If you have been born and raised on a Texas ranch, there’s a good chance that your parents or grandparents taught you how to safely handle a gun. Even if you grew up in a household without weapons, however, you may have decided to purchase one when you were grown and on your own. Either way, you no doubt understand the importance of adhering to all laws and safety regulations regarding firearms, especially if you plan to give one to someone as a gift.
Gifting a firearm is perfectly legal in Texas, although there are numerous issues to bear in mind before you proceed. If you are not aware of firearm gifting or transfer laws ahead of time, you might make a mistake that winds up causing serious legal problems. In fact, you may even face charges for a weapons crime.
Make sure your gift recipient is legally permitted to possess a firearm
Even if you think you know someone well, you might not know everything there is to know about his or her background, especially regarding issues such as traffic violations or criminal charges. For instance, your relative might not necessarily tell you if he or she has faced DUI charges.
If you are giving someone a firearm as a gift, it is your responsibility to confirm that the recipient has legal permission to have a firearm in his or her possession. You could face criminal charges if you give a gun to someone who does not have permission to have one. You might think it is a nice idea to gift your new brother-in-law with a firearm; however, if he has a felony conviction on his record that you are not aware of, you could get into legal trouble by giving him a gun.
Never mail a firearm to a friend or relative
The person to whom you are gifting a firearm might live in another state or a great distance away from you in Texas. Be aware that you can only ship a firearm to a licensed retailer, not to a private citizen. There are stringent rules regarding mailing a firearm to a licensed retailer, as well, and it is your responsibility to know the rules and adhere to them.
How to gift a firearm to someone without actually transferring a gun
There are ways for Texas residents to give a friend or relative the gift of a firearm without transferring an actual weapon from one person to another. The easiest way is to ask the retailer for a gift certificate. You can then place the certificate inside a card or gift envelope, and the recipient can go to the gun store and make the purchase.
You might also choose to give someone a pre-paid card that has a certain amount of money on it, which you have paid at the register. A gift recipient could then use the card as cash to purchase a firearm. Each of these options allows you to gift a firearm without transferring an actual weapon. Doing it this way makes it crystal clear who made the purchase.
Facing firearms charges in Texas
There could be a lot at stake if you face charges for a firearms crime in Texas. Gifting a firearm is legal but not something you’d want to do if you are not fully aware of all laws and regulations associated with purchasing or transferring a firearm in this state.
If you have been charged with a weapons crime, you will have an opportunity to refute the charges in court. It is always best to carefully explore your defense options before heading to court, to determine which type of defense strategy might best help mitigate your circumstances.