There is a lot of popular rhetoric surrounding the legality of guns. You can buy them at stores but must submit to a background check. You can purchase them at trade shows but not in every state. It is enough to make anyone's head dizzy with conflicting information. In this uncertain atmosphere, do you even know if you can buy a gun for someone else? This post will go over the details of that question.
The short answer is, you can, in certain situations. Under the classic example, you purchase a gun with the intent to give it to someone else without disclosing to the gun dealer the identity of the true recipient – that is illegal. The gun dealer needs the information of the real recipient to conduct the background check (or relay the information to the FBI for the background check).
You are allowed to give guns as gifts, however, there are several hoops you must jump through. Depending on the state in which you live, you must either conduct the paperwork through a gun dealer or submit the documents yourself to the appropriate authorities. If you are aware that the recipient isn't allowed to own a gun, you cannot give them a gun.
You should heed this warning, illegal transfer of guns is a serious offense. Under federal law, you can face up to 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine if you help someone obtain a gun without disclosing their identity. According to crime statistics, this occurs regularly and is rarely prosecuted, but you don't want to risk becoming an example by the government. It is safer to conduct the transfer through a gun dealer to ensure that all necessary information is disclosed.
If you were arrested pursuant to a weapons charge, you might want to contact an attorney. Most of these charges can be negotiated or explained through thorough factual investigations. A lawyer can help ensure that you are treated fairly by the police and the courts. The last thing you need is an unwarranted felony weapons charge.