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Old February 9, 2014, 10:54 PM   #1
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question: any special laws for private sales?

I'd like to post a couple gun sales, but I've never sold to a private buyer before. Can I simply exchange a gun for cash or do sales have to go through a FFL?

I'm not sure if there are laws about this, and, if so, if they might vary from state to state. I live in South Dakota, which is probably one of the more lenient states in terms of gun laws.

Thanks for any help.

Last edited by idek; February 9, 2014 at 11:39 PM.
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Old February 9, 2014, 11:24 PM   #2
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If its legal in your state, you can sell to any individual without an ffl dealer involved unless you know that person cannot legally own a firearm in advance. You don't have to ask or anything, but use judgement.
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Old February 10, 2014, 01:08 AM   #3
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thanks for the clarification
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Old February 10, 2014, 01:30 AM   #4
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And, if the private buyer lives in a different state than SD, the sale must go through an FFL, no matter what that state's laws may allow for its own residents.

For a handgun, must go through an FFL in the buyer's (non-SD) state of residence. For a long gun, must go through some FFL, following the laws of both SD and the other state.
See the CALGUNS FOUNDATION Wiki for discussion of California firearms law.

The FAQ page is here.
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Old February 10, 2014, 07:58 AM   #5
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Gun laws....

I'd check your local & state gun laws re; private sales and ownership.
A few resources include; .
A lawyer & 2A supporter in my local area wrote a detailed guide to gun/use of force laws for the state so that is handy.
There may be a forum or 2A rights group near you that can answer your gun-legal ???s.
My state is fairly open re; gun sales & purchases. Private citizens do not need a FFL holder to sell guns or ammunition for anything up to a full auto SMG or short barrel shotgun(Class III, AOWs, etc). This includes handguns.

When I lived in PA in the 1990s, it was fairly open too except for handguns which required a FFL holder to do the formal transfer.
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Old February 10, 2014, 05:55 PM   #6
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I would be very careful about selling a firearm to a private party unless I knew them really well. If the gun is involved in a crime and you are the last registered owner, you will have a visit from the police questioning you regarding your sale of the gun. If there is any question in your mind at all, I would only sell it to the person through a FFL.
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Old February 11, 2014, 02:07 AM   #7
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
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Originally Posted by shooterbob
....unless you know that person cannot legally own a firearm in advance...
The legal standard under the applicable federal statutes is, "know or have reasonable cause to believe."
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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