The simple answer to this question is, “Maybe not without ending up in jail.”
This is a question many gun owners ask and one that can have different interpretations. So it’s important to check out local laws about who can sell firearms and under what conditions.
Take the recent case in Minnesota where an individual tried to circumvent the law by claiming to be a “gun collector.” While this might seem like an “open and shut” case when you learn more about it, it isn’t uncommon for ordinary gun owners to want to sell their firearms.
The article I am referring to, “Minnesota man gets 18 months for selling guns without a license,” was reported in the Duluth News Tribune. As it was reported, Eitan Benjamin Feldman sold guns online without a license. He claimed to be a gun collector so he could buy guns online and then turn around and sell them online. He didn’t have a federal firearms license and he didn’t conduct a background check on the buyers, even though he himself passed the background check.
You might think this is an unusual case, but he was warned to stop. He then went ahead and violated the law. But, this is not the point I hope you take away from this post.
Many gun owners have guns they would like to sell. Usually, they simply find someone interested in purchasing the firearm and sell it to them.
They don’t realize that without following the proper procedure under both federal, state and local laws, they might break the law. And like most gun laws, they are treated as serious crimes, usually felonies. That means it stays on their record and it would prevent them from owning a firearm altogether. As the U.S. Attorney said in this case…
“Stemming the flow of illicit firearm sales is an important priority for law enforcement,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Bejar said in a written statement. “Engaging in the business of unlicensed firearms sales is a serious crime.”
The regular sale and purchase of firearms is a regulated activity…it isn’t like selling and buying a bicycle. It is an activity that can involve different areas of the legal system and isn’t something to “experiment” with and figure you won’t get caught…most usually will.
My advice is, if you are thinking of either buying or selling firearms, to check out the law or call me /e-mail if you are in question. Often it’s a simple answer one way or the other but in other situations it can be complex. It’s better to understand the complexities up front BEFORE the transaction than trying to explain it to a judge when you have been charged you with a crime. It’s critical to…Be Prepared. Be Smart. Be Safe.