Gunning for a Firearm at an Auction

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Gunning for a Firearm at an Auction

Gun Safety.  Gun Sales.

Gun Regulations. Gun Ownership.

Gun Possession.  Gun Whatever.

Yeah, guns are in the news. Especially after a mass shooting. As of the time of this writing, it’s been less than three weeks since the tragic Texan church shooting in a small town where no one expected anything like this to happen. And that means people have hard-core beliefs swaying wildly to one side or the other of the gun spectrum. I’m not going into that, because this is an auction blog, not a political soapbox. I’ll leave that up to you.

Often times, especially up here in the Northwoods, one might go to a live auction where rifles or pistols are being auctioned off. It’s actually fairly normal to go to a farm auction and have people asking us if there are any guns up for auction, even though typically hunting rifles are handed down from one generation to another ’round our neck of the woods.  So what DO you need to know if you want to be able to purchase a gun at an auction?

When you come to a live auction at which guns are being auctioned and check in, you may be asked if you will be bidding on any of the guns, especially if the person handling the check-in station notices that you are from out of state.  More about that later.

If you are from in-state (yes, you must live in the state that the auction is being held in), you don’t have too much to worry about as long as you are at least 18 years old for long guns (like rifles and shotguns) or age 21 for short guns (like pistols and revolvers).  Here are a few of the most common things an auctioneer is looking at when selling a gun to somebody at an auction. Please note that each state is different in its gun ownership laws. This is just a general list. Please check with your own state about their laws and requirements.

In general, in order to purchase/possess a gun as an in-state resident,

  • You must not be a convicted felon, currently under indictment, or found not-guilty of a crime by way of mental insanity. Because really, who wants criminals out on the streets with guns (that’s about as political as I’m going to get).
  • If you’ve been committed to a mental institution and have been ordered by the court to not be allowed gun ownership, well, that would be pretty just cause for the auctioneer to not sell you a gun.  Besides being the law, it just makes sense.
  • You must not be an illegal alien. You know who I’m talking about.  And I don’t mean the kind from Mars, either…although if you were, you’d probably own your own extra-terrestrial
  • ray-gun which would be far superior to our simple .22’s, so what would be the point of trying to buy one of ours.
  • You have a domestic violence, child abuse, or tribal restraint order held against you. Yeah, not cool.
  • You have proper identification that proves your age, your address, photo identity, and provide your telephone number and anything else the auctioneer might require. Very cool to have with you. And necessary.

If you are from out-of-state, in addition to the above (and whatever your state laws are), you need to possess an FFL. In simplest words, an FFL (Federal Firearms Licence) is a US license that gives an individual or a company the ability to engage in a business of buying/selling firearms including between states. There’s more to an FFL, but that’s the basic gist of it. All you need to know is that if you live in Minnesota and want to purchase a rifle in Wisconsin, you better have an FFL, or the auctioneer will deny you the right to bid on and purchase a firearm.

Once you have won the gun, you will likely have to fill out a form to prove you have the right according to the state to purchase the firearm (like you have not been convicted of a felon). Once you pay for and take possession of your firearm, make sure to secure it safely and legally.



There you have it. That’s about it.

 Gun purchasing at an auction in a nutshell.

Or should that be a shotgun shell?

Happy auctioning!


5 thoughts on “Gunning for a Firearm at an Auction

  1. My dad is planning to sell his gun and buy a new one for hunting. It was explained here that he needs to make sure that the one who’ll buy it should not be a felon. Moreover, it’s advisable to talk to experts when planning to sell guns.

  2. I really liked what you said about the requirements to get a gun if you live in-state. My brother is currently looking for a gun to buy. He really wants to buy one at auction, It would be nice if a professional could help him.

  3. I thought it was really helpful to know that you must live in the state that the auction is held at to buy guns. This makes sense because that way you’ll be familiar with the gun laws. I’ll have to look into auction services more.

  4. Thanks for explaining how you need proper identification when you buy a gun. I really want to get a gun to protect my family. I’ll look for a shop or an auction that has used guns and I’ll be sure to bring all of my identifications so I can get one.

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