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Firearm / Gun Bill of Sale Form

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firearm (gun) bill of sale serves as official documentation that a firearm was sold from one person to another. It contains the contact information of the buyer and seller, details on the firearm(s), the type of payment used , and the parties’ signatures. While it is not always legally required that a bill of sale be used for this type of transaction, using one serves as proof that the buyer is the new rightful owner and the seller no longer has possession of the firearm.

By State

Contents

How to Sell a Firearm

Step 1 – Check State Laws

As the table below points out, firearm laws are diverse across the United States, as certain states contain heavy restrictions on how private transactions can take place (if at all). Even if the parties need to go through a dealer to complete the transaction, a bill of sale should be used.

Step 2 – Prepare the Firearm

If the firearm has been fired considerably prior to its last cleaning, the owner should take the time to completely strip the weapon, clean any carbon fouling, re-lubricate high-friction parts, and check for any broken or damaged components. A functioning, good-quality firearm will sell for far more money than one that is visibly of lower quality. In other words, spending money on maintenance and parts will almost always be worthwhile.

Step 3 – Determine its Value

One of the best ways of identifying the selling price of a used handgun or rifle is by looking at online postings for the same (or similar) firearm make and model. Sites that host used gun listings include:

For more valuable or collector-type firearms, using GunValues can produce more ‘accurate’ results (cost is $5 for 3-day access).

Step 4 – Sell In-Person / List Online

There are generally three (3) ways one can go about selling a firearm:

1. In-person (most recommended)

For states that don’t require a background check on private sales, the in-person route is the easiest. As long as the seller knows the buyer is a trustworthy/upstanding individual, the process is quite straightforward. Payment exchanges hands, the bill of sale is signed, and the firearm is given to the buyer.

2. Through a Pawnshop or Retail Store

Pawnshops that purchase used firearms are a good place for a firearm owner to bring in their gun for a valuation. Because the pawnshop purchases firearms with the intention to re-sell them for a higher price, the offer they give will be far lower than retail.

Selling the firearm to a retail store that purchases firearms (Cabelas, for example), can bring a slightly higher price, although the same principle applies.

Important: When handling a firearm, it should be unloaded, pointed in a safe direction, and treated as if it were loaded at ALL TIMES.

3. Online

While listing online can be practical and effective, such as reaching a wide range of potential customers, it requires certain actions to be taken in order to comply with state law. For example, firearms can only be shipped to an FFL (Federal Firearms License) holder. In other words, the buyer would need to receive information on the buyer’s FFL and ship it to that individual. There are several requirements when shipping firearms, which should be reviewed prior to starting the process.

Firearm Sale/Transfer Laws by State

STATE REQUIREMENTS
Alabama None
Alaska None
Arizona None
Arkansas None
California
Laws – §§ 28050 – 28070
  • All firearm sales must take place through a dealer.
  • All sales require a Firearm Safety Certificate + proof of residency (not required for active/retired military and police).
  • Firearms must be registered.
Colorado
Laws – § 18-12-112
  • Private gun sales must go through a dealer AND be approved by the CBI (Colorado Bureau of Investigation).
Connecticut
Laws – § 29-33
  • Private gun sales must take place through a licensed dealer.
  • The buyer must have the appropriate certificate.
  • The firearm must be registered.
Delaware
Laws – § 1448B
  • Any unlicensed seller must perform a background check on the buyer through a licensed firearms dealer.
Florida None
Georgia None
Hawaii
Laws – § 134-2
  • The buyer must be 21 years or older.
  • The buyer must obtain a permit in order to purchase a firearm (background check included).
  • The firearm must be registered by the buyer within five (5) days after the sale.
Idaho Ch. 33
  • The buyer must be at least eighteen (18) unless they have written permission from parent/guardian.
Illinois
Laws – 430 ILCS 65
  • The buyer must have a valid FOID card.
  • The seller must verify the buyer’s FOID card with the state police.
  • The seller must keep a record of the sale for a minimum of ten (10) years.
Indiana None
Iowa
Laws – § 724.15
  • Restrictions are on handguns only. Buyers are required to have a “Permit to Acquire” or a “Permit to Carry.”
Kansas None
Kentucky None
Louisiana None
Maine None
Maryland
Laws – § 5-124
  • Handgun and assault weapon sales must take place through a dealer. Does not apply to long guns.
Massachusetts
Laws – § 128A
  • The buyer must obtain a Firearm Identification (FID) Card (issued by local police departments).
  • The seller must verify the buyer’s FID with the Dept. of Criminal Justice Information Services.
Michigan
Laws – § 28.422a
  • Restrictions are for handguns only. The buyer must have a license to purchase a handgun OR a concealed carry permit that they present to the seller.
Minnesota None
Mississippi None
Missouri None
Montana None
Nebraska
Laws – § 69-2403
  • Restrictions are for handguns only. Buyers must hold a handgun certificate OR a concealed handgun permit (CHP). Long guns can be purchased through private sales without a background check.
Nevada
Laws – NRS 202.2547
  • Sales among private parties requires a background check to be conducted through a licensed dealer.
New Hampshire None
New Jersey
Laws – Ch. 54
  • The buyer needs to hold a lifetime purchaser identification for long guns. Handguns purchase permits last ninety (90) days, and only one (1) firearm can be purchased per month.
  • Background checks are required for private firearm sales (both parties are required to go through a dealer).
New Mexico
Laws – § 30-7-7.1
  • All private gun sales must take place through a licensed dealer.
  • The buyer must pass a background check.
New York
Laws – § 898
  • A licensed dealer is needed in order to conduct a background check on the buyer. The dealer must also keep a record of the sale and provide proper documentation to state police.
North Carolina
Laws – § 14-402
  • Restrictions are for handguns only. Buyers must have either a handgun permit OR a concealed carry permit to purchase a handgun.
North Dakota None
Ohio None
Oklahoma None
Oregon
Laws – § 166.435
  • Rifle AND pistol sales require going through a licensed firearm dealer. A record of the sale must be kept.
Pennsylvania
Laws – § 6111
  • Rules apply to handguns only. All handgun sales/transfers must take place through a licensed dealer.
Rhode Island
Laws – § 11-47-35.2
  • Background checks are required for rifle and handgun sales (must go through a licensed dealer).
  • A state-issued permit is required for handgun sales only.
  • There is a waiting period of seven (7) days after a firearm purchase.
South Carolina None
South Dakota None
Tennessee None
Texas None
Utah None
Vermont None
Virginia
Laws – § 18.2-308.2
  • Effective January 2021, state law requires those that intend to sell a firearm for money (or anything else of value) to receive verification through a dealer that the buyer had been vetted through a background check AND been approved by state police.
Washington
Laws – § 9.41.113
  • All firearm sales must go through a licensed dealer and include a background check.
West Virginia None
Wisconsin None
Wyoming None

Firearm Bill of Sale: Sample

Download: PDF, Word (.docx), OpenDocument

How to Write

Download – PDF, Word (.docx), OpenDocument

Note: Colors are used for showing contrasting options only.

Step 1 – Party Names

On the first page of the form, the following information will need to be entered for both the seller and the buyer:

  1. Full name
  2. Drivers license number (#)
  3. Street address
  4. City
  5. State
  6. ZIP
  7. Phone number

An email address, fax number, or other means of contact info can be written manually beneath the listed fields if need be.

Step 2 – Firearm(s)

The bill of sale contains fields for up to three (3) firearms. The following information will need to be added for each firearm:

  1. Cost ($) of the firearm (the price agreed upon by both the seller and buyer).
  2. The make of the firearm (e.g., Ruger, Winchester, H&K).
  3. The model of the firearm (e.g., 10/22, Model 70, VP9SK).
  4. Action (how the weapon loads ammunition into the chamber – check just one box).
  5. Caliber/gauge (the type of ammunition the firearm takes; e.g., .40 S&W, .45, 9mm).
  6. Serial number (this is specific to the individual gun and can be found stamped on the firearm itself).
  7. Total cost ($) (applicable if selling multiple weapons; add up the cost of all firearms).

Step 3 – Payment

This section covers how the buyer will pay for the firearm(s). If accepting money in exchange for the gun(s), check the first box. Next, write out the total amount (in words) followed by the numerical value (in numbers). Below that, check one (1) of the three boxes to indicate when the buyer will pay the total owed amount. If they are paying on the date of sale, check the first box and write the date in which the bill of sale will be signed by all parties.

If accepting a trade (doesn’t have to be another firearm), check the second box and write a description of the item(s) the seller is accepting in exchange for the gun(s).

Step 4 – Buyer’s Disclosure

For liability purposes, the buyer will need to read through the declarations in the bullet list. So long all of the points are true, they should sign their name on the line provided.

Step 5 – Seller’s Disclosure

The seller also needs to read through a list of declarations before signing their name, as long as all of the listed points are true.

Step 6 – Signatures

Start by writing the date (day, month, and year) in which the parties will be recording their signatures onto the bill of sale. Then, the seller AND the buyer will need to inscribe their signatures (by hand or with eSign). If the parties had witness(es) observe the signing of the form, each witness will need to print and sign their names.

Step 7 – Notarization (if applicable)

If the parties decide to have their signatures notarized, the last page is reserved for a Notary Public only. The first section is for notarizing the buyer’s signature, and the second section for the seller’s signature. At this point, the bill of sale is complete. The original should be provided to the buyer, and a copy can be made for the seller (if desired).