Private Gun Sales
In South Carolina individuals may sell their personally owned firearms to any other resident of South Carolina with no government involvement of any kind. Just like selling a chainsaw, a hammer, or a lawn mower – make the deal, exchange value for value and that’s it.
There is a burden on the seller to ensure the buyer is eligible to own a firearm, and this is a judgement call made by the seller on how is done.
One should keep in mind that when a firearm is used in a crime or recovered as stolen property, law enforcement will track that gun back to its last lawful owner. Firearm traces begin with the manufacturer, who identifies the distributor to whom sold, then the distributor identifies the dealer, then the dealer identifies the individual to whom the final sale was made – and the police will go to that person. If you are that person, and you sold your firearm, you should be able to identify to whom and when it was sold.
As a common practice for the seller to protect himself, there should be a bill of sale. That will identify the buyer, the seller, and include the firearm description, model, and serial number.
Many sellers also require a copy of the buyer’s driver license as proof of the buyer’s identification. A format to consider for this is the SC Bill of Sale Form – downloadablehere.
In South Carolina, as part of a regular dealer firearm sale, if the buyer has a South Carolina CWP, that is accepted in lieu of running a FBI NICS Background check to validate the purchaser’s ability to lawfully purchase a firearm. And if that is good enough for the government, then it is likely good enough for individuals.
As an option, at the seller’s discretion, a licensed FFL Dealer may run a FBI NICS Background check on the purchaser. In these transactions the dealer records the firearm in his books as being received from the seller, runs the background check, and then records the transfer to the buyer. Thus establishing the buyer’s eligibility and clearly showing the transfer from the seller.
RT2BR Arms provides this service for those who want it with our standard $20 transfer fee.