Whether you have been eyeing a piece in a friend’s private gun collection, find the perfect piece at a gun show, or are interested in selling one of your own firearms, there are some aspects of private gun sales that are important for everyone to know before beginning a sale. Below are four things to know before proceeding with your private gun sale.
Know Your Federal, State, and Local Laws
While citizens who make an occasional sale, exchange, or gift of a firearm are not required to obtain a Federal Firearms License to process a transaction, they are responsible for knowing and abiding by all of the laws at each level that could relate to the gun sale. Not all states will allow private firearms sales and even certain localities may have restrictions on weapon type, licensing requirements, and even processing of paperwork. Some states require specific details on all gun transactions, some may require that the seller obtain background checks, and some may have age restrictions.
There are also multiple federal laws that apply to all gun sales, such as not being able to sell to a resident of another state without going through a licensed dealer and not selling any type of firearm to a convicted felon or another person who may be restricted from owning or operating one.
While it is always best to buy or sell a firearm to someone you know, or are acquainted with, you may find that your best option is to sell or purchase from someone you may not know. Since you are responsible for ensuring that you do not sell a firearm to someone who is a resident of another state or prohibited from purchase, it is best to ask for some details, before completing the sale. Any purchaser should not balk at a request to see a form of valid ID as well as questions. If you are unsure of the purchaser you can also perform a quick background check for felonies. If a purchaser becomes defensive when you verify their information it may be best to walk away.
Create a Bill of Sale
Even though you are not a firearm shop, having a record of the sale is important in the event that the purchaser has been deceitful or if the weapon ends up being involved in a crime and gets traced back to you. If you are the one making the purchase, the bill of sale will provide you with documentation of your payment and the legal purchase of the weapon.
A bill of sale does not need to be extremely detailed and can include your name, the buyer’s name, the gun’s serial number, the agreed upon price, the transaction date, and signature of both parties. Store the paperwork in a safe place in the event you need to prove the sale.
Practice Positive Control until the Transaction is Complete
Believe it or not, it is common practice for anyone selling an item to keep it within arm’s reach of them so that they can quickly grab it back if necessary. While most buyers will want to hold the weapon and look it over, you will want to always make sure that you are in a position to assume control of the weapon if necessary up until the transfer is complete, paid for, and the paperwork signed. Most guns are valuable and may be a temptation for people to take off with especially in a situation that is not a regular store where surveillance is less likely. Keeping control of the weapon throughout the process is your way of securing your property until proper payment has been made.
Private sales are part of the cornerstone of the second amendment which allows gun owners to sell, trade, and purchase weapons from other law abiding gun owners instead of having to deal with additional charges and inconvenience that might come from having to go through a firearms dealer. If you follow the tips above, you will be able to complete your private gun sale or purchase legally and with a lot less headache.
~ American Gun News