How to Sell a Gun in Florida

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Written by:
Isaiah Miller
9 minutes read
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Private Transactions: Pros and Cons

While private sales of firearms in Florida may seem appealing due to the potential for direct negotiation, the reality often involves a more complex and risky process compared to other methods. The appeal includes the possibility of commanding better prices and even building new personal connections during the process. Nevertheless, such advantages come with their challenges. Private gun sales demand substantial commitment regarding time and effort from the seller who must navigate limited advertising options, arrange face-to-face meetings with potential buyers, pay, and carry the burden of legal liabilities. Therefore, while there may be potential for higher financial gains through private firearm transactions, it is imperative to weigh these prospective benefits against the obligations and responsibilities that come with private gun sales in Florida.

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Local Gun Shops and Pawn Shops: In-Person Selling

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Online Auction Platforms: Reaching a Wider Audience

If you’re ready to explore the online world, platforms such as GunBroker provide a wider audience of potential buyers for those interested in selling a gun in Florida over the internet. By choosing this route, sellers can often secure better prices, particularly with unusual or highly coveted firearms. Nevertheless, operating on these platforms is not without certain challenges.

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Inconsistent outcomes regarding sales

When selling guns through online auction platforms, sellers often face a roulette wheel of results. The unpredictable nature of auctions means that while some items may fetch higher than expected prices, others may not meet the reserve or expected value. This variability can be influenced by factors such as the timing of the auction, market saturation, or simply the whims of the bidders.

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The obligation to manage shipping logistics

Many online platforms do not manage shipping logistics for gun sales in Florida. This lack of service can make sellers carry the weight of finding compliant shipping carriers and ensuring legal compliance for shipping guns which can be complex and eat up time. These responsibilities can increase the risk of legal issues or delays, which both can impact efficiency and safety of transactions.

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The possibility of dealing with bidders who fail to pay

A challenge that can be both frustrating and time-consuming is encountering winning bidders who do not follow through with their payment. This not only delays the gun sale but can also necessitate the relisting of the item, which incurs additional fees and effort on the part of the seller.

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Charges associated with listing and finalizing sales transactions

Using online platforms to sell your guns in Florida comes with various fees, which include listing fees, a percentage of the final sale price, and sometimes additional charges for enhanced listing features. These costs can add up and need to be factored into the seller's pricing strategy to ensure profitability.

Complying with Florida Law: How to Sell a gun in Florida Legally

Age Requirements and Ineligible Persons

Understanding the legal stipulations surrounding firearm sales in Florida, particularly concerning age restrictions and eligibility requirements of potential buyers, is crucial for law-abiding transactions. To recapitulate:

The state forbids individuals below 21 years old from buying firearms unless they are either serving as law enforcement officers or members of the military and are at least 18.

Guns cannot be legally sold to anyone who has been convicted as a felon within Florida’s jurisdiction.

Those with convictions related to domestic violence likewise face prohibitions when attempting to purchase firearms in Florida.

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As such, verifying that purchasers comply with these legal criteria and adhere to the prescribed age limits remains fundamental for ethical FFL dealers engaging in gun selling practices across the state.

Minimum Age Requirement

Under Florida law, the purchase of firearms by persons under 21 years of age is prohibited. There are specific exemptions provided for certain individuals such as law enforcement officers, correctional officers or members of the military with regard to acquiring a rifle or shotgun.

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Ineligible Persons: Who Can't Buy Guns

Under both federal and Florida statutes, there are several classes of people who are forbidden from acquiring firearms beyond those simply limited by age. These prohibited individuals include:

  • Individuals with felony convictions
  • Persons subject to domestic violence protective orders
  • Various other categories of persons federally banned from obtaining or having guns and ammunition.

Florida’s laws enhance these restrictions by also preventing recent felony arrestees, those with a record of domestic violence involvement, and individuals deemed mentally unfit from owning firearms. It is critical in each gun sale to verify the purchaser’s eligibility and highlights the significance of the buyer being knowledgeable about sentencing provisions related to such legal matters.

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Background Checks and Waiting Periods

Individuals purchasing firearms from licensed retailers in Florida are subject to a state-mandated 3-day waiting period, better known as a 'cooling-off' period. This interval is not for the completion of background checks, which are instantaneous, but rather to serve as a preventative measure against impulsive actions that could lead to regrettable incidents. The waiting period provides a crucial time frame for potential buyers to reconsider their decisions and helps to mitigate the likelihood of heat-of-the-moment crimes. When selling a gun in Florida, emphasizing this waiting period to prospective buyers not only demonstrates your adherence to state laws but also your commitment to public safety and responsible gun ownership. It's an important detail that reassures buyers of the legitimacy and integrity of the transaction, further establishing trust between buyer and seller.

While Florida's preemption laws ensure consistency in gun regulations statewide, a crucial aspect for sellers to understand is the differentiation in requirements between dealer transactions and private sales. Specifically, when selling a firearm through a dealer, the buyer must complete a background check, a process aimed at enhancing safety and compliance with legal standards. In contrast, private gun sales between individuals do not mandate such checks under state law. This distinction underscores the seller’s role in promoting responsible gun ownership. For those engaging in private gun sales, it's beneficial to voluntarily conduct background checks, even if not legally required.

Performing Background Checks

Performing background checks, while not mandated by law for private firearm sales in Florida, is a wise practice to enhance safety and maintain legal compliance. Sellers have the option to conduct these checks through online platforms or involve licensed dealers for this purpose. To ensure the transaction’s integrity, sellers can consult the stolen gun database maintained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement using the serial number of the firearm.

These verification measures offer an extra degree of confidence when carrying out such transactions.

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Understanding Waiting Periods

In Florida, the 3-day waiting period, often referred to as the 'cooling-off' period, is mandated for purchases of handguns from licensed retailers. This regulation is designed as a preventative measure against impulsive decisions that could lead to regrettable incidents, rather than for the completion of background checks, which are usually instantaneous. Importantly, this waiting period does not apply to private sales within the state. For sellers, understanding this distinction is crucial. While selling firearms through private transactions does not necessitate a waiting period, being informed and transparent about these regulations with potential buyers can reinforce the seriousness and responsibility inherent in firearm transactions.

Under Florida's preemption laws, the state maintains uniform gun regulations, including the 3-day 'cooling-off' period for purchasing handguns from licensed retailers. This uniformity means individual counties are not permitted to enforce longer waiting periods than what state law stipulates. For sellers, recognizing this uniform regulation across the state simplifies the process of selling firearms, as they need only adhere to state laws without the complication of navigating a patchwork of varying local ordinances.

Identification and Record Keeping Requirements

During the transaction of firearms, maintaining accurate records and ensuring proper identification are practices of paramount importance. It's a common misconception that any private gun sale in Florida mandates both parties involved to present a valid government-issued ID from the State of Florida.

Although not mandated by law, employing a Florida Bill of Sale when engaging in private gun transactions can serve as an additional measure for legal security. It creates an official record of the firearm’s transfer between buyer and seller.

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Valid Government Issued ID

Confirming the identity of a purchaser is essential during private firearm transactions. In Florida, confirmation of firearm type is commonly achieved by presenting an officially recognized government ID like a driver’s license or state-issued identification card from the government. Each party in the exchange should supply their complete legal names, residential details, and means of contact for verification against their valid identification documents.

By verifying that all individuals engaged in a private gun sale present legitimate IDs, sellers can facilitate a transaction responsibly.

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Record Keeping and Reporting

Under Florida law, while there is no requirement for private firearm sellers to maintain or submit sales records, it’s advisable to draft a Bill of Sale. This document serves as proof of the exchange and outlines the history of ownership for the firearm. It can also be an asset in providing legal protection if that particular firearm becomes part of any future legal issues or criminal investigations. It’s important for the Florida firearm (gun) Bill of Sale to capture specific pieces of information such as:

  • The date when the gun sale took place
  • The location where transaction occurred
  • Identifying details about both individuals involved in the sale
  • Information on the firearm including its make, model, and serial number

While this practice isn’t mandated by law, compiling a Bill of Sale is wise since it documents exactly when responsibility over a weapon was legally shifted from one individual to another person.

Local Ordinances: What to Know

In Florida, the state's firearm regulations are designed to be uniform, with state law taking precedence over any local regulations. This ensures consistency across the state, preventing local governments from enacting their own firearm laws. Such a preemption model protects sellers by providing a single, standardized set of rules for firearm transactions, regardless of the specific locality within Florida. This approach simplifies the process for individuals selling guns in Florida, as they need to be aware of and comply with only state-level regulations, without the added complexity of varying local ordinances.

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Federal Law Considerations

Federal legislation is a major factor in the sale of firearms, especially when it comes to transactions that cross state lines. These regulations prohibit selling guns to individuals who are legally allowed to live in another state unless there’s participation from a licensed dealer. Antique guns and their replicas are excluded from the federal rules governing contemporary firearms. Florida has stringent laws regarding machine gun ownership, only permitting them if they have been duly registered following federal law. Familiarity with these federal statutes is essential for anyone looking to make sure that their firearm sales are legal and meet compliance standards.


To summarize, the in Florida requires adherence to an array of local ordinances and laws. This includes exploring different avenues for sale, complying with age requirements for purchase, conducting necessary background checks, meeting standards for identification and keeping accurate records. It also involves making sense of both local regulations and federal legislation. By following this detailed and comprehensive guide o, we aimed to simplify what might otherwise be an intimidating procedure. The essence of successfully executing a legal firearm sale is rooted in a thorough comprehension of legal intricacies. Equipped with this information, you are prepared to conduct your firearm transaction within the confines of Florida’s laws safely and legitimately.

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The content presented on this website is intended for informational purposes only. has made significant efforts in compiling, formulating, and ensuring high-quality information and materials. Nevertheless, we do not affirm or guarantee the complete accuracy, exhaustiveness, appropriateness, or timeliness of the information displayed on or linked to this website. Any reliance upon the information found on this website or through the associated links is done solely at the user’s discretion and risk. The information provided here does not amount to legal advice.  We are not legal professionals specialized in firearm laws, and our content should not be taken as such. Users are fully responsible for adhering to the laws and regulations applicable to their local jurisdiction concerning the buying, selling, and possession of firearms.

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We value your interest in our services. Due to regulatory requirements, we can only accept contact information from individuals 21 years of age or older. However, individuals aged 18 and above are eligible to sell firearms through our platform. If you are between 18 to 21 years old, please exit this pop-up and refrain from providing your phone number. Those under 18 should leave the website. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in adhering to these guidelines.

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