How to Sell a Gun in Delaware

Selling a gun in Delaware, especially through private sales, can be complex due to specific state rules and federal laws concerning firearm transactions. Whether you're a resident attempting to sell a firearm, or you're conducting the transaction within the state, understanding the legalities surrounding firearms in Delaware is crucial.

Written by:
Isaiah Miller
June 14, 2023
minutes read
Map of Delaware

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State Laws for Private Sales in Delaware

In Delaware, there are various avenues for firearms transactions, and one option is to choose reputable buyers such as CashForArms, ensuring a safe and hassle-free sale. When purchasing firearms from companies outside Delaware, it's important to remember that these items can be shipped to a local Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder for convenient collection.

Picture representing Delaware

Eligibility Criteria for Purchasing a Firearm in Delaware

Let's start with the basics: the buyer's age and identification. For long guns, buyers must be at least 18 years old. If you're interested in handguns, pistol-grip shotguns, or lower receivers, you must be at least 21. In both cases, prospective gun owners must present valid identification, such as a driver's license or state-issued ID.

Before completing your purchase, you must fill out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms form 4473. This is followed by a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check, which is performed by the licensed firearms dealer.

ATF's website form 4473 - Firearms Transaction Record Revisions
FBI's website  National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)

Grounds for Disqualification

If the background check disallows the sale, but you believe there's no warranted reason for this, don't worry. There is an appeal process that you can pursue to clarify or rectify the situation.

Role of Licensed Firearms Dealer (FFL)

Transferring a firearm in Delaware requires the participation of a licensed firearms dealer. An unlicensed person cannot sell or transfer any firearm to another unlicensed person without conducting a criminal history background check through a licensed dealer. For this process, both the prospective buyer and seller must appear at the licensed dealer’s place of business.

Exceptions to the Rule: Family Members, Law Enforcement Officers, and Concealed Carry Permit Holders

Some exceptions apply to this rule, including transfers among family members, spouses or partners, holders of a current and valid concealed carry permit issued by the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, and qualified law enforcement or retired law enforcement officers.

Guidelines for Gifting and Selling Firearms in Delaware

When it comes to firearms from an estate, they can be transferred according to the deceased's wishes expressed in a will or trust, or at the executor's discretion if no instructions are left. They can also be gifted from an estate to an individual specified in the will or trust, again, at the executor's discretion when no instructions are left.

Restrictions on Selling Firearms Promised in Wills or Trusts

However, be aware that firearms from an estate cannot be sold if they have been promised to a specific individual in the will, trust, or other written documents.


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Federal Laws Pertaining to Firearm Sales

Like any other state, Delaware adheres to federal regulations that outline disqualifications and identify prohibited individuals.

Picture representing law, judge's hammer

At the federal level, there are disqualifications for purchasing firearms. These include individuals with a conviction where the crime has a maximum imprisonment term exceeding 1 year or those currently with a warrant out for their arrest.

Felony Pretrial Release Conditions

Furthermore, individuals on felony pretrial release are also disqualified from purchasing firearms.

Straw Purchases and Penalties

Be warned: straw purchases, or buying a firearm for someone who cannot legally purchase one themselves, is a serious crime. This felony is punishable by up to ten years in jail.

Other Considerations in Selling a Firearm

Restrictions and Disqualifications under Delaware and Federal Law are:

  • Prohibited Individuals

There are people who, under both Delaware and federal law, are prohibited from purchasing, owning, possessing, or controlling a deadly weapon or ammunition for a firearm. These individuals include those convicted of a felony or a crime of violence, individuals with mental health conditions, and juveniles adjudicated as delinquent for conduct that would constitute a felony.

  • Additional Disqualifications

At the federal level, additional disqualifications apply. These include individuals with a warrant or those on felony pretrial release.


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Tips to Sell Safely and Get the Best Price

Picture of a rifle in a case, with ammo

To ensure a successful sale, make sure your firearm is in good working condition, clean, and well-maintained. Provide an accurate description of the firearm, including its make, model, caliber, and accessories. Prepare a comprehensive bill of sale and include relevant documentation, such as receipts and warranty information. Finally, complete the sale and transfer ownership in a legally compliant manner by adhering to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

Cleaning and Maintenance:

It's a good idea to ensure your firearm is in good working condition and properly cleaned before selling it. This can also increase the firearm's value.

Accurate Description:

When preparing your firearm for a private sale, you should aim to provide an accurate description of the firearm. This includes information about the make, model, caliber, and any accessories that come with the firearm. An accurate description will help ensure a smooth transaction with your ultimate buyer.


Prepare a complete bill of sale that protects both parties in case of disputes, including the following information: sale date, buyer and seller information, and firearm details (such as make, model, and serial number). Additionally, be sure to include any relevant paperwork, such as purchase receipts and warranty information.

Bill of Sale

A bill of sale is recommended for private sales to document the transaction and protect the seller if the firearm is later used in a crime or reported stolen.

Completing the Sale and Transferring Firearm Ownership:

Once you've found a legal buyer, complete the sale and transfer ownership of the firearm in a legal and compliant manner. Be sure to follow all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including background checks and any necessary permits or licenses.


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Choosing Cash for Arms to Sell Your Firearms

Cash For Arms homepage

Opting for Cash for Arms is a secure and reliable method for selling your firearm. By selecting a reputable buyer, you can guarantee a smooth and legal transaction while obtaining the best market value for your firearm.

General Questions & Answers

Can I sell a gun in Delaware?

Yes, you can sell a gun in Delaware. However, you must obtain a special license to sell deadly weapons to sell a gun in Delaware.

Can I sell my AR 15 in Delaware?

Yes, you can sell your AR-15 in Delaware if you comply with both state and federal laws. The sale typically requires processing through a licensed firearm dealer, ensuring the buyer's background check is clear. 

How much does it cost to transfer a gun in Delaware?

Delaware requires that all private firearm sales go through a licensed firearm dealer. 

The licensee charges an FFL transfer fee of $20 to $50 for processing the necessary documentation. This includes the price of conducting the NICS background check.

If the transfer cannot be completed (whether of federal denial, a firearm is not Delaware compliant, etc), the buyer is still responsible to pay the transfer fee.

Does a gun bill of sale have to be notarized in Delaware?

To be valid, a Delaware firearm bill of sale must be witnessed and notarized.

Do guns need to be registered in Delaware?

No, guns do not need to be registered in Delaware. The state of Delaware does not require the registration of firearms. In fact, any system of firearm registration is expressly prohibited, except in cases involving individuals who are prohibited from receiving a firearm.

Can I buy a gun in Delaware without a license?

Yes, you can buy a gun without a license in Delaware. There is no state licensing requirement for the possession of a rifle, shotgun, or handgun.

What is the gun policy in Delaware?

In Delaware, individuals must be 21 years old to purchase a handgun. According to state law, anyone involved in selling pistols, revolvers, or other deadly weapons specifically designed for personal defense is required to obtain a Delaware license and adhere to the corresponding licensing requirements.

How long is a gun charge in Delaware?

This crime carries a mandatory three-year jail sentence. If the conviction represents a third felony conviction there is a five-year mandatory jail sentence.

Can a non-resident carry a gun in Delaware?

Yes, non-residents are allowed to carry guns in Delaware. Open carry is permitted for individuals who are over 21 years old and legally eligible to possess a firearm. However, certain places such as schools and detention facilities are off-limits for carrying firearms. As for concealed carry, it is legal for Delaware residents who possess a CDWL (Concealed Deadly Weapons License) and non-residents who hold a CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) permit from a state that Delaware recognizes and honors.

Is there a tax on guns in Delaware?

Of course, gun sales are always free from state sales taxes in Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon, the only five states in the nation with no sales tax. All gun and ammunition purchases in the U.S. are subject to excise taxes imposed by the federal government.

What weapons are illegal in Delaware?

Certain weapons, such as sawed-off shotguns, machine guns, and silencers are prohibited under Delaware's gun control laws.

How much does it cost to transfer a gun in Delaware?

A firearm transfer fee through a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) in Delaware typically ranges from $20 to $50. 

What is the gun process in Delaware?

To obtain a license to carry, individuals are required to submit an application to the Prothonotary of the Superior Court in their county of residence at least 15 days before the upcoming court term. The initial license is valid for a period of 3 years, and subsequent renewals extend its validity to five-year intervals.

Does a gun bill of sale have to be notarized in Delaware?

In order for a Delaware firearm bill of sale to be considered legitimate, it is necessary for it to be both witnessed and notarized.



Cash for Arms adheres to all necessary protocols to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, preventing the sale of firearms to prohibited individuals.



As experienced and knowledgeable gun buyers, Cash for Arms provides the best market value for your firearm, ensuring you get the best possible price.



Cash for Arms pays all costs involved in the transaction, making it a hassle-free and cost-effective option for selling your gun.



We pay within 24 hours of receiving your firearms.



Safe and Secure Transaction: Multiple Selling Options: Cash for Arms offers multiple selling options to suit your needs, including selling outright or cash consignment.



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.


Understanding the rules surrounding buying, selling, and transferring firearms in Delaware is crucial. These rules encompass various scenarios from private sales and transfers to handling firearms from estates. Bear in mind that there are strict state and federal laws in place, and any violations may lead to serious consequences. Therefore, always make sure to comply with all legal requirements and engage professionals in the field when needed. It's our shared responsibility to ensure that firearm transactions occur safely and legally.


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