How to Sell a Gun in Vermont

Gun owners in the Green Mountain State have complex regulations and requirements surrounding firearm sales. While the state has a strong tradition of firearm ownership and a relatively low crime rate, lawmakers have implemented measures to balance the rights of gun owners with public safety concerns.

If you're planning to sell a gun in Vermont, you're in a unique position regarding gun laws. While Vermont's laws have historically been more lax than those of its New England neighbors, there's been a recent shift towards more restrictive legislation.

Written by:
Isaiah Miller
June 10, 2023
minutes read
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State Laws for Private Gun Sales in Vermont

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Buying a firearm is a serious responsibility that demands a clear understanding of the law. Let's take a closer look at the state laws for private gun sales in Vermont.

Legal Requirements to Purchase a Firearm in Vermont

There are specific age restrictions in place for purchasing firearms.

  • Buyers must be 18 years old to purchase rifles, shotguns, and ammunition.
  • Buyers looking to purchase handguns must be at least 21 years old.

These age requirements ensure that only responsible adults can purchase firearms in the state.

The Role of Permits and Registration in Firearm Ownership

Interestingly, no permits or registration are required to own a firearm in Vermont. This further simplifies the purchase process but also reinforces the importance of responsible gun ownership.

Process of Purchasing a Firearm from a Licensed Dealer

If you're purchasing a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer in Vermont, you'll need to complete a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms form 4473. This form is essential for any firearms purchase and is mandated by federal law.

ATF's website form 4473 - Firearms Transaction Record Revisions

In addition, the firearms dealer must conduct a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check. This background check is an integral part of ensuring public safety and helps to prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands.

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

Private Party Gun Sales in Vermont

In Vermont, a private individual cannot transfer a firearm to another private individual without the assistance of a licensed firearms dealer unless an exception applies.

Exemptions to Firearm Transfer Laws

However, certain transfers are exempt from this requirement. These include:

  • Transfers of a firearm by or to a law enforcement officer
  • Transfers of a firearm from one immediate family member to another
  • Legal Requirements for Licensed Dealers Facilitating Firearm Transfer

If a licensed dealer agrees to facilitate a firearm transfer, they must comply with all requirements of State and federal law. This includes running a background check on the buyer and recording the transfer.

Penalties for Unlawful Firearm Transfers

Those who transfer a firearm in violation of the law or make a false statement in connection with the transfer can face significant penalties. This serves as a deterrent against illegal firearms transfers.

Vermont Firearm Ownership Restrictions

The federal government has defined certain categories that disqualify individuals from owning firearms. These include conviction of certain crimes, active warrants, unlawful use or addiction to controlled substances, dishonorable discharge from the armed forces, and more.

Vermont's Specific Restrictions for Firearm Possession

Vermont state laws also prohibit the possession of a firearm for persons convicted of a violent crime. This is part of the state's efforts to maintain public safety and reduce gun violence.

Definition of Firearm and Antique Firearm in Vermont

Vermont defines a firearm as any weapon which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive, the frame or receiver of any such weapon, or any firearm muffler or firearm silencer.

An antique firearm, on the other hand, is defined as any firearm manufactured in or before 1898, any replica of such firearm under certain conditions, and certain types of muzzle-loading rifles, shotguns, or pistols.


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Federal Laws for Gun Sales

When discussing gun laws, it's crucial to also consider federal regulations. These laws apply across the country and impact how firearms can be bought, sold, and possessed in Vermont.

Buying a Handgun

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To buy a handgun federally, the buyer must be 21 or older, provide state ID, and have a background check performed by a licensed firearms dealer.

Vermont's Background Check Laws for Private Firearm Sales

As of April 2018, Vermont has required background checks for private firearm sales, although there are some exceptions.

Although there are some exceptions to Background Check Laws, these exceptions include firearms transfers between immediate family members and giving or receiving a gun to prevent 'imminent harm'.

Prohibitions on Firearm Ownership

Federal laws also prohibit firearm ownership for several categories of individuals. These include:

  • Those convicted of a violent crime or a crime punishable by imprisonment for over a year
  • Fugitives from justice
  • Those abusing illegal substances
  • Those with certain mental health issues or commitments
  • Illegal aliens
  • Those who have renounced U.S. citizenship
  • Those dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Those subject to a restraining order
  • Those convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence

Buying Long Guns

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When it comes to buying long guns, the same rules and processes apply as for buying handguns. This includes the requirement for a background check.

Age Restrictions for Firearm Purchase

After April 2018, the federal age restriction to purchase a firearm was raised to 21 years old.

Exceptions for Underage Firearm Owners

There are exceptions to this rule for those who have completed a hunter safety course. Those under 21 who legally obtained firearms before the changes can still own and use their guns.

Carrying Firearms

In Vermont, both open and concealed carry are allowed, provided there is no intent to injure someone. Vermont does not issue concealed carry permits.

Restrictions on Carrying Firearms

Firearms are prohibited in certain areas including school buses, school buildings, properties, courthouses, and state institutions such as prisons.

Rules for Transporting Handguns

In Vermont, handguns can be carried while driving, adding an element of personal security for many.

Rules for Transporting Long Guns

However, long guns cannot be loaded during transport in a car.

New Restrictions on Firearms and Magazine Size Restrictions for Handguns and Long Guns

As part of its effort to reduce gun violence, Vermont has imposed magazine size restrictions for both handguns (15 rounds or less) and long guns (10 rounds or less). These restrictions apply to magazines purchased after October 1, 2018.


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Tips for a Successful and Legal Sale

The following are practical tips to consider for a successful and legal sale:

Cleaning and Maintenance

Before putting your firearm on the market, ensure it is in good working condition and properly cleaned. This not only enhances the appeal of your firearm but also reflects respect for the potential buyer.

Accurate Description

When advertising your firearm for sale, provide an accurate and detailed description. This includes information about the make, model, caliber, and any accessories. Clear and honest communication can save both parties a lot of time and trouble.


Prepare a complete bill of sale. This document should detail the terms of the sale and protects both parties in case of disputes. It's advisable to include the make, model, caliber, and serial number of the firearm, as well as the buyer's and seller's personal information.

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Completing the Sale

Ensure you follow all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. This includes verifying the buyer's eligibility, conducting background checks, and properly documenting the sale.


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Choosing Cash for Arms to Sell Your Firearms

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.

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General Questions & Answers

Is it legal to sell guns in Vermont?

Yes, it is legal to sell guns in Vermont.

Can you buy a gun in Vermont without a license?

Vermont does not require permits to purchase and has no firearms registration. 

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

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 Vermont?

Yes, you do need an ID to legally purchase a gun in Vermont.

What do you need to sell firearms in Vermont?

Vermont has required background checks for private firearm sales, although there are some exceptions. Although there are some exceptions to Background Check Laws, these exceptions include firearms transfers between immediate family members and giving or receiving a gun to prevent 'imminent harm'.

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

No, a gun bill of sale does not have to be notarized in Vermont.

What is the process to buy a gun in Vermont?

In Vermont, there is no requirement for a gun permit to possess firearms in the state. Vermont is a permitless carry state. Individuals under the age of twenty-one who wish to purchase a firearm must first successfully complete a state-licensed hunter course or be a law enforcement officer or a current or retired member of the military.

What documents I need to buy a gun in Vermont?

In Vermont, there are no specific documents required to purchase a gun. However, federal law mandates that you must complete a federal background check (Form 4473) at the time of purchase from a licensed firearm dealer. The dealer will record your personal information and conduct the background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Apart from the federal requirements, it's advisable to carry a valid form of identification, such as a driver's license or state ID, when purchasing a firearm.

What are the rules for gun ownership in Vermont?

Must be 21 to purchase any firearm. May purchase long guns at 16 if purchasing from someone other than a federally licensed firearm dealer and the purchaser presents a certificate of completion of a hunter safety course approved by the Vermont Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife.

Are Vermont gun laws strict?

Vermont gun laws are considered lenient compared to some other states.

Does Vermont have a gun registry?

Vermont does not have gun registration.

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

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 Vermont allow private gun sales?

Yes, Vermont allows private gun sales. In the state, individuals are allowed to engage in private firearm transactions without the need for a background check or the involvement of a licensed firearm dealer. 

Can you gift someone a gun in Vermont?

Yes, you can gift a gun to anyone who is legally eligible to own a firearm.

Who can't own a gun in Vermont?

Persons with a history of impairing mental illness; Persons subject to domestic violence restraining orders (although Vermont does provide that a court issuing these orders may prohibit people subject to these orders from possessing firearms); People with drug or alcohol use disorders; or. Juvenile offenders.



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 gun laws in Vermont involves navigating a multitude of state and federal laws. Whether you are a current gun owner, prospective buyer, or simply someone interested in the topic, being knowledgeable about these laws is paramount for ensuring responsible and legal firearm ownership.


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