Giving a Gun for Christmas? Read This!

As hunters, shooters, collectors or just plain gun lovers, it's natural to share our enjoyment of firearms with friends and relatives. The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the primary trade organization representing the shooting and hunting sports, has some great suggestions to those who are planning to give guns this Christmas.

As a shooter and hunter, you already know firearms ownership brings with it some serious legal and ethical obligations that other consumer products don't.

The first question to ask is whether the intended recipient may legally own the firearm where he or she lives. With more than 20,000 different federal and state gun laws on the books, the types of firearms law-abiding citizens may own vary from place to place.

Generally speaking, juveniles are precluded by law from possessing handguns. Though there's no federal law prohibiting a gift of a firearm to a relative or friend who lives in your home state, some states--California for example--require transferring guns through a local firearms dealer so an instant background check will be performed.