Where Can I Buy Used Guns?
Generally speaking, where you’re legally able to buy used guns depends on where you are and where you live. There are some states that allow private sales without background checks, but that isn’t always the case. Additionally, there might be a registration requirement for your state, and some items might be banned or regulated in different jurisdictions. It’s your responsibility to be familiar with federal, state, and local laws, and to adhere to them.
In places where it’s legal to buy a gun privately without a background check, that might be a good avenue, if the item is legal and the seller and purchaser are operating lawfully. Otherwise, you’ll find used guns at gun stores, pawn shops, and gun shows, but each of those areas can come with their own complications and risks.
Can I Buy Used Guns Online?
Yes, as long as you’re acting in accordance with federal, state, and local law. You can find used firearms available online. Complete guns purchased online will need to ship to your local Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealer. See18 U.S.C. § 922. If you’re only buying parts, such as certain barrels or magazines, they may be able to be shipped to your home. If buying parts, make sure that those accessories or items are legal as well. When buying through a website, use reputable dealers and pay attention to reviews, warranties, and any return policies (if applicable). Some guns can’t be shipped to certain states or certain people, depending on the legal restrictions that may apply. For example, the state of California has a lot of gun control laws in place, meaning that there are restrictions on the types of firearms and related components that may be shipped there. As a result, websites and online sellers may have notices on specific models stating they can’t be sold or shipped to certain places.
Are Private Gun Sales Legal?
The answer to this depends on where you live. Many states allow private sales to occur between any two non-prohibited people without a background check (or people who otherwise are allowed to purchase and possess firearms under state and federal law). See e.g., Tex. Penal Code §§ 46.06, 46.07 (setting out restrictions in the State of Texas on the transfer of firearms). However, there are also states that restrict unfettered private sales to immediate family members, or that restrict them entirely without background checks and other regulations. See e.g., N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-3; Rev. Code Wash. § 9.41.113. Where legal, private, in-person sales must generally take place between residents of the same state. Therefore, while visiting another state, you’ll likely not be legally allowed to engage in a private sale. See e.g., 18 U.S.C. 922(a)(5). However, all state laws are unique, and there can be extra complications, including heavy regulations on private sales; limiting what items may be legally possessed or what items may be transferred in a private sale; limiting private sales to family members only; requiring certain documentation; requiring the item to be registered; or requiring a permit or license to purchase; etc. When in doubt, call your Independent Program Attorney and ask them if you can legally complete a private sale in your state!
Is it Safe to Buy with Gun Brokers?
Before buying through a gun broker, check their reviews and recommendations from past clients. Also take the time to find out for yourself if they’re properly licensed—don’t assume. As long as it’s legally allowed in your jurisdiction, it can be safe to consider a reputable gun broker and buy a gun through them. In fact, it might make things easier on you in the long run because it can save you the hassle of searching in numerous locations for a specific model of firearm, among other things.
If you have questions regarding the legalities of purchasing used guns, we can help. Members of U.S. LawShield®have the ability to ask questions by calling 877-448-6839. If you’re not yet a member, take a closer look at the many benefits of joining here.
The information provided in this publication is intended to provide general information to individuals and is not legal advice. The information included in this publication may not be quoted or referred to in any other publication without the prior written consent of U.S. LawShield, to be given or withheld at our discretion. The information is not a substitute for, and does not replace the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. We strive to ensure the information included in this publication is accurate and current, however, no claim is made to the accuracy of the information and we are not responsible for any consequences that may result from the use of information in this publication. The use of this publication does not create an attorney-client relationship between U.S. LawShield, any independent program attorney, and any individual.