Are you under a Stay At Home order? Have the gun shows in your area closed down due to the pandemic? Gun stores around the country are overrun with new purchasers and more questions than ever are being asked on how to conduct a private sale as an alternative.

You may find yourself in the middle of negotiating a private sale and the thought occurs to you that you don’t know the buyer’s background or history. What if they’re a prohibited person?

PROHIBITED PERSONS

A prohibited person is anyone who cannot legally own or possess a firearm under state or federal law. For example: minors, mentally incompetent persons, drug users, felons, domestic abusers with victims’ protective orders, persons convicted of violent misdemeanors, and persons convicted of certain drug misdemeanors.

In Oklahoma there is a right of private sale. However, the right of private sale carries a risk of knowingly selling to a prohibited person. There is no legal requirement of the seller to perform a background check on the buyer. There is no legal requirement that the seller use a Federal Firearms Licensee (“FFL”) to conduct the sale. Be careful who you give, sell, or transfer the gun to.

BACKGROUND CHECKS

Can the buyer legally possess or get the gun? Performing a background check to make sure the buyer is not a prohibited person is not a 100% guarantee that the background check will absolutely guarantee the examined person is not a terrorist, felon, domestic abuser, drug user, or minor.

A quick review of the current events posted on the internet reveals that many prohibited people have passed background checks or successfully evaded background checks by falsely answering the questions on the background check.

NON-RESIDENTS

You cannot legally sell or transfer the gun to a non-resident person from another state. A quick look at the driver’s license can reveal many details that would block a legal private sale to a non-resident. However, what if the buyer does not have a driver’s license? A driver’s license is not required to purchase a gun in a private sale.

DOCUMENTATION

No documentation is not a requirement when purchasing or receiving a gun; no driver’s license, no questions, no paperwork, no receipt, no inquiry as to residence or prohibited status. Bulk sales of multiple guns and thousands of rounds of ammo are okay. Oklahoma does not limit the number of guns or cases of ammunition traded in a private sale.

FEDERAL FIREARMS LICENSED DEALERS

After discussing Oklahoma law on private sales, it is important to know there are thousands of folks who conduct private sales without any problems. Describing a best practice really depends on the level of risk one can stand. The least risky method of selling a firearm is to contract with an FFL and allow the dealer to conduct the sale.

The dealer conducts the sale and insulates the firearm owner from liability for selling the firearm to a prohibited person. Some folks who want to avoid any risk of potential civil liability or criminal investigation exposure might be folks who hold political offices or have top secret clearances as part of their job. Most people are fine with conducting a private sale themselves.

To find an FFL, locate a dealer—pawn shop or gun store—many FFL’s advertise on the internet. Then deliver the firearm to the dealer, get a receipt for the gun, and allow the dealer to conduct the sale. The fee for the sale may be paid for by the buyer.

If you have questions about a private sale of your firearm to a third party, contact U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to an Independent Program Attorney.