Selling and Buying Guns by Randy Rowley


I am often asked for recommendations on selling and buying guns.  During a nine-month period, I used Texas Gun Trader and sold eight guns through it.  All eight sales went off perfectly and were pleasant transactions.  Texas Gun Trader does not charge you to run ads with up to four photos.  When you sell your gun and remove the ad, they’ll ask you if you sold it to someone who contacted you via their service.  If you say yes, they’ll ask you for a voluntary donation.  Gun Broker and Guns America charge a lot for their ads, so this is truly a great deal.

Of course, you get the usual, “Is the gun still available?” questions, and then they never follow-up.  Plus you get “Meet me at…” or “I’ll come to your house…” and then they don’t show (this happened twice).  And you get the usual low-ball offers.  Once I got an unreasonable request to bring the gun to a guy in Brenham (he was coming from Houston but that’s a 180 mile/three-hour-long trip for me).  But that’s no different than what you’ll get when selling items on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, etc.

I recommend that you either have them come to your house’s porch or if they’re not comfortable with that, to meet them in a public place (but not in the middle row of the Walmart parking lot).  They’re going to want to pull the gun out of its case and that could get quick calls to 911 if you’re in too public of a place.  Places, besides my house, that I’ve sold guns at recently include McBride’s Guns parking lot (right after they closed), Haverty’s Furniture parking lot (in their back parking lot – away from other cars), and the Whataburger parking lot.

I advise you to be thorough in your ads.  Include things like barrel length, chamber size, caliber/gauge, magazine size, features, add-ons to the gun (that the pictures don’t make obvious, such as a fiberoptic sight), extras (e.g., a soft case), and anything that is wrong with the gun, including cosmetic issues.  This prevents you from having to answer a lot of questions that your ad should have already answered.  It also conveys professionalism.  Take pictures using lights to make them as clear as possible.  I have passed on a lot of guns because the seller was either not thorough in his ad or flippant, which conveys to me that either he doesn’t care about the sale, doesn’t know his gun’s features, or has something to hide.  See my ads on our Guns and Accessories page for examples of what I consider to be professional ads.

It also pays to see what the same gun is selling for on the Texas Gun Trader site and other sites.  I sold a Remington VersaMax for $625 that other guys were asking around $700 for (I had one choke and they had three or more).  This makes your gun much more appealing when buyers compare it to the competition.  Also, put “No trades” or similar in your ad.  If not, you’ll get lots of offers to trade guns.

Presently, you are not required to have an FFL dealer do a check on buyers.  You don’t have to see their LTC, DL, or do a Bill of Sale, although the latter is never a bad idea.  Just like selling someone a car, knife, hammer, etc. you cannot be held responsible for the actions that someone takes with whatever you sold them once it is out of your hands.  The exception would be if you sold a weapon to someone who is prohibited by law from having one, such as knowingly selling it to a felon or a 10-year-old child.

You don’t have to use an FFL dealer to mail a long gun – this will save you from having to pay the FFL dealer transfer fee.  You can mail a long gun in Texas by completing the required form and mailing it in the required manner.  See and  If your buyer lives outside of Texas you can mail it to his FFL dealer.

All of the above applies to buying guns from listings on Gun Broker and Guns America as well.

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