Helping out your friends can be a valuable trait that the people around you value. Unfortunately, some friends will ask for a favor that could get both of you in trouble.
In Illinois, it is legal for private citizens to buy, sell and gift firearms, but only when certain conditions apply. When you do not follow the guidelines, both you and your friend could be at risk, as was the case in a recent incident in Illinois.
Here’s what you should know about exchanging firearms in private gifts or sales.
Follow the rules
You must have a firearm owner’s identification (FOID) to acquire or possess a firearm, ammunition, tasers or stun guns in Illinois. If you have a firearm that you want to give or sell to someone, it is essential to check that they have a valid FOID.
When you decide to transfer a gun to someone else, you should record the transfer to show that you verified that the recipient showed you their FOID. The process can help you verify that their FOID is valid.
Avoid being a straw purchaser
A straw purchaser is someone who buys a gun to give or sell to someone ineligible to buy one for themselves. While Chicago has fewer gun control laws than in the past, there is still a long list that could make owning a gun illegal for some residents, such as:
- Being a patient in a mental health facility in the last five years
- Having a felony conviction
- Being addicted to narcotics
- Being subject to an order for protection
When you are a straw purchaser, both you and the person who receives the weapon could be charged with a felony, even if the recipient does not commit a crime with the gun.