Gun-Gifting in Florida?

My apologies if this has been addressed in previous or other posts. I searched for similar situations and wasn’t able to find a satisfactory answer.
My brother in law was gifted/given an AR-15 for Christmas several years back. The AR was home-built. Now, however, he’s going through a divorce and the individual who built the firearm (who’s “sided” with his soon-to-be exwife) essentially wants the firearm back. From my understanding my brother in law has his FL conceal carry permit, but did not go through an FFL to transfer the firearm as part of the gifting process.

Core question - does the individual who built the firearm have a legal right to take it back?

Thank you, and stay safe.


Some quick non-lawyer research leads me to believe that the situation you described is a property ownership issue, totally unrelated to the fact that the property in question is a firearm.
There is no Universal Background Check (UBC) in Florida. This means that a private sale or gift between two adults in FL, as long as both are FL legal residents, the transfer takes place in FL, and neither person is a prohibited possessor under FL or US law, can take place with no registration, background check, or any government involvement.
My primary information is from
Florida State Requirements for Purchasing Firearms

The existence of concealed carry permits and non-use of FFL is inconsequential here.

Your description indicates your BiL is the legal possessor, and the “ex-wife’s friend” would have to go to court to legally reclaim the gift.
He is gonna have a social problem, but is probably not under any legal obligation to give it back.



As already mentioned above, it’s irrelevant that the gift was a firearm.

This would be interesting to follow.
How badly does the gift(?)-giver(?) want it back?

Small claims court?


So, I did bring that up…that it was more of a gift issue, better as a property ownership than gun, but I was tripped up by the fact that it was a firearm that was involved. Thank you VERY much for the input, Craig! It was helpful in pointing us in the right direction.


RE: Firearm transfers


Just give it back. The exposure is dangerous but unwarranted. X’s are expert at blowing thing up to enormous proportions during divorce proceedings, putting a firearm in the middle of it is asking for trouble.

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