New gun owners and long-time gun owners alike, are calling in and asking whether or not they must register their firearms.
Purchasing a Firearm
There is no gun registration requirement in Florida, or under federal law, and the Coronavirus has not changed this fact.
Therefore, if you purchase a firearm from a federally licensed dealer, or in a private transaction, you are not required to do anything under the law.
However, we recommend you make a record of all transactions. Whenever you purchase a new firearm, keep the receipt. Make sure you write down the make, model, and serial number of the firearm. Keep this information in a safe location. We also recommend taking pictures of the firearm—including a close up of the serial number—with your cell phone.
If you are purchasing a firearm from an individual, create a bill of sale that includes:
- the buyer’s and seller’s names;
- driver’s license states and numbers;
- make, model, and serial number of the firearm;
- the buyer’s and seller’s signatures; and
- the date of the purchase.
For additional protection, you can also request the seller to provide you with an affidavit stating the firearm was not stolen or ever used in a crime. That way, if you ever decide to trade it, pawn it, or sell it at a gun store, and the gun comes back as having been lost, stolen, or used in a crime, you have a record of when you took possession of the firearm and who sold it to you.
Selling a Firearm
We also recommend you create a bill of sale if you sell a firearm in a private sale. Again, this will provide you with protection if the police ever come knocking, asking you about the firearms involvement in a crime after you no longer possess it. Although there is no requirement to register a firearm with the government in Florida, and no mandatory paperwork required by law, we recommend you follow the steps above to protect yourself by creating a paper trail for your records.
If you have any further questions regarding firearm law in Florida, please call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.