Your friend has an extra long gun that they really don’t want or need anymore, and you’ve offered them a great price for the weapon. Are you legally able to purchase the weapon without a lengthy process?
The answer: it depends. This is considered a private party gun transfer, and while they are legal in some states, there are specific laws that you need to consider before you decide to go this route.
Any time a private (unlicensed) seller decides to pass ownership of a weapon to someone else outside of a federally-approved selling situation, that’s considered a private party gun transfer. Sometimes this occurs at a gun sale — sometimes this occurs in your back yard or garage. The laws around private gun selling are not meant to be overly restrictive, but to keep unapproved individuals from purchasing a weapon that they could use to do harm to themselves or others.
In some states, selling a handgun has slightly different requirements than when you’re selling a long gun. Some states such as Florida even have laws that vary by jurisdiction, so it’s always best to check with your local law enforcement professionals about what you need to do before buying or selling a gun from a private individual. Generally speaking, buying and selling weapons of any kind from a federally licensed professional assures that you are making a safe purchase that is legally binding and won’t get you into trouble with the law.
Individuals who are under federal mandates not to own a gun according to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, such as those who are mentally unstable or under edicts due to domestic violence in their past are generally banned from private party gun transfers. Some states require a mandatory background check for all private transfers, while others require a more aggressive set of checks and balances before weapons can change hands. You can find a full list of state-specific requirements on the FindLaw website.
Sure, there are plenty of places that you can make a purchase that might be a bit iffy, but it’s best to stay on the clear side of the law when you’re talking about gun sales. With the aggressive tactics that lawmakers are putting into place lately, it could be only a matter of time before they’re allowed to check your licensing for a weapon regardless of where you are and how the gun was purchased. Understanding the laws in your state and jurisdiction is the first step, and taking an active part in local legislation can allow you to lend your voice to the fight to retain the Second Amendment rights that are due to all Americans.
~ Ready to Fire News