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making a profit?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Jim Mac, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. Jim Mac

    Jim Mac New Member

    Jun 13, 2012
    read a few posts about its illegal to sell guns to make a profit. I understand if a person is trying to be a backyard unlicensed dealer. But isnt making a profit the basis of Capitalism?
    I've got a few hobbies and I am not a car dealer, gun dealer, or a antique shop.
    I do enjoy collecting things I like to build hotrods as a hobby (currently have 3 running). But I try not to buy my stuff new. Mainly because you never get your money back from a new purchase. If I want different wheels on my chevelle, I will wait until I find a set used and never pay more than 250 bucks a set with tires. The old set will get put away or sold for what I paid or more.
    When I buy a gun, I try to follow the same reasoning. If I find a great deal on one and its something I want, I'll buy it. I get it home, clean it, fondle it, maybe shoot it. Then its been there done that so the next time I need some cash for another purchase its for sale. The sale price is same or for more than I paid.
    I dont think there is anything wrong with this practice.
    I know folks that go out and buy things brand new and when they tire of it sell it for alot less than what was paid for it. I see that as foolishness and money wasted. (We did buy a few new cars so we're guilty).
    at what point is it being frugal vs. making a profit? jim
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    It is the intent of the law to prevent people from running a private gun business out of a car trunk or bedroom without a Federal Firearms License.

    Without a FFL, there is currently no provision in the law for backround checks on purchasers, taxes to pay, or records to keep..

    Whether you agree or disagree with all that?

    You & the other guy did more government paperwork, had more documents checked, and paid more sales taxes on every car you flipped, then all the guns you have ever sold in your life I betcha.

    I hate to say it, but there is more of a paper trail on my truck & SUV & licencing to use them, or even my two cable TV boxs, then there is on over 25 of the 50+ guns I currently own.
    Or the 100 plus I have sold or traded over the last 50 years.

    And whether we like it or not?
    IMO: That probably just ain't right with so many wack-jobs & gang-bangers running loose in the USA today.

    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  3. docnyt

    docnyt Participating Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    HeArT of DiXiE
    The problem is, the gun industry is closely monitored and regulated. Making a profit from a private sale versus selling guns consistently for profit are different but the lines can get blurry if you have a fast turnover for private sales.
  4. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

    Oct 6, 2009
    it is illegal to buy a gun and sell it solely for the intention of generating profit and livelyhood...essentially, engaging in the business of arms dealing without the appropriate licensing.

    but if you buy a gun, as a collectible, or as a regular shooter, investment, ect. and you decide to sell it later on...there is nothing illegal with making a profit off of it.
  5. Jim Mac

    Jim Mac New Member

    Jun 13, 2012
    I guess the fine line is what someone would define as "normal". For instance I wanted real SS wheels for my chevelle. I found a set locally with tires. I bought them on my way to work, bolted them on when I got home. Took 1 look at the car and even took a picture of it and decide the tires were just too short. Took them off the next day and sold them. If I would have bought them new I would have been out hundreds of dollars just for putting them on. Fortunately I bought the set used for 250 dollars and got my money back.
    Unless your a car guy, that would not be considered normal. jim
  6. browningguy

    browningguy Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    Houston, TX
    If you're buying a gun one day, and selling it for a profit the next, the feds will most likely consider you dealing in firearms. Particularly if you do it more than once or twice a year.
  7. LS240

    LS240 New Member

    Sep 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    I believe it's only illegal to actually acquire guns with the intent of selling them for profit. How the ATF proves that is probably down to a case by case basis. Here's the thing though, if you've had a gun or guns for months or years and due to an increase in value in the market, decide to sell, I doubt anyone will care enough to make a case of it or even could if they tried. For instance, I have an extra Saiga I built about a year ago and don't use very much and it isn't a go-to rifle so I'm considering selling it if the price is high enough. Same with 500 rounds of 9mm I have lying around that I currently have nothing to shoot through. I don't believe that's illegal as I never intended to sell any of it when I bought it.

    But if you're out there buying and selling on a regular basis with quick turnaround on your purchases, you can bet the ATF will eventually come-a-knocking.
  8. MErl

    MErl Participating Member

    May 18, 2006
    I saw a pretty good interpretation of this in

    Gun Control Legislation
    page 22, paragraph after the bullet list. (the section explaining straw purchases)

    emphasis added

    It is not law but is a gov produced document explaining law to congress
  9. Jim Mac

    Jim Mac New Member

    Jun 13, 2012
    another example. I bought a arisaka a couple weeks ago, Nice rifle but the stock was cut in front of the barrel band and the AA wings are missing. I paid 125 bucks for the rifle. Hopefully going to pick up another one that hasnt been chopped up sunday. So the first one thats got a nice bore and I refinished the stock (original was stripped, carved and ugly) may go back up for sale tomorrow morning. Asking price will be more than I paid, but will probably come down to 135 bucks to cover my cost of refinishing supplies. If it works out, Ive only had the rifle for 2 weeks, but in the end will get the rifle I want so the other one can go. (Probably end up keeping both anyway). jim
  10. mgmorden

    mgmorden Senior Member

    May 22, 2009
    Charleston, South Carolina
    In that case you're fine. Its not that you can't sell a gun at a profit. Heck if you happened to have a gun that people wanted right now due to the panic and simply wanted to cash in on a good market price that's perfectly legal too.

    What's not legal is "engaging in the business" of selling firearms. It essentially boils down to intent. If you buy a firearm with the intention of selling it for a profit, then you're engaging the business of dealing in firearms and need an FFL. If you simply decide to sell a gun you already own, then you're good.

    At least for a technical standpoint. Sometimes you have to weigh how your intentions will appear to a questioning body.

    If you see a gun in a shop that is priced at half what it would sell for on Gunbroker, then if you buy that one gun, then claim you "didn't like it", and sell it, then its illegal, but it'd be hard for anyone to prove that.

    On the other hand, if you buy a Hi-point every other week and keep deciding that you don't like them, then sell it, and then regret it and repeat the cycle over and over, then it might be legal by the letter of the law, but no one is going to believe that.

    Basically, follow the law and even when doing that apply a tad bit of common sense and don't fall into a pattern that would arouse suspicion.
  11. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Mentor

    Sep 15, 2007
    The Mid-South.
    This question, for me, is only academic.

    But following a purchase, how Long must a buyer wait to sell, in order that the transaction is legal for one or two guns?
    One day, a week, maybe a month?
  12. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Senior Member

    Oct 26, 2008
    Peoples Republik of New Jersey
    If everything was on the up and up, I do not think anyone could be convicted of "engaging in business" for buying and selling "one or two guns." There would have to be other circumstances.
  13. rdhood

    rdhood Active Member

    Jun 5, 2007
    Bingo. It is similar to building guns from kits and later deciding to sell one. When considering these issues, always ask yourself , "What would a jury think if this case was brought before them? What could a prosecutor make a jury think?". If it looks to 12 people like you are in the business of buying and selling guns, then you are in trouble. If it looks to the jury like you occasionally buy or sell a gun, you are probably okay.

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