There are lots of mixed messages and assumptions being tossed around in relation to this topic - so let's set the record straight. I hope this is a helpful reference for other members, now and in the future.
I've had a couple of lengthy phone calls this week with representatives from the VA State Police to confirm this information. In fact, I just hung up with a supervisor and wanted to put this down in writing while it was still fresh in my mind. Q: Can I gift a firearm to another person?
A: YES. As long as the recipient of the gift is a VA resident, can legally possess that firearm, it's legal here, etc. The burden (and one would assume potential legal liability) is on the gift giver to confirm this.Q: Does the recipient of the gift have to be an immediate family member?
A: NO. You can gift a firearm to ANYONE - regardless of their relationship to you. Again, as long as they meet the requirements (see above). Q: Is a background check required on the recipient in order to gift them a firearm?
A: NO. Gifting a firearm is the exemption to the new VA Universal Background Check law that went into effect July 1, 2020 that requires a background check for all Private Party sales. As long as it is GIFTED (aka there is no exchange of money/goods/services/etc). Q: Is going through an FFL Dealer required to gift someone a firearm?
A: NO. Gifting a firearm is the exemption to the new VA Universal Background Check law that went into effect July 1, 2020 that requires all Private Party sales to go through an FFL Dealer. As long as it is GIFTED. Q: Is there any paperwork required to gift someone a firearm?
A: NO. But a bill of sale is highly recommended (include info of both parties, firearm info and a "price" of $0 since it's a gift). Free templates are readily available online. Q: Does the recipient have to be 21 years old to be gifted a handgun?
A: NO. Currently, there is no law in VA that addresses 18-20 year olds in reference to being gifted a firearm of any type. As long as they are 18 (and meet the requirements - see above) they can be gifted a rifle OR HANDGUN.
FYI: I am a FFL license holder and owner of K3 Armory located in Chesterfield. This post is to clarify the current laws only and is NOT an endorsement of any such laws. This post is NOT intended to be a place to debate or complain about any such laws. Plenty of other venues for that. Facts only here please!
I am NOT a lawyer and this is NOT legal advice. As laws are constantly changing - so may this information. Contact the VSP Firearms Transaction Center at (804) 674-2292 or online at https://vsp.virginia.gov/services/firearms/faq/
for the most up-to-date information or with additional questions.