Tips and tricks for gifting a gun

Published 3:00 am Thursday, December 11, 2014

By Courtney Patterson

A father wants to buy his son his first rifle, believing it will be the perfect holiday gift this season. He walks into Troy Pawn Express to find the perfect rifle with the words “My first rifle” written on the gun, excited to teach his son how to shoot his first gun. But, there are some things the father hasn’t considered.

“We see it a lot,” said Tyler Wilson, manager of Troy Pawn Express, about parents buying rifles for their children. While Wilson said it was common as a Christmas present, Wilson also said men will come into the shop to buy guns for their wives.

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“It’s a good gift to receive,” said Sheriff Russell Thomas. “The No. 1 thing is to emphasize gun safety. There are a lot of lives that are taken from accidental shootings.

“Be extremely careful and teach them how to use the gun,” Thomas continued. He suggested enrolling the person receiving the gun into a firearms course.

Lt. Bryan Weed, the public information officer for Troy PD, advised to make sure there is a safe and secure place to store the gun, as well.

“Make sure the person you are giving a gun to is comfortable with guns,” Weed added.

“It is illegal to buy someone a gift if they cannot legally hold a gun,” Wilson said. A criminal background check will confirm if someone can legally hold a gun.

“An 18-year-old can carry a pistol, but not purchase one,” Wilson said.

The FBI issues a background check for anyone purchasing the gun, not receiving one, according to Thomas. There are no gun registration laws in Alabama, meaning that you do not have to have a license to own the gun.

Because the gun is not registered upon purchase, Thomas said it is a good idea to write the serial numbers down, along with the name of the gun, just in case the gun is lost or stolen.

According to Wilson, permits are not required to purchase a pistol but are required to carry a concealed weapon.

Thomas said it is the individual’s choice whether or not to carry the weapon concealed or not.

Pistol permits can be obtained at the courthouse and are good up to five years. After filling out an application and a background check a permit can be given.