In many cases, someone who purchases a gun needs to pass a background check. There are those who are not allowed to possess firearms. For example, someone who has a felony on their record may be prevented from purchasing guns, so the background check is intended to weed these individuals out and prevent sales.
In some cases, someone will know that they wouldn’t pass a background check, but they still want to buy a firearm. They will give the money for that purchase to someone else, someone who has a clean record and who will pass the background check. This person will then inaccurately claim that they are buying the gun for themselves. After the purchase, they will give it to the person who actually paid for it. This is known as a straw purchase.
Is this illegal?
Yes, this is a very illegal practice. It could lead to 15 years behind bars and a quarter of a million dollars in fines. The government takes this very seriously.
Moreover, both people would be in violation of the law. One person violated it by skirting the background check laws and illegally obtaining a firearm. The other person violated it by lying about who the gun was for when making the purchase.
Criminal defense options
Those who have been accused of making a straw purchase will naturally be concerned about what it is going to mean for their future, especially when facing very serious allegations that could put them in jail for years. They need to understand all of the criminal defense options they have and what steps to take next.