalf of another person. Straw purchases are illegal because federal law criminalizes the making of false statements to a dealer about a material fact on ATF Form 4473, which must be filled out when a firearm is purchased from a licensed dealer. Form 4473 asks the purchaser to confirm that he or she is the “actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s)” and states “You are not the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person.” A straw purchaser therefore commits a federal crime by falsely stating that he or she is the actual gun buyer. In a successful straw purchase, the actual buyer has also committed a federal crime by aiding and abetting the straw purchaser or causing the making of the false statements.