Every year as December rolls on towards the Christmas holiday, there's a flood of questions online in social media about how to buy, sell, trade, and gift guns... and quite frankly, it's always surprising just how many incorrect answers are always given. It's not rocket science, it's plain and simple, here is how you transfer a firearm to anyone under any condition.

While most states have their own ways of dealing with firearms, Oklahoma stays pretty much on par with the federal rules.

Who can possess a firearm? Any American citizen, at least 18 years of age, that is legally able to possess a firearm.

It's not just felons that are barred from owning pew-pews, there are others categorically restricted too. Anyone under indictment looking at a possible sentence of over one year in prison, fugitives, anyone that has been committed to a mental institution, illegal aliens, dishonorable military discharged, anyone with a court-ordered restraining order for various domestic issues, even those with misdemeanor charges for violent offenses.

This list of people prohibited from legally possessing a firearm include people who use or are addicted to any controlled substance, including marijuana, even in states where it's lawfully available for medicinal or recreational purposes. This is the question on the background check Form 4473. If you admit to using marijuana, you're denied the firearm. If you don't admit to using marijuana, you'd be lying to the federal government, and that's a crime too.

Is it fair? The law doesn't care about fair, it only cares about what is legal.

All the same, you're liability is limited as an individual as it's illegal to "knowingly" transfer a firearm to someone who isn't legally able to possess a firearm. If you don't know, or the buyer lies to you about it, it's not your liability. Is it a gray area? Meh...

That's only if you want to sell your personal firearm to another person here in Oklahoma. If you don't know the person, you can always pop into a firearms store and have them perform a background check for your own peace of mind. This is actually required in several other states but not Oklahoma... but you should know this... there is an overwhelming number of perfectly legal, law-abiding, firearm-possessing eligible citizens that would refuse this.

Does that mean they're probably criminals? No. It's just not a requirement of a private transfer in this state or by federal law.

Some people insist that you create a "bill of sale" or take down their information off a driver's license or concealed carry permit... This is also something that most legal, law-abiding citizens would refuse as it's not only NOT a requirement, but quite the invasion of privacy.

The same goes for buying. If you get the impression something isn't right with a firearm you'd like to purchase from an individual, you can request it be done in a gun shop too, for a small fee in most cases.

Because it always comes up right before Christmas, what does this mean when you want to give a firearm to a child as a gift?

Federal law states that an American must be at least 18 years old to lawfully possess a firearm, is it illegal to give your child a gun?

As clear and cut as it is, there is a little gray area here too. Here's the best way I can explain it.

Every few years, my parents will give us kids colored stickers and tell us to walk around the house putting those child-specific stickers on the stuff they would like to have one day after they're gone. In the spirit of the moment, we do. I always put my stickers on the vintage signs that are used as decor throughout the house.

Does that make that 1920's yellow John Deere dealer sign mine? Yes, eventually... but I can't snatch it off the wall until my parents are dead. The same goes for firearms you want to gift your children.

You may give a firearm to your kid for Christmas now, but you the parent are responsible for it until they're legally allowed to take possession of it at the age of 18.

"That's fine for rifles and shotguns, but what about handguns? You have to be 21 right?"

Not exactly.

Federal law states a licensed dealer cannot sell a handgun to a person under 21 years of age. It doesn't say you can't be gifted one. The law is clear, you must be at least 18 years old to legally possess a firearm, it doesn't specify the firearm type. Licensed dealers have a different, more stringent set of rules than the average American citizen.

So, yes, you can give your child a firearm but they cannot lawfully take possession of it until they're of the legal age of 18.

Can the laws change? Sure. Those in Washington like to act as they stay within the bounds of our constitution and bill of rights all the time, but that's not entirely accurate either. So when the time comes your child can lawfully possess a firearm they received as a gift, you'll have to take it upon yourself to research the rules.

In conclusion, I hope this answers some of the commonly asked and frequently incorrectly answered questions when it comes to transferring firearms in Oklahoma.

The long and short is, if you want to gift your kid a firearm, go ahead. You must maintain possession of it until they're legal and of age, but it can still be "theirs" until then. If you want to sell or buy one from another private citizen, that's legal too. The real moral of the story here is, stop trusting social media for answers. Those answers come as opinions, and opinions are rarely factual.

If you're feeling hesitant or like you can't get a real answer, pop into your local small-business gun shop. The people behind the counter love to share their passion and will always do their best to point you in the right, legal direction.

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