How to Sell a Gun in Alabama

Map of Alabama

As an Alabama resident, you may occasionally find yourself in a position where you need to sell a firearm. Whether it's an antique that's been passed down in your family or a modern rifle you no longer need, knowing how to legally sell a gun is vital. It's not as simple as posting it for sale online or selling it to a neighbor. The process involves a thorough understanding of Alabama state laws, federal laws, and the responsibilities and legal implications of private gun sales.

Map of Alabama
How to Sell a Gun in Alabama
Written by: 
Frank Holder
Published On:
June 8, 2023
Updated On:
May 31, 2023
minutes read

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Understanding Alabama State Laws for Private Gun Sales

Photo that represents Alabama state

Alabama has unique laws that may differ from federal regulations or those of other states. In this section, we will delve into the legality of private gun sales in Alabama, discuss the state's purchase and ownership laws, and clarify what is required to ensure your sale is legal and legitimate. From the necessity of an FBI background check to the specifics of Alabama's Firearm Bill of Sale, we will guide you through the intricate regulations of private gun sales in the Heart of Dixie.

The Legality of Private Gun Sales in Alabama

The first thing to understand is that privately selling guns is legal in Alabama without a federal license or a NICS check. There is no specific state law governing background checks for private sales in Alabama. While not mandated, conducting a background check can prevent potential legal repercussions should the firearm be used for illegal activities later on.

Photo of Firearms Checks from FBI's website

Furthermore, Alabama provides a Firearm Bill of Sale for rifle or pistol sales within the state. This document, when signed by both parties, legally completes the transaction. Additionally, gifting a firearm is legal, but the recipient must be legally allowed to own the gun and be at least 18 years old.

Purchase and Ownership Laws in Alabama

Contrary to what some may believe, FBI background checks are not required for purchasing or selling a firearm in Alabama. This is because Alabama is an "open carry" state, where adults can bring firearms home without a permit while carrying them openly. However, a concealed weapon permit is required for carrying a firearm or carrying one concealed in a vehicle that is not accessible by the owner's home, property, or business address.

It's also essential to be aware that "ghost guns" and unregistered firearms have specific regulations. Violating these rules can lead to severe consequences. For instance, carrying a pistol without a permit is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $15,000 fine. Lastly, remember that Alabama citizens have the right to self-defense and bear arms according to the state constitution.


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Familiarizing with Federal Laws for Gun Sales

When you're considering purchasing a firearm in Alabama, it's critical to grasp not only state-specific laws but also federal regulations like the National Firearms Act and the Gun Control Act. These laws establish guidelines for buying firearms and outline mandatory requirements for potential buyers.

Here are some key disqualifications to be aware of when purchasing a firearm:

  • Convictions (felonies or misdemeanors) with a maximum imprisonment term exceeding one year
  • Outstanding warrants (felony or out-of-state misdemeanor)
  • Felony criminal charges
  • Known drug abuse or addiction
  • Fugitive from justice status
  • Illegal alien status
  • Documented mental health issues or commitments
  • Dishonorable discharge from the armed forces
  • Renounced U.S. citizenship
  • Active restraining orders
  • Convictions for domestic violence crimes
Law hammer, representating federal laws for gun sales

Important Considerations:

The National Firearms Act of 1934 provides specific rules about the ownership and possession of certain types of firearms, including shotguns, rifles, machine guns, and silencers. It's legal in most states, including Alabama, to purchase semi-automatic weapons. Additionally, you can legally possess automatic weapons manufactured before 1986, provided you secure the necessary tax stamp and follow the proper ATF procedures.

It's crucial to note that an unlicensed individual cannot legally transfer a firearm to someone residing in a different state. For a legal interstate firearm transfer to occur, the firearm must be shipped to a Federal Firearm License (FFL) holder in the recipient's state of residence. The FFL holder will then handle the transfer.

Remember, understanding and adhering to these laws is vital for responsible firearm ownership and buying in Alabama and beyond.

Key Guidelines for Selling Guns in Alabama

Alabama has specific regulations in place for the sale of firearms, which can vary from federal laws in other states. In this article, we will outline key guidelines for selling guns in Alabama to help you navigate the process with ease and avoid any legal issues.

Man holding and reloading a revolver

Understanding Laws and Regulations for Gun Selling

Knowledge of the state's laws and regulations is essential when selling or buying a firearm. All parties involved in the sale or transfer of firearms should understand the state's laws and regulations.

Conducting Background Checks for Gun Sales

Private sales between two individuals do not require a background check. However, anyone purchasing a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer in Alabama must complete a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms form 4473 and undergo a National Instant Criminal Background Check System check.

Being Aware of Penalties in Gun Sales

There are penalties for buyers and sellers in Alabama if the firearm is sold to an ineligible person, a defaced firearm, or a restricted firearm. These can result in different criminal charges, including up to a felony criminal charge

Understanding Requirements for Gun Buyers

Firearm buyers in Alabama must meet certain requirements, including age restrictions and disqualifications. For instance, the buyer must be 18 years old for a rifle or shotgun and 21 years old for a handgun.


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Gun Ownership Rules in Alabama

In Alabama, no permits or registration are required to own a firearm. This means that once the purchase is made, the new owner does not need to register the gun with any governmental authority. This can simplify the selling process, but it also underscores the importance of ensuring that the buyer is legally allowed to own a firearm. Alabama defaults to federal law regarding the sale and purchase of firearms.

Lawyer's bucket

Disqualifications for Purchasing a Firearm in Alabama

While it might seem straightforward to sell a firearm in Alabama, there are specific disqualifications for purchasing one. These include:

  • Conviction of a crime with a maximum imprisonment term exceeding one year
  • Active warrants
  • Felony pre-trial release
  • Misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence
  • Restraining/stalking/protection order mental health adjudication or commitment
  • Unlawful use or addiction to a controlled substance
  • Dishonorable discharge from the armed forces
  • Renounced U.S. citizenship
  • Illegal alien status

These disqualifications are crucial to keep in mind, as selling to a disqualified buyer can lead to severe legal consequences.

Recommendations for a Safe and Profitable Gun Transaction

For easy and secure gun sales, it's crucial to confirm your firearm is in a prime functional state, tidy and well-kept. Offer a precise depiction of the gun, mentioning its manufacturer, model, caliber, and any accompanying accessories. Draft a detailed bill of sale and incorporate necessary paperwork like invoices and warranty data. Lastly, execute the sale and transfer ownership in a way that abides by all appropriate federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

Maintenance and Storage:

Before putting your firearm up for sale, ensure that it's in excellent operational state and is spotlessly clean; this can enhance its overall worth.

Rifle in a case

Detailed Description:

As you get your firearm ready for a private transaction, strive to provide a comprehensive and accurate description. This should include particulars about the manufacturer, model, caliber, and any accessories included. An all-inclusive description facilitates a hassle-free deal with your potential buyer.

Necessary Paperwork:

Draft a complete bill of sale (insert BoS link here) that safeguards both parties in case of disagreements. It should contain data such as the date of sale, details of the buyer and seller, and specifics of the firearm (like make, model, and serial number). Additionally, incorporate any relevant documents, like invoices from the purchase and warranty details.

Man signing papework

Finalizing the Sale and Ownership Transfer of the Firearm:

Once you've found a lawful buyer, wrap up the sale and transfer the firearm's ownership in a manner that complies with the law. Stick to all relevant federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including background checks and any necessary permits or licenses.


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Choosing Cash for Arms as Your Firearm Selling Platform

Opting for Cash for Arms is a secure and trustworthy method for selling your firearm. By picking a reputable purchaser, you can ensure a smooth and legal sale of your handgun, rifle, shotgun, gun collection, NFA Class III Firearms while getting the finest market value for your firearm.

Selling a firearm in Alabama involves a thorough understanding of the state and federal laws, the responsibilities of private sales, and the legal implications of doing so improperly. By being diligent about the process and the buyer, you can ensure a legal and safe transaction. Remember, owning a gun is a right, but it also comes with responsibilities. Always prioritize safety, legality, and ethics when selling a firearm.

General Questions & Answers

Is it legal to sell guns in Alabama?

Yes, it is legal to sell guns in Alabama as long as you are the legal owner of the firearms, and your buyer is legally able to purchase it. There is no requirement in Alabama to use an FFL for your firearm transfer, There aren't any particular state statutes in Alabama that regulate background checks for these types of private transactions.

Can I buy a gun in Alabama without a license?

Yes, you can buy a gun in Alabama without a license. Alabama does not require state permits or licenses to purchase or possess handguns or long guns, such as rifles or shotguns.

How much is a handgun permit in Alabama?

Handgun permits in Alabama are subject for the annual fee. The current charge for a handgun permit in Alabama is $20.00 annually. Alternatively, individuals have the option to obtain a permit with a longer validity period of five years, at a cost of $100.00. Note that all permit payments should be directed to the Sheriff's Office of your County.

Can someone from out of state sell a gun in Alabama?

Yes, someone from out of state can sell a gun in Alabama, but any transfer across state lines must go through a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL). That is, you cannot directly sell a firearm to another individual across state lines. Instead, the gun must be shipped to an FFL dealer in the state of the person who is acquiring the firearm.

What do I need to sell firearms in Alabama?

Alabama doesn't have specific requirements or restrictions on private firearms sales beyond those imposed by federal law. This means that private individuals in Alabama can buy or sell firearms to other private individuals within the state without requiring background checks or paperwork.

Does a gun Bill Of Sale have to be notarized in Alabama?

No, a gun Bill Of Sale does not have to be notarized in Alabama. However it can offer an extra level of legal protection during the transaction. It is advisable for all parties involved to keep a copy of the firearm bill of sale for their records, as it can help prevent potential complications that may arise in the future.

Are Alabama gun laws strict?

No, Alabama's gun laws are not strict. Alabama's gun laws are generally considered less restrictive compared to other U.S. states. 

Does Alabama have a gun registry?

No, Alabama does not have a gun registry. In Alabama, there is no law in place that mandates firearms to be registered.

Does Alabama allow private gun sales?

Yes, Alabama does allow private gun sales. Alabama does not require private sellers to initiate a background check when selling a firearm.

Can I gift someone a gun in Alabama?

Yes, you can gift someone a gun in Alabama. However, while it is completely legal to present a firearm as a gift, it is essential to acquaint oneself with the regulations beforehand to ensure a smooth delivery. It is imperative to verify that the intended recipient is eligible to possess a firearm in compliance with the law.

Who can't own a gun in Alabama?

Individuals who can't own a gun or are prohibited from owning guns in Alabama include convicted felons, individuals with domestic violence convictions or restraining orders, those who have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution or declared mentally incompetent, individuals unlawfully using or addicted to controlled substances, and most individuals under the age of 18.



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By choosing a reputable buyer like Cash for Arms, you can ensure a safe and secure sale of your firearm, protecting yourself from potential legal complications.


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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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