How to Sell a Gun in Idaho

Selling a firearm in Idaho, like in any U.S. state, involves a keen understanding of the various federal and state laws that dictate the process. From handguns to shotguns and rifles, having comprehensive knowledge of the right procedures for each can be the key to a smooth, legal, and trouble-free transaction. We will explore Idaho's state laws, federal laws, the private sale process, and the intricacies of selling through a Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealer.

Written by:
Manny Perovic
June 13, 2023
minutes read
Map of Idaho

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Idaho State Laws: Private Sales

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The state of Idaho is well-known for its relatively lenient gun laws, making it a favorable environment for gun enthusiasts. But, while the gun laws in Idaho are considered more relaxed compared to other states, it's crucial to be aware of specific legal requirements that govern private sales. This awareness is essential not only to ensure legal compliance but also to maintain the safety and legality of firearm transactions within the state.

Buyer Eligibility Requirements

There are specific age and background check requirements in place for firearm purchases in Idaho. To purchase a long gun, such as a rifle or shotgun, buyers must be at least 18 years old and must pass a background check. For handgun purchases, the minimum age limit is raised to 21, with the same requirement for a background check.

Firearm Possession Restrictions

During the process of selling or purchasing firearms, you must be mindful of the restrictions on firearm possession. Some key points include:

As per Idaho statute 18-3316, felons are prohibited from possessing firearms. Any violation of this law is considered a felony offense.

Selling a weapon to a minor requires written consent from the minor's parent or guardian as per statute 18-3302A.

The law also prohibits the sale of a firearm, gunpowder, or ammunition, excluding shotgun shells and cartridges of .22 caliber or smaller, to a minor without consent (18-3308).

Sale and Shipping Restrictions

Pay attention to restrictions on certain items for sale and shipping laws:

Shipping a loaded firearm is considered illegal under Idaho law (18-3310). This law specifically applies to firearms in checked baggage and not necessarily to the general shipping of firearms.

It's important to consider the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution, which generally gives federal laws precedence over conflicting state laws.


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Federal Laws on Private Gun Sales

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Even though Idaho state law generally permits private sales without the necessity of a background check or the involvement of a licensed dealer, there are federal regulations that must be adhered to for legal compliance. Becoming familiar with the federal laws that apply to private gun sales in Idaho is essential for maintaining the integrity of these transactions and ensuring the safety and legality of firearm transfers.

Federal Disqualification Categories for Firearm Ownership

Federal law outlines several categories of disqualification for firearm ownership, including but not limited to:

  • Conviction of a felony or misdemeanor where the crime has a maximum imprisonment term exceeding one year.
  • Existence of a felony or out-of-state misdemeanor warrant.
  • Individuals on felony pre-trial release.
  • Individuals with misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence restraining/stalking/protection orders or with mental health adjudication or commitment.
  • Dishonorable discharge from the armed forces.
  • Renouncement of U.S. citizenship.
  • Unlawful use of, or addiction to, a controlled substance (including marijuana).
  • Being an illegal alien.

Private Firearm Sale in Idaho

While Idaho state laws do not specifically address private firearm sales, federal law nonetheless applies. Penalties exist for selling a firearm to an ineligible person, selling a defaced firearm, or selling a restricted firearm such as an explosive weapon or machine gun.

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Age Restrictions

In Idaho, the age requirement for selling a gun varies depending on the type of firearm. As a general rule, you must be at least 18 years old to sell or transfer a long gun (such as a rifle or shotgun) in a private sale.

Sale Procedure and the Role of a Bill of Sale

Though Idaho state law may not explicitly require identification for private sales, federal law prohibits the sale of firearms to certain ineligible persons. If the buyer is from out of state, the transaction must be managed by a federally licensed firearms dealer. This will necessitate the presentation of identification and a background check. While a bill of sale is optional, it is highly recommended for keeping a record of the transaction.

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Illegal Sales and Common Ways of Illegal Acquisition

Awareness of illegal acquisition methods is necessary to prevent inadvertently participating in such transactions. Most illegally obtained guns are acquired through straw purchases, corrupt dealers, and illegal street gun dealers.


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Selling a Firearm through a Licensed Dealer in Idaho

When purchasing from a licensed firearms dealer, buyers must complete a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms form 4473.

ATF's website form 4473 - Firearms Transaction Record Revisions

National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Check

Under the permanent provisions of the Federal Brady Law, buyers must undergo a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check. The licensed firearms dealer performs the NICS check to determine whether the buyer is eligible to complete the firearm purchase.

FBI's website National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Check

Appeals Process for Denied Purchases

In the event of an unjustified disallowance of the sale due to the NICS check, buyers have the right to pursue an appeal process. Individuals who have been denied a gun purchase can visit the NICS Brady Check FBI appeals page. If you face legal charges or convictions and are unsure of your eligibility to purchase a firearm, it is recommended that you seek legal advice from a qualified attorney.

Cross-State and Non-resident Firearm Purchases

Idaho residents can purchase rifles and shotguns in other states, provided they conform to the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the state laws of the state where the purchase is made (18-3314).

Non-resident Purchases in Idaho

Non-Idaho residents can purchase rifles and shotguns in Idaho, provided they follow the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the laws of both states involved (18-3315).

Federal Restrictions for Handgun Sales to Non-residents

It's crucial to note that federal law generally prohibits the sale of handguns to non-residents.

Considerations When Selling a Gun as a Dealer in Idaho

Age Restrictions

Federal law prohibits dealers from selling or transferring handguns to persons under the age of 21.

Firearm Gifting

Purchasing a firearm as a gift for a non-prohibited person is legal as long as it does not circumvent background checks or other laws.

Gun Registration, Waiting Period, and Quantity

In Idaho, there is no requirement to register guns. There is also no waiting period to pick up a gun unless the background check result is 'Delayed'. Purchases of multiple guns at one time are permitted.

Purchasing Specific Types of Firearms

Certain types of firearms, such as machine guns, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, silencers, and grenade launchers, can be bought, but they require a $200 transfer tax, federal registration, and must be handled through a Class 3 or NFA federally licensed dealer.

Regulations for Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Magazines

In Idaho, assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are not subject to specific bans.


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Tips to Sell Safely and Get the Best Price

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.

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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.

Picture of a person cleaning a rifle

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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Using Cash for Arms is a safe and secure option for selling your firearm. By choosing a reputable buyer, you can ensure a smooth and legal transaction while getting the best market value for your firearm.

General Questions & Answers

Is it legal to sell guns in Idaho?

In the state of Idaho, any individual that is permitted to own a firearm can also sell a firearm in a private transaction.

Do you need a federally-issued ID to buy a gun in Idaho?

Any government-issued identification that includes your photo and current address, such as a state-issued driver's license, should be sufficient. The ID is required to prove your identity and residency.

Can I buy a gun in Idaho if in non-resident?

Residents of other states may purchase a rifle or shotgun in Idaho so long as the purchase conforms to federal law and applicable laws of Idaho and the purchaser's state of residence. Idaho Code §§ 18-3314 and 18-3315.

What do you need to sell firearms in Idaho?

Idaho does not require a permit or background check for the private sale or transfer of firearms between individuals. However, if you are selling firearms as part of a business, federal laws will apply, and you will need a Federal Firearms License (FFL). An Idaho firearm bill of sale is used to document the transfer of a firearm between a buyer and seller in the state of Idaho. This state does not require weapon registration, nor does it require a permit or background check to purchase any rifle, shotgun, or handgun.

Can you buy a gun in Idaho without a license?

Yes, you can. Idaho does not require a license to purchase or possess firearms.

Can a Non-Resident Carry a Gun in Idaho?

Yes. Open carry is legal in Idaho for anyone at least 18 years old who can legally possess a firearm. In addition, any U.S. citizen over the age of 18 who can legally possess a firearm, may lawfully carry a concealed firearm for self-defense without a permit.

Do You Need a Gun Permit in Idaho?

No. No permit is needed to purchase a firearm from a private individual. No background check is required, there is no waiting period, and there is no firearms registration in Idaho. 

Can You Carry a Gun in a Bar in Idaho?

Yes. There is no statute that makes concealed carry illegal in Idaho bars. However, any private business can post signs prohibiting the carrying of weapons on its premises.

How Old Do You Have to Be in Idaho to Get a License to Carry?

The minimum age to carry concealed weapons in Idaho is 21. Idaho issues Concealed Weapons Licenses (CWL) to residents and non-residents. Concealed carry permits require a firearms training course that has been state-approved or experience with a firearm through participation in an organized shooting competition or military service.

Can You Carry a Gun in Your Car in Idaho?

Yes, anyone at least 18 years old who can legally possess a firearm may carry a handgun in a vehicle without a permit.

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

Though Idaho state law may not explicitly require identification for private sales, federal law prohibits the sale of firearms to certain ineligible persons. If the buyer is from out of state, the transaction must be managed by a federally licensed firearms dealer.

What is required to sell a gun in Idaho?

To privately sell a firearm in Idaho, you do not require a license. However, it is strongly recommended that you confirm the buyer's eligibility to own firearms. It's illegal to sell firearms to anyone you know or have reasonable cause to believe is prohibited from owning one. This includes convicted felons, minors, individuals with restraining orders, or individuals with mental illness. Moreover, interstate sales must go through a Federal Firearms Licensee. 

Can you gift someone a gun in Idaho?

In Idaho, private individuals can generally gift firearms to another resident without involving a licensed dealer. However, it is essential to ensure that the recipient is legally eligible to possess a firearm and to comply with federal laws if applicable. 

Does Idaho require a background check for guns?

Idaho does not require background checks for the sale or transfer of firearms between private individuals. This means that individuals can buy or sell firearms in Idaho without undergoing a background check. 



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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.


Given the intricate nature of firearms law and the legal consequences of non-compliance, it is advisable to inform yourself thoroughly about all pertinent state and federal laws before proceeding with any firearm transaction.


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