What you need to know about giving a gun as a gift

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – While you are buying presents this holiday season, there are things you need to keep in mind if you are buying for a gun enthusiast. Like who would be held responsible if that gun is used in a crime, the giver or the receiver.

Jeff Githens has been a gun owner since the 1970’s. He still shoots at least twice a week and says he knows the heavy responsibility of owning a firearm.

“If it was me, I would make sure that whomever I gave it to I explained to them, trained them, you’re taking on a great responsibility by being the new owner of this gun,” Githens said.

C&C Indoor Shooting Range owner Leslie Harrell said their new live fire simulator, called the Ti23, is equipped with scenarios to help you shoot better.

Proper training and education about the weapon are crucial, and so is knowing the history of the person you are buying it for during the holiday.

When buying a gun as a gift, you should know that you can’t buy a hand gun for someone who is under the age of 21, a rifle for anyone under 18 or any type of gun for a convicted felon. In doing so, the buyer, is breaking federal law.

“Todd Kohlhepp, this guy was selling fire arms to Todd Kohlhepp and knew he was a felon. At that point, he broke the law,” Harrell said.

South Carolina State Senator Shane Martin said in a written response, “State law states that only the actual purchaser completes the background check and purchasing a gun for someone else is considered an illegal ‘straw sale’ which means a person agrees to buy a gun for someone else.”

When giving a firearm as a gift, it comes down to proving that you did or didn’t know that the recipient had a felony record or not. Knowing the background of the person you’re giving to could keep you out of jail.

“You would want to know that person quite well before making that, because you are purchasing the firearm in your name,” Harrell said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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