Purchasing Firearms

Purchasing from a dealer

If you would like to purchase a firearm, the safest way to do so is from a federally-licensed firearms dealer. You will be required to fill out an ATF Form 4473, Firearms Transaction Record. The form will require you to certify that you are not or have not:

  • Under indictment for or convicted of a felony

  • A fugitive from justice

  • An unlawful user or addicted to controlled substances

  • Declared to have a mental disorder or previously committed to a mental institution

  • An undocumented immigrant

  • Dishonorably discharged from the military

  • Convicted of a misdemeanor involving domestic violence at any time in the past

  • Renounced your U.S. citizenship

The dealer must review your government-issued photo identification to confirm your name, address, date of birth and photo. The dealer will then provide that information to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, so they may complete the instant background check.

Purchasing from an individual

You may purchase a firearm from a private party, as long as both of you are over the age of 18 and residents of the same state.

  • The private sale should be documented on a Bill of Sale that clearly identifies both parties and the serial number of the weapon.

  • The safest way to ensure the weapon is not being sold to a person restricted from owning a weapon is to conduct the transaction through someone who has a Federal Firearms License, so the proper background check can be completed. There may be a small fee to have the dealer conduct the transaction.

  • As with any other transaction involving the exchange of money, please conduct the transaction in a safe place that is not isolated or dark.