Understanding The Basics Of Firearm Transfer Laws

Posted on: 11 March 2021

While each state and local jurisdiction will have its own laws that pertain to firearm transfers, there are also several federal laws that govern the private sale and gifting of firearms in the US. Understanding these laws will ensure that you do not find yourself in legal hot water in the future when either purchasing or selling a firearm.

A Person Must Have The Legal Right To Posses A Firearm In Order To Transfer Ownership

People often assume that an individual who is selling a gun has the legal right to possess that weapon. This assumption is not always correct. In some cases, individuals may be looking to sell a weapon that they inherited from a family member or that they had prior to losing their rights to legally possess a weapon. However, in order for an individual to legally transfer ownership of a firearm according to federal laws, that individual must first have the legal right to possess the weapon they are looking to sell.

Firearms Can Only Be Transferred To People With a Legal Right To Possess A Weapon

While many people are aware that convicted felons are unable to legally possess a firearm, there are several other restrictions that can affect a person's right to own a gun that people are not always aware of. For instance, individuals who have been convicted of any type of domestic violence offense, individuals who are fleeing law enforcement, and individuals who have received a dishonorable discharge from the military may all be restricted from possessing a firearm. If you sell a firearm to one of these individuals, you could find yourself facing some rather serious legal consequences in the future. That is why it is essential to verify that the individual you wish to transfer ownership to is in fact legally allowed to own a firearm. The best way to do this is to transfer ownership of the gun with the help of a local gun store that has the ability to perform the necessary background checks before completing the transfer.

Interstate Firearm Transfers Should Not Be Completed Privately

There are a ton of complex laws that surround the transfer of firearms between individuals in different states. Breaking these laws — even unintentionally — can result in serious charges that include federal trafficking charges. This is why you should never transfer ownership of a firearm to an individual who is located in another state without haivng a licensed gun dealer assist in this firearm transfer.