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Private sale question

Discussion in 'Legal' started by bikemutt, Jun 2, 2011.

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  1. bikemutt

    bikemutt Well-Known Member

    I did search the forum before asking this so please excuse me if it's been adequately addressed before and I've missed it.

    I think a simple hypothetical example might be the most clear way for me to ask the question.

    Let's say I sell a gun to another individual who is personally unknown to me. As a strict condition of sale I request to see the buyer's unexpired driver's license for the State I'm in as well as an unexpired concealed weapons permit for the same State. I make sure the names all match, dates are good etc. We complete the deal. No paperwork whatsoever is exchanged, other than good 'ole greenbacks.

    Some time in the future the buyer turns out to be a bad guy and runs afoul of the law. Lets assume he was also a bad guy at the time of the sale but was still in possession of valid IDs as stated above. And of course, the gun is discovered and seized as part of the buyer's new legal troubles.

    Have I exercised sufficient due diligence to have earned immunity from being charged, prosecuted and convicted of selling a firearm to someone not eligible to receive one? Are there other laws that could be broken other than selling to a prohibited person, such as selling to a non-resident of the State?

    If the consensus is I'm screwed, what could I have done differently in order to eliminate legal exposure?

    Again, this is a proactive question with a hypothetical example, I'm not actually facing this situation, I just don't ever wish to.

    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  2. llwsgn

    llwsgn Well-Known Member

    I suppose that if I wanted to be sure of that I'd ask a good lawyer.
  3. Smithiac

    Smithiac Well-Known Member

    What I have always done is take a copy of the license and keep it on file with the date of sale serial number and make and model of the firearm. That is what I have done in the past. Different states will have different laws as well so that will also need to be looked into.
  4. Gadzooks Mike

    Gadzooks Mike Well-Known Member

    I would do up a bill of sale in duplicate, both you and the buyer sign them both, a copy for each.
  5. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Well-Known Member

    State law will vary, but federally, all that is required is that the person be a resident of your state, and to your knowledge is not a felon or otherwise prohibited.

    What that means, is that legally, all I'm required to ask federally is "are you a felon, or otherwise prohibited?" if they say no, and I have no reason to believe otherwise, then I'm good to go.

    If it makes you feel better (or your state law requires it) you can do it through a FFL or ask for a license/CCW permit/bill of sale?whatever, but it's generally not necessary.
  6. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    The legal requirement is that you cannot KNOWINGLY sell a firearm to a person who is prohibited by reason of felony, domestic violence, drug addict, etc.

    You cannot KNOWINGLY sell a firearm to a person who is not a resident of the same state as you are, without going through an FFL.

    You cannot KNOWINGLY sell a handgun to a person <18 years of age.

    Since you are in Washington:

    There is no requirement in law to verify any of that, or maintain a record of any verification of that. Some states do require verification background checks for private sales, but Washington does not.

    The answer to your first question above is yes, unless you knew something the person that you didn't post.

    The answer to your second question above is yes - residency requirements and age limits.
  7. AirForceShooter

    AirForceShooter Well-Known Member

    In Florida you would be perfectly clean.
    All that's required is you reasonably believe the buyer to be eligible.
    Seeing a D/L and CCW is enough.

    Worked for me

  8. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Well-Known Member

    Is there anything to prevent a private seller (not having an FFL) from asking a buyer to fill out and sign a Form 4473? It seems that it would be a good way for the seller to cover himself (besides asking for the driver's license, etc.). If the buyer refuses, it would be a red flag that something was amiss.
  9. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    BIG -- UM, NO
    big thing,
    such as, YOU (private seller) have neither the system or the ability to access it.
    and legally it would mean NOTHING.
    if you want to do a dealer transfer, then take the gun to a dealer and pay him to do it.
  10. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Well-Known Member

    Or, a sign that the buyer isn't interested in jumping through pointless gov't hoops in what is supposed to be a simple private sale.
  11. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Well-Known Member

    It could be that a non-licensed person asking someone to fill out a 4473 could look bad if the guy turned out using the firearm in a crime. BG says you represented yourself as a FFL.
    I do think having signed copies of a bill of sale is a good thing to have.
  12. metalman8600

    metalman8600 member

    You did'n't do anything wrong.

    Another note, I don't think form 4473s or Bill of Sales do much at all to solve crimes. The only thing they do is create paranoia among gun sellers/buyers.
  13. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    That would be me.... if I wanted to fill out a 4473, I would just go to a dealer. In a private sale, I'll show you my Driver's License, and maybe my CPL. No, you can't have a copy. No you can't write down the number. I'll sign a bill of sale for you with the purchase price, serial number, and all my info you can get out of the phone book. Anything more and I'll just go to a dealer....
  14. Sebastian the Ibis

    Sebastian the Ibis Well-Known Member

    A bill of sale would be useful if the gun is found without the bad guy. Say for example there is a shootout, cop killed, and the bad runs away leaving the gun. The police are going to kick down the door of whomever last received that gun on a 4473. While you are going to really need an alibi and a lawyer, a bill of sale showing you sold it to someone else would be helpful both to getting your backside out of handcuffs and to help the cops catch the BG.
  15. SpentCasing

    SpentCasing Well-Known Member

    +100 NavyLT.

    In Ohio you could not be held responsible in any way. The gov't here has as much to do in a private gun transaction as a garage sale floor lamp transaction. You may have heard Antis refer to it as the 'Gun show loophole'. I think its nice.
  16. rscalzo

    rscalzo Well-Known Member

    If you aren't totally comfortable with the buyer, go through a FFL. We have enough in the club that charge little and gives you piece of mind. While a carry permit would ease my mind, a DL does nothing. You have no way to check the valitity of it, nor does it imply a clean record.

    Until I heard it from the mouth of a lawyer that a sale to a prohibited person was not a problem I would take it for what it's worth. I'm not betting my financial future on "it should be ok".
  17. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Well-Known Member

    Police won't be kicking in anyone doors without a warrant and probable cause....and a 4473 isn't probable cause that YOU were the bad guy.
    Gun tracing is only a small part of a criminal investigation. ATF can only trace a firearm from the manufacturer to the first 4473. After that they start KNOCKING on doors and asking to who you sold the gun.

    A bill of sale is worthless. I could print up a thousand bills of sale that prove what? I have a piece of paper?:rolleyes:

    The same guys that whine about ATF regulations and Federal firearms laws are the same ones demanding buyers and sellers have a bill of sale.

    Try exercising what firearm freedoms you still enjoy.
  18. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    OP question answered...
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