Odd, late night question about private sales (cause the range is closed till morning.........)

Odd question here, late night and all. Since the range is not open for many hours yet figured I’d be dumb and ask it here. A local private seller is wanting to sell a gun to a private party (who can legally own a firearm). But the private seller insists that we must 1) meet at an FFL to do the transfer 2)have the dealer do a background check. Neither request seems out of line to me but I personally find it a little inconvenient. So to the question: What benefit does the seller get from a legal standpoint by having the buyer go through this process? I understand the clear conscious aspect of not wanting to give a gun to a “bad guy”. But is there anything beyond that they gain? And which party should be responsible for the cost of the background check?

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In Illinois the State Police website has a place to do a private transfer. Check with the agency in your state that does the FOID and concealed carry issues and they should be able to help answer that.

As far as I know there really is no more benefit than it went through an FFL.


I would guess the seller does not know the buyer, and wants a background check to cover their rear end. I would think a simple bill of sale would eliminate liability issues if the buyer is legally able to purchase the gun. Maybe the seller just wants to be extra sure the buyer is legally able to own a gun. They do gain that they sold a gun to someone who is totally legal to purchase a gun, vs someone who they think is legally able to purchase.

As far as payment, that would be up to the terms of the deal, kinda like shipping would be if it was being shipped to an FFL. I would say just split the cost, my FFL charges $20, but others charge more.


First, it depends on the local law whether the transfer must be done through an FFL. Other than that, I guess it would give some piece of mind to the seller to make sure there is a record of the transfer.


Legally it’s a felony to sell to a felon etc, and should that person legal or not use it in a crime, said serial number can be tracked back to you. This legally releases the seller from responsibility of any crimes committed by the weapon in question. The buyer should be accountable for all costs if they want the weapon imo. However I’ll let you in on an experience I had. I sold a shotgun to a gentleman and after I joined a legal site and as a matter of practice I get the info of those I’ve sold guns to considering the political climate… I found the man had a non violent felony on record and had to contact law enforcement to advise them of the transaction. Nothing ever came of the situation but my conscience is clear both legally and morally.


Update: The guy turned out to be unreliable and stopped responding to me once I told him I had cash, the willingness to meet anywhere, pay for bg check, and that I was a CCW. Not sure what his story was but I get the feeling it was never a legit ad he posted. Or maybe he’s just never dealt with an actual law abiding citizen. Funny thing though is that the ad is still up. Wondering if it’s a setup, or a scam, or maybe just a jerk. Who knows.


Update to my Update: The gentleman emailed me today to ask if I was still interested in the gun as his “previous” deal feel through. Unfortunately I had to pass as I had just bought a Range Membership and two new guns last week. I wanted to, just a little lite in the wallet today. At least I guess it was good to know that I was ghosted for another guy. :blush:

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