Are you under a Stay At Home order? Have the gun shows in your area closed down due to the pandemic? Gun stores around the country are overrun with new purchasers. And during this time more questions than ever are being asked on how to conduct a private sale as an alternative.
What is the law on conducting a private sale as an alternative? Can you lawfully sell a firearm privately in Georgia? If so, how do you stay on the right side of the law? And how can you make sure your firearm doesn’t end up in the wrong hands?
A private sale is a sale, purchase, or transfer of a firearm by parties that are not licensed dealers. A private sale, gift, or transfer of a firearm to another individual is perfectly legal for both handguns and long guns in Georgia as long as all other legal requirements are met.
THE LAW ON PRIVATE SALES
Georgia law allows residents of Georgia to purchase rifles and shotguns from a Federal Firearms Licensee (“FFL”) in “any state of the United States,” so long as the sale complies with all federal laws, the laws of Georgia, and the purchaser’s state. Non-residents may purchase rifles and shotguns in Georgia from an FFL; however, the private sale of a handgun in Georgia is only legal when both parties reside in this state. Similarly, under federal law, an unlicensed (non-dealer) may only “transfer” a firearm to another unlicensed person in the same state. This means that if a person is a resident of Georgia, federal law prohibits the person from directly (not through a dealer) selling or transferring the firearm to a resident of another state.
Federal law makes these transactions illegal from both the buyer/transferee and seller/transferor perspective. It is illegal for a private individual to transport into or receive within his own state a firearm which was purchased in another state from a private seller. See 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(3). Likewise, it is illegal for a private seller to sell or deliver a firearm to an individual whom the private seller knows, or has reason to believe, is not a resident of the seller’s state. See 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(5).