Can I Give Firearms Away?

If you’re a gun owner and want to give firearms away to someone, you may be wondering, legally speaking, what is and isn’t allowed in that circumstance. There are different ways to give a firearm to somebody. You can buy a brand-new one as a gift or give a gun you already have away. Regardless of what you wish to do, it’s crucial to have a complete understanding of the gun laws in your state.

Colorado Handgun Safety is here to break down everything you need to know about giving firearms away in Colorado.

A closeup of someone examining a gun in a shop

Gifting a Gun

With the holidays swiftly approaching, you may think of a firearm as a good gift for someone who wants one. However, some things to take into consideration include:


Before buying a firearm for someone, make sure they’re eligible to possess the gun. For example, convicted felons, those convicted of misdemeanors or domestic abuse, and people who have protective orders against them cannot legally own a firearm.


In order to gift a gun to someone, you both have to live within the same state. In most cases, a private, unlicensed resident of a state can give a firearm to another private, unlicensed resident of the same state. 

Colorado’s State Laws

Depending on where you live, there are certain laws you may have to abide by. For example, Colorado state law requires a background check before you can gift a gun unless it’s to someone in your immediate family. Laws can vary by state, so it’s crucial to do your research before making your purchase.

Straw Man Purchases

It’s important to be aware of what straw man purchases are so that you can avoid them. A straw man purchase means you’ve bought a gun for someone who is legally unable to purchase one. Fortunately, purchasing a firearm as a gift doesn’t qualify as a straw man purchase. 

A gift-wrapped gun in green tissue paper and a gold bow

Transferring Gun Ownership

If you want to give someone a gun you already own, here’s what you need to consider:

Federal Regulations

Firearm transfers are federally regulated, meaning the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tabacco, and Explosives (ATF) has laws in place that every US citizen must follow, regardless of what state they live in. Currently, as long as you and the recipient of the gun live in the same state and the person you want to give the firearm to isn’t barred from having a weapon, you should be good to go.

However, if the person you wish to give the gun to lives in a different state, you must have a license or a Federal Firearms License to do the transfer. Additionally, the person you’re giving the gun to must also be licensed. 

State-Specific Laws

This is where things can get a little confusing. While transfers of gun ownership between qualified individuals within the same state don’t require any paperwork on the federal level, your state may have specific laws you must follow. For example, Colorado law requires the gun owner wanting to make a transfer to arrange an FFL background check. 

The Importance of Compliance

Whether you wish to gift someone a brand-new gun or transfer ownership with a firearm you already own, it’s crucial to follow the laws of your state. When in doubt, do as much research as you can in advance and consult a legal professional if necessary. 

Laws can change frequently. Just because something seems set in stone now, it doesn’t mean it won’t be adjusted later. Keep an eye on your state’s specific gun laws and reach out to a local FFL to ensure you comply with state and federal laws when gifting or giving away a firearm. You don’t want to get into legal trouble for trying to give someone a gift this holiday season.

A person holding a gun while another person examines it in a gun shop for purchase

Colorado Handgun Safety — Your Local Firearm Experts

Many laws surround firearms and gun ownership, and it can be difficult to keep track of it all. Fortunately, Colorado Handgun Safety is here to help. As the premier firearm training center for Colorado’s Front Range, we have the experience and know-how to help gun owners improve their skills. We also offer NRA workshops and CCW permit classes.

For more information on our courses or to ask our certified gun experts questions about giving firearms away, contact Colorado Handgun Safety today.

Get the Best Firearm Training from Colorado Handgun Safety

Colorado Handgun Safety offers a wide variety of classes to meet the needs of all types of gun owners. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced shooter, our classes provide the knowledge and skills necessary for safe and responsible firearm ownership. Plus, our classes are taught by certified instructors with years of firearm experience.

We offer basic handgun safety classes as well as more advanced courses, such as concealed carry, self-defense, and private shooting sessions. Our goal is to ensure that all gun owners are educated and responsible in the handling of their firearms. Visit our schedule to learn more about our classes or give us a call today!

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