Let’s pick up right where we left off with the first part:
Unfortunately, there are a lot of opinions out there that don’t even come close to resembling fact. The internet is especially full of well-intentioned, yet improperly informed opinions, when it comes to firearm laws. This is why it is necessary to get your information straight from the horse’s mouth. Even police, a lot of the time, don’t know the law – which is why they are police officers and not attorneys.
Here is an example of some bad info I came across on the World Wide Web: I was on a well-known PA state gun forum not too long ago, and the original post asked if it was okay for a husband to buy a handgun and give it to his wife. After some long-winded discussion, another commenter got completely off target by saying that the only time you need to go through an FFL dealer is when you’re buying a new gun.
The state of the law in Pennsylvania is that all “firearms” purchases (typically meaning handguns) have to go through an FFL and the FFL must run both a NICS and PICS check except in the case of transfers between spouses or to transfers between a parent and child or to transfers between grandparent and grandchild. Specifically, it is the lawful duty of the FFL to include the following question and warning:
Are you the actual buyer of the firearm(s), as defined under 18 Pa.C.S. § 6102 (relating to definitions), listed on this application/record of sale? Warning: You are not the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person, unless you are legitimately acquiring the firearm as a gift for any of the following individuals who are legally eligible to own a firearm: (1) spouse; (2) parent; (3) child; (4) grandparent; or (5) grandchild.
So although the answer was correct that no FFL is needed in that specific context (i.e., handgun bought as a gift for a spouse), the overarching advice in that internet discussion that it is only the purchase of a new handgun where an FFL is needed is dangerously false. The commenter continued to say that anyone can sell a used handgun to anyone they want, even Joe Schmo down the street without using an FFL. Of course, in Pennsylvania, this is false and he was corrected before bad advice was taken as the law.
This is just one example of bad gun law advice, and this type of junk is all over the Web. The best thing for you to do, is Google a gun law seminar in your area and learn as much as you possibly can in an attempt to separate fact from fiction.
So, what’s the point? Well, listen. When one gun owner screws up, the media tries to make us all look bad. Each time someone goes on a shooting rampage, liberals try to make all gun owners look evil even though we know that isn’t, in fact, the case. Knowledge is power. And when we can all be educated enough to know the gun laws, we’ll all be that much better off.
Disclaimer: Please note that I am not an attorney. So, anything contained herein is not to be taken as legal advice. Rather, should you have any questions about anything stated in this article, you should consult an attorney or go to a gun law seminar put on by an attorney.