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Thread: Buying a handgun in a private sale?

  1. #1
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    Is there any paperwork that you have to fill out if you purchase a handgun from one of your friends (in a private sale)/or if they give it to you? I would think there would be, so if the handgun were involved in an incident that the previous owner wouldn't be liable. Thanks for clarifying.

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    NO, not in VA - a private sale should stay, well, private, in my opinion.

    But you should post this kind of thread under the state you are in. In VA.

    As everybody should know, it is a crime at federal law to transfer a handgun to a person whom you know, or have reason to believe, is not a resident of your state or is a prohibited person.

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    So there are absolutely no stipulations for a private sale other than the discretion of the seller? Is this the same for long guns and handguns?

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    As far as I know there is no req. to do any paperwork in VA on private gun transfers.

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    Yes, doing a private sale is that simple. HOWEVER, please be mindful that because the only record of the transaction is whatever record of sale you make, if the person to whom you sell the handgun (or if you're the buyer the person from whom you buy it) commits a crime with the weapon, remember it is to you who the gun will be traced (which is why you should exercise responsibility in private transfers and only buy from or sell to people you know you can trust). In order to cover your tracks in the event the BATFE comes knocking on your door, be sure to make a record of the sale that is signed by both buyer and seller.

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    novaccw wrote:
    So there are absolutely no stipulations for a private sale other than the discretion of the seller? Is this the same for long guns and handguns?
    For Handguns
    • The buyer must be at least 21
    • The buyer must not be a prohibited person
    • The buyer and seller must both be a VA resident

    For Long Guns
    • The buyer must be at least 18
    • The buyer must not be a prohibited person

    Also, keep in mind that even though there is no legal requirement to document a private sale or purchase, it does make sense to have at least a simple bill of sale in case the firearm is used in a crime or conversely, is stolen, etc.



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    jpierce wrote:
    For Handguns
    • The buyer must be at least 21
    Is this true in all states because I was under the impression that anyone over 18 could own a handgun but could not buy one from a dealer. I am 19 and I own a handgun(which I purchased from a cop btw) and this was how he explained it to me and also how I understand it from reading the laws. Maybe it's an 'east of the border thing' (ie in VA)

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    It varies from state to state. But an FFL can only sell a handgun to a person 21 or older. If your state law allows hangun possession at 18 then you are legal. read up on your specific state statutes. In Illinois although possession may be legal at 18 the law has different exemptions in place for owners 21 yoa than 18-20.

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    In most states, you can open carry at 18, and buy in private sales at 18. Also, 21+ folks may buy for you as a bonefide gift from a dealer - no straw man implications to give a gift. If you are working a backroom deal wherein you are paying somebody to buy you the gunthough,that's unlawful at federal law, don't even joke abou it

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    Mike wrote:
    In most states, you can open carry at 18, and buy in private sales at 18.
    Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think that is the how the law is in Virginia.

    § 18.2-309. Furnishing certain weapons to minors; penalty.

    A. If any person sells, barters, gives or furnishes, or causes to be sold, bartered, given or furnished, to any minor a dirk, switchblade knife or bowie knife, having good cause to believe him to be a minor, such person shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    B. If any person sells, barters, gives or furnishes, or causes to be sold, bartered, given or furnished, to any minor a handgun, having good cause to believe him to be a minor, such person shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. This subsection shall not apply to any transfer made between family members or for the purpose of engaging in a sporting event or activity.

    This applies to any private sales in Virginia. However, I feel that it is perfectly legal for someone between the ages of 18-21 to have either a parent or sibling over the age of 21purchase a handgun from either an FFL or a private seller, and then legally sell or give it to them.*

    *I am certainly not a lawyer, and this should not be considered be to valid legal advise (though I do believe my understanding of the law is correct).

  11. #11
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    VApatriot wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    In most states, you can open carry at 18, and buy in private sales at 18.
    Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think that is the how the law is in Virginia.

    § 18.2-309. Furnishing certain weapons to minors; penalty.

    A. If any person sells, barters, gives or furnishes, or causes to be sold, bartered, given or furnished, to any minor a dirk, switchblade knife or bowie knife, having good cause to believe him to be a minor, such person shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    B. If any person sells, barters, gives or furnishes, or causes to be sold, bartered, given or furnished, to any minor a handgun, having good cause to believe him to be a minor, such person shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. This subsection shall not apply to any transfer made between family members or for the purpose of engaging in a sporting event or activity.

    This applies to any private sales in Virginia. However, I feel that it is perfectly legal for someone between the ages of 18-21 to have either a parent or sibling over the age of 21purchase a handgun from either an FFL or a private seller, and then legally sell or give it to them.*

    *I am certainly not a lawyer, and this should not be considered be to valid legal advise (though I do believe my understanding of the law is correct).
    Per §1-207 of Code of VA:
    § 1-207. Child; juvenile; minor; infant.
    "Child," "juvenile," "minor," "infant," or any combination thereof means a person less than 18 years of age.
    So, §18.2-309 doesn't prevent a private sale or gifting of a firearm to a 18 yo.
    ---
    VCDL Fredericksburg Show Coordinator

  12. #12
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    All these different answers and opinions are confusing me.

    I'm 19 and I bought a handgun off of a friend of mine who is over 21. I'm 100% ok with doing that, no laws are being broken, and I can openly carry it, correct?

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    To my knowledge you are correct. At least I sure hope so, being 19 myself, I am in the same boat as you but I am 99.9% sure you are correct. This is the way it was explained to me by a friend who is a LEO.

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