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Pawning Guns

Pawning Guns in 2019: Everything to Know

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

Article Name
Pawning Guns: Everything to Know | March 2019
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. Find how to prepare your gun.
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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.

        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. Is the pawn shop suppose to inform you about doing a background check in order to get the gun back if you decide to pawn it in the state of texas

      1. I recently pawned off my brand new .357 magnum in utah. This gun was brand new and never fired so it was spotless. I went to pick up my gun today and when I got home I looked at it and it has clearly been fired numerous times. You can tell someone tried to clean it but there is still carbon all over it. Isn’t this illegal? I feel very uneasy about my gun now.. not knowing what they did with it.

    1. What if an old man I live with gifted me a few rifles and a pistol (pistol didn’t work) and I sold it at a pawn shop, then 8 months after that the old man forgot he gave them to me because he is 81 years old and may have had a lapse, and can’t see well, and may not be all in his right mind 8 months after he gifted it!!!! Is it his word against mine? Or am I F…..ked and go to the pokey? Scary.

  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.

      1. Same except I was told didnt need to complete any paperwork and didnt need to show ownership to pawn muzzloader and shotgun. I owned muzzloader and the person with me owned the shotgun. So I pawned for loan and went back 14 days to pay loan and get them back. salesperson go in the back instead of guns, he brings out background form. Never told me that upfront and wouldnt let owner of shotgun pay the ticket or complete form cause the ticket was completed by me. Nice trick

    2. Roger, so im in the same situation. What happened legally with atf. The pawn shop completed atf background check took ownership of the gun and they reported you as seller

    3. How can a pawn shop I have been going to for years as a good customer..with my name and years and years of business allow me to pawn my rifles one 30.06 one .308one .44 Remington mag and one .32 caliber. With no problems .did not have to show Id ,was not told about any regulations that I’d need an Id tho to get them out. Was nor told u have to pass background check…plain and simple I feel like Northstar gun and pawn has ripped off family heirlumes from me. I had never pawned a gun before this moment. I do not have my valid Id due to losing it or wallet got stolen I now gave to wait to get my Id through the mail once I can even afford one…in this case was told had to be me to get them out then was told no u can have family member but my older brother has no bad background and he brought his I’d bit they still REFUSED TO DO ANYTHING TO HELP ME OR US. Saying he did not pass and so I asked well wen I get my I’d I can come in right? WRONG…they said if they didn’t have me leave and stop asking legitimate questions about my own familis guns. Even after I had to pawn other items I use for work as a mechanic just to keep them. That they would call the police on me. I mean I was the one that pawned them I am in there database and have never encountered thus problem until it came to expensive items …I wonder how many others like MD have now lost there prize possession’s due to the neglegents of the old farts working neglecting to tell u any crucial info to get t h em back Before pawning. NOPE THEY WAIT TILL THE DAY I HAVE THE MONEY AND TELL EVERY PERSON T H AT TRIED THAT NOPE IT’S GOTTA BE ME …NOW I CAN’T EVEN GO THERE CUZ OF ASKING QUESTIONS ABOU TH MY OWN PERSONAL PROPERTY BUT BECAUSE I GUESS A PIECE OF PAPER THAT HAD MY FAMILIES INFO ON IT WAS TAKEN. .PROBABLY RIPPED UP BY US THEY WILL NOT LET ME BACK THERE AND T H EY JUST KEEP SAYING OVER AND IVER”WE WANT THAT PAPER ,THAT IS THE PROPERTY OF OURS. ” I MEAN COME ON A PIECE OF PAPER THAT SHOULD BE SHREDDED BY THE PERSON FILLING IT OUT ALSO. DON’T GET ME STARTED ON HOW MANY SHEETS THEY HAVE!!!! FOR THAT PETICULAR FORM.I HOPE SOMEONE WILL EMAIL ME WITH HELP ON WAT TO DO ? BTW Roger I have 4 guns in the state of Minnesota wayyyy north that u a they are trying to steal my guns. My families heirlooms that they said one day we can pay on em so they don’t build interest but then once I got my id back I could puk them up I thought great. We then are told 5 min not even that he never said anything like that. I was raised not to steal or slander but the pawn shop is Northstar gun and pawn. They also own T AND B PAWN Hibbing mn .they keep making me jump hoops for my property wen I pawned and picked up stuff couple dozen times a year and all information about myself is on there database but they refuse to leg me own what is rightfully mine. I mean this has to be upwards of 6 to 9 grand wrth if guns .. assholes

  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)

      1. DAVID,

  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.

    1. Just a quick note to you Indi- with all do respect I operate a gun shop and pawn store and I run a tight ship and am very upfront with my customers. I don’t make my money by being dishonest and hiding things from them. I do know that most pawn shops are like that, but so are many other professions. We are not your average -I know, but it can be done.

  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 pawned my pistol and a shotgun in Az. Went to get them today, as the ticket was due, and had to “repawn” the guns, because there’s a 3 day wait. Now I’m going to owe an extra $100 to get them out. Pawn shop says nothing they can do, of course. Is this legit??

  7. I believe in Indiana you can only pawn long guns… Pistols must be sold , not pawned… You can of course sell long guns as well…Any other input on this??

  8. I’m in Louisiana. I pawned my wifes PT111 ( Pistol ) because we needed money for bills. She was aware to what I was doing. The gun is in her name and the pawn shop didn’t run the guns serial numbers to see if I was the rightfully owned. They say, I am the only one that can get the gun back. Now if the gun is in her name, why can’t she get her gun out of the pawn shop? I would say just report it stolen and they would have to give it to her with no charge but that would leave me with a chance of going to jail. How can they accept a gun from me thats not in my name? And can she legally get back whats rightfully hers?

  9. 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.

  10. I have a question if someone asks u to pawn a gun for them so they can get cash but they tell you that you can get the gun cause they can’t afford to get it out, can u legally keep it? I ask cause I’m in this situation however the gun owner (whom does have a bill of sale for said gun, & I do not just his verbal permission to get it out & keep it since I did pay to get it out and now invested in it) now is trying to go back on his word & threatening charges for theft?!?! If the pawn ticket is in my name & I paid to get it out can he legally press charges on me?

  11. My wife was going through some of the boxes in our basement and found some old antiques that included a gun. You stated that whichever you choose, understanding the market value of your gun is the best way to know how much you can realistically expect to get. Do most pawn shops follow certain regulations or rules when it comes to pricing out certain types of products? Finding a reputable pawn shop might be our best option.

  12. I pawn my gun a Smith & Wesson 40 went in to go get it and they told me I had to pass a polygraph test which the gentleman at the counter never told me that I would have to pass one I am a single parent trying to raise three children and I just needed some quick cash to get through the next week

  13. I pawned a rifle and wa snot able to get it back. Now that I have the money to buy it back they informed that unfortunately it sold last month. Are they able to give me the buyers information so I can contact him and attempt to buy it off of him?

  14. Recently, I have inherited a few guns. I haven’t known what to do with them. I am thinking of pawning them or selling them. Either way, your information was useful. I will make sure I know all about my guns and the history of them. I will also do what you have recommended and look up the fair market value. I don’t know who I will sell to yet, but I will make sure that it is done legally and to a good place.

  15. I bought a 270 rifle from a friend cause he needed money. I told him he could buy it back from me because I didn’t need the gun and need money back. He could pay me back when I needed the money. I loaned him $250 originally. So I took gun to pawn shop and pawned the gun for $300. While at pawn shop police came in pick gun up because it was stolen. I get a notice in mail for hearing at Montgomery co Texas court because gun was found to be stolen. The friend had sold me a stolen gun. When I go to hearing am I going to be in trouble. This is in Texas. Now my friend doesn’t want to be part of any of this.

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