Handguns for over 18, under 21

Discussion in 'Gun Legislation' started by strantor, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. strantor

    strantor New Member

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    Oct 26, 2009
    houston
    I have read through this site and several others regarding the legality of purchasing a handgun for my sister. She just turned 18 and she wants a handgun. I went with her to 2 separate gun shops and got turned away by the owners who said "it is illegal for someone under 21 to own a handgun." I am 24 and as I understand (from reading other posts) as long as I pay for the gun and then give it to her, we are in compliance with the law. My mother has no problem with her owning a handgun, and would be willing to go to the gunshop with us to give parental consent if needed, but I fear I will still run into the same problem unless I can bring in a printed copy of the actual law. Only problem is that I can't find the law anywhere. Can somebody please give me a link to where the law about 18 y/o's owning handguns is? Thanks!
     


  2. randomoutburst

    randomoutburst Member

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    +1 - High-Cap

    Yes, my husband and I obtained handguns in this manner before he turned 21 (I have another 10 months to go...) and were told by shop owners it was illegal. Even printing out the pertinent laws and showing them in an attempt to at least make them more aware of state law was futile - they claimed I must have missed some other law that closes that loophole. *sigh*
    The federal law states she cannot buy one from a licensed dealer until she is 21, and the Texas Youth Handgun Act prevents her from owning one at all when she is under 18 years old. There is no mention of purchasing from a private individual or being gifted a handgun between 18-20 years of age as being illegal.
    She may not be able to shoot by herself on some ranges as she is not 21 and some guys are stubborn, so take her shooting with you. If you're giving her a gun it becomes your responsibility to make sure she knows how to use it. A gun in the hands of an ignorant user can sometimes be more dangerous than not having one at all.

    I posted a question about this issue in a forum (link to my thread) and it seems legit. Best wishes.
     
  3. Big country

    Big country TGT Addict

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    Take her to look at hand guns at a really expensive place that you don't frequent, find one she likes and then go somewhere cheaper and buy it for her there as they don't know whats going on. I got into an argument with a dopey Pawn shop owner once over my mother trying to get me a rifle when I was 16. I know the law says it's legal but in a CYOA thing the shop is not going to take the chance violating the law. And by law I bet they reserve the right to refuse service to anyone as well. I've had Wal-mart not sell me beer because my wife was under 21 and I told her that we were married and she said it was illegal for me to buy beer with her there and I've bought a handgun with her standing right next to me and no one cared at all.
     
  4. strantor

    strantor New Member

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    Oct 26, 2009
    houston
    Lol randomoutburst, your post in the other forum was one of the ones that I read previously while trying to find the law. So there is no law that says that an 18 y/o can be gifted a handgun, only the lack of a law prohibiting it? In that case I can see why the gun shop owners are leery of selling. BTW, where can I find the law prohibiting Licenses gun dealers from selling handguns to persons under 21?
     
  5. strantor

    strantor New Member

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    Oct 26, 2009
    houston
    Ok, I checked the ATF's faqs and some of their lengthy legislature and didn't find anything barring an 18y/o from owning a hand gun. I think the state's legislature is going to be tighter than the ATF's so I'm looking there now. If I could just find somewhere in state law where it says something to the effect of "A person under the age of 21 may lawfully possess a handgun in the event that a family member gives the handgun to the person under the age of 21, or it is purchased from an individual who is not a licensed dealer...."
     
  6. txinvestigator

    txinvestigator TGT Addict

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    Ft Worth, TX

    Laws proscribe acts, they don't list allowable acts.

    Laws do not cover "ownership" of firearms. The federal and state laws regulate the transfer, possession and carry of firearms.

    Federal law makes it unlawful for a FFL to transfer a handgun to a person under 21.

    The ATF also tells you on the FAQ that a unlicensed person may transfer a handgun to a person who is not prohibited from receiving one;

    This tells you who may not receive one

    Under Texas law you are not going to find anything like what you are looking for. Laws don't work that way.

    Texas does limit transfer and possession. Those laws are in chapter 46 of the penal code. Here are the applicable ones


    Dealers won't transfer you the gun when they know you are going to give it to someone else because they cannot be sure that person is eligible to receive it. They are worried about being implicated in a straw sale.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. strantor

    strantor New Member

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    Oct 26, 2009
    houston
    Yes, Txinvestigator, Very helpful. Thank you. I think you have successfully proven that it is not illegal for her to own a handgun. Despite all this, I still have a gut feeling that if she were to get pulled over and have the police find the gun in her trunk she would be arrested. Of course, neither her or myself could be convicted of any crime, I'm sure they could make it a painful experience.
     
  8. txinvestigator

    txinvestigator TGT Addict

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    Again, ownership is not regulated. Transfer, possession and carry are.

    It is not illegal for her to receive the handgun nor for a non-licensee to transfer one to her.

    Texas penal code 46.02 shows it is lawful for her to car carry as long as the handgun is not in plain view, she is not a member of a criminal street gang, she is not committing a crime (traffic offenses excluded) and she is not prohibited by law from possessing a firearm.

    Under what law are you worried she could be arrested?
     
  9. randomoutburst

    randomoutburst Member

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    Sep 24, 2009
    Grayson County
    I think he is worried about an officer not knowing the law, just as the store owners have not (or choose to err on the side of THEIR safety).
     
  10. strantor

    strantor New Member

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    Oct 26, 2009
    houston
    Exactly. I would assume that if anybody can be relied upon to know gun laws, it would be gun shop owners. All they have to keep up with are gun laws. Cops on the other hand have to keep up with gun laws, traffic laws, and all other manner of laws. If the gun shop owners cannot be relied upon to know their laws, it would be foolish to assume that the cops know their laws. I guess my worries are that the federal law which prohibits sale of handguns to persons under the age of 21 could (or would likely) be misconstrued (maybe mis-known is a better word) by law enforcement to mean that possession of a handgun by persons under the age of 21 is illegal.
     

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