How to Sell a Gun in Virginia

Map of Virginia

If you are a gun owner in Virginia looking to sell your firearm, it is essential to understand the state's requirements and regulations surrounding the sale. Selling a gun can be a complicated process, but with the appropriate knowledge and compliance with Virginia's laws, it can be a smooth and legal transfer of ownership. This blog post will outline the essential steps and prerequisites to keep in mind when selling a gun in Virginia, ensuring a hassle-free and seamless transfer of ownership.

Map of Virginia
How to Sell a Gun in Virginia
Written by: 
Isaiah Miller
Published On:
June 3, 2023
Updated On:
May 31, 2023
9
minutes read

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State Laws for Private Sales

This section provides an overview of Virginia's Universal Background Check Law, which mandates back​​ground checks for all firearm sales between private parties, facilitated by a licensed Federal Firearm Licensee (FFL) Dealer. The law applies to transactions involving the exchange of money or other items of value for a firearm, with certain exemptions such as gifts between family members.

Virginia State Office

Virginia's Universal Background Check Law

Virginia's Universal Background Check law, which took effect on July 1, 2020, mandates that any Virginia resident wishing to sell a firearm to another person must perform a background and criminal history check on the buyer. This applies to all firearm sales, whether purchased from a Federal Firearm Licensee (FFL) Dealer or an unlicensed private-party seller. A licensed FFL Dealer is now required to facilitate private party, person-to-person gun sales in Virginia, subject to the same rules and regulations as any other sale conducted by an FFL Dealer.

Background checks must be conducted by FFL Dealers for any transaction made where something is being traded in value for a firearm, whether it is sold for money or traded for something else of value. Some exemptions to the background check requirement apply, such as when a family member who owns an existing firearm gives it to another family member as a gift.

Requirements for Private Sales

Virginia law requires background checks for all gun sales, including private sales. Private firearm sales in Virginia must be verified by a licensed dealer that the purchaser has undergone a criminal history record information check.

Virginia Firearms Records Checks

Virginia's approach to firearms records checks allows law-abiding citizens to purchase and possess firearms, while those who are prohibited by State or Federal law are denied legal access to firearms. The Virginia Department of State Police developed and administers the Virginia Firearms Transaction Program (VFTP), which was the first of its type in the nation. 

Virginia Code §18.2-308.2:3 requires a criminal history background check be performed for employees of a gun dealer to transfer firearms, whether full-time, part-time, permanent, temporary, paid, or unpaid. Any person who sells firearms at a licensed dealership must submit to a national and state criminal history records check by the Department of State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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Federal Laws

Gun ownership and sales are highly regulated in the United States, with each state having its own laws and regulations. However, federal laws also play a significant role in regulating gun sales and ownership in the state.

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In this article, we will take a closer look at the federal laws that govern gun selling in Virginia. We will explore the requirements that must be met by both the seller and the buyer, the types of guns that can be sold, and the restrictions placed on certain individuals who may be prohibited from purchasing firearms. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the federal laws that govern gun sales in Virginia and the steps that must be taken to ensure that these laws are followed.

Federal Disqualification Categories for Firearm Ownership

Federal disqualification categories for firearm ownership in Virginia include convictions exceeding a maximum imprisonment term of one year, warrants, felony pre-trial release, misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence, unlawful use or addiction to controlled substances, dishonorable discharge from the armed forces, renounced U.S. citizenship, and illegal alien status.

National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)

Buyers purchasing a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer must complete a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms form 4473 and undergo a National Instant Criminal Background Check System check.

Private Party Sales Process

Private party sellers/individuals do not have the ability to conduct complete background checks on potential buyers, leaving them with no way to confirm whether or not the buyer is prohibited from possessing the firearm. A person who sells a firearm to another person without obtaining the required background check is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, as is a purchaser who receives a firearm from another person without obtaining the required background check.

Virginia-based FFL Dealers charge a fee for their FFL Transfer service, which is usually paid by the buyer/recipient and covers their time and the cost they incur from the Virginia State Police to the background check system. No person shall sell a firearm unless they have obtained verification from a licensed dealer in firearms that information on the prospective purchaser has been submitted for a criminal history record information check.

Virginia State Police Background Checks at Firearms Shows

The Virginia State Police provides background checks for private transactions at firearms shows in Virginia for the sale or transfer of handguns or long guns. The Virginia State Police conducts criminal history record information checks and searches through several databases, including the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN). The average time for a background check is less than five minutes for approved transactions.

Exemptions and Exceptions to Background Check Requirements

Giving a firearm as a gift directly is only allowed if both parties are Virginia residents and the recipient is legally entitled to possess a firearm. Rifles and shotguns may be purchased from licensed firearms dealers by persons who are residents of other states upon the presence of one form of photo identification issued by a governmental agency of the purchaser's state of residence and one other form of identification determined to be acceptable by the Department of Criminal Justice Services.

Active military personnel permanently stationed in Virginia, including the Pentagon, are treated as Virginia residents for the purchase of a handgun. Individuals with permanent resident alien status are subject to the same identification and residency requirements as citizens.

Role of FFL Dealers in Private Sales

Local FFL dealers can facilitate sales by conducting background checks, while sellers handle the sale themselves. Background checks must be conducted by FFL Dealers for any transaction made where something is being traded in value for a firearm, whether it is sold for money or traded for something else of value.

Firearm Sale Process

In the state of Virginia, the process of purchasing a firearm involves several steps that are important to understand, whether you are wondering how to sell a handgun or a long gun, or maybe a gun collection. Even if you are a first-time buyer or an experienced gun owner, it is crucial to follow these steps in order to ensure that the transaction is legal and safe. In this article, we will discuss the firearm sale process in Virginia, including the required background check, waiting period, and documentation.

Firearms sale process

Completing the Firearms Transaction Record

The seller must fill out the seller's portion of the Firearms Transaction Record, which requires information about the firearm being sold. The dealer typically charges a fee to run the background check, which varies depending on the dealer.

Fees and Approval for Background Checks

The transaction can only be completed once the background check is approved and the recipient is cleared by the Virginia State Police. Pre-printed bill of sale forms should be available for the sale to fill out the information for each transaction.

Sales Involving Non-Virginia Residents or Military Personnel

Conducting a firearm transaction with someone from a different state requires a Virginia State Police background check. Active military personnel permanently stationed in Virginia, including the Pentagon, are treated as Virginia residents for the purchase of a handgun.

Permanent Resident Alien Status and Firearms Sales

Individuals with permanent resident alien status are subject to the same identification and residency requirements as citizens.

Age Restrictions for Firearm Purchases

Not everyone is allowed to buy a firearm in Virginia. There are some age restrictions and disqualifications:

Minimum Age Requirements

  • At least 18 years old to purchase rifles, shotguns, and ammunition,
  • 21 years old to purchase handguns in Virginia.

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Firearm Ownership Restrictions

Firearm ownership restrictions vary by state, with Virginia implementing particular laws to regulate access. These laws ensure that only law-abiding citizens can legally purchase and possess firearms, while individuals prohibited by State or Federal law are denied access. This approach aims to balance individual rights with public safety concerns.

Restricting Firearm Ownership

State laws restricting firearm ownership are essential in maintaining public safety, with Virginia being an example of a state that enforces such regulations. By conducting firearms records checks, Virginia allows eligible, law-abiding citizens to purchase and possess firearms, while preventing individuals who are prohibited by State or Federal law from legally obtaining them.

Penalties for Non-Compliance with Background Check Requirements

A person who sells a firearm to another person without obtaining the required background check is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, as is a purchaser who receives a firearm from another person without obtaining the required background check.

Record-Keeping and Documentation

Record-keeping and documentation are important aspects of the firearm sale and buying process in Virginia. Whether you are a licensed dealer or a private seller, it is crucial to keep accurate records of each transaction to ensure compliance with state and federal laws. Buyers and sellers should be informed of the regulations and processes when buying, selling, and transferring a firearm. Proper documentation is important to ensure compliance with state and federal laws.

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Bill of Sale and Other Required Documents

Pre-printed bill of sale forms should be available for the sale to fill out the information for each transaction. The seller must fill out the seller's portion of the Firearms Transaction Record, which requires information about the firearm being sold.

In conclusion, selling a gun in Virginia requires following specific state and federal laws, as well as engaging in proper documentation and record-keeping. Ensuring that both buyers and sellers are aware of these regulations, conducting background checks through licensed FFL Dealers, and adhering to age and ownership restrictions will help to maintain a safe and legal firearm transaction process.

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Tips to Sell Safely and Get the Best Price

First and foremost, it's important to ensure that your firearm is in good working condition, clean, and well-maintained. A well-maintained gun can increase its value and make it more appealing to potential buyers. Once your firearm is ready for sale, it's essential to provide an accurate description of the firearm, including its make, model, caliber, and any accessories it comes with. This will help ensure a smooth transaction and build trust with potential buyers.

Man cleaning a gun for sale

Documentation is another critical aspect of selling a firearm. Prepare a comprehensive bill of sale that includes important details such as the sale date, buyer and seller information, and firearm details (such as make, model, and serial number). Don't forget to include any relevant paperwork, such as purchase receipts and warranty information.

Documentation for selling a gun

Once you've found a potential buyer, it's important to complete the sale and transfer ownership in a legally compliant manner. This means adhering to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including background checks and any necessary permits or licenses.

One option for selling your firearm safely and easily is using a reputable buyer like Cash for Arms. We offer immediate payment and the best market value for your firearm, as well as handling all the necessary paperwork and adhering to all applicable laws and regulations. Plus, we offer multiple selling options to suit your needs, including selling outright or selling your gun on consignment.

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By following these guidelines and utilizing resources like Cash for Arms, you can successfully navigate the process of selling a firearm in Virginia. Always remember to prioritize safety and legal compliance to ensure a successful and profitable transaction.

By following the guidelines and recommendations in this article, you can successfully navigate the process of selling a gun in Virginia. Remember to always adhere to federal and state regulations, as well as local laws, to ensure a legal, safe, and profitable transaction.

General Questions & Answers

Is it legal to sell guns in Virginia?

Yes, it is legal to sell a gun in Virginia. However, the seller must receive verification from a licensed dealer that the buyer has undergone a background check and has been approved by the State Police.

Can I buy a gun in Virginia without a license?

Yes, you can buy a gun in Virginia without a license. However, a background check is required for all firearms sales.

How much is a handgun permit in Virginia?

Handgun permit in Virginia is $50.00 if the payment is made by cash, check, or money order. If the payment is made by credit card there is an additional $2 convenience fee.

Do I need a federally-issued ID to buy a gun in Virginia?

Yes, you do need a federally-issues ID to buy a gun in Virginia. Residents interested in buying a gun must present a government-issued photo ID and undergo a background check to be approved by the state police.

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

No, a gun Bill Of Sale does not have to be notarized in Virginia. Virginia law does not require firearms to be registered, so a Bill Of Sale is not required legally.

Are Virginia gun laws strict?

Yes, Virginia gun laws are among the toughest in the country.

Does Virginia have a gun registry?

No, Virginia does not have a gun registry. Virginia state does not have any law requiring firearms to be registered.

Does Virginia allow private gun sales?

Yes, Virginia does allow private gun sales. However the buyer must undergo a background check and receive approval from the State Police.

Can I gift someone a gun in Virginia?

Yes, you can gift someone a gun in Virginia. It is completely legal for an individual who is Virginia resident and who owns an existing firearm to give it to another individual who is a Virginia resident as a gift.

Who can't own a gun in Virginia?

Individuals who cannot own a gun in Virginia are individuals who have been convicted of crimes carrying a punishment of imprisonment exceeding one year, or state misdemeanors punishable by up to two years, as well as fugitives from justice, unlawful users of specific drugs, and individuals adjudicated as mentally defective or incompetent or committed to a mental institution. Those individuals are prohibited from certain activities, including owning or possessing firearms.

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COMPLIANCE WITH LAWS AND REGULATIONS

COMPLIANCE WITH LAWS AND REGULATIONS

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MULTIPLE SELLING OPTIONS

MULTIPLE SELLING OPTIONS

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SAFE AND SECURE TRANSACTIONS

SAFE AND SECURE TRANSACTIONS

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.

DISCLAIMER

The content presented on this website is intended for informational purposes only. CashForArms.com 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.

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We value your interest in our services. Due to regulatory requirements, we can only accept contact information from individuals 21 years of age or older. However, individuals aged 18 and above are eligible to sell firearms through our platform. If you are between 18 to 21 years old, please exit this pop-up and refrain from providing your phone number. Those under 18 should leave the website. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in adhering to these guidelines.

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We value your interest in our services. Due to regulatory requirements, we can only accept contact information from individuals 21 years of age or older. However, individuals aged 18 and above are eligible to sell firearms through our platform. If you are between 18 to 21 years old, please exit this pop-up and refrain from providing your phone number. Those under 18 should leave the website. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in adhering to these guidelines.

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