How may a licensee participate in the raffling of firearms by an unlicensed organization?

Depending on how the organization arranges for the firearms to be transferred to the raffle winner, the licensee’s participation may vary.

Example 1

A licensee transfers a firearm to the organization sponsoring the raffle. The representative acting on behalf of the organization must complete the ATF Form 4473 and undergo a NICS background check.

When the buyer of a firearm is a corporation, association, or other organization, an officer or other representative authorized to act on behalf of the organization must complete the form with his or her personal information and attach a written statement, executed under penalties of perjury, stating that the firearm is being acquired for the use of the organization and the name and address of the organization.

Once the firearm had been transferred to the organization, the organization can subsequently transfer the firearm to the raffle winner without an ATF Form 4473 being completed or a NICS check being conducted. This is because the organization is not a licensee.

However, the organization cannot transfer the firearm to a person who is not a resident of the organization’s state of residence nor can the organization knowingly transfer the firearm to a prohibited person.

Example 2

The licensee or a representative of the licensee brings a firearm to the raffle so that the firearm can be displayed. After the raffle, the firearm is returned to the licensee’s premises. The licensee must complete an ATF Form 4473 and conduct a NICS background check prior to transferring the firearm to the winner of the raffle.

If the firearm is a handgun, the winner of the raffle must be a resident of the state where the transfer takes place, or the firearm must be transferred through another licensee in the winner’s state of residence.

If the firearm is a rifle or shotgun, the licensee can lawfully transfer the firearm to the winner of the raffle as long as the transaction is over-the-counter and complies with the laws applicable at the place of sale and the state where the transferee resides.

Example 3

If the raffle meets the definition of a qualifying event, the licensee may conduct business at that event.

Please note, if the organization’s practice of raffling firearms rises to the level of being engaged in the business of dealing in firearms, the organization must get its own federal firearms license.

[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(5), 922(b)(3), 922(t), and 923(j); 27 CFR 478.99, 478.100, 478.102, and 478.124]

Last Reviewed May 22, 2020