Looking To Buy A Used Firearm? 3 Reasons You Can Use A Pawnshop With Confidence

If you're looking to get a good deal on a used firearm, you might be considering a pawnshop. After all, most things at a pawnshop are available for much less money than at a regular retail store. You might also find some really cool, unique, and even antique pieces for sale at prices much lower than you would even pay through online auction or classified ads sites. Yet, many people have a concern about whether or not the firearm they are considering purchasing at a pawnshop is legal. It's hard to tell when dealing with used guns. The good news is that pawnshops are regulated by both the state in which they operate and the federal government. You are actually much more likely to buy a legal used firearm at a pawnshop than anywhere else. Here are three reasons why.

1. Pawn Store Owners Are Required to Keep Meticulous Records

Nearly every state requires pawn store owners to keep extremely detailed records of who sold them a used gun, as well as the details of the gun itself. They must get the following information in most cases:

  • The name and contact details of the seller
  • The serial number of the gun
  • The model number of the gun

Further, many states require this information be turned over to local police for checking before the gun can be sold in the pawn shop. The police check to make sure the gun is a legal one that has not been used in any crime, and was legitimately owned by the person who sold it. Even in states where this is not a requirement, keeping the information is still required if police decide they need to do a check on a gun sold to a pawn shop at some point.

2. The People Who Sell Guns to Pawnshops Have to Prove Their Identities

It is not just enough for a person selling a gun to a pawn store to give their name and contact details. The U.S. Patriot Act requires them to also provide a valid ID of some kind, usually a photo ID issued by a state, local, or federal government agency. They must also provide a fingerprint.

This allows pawn shop owners to check to make sure the person selling the gun to them is not a known criminal. It also provides a way to track down the person who sold the gun if a problem is discovered with it at some point after it is sold.

3. Pawn Stores That Sell Used Guns Have to Be Licensed to Do So

According to NationalPawnBrokers.org, pawn stores that buy and sell used guns have to have a Federal Firearms License. If the shop does not have this, they should not have guns in the store at all. If you're concerned about buying a gun at a pawn store, ask to see their license.

Pawn store owners take their licenses very seriously and will not do anything to jeopardize them. Buying and selling guns is a big part of a lot of the business many pawn shops do. If the shop has a license, you can be sure they know what they are doing when it comes to buying used guns from the people who come in wanting to sell them.


There are state and federal safeguards in place to make sure that the used gun you purchase from a pawnshop is a legitimate and legal one. Know that pawn store owners understand the rules and are careful about following them, and that you can always ask to see their license and more info about proof of a gun's legality if you have concerns about it. Then, buy your new firearm with confidence, knowing you're getting a good gun at a great price.