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How Do You Handle People Who Suddenly Want To Borrow a Gun?

April 14, 2020

Now that our world has become a significantly more tension-filled place with the spread of the Chinese coronavirus affecting almost every aspect of daily life, a lot of non-gun owners have reconsidered their opinion on firearm ownership. Feeling less safe and secure during a national emergency makes people reconsider how they’d protect themselves and their families.

The natural result: lines out the door at most gun stores, as a lot of people have decided now is the time to buy their first firearm.

But that’s not always easy. Some states impose waiting periods of anywhere from three to as many as ten days to pick up a newly purchased firearm. Here in Illinois, you also have to have a Firearm Owner ID card, a process that can take months to clear.

Then there are the state and federal background check processing delays that have resulted from the sales surge. Those are taking anywhere from a few minutes to a few days right now, depending on where you live.

All of this means that not everyone who wants a gun right now can get one right now (never mind the ammunition needed for it).

What, then, do you do when those non-gun owners — especially those who may have expressed anti-gun opinions in the past — come to you asking to borrow a gun?

How do you handle the people who recognize you as the “gun owner” in their lives… the people who now want you to loan them some iron so they can keep their families safe?  What do you say if you’re asked?

Well, in many states, current laws preclude firearm transfers without background checks and even licensing (*cough* Illinois *cough*).

“But c’mon, it’s me, your buddy,” he says as his two adorable little girls stand behind him. “I’ve gotta protect my girls!”

We all know that if your “buddy” had felt this urge to protect his little angels sooner, this conversation wouldn’t be happening.

Instead of him bad-mouthing guns (and gun owners) in the past, your “buddy” could have bought a gun (or three) and learned how to use it effectively. Or at least which end should be pointed downrange.

But he didn’t, and now he’s approached you for help.

“Do you have a gun I could borrow?”

What do you do in a case like that? Do you loan others a gun? If so, what kind? Do you disregard any local laws that prohibit it in an emergency situation?

Personally, I wouldn’t loan a non-gun owner anything. Not even a single-shot shotgun.

I would decline, less because of Illinois’ ludicrous laws, but more because I’d be worried that someone in that family would accidentally hurt themselves or another family member with it. And guess where they would then point their finger afterward if that happened.

Yeah, not me.

At the same time, I would offer to get them started in the laborious licensing process here. I’d even offer to help them visit a range to test-fire some different guns and help them select a gun that works for them. After the emergency has ended and it’s safer to venture out in public again, of course.

I would see it as an opportunity to welcome them into gun ownership.

Clearly, your mileage may vary on this issue. Leave your thoughts in the comments about whether or not you would loan a gun to a friend, family member or co-worker in a perceived emergency. Especially someone who had spoken ill of gun ownership in the past.

8 Responses to How Do You Handle People Who Suddenly Want To Borrow a Gun?

  1. Ed Padgett on April 14, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    In the current climate, only a family member qualifies as “my buddy” in the terms of this article. All of my familiy lives out of this state, so, things become a little easier. Them I could conceivably loan to.

  2. GSL 1589 on April 14, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    I have no “friends” that disparage guns and gun owners, I don’t associate with those kind of people, but, I do have friends that are not able to purchase/own firearms but I have not been approached to borrow/loan a firearm. It would be very hard for me to loan anyone a gun, I might let them shoot to get experience under my supervision, but the liability would scare me too much to loan out one of my firearms. Too much bad could happen and get back to me.

  3. m. on April 15, 2020 at 10:22 am

    fk no – ask the carpet muncher for hers

  4. Alpha Co. on April 16, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    Absolutely not! If they spoke ill of guns and gun ownership, as well as supported MDA, then they can call Shannon Watts and see if she will “borrow” them a body guard or two!

    It’s unfortunate that their children (if they have any) or their significant other (if they have one), will be left defenseless when the criminals come knocking, but that is as they say, survival of the fittest. Or prepared. Depends on your point of view.

    In regards to my family, well, they are thousands of miles from me and I have coached them for years on self defense and tools available to them. If they failed to follow said advice, then they must fend for themselves. Same goes for friends. My home is not the neighborhood armory!

    I am the security detail for myself and those within my home. I am not the security detail for the world. I already served in that capacity for the world/country. I’ll let the Marines and other agencies handle that now!

  5. Dale Menard on April 16, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    How do I handle someone wanting to borrow a gun? I ask do you have an Illinois FOID? No, then too bad! I would not risk it to a member of my own family.

  6. Old 1811 on April 17, 2020 at 10:56 am

    “Sorry, but I can’t, it’s illegal. The people you voted for passed a ‘universal background check’ law, so in order to lend you a gun I have to transfer it to you on a Form 4473 through a Federal Firearm Licensee. They’re all closed during this pandemic, so you’re SOL. Like a former President once said, elections have consequences. Good luck, I hope the zombies kill you before they eat you. I hear getting eaten alive is no fun at all.”

  7. m. on April 17, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    try asking mayor-frog, crime-raoul, or crimesha

  8. William Harrison on April 30, 2020 at 10:33 pm

    To Old 1811.

    Any person can legally transfer a gun to anyone who holds an active FOID card if they visit the ISP site, submit the prospective new owner’s FOID card # and the prospective new owner’s date of birth, and receive permission to transfer from the ISP. There is no 4473 involved, but the 72 hour waiting period still applies.
    Note that receiving permission from ISP to transfer in this manner does NOT verify that a transfer ever occurred.
    If a transfer does occur, then both parties should maintain printed evidence that the transfer did occur which would include the contact information for both parties for 10 years.
    An identification of the firearm involved would be included in that record, but even then ONLY the two persons involved have that information.