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How does buying a used pistol from an individual work?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Brenainn, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. Brenainn

    Brenainn Well-Known Member

    I know that most of you are not lawyers, but maybe some of you can answer my questions…

    How does buying a pistol used from another individual (not store) work legally? I live in NC, so I suppose it may be different all over the country, but for the most part after you purchase the pistol, do you have to register it in your name? Would I need to get the information of the person I bought the pistol from? Is that person required to get any information from me in order for the transaction to be “legal”?

    I am positive that it just doesn’t work like rifles do where as a lot of them (rifles) pass through MANY hands and are usually never re-registered or whatever. You have to be a little more careful with pistols legally.

    Any tips, comments, knowledge on the subject would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.
  2. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    The person you are buying from must be a resident of the same state as you. If in doubt I ask for ID. I prefer not to buy from someone I don't know, but have a few times at gunshows. I usually ask a few questions to get a feel about the person I am buying from to check for bad "vibes". I have walked away from some good deals because I didn't feel comfortable about the seller. I don't want to end up with a stolen gun. After that the only requirement is to swap money for gun here in Georgia. Not required here but a reciept with name and address of the individual along with the serial number of the gun is a good idea. People have been known to sell guns then later claim them as stolen for insurance.
  3. nalioth

    nalioth Well-Known Member

    In Texas, I give the seller the money for his pistol, and we both go our seperate ways. Now to play "CYA", when I sell a pistol, I get DL info, and have 'em sign a form I have saying they're able to legally own it (but that is "how i do it" and not legally required at all)

    Gun registration is not federally required.
  4. mekender

    mekender Well-Known Member

    in NC you are required to have a pistol purchase permit any time you aquire a pistol from any means... a CCH will also work... no registration is required, but its not a bad idea to get the sellers info
  5. Brenainn

    Brenainn Well-Known Member

    What are you doing when you buy a brand new gun at the store, besides agreeing to a background check? I have always heard that it is required.

    Anyway, here are some of the scenarios I have thought of that worry me:

    What if I buy a brand new gun at the store, sell it 2 years later and some dude ends up with it and murders someone with it and leaves it at the scene? If the gun was bought by me legally at a store, then it most certainly can be traced back to me, right? The bad possibilities scare me with this.

    Here is another one...
    I buy a used pistol from Bob. I end up using the pistol in self defense when some BG breaks into my home one night. Cops come, check the pistol's history, etc. Again, it seems like a bad idea.

    Also, what if I want to get a carry permit for a used pistol that I just bought? When you get a permit, do you have to have to use a specific pistol always, or does the permit cover any firearm you choose to carry that day? Let's say I bought a used pistol one day, and in the same day decided to carry it concealed in public. Or, I got stopped by a cop for speeding that day and had it concealed. If I have a conceal carry permit from 6 months ago, would that cover me?

    I just want to make sure I do the right thing when buying. I suppose ideally, it's better to buy new, don't sell, and get a carry permit, but because I can't afford buying new on the particular pistols that I would like to buy I want to go the used route. I still may want to conceal carry if I get a used pistol too, but I am not sure how all that works.
  6. Working Man

    Working Man Well-Known Member

    In Texas, yes. Elsewhere???????? Laws vary.
  7. Zoogster

    Zoogster Well-Known Member

    By federal law the person must be in the same state as you, otherwise it must be transfered to an FFL.

    Per state law it varies widely. Briefly going over some NC laws shows a need to purchase a pistol permit for $5 which lasts 5 years but you need one for each handgun.
    The seller then must retain the purchase permit to create a documented permanent paper trail.
    That is so they can trace private purchases through sellers at a later date if desired.
    Failure to retain the permit is a class 1 misdemeanor.

    Someone with a concealed pistol permit is not required to obtain a pistol purchase permit per handgun. So handguns purchase by such people would be less documented, and the seller would not have to retain the non existant purchase permit. Though the state obviously knows they are armed because they pay for that privelidge, they would not know how many, or which specific firearms are owned that were purchased privately by such a person.
  8. mekender

    mekender Well-Known Member

    its not hard... if you buy from someone, ask to see their id and jot down their name and address... get a carbon copy bill of sale pad from your local office depot for like $2 and keep that paper on file... if you ever have a problem, youll have paperwork to show when you bought it and who from...

    in NC your purchase permits are good for 5 years... the concealed permit is good for 3 i think... the concealed permits cover concealment of any HANDGUNs you choose to carry, there is not limit to the number that you may carry at once... the concealed carry permit does not cover bladed weapons, rifles, crossbows etc... only pistols are covered...

    this has been discussed extensively over at www.carolinashootersforum.com... come on over and say hi
  9. rmmoore

    rmmoore Well-Known Member

    You give him a handful of an agreed upon amount of crispy green stuff, and he gives you a handful of nice and shiny (or not) metallic stuff. Everyone is happy and we all can sleep better at night :evil: Well, possibly the "ban 'em all" crowd might not sleep so good, but oh well.

    It really does depend on where you live, NOT just what State you're in. There are some local issues that can get UGLY, even if the State itself is okay. Before the State Supreme Court got involved, Denver, CO was a handgunners nightmare. CO's SC stepped in and slapped their weenie because the city was overreaching and violating State law. A few years later, there are STILL LEO's and attorneys who think they can get away (and DO) with harrassing handgunners. Go figure.

    Privacy is a WONDERFUL thing. NEVER sacrifice it to make someone ELSE feel better.
  10. Right Wing Wacko

    Right Wing Wacko Well-Known Member

    In Washington (State) here's how it works.

    The purchaser hands the seller the money, and the seller hands the purchaser the gun.

    This of course assumes that both are residents of Washington. Things get more complicated if they are not.
  11. ctdonath

    ctdonath Well-Known Member

    In GA: friend handed me a wad of cash, I handed him the pistol. Done. Totally legal.
  12. gc70

    gc70 Well-Known Member

    YOU must have a handgun permit or CHL for any handgun purchase, whether from a dealer or an individual.

    Firearms are not registered in NC (unless you consider the Form 4473 you fill out at a dealer to be "registration").

    It is prudent, but not legally required, for you to get some identifying information about the seller. I prefer a Bill of Sale that has identifying information about both the buyer and seller and their signatures.

    At a minimum, a seller must take your handgun permit or inspect your CHL. A prudent seller will want to see other identifying information (i.e. driver's license or other photo ID) and get some sort of written record of the transaction.

    A CHL licenses the person, not the gun.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2008
  13. Mazeman

    Mazeman Well-Known Member

    In NH, no record of the transaction is required, and the gun does not need to be registered.
  14. Technosavant

    Technosavant Well-Known Member

    I'd probably just use something simple. Get the name and address of the buyer and seller, and have them each affirm that the firearm is legally owned and not stolen (for the seller) and that you are legally able to own it according to all applicable laws (for the buyer). Add in a description of the gun (make, model, caliber, serial #) for insurance purposes, and you should be good to go.

    If a seller doesn't want his name attached anywhere to the gun, I'd worry. Ditto for the buyer. You wouldn't buy a car from a guy who didn't show clear title or have any other provable paperwork, nor would you necessarily want to sell one to somebody without a driver's license either. It's just simple prudence, covering the rear of both buyer and seller.
  15. Brenainn

    Brenainn Well-Known Member

    OK, to switch things up a little...
    I am asuming that nothing is required if I wanted to buy a rifle, right? That is how I always knew it anyway...
  16. gc70

    gc70 Well-Known Member

    No special government documents or approvals (other than a NICS check when buying from a dealer) are required to buy a rifle in NC. Prudence still applies to private transactions.

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