How to Sell a Gun in Missouri

Missouri is a state with a deeply rooted firearms culture. It has a rich history with firearms, and over time, state gun laws have become complex in order to continue that tradition safely and with minimal stress.

In this blog, we'll cover buying and selling firearms, private sales, Missouri state firearm ownership restrictions, penalties for violating gun laws, and resources for selling a gun in Missouri.

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

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Conducting a Private Sale of a Firearm in Missouri

In Missouri, private sales of firearms are not heavily regulated, but certain precautions should be taken.

Picture representing Missouri

Background Check Requirements

When purchasing a firearm in Missouri, there are different regulations depending on the type of sale. In this section, we'll cover requirements for buying from a licensed dealer and private sale regulations.

Private sale regulations:

Missouri does not require background checks for private sales, but it is still crucial to ensure the buyer is legally eligible to purchase a firearm.

Requirements for purchasing from a licensed dealer:

Federal law requires all federally licensed dealers to conduct background checks on prospective firearm purchasers. This process involves filling out Form 4473 (firearms transaction form) and running the buyer's information through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

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

Penalties for selling to an ineligible person, selling a defaced firearm, or selling a restricted firearm: 

Sellers in Missouri need to be aware of the consequences of violating state gun laws when selling firearms. Selling to an ineligible person, selling a defaced firearm, or selling a restricted firearm are serious offenses that can result in criminal charges and penalties. Penalties for these violations may include heavy fines, imprisonment, and the loss of the seller's license to sell firearms. 

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) guidance on the transfer of a firearm by private sellers: 

The ATF recommends private sellers keep a record of the sale, including the buyer's information and the firearm's make, model, and serial number.

Age Restrictions

There are both federal law requirements and Missouri minimum-age laws that you should be aware of when purchasing a firearm.

Federal law requirements:

Under federal law, the minimum age to purchase a long gun (rifle or shotgun) is 18, while the minimum age to purchase a handgun is 21.

Missouri minimum-age laws: Missouri adheres to federal law requirements regarding the age to purchase firearms.

Permit and Registration Requirements

The process of owning a firearm in Missouri is relatively straightforward, as the state does not impose any permit or registration requirements. This means that residents can legally own firearms without the need for a permit, and there is no obligation to register these firearms with a state agency.

Selling and Gifting Firearms to Minors

When it comes to selling and gifting firearms to minors in Missouri, there are specific restrictions to be aware of.

Restrictions on possession of handguns by minors: Missouri law prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from possessing a handgun, except under certain circumstances, such as when participating in a hunter safety course, target shooting, or with parental consent.

Ownership of long guns by minors: Minors under 18 may own long guns in Missouri, but they must have parental consent to purchase and possess them.


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Disqualifications for Purchasing a Firearm

There are federal disqualification categories and examples of disqualifications for purchasing a firearm in Missouri.

Federal disqualification categories:

Federal law prohibits certain individuals from purchasing or possessing firearms, including:

  • felons, 
  • fugitives, 
  • drug addicts, 
  • individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors
  • those subject to restraining orders.

Examples of disqualifications:

  • Specific examples of disqualifications include felony conviction and dishonorable discharge from the armed forces.

Open Carry Laws

Missouri is an open carry state, but there are some limitations to be aware of.

Where open carry is allowed: 

  • Missouri allows the open carry of firearms without a permit in most public places, except where specifically prohibited.

Limitations on open carry: 

  • Local municipalities can enact ordinances that restrict open carry, so it's essential to be familiar with local laws and regulations.

Concealed Carry Laws

Missouri has made changes to its concealed carry laws, effective Jan. 1, 2017.

Missouri now allows the concealed carry of firearms without a permit for residents 19 years of age or older who are legally allowed to own a firearm.

Requirements for obtaining a conceal-carry permit: 

Although Missouri allows permitless concealed carry, residents can still obtain a conceal-carry permit for reciprocity purposes with other states. Applicants must be 19 years old, complete a firearms training course, and pass a background check.

Ownership of Fully Automatic Firearms

Owning a fully automatic firearm in Missouri is possible but comes with specific requirements and costs.

Photo of a fully automatic Firearm

Process for obtaining a fully automatic firearm:

To own a fully automatic firearm, you must complete the necessary paperwork, pay a transfer tax, and receive approval from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

High cost of fully automatic firearms: Fully automatic firearms are often expensive due to their rarity and the cost of obtaining the necessary permits and approvals.


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How to Legally Buy a Firearm in Missouri

When buying a gun in Missouri, there are specific steps to follow to ensure the transaction is legal.

Form 4473 (firearms transaction form): When purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer, buyers must complete Form 4473.

National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check: Licensed dealers must run the buyer's information through the NICS before completing the sale.

Missouri State Firearm Ownership Restrictions

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Federal Disqualification Categories

While Missouri has relatively lenient gun laws, the state still adheres to federal disqualification categories that restrict firearm ownership. These restrictions include but are not limited to, individuals with felony convictions and those who have received a dishonorable discharge from the armed forces.

Federal law establishes disqualification categories for firearm ownership that apply in Missouri.

Examples of Disqualifications

Some specific examples of disqualifications for firearm ownership in Missouri include felony conviction and dishonorable discharge from the armed forces.

Penalties for Violating Missouri Gun Laws

Criminal Charges for Selling Firearms to Ineligible Persons:

Selling a firearm to an ineligible person in Missouri can result in criminal charges and penalties.

Penalties for Possession of Illegal Firearms:

Possessing an illegal firearm in Missouri can lead to penalties, including fines and imprisonment.

Resources for Selling a Gun in Missouri

When selling a gun in Missouri, it's important to be well-informed about the applicable laws and regulations. Two key resources that offer valuable guidance and information on this topic include the Missouri Office of Attorney General, which focuses on state gun laws, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), which provides assistance on federal firearms regulations, including buying, selling, and transferring firearms.

As a responsible gun owner and seller, it's crucial to follow Missouri gun laws to ensure the safety of both yourself and others. Understanding the state's regulations can help prevent illegal sales and the potential consequences of violating the law.

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of Missouri gun laws, but it's always important to consult legal resources and stay informed about any changes or updates to the law. By doing so, you can be confident that you comply with all applicable regulations when buying or selling firearms in Missouri.


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Guidelines for a Safe Sale and Maximizing Profit

For a successful sale, it's important to have your pistol, rifle, or shotgun in proper working order, clean and well-maintained. Offer a precise description of the firearm, comprising its make, model, caliber, and included accessories. Create a detailed bill of sale and incorporate related documents, such as receipts and warranty details. Lastly, carry out the sale and transfer ownership legally by following all relevant federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

Proper Cleaning and Maintenance:

Prior to selling your firearm, ensure it's functioning correctly and thoroughly cleaned. This will potentially enhance the firearm's value.

Picture of a person cleaning a rifle

Precise Description:

When preparing your firearm for private sale, strive to give a precise description of the firearm, including details about its make, model, caliber, and accompanying accessories. Providing accurate information facilitates a seamless transaction with the potential buyer.

Preparing Documentation:

Develop a comprehensive bill of sale that safeguards both parties in case of any disputes. This should include details such as the sale date, buyer and seller information, and firearm specifics (like make, model, and serial number). Don't forget to add pertinent documentation, such as purchase receipts and warranty details.

Man holding an iPad

Finalizing the Sale and Transferring Firearm Ownership:

After finding a legal buyer, finalize the sale and legally transfer the firearm's ownership. Adhere to all relevant federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including background checks and any required permits or licenses.

Choosing Cash for Arms to Sell Your Firearms

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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

How to sell a gun in Missouri?

Selling a gun in Missouri doesn't require a permit. However, ensure the buyer is eligible (over 18 for long guns, 21 for handguns, and not a felon). Though not mandatory, record transaction details in a bill of sale. For added security, consider involving a licensed firearms dealer to conduct a background check. Always check the latest regulations before proceeding.

How to sell a gun legally?

To legally sell a gun, confirm the buyer's eligibility; they should be at least 18 for long guns, 21 for handguns, and not a prohibited person (like a felon). In private sales, laws vary by state, so familiarize yourself with local regulations. A bill of sale is recommended, though not always required. For added assurance, involve a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) to perform a background check. Always check and comply with the most recent laws and regulations.

How to sell guns at a gun show in Missouri?

Missouri does not have specific laws regulating gun shows, meaning individuals can sell firearms at these events without needing to perform background checks or keep records of sales.

How to legally sell a gun in Missouri?

To legally sell a firearm in the state of Missouri, you first need to ensure that you, as the seller, and the buyer are both at least 18 years old for long guns and 21 years old for handguns. Additionally, both parties must be residents of Missouri and the buyer should not be prohibited by law from owning a firearm (such as convicted felons, persons with restraining orders, or individuals with certain mental illnesses).

How to sell a gun legally in Missouri?

To sell a gun legally in Missouri, first, ensure that the buyer is at least 18 years old for long guns, or 21 for handguns, and a legal resident of the state. Unlike some states, Missouri does not require a background check or firearms registration for private sales. However, it's highly recommended to have a bill of sale for documentation purposes, detailing information about the firearm and buyer, as well as the sale price and date. 

How to sell a gun privately in Missouri?

There are no specific state laws addressing private sales of firearms between private parties. It is important to note that federal laws still apply.

Can you sell guns privately in Missouri?

Yes, you can sell a gun privately in Missouri. Missouri law says anyone can sell firearms including licensed dealers or private sellers who are selling to another individual face-to-face. A licensed dealer is defined as someone selling firearms for a living and must perform a background check before selling a gun.

Can I sell guns in Missouri?

Yes, you can sell a gun in Missouri. Any person who can legally own a weapon in Missouri may also sell the firearm.

Do you need a license to sell a gun in Missouri?

Missouri does not require firearms dealers to obtain a state license. Missouri makes it a violation of state law for a licensed dealer to violate certain federal requirements.

What are the gun sales laws in Missouri?

In Missouri, there is no requirement for any kind of permit to purchase rifles, shotguns, or handguns. There is also no mandated waiting period for purchasing firearms, nor any requirement for firearm registration. Missouri does not require gun owners to obtain a license, and residents are allowed to openly carry firearms without any permit. A permit is necessary if you want to carry a concealed firearm, though Missouri has a 'Shall Issue' policy which makes it relatively easy for most individuals to get this permit.

Can I buy a gun from a friend in Missouri?

Yes, you can. Private sales are allowed by Missouri state law, which means that anyone can purchase a firearm from someone who isn't a Federal Firearms Licensee.

What's the new gun law in Missouri?

In 2021, Missouri enacted the so-called “Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA)” which subjects local and state law enforcement officers to fines of $50,000 for helping to enforce a federal gun law. Accordingly, law enforcement in the state is no longer enforcing federal gun laws including laws.



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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.

By adhering to the advice and suggestions in this article, you can successfully navigate the process of selling a gun in Missouri. Always comply with federal and state regulations, as well as local laws, to ensure a legal, secure, and lucrative transaction.


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