Here’s the thing; sometimes the gun laws can be complicated. You have to abide by all the levels of government regulation including national, state and local and it can get confusing. Here’s our brief ‘How To’ guide if you’re thinking about transferring a gun.
What is a gun transfer?
When you want to purchase or gift a firearm, it needs to be transferred. Transferring a firearm typically consists of going to a FFL (Federal Firearm Licensee like a gun shop) and having the transferee (buyer or person receiving the gift) complete a background check.
Do I have to transfer a gun if I’m selling it to a private party?
The short answer to this question is no but you should.
Current law allows for a private person to sell a firearm to another private person without doing a transfer. However, the seller is still liable for whatever happens with that firearm for up to a year after the date of sale. Having said that, be sure to get a bill of sale (receipt) if you’re selling or purchasing a firearm from a private party!
Because of the liability issue, we recommend that even private party sales of firearms do a transfer. It shows that you’ve done your due diligence to ensure that the firearm is being transferred to someone that’s allowed to have it.
Buying a gun online
Purchasing a gun online isn’t quite as simple as it sounds. You cannot simply buy a gun through a website and have it shipped to your home; that’s illegal. The steps that need to take place if you’re buying a gun online are as follows but vary from seller to seller:
- Purchase your gun through the seller’s website.
- Seller will likely contact you and ask you where you want the gun sent to.
Pro Tip: Get the seller’s email address as it is the easiest way to accomplish step 3.
- Contact your local FFL (Federal Firearms Licensee aka gun shop) and ask if they do transfers. If yes, you’ll need to request that they send a copy of their FFL to the seller.
- Seller will ship the firearm to your FFL dealer.
- Usually, the FFL will contact you when the firearm is in and ready for transfer.
- Go to the local FFL and complete your background check.
- You’ll likely pay a transfer fee at the local FFL as well. “Normal” fees range from $25-$100. At River Valley Arms & Ammo, we charge $35 for a firearm transfer.
We’re here to help.
All of this can get confusing real quick. There are always exceptions to the rules and addition rules in certain situations. If you have questions, we’re here to help! Just reach out to us!