Keep yourself safe and your firearm purchase legal with our short guide to buying a used handgun. There are some great reasons to buy used guns. Used guns and gear, like a nice red dot scope, often get packaged together, providing more bang for your buck than buying all new gun accessories.
What is the first step in buying a used handgun?
The first step in buying a used handgun is ensuring that you have the correct licenses. It is necessary to have a valid RPAL (Restricted Possession Acquisition License) to obtain a handgun in Canada. To receive an RPAL in Canada, every applicant must complete a certified firearm training course. Gun laws in Canada for restricted firearms are stringent. As a firearm owner, you must have safe storage before you can bring your gun home. Finding a gun safe or gun cabinet is critical to ensuring the secure storage of your firearm at home.
What is the most important thing to know before buying a used handgun?
The most important thing to know about buying a used handgun is that the quality and condition can have a considerable impact on the value. It is essential when buying a used handgun to do your research. Examine the firearm to ensure the quality matches the seller’s description.
With so many offers out there, it can be hard to know if you’re getting a good deal or not. Take the time to look up previous sales. See what similar guns have sold for in the past. Check the condition of the firearm and make sure it is in good working order. Buying a firearm can be a long process; don’t rush in without doing your due diligence.
How do I determine the quality of a used handgun?
Gun values can vary widely based on the condition of the firearm. Every buyer should know what to look for when buying a used handgun with one of the biggest being rust or pitting. Light rust or pitting on the exterior of the barrel or receiver of the firearm is repairable, but pitting in the bore can affect how well it fires.
Visually confirm the firing pin is intact, check that any attachments have been installed correctly, and look over screws and screw bushings to ensure they are a tight fit. Confirm that the slide lock is in working order as well. If you have the option, test fire the gun before purchasing.
When buying guns online, check to see if the seller has rated its condition. The NRA’s guide for conditioning is as follows:
NEW – Not previously sold, and still in factory condition
PERFECT – Also called as new, the firearm has been bought previously but not used.
EXCELLENT – Very little use; no noticeable marring of wood or metal; bluing perfect (except at muzzle or sharp edges).
VERY GOOD – In perfect working order; no significant wear on working surfaces; no corrosion or pitting; only minor surface dents or scratches.
GOOD – In safe working condition, minor wear on working surfaces; no broken parts, no corrosion or pitting that will interfere with using the firearm.
FAIR- In safe working condition, but well worn. It may need minor parts replaced or adjustments made. It may have corrosion pits but nothing that leaves the firearm unsafe or inoperable.
When shopping for a used firearm online, don’t be afraid to ask for additional photos or detailed shots of specific areas of the gun to ensure the quality matches the description. Buying guns on-line has risks, but with proper research, the risk is minimal.
What information do I need to provide when buying a used handgun?
Buying a handgun in Canada, whether new or used, means giving some personal information to the seller and the government. Completing this process can be done over the phone with the CFP (Canadian Firearms Program), a division of the RCMP.
To begin a private firearms sale, both parties submit their information to the CFP. Buyers need to give their PAL full name and address plus the full name and firearms license of the seller. Gun owners also have to call the CFP and verify their information which includes providing the buyer’s full name and PAL. Whoever initiates the transfer must also provide the registration certificate number and firearm information like the make, model, serial number, etc. of the gun.
When buying a used handgun from a gun store, the store will need to provide your full name, address, and PAL number to the CFP. However, a store has the option to complete this process online. They initiate the transfer and handle the details through the CFP website.
The third option is to mail in form RCMP 5492 for restricted and prohibited firearms. The CFO (Chief Firearms Officer) reviews the transfer after both parties have completed the forms and submitted them.
To learn more about the process click here
Do I need to wait for paperwork when buying a used handgun?
Yes. When you call the CFP, they will provide you with a reference number. The CFO for your area reviews the transfer before approving the sale. The CFO will confirm that the person buying the handgun has the correct license, and has a valid reason to purchase the firearm. (This is usually collecting, target shooting, or as part of their profession.) After receiving approval, the buyer must obtain an ATT (Authorization to Transport) to bring the firearm to its new location. Once the transfer is approved, both the buyer and the seller receive confirmation.
Can a seller ship me a used handgun?
Yes. It is legal to ship a handgun through the mail. Shipping companies that allow firearms have specific rules to ensure the safety and security of the firearm package. Follow the rules when shipping to ensure that your package arrives safely.
Canada Post has several rules for shipping between firearms owners. A signature is required upon delivery and asks that the firearm is in a locked case. If you want to ship ammunition, you will need to look for someone other than Canada Post. CanPar Courier is an excellent alternative to Canada Post. They ship firearms and ammunition; however, it can take a bit longer as they use ground shipping to deliver them.
Conceal Carry Regulations
As per Federal Regulations in Canada, you are not allowed to conceal carry. Please check with your local gun store in the U.S. about your state gun laws. If this is your first time purchasing a gun or for new gun owners, we highly recommend firearm training and then booking some time at your local gun range.
If you are searching for more information about buying used/pre-owned guns, or you want more clarification about a gun purchase, gun values, or guns and gear, please call the store. We are here to help. 519-449-1001.