View Full Version : Buying Gun from Private Party ? How to

03-04-2012, 11:00 AM
Relatively new to Cal Guns. Excellent source of information . Really appreciate the expert knowledge that is here. I have always bought my guns new, so I was looking for a little feed back on do's and don'ts when buying from a private party .

For instance , when we meet at a licensed FFL for the transfer, does the purchase ( cash exchange) take place after the DROS has been completed ? I assume the serial numbers are checked by the proper authorities

How do I know if the gun is "clean" at the time of the purchase and before I give the cash ?

I have been interested in several posts in the market but I am hesitant without knowing any protocols and I do not want to offend anyone or get ripped off .

Anyone care to give a little advice on this subject ?

I have searched the site on this topic but have not found anything.
Thanks to all for any feedback !

03-04-2012, 11:10 AM
Welcome to Calguns.

When doing a PPT, I always ask for the copy of DROS and make sure you have the seller's info, such as phone#, email, address, etc, that way if there is problem you will be able to contact him/her. Check & read the seller's feedbacks is also a big deal to me.

SoCal Bob
03-04-2012, 11:14 AM
Welcome to Calguns. Here is a Reader's Digest response to your questions.

When to pay is up to you and the seller. I've paid before doing the DROS paperwork and I have paid after. The only issue is most stores do not want you to exchange money inside their store.

No real way to know the status of the firearm before DROS unless they have copies of the DROS from when they bought it. Handguns are registered by serial number so that will be checked before your pickup date. Rifle and shotgun serial numbers are not checked during DROS since they currently do not have to be registered.

It comes down to, do you trust the seller? That is where Calguns join date and their Itrader rating may help.

My first post on Calguns was an I'll take it to a member selling a Henry .22LR pump action rifle. I've had other transactions since then and met some great Calgunners.

03-04-2012, 11:39 AM

Welcome to Calguns! Easiest way to be sure about a sale is trust your gut. Try and ask questions from the seller, where they got it from, how long they have had it, etc.

Hotgunz (http://www.hotgunz.com/) is a website that can tell you if a serial number is questionable but that is not an all encompassing database.

All our information is submitted on the DROS form (CADL, thumbprint, etc). As Long as you are going through a dealer for the PPT you’re as secure as you can be.

03-04-2012, 11:44 AM
^^^ Agreed - give them a call. It's a HUGE thing to talk and find out if the guys sounds normal.

Plus you are doing transaction inside a gun store where all the employees are armed.

And YES, you can say no to the purchase. I've never done it, but it is an option. I usually know 95% that the gun is solid and that the guy is solid long before we meet.


03-04-2012, 11:54 AM
I am pretty new to CalGuns and have purchased 2 firearms (shotgun & handgun) here already. Both times I spoke by phone with the seller and then agreed to meet at FFL for the transfer. I did my pre purchase inspection in the parking lot, exchanged the money, and then walked together into the FFL for the paperwork.

Don't be so quick to dismiss a new CalGuns member or one with no iTrader feedback. Speak to the buyer/seller by phone and use your gut. Personally I doubt anyone with a 'questionable' gun would use an online forum to sell it - too much exposure.

Welcome to CalGuns!

03-04-2012, 12:13 PM
I've always paid seller in the store. I won't exchange cash outside the store. Just go to an unused counter. Never had a store complaint. But I pay after we've agreed on the sale and then done the paperwork.


03-04-2012, 2:09 PM

03-04-2012, 2:22 PM
Thanks for all the replies and welcomes . Appreciate all your help and input. Really glad I found Cal Guns ! Lots of good people here.

03-04-2012, 3:03 PM
Welcome aboard.

03-04-2012, 3:18 PM
All good info here...............Welcome aboard!

03-04-2012, 9:27 PM

03-05-2012, 3:59 PM

03-12-2012, 9:51 AM
Welcome aboard! Lots of useful info and helpful folks 'round these parts! Looks like your Qs pretty much got As. Good luck on your searches.

03-12-2012, 2:32 PM
I have a question that relates to this one. Is there a way to do a private party sale for a used firearm safely by mail? I am not sure if this is ever done, there are just so many variables and unknowns to a used gun. Is there a way to have a gun shipped to a FFL/Dealer that could inspect it and verify you are getting what you paid for? I guess the main issues here are how does the seller and buyer protect themselves. The seller wants to be sure he gets paid before he gives up his firearm and the buyer wants to make sure the item matches its description/photos. These issues just don't come into play when you are purchasing new from an online retailer.