Selling a gun privately is considered a secondary sale of a firearm. The reason why it is a secondary sale is because the gun was initially purchased from a licensed gun dealer before being resold privately. A private seller of a gun does not need a license to sell guns.

Am I Required to Conduct a Background Check on the Purchaser?

Federal law does not require private gun sellers to obtain a background check on any gun purchaser. Many gun opponents refer to this as the gun show loophole.

However, a private gun seller may be required by state law to perform a background check on the purchaser. At least 17 states and Washington, D.C. require some type of background check to be performed on the purchaser, even by private gun sellers.

For example, Connecticut, California, Colorado, Delaware, New York, and Rhode Island do require a private seller to obtain a universal background check.

What If I Am Only Selling a Handgun?

Some states do require background checks for only handgun purchases. For example, New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland, and Pennsylvania require a private seller to conduct background checks on purchasers. In Florida, it depends on the jurisdiction.

Am I Required to Make Sure the Purchaser Has a Permit?

It depends on where you live. Some states, including New Jersey and Iowa, require a private seller to transfer guns to only purchasers with a state license or permit.

Do I Need to Talk to a Criminal Law Lawyer?

If you have questions or concerns about gun law regulation, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer. A lawyer will help you with any potential firearms sale problems and assist you in following all gun sale and firearm possession regulations.