How to Get Rid of a Gun Legally

We at Cash My Guns celebrate the right of law-abiding Americans to own a gun. Similarly, we celebrate the right of law-abiding Americans to relinquish ownership of their guns. Why might someone wish to dispose of, destroy or otherwise relinquish ownership of a gun? In this article, we discuss some of the motives for getting rid of a gun and the legal methods available for relinquishing ownership.

Why Would Someone Want to Get Rid of a Gun?

The motivations for wanting to dispose of an unwanted gun are many. Cash My Guns doesn’t pass judgement on why a person no longer wants to own gun – it’s your right and we’ll help you with the process. The following are some of the more common scenarios that cause gun owners to relinquish ownership of one or more guns.

Scenario 1: The gun owner suspects or determines that a gun is unsafe to fire or incapable of being fired. Whether evidence of a malfunction is present or not, some gun owners prefer to eliminate the risk of injury by getting rid of the gun. Others don’t have the knowledge or desire to repair the gun. Unsure if anyone would be interested in owning your suspected-broken or confirmed-broken gun? We are happy to appraise your gun, whatever its condition. We also have information available to help you begin learning the worth of your gun on your own.

Scenario 2: The gun owner has a gun that is not worth fixing, i.e. the gun is BER — Beyond Economical Repair. While it may be possible for a gunsmith or gun enthusiast to repair the gun, it may not be economical to do so. For example, if the gun was purchased new for $500, but it will take $600 to repair it, many owners may choose to cut losses and sell the gun rather than repairing it. Cash My Guns will always offer an honest assessment of your gun and a fair price for it if applicable.

Scenario 3: A court of law has ordered the gun owner to turn in, sell or store the gun. For example, in California, a person subject to a restraining or protection order must complete form CH-800 to confirm to the court that a firearm/s have been turned in, sold or stored. In another example, if a medical professional or law enforcement officer determines that an individual is a danger to himself or herself or others, involuntary psychiatric treatment may be deemed necessary. In cases such as this, a court may require the individual to turn in, sell or store the gun. Selling a gun to Cash My Guns is safe, legal, and can be done quickly.

Scenario 4: The gun owner wishes to create a gun-free household. Gun safety is of paramount importance to Cash My Guns. If you want your household to be gun-free, selling a gun is discrete, simple and safe. As long as you’re getting peace of mind, why not get cash, too?

Scenario 5: Perhaps the most common of all these scenarios, a person inherits a gun from a spouse or relative and doesn’t have the desire to retain ownership. Owning a gun comes with safety and legal responsibilities. Proper storage, liability, registration and more are burdens that some people don’t wish to undertake. Not always, but sometimes, the easy choice is the best choice. How to get rid of an inherited gun is easier than you think. Cash My Guns is the easiest way to relieve yourself of the responsibilities of gun ownership. We pay for the shipping and transaction costs associated with selling a gun.

Legal Methods for Disposing of a Gun

You can relinquish ownership of your gun via a number of methods. Factors to consider when deciding which method is best include: the sentimentality of the gun, the condition of the gun, the value of the gun and compensation or lack thereof for the gun.

The following list of ways to legally get rid of your gun is not exhaustive. Cash My Guns encourages you to contact the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) and your local law enforcement office to confirm the specific procedures to relinquish ownership of your gun in your area. Don’t forget to request documentation of your release of ownership during the transaction.

Method 1: Sell your gun to Cash My Guns.

  1. We are licensed to buy and ship firearms under our Federal Firearms License (FFL), and we follow the rules laid out by the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives).
  2. Our FFL allows us to help you sell your firearm without going to a local firearms dealer in person.
  3. You can sell your gun from the comfort and safety of your own home using
  4. We professionally appraise every firearm that comes to us. We can also help you identify your gun if you’re unsure of the make and model. Gun appraisals follow strict guidelines based on: make, model, metal finish, wood & composite finish, overall condition & functionality, rarity, and comparative sales. Our appraisals are always fair, and we are always willing to explain our value assessment upon request.
  5. We pay for the shipping and transaction costs associated with selling a gun. We pay to have the shipping supplies sent to you. Our firearm transfer methods are approved by the ATF and major shipping carriers. By using Cash My Guns, you save money in fees, not to mention the time and resources needed to sell a firearm private party.
  6. We allow you to track your gun shipment during the entire process. You can feel safe knowing that your firearm will arrive at our warehouse quickly, safely and that you get paid.

Method 2: Surrender the gun to local law enforcement whether that means your local sheriff’s office or police station.

  1. Best to call the non-emergency line and describe your intent rather than walking into the local station and declaring that you have an unwanted gun.
  2. Best for non-sentimental firearms only. Antique guns and family heirlooms may be better suited for museums or gun collectors.
  3. Make sure you are the legal owner of the gun before surrendering it to police – they may check to see if it is reported lost or stolen.
  4. They aren’t going to pay you for your gun and that’s a missed opportunity.
  5. While we have the utmost respect for law enforcement, they aren’t legally authorized by the ATF to sell firearms and sometimes the firearms you turn into law enforcement get taken and resold illegally. Here are a couple articles on this:

Method 3: Sell the gun at a gun buyback event.

  1. Some churches, organizations, police departments and cities will offer gift cards or other monetary incentives in exchange for unwanted firearms.
  2. Some cities will destroy the guns surrendered in this process, whereas other cities will resell the guns to replenish public funds. If you want the gun to survive after your ownership, you may want to choose another method.
  3. Gun buyback events are designed to be easy and painless. Legally and illegally obtained firearms can be surrendered with “no questions asked” in many cases.
  4. Generally speaking, you aren’t paid a fair value for your gun at these events.

Method 4: Surrender the gun to a Federal Firearms License holder (FFL).

  1. All legally operating gun shops and gun dealers possess an FFL.
  2. In Nevada, the FFL must provide the gun owner with a receipt which includes a description of each firearm sold or transferred and the serial number of each firearm sold or transferred (NRS 202.361).
  3. Surrendering the gun to a local gun shop or gun dealer may be easy, but the establishment is not likely to compensate you for the transaction.

Method 5: Donate the gun to a gun safety training program or a museum if the gun holds historical value. Check with local law enforcement to confirm the proper procedure prior to donation.

  1. Gun safety training programs sometimes do not have the funds available to purchase training weapons or instructional weapons. Donating your gun to an organization such as this might help others learn how to safely handle and discharge a firearm.
  2. Many museums acquire their artifacts through donation. If you possess evidence that a gun was previously owned by a historical figure or has some other historical value, donating your gun to a museum can enrich the public good.

Method 6: Deactivate the gun.

  1. Actions can be taken to make the gun permanently inoperable (Source). Even if a gun is altered to be inoperable, it may still need to be regulated by governing bodies. Check with local law enforcement to confirm.
  2. Permanently deactivated guns can be repurposed for art or other display.

Method 7: Destroy the gun.

  1. The ATF has very specific instructions for acceptable destruction methods.
  2. Contact the ATF or local law enforcement to determine which parties are permitted to destroy a firearm on your behalf and what record must be retained from the transaction.

More information about the buying, selling, shipping, renting or loaning of firearms to an unlicensed person can be found on the ATF’s website.

Cash My Guns makes it as easy as possible for you to sell your unwanted firearms at no cost. Once your firearm has been received, we send you a check for an agreed-to value of the gun. Disposal of unwanted firearms doesn’t need to be a burden. Begin our safe, discrete and legal process here.

Cash My Guns responsibility exchanged for cash graphic

The information contained on this website has been prepared as a service to the internet community and is not intended to constitute legal advice. has used reasonable efforts in collecting, preparing, and providing quality information and material, but does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, completeness, adequacy, or currency of the information contained in or linked to this website. Users of information from this website or links do so at their own risk and should consult their local firearm law resources and/or an attorney when engaging in selling a firearm. The cited information in this article was obtained on 10/31/18.”