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How and Where To Sell A Gun

guns too big to carry concealed

I may be the least qualified person to talk about the topic of selling guns. After all, I've been a gun owner since I was about 10 and have only sold two guns, and traded one for another. The rest of my guns I either still own, or are test guns that sadly must go back to the manufacturer when I'm done testing them.

Still, this is something I have some knowledge of and we get this question from time to time. So, how and where do you sell a gun?

Local and Federal Laws:

It should be stated here that above all else, you must follow the local laws put in place. If you're required to have your buyer go through a background check before transferring, you must do this. It covers both of you in case your buyer goes and does something stupid with the gun you sold to him. This brings us to the first option:

Sell your gun yourself, locally:

There are a few different ways you can sell your gun. I'm sure you've got friends who are gun owners. Ask them if they know of someone looking, or if they are personally looking, to buy a new gun. You can also reach out to family members, etc.

I've belonged to a gun range that allowed members to post items for sale on a cork board. You can print out what you're selling and pin it to the board. I'm not sure how well this works, but I know I always looked at that board to see if there was a new goody I was looking to buy.

Every state has different laws, but it is almost always safe to go to a local gun store if you found a buyer yourself to help you do a transfer. They'll charge a fee, but each of the two times I've done this I rolled the cost into the gun and the buyer paid.

Local gun store:

Your local gun store likely has a couple different options to sell your gun. They can either buy it outright and sell it themselves, or you can hire them to sell it for you as they take a portion of the profit.

Try to keep in mind that if you sell it to the gun store, they will give you a very low offer that you may be insulted by. Try to remember that they're a business and they have to make money off of your sale to help pay the bills. And, ultimately, you don't have to sell the gun for a price you're not willing to accept.

Be prepared to walk away.

If you consign your gun with the store, be prepared for it to sit for a while if there isn't a good amount of foot traffic to the store and they don't sell online. This is normal, and I've heard some guns sit for a few months before they're either sold or are pulled to try a different method.

Gun Classified:

One of the best gun classified websites I've found is Armslist. Armslist is a great place to buy and sell guns. I have not personally used this website but know people who have, and have had a great experience doing it. Visit their FAQ page for more information.

There are several different gun classifieds around the internet, and some are even local to your state making things a lot easier for you. I couldn't even begin to list them all here, but a simple search for “gun classified” either with or without your state in the search should retrieve a lot of listings on your favorite search engine.

Forums:

I thought about listing this one under the gun classified section above, but feel it's just different enough that it should get its own section.

There are forums of all kinds for gun owners. Those dedicated to concealed carry, hunting, specific brands, specific models within those brands, those that are location specific, and the list goes on.

Almost all of them have a spot where you can sell your guns and gear.

Conclusion:

On one hand, it has gotten a bit harder to sell our guns. Gone are the days where we could post a few pictures on a Facebook group of a gun I wanted to sell, stating the terms, and meeting at the local FFL dealer for the transfer and background check to be completed.

Then again, on the other hand, there are far more and better avenues to sell our guns like online classifieds, forums, or locally in the gun shop.

The important part is to make sure you're following all local and federal laws regarding the sale of guns. What method have you used to sell a firearm you no longer wanted? More importantly, do you regret selling any of the guns you have sold? Let us know in the comments below.

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6 Responses to How and Where To Sell A Gun

  1. Mike August 22, 2019 at 10:06 am #

    I sold mine to a gun shop because of a financial emergency. Yes, I regret it. I’ve since replaced all that I sold and then some. However, some were not replaced with the same model. I don’t think I will be selling any guns I like again.

  2. Methane Creator August 22, 2019 at 10:59 am #

    I have had good luck buying from other shooters at the range. I can do a quick search to see what it costs new and then haggle the price from there. I regret selling or trading most of my firearms, except for the Taurus Judge. Too much kick for a handgun and it was hard to quickly shoot a followup shot. My best gun deals have come from private sellers. The markup at the gun shops and pawn shops are unbelievable!

    • Joshua Gillem August 22, 2019 at 11:26 am #

      Good points, and thank you for mentioning pawn shops. I totally forgot about that option.

      Josh

  3. Terre August 23, 2019 at 3:31 pm #

    I have a somewhat biased take on selling guns. I have a Federal Firearms License, and I sell from my home. I’ve had my license about 10 years. It used to be that I could sell guns simply because I could them cheaper than your average retail shop; however, I lose a lot of sales to the internet nowadays. Retail shops are closing at an alarming rate because they can’t compete with the internet prices, and if I didn’t sell from my home, I’d have to close too. Bow shops are experiencing the same problem; people can buy new bows online cheaper than their local shops can buy them. I lost a sale this week to a young man who paid about $140 less for a gun that my cost as a dealer!. He did have the gun sent to me because it has to be shipped to a dealer, so I made a whopping $25 from that. Yes, I could charge more for a transfer (and many do), but I want to help people out when I can. In my state, an individual can sell to another individual with no license, permit, receipt, or anything as long as they don’t have information that the buyer is ineligible to purchase a gun. My original reason for obtaining an FFL was to open a small shop and sell guns and accessories, but there is just no way to make a profit doing that now.

  4. Mike August 26, 2019 at 8:38 am #

    I have a question for you, my father was a officer in wwII and when he left they told him to keep his colt 1911 45, he’s passed away and left it to me, do I have to register it?

    • Jacob Paulsen August 26, 2019 at 10:20 am #

      Mike the answer is probably no. There are less than 10 states/cities in America where gun registration exists and is required. So a quick phone call to a local attorney, firearm instructor, or gun range would be the fastest way to verify for your local jurisdiction but the odds are very low.

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