How to Sell a Gun in Minnesota

Selling a gun in Minnesota to a non-licensed person can be a complex process due to the state's numerous laws addressing the sale of firearms. To help you navigate the process and ensure a legal and smooth transaction, this guide will cover Minnesota state firearms laws, federal laws, firearm ownership restrictions, and general advice about how to sell your gun in Minnesota.

Written by:
Manny Perovic
June 10, 2023
minutes read
Map of Minnesota

Get the best offer for your guns

Cash For Arms will do the heavy lifting for you, and make you a market-based, no-obligation cash offer for your guns

Sell a gun

State Laws for Private Sales

Minnesota, like many other states, has specific regulations in place that govern the buying and selling of firearms through private sales. It is important to understand these laws to ensure that you are in compliance and conducting a legal sale.

Photo representing Minnesota

Minnesota State Firearm Ownership Restrictions

In Minnesota, there are restrictions for certain individuals who are not allowed to possess firearms. The list of individuals prohibited from possessing firearms includes:

  • Those under 18 years old
  • Persons convicted of or adjudicated delinquent or convicted as an extended jurisdiction juvenile for committing a crime of violence
  • Individuals who have been committed by a judicial determination that they are mentally ill, developmentally disabled, or mentally ill and dangerous to the public
  • Those convicted of a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor violation of Chapter 152 or a similar law of another state
  • Individuals convicted of certain offenses at the gross misdemeanor level
  • Those subject to domestic violence restraining orders or harassment restraining orders.

Private Sale of a Firearm in Minnesota

In Minnesota, any sale, gift, loan, assignment, or other delivery of a firearm to a non-licensed person is considered a private sale. For the private sale of handguns between two non-licensed individuals, Minnesota law requires a valid permit to carry or a permit to purchase. A valid permit to carry a handgun in Minnesota is sufficient for a private sale, provided that the permit is valid at the time of the sale or transfer.

To obtain a Permit to Purchase, the prospective purchaser must apply in writing to the chief of police or the county sheriff and provide identifying information, including their full name, date of birth, and driver's license or state identification card number. The chief of police or county sheriff will conduct a background check on the prospective purchaser before approving or denying the application. If the application is approved, the Permit to Purchase is valid for one year and can be used to purchase multiple handguns.

Minnesota  E-licensing website, Permit to purchase/transfer a handgun

Class III items under the National Firearms Act (NFA), including machine guns, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, and suppressors, necessitate a rigorous approval process for private sales. This process involves the completion of ATF Form 4, a $200 transfer tax, and a waiting period that may extend over several months, as mandated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

In terms of Federal law, private firearms sales conducted within the same state, between non-licensed individuals, are not obligated to adhere to federal background check requirements. This is colloquially known as the "gun show loophole" or "private sale loophole." For any interstate firearms sales, these transactions must involve a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL), who is required to execute a background check.

Minnesota law, as of 2021, necessitates a permit for the purchase of a handgun or semi-automatic military-style assault weapon from a private party. The purchaser is obligated to display this permit to the seller. However, the law does not impose the requirement for private sellers to administer background checks.


Sell your guns easily!

Cash for Arms will do the heavy lifting for you, and make you a market-based, no-obligation cash offer for your guns.

Get my Cash Offer


Federal Laws

Photo representing Law, judges Hammer

It is crucial for individuals seeking to purchase or sell firearms in Minnesota to have a comprehensive understanding of both federal and state laws governing firearm sales. Federal law requires licensed dealers to conduct background checks on individuals before selling firearms to them, whether in-store or online. However, private sales between non-licensed individuals are not subject to federal background check requirements, though a permit to carry or a permit to purchase is mandatory for handgun transactions in Minnesota. The Permit to Purchase involves a background check conducted by the local chief of police or county sheriff. By being aware of the specific legal requirements for firearm sales in Minnesota, individuals can ensure that they are following the law and operating within the boundaries set by both federal and state authorities.

Federal Disqualification Categories

Federal disqualification categories include:

  • Conviction (felony or misdemeanor) where the crime has a maximum imprisonment term exceeding 1 year
  • Warrants
  • Felony pre-trial release
  • Misdemeanors 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
  • Being an illegal alien
  • Individuals are subject to a court order that restrains them from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of an intimate partner.

Federal Law for Private Sales and Purchases of Firearms

Federal law regulates the sale and purchase of firearms, including private sales and transfers. Interstate transfers of firearms are restricted by federal law, and individuals who purchase firearms from private sellers must adhere to certain age restrictions. Specifically, a buyer must be at least 18 years old to purchase a long gun (i.e., rifle or shotgun) and 21 years old to purchase a handgun.

Federal law also prohibits certain categories of individuals from purchasing or possessing firearms, including convicted felons, domestic abusers, individuals with certain mental health conditions, and others. These restrictions apply to all firearm purchases, regardless of whether the sale is conducted by a licensed dealer or a private seller. The specifics of these restrictions are laid out in the Gun Control Act of 1968 and have been amended over time.

However, it's worth noting that private sales of firearms between non-licensed individuals are not subject to federal background check requirements. This means that a private seller is not required to conduct a background check on the buyer, as would be required for a sale from a licensed dealer.

In summary, federal law sets age restrictions for individuals purchasing firearms from private sellers and prohibits certain categories of individuals from purchasing or possessing firearms. While private sales of firearms between non-licensed individuals are legal, they are not subject to federal background check requirements.

Purchasing from a Licensed Firearms Dealer

Anyone buying a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer must complete a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF) form 4473. Purchasers must undergo a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check, which will be performed by the licensed firearms dealer. Section 7416.9940 requires a Minnesota Permit to Acquire Handguns from Federal Firearms Dealers, which must be presented by the permittee with other qualifying Minnesota Identification before the sale of the pistol may be completed.

ATF's website form 4473- Firearms Transaction Record Revisions
FBI's website, Firearms Checks (NICS)

Minnesota law requires a seven-day waiting period for the purchase of a handgun or semiautomatic military-style assault weapon from a federally licensed dealer unless the waiting period is waived by the police chief or sheriff.


Ready to get paid?

Get cash in your bank account as soon as tomorrow! Click ‘Get my Cash Offer’ for a no obligation cash offer for your guns.

Get my Cash Offer


Recommendations for Private Sales

When it comes to private sales of firearms in Minnesota, there are specific laws and guidelines that must be followed to ensure a legal and smooth transaction. To ensure a safe and lawful transaction, it is recommended that private sellers and buyers follow certain guidelines and recommendations. In this article, we will outline recommendations for private sales of guns, shotguns, rifles, and other firearms in Minnesota, including tips for private sellers and buyers, to help ensure a seamless and legal transaction.

Private Sales of Handguns and Long Guns

When it comes to private sales of handguns and long guns in Minnesota, the following facts and recommendations should be considered:

  • Private sales of long guns do not require a permit to purchase or a background check
  • Private sellers are not required to verify the buyer's eligibility to possess a firearm before selling the gun
  • Handgun transfers between individuals who both have a valid Minnesota permit to carry a handgun do not require a permit to purchase or a background check
  • Private sales of semiautomatic military-style assault weapons do require the buyer to have a permit to purchase or a valid permit to carry.

Tips for Private Sellers and Buyers

In a private firearm sale or purchase, it is crucial to follow certain guidelines to ensure a smooth, legal, and stress-free transaction. Key recommendations include drafting and signing a Bill of Sale, verifying the buyer's eligibility, adhering to age requirements, and consulting an attorney for legal advice if needed. Following these tips can help both sellers and buyers navigate the process and comply with Minnesota state and federal laws.

Two people shaking hands

Bill of Sale: Draft and sign a Bill of Sale, which should include the make, model, caliber, and serial number of the firearm, and the buyer's and seller's names, addresses, and driver's license numbers. Both parties should keep a copy for their records.

Buyer's Eligibility Verification: Although not required by law, it is recommended that the seller verify the buyer's eligibility to possess a firearm by requesting proof of a valid Minnesota permit to carry or a transfer permit. This helps ensure that the firearm is being transferred to a legally eligible individual.

Age Requirements: Ensure that the buyer meets the minimum age requirements for purchasing a firearm: 18 years old for long guns (rifles and shotguns) and 21 years old for handguns.

Meeting in a Safe, Public Location: Arrange to meet in a safe, public location for the exchange. Some local police departments offer "safe exchange zones" for this purpose.

Payment Method: Agree on a payment method that is secure and traceable, such as a cashier's check, money order, or electronic transfer. Avoid using cash for large transactions.

Communication: Maintain clear and open communication between both parties throughout the process to avoid misunderstandings.

Record-Keeping: Keep thorough records of the transaction, including copies of permits, identification, and the Bill of Sale.

Legal Advice: If you are unsure about any aspect of the transaction or have concerns about the legality of the sale, consult an attorney for legal advice.


Get a fair offer, fast

Your firearms could be worth more than you think. Click ‘Get my Cash Offer’ now for a fair, no-obligation cash offer and enjoy the benefit of quick payment.

Get my Cash Offer


Utilizing Cash for Arms to Sell Your Firearms

Cash For Arms Homepage

Choosing Cash for Arms is a secure and reliable option for selling your gun. By opting for a reputable buyer, you can ensure a smooth and lawful transaction while obtaining the best market value for your firearm.

General Questions & Answers

Can you buy a gun in Minnesota without a license?

No, you can't. Minnesota law requires a resident to have a Permit to Purchase/Transfer in order to obtain a handgun through a purchase, sale, gift, loan, assignment, or other delivery from another person. If a resident has a valid permit to carry a handgun, that permit constitutes a permit to purchase.

What do you need to sell a gun in Minnesota?

In the State of Minnesota, individuals engaged in the sale and purchase of firearms are required to fill out a Minnesota firearm bill of sale. This document serves as a comprehensive record, capturing essential details about the buyer, the seller, and the firearm being transferred.

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

To buy a gun in Minnesota, you need a Permit to Purchase. Applicants must have a current Minnesota driver's license, Minnesota ID card, or passport with supporting residency documentation on their person at the time of application. 

Is it legal to sell guns in Minnesota?

Any person who is permitted to own and purchase a firearm in Minnesota is also permitted to privately sell one to another resident.

Does Minnesota allow private gun sales?

In Minnesota, the existing legislation does not mandate individuals purchasing firearms through private sales to undergo background checks or present transfer permits. Implementing comprehensive background checks would effectively prevent individuals with disqualifying factors from acquiring guns.

What is Minnesota's firearms policy?

Minnesota law allows individuals with a Minnesota Permit to Carry a Pistol (PCP) or a valid permit from a state recognized by Minnesota to engage in both open carry and concealed carry. The law does not specify any requirement for the weapon to be concealed.

How long does gun background check take Minnesota?

On average, it takes five business days for the criminal background check (CBC) to be finalized and the CBC report to be delivered to the board after receiving the fingerprints and forms at the CBCP office. However, it is not uncommon for the process to extend up to a fortnight.

Does Minnesota require gun registration?

According to Minnesota law, there is no requirement or authorization for registering, documenting, collecting, or providing serial numbers or other firearm-related data, either for firearms themselves or their owners.



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



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.

By following these recommendations, private sellers and buyers in Minnesota can ensure that they are conducting a legal and responsible firearm transaction. By adhering to state and federal laws, as well as taking precautions to verify the buyer's eligibility and maintain proper documentation, both parties can help to promote safe and responsible firearm ownership and transfer.


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.