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A firearm bill of sale is documentation sellers of firearms use to physically record the selling of their product(s) to a customer.

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What is a firearm bill of sale?

A Firearm Bill of Sale is documentation sellers of firearms use to physically record the selling of their product(s) to a customer. Alternatively, the firearm bill of sale also acts as a receipt for the buyer of the firearm. This document generally includes seller information, details about the goods, location of the sale, price, buyer details and method of payment.

Both buyer and seller should sign the Bill of Sale form and each keep a copy as proof of purchase or proof of payment. This happens upon full payment being made, at which time the firearm changes ownership from seller to buyer.

This document explicitly disclaims any pre-existing warranties relating to the quality of the firearm. In this sense, the bill of sale differs from a Sales Agreement, which is a contract containing more specific terms and warranties.

The 'sold as-is' clause is an important element of a Bill of Sale document. The phrase refers to the firearm being sold in its current condition and implies that the buyer accepts the firearm as it is, including any potential or apparent faults.

This caveat protects the seller from any subsequent request for a refund from the buyer because of any issues arising after receiving and paying for the firearm. For instance, subsequent transportation undertaken by the buyer to take it to its eventual moorings may result in damage, which the seller is not responsibility for.

Other names

Any Bill of Sale may also be referred to as:

  • Proof of Purchase
  • Proof of Sale
  • Sale Slip
  • Sale Receipt
  • Proof of Payment

What is a firearm bill of sale used for?

You can use a Firearm Bill of Sale strictly for the buying or selling of firearms, such as:

  • pistols
  • shotguns
  • rifles: sniper, assault (AR-15) or battle, anti-tank, other
  • machine and submachine guns
  • grenade launchers
  • other firearms

Alternative bills of sale can be created for other products.

Why should you use a firearm bill of sale?

A Bill of Sale protects both the seller and the buyer of the firearm in the case of any future issues, e.g. the firearm having been stolen prior to the current sale. Given many transactions being via cash, proof that the item was paid for in good faith with proper documentation protects a buyer of stolen goods. The buyer has proof of payment in full, should any query be raised later. Similarly, for tax purposes, retention of documentation offers a paper trail for both buyer and seller that can be audited.

As a sales document with an 'as-is' clause, the seller is protected against problems reported later by the buyer. The sale date shows when responsibility for the firearm was transferred from seller to buyer.

For insurance purposes, you will need to provide documentary proof of legal ownership. A correctly completed bill of sale can become proof of ownership of the firearm.

Who should use a gun bill of sale?

A Bill of Sale should be used by anyone who is looking to sell or purchase a firearm, whether:

  • Via websites, or online trade portals
  • When trading firearms and associated items via business premises or trade shows and flea markets
  • When selling or purchasing a used firearm or associated items
  • When selling or buying a firearm through a commercial outlet or trading privately
  • Buyers and sellers who have a licence for repetitive buying and selling (unless disposing of an inherited collection of firearms)
  • Buyers and sellers who comply with relevant federal and state law during and after the transaction

What is a federal firearms license (FFL)?

The Federal Firearms License (FFL) is given to gun shops and businesses to allow them to sell, manufacture, and transport firearms and ammunition.  A business with a FFL must follow special procedures, such as conducting background checks to allow customers to purchase firearms. Typically, gun owners do not need a FFL to sell a gun privately unless it is required by their state or local laws.  A FFL is required to sell any firearms across state lines.

To apply for a FFL, you must complete an application, pay an application fee, and send the completed application to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).  The ATF is a law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Justice.

State gun laws

State

Permit Required to Purchase?

Registration Required After Purchase?

Alabama

No

No

Alaska

No

No

Arizona

No

No

Arkansas

No

No

California

Yes (PEN 26500)

Yes (PEN 21855)

Colorado

No

No

Connecticut

Yes (CGS § 29-35)

Partial

Delaware

No

No

Florida

No

No

Georgia

No

No

Hawaii

Yes (HRS § 134-2)

Yes

Idaho

No

No

Illinois

Yes (430 ILCS 65)

Yes

Indiana

No

No

Iowa

Yes (Iowa Code § 724.15)

No

Kansas

No

No

Kentucky

No

No

Louisiana

No

No

Maine

No

No

Maryland

Yes (Md Public Safety §5–117.1)

Yes

Massachusetts

Yes (MA Ch. 140 § 129C)

No

Michigan

No

Yes

Minnesota

Yes (Minn § 624.7131)

No

Mississippi

No

No

Missouri

No

No

Montana

No

No

Nebraska

Yes (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 69-2403)

No

Nevada

No

No

New Hampshire

No

No

New Jersey

Yes (N.J.A.C. 13:54-1.3)

Yes

New Mexico

No

No

New York

Yes (S 265.20, S 265.01)

Yes

North Carolina

Yes (N.C.G.S. § 14-402)

No

North Dakota

No

No

Ohio

No

No

Oklahoma

No

No

Oregon

No

No

Pennsylvania

No

Partial

Rhode Island

Yes (RI Gen. Stat. 11-47-35)

No

South Carolina

No

No

South Dakota

No

No

Tennessee

No

No

Texas

No

No

Utah

No

No

Vermont

No

No

Virginia

No

No

Washington

No

Partial

West Virginia

No

No

Wisconsin

No

No

Wyoming

No

No

Download a PDF or Word Template

Firearm Bill of Sale

A Firearm Bill of Sale documents the selling of firearm(s) 'as is' to a customer by a seller. It acts as a receipt which includes seller information, details about the goods, location of the sale, price, buyer details and method of payment. This document explicitly disclaims any pre-existing warranties relating to the quality of the firearm i.e. sold in its current condition.

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