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Buying a gun from a pawnshop?
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Buying a gun from a pawnshop?

I have recently been looking for handguns to buy when I turn 21 in a few months. I am eager to buy a nice size one for around 200. However, maybe due to the fact I am a criminal justice major I always worry about forensicly how do I know the gun has not been used in a crime? Am I thinking too hard? I mean would there be a legal document showing transfer of ownership?


Julia R
Its a illegal to buy in a pawnshop

There may be a legal document or not, I really don't know I bought my pistol through a local gun dealer. I worked for the Federal Bureau of Prisons and I didn't want any problems attached to my pistol. Why don't you save up your money and buy from a dealer, this way you will know that you are getting a good quality weapon that has never been used in a crime. Also, you will have a lot more choices when you are deciding which to buy.

When you buy from the gun dealer, make sure you get a good trigger lock and use it. You can get the kind that doesn't use a key, so even if some one gets ahold of your keys they will not be able to open the trigger lock. I also suggest that you also have a lock box of some sort to keep your weapon in. You can not just buy a weapon with our having a way to keep it super secure.

Another thing thing is have you been certified as being able to own/handle or even use a firearm. It is a required course in many places. Many places will not sell you a weapon with out having had this training course and being able to prove that you are certified. Weapon safety can never be stressed enough to any one. Going through such a course will allow you to be a better gun owner. If will help you to keep others safe as well.

There is more to it than just buying a weapon as I stated, going through a safety cousrse will be an added bonus for you. Many places require people to go through them in order to purchace a weapon. I was not required to attend such a course since I had already been certified throught my work place, it is a great course.

This course will be able to help you to properly handle your weapon, keeping your safety and others safety in mind at all times. Many courses will teach you how to shoot both strong/weak hand, as well as loading one handed and many other things you should know. You will enjoy the shooting course, it will show you how skilled you are. You will feel more prepare to have a weapon in your home and in your life, it is a huge responsiblity.

There will most likely also be a waiting period for your back ground to clear.
Please think about going to a dealer.....Buy your weapon....trigger lock......good safety/shooting course....you will be way better off. Especially if your are going into any type of Law enforcement you need to be extra careful what, when and how you do things in your life, and I know that you already know that.

Best of luck to you. God Bless, and stay safe always!!!

gary b
get out on the street in any Ghetto and you can have one in 2 minutes..With serial number filed

you can voluntarily register your weapon with the local law enforcement and keep a copy of the date you became the owner. 200 for a hand gun? good luck just remember that you get what you pay for.

I don't know if you consider your receipt a "legal document," but I'm sure you'd get one. Other than that if the pawn broker is a federally licenced dealer (which he almost has to be if he dares to deal in guns) then he will keep records of where and when he got the gun as well as when and who he sold it to. I wouldn't worry to much even if you did get a gun that was used in a crime though, I run a retail store and we've bought literally hundreds of confinscated guns from various state and local law enforement departments. The cops don't always take real good care of them, but they're usually as good as anything. The main thing I'd worry about is unless you're gettin a .22, I'd maybe think about saving up a little more than $200. I don't know what your looking for, but regardless, even with used guns you just can't get alot for that these days.

There should be, and insist upon a bill of sale that shows the serial number. That way you have proof of when you took ownership of the weapon.

A pawnbroker who engages in the sale of firearms is a federally licensed dealer. You would have the same protection as if you were buying a used gun from a gun shop. The pawnbroker will have your Form 4473 in their files showing the date you purchased the gun.

Edit: Lt. Dan is right on the money. If you don't know what exactly to look for as far as getting a deal, it's easy to get ripped off in a pawn shop.

Different states have varying laws about the purchase and ownership of firearms (I'm still trying to figure out how they can do this with one Constitutional right and not another, say the freedom of speech. But that's a whole other can of worms). As long as you have a recipt where you bought this from a reputable licensed dealer, you should be OK. It may be a little harder buying a good handgun for around $200.00. To get a quality handgun you may have to spend significantly more. Take my advice, buy a quality gun.

You need a license first......they need to be checked, get a
police report....

If you want to stay out of trouble do not buy it at a pawnshop.

.45 Peacemaker
Because the pawn shops have to run all merchandise they purchase from individuals past law enforcement there is nothing to be concerned with.

well buying a gun from a pawn shop is the same as buying from the store brand new because before used weapons are sold at a local pawn shop the pawn broker must fill out a form wich is then submitted to the local police station with the weapons serial number make and model on it and then the weapon is searched through balistics to get a clean report before it is re-sold so no need to worry,.

Lt. Dan
Do NOT buy a gun from a pawnshop and not because necessarily it has been used in a crime. They get almost retail new price for a used gun. It's a total rip-off. Talk with several people who are in law enforcement and you can find a better deal. I only deal with one pawnshop and that is just because the guy is a friend of mine and I can get guns that are new for cost.
Otherwise, steer clear, they will rip you every which way if you buy there.
By the way, check out the Springfield-Armory XD pistols. They are outstanding and reasonably priced, I carry the XD45 hi capacity .45 and am very pleased with it. It is very similiar to a Glock, except is has the addition of a palm safety which decreases the likelihood of an accidental discharge.

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