Where Can I Sell My Guns Legally?

There are many options available when selling a firearm. Finding a private buyer, going to a pawn shop or gun store, and consigning with an auction house are popular ways to get cash for your guns. While each has its own advantages and drawbacks, avoiding legal hassle and getting the most money for your guns are top priorities.

Should I Sell my Guns to a Private Buyer?

Selling your firearm to a private buyer might seem like a good option, but it involves a lot of research and legal hurdles. For instance, a gun can generally only be sold to a resident 18 or 21 years or older with proof of state residency, or military members stationed in the state. Other legal considerations when selling guns privately include:

  • Are you in a state with a firearm registration?
  • Does your state require a background check? A waiting period?
  • Does the buyer have a criminal record?
  • Does your state require the purchaser to obtain a state-issued permit or a concealed carry permit? (When selling a handgun)

Following all regulations enforced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives can be complicated for private sellers. Local gun laws, state law, and federal law often change. For the party who sells a firearm, other issues include needing to advertise your gun in local classifieds and writing up a bill of sale. So while selling an unwanted firearm to a private buyer might get more money than a pawn shop or gun store, it's also a longer process.

Should I Sell my Gun to a Pawnshop?

Selling your firearms to a pawn shop might seem easier than selling to a private buyer, but what about money? Pawnshops buy guns for the lowest price so they make the highest profit on the resale. Often this results in a pawnshop paying less than 50% of your gun’s value.

Should I Sell my Gun to a Gun Store?

Selling your guns to your local gun store is another option. A gun store with a Federal Firearms License will take care of the legal paperwork, but don’t expect much money for your guns. Like the pawnshop, a gun store is looking to buy guns cheap.

Selling your firearms to an online retailer has many of the same pros and cons as a local brick-and-mortar gun store. Not only will they offer far less value than the worth of your gun, but you’re also stuck paying the shipping and transfer costs. There are better options when selling your guns online.

Should I Sell my Gun at an Auction?

Selling your firearms at an auction has many advantages over pawnshops and gun stores. Gun auctions offer the highest return if you find an auction house experienced in firearm sales. Auction houses will also typically take care of legal issues involved in the sale of your guns and gun collectibles.

When it comes to selling a gun legally, auction houses are great ways to maximize your money, especially if you're selling a vintage firearm or sell an entire gun collection. Another advantage of selling a gun at auction is the potential to reach a large audience. Since the best way to get paid the most for your gun is to find the most buyers, it’s important to choose a gun auction with the greatest marketing and outreach.

Why is Rock Island Auction Company the Best Gun Auction?

Whether you’re wanting to sell a single gun, a gun collection, recently inherited guns, and even machine guns, Rock Island Auction Company is the best place to sell your firearms safely, legally, and with the highest profit potential. As a licensed FLL, Rock Island Auction handles all state and local background checks and legal paperwork.


Rock Island Auction’s consignment process is hassle free. As the number one gun auction house in the world, RIAC knows the firearms business. By choosing an auction house with the most marketing resources and the largest pool of dedicated clientele, your gun will be seen by hundreds of potential buyers. This means more money in your pocket and makes Rock Island Auction Company the best choice when it comes to safely and legally selling your gun. Feel free to contact RIAC today!