What are straw purchases?

In Pennsylvania, there are certain laws in effect regarding the purchase, selling, handling and possession of firearms. Due to their dangerous nature, if you break these laws, you could face serious consequences. Today, Marros Law Office examines one such potential offense: straw purchases.

What is a straw purchase? In short, it’s an act in which one party buys a firearm on behalf of a party who is legally disallowed from purchasing guns for themselves. In essence, you’re acting as the “strawman”. Not all straw purchases are illegal. In fact, there are entire industries based around agencies or individuals who buy items on another person’s behalf.

However, in the case of firearms, it is illegal. If you lie about the identity of the true owner of the gun when purchasing one from a federally licensed firearms dealership, you may be charged with making false accusations on a federal transactions record. As a federal felony, this can result in massive fines and up to 5 years in jail.

However, gifting of guns or the private sale of guns are not considered straw purchases. The exception is if you make a sale knowing that the gun being sold had been used in a crime before.

If you have any other questions about firearm purchasing, straw purchases, or any other charges related to firearms and weapons, take a look at our webpage, linked here. We have information about the charges that may be faced and the repercussions. You can contact our attorneys directly for more information as well.