How to Legally Sell Guns in the Northeast: Private Gun Sales Guide


The law is different for licensed gun dealers than it is for private individual gun sales. Authorized gun dealers must have…

The law is different for licensed gun dealers than it is for private individual gun sales. Authorized gun dealers must have a Federal Firearms License to buy and sell guns, and, in many states, a separate state license. In most states, private individuals do not need an FFL to make a private sale. You still need to abide by state and federal regulations regarding how to legally sell guns in the NorthEast.

The locations where you can sell guns and rules around gun sales are different for each state. Some states require paperwork and a full background check, while others do not. Knowing how to legally sell guns means knowing the law.

This article tells you the basics about how to sell guns. Read here to learn everything you need to know about the laws for private gun sales in New England states.

How to Legally Sell Guns in the NorthEast

New England comprises five states–each with gun regulation as different as the next. New Englanders can use this article to check that your gun sale is within the boundaries of the law.   

Gun sale law starts with the federal government and state regulations. For gun owner safety, the federal government puts restrictions on private and commercial gun sales. 

Commercial dealers selling rifles, long guns, and shotguns must abide by Federal Firearms Licensing restrictions. Also, you have to be 21 to buy or sell a handgun in any state. All licensed dealers must perform a background check to legally sell guns in the United States. 

Furthermore, you cannot sell a gun to an illegal alien, felon, or person with a history of mental illness.

New England makes up Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Vermont. The laws of each state deal differently with where and how to legally sell guns.  

Legally Selling Guns in Maine

Maine has the least legal restrictions on gun ownership and how to sell guns out of all the NorthEastern states. The state observes a fairly unrestricted gun policy, defaulting to federal firearms regulations.

Residents of Maine can open carry without a permit or gun registration. There is no restriction on the magazine size of a gun or type of gun you can own. 

When making a private gun sale in Maine you do not need to perform a background check on the buyer. If you wish, the Department of Public Safety assists nonlicensed dealers to conduct background checks.

Private gun sellers in Maine must have the buyer sign the states Basic Firearms Safety document in order to legally transfer ownership.   

Selling Guns in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has strict regulations for private gun sales. In Massachusetts, gun owners must have a valid Firearm Identification Card (FID) to buy, sell, or own guns. Your FID serves as, both, your Massachusets gun license and state gun permit. 

FIDs are issued by your local police station. Background checks are required for anyone purchasing a gun in Massachusets. Before purchasing a gun, the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services must verify that the buyer possesses a valid FID.

The law does not require firearm registration in Massachusets, but gun transfers must enter into the record with the States Executive Office of Safety and Security (EOPSS). 

For in-state sales, the seller is responsible for contacting EOPSS. For out-of-state gun sales, the buyer is responsible for contacting EOPSS to complete the transfer of ownership. 

Selling Guns in Connecticut

Connecticut requires a background check before the sale of any gun is complete. Private sellers must submit the buyer’s information to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. 

Private handgun sales are only allowed if the prospective buyer possesses a pistol permit and passes the states background check. The buyer must complete a DPS3 form on-the-spot before the background check is performed. 

Connecticut restricts private gun sales to anyone who has a major juvenile offense or conviction – or who is otherwise federally prohibited from owning a firearm. If you knowingly sell a firearm to anyone restricted by law, the state of Connecticut holds the seller responsible for any repercussions.

Legally Sell Guns in Vermont

In Vermont, you must have a valid firearms license in order to sell, transfer, or gift ownership of a gun. The only exceptions exist in transferring gun ownership to a direct family member or law enforcement. 

To purchase a gun in a private sale in Vermont, buyers must pass a background check. As of Aprill 11, 2018, no one under the age of 21 in Vermont is allowed to own, buy, or sell a firearm. There are exceptions, however, including members of law enforcement, the armed services, and those with a valid hunting certification. 

Selling Guns in Rhode Island

Rhode Island requires background checks on all prospective gun purchasers before the sale. If, however, you have a license to conceal and carry, you do not need to go through a background check.

Selling Guns in New Hampshire

New Hampshire law observes a liberal stance on the sale, possession, and carrying of guns. The State adheres to Federal law concerning gun sales, transfers, and purchases. Outside of Federal law, however, New Hampshire places little restrictions on firearms. 

In the state of New Hampshire, you do not need a state permit, registration, or license for long guns or handguns. The state does not have any legal restriction on assault weapons apart from Federal regulation. There are no restrictions on magazine capacity, and no additional restrictions on Federally regulated firearms, as described in the NFA.

New Hampshire law restricts driving a motor vehicle with a loaded firearm. Other than that, the state does not take an interest in private gun sales. 

Final Thoughts

Almost every state in the country requires background checks for private gun sales. The law varies, on how to sell guns when it comes to carrying permits, gun registration, and gun owner age requirements. 

Be sure to check your state governments website on how to legally sell guns in the NorthEast states of New England. And, remember – when selling guns across state lines, always conduct the transaction through licensed firearms dealers. 

If this article helps you figure out where to sell guns in New England, share it with friends on social media. And check out the blog to learn about upcoming gun auctions. Thanks for reading!