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Buying, Transferring and Gifting Guns in Delaware

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

In this article, we will cover how to buy a gun in Delaware, as well as how to transfer or gift a firearm in Delaware. Settling an Estate containing firearms in Delaware can be especially tricky, we include all information you need to properly gift, transfer or sell an estate's firearms following Delaware gun laws.

How to buy a gun in Delaware

1. Stop in your favorite Delaware gun store. X-Ring Supply has a great selection and the lowest prices of all brick-and-mortar Delaware gun stores.

2. Shop our online store which shows our in-store inventory and all guns and products that we can order from our distributors. Select from thousands of firearms from your phone or desktop any time, anywhere. Once the gun ships and we receive it, we will call you to come complete the paperwork in store.

3. Buy a firearm from a company outside of Delaware and have it shipped to a local FFL, such as X-Ring Supply. In addition to our prices, X-Ring Supply has the lowest transfer fees of all brick and mortar stores in Delaware. Just fill out our transfer form to let us know you’re sending a transfer our way!


What is required to purchase a gun in Delaware?

In order to purchase a gun in Delaware, you need to meet the following three requirements: (1.) You need to be old enough, (2) be able to pass a criminal background check and (3.) present a valid form of ID.

1. You must be old enough to purchase a gun.

Ages to purchase firearms in Delaware are the same as required by Federal Regulations. You must be 18 years of age or older to purchase a long gun (rifles, shotguns, and pistol caliber carbines). You must be 21 years of age or older to purchase a handgun (semi-automatic pistol, revolver and AR-style pistols). You must also be 21 years of age or older to purchase a pistol-grip shotgun or a lower receiver.

2. You cannot be prohibited from owning a firearm, you must pass a criminal background check.

Federal background checks are done in-store by completing federal form 4473. Purchasers are required to complete section B by answering questions 9 thru 23. Once the 4473 form is completed, the information provided on the form is used to run the federal background check. It is optional to provide your social security number when completing the form. If you have a common name it is suggested to provide your social security number to help reduce the wait time and potential for being delayed.

3. You must have a valid ID.

Most commonly this will be your Drivers License or state-issued ID. Your ID must be up to date and accurate. If your ID has expired, it is not valid. If your ID does not have your current address, it is not valid. Other forms of ID may be acceptable for Military and Police, give us a call and we will let you know.

It is a felony to purchase a firearm for another person that can not legally buy a firearm themselves. This is called a “Straw Purchase” and is one of the most common ways that prohibited persons are able to acquire firearms. Straw purchases are illegal and are punishable by up to ten years in jail.


How to transfer a gun in Delaware

There are two types of Firearm Transfers: Person to Person, and FFL to FFL. Both types of firearm transfers take place at a local gun store with a valid Federal Firearms License (FFL). The person receiving the firearm will need to pass a background check, be old enough, and have a valid ID; the requirements are the same as if they were purchasing the firearm from a store.

1. Person to Person Transfer - Private sales or Gifting of a firearm

Person to Person Firearm transfers are the process of transferring a firearm from one person to another. These are most commonly done when selling a gun to another person via a private sale or transferring a gun to a family member that is not a blood relative or immediate family member.

Remember, when gifting a firearm to a family member, the person receiving the firearm must be an immediate blood family member(Father/son, Sister/Brother, no cousins, no aunt/uncle/grandparents, no adoption, no in-laws, no stepparents, no step-siblings), both reside in the same state, and must be legally allowed to own firearms. If the person receiving the gun does not fit these exact criteria you must do a person-to-person transfer of the gun. It is recommended that you document the gifting of the firearm with a handwritten document that specifies the type of firearm, serial number, date, name of both people and signatures.

It is strongly recommended that even if gifting a firearm to a family member, take it to your local FFL and have them do the person-to-person transfer as it documents the transfer and ensures it is done legally.

2. FFL to FFL Transfer

FFL to FFL transfers are done when guns need to be transferred between Federal Firearms Licensed dealers. This is most commonly done for customers when they purchase a gun out of state and need to have their background check and paperwork completed in their home state. Once the gun is transferred to an FFL dealer in your home state, you can then legally have the firearm transferred into your possession. If you are buying a gun online from an out-of-state business, it is most likely going to be an FFL to FFL transfer, then your local FFL will transfer it to you. Always make sure when buying a firearm online or out of state that it is compliant with your state’s regulations.


Estates involving Firearms in Delaware

It is very common that a loved one’s estate may contain firearms. Due to complex gun laws, it can be confusing how to ensure proper legal handling of firearms while resolving the estate. The simplest way to make sure you are handling this process correctly is to contact the estate’s attorney. We are happy to help with the process, so if you have questions feel free to contact us or have the attorney reach out.

When an estate contains firearms, they need to be transferred to family members and/or sold. Ideally, a will or trust lays out how the deceased wants the firearms (or the proceeds from their sale) to be distributed among family members. If there is no mention of a firearm being left to a particular person, or no will/instructions are left at all, the executor of the estate will have to use their discretion to ensure a proper resolution for the deceased and their family.

Gifting Firearms from an Estate in Delaware

Firearms can be gifted from an estate to an individual when: (1) The firearms are designated in the will or trust as being left to a particular person, or (2) If no instructions are left in the will, the executor can instruct gifting of the firearms to a person.

The safest and simplest way to gift a firearm from an estate is to have it transferred by an FFL, this will include a background check on the person receiving the firearm. However, this is not always required. In order to be gifted a firearm without a background check, the person receiving the firearm must pass the requirements for receiving a gifted firearm. There are three requirements, all of which must be met. These criteria are: (1) they must be immediate family members to the deceased (Father/son, Sister/Brother, no cousins, no aunt/uncle/grandparents), (2) they must be blood relatives to the deceased (no step-siblings, no in-laws), (3) both parties (the deceased and the person receiving the firearm) must be residents of the same state and (4) they are not a prohibited person, i.e. they are legally able to purchase and own a firearm. In summary, if the deceased has siblings, a spouse, or children, the firearms can be gifted from the estate as long as they are related by blood, live in the same state, are legally allowed to own a firearm, and the will/trust instructs the gifting of the firearm to the individual.

If the person receiving the firearm is not a blood relative, or not immediate family, or resides in another state from the deceased then the estate’s executor must bring the firearm and will/trust documents (to document the intent of the deceased to gift the firearm to the individual) must be brought to a gun store with valid Federal Firearms License (FFL). A background check must be run on the person receiving the firearm.

Selling Firearms from an Estate in Delaware

When settling an estate, firearms can be sold as long as they are not promised to any individual in the will, trust or any other written documents. If there is no will, then the executor should bring in the deceased’s death certificate as additional documentation.

We help settle estates containing firearms. We offer the best consignment rates and often can sell an entire estate worth of firearms in a week or two.

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