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What Is A Straw Purchase?

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A straw purchase is a broad term used to describe a situation in which someone buys something on behalf of another person whose identity is not disclosed. Most often, straw purchases are associated with firearms transactions. Typically, a straw purchase will happen when someone buys a firearm on behalf of someone else who is not allowed to have one. This is a serious criminal offense. In this article, our Orlando criminal defense lawyer discusses straw purchases and firearms charges.

Background: Firearms Transactions are Strictly Regulated (Federal Form 4473) 

Firearms transactions are strictly regulated in the United States. When you purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer, you will generally be required to complete and submit a document known as Federal Form 4473. It is a six-page form from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that requires parties to disclose details about the transaction.

There is a specific question on Federal Form 4473 that asks if the person who is filling out the form—meaning they are buying the firearm—is actually the final intended recipient. It is lawful to buy a firearm for someone else as a gift, but you must disclose their identity. It is illegal to say that you are buying a firearm for yourself when you are actually doing it for someone else.

A Straw Purchase is the Acquisition of a Firearm for Someone Else (Usually Ineligible) 

A straw purchase occurs when someone buys a gun on behalf of a person who cannot lawfully have one under federal or state law. For example, a convicted felony may be barred from purchasing or possessing a firearm. If another person goes to a licensed dealer and buys them a firearm—while lying about the intended final recipient of the gun on Federal Form 4473—they have engaged in a straw purchase and may be subject to serious criminal liability. 

Straw Purchase is a Serious Federal Felony Offense 

Under federal law (18 U.S. Code § 922), it is a serious criminal offense to knowingly provide false information in relation to a firearms transaction. A person who deceives a firearms dealer and/or the federal government when completing firearms paperwork could face a serious felony charge that carries significant risk of prison time. If you or your loved one was arrested for a straw purchase of a firearm, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. 

Consult With Our Orlando, FL Criminal Defense Attorney Today

At The Baez Law Firm, our Orlando criminal defense lawyer has the professional skills and legal experience to handle complex state and federal firearms charges. If you or your family member was arrested and charged with a crime in relation to an alleged straw purchase of a firearm, we are here to help. Contact us right away to set up a fully confidential, no commitment initial case review. With a law office in Orlando, we provide top criminal defense representation throughout Central Florida.

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