The Best Way to Sell or Trade Guns

The Best Way to Sell or Trade Guns

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Selling, trading, or otherwise disposing of firearms is controlled by federal and state laws. Failure to obey the pertinent laws can result in a felony conviction. This makes it very important to understand all the applicable laws.

For this reason, it is best to consult a federal firearms licensed dealer in your state before taking any action. His advice may save you from harm down the road.

Items you will need

  • Firearms

Step 1

Ask a gun dealer to take the firearms on consignment. Selling them through the shop is a safe, always legal way to go. The dealer will know the laws concerning which firearms are limited in the state and who may buy them. Oftentimes the dealer can get a better price for the firearm.

Step 2

Advertise them on various gun broker sites on the Internet. This exposes the firearms to thousands of potential buyers. Depending upon the state you live in, you may be able to sell the gun directly to the buyer if he lives in the same state without having to go through a gun dealer. If you sell the gun to a buyer in another state, the gun must be shipped to a local dealer in that state by the seller, and the buyer will pick it up from the dealer after having passed any federal/state requirements.

Step 3

Take the firearms to a gun show. This allows potential buyers to examine the firearm in person. Some gun shows, depending upon the state laws, will allow an individual to purchase a table to sell multiple guns from a private collection. All applicable federal/state laws must be followed when selling, buying or trading guns at a gun show.


  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) considers someone buying and selling too many guns in too short of time frame to be a private dealer, which is illegal. Unfortunately there is no legal federal definition of “too many” or “too short,” so it is up to the local ATF agent to make that determination. Some states have their own limit.
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