What is a Straw Purchase?

  • Author | Nashville Armory Staff
  • Date | 10/20/2019
straw purchase

What is a Straw Purchase?

A straw purchase occurs when one person buys a gun for someone else who is either prohibited by law from possessing a gun or who does not want his or her name associated with the transaction. A straw purchase is a felony with a punishment of 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $250,000.

How can you avoid making a straw purchase?

Simply, do not buy a firearm for someone who cannot possess a firearm, whether that be based on age, criminal background, etc. There are no workarounds to this law. 

When purchasing a firearm, the form you fill out (Federal Form 4473) has question #11, outlining this perfectly:

Armory Ranges - Shooting Class

We understand that sometimes a customer may be unsure of what they are doing or what they are specifically wanting to purchase in the store. But we do ask customers to refrain from using their phone or leaving the store for a moment while they are making a purchase. This helps us rule out the possibility of a straw purchase and can help streamline the process of purchasing a firearm for the customer. Ultimately it is up to the discretion of our sales staff to choose to sell the firearm based on the actions of the customer.

Why is it better to be safe than sorry when selling firearms?

Our retail staff adheres to all TN law and we personally want to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals. We will always make a call to withhold selling a firearm if we feel the individual is breaking the law, is a threat to themselves and others or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

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