Auctions can provide outlet to dispose of firearms

Collecting Treasures: Buying and selling firearms in Arizona at auction requires the same federal process as what you would find at a firearms store

gunAs an auctioneer, I hear stories from fellow industry professionals across the nation about their clients who have inherited firearms and have no clue as to what to do with them.

In some instances, the heirs called law enforcement to their home and surrendered all of the weapons so the police could dispose of them.

Little did they know that it is perfectly legal to sell new and used firearms at auction, and they could have earned some extra cash by doing so.

Buying and selling firearms in Arizona at auction requires the same federal process as what you would find at a firearms store. The same background checks and paperwork must be filled out in order to transfer ownership of the firearms, and the auction company must be a federal firearms license holder.

In today’s auction market, the buying and selling of firearms continues to be a hot commodity. If you’re a seller, you can count on getting a solid price for your firearms and often you can find yourself getting more cash than one would expect.

We recently had a client who inherited some firearms and did not want them in their home. We sold them at auction and one of them did very well. It was a used Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum Model: 27 in good condition that sold for more than $1,000.

This firearm was just one of several we had sold that day and all of the others preformed just as well.

When a private citizen tries to sell a firearm in the open market, it can be difficult to find a platform that will allow the sale of firearms, especially online.

Some online marketplaces, like eBay and Craigslist, do not allow the sale of firearms, and credit card merchant providers, such as PayPal, don’t allow the processing of credit cards for firearms.

Not to mention the possible legal issues that can arise from selling your firearms privately. As a private citizen, you have no way of using any type of database to check the background of the buyer, and there’s no way to verify if that person is legally allowed to purchase the firearm. Not only is this a bad idea for safety reasons, but you could be held liable for the sale of a firearm to someone who is not legally allowed to own a firearm.

This is another great reason to sell firearms through an FFL holder, who must adhere to all state and federal laws.

When selling a firearm, it’s also helpful to have all of the paperwork, provenance, or original purchase receipts, to show any history about the firearm that may be relevant to the sale.

For more details, it’s always good to check current federal and state laws to make sure you are in compliance. Most of our state laws can be found in Title 13, Chapter 31 of the Arizona Revised Statutes.

Erik Hoyer co-owns EJ’s Auction & Consignment in Glendale and J. Levine Auction & Appraisal in Scottsdale. Reach him at, or@EJs_Auction on Twitter.


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