How Do I Sell My Gun?

The questions “how do I sell my gun?”, or “how do I sell my firearm online? are asked by thousands of Americans each year.

Due to the never-ending list of laws and regulations, the process can seem complicated and nerve-racking. Fortunately, the process is not as difficult as many people might believe.

Selling a Gun in a Private Transaction

First, it is important to understand the differences between federal laws and state laws. Federally, it is not illegal to sell your firearm in a private transaction. “How do I sell my firearm privately?” you may ask. Simple: you list your firearm on a local ad board such as or a local forum. Be careful, some websites like Facebook have policies against listing firearms for sale. Once listed, you wait for a potential buyer to contact you… Once you have a buyer and an agreed price, meeting time and meeting location, you go sell your firearm.

But is it illegal for me to sell my firearm? Not necessarily… As long as you have no reason to believe you’re selling the firearm to a prohibited person or a resident of another state, you can sell it to them! Now keep in mind, the state you live in may require private sales be conducted with a 4473 background check, so be sure you understand your local laws.

Sell a Gun Online

“I don’t want to sell face-to-face, I’d rather sell it online… How do I do that?”
The process is really no different than selling anything else online, with a few exceptions. Your first step will be to find a venue to list your firearm online. The most commonly used website is Although this is an auction site, you can set firm prices and reserves. Once the firearm sells, you arrange for payment with your buyer. Now keep in mind, the firearm MUST be shipped to a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL) in the state of the buyer. Also, you must be sure the firearm is legal to own in the state you are shipping it to. That dealer will conduct a background check on the buyer and charge them a fee. This process is known as a “firearms transfer”. It is very common and virtually all dealers offer this service. Now keep in mind, Gunbroker will charge an auction commission fee.

Sell a Gun to a Dealer

“Can I avoid all the hassle by selling to a dealer?”
Yes you can. However, keep in mind, you will not get as much money for your firearm as you would if you sold it yourself. Think of it this way: You are sharing a portion of the resale value of the firearm with the dealer in exchange for their time and expertise. You won’t have to worry about finding a buyer and you won’t have to worry about the legalities. Furthermore, all dealers are legally required to conduct background checks on all of their customers, so you know your firearm will eventually end up with someone with a clean record.

You can get an offer from any local firearms dealer in your area, or, you can use an online site (like to quickly, easily and legally sell your firearm.

The information in this article is solely intended to be used as a general reference. It is a brief summary of the process of selling a firearm, but does not cover all legal jurisdictions. Nothing in this article should be considered as legal advice. If you use this article as legal advice, you do so at your own risk. If you are concerned about the legal nature of selling your firearm, we strongly suggest you contact your local ATF field office or your attorney.

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