Tips for Purchasing Guns from a Private Seller

At Sportsman Steel Safes, we focus on gun safes and other gun safety issues, but our gun knowledge doesn’t begin and end with safety. We know what first-time gun buyers have on their minds when they’re thinking about purchasing a firearm. Along with the issues of safety, gun type, and ammo type, people spend most of their time considering where they’re going to purchase their gun. We will always advocate going to a licensed and public gun seller. If you do, you won’t have to worry about whether or not the transaction is legal – you’re sure to get a good firearm, and you’ll have a chance of a refund in case anything goes wrong.


We know that, for a variety of reasons, some people will chose to find a gun through a private seller. Again, we always recommend using more traditional means for getting a gun, but if you want to buy from a private seller, make sure to follow these tips:

Check ALL local, state, and federal requirements for private firearm sales

We cannot stress this enough: if you’re going to use a private seller, make sure you know about the laws in your county, town, and state, along with the federal laws governing the sale of firearms. Usually, most places require a simple notification of a change in ownership, but since guns are such a hot-button topic now, new laws and restrictions are being adopted every day.

Make sure the gun has a serial number

By now, nearly every handgun and long gun should come with a manufacturer’s serial number. The purpose of these numbers has nothing to do with manufacturing, and everything to do with the law. Serial numbers are recorded when a gun is first purchased from a dealer so that the police and government can track who owns the gun. Make sure that any weapon you purchase has a valid serial number, and never buy any kind of handgun or long gun that has a scratched off number or missing one. The absence or distortion of a number can be a sign of a stolen weapon.

Always test it out

This may seem like a no brainer, but not testing the weapons has become more of an issue lately, as more people use the Internet to buy guns. Some private sellers may try to con customers by selling them a gun that looks nice, but doesn’t work. Buying a gun that doesn’t work isn’t just a waste of time; it’s almost always a waste of money, if you buy it from a private seller. If you find out that your gun is a dud after you purchase it, you shouldn’t expect a refund. Always ask to test it out before hand, or to physically see the seller test it out.

At Sportsman Steel Safes, we advocate gun safety – and that extends to the purchasing process. If you must buy a gun from a private seller, use due caution. Better yet, avoid the risk and buy from a legitimate seller. And of course, no matter what gun you choose, make sure that you have an adequate gun safe to house it. Contact us today with any questions you may have!

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