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Do your homework before purchasing firearm for Christmas

With Thanksgiving Day and the associated festivities behind us, we can now turn our holiday planning efforts to Christmas. There is the tree to put up and decorate, lights to put on the house and gifts to acquire.

For hunters and recreational shooting types, one of the popular gift options is a firearm and has been for generations, but there are some things to consider before putting a firearm on your gift list either as a giver or a receiver.

First and foremost, firearms ownership carries with it serious responsibilities. Moreover, there are legal obligations that come with a firearm that do not apply to other gift options. Second, there are regulatory hurdles that may not be worth the hassle and the potential problems associated with the transfer of firearms. You have to make that determination.

Whether you are the giver or a potential receiver, what you do not want to do is put the other person in an awkward position.

Here in Nevada, with few exceptions, the sell or transfer of firearms between people who do not have a federal firearms license requires successful completion of a background check that is facilitated by someone who does have that license. The process for acquiring a background check for this situation is outlined in Nevada Revised Statutes (202.2547).

There are exceptions in NRS 202.2548 for “the sale or transfer of a firearm between immediate family members, which for the purposes of this section means spouses and domestic partners and any of the following relations, whether by whole or half blood, adoption, or step-relation: parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.”

In case you missed it, a daughter in law or son in law does not pass muster.

Keep in mind that you cannot gift a firearm to anyone who is prohibited by state or federal law from possessing one. The National Shooting Sports Foundation said in a news release, “Remember, you can never under any circumstances transfer a firearm to someone you know — or have reasonable cause to believe — legally can’t own one. That’s a federal felony, so be careful.”

What if you would like to give a firearm to someone who lives in another state? According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, “Generally, for a person to lawfully transfer a firearm to an unlicensed person who resides out of state, the firearm must be shipped to a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) within the recipient’s state of residence. He or she may then receive the firearm from the FFL upon completion of an ATF Form 4473 and a NICS background check.”

Though all of this can be overwhelming, do not give up on your quest. You can still make the gift of a firearm to a friend or family member by giving them a gift card rather than an actual firearm. You can buy a card from a specific retailer or one that can be used wherever they choose to shop.

Either way, the recipient of your gift will take care of their own paperwork, meet the background check requirement and get the gun they want. And there is no question about the identify of the actual buyer.

With a gift card, we lose some of the personal touch that has traditionally been part of the gift-giving process, but it will save a lot of headaches and possible legal issues for everybody involved.

Any questions regarding the transfer of firearms would best be answered by your attorney or the Attorney General’s office. You can find answers about federal regulations at www.atf.gov.

Something else to consider now that the Thanksgiving 2020 has passed is applying for tag or permit to hunt wild turkeys when spring arrives. If you enjoy a good turkey dinner, you will not be disappointed.

Nevada’s application process gets underway about mid-January, but Utah is accepting applications for limited-entry turkey permits now through Dec.28. Applications must be submitted online at www.utah-hunt.com. With one of these permits you can begin hunting the second week of April.

Freelance writer Doug Nielsen is a conservation educator for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. His “In the Outdoors” column is not affiliated with or endorsed by the NDOW. Any opinions he states in his column are his own. Find him on Facebook at @dougwritesoutdoors. He can be reached at intheoutdoorslv@gmail.com

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