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Spring Cleaning: Private Firearm Sales in Missouri

It’s spring and it’s time to clean. You’re in the middle of negotiating a private sale, but you don’t know the other party’s history or if they’re a prohibited person. Missouri does not require you to go through a Federal Firearms Licensee (“FFL”) to sell a firearm to an in-state resident. Private sales in Missouri do not require background checks or registration.

PROHIBITED PERSONS

You may be held legally responsible if you knowingly sell a firearm to a prohibited person in Missouri. Be sure to check the identification of a private party buyer to ensure they are an in-state resident. Also, be aware of other indicators of potential out-of-state buyers, such as out-of-state license plates. Missouri law prohibits knowingly selling firearms to a person who has been convicted of a felony; is a fugitive from justice; is habitually drugged or intoxicated; or is currently judged mentally incompetent. If you have concerns about whether a private party is prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm, consider using an FFL to process the sale. The FFL can conduct a background check and ensure that your purchaser is legal.

DOCUMENTATION

It’s good practice to document a private firearm purchase or sale with a bill of sale. By documenting your sale, you can protect yourself from liability if a crime is later committed by the purchaser of your firearm or a subsequent owner. Before purchasing a firearm, you may want to check with your local Sheriff’s office to ensure the gun you are purchasing is not stolen. By documenting your purchase, you can later verify the time of purchase if a liability issue were to arise based on a crime or accident previously committed with the firearm you purchased.

For questions about legally conducting the private sale of a firearm, please contact U.S. LawShield and ask to speak with your Independent Program Attorney.

 

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