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Straw Purchases

Straw Purchases – Better Education Helps Avoid

A deplorable episode in the firearms business is the act of straw purchasing. A straw purchase refers to as situation when the actual buyer of the firearm is incapable of acquiring the firearm him/herself because of the impossibility of passing a background check and therefore must ask someone else to do so in his or her stead. If a client walks into your gun store and says blatantly that they are purchasing the gun for someone who cannot do so him/herself, you should definitely not consider going through with this sale.

Technically speaking by holding a FFL license you are like being an extension of the ATF. There is no national database of weapons in the U.S., in such whenever the ATF must track down a firearm that was used in a crime, they have to follow the paper trail related to it. That means commencing with the manufacturer, then the wholesaler that serial number went to, which will then lead to a firearms dealer. Eventually the dealer find the one which corresponds to the serial number the ATF is looking for by looking through the Form 4473s in their archives. They’ll use that information to track down the client to see if the firearm has changed possession since the completion of the transaction.

If the individual whose name is on the 4473 was not the actual buyer of the firearm, it could possibly take the ATF straight to a dead end. Finding the person who possessed the firearm can sometimes make the difference between a criminal being convicted of the committed crime, or even caught or actually going free. When firearm related crimes go unsolved, it can give politicians more reason for a more rigid gun control.

An FFL license holder has a lot of responsibility because of the capacity of selling weapons. The FFL license holders aim is to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals. Refusing to sell a firearm to a person whom you suspect to be going through with a straw purchase is one way to achieve that goal.

The ATF and NSSF have worked together to raise awareness related to straw purchases and the punishments through the “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” campaign. For more information on the “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” campaign and to receive your informational kit, visit

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