Use caution when purchasing guns as Christmas gifts - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Use caution when purchasing guns as Christmas gifts

The holiday shopping season kicked off with a *bang* this year. Gun sales *shot* up to an all-time high on Black Friday, but if you're considering buying a gun as a gift, "there are some strings that come attached."

David Warrick at Alpine Pawn Shop in Columbus warns there are a few rules you need to know before you buy.

First, it is legal to buy a gun as a gift if the person you are buying it for is legally allowed to own it.

"So, if someone's a felon you can't buy them a gun; if they're somebody that's been convicted of domestic violence, which is one of the only misdemeanors that will prevent you from owning a gun," says Warrick. "When you come to purchase a gun, the first thing you'll have to do is fill out a background check. It also asks if the gun is for you or a gift."

The FBI reports more than 175,000 background checks were submitted on Black Friday.

"It's very straight forward; it asks you all the common things. Are you a felon? Are you a fugitive? Do you use drugs? You should answer truthfully because you can be held accountable."

You can also be held accountable if you do what's called a "straw purchase".

"If they give you money to buy them a gun that's illegal; that's a straw purchase," Warrick explains.

In other words, if a person you know is not legally able to carry a gun and they give you money to buy them one, you are committing a crime.

If you plan on giving someone a gun as a gift, it's also wise to get a Bill of Sale so you are no longer responsible for the weapon.

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