How to Pawn a Gun Without Breaking Any Laws

January 03, 2020 - Guns & Other Firearms

Maybe you’re an avid hunter. Maybe you inherited your grandfather’s antique rifles.

Either way, if you’re looking to get rid of a gun in exchange for cash, it’s important to understand how to pawn a gun the right way.

This won’t just save time–it will help you avoid legal trouble. Keep reading to find out the right way to pawn a gun.

Understand the Law

Since you’re looking to pawn a firearm, you presumably went through the legal hoops required to own a gun in the first place. You know there are strict rules in place governing how guns can be purchased and handled.

Similarly, you must comply with local and federal government regulations when looking to pawn a gun.

Every state and county may have different firearms laws, but a few essentials remain consistent across state lines.

Any pawn shops that market or sell guns must be a Federal Firearms Licensee, which means they’re licensed to buy and sell guns in the United States. In addition, they must be in compliance with all current federal gun regulations.

Research the Value

Before you go to any pawn shop, it’s important that you research the value of your gun, whether you’re looking to sell an antique gun or a brand new Glock.

This will help you get a sense of the current market value for your gun and get an idea of what price range you can reasonably expect from a shop owner.

A great resource for this is the site Blue Book of Gun Values, which lets you enter the manufacturer and model in order to get a price estimate.

Understand the Process of How to Pawn a Gun

Once you have a rough idea of what your gun is worth, it’s time to look into selling it.

First of all, you should only sell your gun to a pawn shop licensed to buy and sell guns, ideally to a shop specializing in guns. This is for two reasons:

  1. It’s against the law to pawn your gun to a shop without the proper license
  2. Shops specializing in guns are most likely to give you a fair price

You should also keep in mind that pawn shops must follow certain restrictions on buying and selling. Legally, they cannot except any stolen property, including firearms, and most pawn shops won’t buy a gun from a minor or someone who lives outside the pawn shop’s state.

When you go to sell your gun, make sure that it’s unloaded and in a case. The shop owner will take it out later to inspect it, but it should be in a case when you arrive.

You’ll also need to bring valid ID, like a driver’s license. Once you arrive, the shop owner will ask you to complete a form from the Department of Justice certifying that you are legally allowed to carry and sell a gun.

Usually, the process goes fairly quickly as long as you can pass a background check.

Looking to Pawn a Gun?

Now that you know how to pawn a gun, you’re ready to look for the place to pawn a gun.

If you’re still foggy on how pawn shops work, check out this guide.

David Stiebel
David Stiebel

David Stiebel is one of the cofounders of PawnGuru. David was educated at MIT, where he studied Math. He subsequently worked at Bain as a data scientist before starting PawnGuru in 2015. He started PawnGuru to build a better tool for pawn shops and consumers to connect.

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