Firearms

Six Tips for Giving Guns as Gifts

Vintage picture of a little boy sitting by the Christmas tree holding a lever-action rifle.

The holiday season is officially upon us and if you haven’t already started your Christmas shopping, you have probably—in the very least—started making a mental check of list of what you would like to buy. Giving the gift of firepower, especially to the gun enthusiast, is an excellent idea.  However, giving a gun as a present does have its drawbacks. The following six tips will help if you plan on buying a gun for someone this year.

Vintage picture of a little boy sitting by the Christmas tree holding a lever-action rifle.
Giving the gift of firepower, especially to the gun enthusiast, is an excellent idea.
  1. Before you buy a gun for anyone other than yourself, make triple sure that person can legally own a gun. Besides the obvious—felons and drug abusers—federal law prohibits fugitives, those who have been involuntarily committed into a mental institution, illegal aliens, those with restraining orders, someone convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, and someone under indictment for a crime punishable for more than a year from owning a gun.
  2. Think about how you will give the firearm as a present. Will it be legal to give it to them, or will the firearm have to go through a FFL transfer? Having to transfer the gun into the person’s name ruins the surprise a bit, but get creative. You can print out a picture of the gun and put it into a card or surprise them with a trip to the gun store. When you get there, you can tell them about their present.
  3. Do not pick the gun out for them. What you think they should have is not necessarily the gun they want. Like clothes, generally people need to “try” guns on for a good fit.
  4. Buy them what they want. If they don’t know—take them to the gun range before hand and let them pick out their favorite. Ask them which guns they like or stalk their Pinterest and social media for clues.
  5. If you are going to gift a gun to a child, get them a gun they will enjoy right away instead of one they will have to grow into, like a .22, a Crickett, or other firearm made specifically for youth.
  6. A surefire win is to get them a gift card to a gun store and let them pick out the gun.

I received a gun for a birthday present before—a little NAA mini revolver. The gun was just as fun as it could be and made for an excellent backup gun for my car. A gun lover loves getting guns. Don’t rule it out as a gift just because a little extra thought and care is involved in getting the right one.

Will you be giving a gun as a gift this year? If so, which one?

[suzanne]

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Comments (17)

  1. Yup, noticed kids trigger finger and then toy stock , bout that time if it had been my kid one of his older brothers would of probably broke it over his head for not watching where he pointed it toy or not.
    One boy screwed up one day after Christmas with his pride and joy Red Ryder, he pointed it at a brother.
    The brothers and I stood there as he had to chop it up with axe and then pack pieces to nearby garbage dump.
    Buying a young man a firearm is a serious buisness and surprise or not it is the kids interest not dads feely good for buying the damned thing.
    My sons lucky as they had variety of firearms to become familiar with before being granted young adulthood ownership of own choice of firearms..
    Take a youth to many a range and youwill find many a gun owner willing to teach gun wisdom to beginners.
    One boy got to fire a HR topper in 30-30 a friend had he chose a fll stock model and 40 yeRs later his son hunts with it but is in line for that 308 on his 16th that he realy likes.
    Too damned many yokels with guns and they are not all yonkers either, I have seen some scary adults who never learned the rules and courtesy towards fellow owners and shooters.
    Teach a boy the rules and responsabilitys of gun ownership and no matter the weapon he chooses he will respect it as a right of passage into manhood.

  2. Please excuse me for being so “stupid” but why not just buy the gun and transfer it with a private sale. As long as the receiver meets the federal and local laws, a transaction of this type is absolutely LEGAL.

    1. Joseph,
      California, Oregon, Colorado, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut all require background checks. These states do not allow a private sale.

  3. “Yeah, DAMN DUDE, what he said!”

    Suzanne, my wife used to buy very nice guns for her husband all the time, for any occasion. He always had the BDL, or the stainless version when I always bargained for, and bought my own guns, and couldn’t or wouldn’t allow myself that luxury. I bought 788s used from pan shops, while she bought him BDL 700s, etc. I always told her; “I’ll buy my own guns” because that’s how I’d always done it whith my ex, who’d ask if I’d “caught one” when returning home from a deer hunt. After 25 years of my new bride hearing me tought that neanderthol nonsense, she has finally bought me a few guns, and I must admit that it is a wonderful sentiment.
    It’s really a shame that times are the way they are now, as some of the nicest guns over the years have been either a gift, or a spontanious purchase. Like when the old man who worked and hunted with my dad asked one day if I knew anyone who might want to buy the pre-’64 ’94 30.30 he had for 50 bucks, and I said; “Yeah, me.”
    I traded a Honda 50 in a basket to my buddy for a Springfield single shot bolt action .22 over forty five years ago. He’d varnished the stock, which had like a tiger striped grain to it. It had no front sight, so he used a penny. (Real copper) It was a tack driver, to say the least. Very unfair at turkey shoots. Over the years, I’d mounted sling and swivels, Redfield tip-off rings, and a 1″ Bushnell, and at one time had a red spotlight with an old car horn button for a pressure switch on it for varmint calling. One day, a couple of years ago, I pulled it out when he was here, and said; “Here, I want you to have this back.” I miss that old gun sometimes, and don’t even have a .22 anymore, but sometimes it’s just about giving……….. Maybe I should look for a 10/22 now, or at least put the bug in my wife’s ear, huh?

  4. Hey Rick, chill out you psychopath. The Grand Old Party has your back.
    It’s offensive to hear you slam the same very people who kept you from speaking German as your primary language. If my father were alive he would have read your post and shook his head, just like everyone else did. Start backwards from 10 jacknut.

  5. Oh, my. Rick Grimes is an ANGRY one, isn’t he? So much rage poured out on us innocent bystanders.

    Rick, next time, just buy the gun for yourself, with the intent of later doing a legal, by-the-numbers ownership transfer to your brother.

    But that’s just one “person’s” suggestion.

  6. All these ridiculous rules about not being able to give a firearm to a family member as a gift is nothing short of a continual means for the Government to know who is armed with what so when the time of illegal weapons confiscation starts in violation of the 2nd Amendment, the storm troopers will know where to go. Another way of Big Brother getting in the personal business of the individual and their family.

  7. Definitely true. I was at a gun shop with my oldest son, (who is presently military – US Navy, and regularly carries a Beretta M9, or M92FS) and he expressed a real liking for the Springfield .40 that was rather expensive, but the store had an excellent used one in stock. I decided to go back later and buy it for him as a gift, but unfortunately it had already sold. When I “substituted” a Smith & Wesson SD-40 – a gun I thought was comparable – he gave me “that look,” which I know means ‘oh well, thanks anyway.’ He’s too polite to say so, but I know I goofed. Live and learn!

  8. These are very good points when buying for shooters. If you’re buying for someone who doesn’t yet know how to shoot, don’t buy them a gun. Give them a certificate for a basic shooting class.

    Of course you can “take them to the range,” but is it the smart thing to do? I’ve been teaching shooting for thirty years, and if my wife wants lessons I know an instructor I’ll recommend.

  9. Christmas 2003. Gave my twin sons (both either former Marine or active Army) a .40 S&W Springfield XD and my daughter (who had just graduated college and about to set out on her own) the 9mm in the same model. They were all surprised and pleased, and still have them. That year has gone down in family history (as coined by my daughter-in-law) as the “redneck Christmas”. Best Christmas ever!

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