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Firearm (Gun) Bill of Sale Form

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Firearm (Gun) Bill of Sale Form

Updated May 05, 2024

A firearm bill of sale is a document used to record a gun’s purchase and ownership transfer. The sale of a personal firearm usually does not carry the same liability as a dealer or purchasing at a gun show. It is the responsibility of the seller to NOT allow the sale of a firearm to a convicted felon.

Private Sale

View the laws in your state to understand the requirements of selling a firearm privately.

By State

Table of Contents

What is a Federal Firearms License (FFL)?

A Federal Firearms License (FFL) is given to gun shops and businesses and allows them to sell, manufacture, and transport firearms and ammunition in the United States. FFL businesses have to abide by certain procedures, including customer background checks, in order to allow customers to purchase firearms from them.

In most cases, gun owners do not need to have an FFL when selling a gun privately unless outlined in their state or local laws. However, it is necessary for the public and private sale of firearms over state lines.

What is a Concealed Carry?

A concealed carry is possessing a firearm while in public in a hidden manner. A permit is required in most parts of the United States, while some states have constitutional rights to possess a concealed carry weapon without a license. A concealed carry is usually a gun such as a pistol or similar handgun.

How to Get a Permit

Getting a concealed carry permit depends on the laws in the carrier’s jurisdiction. Concealed carry is legal in every part of the United States although the local laws and permits must be followed. For most midwest areas there are constitutional rights to a concealed carry without a license while cities like New York have strict permitting laws.

Use GunstoCarry.com as a guide to State laws and reciprocity.

How to Sell a Firearm (6 steps)

Selling a firearm can be pretty tricky if you aren’t familiar with local, state, and federal gun laws. We suggest using our guide to help you through the process.

Step 1 – Look Up Gun Laws

person researching gun laws on computer

This is very important. Some states require permits to be held by the buyers while others require all sales to be processed through authorized dealers. in California for example, the sale of a private gun, outside an authorized dealer, is considered a misdemeanor.

Use This Table as a guide to viewing the laws in each state regarding the sale of a firearm.

Step 2 – Sell to a Trusted Person

seller and potential buyer in conversation over coffee

An owner of a firearm cannot sell it on the internet with sites like eBay or Craigslist. Although, in most States, almost any individual without a criminal record is allowed to buy a gun. As a responsible gun owner, it’s best to be careful with whom it is sold. Therefore, it’s recommended to only sell to someone you may know personally such as friends, family, or neighbors. If this isn’t possible, then be cautious and ask interested buyers to provide proof of identity before moving forward with the transaction. It’s always best to just walk away if you feel something is off about the exchange or the character of the individual.

Step 3 – Perform a Background Check

handgun sitting atop document labeled "background check firearms transaction record"

If you are unsure if the buyer has a clean record it’s best to perform a criminal background check to verify the person is who they claim to be. Use one (1) of the following sites depending on the type of query:

Criminal Background Search

Sex Offender Search

Step 4 – Negotiate the Sale

buyer and seller negotiating sale of firearm

After the buyer has been approved it’s now time to negotiate the sale. This usually involves a source of payment such as cash. Although, trading guns are common. It’s best to have an oral agreement made to outline the basic terms such as the purchase price, payment source (cash, check, etc.), and the number (#) of installments.

Step 5 – Write a Bill of Sale

close up of hand holding bill of sale document

Use the instructions to complete a bill of sale that details the terms of the transaction. All buyers should also be required to sign a disclaimer requiring the individual to verify they can purchase the firearm. In the event the gun is used in an illegal manner this will hold the seller harmless of any wrongdoing.

Step 6 – Make the Exchange

buyer and seller shaking hands after signing bill of sale

After the terms have been signed it’s now time to complete the sale and meet. The buyer should be prepared to have the payment ready and the seller should have the gun in their possession. Once the trade has commenced the sale becomes final and both buyer and seller are free of liability to one another.

Serial Number (#) – If you are the buyer, it is imperative that the serial number is located on the gun. If not, the sale may not be deemed legal. In addition, firearms without serial numbers are commonly used in criminal activity.

Laws for Private Sales

State Is a background check required for a Private Sale? Additional Rules
 Alabama No No person can purchase a firearm under § 13A-11-72
 Alaska No No person can purchase a firearm under AS 11.61.200. If the seller is a business engaged in selling second-hand guns, they must keep a record of the transaction under AS 08.76.010
 Arizona No Under ARS 13-3102(A)(5), no person may purchase a firearm that is a “prohibited possessor” as listed under ARS 13-3101(A)(7)
 Arkansas No Any person who meets the criteria of A.C.A. § 5-73-103 is prohibited from purchasing a firearm.
 California Yes Private sales must be conducted through a licensed firearms dealer pursuant to PEN §26700 to § 26915 inclusive.
 Colorado Yes As required by C.R.S. 18-12-112, anyone wishing to privately sell a firearm must do so with the assistance of a licensed dealer.
 Connecticut Yes In accordance with CT Gen Stat § 29-33(c), a private seller is required to obtain an authorization number from the Connecticut Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection, which performs the necessary background check on the potential purchaser.
 Delaware Yes In accordance with Del. Code tit. 24 §901 only individuals or entities that have obtained a “special license to sell deadly weapons” may process any sale or trade of a firearm in Delaware.
 Florida Yes Only a properly licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer can complete the sale of a firearm in Florida, as outlined in Fla. Stat. §790.065.
 Georgia No Specific persons are prohibited from purchasing a firearm in Georgia, as outlined in O.C.G.A. §16-11-131(b.1)
 Hawaii Yes HI Rev. Stat. §§ 134-4(a) and §134-7 states which individuals may purchase or possess a firearm and those ineligible.
 Idaho No ID Code §18-3302 outlines what criteria render a person ineligible from purchasing a firearm in the state.
 Illinois Yes Only those individuals and entities that have been issued a certificate of license as outlined under 430 ILSC 65/5-15 are permitted to sell or trade firearms in the state of Illinois. All purchasing parties are required to have a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card issued by the Department of State Police.
 Indiana No An individual is prohibited from purchasing a firearm if they meet any of the criteria in IN Code § 35-47-2-3(h).
 Iowa Yes Only individuals who have been issued a Permit to Acquire by their local Sheriff’s department are eligible to purchase and own a firearm. A background check is required to obtain a Permit to Acquire.
 Kansas No The use, ownership, or purchase of a firearm is illegal if the act meets the characteristics outlined in Kan. Stat. §21-6301
 Kentucky No Only those federally prohibited from owning a firearm per 18 U.S.C. sec 922(g)(8) are prohibited in Kentucky.
 Louisiana No L.A. Rev. Stat. § 14:95.1(A) describes who is prohibited from purchasing a firearm in Louisiana.
 Maine No An individual is not permitted to own or purchase a firearm as outlined in 15 ME Rev Stat § 393.
 Maryland Yes In accordance with MD Pub Safety Code § 5-106, any individual or entity selling a firearm must be a Regulated Firearms Dealer.
 Massachusetts Yes In accordance with MA Gen L ch 140 § 122, only those with a Firearms Dealer License may sell a firearm in the state.
 Michigan Yes MSP § 28.422a explains that any buyer in a private sale is required to have a state-issued handgun permit.
 Minnesota No In order to purchase a firearm in the state of Minnesota, the buyer must either have a Permit to Purchase/Transfer or a Permit to Carry issued by their local sheriff’s office. An individual who meets any of the following criteria, per MN Stat § 624.713, is prohibited from obtaining either of these permits and owning or purchasing a firearm
 Mississippi No Felons are prohibited from purchasing a firearm pursuant to Miss Code Ann. § 97-37-5(1).
 Missouri No Per MO Rev. Stat. § 571.070 felons, fugitives, alcohol and drug addicts, and those determined mentally incompetent are prohibited from purchasing a firearm.
 Montana No A person is prohibited from purchasing a firearm in Montana if they have been convicted of a felony under MT Code § 46-18-221, or an offense under the law of another state or of the United States that is equivalent to an offense that when committed in Montana is subject to an additional sentence under MT Code § 46-18-221.
 Nebraska No As established in NE. Rev. Stat. §§ 69-2404 and 28-1202.01, any person, other than a minor or prohibited person, may purchase and carry a firearm in Nebraska with or without a permit.
 Nevada Yes As mandated by NRS § 202.2533, only licensed firearms dealers are allowed to sell firearms in the state, and they are required to run a federal background check on all buyers.
 New Hampshire Yes Pursuant to NH Rev. Stat. § 159:10, any person or business that attempts or completes a sale of a firearm without an appropriate license be guilty of a class B felony.
 New Jersey Yes Any seller of a firearm must either be a licensed dealer or a private citizen with a Firearm Identification Card. Anyone who wishes to buy a firearm from a licensed dealer must obtain a Handgun Purchase Permit from their local police department.
 New Mexico Yes If a seller does not have a federal firearms dealer’s license, they must utilize a person or business that does in order to complete the required federal background check on the potential buyer as required by NM Stat. § 30-7-7.1(2).
 New York Yes In accordance with NY Gen Bus L § 898, an unlicensed private seller is required to conduct a background check through a licensed firearms dealer.
 North Carolina No In March 2023, North Carolina repealed its laws requiring a permit to purchase a handgun. Individuals who are eligible may purchase a firearm with or without a permit through private sales.
 North Dakota No ND Cent. Code § 62.1-02-01 explains the criteria that render a person ineligible to purchase a firearm in the state of North Dakota.
 Ohio No In accordance with OH Rev Code § 2923.13(A), a person is ineligible to purchase or own a firearm if they are fighting or convicted of a felony or other crime as described, have a dependency on alcohol or drugs, or have been determined to have a mental illness.
 Oklahoma No An individual who meets any of the criteria listed in OK Stat § 21-1283 is prohibited from purchasing and owning a firearm.
 Oregon Yes Anyone who can legally own a firearm can also sell one in a private transaction, however, per ORS 166.435(2) the seller and buyer must utilize a federally licensed gun dealer to conduct a background check on the buyer prior to completing the change of ownership.
 Pennsylvania Yes 18 PA Cons Stat § 6111(c) stipulates that all private sales must take place with a licensed dealer or at a sheriff’s office so that a proper background check may be conducted. Per 18 PA Cons Stat § 6111(a), a seller must wait at least forty-eight (48) hours before delivering a sold firearm to the purchaser.
 Rhode Island Yes A private seller can only do business with a buyer who has a valid permit to purchase per RI Gen L § 11-47-35.2, and they must conduct a seven (7) day waiting period between completing the financial transaction and delivering the firearm to the buyer.
 South Carolina No Certain persons are prohibited from owning a firearm per SC Code § 16-23-30(A).
 South Dakota No  A purchaser must be at least 18 years old (SD Codified §23-7-44) and have not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor per § 22-42 and § 22-14-15 through 15.3.
 Tennessee No Anyone who has been convicted of domestic violence or is the subject of an order of protection is prohibited from buying a firearm pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1307(f)(1).
 Texas No Only those federally prohibited from owning a firearm per 18 U.S.C. sec 922(g)(8) are prohibited in Texas.
 Utah No Utah has two levels of firearm ownership prohibition as outlined by UT Code § 76-10-503.
 Vermont Yes In order for two parties to complete the private sale of a firearm, they must engage the services of a licensed dealer to perform the transaction as mandated by 13 V.S.A. § 4019(b)(1).
 Virginia No Certain individuals are prohibited from purchasing a firearm pursuant to VA Code §§ 18.2-308.1:1 through 1:6 and VA Code § 18.2-308.2.
 Washington Yes The seller is required to utilize a licensed dealer to conduct the required federal background check on the potential buyer as explained in WA Rev Code § 9.41.113.
Washington D.C.
West Virginia No A person is prohibited from owning or purchasing a firearm in West Virginia if that person in accordance with WV Code § 61-7-7.
 Wisconsin No Any person is prohibited from purchasing a firearm in accordance with WI Stat. § 941.29.
 Wyoming No WY Stat § 6-8-404 outlines the requirements for a person to purchase a firearm in the state.

How to Write

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Filing Date

(1) Date. The calendar date that should be used to discuss this paperwork should be produced at the top of this page.

Part 1. The Parties

(2) Buyer’s Name. The Gun Buyer purchasing the concerned firearm must be identified. Print his or her full name where requested in the Parties section.

(3) Buyer’s Address. The legal address of the Gun Purchaser should be reported as it appears on his or her State I.D. (i.e. Driver’s License).

(4) Seller’s Name. The full name of the Firearm Dealer or Seller should be dispensed as well. If this is the name of a Business Entity (i.e., A Gun Shop) then use this Entity’s entire name including any applicable status suffix.

(5) Seller’s Address. The legal address or business address of the Firearms Seller is required to full identify this Party.

Part 2. Firearm Details

(6) Make. The Manufacturer of the firearm being purchased must be presented to aid in identifying the concerned gun.

(7) Type/Model. The firearm type or model can often be deciphered with a visual inspection or its manufacturer’s information. For instance, it may be a shotgun or a hunting rifle.

(8) Caliber. The caliber, the diameter of the gun barrel for the firearm being sold, must be reported in mm (millimeter).

(9) Serial Number (SN). In many states, the serial number of the firearm will be mandatory on a bill of sale. This number when coupled with the information above will clearly identify the piece being sold to future Reviewers of this paperwork. Typically, the serial number is found on a gun’s handle, but it can also be located on the slide or trigger guard. If the gun being sold has been rebuilt and presents more than one serial number, then present both making sure to note the part this number is reported on.

Part 3. Purchase

(10) Payment Amount. The dollar amount the Firearm Seller requires to release ownership of the gun to the Buyer should be furnished to this paperwork. This requires the full value or original asking price for the gun be reported even if the Seller is accepting a trade as part (or all) of the payment the Firearms Buyer must submit.

(11) Payment Date. The calendar date when the Firearms Buyer must submit payment to the Seller can be the same as this document date, defined as a deadline that you report, or described as some Other event or date. Select the checkbox that describes when the Firearms Buyer must pay for the gun being sold.

(12) Payment Options. Normally, a sum of money delivered by check, money order, credit card, cash, or wire transfer will be used to pay for the firearm. It is always recommended to avoid cash and seek to establish as much of a paper trail as possible when transferring ownership of a firearm. However if the ownership of the firearm will transfer as a gift (i.e., it will be given for free or for a fraction of its price) or in exchange for the Buyer’s property, then use this document to establish such a fact by selecting the appropriate checkbox statement. Note that if the Buyer is submitting his or her property, then a description of the property being accepted as payment should be dispensed.

Part 6. No Warranty

(13) Buyer’s Signature. The Buyer who will assume ownership of the firearm as a result of meeting the conditions above must sign this bill to prove his or her participation in this transaction.

(14) Buyer’s Signature Date And Printed Name. The date when the Gun Buyer signs his or her name, as well as his or her printed name, should both be submitted to support his or her act of signing.

(15) Buyer’s Driver’s License And Issuing State.

(16) Seller’s Signature. The Seller who will release ownership of the firearm to the Buyer according to the statements completed above must sign his or her name to complete this document.

(17) Seller’s Signature Date And Printed Name.

(18) Seller’s Driver’s License And Issuing State.