The big joke in the gun world this week is, “If someone is convicted of a straw purchase in California, will it prevent them from owning a gun?” Let me explain. The State of California has declared war on the drinking apparatus that we see in every fast food drink and are offered at most restaurants. The battle is over the plastic waste. I suppose if they just required them to be made of biodegradable paper it wouldn’t be an issue, but oh well.

Now getting back to the serious nature of the joke. In ATF terms, a “Straw Purchase” is when a person purchases a firearm for someone who is not allowed to own one. Being charged and convicted of an ATF Straw purchase is a major deal and not to be taken lightly.

Want to avoid being guilty of this? Don’t ever buy a firearm or give a firearm to anyone who you cannot say with 100 percent certainty that they are legally allowed to own a firearm. If it is a handgun, do they have a purchase permit or an active conceal carry? Are they a family member personally known to you?

Now let us not confuse Straw Purchase with a gift. It is perfectly legal to purchase a firearm (long gun or hand gun) for someone you are giving it to as a gift (perhaps a grandchild or retiring employee). You are allowed to legally gift someone a gun as long as you are again 100 percent certain that they are able to own a firearm. Unsure? Do an FFL transfer at a local gun shop that will usually cost between $25-$45 and should only take a few minutes. In the case of a handgun, the person will need a purchase permit or NC Conceal Carry permit. In the case of a long gun, a routine background check is done.

It will always be in your best interest to make sure everything is done on the up and up. Don’t risk it.

The 3-D printed hand gun is back in the news. The plans for this item have been in court for years in a battle, which for one reason or another, has now come to a close. The current court ruling is that prohibiting the CAD files that displayed these plans is a violation of the First Amendment. The plans, which were to be made available on Aug. 1, will be legal for the designer to sell or give away. The new website will also host designs for AR-15 frames and other semi-automatic designs.

The reason not to panic? The materials used to make these items usually breaks or falls apart easily.

Remember knowledge is power and recycling is important but blaming the simple straw is rather silly.


Dorothy Royal is the owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, mother of two wonderful children, ringmaster of a herd of miniature ponies and an avid member of the Surf City Writers Group and Topsail Book Club.