How to Sell a Gun in South Carolina

Navigating the complexities of selling firearms in South Carolina can be challenging. However, when you understand the state and federal regulations, the process becomes much simpler. This comprehensive guide provides you with key insights into South Carolina gun laws, essential safety measures, and effective practices for selling guns.

Written by:
Isaiah Miller
June 10, 2023
minutes read
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Understanding the Legalities of Selling Firearms in South Carolina

Before selling a gun in South Carolina, it's imperative to grasp the state's laws and federal regulations that oversee the sale of firearms. This includes legal prerequisites and safety precautions needed to ensure a seamless and lawful sale. In this guide, we will dive deep into South Carolina firearm laws, and Federal Firearm License (FFL) requirements, equipping you to confidently manage the process.

South Carolina State Laws for Firearm Sales

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In South Carolina, selling your gun doesn't require a permit or registration. However, it's crucial that you ensure the buyer is legally eligible to own a firearm. While circuit judge laws do not mandate private sellers to conduct a background check, it's highly recommended to recognize an adjudged unfit person and prevent sales to individuals such as convicted felons, habitual drunkards, or adjudicated mentally incompetent persons.

Furthermore, it is important to note that defacing, altering, removing, or destroying a firearm or long gun manufacturer's serial number is prohibited under South Carolina law and federal law. This rule assists law enforcement in tracking firearms involved in illegal activities.

Federal Regulations for Selling and Buying Firearms

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Federal laws, including the National Firearms Act and the Gun Control Act, oversee both the selling and buying of firearms. For instance, it's illegal to engage in a gun transaction if the person involved is convicted of a crime with a potential imprisonment term exceeding 1 year, a drug addict, a fugitive, an illegal immigrant, mentally impaired, dishonorably discharged from the armed forces, has renounced U.S. citizenship, is under a restraining order, or has been convicted of domestic violence crimes.

The National Firearms Act of 1934 regulates the possession of shotguns, rifles, machine guns, firearm mufflers, and silencers. Semi-automatic weapons are generally legal to purchase, and automatic weapons manufactured before 1986 are legal provided you follow the ATF procedures and obtain the appropriate tax stamp.

However, an unlicensed individual cannot directly transfer a firearm to someone residing in a different state. In order for a legal out-of-state transfer to take place, the firearm must be transferred to a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder in the recipient's state, who will then complete the necessary transfer process to allow the firearm to be legally carried anywhere.


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Legal Compliance for Gun Buyers in South Carolina

When buying a gun in South Carolina, understanding and adhering to state and federal laws governing the firearm purchase process is paramount. This section outlines the eligibility criteria, legal requirements, and potential penalties for non-compliance with South Carolina laws. Staying informed about these regulations ensures a smooth and legal transaction.

Eligibility to Buy a Firearm in South Carolina

In South Carolina, not everyone is eligible to buy, carry and sell firearms. There are certain rules defined by the law, such as age restrictions, convicted persons, felons, and persons with a criminal record. There is also a restriction on the purchase and sale of ammunition.

State Laws for Buying Firearms in South Carolina

South Carolina firearm laws state that handgun buyers must be at least 21 years old, while rifle, shotgun, and ammunition buyers must be 18 years or older. Felons are prohibited from owning firearms in South Carolina, and it is illegal to sell or transfer firearms to known felons, which could result in legal consequences for the seller.

To purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer, a buyer must fill out form 4473 and undergo a National Instant Criminal Background Check. The dealer retains this form, and the background check determines if the buyer can legally purchase the firearm.

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

Penalties for Non-compliance in South Carolina

Non-compliance with South Carolina firearm laws or federal laws during the process of buying or selling firearms can lead to penalties such as fines, imprisonment, or both.


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Safe Practices for Private Online Firearm Sales in South Carolina

South Carolina law permits private gun sales. Here are some best practices for a smooth, legal transaction:

Eligibility Verification: Verify the buyer's legal eligibility to own a firearm. Request identification or driver's license and, if possible, conduct a background check.

Document the Sale: Maintain a record of the sale with a sale form, including details about the buyer and the firearm. This bill of sale can shield you from liability if the firearm is used unlawfully in the future.

Avoid Illegal Firearms: Ensure that the firearm you're selling is legal to own and sell in South Carolina. This includes verifying the type of firearm and confirming the serial number is intact.

Out-of-State Sales: For selling a gun to someone outside of South Carolina, the firearm must be shipped to a Federal Firearm License (FFL) holder in the recipient's state. The federal firearms licensee will handle the transfer in accordance with local laws.

Insurance and Liability: Consider getting insurance to protect against accidents or injuries caused by firearms you've sold, as well as losses from theft or other damages.

Securely Sell your Firearm and Maximizing Returns

Ensuring Proper Maintenance and Cleanliness: Before selling your gun online, ensure it's in the best possible operational condition and thoroughly cleaned. This can enhance its maximum value.

Photo of a man cleaning a rifle, other rifles in a background

Providing an Accurate Description: When arranging a private online sale for your firearm, provide a detailed description of the long gun, including its make, model, caliber, and any included accessories.

Arranging Necessary Documents: Create a comprehensive bill of sale document that protects both parties in potential disputes. This document includes details such as the sale date, buyer and seller information, and specifics of the firearm (like make, model, and serial number). Additionally, this document should attach any relevant documents like purchase receipts and warranty details.

Photo of a man signing a document.


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Finalizing and Transferring Firearm Ownership: After identifying a lawful buyer, finalize the transfer and ownership legally. Adhere to all relevant federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including background checks and any required permits or licenses.

Selling Guns to Cash for Arms

Cash For Arms Homepage

Selling your gun online to Cash for Arms can be a fast and easy way to get the most money for it, without having to find a private buyer. They offer a good price and handle all the paperwork for you, making it very simple.

Advantages of using Cash for Arms

Choosing Cash for Arms has many great benefits. You can sell your handgun, shotguns, and rifles quickly and easily, get a good price for them, and sell your entire collection at once. We also handle all the paperwork, making it much easier for the seller.

Selling outright

If you sell your used guns to Cash for Arms, you can choose to trade them for cash right away. This is a quick and easy way to get money for your firearm, and you can be sure you'll get a fair price for it.

Selling via Gun Consignment

Cash For Arms Gun Consignment Page

If you sell your guns to Cash for Arms, you can also choose a gun consignment option. This means the company will sell your gun for you and take a percentage of the sale as payment. This option is best if you're not in a hurry to sell and want to get the most money for your firearm.

General Questions & Answers

Is it legal to sell guns in South Carolina?

Yes, person-to-person firearm sales are permitted in South Carolina.

Can you buy a gun in South Carolina without a license?

South Carolina does not require a permit to purchase handguns, rifles, or long guns from a licensed dealer in-state. There is no waiting period involved when purchasing a firearm, but you do need to pass a background check and be at least 18 years old.

How much is a handgun permit in South Carolina?


a non-refundable payment of $50.00 (certified check, cashier's check, or money order) made payable to SLED (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division) two (2) complete, legible sets of fingerprint cards.

Can someone from out of state sell a gun in South Carolina?

Whenever a private individual, not a gun store, sells a firearm across state lines (meaning to a person who resides in another state), a federally licensed firearm dealer must be utilized in the buyer's state of residence to facilitate the transfer.

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

Yes, to purchase a firearm in South Carolina, you typically need a federally-issued identification like a passport or a state-issued identification like a driver's license.

What do you need to sell firearms in South Carolina?

Private sales of firearms can be conducted by private parties without a proper license if both parties are legally allowed to own a firearm in the state of South Carolina.

What is the process to buy a gun in South Carolina?

To purchase a handgun or long gun in South Carolina you are required to have either a Concealed carry permit or have an instant background check done. If you do not have a concealed carry permit, The firearms dealer will have you fill out an ATF form 4473. Once this is filled out, the dealer will perform a NICs background check.

What documents I need to buy a gun in South Carolina?

To purchase a handgun or a long gun in South Carolina, you must have a valid government-issued picture ID, such as a driver's license, listing your current address. 

What are the rules for gun ownership in South Carolina?

South Carolina requires no permit to purchase rifles, shotguns, or handguns. Purchasers must be at least 18 years old for rifles and shotguns, and 21 for handguns. Federal law mandates background checks on prospective handgun buyers from licensed dealers, but private sellers are exempt unless selling knowingly to someone legally barred from firearm ownership. South Carolina does not require firearms registration. While the state is a "shall issue" jurisdiction for concealed carry permits—with requirements of being at least 21, passing a background check, and completing an approved training course—it does not generally permit the open carry of handguns.

Are South Carolina gun laws strict?

South Carolina is known for having relatively lenient gun laws compared to some other states in the United States.

Does South Carolina have a gun registry?

South Carolina does not require firearms registration.

How much does it cost to transfer a gun in South Carolina?

When a private individual, rather than a gun store, sells a firearm to someone residing in another state, the transfer must be facilitated by a federally licensed firearm dealer in the buyer's state of residence. The fees associated with this process can vary depending on the specific FFL (Federal Firearms License) involved.

Does South Carolina allow private gun sales?

Person-to-person firearm sales are permitted in South Carolina.

Can you gift someone a gun in South Carolina?

It is perfectly legal to buy someone a gun as a gift in South Carolina, as long is that person eligible to have one in possession.

Who can't own a gun in South Carolina?

S.C. Code § 16-23-30(B) prohibits the following persons from acquiring or possessing a handgun in South Carolina: Any person who has been convicted of a crime of violence, whether in South Carolina or elsewhere. A “crime of violence” is defined at S.C.



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.

Selling your firearms in South Carolina, particularly online, can seem daunting. But understanding the legal requirements and adhering to best practices can make the process smooth and efficient. Always stay updated with local and federal laws regarding firearm sales to ensure a seamless, lawful transaction.


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