Private Gun Sales

private gun salesI once sold a gun in the parking lot of a famous Atlanta fast food establishment. I had met the buyer, negotiated and planned the transaction, all through a website, built specifically for this purpose. I knew that by selling this gun myself, rather than trading it in at a store, I would be able to get more cash for it.

I took a few precautions:

  • Meet in a public place
  • Bring a second person or Have a friend know where you are and expect a check-in call at a specific time after the sale is complete
  • make buyer aware, in advance, of any requirements you may have:
    • sign 2 copies of a bill of sale
    • see a valid carry permit
    • cash, check or other form of payment

In Georgia, currently, this is all that’s needed to conduct a private gun sale. But last week Colorado passed legislation that would change a transaction like mine. According to the Associated Press, Colorado’s new laws would require me to do a background check on my buyer, (for which the buyer would have to pay).

So let me get this straight; As I stand in the parking lot with someone who has offered to give me cash for a gun I no longer want, I will have to call NICS (the FBI’s firearms background check 800 number) and sit on hold to find out if the person is a “proceed” “delayed” or “denied”. (I recently made a NICS call for a firearms transaction, and ended up on hold for at least 30 minutes.) Worst case scenario, NICS tells me the buyer is “denied”; How do I share that information with this stranger who is standing next to me?

Let’s say the buyer passes this check. Will NICS be taking their payment over the phone? Am I supposed to collect this money and then submit it to the government, somehow? Or maybe the check isn’t done by an 800 number, but by an iPhone App. Am I supposed to keep records in the form of screen shots? Will the ATF be checking on the records I keep? More likely, I imagine, I will have to move from my chosen parking lot, to a government designated transaction location. Will it be a government building that handles firearms transactions? Doubtful… More likely, the buyer and I will meet at a gun store who will conduct the check, collect payment and then help me spend my newly acquired gun funds.

Once again, this may prove to be an issue. Asking FFLs to handle private gun sales, will add even greater stress to their, already inundated, businesses. The NSSF agrees that having FFL holding, stores run background checks for private sales, will put undo burden on private businesses. Further, many gun stores prohibit private sales be done on their property. If they do allow buyers and sellers to handle transactions in their shops, will they attempt to take a percentage. I also fear shop sales people might attempt to interfere with a private sale, dissuading a buyer or pressuring a novice seller like myself.

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