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Pawning Guns

Pawning Guns: (Almost) Everything You Need to Know in 5 Questions

How Pawning Works

1) Are pawn loans different for guns?

In a word: no. But if you’ve never pawned before, you’ll want to know some key terms. When someone pawns an item, they’re receiving a cash loan on the basis of its value. Your firearm is that basis– called the collateral – and they’ll keep it in case you cannot pay back the loan. If you don’t want the gun back, you can choose to sell it instead.

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Pawn or Sell My Gun

Indeed, the first question a pawnbroker will ask is whether you want to pawn or sell your gun. Whichever you choose, understanding the market value of your gun is the best way to know how much you can realistically expect to get. In general, you’ll want to know as much as you can about your firearm.

2) How can I find out the value of my gun?

While your gun might fetch a higher price if you kept it on the market, pawn shops will give you money quickly. In essence, you’re trading time and convenience to get cash now – taking a discount on the sale price. To get a sense of the fair market value, we recommend: | A simple, no-nonsense approach organized by weapon type (pistol, rifle, etc.). | Organized by the manufacturer, Firearms Price Guide has deep details on specific weapons.

3) How should I prepare my gun?

For starters, you’ll want to bring your gun secure in its locked case – and entirely unloaded. Like any responsible owner, you and the pawnbroker will want to exercise best firearms handling standards. This means treating the gun as if it’s loaded. You’ll also need to bring your gun license. They will ask to make a copy to keep on file so they can run a background check if necessary.

Pawn shops, like a bank, are operating a business, and they will charge fees for loaning services. Also, each shop may have a particular interest in which inventory they accept. Not every pawn shop allows guns, know beforehand if a store accepts your item.

4) What kind of guns do pawn shops buy?

Any quality handgun or rifle that’s been heavily used, but mechanics still function properly can be pawned or sold at most pawn shops. A gun that’s “like new” will be even more valuable; and even better if you have an antique rifle, like from the Civil War. Regardless, expect that they’ll want to vet and check your antique gun to make sure it’s authentic – while you might know the history, a pawnbroker will still go through the standard process of precautions.

5) What should I do next?

If you do choose to use your gun to get a pawn loan, make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the offer. These details will also vary by shop, but chances are you’ll have to make a payment in 30-60 days. We will follow up with more advice on how to pawn or sell a gun in our next column. We’ll include specific tips from some of the best pawn shops. In the meantime, you can get offers on your firearm on, or write to us with questions at

Good luck!

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Pawn or Sell My Gun

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Pawning Guns: (Almost) Everything You Need to Know in 5 Questions
Do pawn shops buy guns? Find everything you need to know about out how to get the most money for your pistol, rifle and more.
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        1. Great question! It depends on specific state regulations. Every state is different with regard to gun laws and pawn redemption laws. For example, some places allow you to sell your pawn ticket to another person, which would allow them to redeem the item. However, if that’s not allowed, then you yourself are the only one who can redeem that item.

  1. It’s funny I didn’t see any info stating the facts that customers need to know especially first time pawn customers When it comes to pawning their guns in Oklahoma pawn shops are using the laws to steal good people’s guns I pawned my new Hk 45 fde tactical being told I could pay the Loan plus interest within 60 days simple as that. So I pawned it he give me 125 dollars I came back 4 days later give the slip to pawn shop owner same guy who assured me that it was that simple He goes to the back for several minutes he comes back out gives me a form to fill out. I started filling it out then I asked what it was I was filling out he said remember I was telling you that you had to pass a background check to get your gun back if u pawned. Which was a complete lie. I realized rite then I got took for a ride I was furious I had saved for 6 months to buy that gun It’s simply stealing
    Seems that all the back ground check process would been done before they loan on the gun I give $1350.00 for the gun and the pawn shop give me $125.00 loan on it. Their was no chance i wasn’t gonna be rite back to pay the loan and get it back. Why don’t we discuss or inform the customers of this secret pawn shops don’t want the customer to know ?

    1. Any time a customer leaves a gun (short or long), they do have to fill out a form for background check and that is in Oklahoma. No matter how long it’s in the pawn shop you do have to fill out a background paper.

  2. Does all pawn shops require a gun license,and if you dont have one could you still pawn one anyway? I have some from my grandfather that passed away and left them to me..

    1. Every state is different, but pawn shops know the rules, so they can tell you. Try submitting the guns on PawnGuru, with your question, and hopefully local shops will respond. (Keep in mind that even if the pawn shop is licensed to pawn the gun for you, you still have to pass a background check if you want to redeem the gun and get it back)

  3. Hey I know every state has different regulations, but I would say that the person who pawned the gun has to be the person who picks it up in about 99% of cases. Also plan on being required to fill out a form ATF-4473 and pass a FBI background check when you redeem your firearm. If that’s a problem for you, then don’t pawn your gun. I realize that I’m not in an area serviced by “PawnGuru”, but this “article” has no real information on pawning firearms. Also if you want to know the real market value of a firearm, use an online auction site like Much more helpful than either of the price guide links in this article. Licensed dealers do not need your “gun license”. This has no bearing on firearm pawn in most circumstances. They will need your state photo ID though. Make sure it is current (not expired) and has the correct information (address).

  4. Everybody must pass a background check to redeem your gun from pawn. Some don’t even tell you they charge $20 to fill out a background check. In Indiana, if you’ve been arrested and charged with a felony, or even some misdemeanors, you may not be able to retrieve your gun. However I am seeing that you can transfer the pawn ticket to someone outside your household, but they cannot transfer the gun back to you unless your charges are dropped. Be sure to do your homework before pawning your gun, ask the Pawn Broker but they are not required to tell the truth and they don’t make money being nice, but that’s what BBB and Rip Off report is for right.

  5. David, I like your point about knowing what the market value of your gun is. I would imagine that this would help benefit you if you’re planning on buying or selling. My father-in-law loves to collect old used guns. His birthday is coming up, I’d love to get him something unique.

  6. I just pawned my HK .40 Cal. I pawned it for $150, because I just needed quick cash, I’m a single father and school clothes/supplies wiped me out and just needed to get to next week. I am in Florida by the way, and he did tell me after I arrived I would have to pass a background check to get my gun back, which ok fine, I have a Concealed Weapons Permit, so I should be able to get my gun back, but if they try some bullsh*t to cheat me out of my gun, we are going to have problems.

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