Appeals Court Remands Decision for ‘Strict Scrutiny’ of Second Amendment Issue.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit overturned a Federal District Court decision finding the 2013 State of Maryland Firearm Safety Act (FSA) to be constitutional under “intermediate scrutiny” review. In the Case of Kolbe v. Maryland, the Appellate Court held that Maryland’s FSA should, as a matter of law, be subject to “strict scrutiny” under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Kolbe v. Maryland case was filed to challenge Maryland’s 2013 ban on so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which helped challenge the Maryland law, explained that this bodes well for those seeking to nullify portions of Maryland’s 2013 FSA which imposed broad restrictions on firearms including semi-automatic rifles. The NSSF reports:
The [Appellate Court] vacated the District Court’s denial of the plaintiffs’ claims and remanded the case to the lower court, ordering that it apply the appropriate strict standard of review.
Writing for the three-judge appellate court panel that heard the case, Kolbe v. Maryland, Chief Judge William B. Traxler wrote: “In our view, Maryland law implicates the core protection of the Second Amendment — ‘the right of law-abiding responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home, District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570,635 (2008), and we are compelled by Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010), as well as our own precedent in the wake of these decisions to conclude that the burden is substantial and strict scrutiny is the applicable standard or review for Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment claim.”
“We are greatly heartened by the Fourth Circuit panel’s ruling today,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “As this important case goes forward, NSSF will continue to work with our co-plaintiffs to ensure that our citizens’ Second Amendment rights are protected and that the lawful commerce in firearms is restored in support of this constitutional protection.”
Response from NRA Institute for Legislative Action
Chris W. Cox, the executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, issued the following statement in reaction to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Kolbe v. Maryland: “The Fourth Circuit’s ruling is an important victory for the Second Amendment. Maryland’s ban on commonly owned firearms and magazines clearly violates our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. The highest level of judicial scrutiny should apply when governments try to restrict our Second Amendment freedoms.”
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What covers an area greater than the Great Pyramid at Giza, attracts visitors from 100 countries, and has over 1600 exhibitor booths distributed along 12.5 MILES of Aisles? The SHOT Show in Vegas is the correct answer. The annual trade show for the $6 billion per year fireams/hunting industry, SHOT Show is the ultimate gathering for all things gun-related. It runs next week, January 19-22, in Las Vegas. Just how big is SHOT Show? This NSSF Infographic reveals some amazing facts:
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The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has responded to President Obama’s proposed Executive Actions concerning gun ownership and firearms transfers. The NSSF stated: “We all share the goal of reducing the intentional misuse of guns and enhancing the safety of our communities. As the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) will carefully review all aspects of the executive actions that President Obama announced today. Much remains to be spelled out. In the interim we have some initial reactions:”
We support further resources being allocated to staffing and increasing operational hours for the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to make the system more efficient and responsive.
We represent Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs). The criteria for what will constitute being “engaged in the business” going forward needs considerable clarification and raises questions about enforceability.
The number of firearms lost or stolen while in transit to or from FFLs is less than 0.15 percent of the number manufactured and imported in a given year. In these rare occurrences, FFLs already actively participate in ATF’s long-standing voluntary reporting program and FFLs and common carriers work closely with ATF to investigate them. Proposals to make a shipping FFL responsible for tracking and reporting firearms no longer in their inventories, after the legal title has been transferred to the purchaser, are misdirected, as the receiving FFL is in the best position to know if it receives its shipment.
We have long called for the effective enforcement of the numerous laws already on the books regarding the criminal misuse of firearms and would encourage the administration to carry through on this directive.
NSSF has been working actively since early 2013 through our FixNICS initiative to encourage states to report all appropriate adjudicated mental health records to NICS and has succeeded in getting legislation passed in more than a dozen states. We welcome the administration’s attention to this issue.
With regard to the development of “smart-gun” technology, the industry has never opposed its development. How additional government research into this technology would advance it is unclear. Law enforcement agencies and consumers themselves will have to make the determination whether acquisition of firearms with this technology “would be consistent with operational needs,” as the White House itself states. We would continue to oppose mandates for this technology, particularly since there are well proven existing methods to secure firearms, and firearms accidents are at historic low levels.
NSSF will have additional responses in the days, weeks and months ahead, especially as federal departments and agencies begin the work of carrying out the executive orders.
What did you really want for Christmas? A new rifle? Maybe a new reloading press? A poll of sportsmen and firearm owners by Southwick Associates’ HunterSurvey.com/ ShooterSurvey.com asked, “What hunting or target shooting gear are you most hoping to receive this holiday season?” Respondents could select three items from a long list of products. The most-wished-for items were in the Hunting Apparel category, with 22.3 percent of respondents asking Santa for new hunting duds. A new Handgun was second-highest on the list, followed by a Trail Camera at #3, Ammunition at #4, and a Laser Rangefinder at #5. How do your choices stack up against the survey responses?
Note, the totals of all selections exceeds 100% because survey participants could elect three total choices. Also, since this 2012 survey was specifically directed at hunters (rather than just firearm owners), a number of responses relate to bows and archery equipment.
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Based on NICS data, a record number of firearms were sold on “Black Friday”, the day after Thanksgiving. More background checks were recorded on Friday, November 27th, 2015 than on any day in American history. And for the 4-day period, 26-29 November (2015), a total of 368,774 NICS background checks were completed — nearly 10% more than the year before.
Black Friday 2015 Was Biggest Single Day Ever for Gun Sales
Thanks to attractive promotions from many vendors such as Brownells and Cabelas, all types of firearms flew off the shelves last week, which was the highest Black Friday period in the history of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
The FBI, which administers NICS, reports that NICS processed 185,345 transactions on November 27, Black Friday, making the day the highest Black Friday ever and the highest day in NICS history. The highest previous day was December 21, 2012 with 177,170 background checks. For the entire November 26-29, 2015 four-day Black Friday period 368,774 checks were completed, a 9.9% increase over the 335,555 checks conducted over the corresponding 2014 4-day period.
Background Checks Vs. Actual Sales
NICS statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold. Based on varying state laws and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale.
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Click Map to launch interactive webpage with info for all 50 states.
Going hunting this year? Need to find out about hunting licenses, deer tags, local regulations, and the best hunting areas? Then visit WheretoHunt.org. This website has an interactive map of the country. Simply click on a state to find the info you need. For all 50 states, the NSSF has compiled information about hunting license and permits, where to hunt, hunter education classes, laws and regulations and more. For each state you’ll also find a link for required applications and license forms. Have a safe and productive hunt this year.
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Seattle recently passed a law imposing special taxes on the sale of guns and ammunition. Labeled a “gun violence” tax, the Seattle ordinance is designed to discourage firearms use and, presumably, drive gun and ammo vendors out of the city. City Council President Tim Burgess, author of the controversial Seattle ordinance, likened the gun/ammo levy to “sin taxes” on alcohol and tobacco: “We’ve been working on this for several years. We tax cigarettes and alcohol and even wood-burning stoves for public health purposes. Why not guns and ammunition?”
Opponents of the new law have taken the city to court. The NRA, Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), NSSF and other organizations have challenged the so-called “gun violence tax” recently passed by the Seattle City Council. A motion for summary judgment has been filed citing Washington State’s long-standing preemption statute which “fully occupies and preempts the entire field of firearms regulation within the boundaries of the state.”
Gun group lawyers argued that the city “is well aware of this restriction on its legislative power” because Seattle’s most recent attempt to regulate firearms was emphatically struck down by the Court of Appeals in the case of Chan vs. Seattle. (That lawsuit derailed an attempt by the city under former Mayors Greg Nickels and Mike McGinn to ban guns in city park facilities.)
“Seattle is trying to be too clever by half,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “This so-called ‘gun violence tax’ clearly seeks to limit access to firearms and ammunition by imposing what amounts to a regulatory fee on the sale of all firearms and ammunition within City limits. The city can’t do that, and we’re confident the court will tell them so. In the final analysis, this is an attempt to skate around, and thus erode, our state’s model preemption law. That cannot be allowed to stand. The City of Seattle is not an entity unto itself, but still part of Washington State, and therefore the city has to abide by the same laws we all follow.”
Here’s a feel-good story about a talented young man from Idaho. Sixteen-year-old Kolby Pavlock of Kuna, Idaho, won the NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship, held October 9-11 at the Old Fort Gun Club in Fort Smith, Arkansas. In winning the overall title (not just the junior class) Kolby out-shot many seasoned adult competitors, proving that youth and skill can in fact overcome “old age and treachery”, at least in this fun rimfire discipline. Kolby is blazing fast, as you can see in this video from the 2015 Idaho NSSF Rimfire Challenge Match. Check out the jaw-dropping speed at 1:20 time-mark.
Watch 16-year-old Kolby Pavlock in NSSF Rimfire Competition:
The 2015 Rimfire Challenge Championship was a great success. A record 200 competitors of all ages and skill levels took part. (By comparison only 150 or so shooters competed in the much-ballyhooed “NRA World Shooting Championship”). For many competitors, the Rimfire Challenge was very much a family affair — with mom, dad, and the kids all joining in the fun.
Fun and very affordable, the NSSF Rimfire Challenge appeals to all ages and skill levels. Here are youth competitors from last year’s Championship at the Old Fort Gun Club in Arkansas:
NSSF took over the Rimfire Challenge in 2014, replacing Ruger as the sponsoring organization. This popular competition is growing fast — in 2015, more than 400 Rimfire Challenge events were held across the country. The matches are designed to encourage family participation in a friendly, supportive atmosphere. Complete results from the world championship event will be posted at www.nssf.org/rimfire/championship.
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Here’s something that could benefit your local shooting club. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has a Steel Target Grant Program to help shooting ranges that plan to begin or expand NSSF Rimfire Challenge target-shooting events. With support from Action Target, 20 steel target grant packages (valued at $2100.00 each) will be available. The targets are suitable for both indoor and outdoor target shooting ranges (rimfire only). CLICK HERE for more information.
Who May Apply: Any NSSF member ranges that plan to host public NSSF Rimfire Challenge events at least 4 times a year may apply for a target grant. NSSF range members shall be given priority. Ranges can use the steel targets for other matches, such as centerfire pistol competitions, or any other competitions the range wants to create for which the targets are suitable.
Packages will consist of 12 targets, with which participating range recipients can set up two (2) Rimfire Challenge stages. Each grant package will include:
Grant recipients will receive the Evil Roy target stand with their steel target package. If a range needs stand heights taller than 3′ recipients can inform Action Target of this upon confirming their orders. The awarding of grants and the number of grants available is at NSSF’s discretion. The steel target package is valued at $2,100. The Steel Target Grant Program is a cooperative effort between NSSF and Action Target, which provides steel targets to NSSF at a discounted rate.
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Welcome to the wacky world of Municipal Anti-Gun Ordinances. San Francisco and Los Angeles have city-specific magazine bans and gun storage requirements, and now it appears that Seattle may target gun owners with new “sin taxes” on firearms and ammunition.
$25 Per Gun and Five Cents Per Round
The Seattle City Council will soon vote on a new local law that will add a $25.00 surcharge to every new gun purchase. In addition, the proposed Seattle City Ordinance will add a $0.05 (five cent) fee to each and every centerfire round sold in Seattle. Rimfire .22LR rounds will be taxed $0.02 per round.
The stated purpose for the new Gun and Ammo Tax is to raise money to combat crime, according to Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess, author of the Gun Tax ordinance. Burgess told local KING-5 TV reporters that this is essentially a “Sin Tax” on guns and ammo: “We’ve been working on this for several years. Sure, I wish we would have done this 20 years ago, but we know what the problem is. We tax cigarettes and alcohol and even wood-burning stoves for public health purposes. Why not guns and ammunition?”
While supporters of the Gun and Ammo Tax, including Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, claim the new city tax would raise over $300,000 to fight crime, in reality this measure is more about getting rid of guns that it is about making Seattle safe. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has opposed the Seattle Gun and Ammo Tax, stating: “[This ordinance] will have no effect on decreasing gun violence. It is designed to place a huge burden on legitimate firearms retailers and law-abiding gun owners. Additionally, the proposed ordinance is a gross violation of Washington’s firearms preemption statute.”
Daniel Xu, writing in OutdoorHub.com notes that gun buyers already pay Excise Taxes with each purchase: “However, unlike the [Federal] Pittman-Robertson Excise Tax, which retains funds for conservation and habitat-protection efforts, the funds collected by the ordinance will go entirely back into the city for ‘gun violence research and prevention programs’. City leaders have yet to specify… how the funds will be spent.”
When shooting at long range, two heads (and two sets of eyes) can be better than one. Teaming up with a buddy who acts as a spotter can speed up your long-range learning process. You can focus 100% on the shot, while your buddy calls the wind and spots your hits and misses.
The NSSF has created a short video that shows how shooter and spotter can work as a team. In the video, the NSSF’s Dave Miles works with Rod Ryan, owner of Storm Mountain Training Center in Elk Garden, WV. As the video shows, team-work can pay off — both during target training sessions and when you’re attempting a long shot on a hunt. Working as a two-person team divides the responsibilities, allowing the shooter to concentrate fully on breaking the perfect shot.
The spotter’s job is to watch the conditions and inform the shooter of needed wind corrections. The shooter can dial windage into his scope, or hold off if he has a suitable reticle. As Rod Ryan explains: “The most important part is for the shooter to be relaxed and… pay attention to nothing more than the shot itself.” The spotter calls the wind, gives the information to the shooter, thus allowing the shooter to concentrate on proper aim, gun handling, and trigger squeeze. Rod says: “The concept is that the spotter does all the looking, seeing and the calculations for [the shooter].”
Spotter Can Call Corrections After Missed Shots
The spotter’s ability to see misses can be as important as his role as a wind-caller. Rod explains: “If you shoot and hit, that’s great. But if you shoot and miss, since the recoil pulse of the firearm is hitting your shoulder pretty good, you’re not going to be able to see where you missed the target. The spotter [can] see exactly where you missed, so I’ll have exactly an idea of how many [inches/mils it takes] to give you a quick secondary call so you can get [back on target].”
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We first ran this article in 2012, and it was very well received. Since then, many Forum members have requested an explanation of MILS and mildots, so we decided to run this feature again…
In this NSSF Video, Ryan Cleckner, a former Sniper Instructor for the 1st Ranger Battalion, defines the term “MilliRadian” (Milrad) and explains how you can use a mildot-type scope to range the distance to your target. It’s pretty simple, once you understand the angular subtension for the reticle stadia dots/lines. Cleckner also explains how you can use the milrad-based reticle markings in your scope for elevation hold-overs and windage hold-offs.
Even if you normally shoot at known distances, the hold-off capability of milrad-reticle scopes can help you shoot more accurately in rapidly-changing wind conditions. And, when you must engage multiple targets quickly, you can use the reticle’s mil markings to move quickly from one target distance to another without having to spin your elevation turrets up and down.
WEB RESOURCES: If you want to learn more about using Milliradians and Mildot scopes, we suggest the excellent Mil-dot.com User Guide. This covers the basics you need to know, with clear illustrations. Also informative is The Truth about Mil Dots by Michael Haugen. Mr. Haugen begins with basic definitions: 1 radian = 2 PI; 1 Milliradian (Milrad or ‘Mil’) = 1/1000th of a radian; 1 Milliradian = .0573 degrees.
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Looking for work in the gun industry? The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has you covered. NSSF recently launched a new online job resource to help job seekers locate potential employers. With an active nationwide database of job opportunities, this new, improved platform replaces the NSSF’s previous job posting service, which was pretty basic. The new NSSF Jobs Site site offers robust search features, plus a modern, mobile-friendly interface. It’s easy to upload your Resumé, and the Job Alert feature can send you new listings via email as soon as they post. Using “advanced search” you can filter job offerings by location, category, or experience/education requirements. Visit jobs.nssf.org for current employment opportunities in the shooting, hunting and outdoor industry.
Team Smith & Wesson shooter Julie Golob has a message for Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 10th). Julie writes: “While some are using Mother’s Day week to push a gun control agenda, I’d like to encourage moms to ‘Take a Moment’. Talk to your kids about firearms safety. Help them learn what to do around firearms and have an open, honest discussion about guns and gun safety.
I truly believe that, no matter if you are pro-gun or anti-gun, everyone should know and understand the basic rules of firearm safety. It is equally important for parents to have the discussion about guns and what to do if your child finds one. Both the NSSF’s Project ChildSafe and the NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program are excellent. They offer resources for parents, educators, and child care providers to help ensure kids stay safe.
In this video, Julie encourages parents to have “the talk” about firearm safety with their kids sooner rather than later, and provides tips for how to have a helpful discussion. Sherra Scott, a mom and a certified NRA instructor, agrees with Julie: “Whether you have firearms in your home or not, if you have children in your life, please watch this video and talk WITH them about firearm safety and what to do if they come into contact with a firearm.”
Add the Washington Post to the growing list of sources that credit President Obama with being the best salesman for firearms and ammunition that the country has seen since Samuel Colt. Using a simple linear trend analysis based on NSSF-supplied data, Washington Post writer Philip Bump calculated that the U.S. firearms industry has enjoyed a $9 to $10 billion increase in sales of guns and ammo during President Obama’s terms in office. CLICK HERE for full story in Washington Post.
Take a look at this chart — it shows a huge increase in sales of long guns, handguns, and ammunition during the Obama presidency. (NOTE: There is a decline at the extreme right of the chart because 2014 data only goes through the third quarter of the year.) You can seen why there have been shortages of ammunition. Look at the huge spike in ammo sales (orange zone) over the past six years. This may explain why some retailers ironically refer to the nation’s top elected official as “President ObAMMO”.
By comparing past industry sales numbers with figures for the past six years, the Washington Post calculates that the firearms industry has enjoyed a remarkable period of growth: “If you calculate out the difference between what might have been expected and what was, it’s about a $10 billion increase [in sales]”. We’ve seen evidence that things are cooling off, but according to the Washington Post: “The $9 to $10 billion in increase under Obama will keep growing, through the end of 2016. At which point gun manufacturers will probably be sad to see Obama go — even if gun buyers are not.”
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The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is seeking to ban commonly-used 5.56 M855 “green tip” ball ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition” and is seeking public comment on the proposal. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) urges target shooters and gun owners to contact ATF to oppose this proposed ban.
For decades, under the “sporting purposes” doctrine, commonly-available “green tip” M855 and SS109 rifle ammunition has been exempt from federal law banning armor-piercing ammunition. There is no question that this 5.56 ball ammo has been widely used by law-abiding American citizens for sporting purposes.
Winchester-brand 5.56X45 62gr NATO M855 FMJ Ammunition
The NSSF has an online form that makes it easy to voice your opinion on the proposed ban on 5.56 ball ammo. This form will direct your comments to Congress and/or the ATF. Click the button at right to navigate to the NSSF online form.
Commentary by Jim Shepherd, The Shooting Wire
Should the ATF reclassify surplus (and widely used) M855 and SS109 ammunition as armor-piercing, it would then be illegal for consumer consumption. This weekend, we received word that apparently many gun owners didn’t find this to be a compelling reason to record their objections with the federal government. With only a few days remaining in the ATF’s solicitation of comments, fewer than 6,000 shooters have registered their displeasure with the proposal.That, as one of my least-favorite instructors used to say, is simply unacceptable.”
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The number of women target shooters, hunters, and gun owners has increased dramatically since the start of the new millennium. Consider this, women now comprise 19% of hunters. That’s an 85% increase since 2001. Women are also more important as a purchasing segment of the the shooting market. Women gun owners spend nearly $1300.00 per year on guns and shooting accessories, $870 of that on firearm purchases. That number has gun-makers paying attention — even if some of you guys spend more than that each year just on powder!
Jessie Duff, sponsored by Taurus and Weatherby
Women are definitely becoming a more important segment of the hunting/shooting world. This is a good thing. The larger the “fan base” for the shooting sports, the less political pressure there will be to close ranges and restrict the activities of target shooters and hunters.
Click either image to see a full-size “Girl Power” Infographic.
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More guns, fewer fatal accidents — that’s the “take-away” from a report recently published by the National Shorting Sports Foundation (NSSF). We’re pleased to see that efforts to increase firearms safety are working. Even though the ranks of gun-owners have grown dramatically, the rate of unintentional firearms fatalities (per 100,000 persons) has dropped to an all-time low.
There has been a huge decrease in accidental gun-related fatalities over the last century (measured as a percentage of the population). NSSF reports: “The 2012 Center for Disease Control and Prevention WISQARS accidental fatality data shows the lowest number of unintentional firearm-related fatalities per year ever reported (going back to 1903)”. As Dean Weingarten of Gun Watch explains: “The accidental fatal firearm rate has dropped by 94% since we started keeping statistics, even though the total number of firearms per capita has likely at least doubled. You need to look at the rates — accidental firearm fatalities per 100,000 population — to see the stunning reduction in the last century.”
Only 0.4% of unintentional fatalities now involve firearms. The biggest killer, to our surprise, is poisoning, which accounts for 28.4% of accidental deaths. Motor vehicles, not unexpectedly, rank second at 27.3% (see chart below). Even suffocation, at 4.9%, accounts for 12 times more unintentional deaths than firearms.
In this NSSF Video, Ryan Cleckner, a former Sniper Instructor for the 1st Ranger Battalion, defines the term, “Minute of Angle” (MOA) and explains how you can adjust for windage and elevation using 1/4 or 1/8 MOA clicks on your scope. This allows you to sight-in precisely and compensate for bullet drop at various distances.
For starters, Ryan explains that, when talking about angular degrees, a “minute” is simply 1/60th. So a “Minute of Angle” is simply 1/60th of one degree of a central angle, measured either up and down (for elevation) or side to side (for windage). At 100 yards, 1 MOA equals 1.047″ on the target. This is often rounded to one inch for simplicity. Say, for example, you click up 1 MOA. That is roughly 1 inch at 100 yards, or roughly 4 inches at 400 yards, since the target area measured by 1 MOA increases in linear fashion with the distance.
Story sourced by Edlongrange.
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By Bill Brassard for NSSF
The holidays are just around the corner. As hunters, shooters, collectors or just plain plinkers, it’s a natural instinct to want to share our enjoyment of firearms with others. What better way to do that than to make a gift of a firearm to a family member, close friend or relative?
The first thing to remember if you’re thinking about giving someone a gun is that … it’s a gun! You already know that ownership of a firearm brings with it some serious legal and ethical obligations that other consumer products don’t. So let’s look at some questions you may have about giving a firearm as a gift.
The first question you have to ask is whether the intended recipient can legally own the firearm where he or she lives. More than 20,000 different gun laws on the books, even the kinds of firearms that law-abiding citizens can own vary from place to place; for example, juveniles (under age 18) generally speaking are precluded by law from possessing a handgun. Check out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) website for an overview of local laws and, whatever you do, don’t forget that 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.
Though there’s no federal law that prohibits a gift of a firearm to a relative or friend that lives in your home state, some states — California for example –require you to transfer the gun through a local firearms dealer so an instant background check will be performed to make sure the recipient is not legally prohibited from owning the gun.
The ATF recommends that if you want to give someone a new firearm, rather than going to a gun store, buying it on your own and giving it to, say your father, consider instead purchasing a gift certificate from that retailer and giving it to Dad as his present. That way he’ll get the exact gun he wants, and there’s no question about who is “the actual buyer of the firearm,” which is a question any purchaser must certify on the Federal Form 4473 at the time of purchase.
You can only ship a handgun by common carrier (but not U.S. Mail) and a long gun by U.S. Mail or common carrier to a federally licensed dealer, but not to a non-licensed individual. With all carriers, federal law requires you to declare that your package contains an unloaded firearm. To be safe, always consult your carrier in advance about its regulations for shipping firearms.
What if you want to give “Old Betsy,” your favorite old deer rifle, to your son or daughter as a college graduation gift? Again, in most states, there’s no law that says you can’t, but some states require even inter-family transfers to go through a licensed dealer. Remember, you can never transfer a firearm directly to another person who is a resident of a different state. In that case, you must transfer the firearm through a licensed dealer in the state where the person receiving the gift resides. Using a gift certificate from a firearms retailer near where the recipient lives might be a good solution. Pre-1898 antique firearms are generally exempt from the dealer requirement. [But check with the laws in your jurisdiction]. Be safe and check with your dealer or local law enforcement before you hand over your prized possession.
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