Firearm/Gun Bill of Sale
Firearm/Gun Bill of Sale
A firearm bill of sale records the sale and transfer of ownership of a firearm. Gun show purchases and sales are usually not as liable as sales by dealers or firearms purchased from individuals. Selling a firearm to a convicted felon is against the law. It is the seller's responsibility to refrain from doing so.

A firearm bill of sale records the sale and transfer of ownership of a firearm. Gun show purchases and sales are usually not as liable as sales by dealers or firearms purchased from individuals. Selling a firearm to a felon is against the law. It is the seller's responsibility to refrain from doing so.

Firearm/Gun Bill of Sale by State




South Carolina




South Dakota



New Hampshire




New Jersey




New Mexico




New York




North Carolina




North Dakota








West Virginia











Rhode Island

Exactly what is a Federal Firearms License (FFL)?

In the U.S., the federal firearms license (FFL) is a type of authorization that’s provided to businesses like firearm shops that makes it legal for them to produce, distribute, and sell guns and ammunition. Organizations that are given an FFL license are required to comply with certain regulations and procedures like performing background checks on potential customers.

Private gun sales are different from commercial gun sales and states do not require private individuals selling their firearms privately to be in possession of an FFL. With that being said, many states require their citizens to perform a background check before on the buyer before selling their guns. 

Concealed Carry: What is it?

Concealed carry is defined as carrying a rifle, pistol, or another type of firearm in public while concealing the weapon. In most states, the individual concealing the weapon must have a permit.

Getting a concealed carry permit

Permits vary depending on the state's laws. Despite local laws and permits, carrying a concealed weapon is legal everywhere in the United States. In midwest areas, concealed carry is constitutionally protected without the need for a license, but in New York, there are strict permit requirements.

For the latest information on State laws, visit

Buying and selling firearms (6 steps)

To avoid issues when trying to sell a gun, it’s essential to have an understanding of the laws that impact you at every level starting from federal down to local.

Familiarize yourself with local Look up the gun laws in your area

This is extremely important. Permits must be obtained by the buyers in some states, while in others all sales must be handled by authorized dealers. For example, California requires private sales to be done through an authorized dealer. If a firearm is sold privately without the assistance of a dealer, the seller can be charged and convicted of a misdemeanor. 

Laws for Private Sales

There are several laws governing the private sale of guns in the United States. Depending on your location, these laws will apply to you. In California and Colorado, for instance, the private sale of guns can only be conducted through a licensed dealer and requires a mandatory background check.

L.A. Rev. Stat. § 14:95.1(A) describes, for instance, the category of persons prohibited from purchasing a firearm in the state of Louisiana. Another instance is the state of South Dakota; a purchaser must be at least 18 years old (SD Codified §23-7-44) and have not

been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor per § 22-42 and § 22-14-15 through. For more information on the various state laws click here.  

Step 2: Sell to someone you trust

On sites like eBay and Craigslist, firearm owners cannot sell their guns. Most states allow almost anyone without a criminal record to buy a firearm. It is important to be careful when selling a gun to someone else. 

Because of this, it is advisable to sell your firearm to people you already know and trust. If that’s not an option, take the time to do some due diligence on potential buyers and confirm their identity through a government-issued photo ID. When in doubt, walk away from the transaction. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially with firearms. 

Step 3: Conduct a background check

While not required in most states, you should run a criminal background check on the buyer if you don't know whether their record is clean. There are multiple of sites you can use to run a background. The one you choose depends on the type of check you wish to do.

A Criminal Background Check

Sexual Offender Search Free

Step 4: Negotiations

Negotiating the sale begins when the buyer checks out. Usually, an outright payment is accepted but you can also trade for another firearm or other item you find valuable. Whatever the case, agree verbally first then proceed to draft the firearm bill of sale. 

Step 5: Write a Bill of Sale Agreement

Prepare a bill of sale containing the details of the transaction using the instructions. The seller should ask the buyer to sign a disclaimer that confirms they’re able to purchase the firearm. This will hold the seller harmless if unlawful use of the gun occurs.

Step 6: Execute the exchange

Having agreed to the terms, it is now time for the sale to be finalized and the meeting to take place. It is the seller's responsibility to come with the firearm, and the buyer should be prepared to pay up. As soon as a sale has begun, it is final and both buyer and seller are no longer liable to each other.

If you are buying the weapon, make sure to find the serial number. Otherwise, the sale may be considered illegal. Furthermore, a lot of criminal activity involves weapons without serial numbers.

Writing Instructions

Filing Date

  • Date. On the top of this page, please include the date of the transaction.

 The Parties

  • Buyer’s Name. Write the full name of the person buying the firearm.

  • Buyer’s Address. A purchaser's legal address should match that of their state ID i.e Drivers license.

  • Seller’s Name. Likewise, the full name of the person selling the gun is to be included. If it’s a business, use the full name of this entity including any relevant suffix.

  • Seller’s Address. Include the full residential or business address of the seller in the firearm bill of sale. 

 Firearm Details

  • Make. A manufacturer's name must be provided to help identify the firearm.

  • Type/Model. A close look at the gun or the manufacturer's information can often be used to determine the type or model of firearm. It could be a shotgun or a hunting rifle, for instance.

  • Caliber. A firearm's caliber, or diameter, should be included as mm (millimeters).

  • Serial Number (SN). Serial numbers are a mandatory inclusion within the bill of sale in many states. In conjunction with the information provided previously, this number will clearly identify the piece being sold to future reviewers. Gun serial numbers are usually found on the handle, but they may also be on slides or trigger guards. There are two serial numbers on a rebuilt gun, so present them both and make sure to note what part they pertain to.


  • Amount of payment. In this paperwork, the amount the seller requires for releasing ownership of the firearm to the Buyer should be provided. Even if the Seller accepts a trade as a part (or all) of the payment, the full value or original asking price for the firearm must still be reported.

  • Payment Date. If you report a deadline or describe another event that you report, the Firearms Buyer must submit payment to the Seller on the document date. Check the box that describes when Firearms Buyers must pay for the guns.

  • Options for payment. The firearm is normally purchased with a check, money order, credit card, cash, or wire transfer. It’s a good idea to avoid using cash and instead pay with alternative means to create a paper trail that can be easily audited. If, on the other hand, the firearm is a gift or an exchange, use the firearm bill of sale to serve as proof of the transaction. 

 No Warranty

  • Signature of the buyer. If the Buyer meets the conditions above, he or she must sign this bill to prove their participation in this transaction.

  • Buyer’s Signature Date And Printed Name. Both the date on which the Gun Buyer signed his or her name and the printed name should be submitted to prove that his or her signature was genuine.

  • The Buyer's Driver's License And Issuing State.

  • The Seller's Signature. In order to complete this document, the Seller who will transfer ownership of the firearm to the Buyer according to the above statements must sign his or her name.

  • The Seller's Signature Date And Printed Name.

  • Proof of Driver's License Issued By State.