What Do You Need to Pawn a Gun & Is It a Good Idea?

We at Cash My Guns know that gunowners can sell, give away, consign or pawn their guns using a number of different means. Gunowners can engage in private party gun sales, surrender unwanted firearms to local law enforcement, sell guns to gun shops, engage in transactions through pawnshops and more. Many believe that pawnshops are the fastest method to get money for unwanted firearms, but is that really the case? In this article we describe how pawnshops operate in California, what the wait periods are like, the process to sell a gun to a pawnshop, things that can delay the process and alternatives to get cash for unwanted firearms.

How Do Pawn Shops Work?

There are generally three ways to obtain money from a pawnshop: pawning, consignment and sales.

Pawning a gun at a pawnshop means that you use your gun as collateral to obtain a loan from the pawnshop. If you fail to pay your loan back to the shop including interest, the shop gets to keep your gun.

Consigning a gun to a pawnshop requires the original gun owner and the pawnshop to enter into a shared-profit agreement. The shop then retains the gun and attempts to sell it. If the gun sells, the shop and the original gun owner each get a cut of the profit. If the shop fails to sell the gun, the original gun owner gets the gun back.

Selling a gun to a pawnshop is when the pawn shop gives the gunowner cash for ownership of the gun. Gunowners should expect to receive no more than 30% of what the pawnshop thinks they can sell the gun for. For example, market value for a gun might be $500. The pawnshop thinks they can sell the gun for $400, so they’ll offer you 30% of $400 which is $120. Pawnshops specialize in selling different items, so a pawn shop specializing in electronics can’t sell your gun for the same price as a pawnshop specializing in guns.

If you do choose to conduct a gun transaction with a pawnshop, do the things on the following list first.

  1. Determine if the pawnshop buys and sells guns. Some don’t work with guns.
  2. Come prepared with the gun’s maker, model, caliber, any mods, plus your driver’s license, any gun licenses, any gun safety certificates and proof of residence.
  3. Determine the value of your gun before you take it to a pawn shop.
  4. Bring the gun unloaded in a locked case to be examined by the shop.

If you’re looking for cash quickly, there is an easy way to improve upon the 30% of perceived resale value. When you sell your gun to Cash My Guns, we pay our customers as much as 60% of the gun’s market value.

California Wait Period to Purchase Pawn Shop Guns

California law imposes a 10-day waiting period before a firearm can be released to a purchaser or transferee (Pen. Code, § § 26800-26850).

The 10-day waiting period allows the California DOJ to, through a DROS, determine the purchaser’s eligibility to own/possess a gun. The DROS process will result in a status of Approved, Delayed, Undetermined, Rejected, or Denied.

  • The California DOJ can delay a firearm transaction for up to 30 days from the date of transaction when the Department is unable to immediately determine the purchaser’s eligibility to own/possess firearms (Penal Code section 28220).
  • If 30 days has passed since the transaction date and the Department is still unable to determine the purchaser’s eligibility to own/possess firearms or whether the firearm involved in the sale/transfer is stolen, the Department will notify the dealer. It will then be at the dealer’s sole discretion whether to release to you the firearm (Penal Code section 28220).
  • When you use your gun as collateral for a pawn shop loan, the pawn shop must initiate a background check on you prior to returning to you your gun.

What is a DROS application?

“Generally, all firearms purchases and transfers, including private party transactions and sales at gun shows, must be made through a California licensed dealer under the Dealer’s Record of Sale (DROS) process. California law imposes a 10-day waiting period before a firearm can be released to a purchaser or transferee. A person must be at least 18 years of age to purchase a rifle or shotgun. To purchase a handgun, a person must be at least 21 years of age. As part of the DROS process, the purchaser must present “clear evidence of identity and age” which is defined as a valid, non-expired California Driver’s License or Identification Card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A military identification accompanied by permanent duty station orders indicating a posting in California is also acceptable.

If the purchaser is not a U.S. Citizen, then he or she is required to demonstrate that he or she is legally within the United States by providing the firearms dealer with documentation containing his/her Alien Registration Number or I-94 Number.

Purchasers of handguns must provide proof of California residency, such as a utility bill, residential lease, property deed, or government-issued identification (other than a drivers license or other DMV-issued identification), and either (1) possess a Handgun Safety Certificate (HSC) plus successfully complete a safety demonstration with their recently purchased handgun or (2) qualify for an HSC exemption,” (Pen. Code, § § 26800-26850).

DROS applications receive one of the following responses from the California DOJ: delayed, undetermined, rejected or denied. Click here to learn more about what causes each response and what to do next.

How Do Pawn Shops Avoid Purchasing Stolen Goods?

According to the LA Times:

“When a pawnshop accepts an item, the broker must fill out a state-issued form that includes the name, address, sex, height, weight, eye color and hair color of the customer. The form requires descriptions of the objects, including brand and model names and serial numbers.

The customer then must provide the right thumbprint and sign a pledge certifying under penalty of perjury that he or she is the owner and has the right to pawn or sell the item. The broker is required to report the transactions within 24 hours.

Shops accept things as collateral for a loan, or buy them for cash. Bought items must be held for 30 days before they can be sold, and pawned items must be held for four months plus a 10-day grace period. During the hold period, only the original customers can claim the property.”

The system to “report transactions within 24 hours” is a reference to the California Pawn & Secondhand Dealer System, also known as CAPSS.

CAPSS is the name given to the electronic reporting system developed to meet the legislative mandate (Business & Professions Code, Section 21628) for secondhand dealers and pawnbrokers to electronically submit the Secondhand/Pawnbroker Report (JUS 123) to the California Department of Justice (DOJ). The CAPSS is a secured, web-based electronic reporting system that requires the use of a desktop/laptop computer and a standard web browser.

In 2012, Assembly Bill (AB) 391 was enacted whichestablished a new requirement that secondhand dealers and pawnbrokerselectronically report to the DOJ all secondhand tangible property which hasbeen purchased, taken in trade, taken in pawn, accepted for sale onconsignment, or accepted for auctioning (Business & Professions Code,Section 21630 and 21633, subdivision(j)).

The following devices are required to use CAPSS:

1. Computer with Internet Access

2. Electronic Signature Pad

3. Fingerprint Scanner – Must purchase software to capture the required images. Please note that a fingerprint scanner will NOT work without software to capture images).”

Instead of dealing with an intrusive fingerprinting system at your local pawnshop, why not sell your next gun at Cash My Guns? Our process is legal, safe and discreet. In fact, you can sell your gun or gun collection from the comfort and safety of your own home using Cashmyguns.com.

The Best Alternative to Pawning a Gun

We at Cash My Guns 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). Our FFL allows us to help you sell your gun or gun collection without going to a local pawn shop in person.

Pawn shops like fully functioning guns, unlike Cash My Guns where we will purchase non-functioning guns that have cultural or historical value.

Instead of entering a pawn loan agreement for your gun with ASTRONOMICAL interest rates, why not just sell your gun to us for a great price?

Entering into a pawn shop loan agreement can be a confusing process with difficult to understand terms.

The process at Cash My Guns is simple:

We professionally appraise every firearm that comes to us. We can also help you identify the gun or guns in your collection if you’re unsure of their makes and models. Our 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.

We pay for the shipping and transaction costs associated with selling a gun or gun collection. 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 gun collection private party.

We allow you to track your gun shipment during the entire process. You can feel safe knowing that your firearm collection will arrive at our warehouse quickly, safely and that you get paid.

Cash My Guns makes it as easy as possible for you to sell your unwanted firearms at no cost. Once your gun or gun collection has been received, we send you a check for an agreed-to value. Not ready to ditch your whole collection? No problem! Dip your toes and explore our process by starting with the sale of one gun, but remember, you’ll get more bang for your buck when you sell in bulk!

Begin our safe, discrete and legal process here.

The information contained on this website has been prepared as a service to the internet community and is not intended to constitute legal advice. CashMyGuns.com 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 01/18/19.”