Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Question Question about gifting a handgun

    I have a question about gifting a handgun to family members. My step dad bought a handgun for me once I got out of the military thinking that he could simply gift it to me. However upon further inspection of PA law it is made clear that handguns can only be gifted to immediate family members, so this does not include step-parents. I have since moved to North Carolina, and unfortunately in this state you have to be granted permits to buy handguns from the Sheriff's office. However, in NC it IS legal to bring a handgun that you have already owned from another state without needing to purchase handgun permit.

    This brings me to my question: Since my mother is immediate family to my step dad, and I am immediate family to my mother - can a handgun be gifted twice in this manner? Or is this considered illegal? I am wondering if I can consider this gun gifted to me while I was still a resident of PA.

    Thanks for any input!

    edit: We did try going through an FFL in PA, but they wouldn't do the transfer since my PA license had a NC address (the military is weird like that - I was stationed in NC but PA was my permanent home address)
    edit 2: made the post more vague
    Last edited by DrToothache; April 27th, 2021 at 09:46 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Question about gifting a handgun

    I'm going to purposely not quote your post. What you are proposing would be skirting legality. While technically legal, it sounds like a "straw purchase" kinda situation to get around an unfavorable NC law. I would delete that post, especially if that's something you're thinking about doing.

    Also, technically I believe the PA FFL should have been able to transfer that to you, back when you were active military. If PA was listed as your permanent adress, then I believe that would have been legal then. Kinda water under the bridge now, since you are a NC resident and handguns have to go FFL-ffl over state lines.

    One scenario, did your step dad ever legally adopt you? If he did then the gift from him would be legit. Adopted children are treated the same for that purpose under the law.

    Edit:. Possibly reword that first post a little more vaguely

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Question about gifting a handgun

    Thanks for the reply @R L Suehr. I reworded the post more vaguely. It is a bummer to hear that the transfer could have been done through the FFL while I was in the military. We tried doing it at a very small gun shop in rural PA, so he probably just hasn't had many similar scenarios as the one that I was in with the military address. However like you said it is water under the bridge at this point. My step dad also did not ever legally adopt me, so it would not be legal for him to directly gift the handgun to me.

    I am thinking about just giving up on the whole "gifting" idea and just getting the handgun permit so that we can do an FFL transfer to me in NC. It will cost more money and time, but at least I would sleep better at night since legally it is the most solid option. I just hate the idea of having to register at the Sheriff's office to get a "handgun permit" in NC. Oh well.

    Thanks again for the reply.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Question about gifting a handgun

    Why do you have a PA license with a NC address? It would appear to me you are screwed from buying handguns in PA and NC or any other state. A PA gun dealer will say you have a PA license but a NC address and a NC dealer will say you got a PA license so that makes you a PA resident therefore No out of state handgun sales. Why not have the address on your PA license changed to your Parents home in PA?. I doubt the military cares what address is on your drivers license.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Question about gifting a handgun

    Wow, this is fugged up. Didn't know about this requirement in NC. Apparently in effect since 1919 but there proposed legislation to repeal. In any case, according to this article, if you have an (NC) carry permit, you don't need the pistol permit. Not sure if that helps in your situation...


    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news...mits-from-nc-/
    "Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Gman106
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the face." - Mike Tyson
    "Get the hell out of my way." - John Galt

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Question about gifting a handgun

    Quote Originally Posted by eagleclaw View Post
    Why do you have a PA license with a NC address? It would appear to me you are screwed from buying handguns in PA and NC or any other state. A PA gun dealer will say you have a PA license but a NC address and a NC dealer will say you got a PA license so that makes you a PA resident therefore No out of state handgun sales. Why not have the address on your PA license changed to your Parents home in PA?. I doubt the military cares what address is on your drivers license.
    The op was "active military" at the time. His state of residency and where he was stationed were 2 different states.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Question about gifting a handgun

    Quote Originally Posted by DrToothache View Post
    Thanks for the reply @R L Suehr. I reworded the post more vaguely. It is a bummer to hear that the transfer could have been done through the FFL while I was in the military. We tried doing it at a very small gun shop in rural PA, so he probably just hasn't had many similar scenarios as the one that I was in with the military address. However like you said it is water under the bridge at this point. My step dad also did not ever legally adopt me, so it would not be legal for him to directly gift the handgun to me.

    I am thinking about just giving up on the whole "gifting" idea and just getting the handgun permit so that we can do an FFL transfer to me in NC. It will cost more money and time, but at least I would sleep better at night since legally it is the most solid option. I just hate the idea of having to register at the Sheriff's office to get a "handgun permit" in NC. Oh well.

    Thanks again for the reply.
    That would probably be the safest option. I can understand not wanting to have to ask permission to get a hand gun. That's a pretty big infringement IMHO. As someone else said, it might be a good idea to get the NC carry permit. If you're going to have to pay to exercise a right, might as well go the whole way.

    The FFL was probably covering his ass. It's an odd situation, but I seem to remember one of our FFL holders here discussing the active duty military situation before and saying that it's based on your listed "state of residency." A rural FFL might have just erred on the side of caution on that one.

    Good luck man. I do know a person who is a sheriff's deputy in NC. I'll try and ask him about the permit process if you like or give you his email. Pm me if you want.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Question about gifting a handgun

    Quote Originally Posted by eagleclaw View Post
    Why do you have a PA license with a NC address? It would appear to me you are screwed from buying handguns in PA and NC or any other state. A PA gun dealer will say you have a PA license but a NC address and a NC dealer will say you got a PA license so that makes you a PA resident therefore No out of state handgun sales. Why not have the address on your PA license changed to your Parents home in PA?. I doubt the military cares what address is on your drivers license.
    Yeah the military is weird like that. They allowed me to keep PA as my "permanent residence" on all of my legal documentation, but I was still required to change my address to get my car registration in NC. It's a weird process that always confuses people checking my ID. I always pictured myself moving back home after the military so I never got rid of my PA license for a NC one.

    I actually thought about switching my address back to my parents house in PA, and then traveling home to transfer the handgun through the FFL. This would've been completely legal since that was my military record's permanent address. However he bought me this gun towards the end of my service, and covid-19 restricted me from making it home before I was out of the military. Once I was out of the military I lost my benefit of still being a PA resident lol

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Question about gifting a handgun

    Quote Originally Posted by Gman106 View Post
    Wow, this is fugged up. Didn't know about this requirement in NC. Apparently in effect since 1919 but there proposed legislation to repeal. In any case, according to this article, if you have an (NC) carry permit, you don't need the pistol permit. Not sure if that helps in your situation...


    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news...mits-from-nc-/
    Dang that is good to hear. I hope that they get rid of that dated law. It sounds pretty promising:

    "What the national background check *has done to the pistol purchase permit is what email has done to a fax machine, and that is, it*s made it obsolete,* Eddie Caldwell, the association*s executive vice president, said after the voice vote. The association*s executive committee agreed to support the repeal, he said."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Question about gifting a handgun

    Quote Originally Posted by R L Suehr View Post
    That would probably be the safest option. I can understand not wanting to have to ask permission to get a hand gun. That's a pretty big infringement IMHO. As someone else said, it might be a good idea to get the NC carry permit. If you're going to have to pay to exercise a right, might as well go the whole way.

    The FFL was probably covering his ass. It's an odd situation, but I seem to remember one of our FFL holders here discussing the active duty military situation before and saying that it's based on your listed "state of residency." A rural FFL might have just erred on the side of caution on that one.

    Good luck man. I do know a person who is a sheriff's deputy in NC. I'll try and ask him about the permit process if you like or give you his email. Pm me if you want.
    That's a great point. I might do the carry permit and just forget about the whole handgun purchasing permit. I was looking up the process last night, it doesn't seem to complicated. Just takes time depending on your county. I'll shoot you a pm though, would definitely like his input if he wouldn't mind. Thank you.

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