Dealer Regulations in Alabama

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Alabama law requires every retail dealer of handguns (but not rifles or shotguns) to obtain a local license.1 A city, town or political subdivision may grant retail firearms dealer licenses that are effective for no more than one year, subject to the following conditions:

  • The business must be carried on only in the building designated in the license; and
  • The license or a copy thereof, certified by the issuing authority, must be displayed on the premises where it can easily be read;2

A law passed in 2015 removed other dealer requirements, including provisions that previously required dealers to keep records of handgun sales, prohibited dealers from selling handguns to purchasers who failed to present clear evidence of identity (unless the purchaser was personally known to the dealer), and prohibiting dealers from displaying handguns, handgun imitations, and placards advertising the sale of handguns in any part of their premises where it could be readily seen from the outside.3

 

Notes
  1. Ala. Code § 13A-11-78. ⤴︎
  2. Ala. Code § 13A-11-79. These provisions do not apply to the sale of handguns as curiosities or ornaments. Section 13A-11-83. ⤴︎
  3. See 2015 AL H.B. 47, amending Ala. Code § 13A-11-79(a). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Alaska

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Alaska has no law requiring firearms dealers to obtain a state license or permit. However, firearms dealers are subject to state laws governing gun sales generally. See the Alaska Private Sales section for further information.

Alaska has no law requiring dealers to conduct a background check on prospective firearm purchasers, although the federal background check requirement applies.

Dealer Regulations in Arizona

See our Dealer Regulations Policy Summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Arizona has no law requiring firearms dealers to obtain a state license. Firearms dealers are only subject to state laws governing gun sales generally.

For laws requiring dealers to conduct a background check on prospective firearm purchasers, see the Background Checks in Arizona section.

Dealer Regulations in Arkansas

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Arkansas does not require that firearms dealers be licensed.

For information about the Arkansas law:

  • Requiring federally licensed dealers to conduct background checks on firearm purchasers, see the Arkansas Background Checks section.

Dealer Regulations in California

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Firearms dealers in California are subject to various statutory requirements, as described below. These requirements concern:

(1) Dealer licensing;

(2) The transfer of firearms and ammunition;

(3) The posting of warnings;

(4) The reporting of lost or stolen firearms;

(5) The storage of firearms;

(6) Employee background checks; and

(7) The reporting of acquired firearms.

For further information beyond that provided below, see California Department of Justice (“DOJ”)’s FAQs for Licensed Dealers.

Local governments in California have authority to regulate firearms dealers and ammunition sellers. The Law Center has drafted a model ordinance for use by California cities and counties that regulates firearms dealers and ammunition sellers. For more information, please contact the Law Center directly and see our section entitled Local Authority to Regulate Firearms in California.

(1) Licensing Requirements

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (“ATF”), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees. Any person who sells, transfers, or loans firearms in California must also be licensed pursuant to state law.1 There are several exceptions to this requirement, including those for:

  • Persons who are selling firearms pursuant to court orders or acting pursuant to operation of law;2
  • The “infrequent” sale, lease, or transfer of firearms;3
  • The sale, lease, or transfer of used long guns at gun shows (subject to several conditions);4
  • Sales, deliveries, or transfers between wholesalers, importers and manufacturers, and between dealers and wholesalers, importers or manufacturers;5
  • Firearm loans that take place at a shooting range for the purpose of shooting at targets;6 and
  • The loan of a firearm to a gunsmith for service or repairs.7

In order to become a California firearms dealer, a person must:

  • Have a valid federal firearms license from ATF;
  • Have any regulatory or business license(s) required by local government;
  • Have a valid seller’s permit issued by the State Board of Equalization;
  • Have a Certificate of Eligibility (“COE”) issued by DOJ demonstrating that DOJ has checked its records and determined that the applicant is not prohibited from acquiring or possessing firearms;8
  • Have an annual license granted by the duly constituted licensing authority of any city, county, or city and county (if the local jurisdiction does not have a dealer licensing system, the dealer must obtain and provide to DOJ a letter to this effect from the local licensing authority9); and
  • Be on DOJ’s centralized list of all persons licensed to sell firearms.10

With limited exceptions for gun shows and non-profit events, California requires firearms dealers to conduct business only in the buildings designated in the license.11

Dealers are required to renew their business licenses every year.12

(2) Transfer of Firearms & Ammunition

For laws requiring dealers to conduct a background check on prospective firearm purchasers, see the Background Checks in California section. For laws requiring dealers to report firearm transactions to the DOJ, and to maintain records of firearms transactions, see the section entitled Retention of Sales / Background Check Records in California.

A California firearms dealer may not deliver a firearm:

  • During the state’s ten-day waiting period, or while DOJ has placed the sale on hold (see the Waiting Periods in California section for more details);
  • Unless unloaded and securely wrapped, or unloaded and in a locked container;
  • Unless the purchaser, transferee, or person being loaned the firearm presents clear evidence of the person’s identity and age to the dealer;
  • Whenever the dealer is notified by DOJ that the person is prohibited by state or federal law from processing, owning, purchasing, or receiving a firearm.13

Dealers are also required to:

In addition, firearms dealers are prohibited from delivering a firearm to a purchaser or transferee unless that person:

  • Presents a Firearm Safety Certificate (“FSC”) or a Handgun Safety Certificate (“HSC”) which is not yet expired;16 and
  • Performs a safe handling demonstration with the firearm being purchased (see the Licensing of Gun Owners or Purchasers in California section for more information on these requirements).

Finally, firearms dealers are prohibited from delivering a handgun to a purchaser or transferee unless that person:

  • Submits documentation indicating that he or she is a California resident;17

DOJ may require firearms dealers to charge each purchaser a fee of up to $14, which may be increased as necessary to fund DOJ for costs associated with DOJ’s firearms-related regulatory and enforcement activities involving the sale, purchase, possession, loan or transfer of firearms.18 DOJ has set the current fee at $19.19 As of January 1, 2014, only one fee may be charged for a single transaction on the same date for the taking title or possession of any number of firearms.20

The packaging and any descriptive materials that accompany any firearm manufactured in California, or sold or transferred by a dealer, including private transfers conducted through a dealer, must bear a label containing the following warning statement in both English and Spanish:

WARNING

Firearms must be handled responsibly and securely stored to prevent access by children and other unauthorized users. California has strict laws pertaining to firearms, and you may be fined or imprisoned if you fail to comply with them. Visit the Web site of the California Attorney General at https://oag.ca.gov/firearms for information on firearm laws applicable to you and how you can comply. Prevent child access by always keeping guns locked away and unloaded when not in use. If you keep a loaded firearm where a child obtains and improperly uses it, you may be fined or sent to prison.

((Cal. Penal Code §§ 23635, 23640.))

A yellow triangle containing an exclamation mark must appear immediately before the word “Warning” on the label.21

Dealers who sell long gun safes that do not meet certain standards are also required to attach warnings regarding those long gun safes. See the Locking Devices in California section for further information.

All licensed firearms dealers must process private party transfers of long guns upon request. Licensed dealers who sell, transfer, or stock handguns must also process private party handgun transactions.22

Proposition 63, passed by California voters in 2016, will also require ammunition sellers to obtain an ammunition vendor business license and to conduct background checks on their purchasers in a manner similar to firearm sales. Licensed firearms dealers will automatically be deemed licensed ammunition vendors, provided that they comply with the legal obligations placed on ammunition sellers.23 See the Ammunition Regulation in California section for further information.

For other laws applicable to both licensed and private firearm sales, please see the Private Sales in California section.

(3) Posted Warnings

California firearms dealers must conspicuously post certain specified warnings regarding, among other things:

The warnings must be posted in block letters not less than one inch in height.26

(4) Reporting of Lost or Stolen Firearms

Dealers must report the loss or theft of any firearm within 48 hours of discovery to the appropriate law enforcement agency in the city, county, or city and county in California where the dealer’s business premises are located.27 After passage of Proposition 63, dealers are now also required to report the loss or theft of ammunition to local law enforcement.28

(5) Storage of Firearms

Subject to very narrow exceptions, all firearms in the inventory of a licensed California firearms dealer must be kept at the dealer’s licensed location.29

Any time a dealer is not open for business, he or she must secure all firearms stored at the licensed place of business using one of the following methods for each particular firearm:

  • Store the firearm in a “secure facility” that is a part of, or that constitutes, the licensee’s business premises;30
  • Secure the firearm with a hardened steel rod or cable of at least one-eighth inch in diameter through the trigger guard of the firearm. The steel rod or cable must be secured with a hardened steel lock that has a shackle. The lock and shackle must be protected or shielded from the use of a bolt cutter and the rod or cable must be anchored in a manner that prevents the removal of the firearm from the premises; or
  • Store the firearm in a locked fireproof safe or vault in the licensee’s business premises.31
  • Proposition 63 will also require dealers who sell ammunition to sell or display the ammunition in a manner that ensures it remains inaccessible to a purchaser without the assistance of the dealer or employee.32

The licensing authority in an unincorporated area of a county or within a city may impose stricter security requirements than those specified above.33

A dealer may not display a handgun or imitation handgun, or placard advertising the sale or other transfer of a handgun or imitation handgun, in any part of the premises where it can readily be seen from the outside.34

(6) Employee Background Checks

After January 1, 2018, Proposition 63 will require that any agent or employee who handles, sells, or delivers firearms in the course of a gun dealer’s business must obtain and provide to the dealer a certificate of eligibility (COE) from DOJ verifying that he or she has passed a background check and is eligible to handle and possess firearms.35 DOJ will be required to notify the dealer in the event that the agent or employee having a COE is or becomes prohibited from possessing firearms.36

A dealer must prohibit any agent or employee who the dealer knows or reasonably should know is within a class of persons prohibited from possessing firearms from coming into contact with any firearm that is not secured.37

The city or county where the dealership is located may also:

  • Conduct an additional background check on the dealer’s agents or employees;
  • Prohibit employment based on criminal history that does not appear as part of obtaining a COE, provided that the local jurisdiction may not charge a fee for the additional criminal history check; or
  • Enact an ordinance imposing additional conditions on dealers with regard to agents.38

If the city or county in which the dealer operates requires a background check of dealer’s agents or employees, an agent or employee must obtain a COE from DOJ demonstrating his or her eligibility to possess firearms.39

(7) The Reporting of Acquired Firearms

Dealers must report the acquisition of any firearm to DOJ on the date the firearm is received.40 However, this reporting requirement does not apply to firearms that the dealer receives from wholesalers, federally licensed importers, manufacturers, or out-of-state dealers.41

Notes
  1. Cal. Penal Code § 26500. ⤴︎
  2. Cal. Penal Code § 26505. The phrase “operation of law” includes, but is not limited to, any of the following: 1) the executor or administrator of an estate, if the estate includes firearms; 2) a secured creditor when the firearms are possessed as collateral for, or as a result of, a default under a security agreement; 3) a levying officer; 4) a receiver, if the receivership estate includes firearms; 5) a trustee in bankruptcy, if the bankruptcy estate includes firearms; 6) an assignee for the benefit of creditors, if the assignment includes firearms; 7) a transmutation of property between spouses; 8) firearms received by the family of a deceased police officer or deputy sheriff from a local agency; or 9) the transfer of a firearm by a law enforcement agency to the person who found the firearm as the finder of the firearm. Cal. Penal Code § 16960. ⤴︎
  3. Cal. Penal Code § 26520. “Infrequent” is defined, for handguns, as less than six transactions per calendar year and, for long guns, as “occasionally and without regularity.” Cal. Penal Code § 16730. ⤴︎
  4. Cal. Penal Code  § 26525. ⤴︎
  5. Cal. Penal Code §§ 26530, 26560. ⤴︎
  6. Cal. Penal Code  § 26545. ⤴︎
  7. Cal. Penal Code § 26587. For a complete list of exceptions to this requirement, see Cal. Penal Code §§ 26505-26590. ⤴︎
  8. Cal. Code Regs. tit. 11, § 4031(g). For regulations pertaining to the issuance of a COE, see Cal. Code Regs. tit. 11, §§ 4036-4041. ⤴︎
  9. Cal. Penal Code § 26705. ⤴︎
  10. Cal. Penal Code § 26700(f). See Cal. Code Regs. tit. 11, §§ 4016-4024 for regulations regarding DOJ’s centralized list of all persons licensed to sell firearms. For more information about the use of this list, see “Shipments into California” under the Trafficking in California section. ⤴︎
  11. Cal. Penal Code § 26805. ⤴︎
  12. A COE term must not exceed one year. Cal. Code Regs. tit. 11, § 4039. In addition, the term of a centralized list placement is from January 1 through December 31. Cal. Code Regs. tit. 11, § 4021(a). To remain in compliance with the law, dealers must renew these licenses each year. ⤴︎
  13. Cal. Penal Code § 26815. ⤴︎
  14. Cal. Penal Code § 26865. A copy of the booklet is also available on DOJ’s website, at: http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/firearms/pdf/cfl2013.pdf?. ⤴︎
  15. Cal. Penal Code § 23635. ⤴︎
  16. Cal. Penal Code §§ 26840, 27540, 31615. With specified exceptions, any loan of a handgun also requires that the recipient have a valid FSC or HSC. Cal. Penal Code § 27540. ⤴︎
  17. Cal. Penal Code § 26845. Valid proof of residency includes, but is not limited to, a utility bill from the past three months, a residential lease, a property deed, or military permanent duty station orders indicating assignment within this state. The dealer is required to retain a copy of the residency documentation as proof of compliance. Cal. Penal Code § 26845. ⤴︎
  18. Cal. Penal Code § 28225. ⤴︎
  19. Cal. Code Regs. tit. 11, § 4001. ⤴︎
  20. Cal. Penal Code § 28240(b). ⤴︎
  21. Cal. Penal Code § 23640. If the firearm is sold or transferred without accompanying packaging, the warning label must be affixed to the firearm itself. Id. The warning must be displayed “in conspicuous and legible type in contrast by typography, layout, or color with other printed matter on that package or descriptive materials…” Id. ⤴︎
  22. Cal. Penal Code § 28065. ⤴︎
  23. Cal. Penal Code §§ 16151(b). ⤴︎
  24. Cal. Penal Code § 26835(d). ⤴︎
  25. For the complete text of the required warnings, see Cal. Penal Code § 26835. The federal regulation that requires the transfer of a firearm to take place within 30 days of the background check exists at 27 C.F.R. § 478.102(c). ⤴︎
  26. Cal. Penal Code § 26835. ⤴︎
  27. Cal. Penal Code § 26885. ⤴︎
  28. Cal. Penal Code §§ 23885(b). ⤴︎
  29. Cal. Penal Code § 26885. ⤴︎
  30. A “secure facility,” as defined by Cal. Penal Code § 17110, means a building that meets all of the following specifications:
    (A) All perimeter doorways must be equipped with one of the following: (i) A windowless steel security door equipped with both a dead bolt and a doorknob lock. (ii) A windowed metal door that is equipped with both a dead bolt and a doorknob lock. If the window has an opening of five inches or more measured in any direction, the window must be covered with steel bars of at least one-half inch diameter or metal grating of at least nine gauge affixed to the exterior or interior of the door. (iii) A metal grate that is padlocked and affixed to the licensee’s premises independent of the door and doorframe.
    (B) All windows are covered with steel bars.
    (C) Heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and service openings are secured with steel bars, metal grating, or an alarm system.
    (D) Any metal grates have spaces no larger than six inches wide measured in any direction.
    (E) Any metal screens have spaces no larger than three inches wide measured in any direction.
    (F) All steel bars must be no further than six inches apart. Cal. Penal Code § 17110. ⤴︎
  31. Cal. Penal Code § 26890. ⤴︎
  32. Cal. Penal Code § 30350. ⤴︎
  33. Cal. Penal Code § 26890(b). ⤴︎
  34. Cal. Penal Code § 26820. ⤴︎
  35. Cal. Penal Code § 26915. ⤴︎
  36. Cal. Penal Code § 26915(b). Local jurisdictions in California may require the agents or employees of a firearms dealer to go through a background check, in which case each agent or employee must obtain a COE from DOJ demonstrating his or her eligibility to possess firearms. Cal. Penal Code § 26915(c). ⤴︎
  37. Cal. Penal Code § 26915(e). A firearm is properly secured from a restricted employee or agent if the firearm is: 1) Inoperable because it is secured by a firearms safety device listed on DOJ’s roster of approved devices under Cal. Penal Code § 23655; 2) Stored in a locked gun safe or long gun safe which meets the standards for DOJ-approved gun safes under Cal. Penal Code § 23650; 3) Stored in a distinct locked room or area in the building that is used to store firearms that can only be unlocked by a key, a combination, or similar means; or 4) Secured with a hardened steel rod or cable that is at least one-eighth of an inch in diameter through the trigger guard of the firearm. The steel rod or cable must be secured with a hardened steel lock that has a shackle. The lock and shackle must be protected or shielded from the use of a bolt cutter and the rod or cable must be anchored in a manner that prevents the removal of the firearm from the premises. Cal. Penal Code § 26915(g). The dealer must also prohibit the agent or employee from accessing any key, combination, code, or other means to open any of the locking devices listed in § 26915(g). Cal. Penal Code § 26915(e). ⤴︎
  38. Cal. Penal Code § 26915 (c), (d), (f). ⤴︎
  39. Cal. Penal Code § 26915(c). ⤴︎
  40. Cal. Penal Code § 26905(a). Prior to January 1, 2014, this requirement applied only to handguns. ⤴︎
  41. Cal. Penal Code § 26905(b). All other exceptions to this requirement are listed in this subsection. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Colorado

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

For laws:

Colorado also requires gun dealers to post a sign that states Colorado’s prohibition on knowingly purchasing or obtaining a firearm on behalf of, or for transfer to, another person the purchaser knows or reasonably should know is ineligible to possess a firearm.1 The dealer must post the sign in an easily readable manner, in an area that is visible to the public at each location from which the dealer sells firearms.2

Colorado does not require firearms dealers to obtain a state license or undergo regular inspections.

Notes
  1. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-111(2). ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Connecticut

In Connecticut, any person who sells ten or more handguns in a calendar year or is a federally licensed firearms dealer must have a state handgun sales permit to advertise, sell, deliver, or offer for sale or delivery, or possess with intent to sell or deliver, any handgun.1 The chief of police, warden of a borough, or first selectman of a town may issue a permit to sell only if the applicant holds a valid state eligibility certificate for a handgun or a valid permit to carry a handgun and submits documentation sufficient to establish that local zoning requirements have been met for the location of the sale.2

Business organizations that sell firearms at retail must have a burglar alarm installed on their premises where 10 or more firearms are stored or kept for sale.3 The alarms must be connected directly to the local police department or a monitoring organization and must activate upon unauthorized entry or the interruption of the security system.4

Any person, firm or corporation that engages in the retail sale of goods, where the principal part of such business is not firearms, may not employ a person to sell firearms in a retail store unless the person:

  • Is at least age 18;
  • Has submitted to state and national criminal history records checks which indicate he or she has not been convicted of a felony or a violation that would render her or him ineligible for a handgun certificate; and
  • Has successfully completed a course or test approved by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection in firearms safety and statutory procedures relating to the sale of firearms.5

A person may not sell a handgun anywhere except the room, store, or other place described in the permit for sale of handguns, and the person must display the permit for sale “exposed to view” in the location identified in the permit.6

Retail sellers of pistols and revolvers must keep a record of each pistol or revolver sold in a book kept for that purpose.7 The seller must make such record available for inspection upon the request of a local law enforcement agent, a member of the Division of Sate Police within the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, or any investigator assigned to the state-wide firearms trafficking task force.8

Retail sellers of handguns must, at the time of transfer of a handgun, provide a written warning to the purchaser, in block letters at least one inch in height, stating: “UNLAWFUL STORAGE OF A LOADED FIREARM MAY RESULT IN IMPRISONMENT OR FINE.”9

For laws:

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-28(a). ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-37d. ⤴︎
  4. Id. ⤴︎
  5. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-37f. Any employer who employs a person to sell firearms in violation of these provisions is liable for a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 per day for each violation. Id. ⤴︎
  6. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-31. ⤴︎
  7. Id. ⤴︎
  8. Id. ⤴︎
  9. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-37b(a). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Delaware

Any person seeking to engage in the business of selling deadly weapons “made especially for the defense of one’s person,” which specifically includes handguns, must acquire a “special license to sell deadly weapons.”1 The license is valid until the first day of June following the license’s issuance.2 An application fee of $50 must accompany an application for a license to conduct such business or an application for renewal of such license.3

Prior to transferring any firearm, a dealer must, conduct a background check of the potential purchaser or transferee.4 See the Delaware Background Checks section for further information.

Firearms Dealer Recordkeeping

Dealers are required to keep and maintain a record of all deadly weapons sales, including the date of the sale, the name and address of the purchaser, the number and kind of deadly weapons purchased, the age of the purchaser, and the picture identification used.5 The record must be kept at the place of business and be open for inspection by any judge, justice of the peace, police officer, constable or other peace officer of the state “at all times.”6

Employee Background Checks

Dealers must keep a list of all current employees, conduct annual criminal background checks on these employees,7 and maintain a record of the results of the employee background checks.8 The employee lists and background check records are considered confidential but must be open for inspection by state or local law enforcement. Dealers must not knowingly allow any employee who is prohibited from possessing a deadly weapon under state law to sell or transfer a deadly weapon.9

Private Sale Background Checks

Licensed dealers are required to facilitate the transfer of a firearm at the request of any unlicensed seller by conducting a background check on the prospective buyer.10 Both the unlicensed seller and prospective purchaser must appear together at the licensed dealer’s place of business to complete the background check and transaction. The sale cannot proceed if the prospective buyer is prohibited from possessing, purchasing or owning a firearm under state law.11 Licensed dealers must maintain records of the background checks that are conducted for transfers between private parties.12 Failure or refusal by the dealer to facilitate the transfer of a firearm pursuant to these procedures is adequate cause to suspend the dealer’s license for up to 30 days per occurrence.13 See the Private Sales in Delaware section for further information.

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Del. Code Ann. tit. 24, § 901. ⤴︎
  2. Del. Code Ann. tit. 24, § 902. ⤴︎
  3. Id. ⤴︎
  4. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1448A(a). ⤴︎
  5. Del. Code Ann. tit. 24, § 904(a). ⤴︎
  6. Id. ⤴︎
  7. As per the background check procedures outlined under Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1448A. ⤴︎
  8. Del. Code Ann. tit. 24, § 904(b). ⤴︎
  9. Id. ⤴︎
  10. See Del. Code Ann. tit. 24, § 904A(b). ⤴︎
  11. Del. Code Ann. tit. 24, § 904A(b)(1)-(3). ⤴︎
  12. Del. Code Ann. tit. 24, § 904A(b)(4). ⤴︎
  13. Del. Code Ann. tit. 24, § 904A(b)(6).  No license shall be restricted, suspended or revoked unless the holder is given notice and an opportunity to be heard under the Administrative Procedures Act.  Del. Code Ann. tit. 24, § 904A(7). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Florida

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Florida has no law requiring firearms dealers to obtain a state license or permit.

For information about the Florida and federal laws requiring dealers to conduct a background check on prospective firearm purchasers, see the Florida Background Checks section.

In addition, upon the retail sale or other transfer of any firearm, the transferor must deliver a written warning to the transferee stating, in block letters not less than 1/4 inch in height:

“IT IS UNLAWFUL, AND PUNISHABLE BY IMPRISONMENT AND FINE, FOR ANY ADULT TO STORE OR LEAVE A FIREARM IN ANY PLACE WITHIN THE REACH OR EASY ACCESS OF A MINOR UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE OR TO KNOWINGLY SELL OR OTHERWISE TRANSFER OWNERSHIP OR POSSESSION OF A FIREARM TO A MINOR OR A PERSON OF UNSOUND MIND.”1

Florida law also requires any retail or wholesale store, shop, or sales outlet which sells firearms to conspicuously post the following warning at each purchase counter, in block letters not less than one inch in height:

“IT IS UNLAWFUL TO STORE OR LEAVE A FIREARM IN ANY PLACE WITHIN THE REACH OR EASY ACCESS OF A MINOR UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE OR TO KNOWINGLY SELL OR OTHERWISE TRANSFER OWNERSHIP OR POSSESSION OF A FIREARM TO A MINOR OR A PERSON OF UNSOUND MIND.”2

Licensed dealers must observe the mandatory three-day waiting period requirements (see the Florida Waiting Periods section), and must make available any records of handgun sales for inspection by any law enforcement agency during normal business hours.3 Firearms dealers are also subject to state laws governing gun sales generally.

See the Florida Private Sales section for further information. See the Florida Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess section above for laws regulating sales to minors.

Notes
  1. Fla. Stat. § 790.175(1). ⤴︎
  2. Fla. Stat. § 790.175(2). ⤴︎
  3. Fla. Stat. § 790.0655(1). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Georgia

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

In Georgia, any person, firm, retail dealer, wholesale dealer, pawnbroker, or corporation who sells, disposes of, or offers for sale or causes or permits to be sold, disposed of, or offered for sale any pistol or revolver or short-barreled firearm of less than 15 inches in length, whether the firearm is the seller’s own property or whether the person selling the firearm is an agent or employee of the owner, must obtain a license from the Georgia Department of Public Safety permitting the sale of such firearms.1 The application must be accompanied by a sworn affidavit stating that the applicant is a United States citizen, is at least age 21, and has not been convicted of a felony.2 Licenses are valid for one year.3 There is an annual license fee of $25 for the owner of any sales establishment, and an annual employee license fee of $3.4 The application must include a copy of a current federal firearms dealer license.5 In 2010, Georgia repealed a requirement that the application must also be accompanied by a bond for the sum of $1,000 conditioned upon the faithful performance of the requirements of Georgia law.

The above-mentioned requirements, as well as the other dealer licensing regulations contained in Georgia law, do not apply to or prohibit the casual sale of firearms between individuals or bona fide gun collectors.6

Licensees must keep the license itself conspicuously displayed on their business premises.7

For information about the Georgia laws:

• Requiring federally licensed dealers to conduct background checks on firearm purchasers, see the Georgia Background Checks section.

• Requiring dealers to maintain records of sales, see the Georgia Retention of Sales / Background Check Records section.

• Applicable to both licensed and private firearm sellers, see the Georgia Private Sales section.

See our Dealer Regulations for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ga. Code Ann. § 43-16-2. ⤴︎
  2. Ga. Code Ann. § 43-16-3; Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. 570-4-.06. ⤴︎
  3. Ga. Code Ann § 43-16-5. ⤴︎
  4. Id. ⤴︎
  5. Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. 570-4-.06. ⤴︎
  6. Ga. Code Ann. § 43-16-2. ⤴︎
  7. Ga. Code Ann. § 43-16-7; Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. 570-4-.02. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Hawaii

Persons engaged in the business of selling or manufacturing firearms, either at wholesale or retail, must be licensed by the state annually.1 A dealer license expires on the next June 30 following the date of issuance.2

All firearms in the possession and control of a firearms dealer, or registered by the dealer pursuant to state law,3 are subject to physical inspection by the chief of police of each county during normal business hours.4 During a national emergency, a dealer license may be revoked or suspended and all firearms in the licensee’s possession may be seized and held in possession by the state.5 A dealer license may be revoked for a dealer’s:

  • Failure to comply with all laws relating to the sale of firearms;
  • Failure to comply with the seizure of the dealer’s firearms by the Governor during a time of national emergency;
  • Failure to comply with physical inspection of the dealer’s firearms by the Chief of Police during normal business hours.6

Pursuant to the Brady Act, federally licensed firearms dealers must conduct background checks on prospective purchasers each time the dealer transfers a firearm. See the Hawaii Background Checks section.

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-31. ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann § 134-3(c). ⤴︎
  4. Haw. Stat. Ann. § 134-32(4). ⤴︎
  5. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-32(2), (3). ⤴︎
  6. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-32. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Idaho

Idaho does not license firearms dealers. However, firearms dealers are subject to state laws governing gun sales generally. See the Idaho Private Sales section for further information.

Pursuant to the Brady Act, federally licensed firearms dealers must conduct background checks on prospective purchasers each time the dealer transfers a firearm. See the Idaho Background Checks section.

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Dealer Regulations in Illinois

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Illinois has no law requiring firearms dealers to obtain a state license or permit. However, Illinois law penalizes anyone who sells or gives a firearm while engaged in the business of selling firearms at wholesale or retail without being licensed as a federal firearms dealer.1  A person “engaged in the business” means a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to engaging in the activity as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit, but does not include a person who makes occasional repairs of firearms or who occasionally fits special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms.2  “With the principal objective of livelihood and profit” means that the intent underlying the sale or disposition of firearms is predominantly one of obtaining livelihood and pecuniary gain, as opposed to other intents, such as improving or liquidating a personal firearms collection; however, proof of profit is not required as to a person who engages in the regular and repetitive purchase and disposition of firearms for criminal purposes or terrorism. 3

Firearms dealers are also subject to state laws governing gun sales generally.

For laws requiring dealers to:

For a list of laws applicable to both licensed and private firearm sellers, please see the Private Sales in Illinois  section.

Notes
  1. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-3(j). ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Id. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Indiana

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Indiana requires that any person who sells, trades, transfers, exposes for sale, trade or transfer, or possesses with intent to sell, trade or transfer any handgun must possess, and display at all times, a retail handgun dealer’s license.1

To qualify for a license, an applicant must apply to the sheriff of the county in which he or she resides who must verify the application and conduct an investigation into the applicant’s “character and reputation.”2 The sheriff must forward the application, investigation results and his or her recommendation as to approval or disapproval to the state police. The state police must issue a license if it deems the applicant to be of “good character and reputation” and “a proper person to be licensed.”3 However, no retail dealer’s license may be issued to any person who has been:

  • Convicted of a felony in any state or country; or
  • Adjudicated a delinquent child for an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult in any state or country, if the person applying for the retail dealer’s license is less than 23 years of age.4

A dealer license that was applied for after June 30, 2011, is valid for six years from the date of issue.5

A retail dealer’s business may be carried on only at the site designated in the license, and a separate license is required for each separate retail outlet.6 The license itself must be displayed on the business premises in a prominent place where it can be seen easily by prospective customers.7 In addition, no handgun may be sold in violation of any provision of Chapter 35-47-2 or under any circumstances unless the purchaser is personally known to the seller or presents clear evidence of his or her identity.8

A dealer may not sell, rent, trade, or transfer from the dealer’s inventory a handgun to a person not licensed to carry a handgun under state law until the dealer has:

  • Obtained the completed and signed ATF Form 4473;9
  • Contacted the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) by telephone or electronic means to request a background check; and
  • Received authorization from NICS to transfer the handgun to the prospective purchaser.10

In addition, the dealer must record the NICS transaction number on Form 4473 and retain that form for auditing purposes.11

For laws applicable to both licensed and private firearm sellers, please see the Indiana Private Sales section.

Indiana has no law requiring firearms dealers to initiate a background check prior to transferring a long gun. Nevertheless, prior to transferring a long gun in Indiana, a dealer must initiate the background check required by federal law.12

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-14, 35-47-2-15(a), (b). ⤴︎
  2. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-15(a) . ⤴︎
  3. Id. ⤴︎
  4. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-15(f). ⤴︎
  5. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-15(d). ⤴︎
  6. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-16(a). ⤴︎
  7. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-16(b). ⤴︎
  8. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-16(c). ⤴︎
  9. As specified in Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2.5-3. ⤴︎
  10. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2.5-4(a). ⤴︎
  11. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2.5-4(b). ⤴︎
  12. Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Instant Criminal Background Check System Participation Map, at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/general-information/participation-map (last visited Oct 24, 2011). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Iowa

Iowa does not require firearms dealers to obtain a state license. However, firearms dealers are subject to state laws governing gun sales generally. See the Iowa Private Sales section for further information. Pursuant to the Brady Act, federally licensed firearms dealers must conduct background checks on prospective purchasers each time the dealer transfers a firearm. See the Iowa Background Checks section.

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Dealer Regulations in Kansas

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Kansas does not require firearms dealers to obtain a state license, or significantly regulate firearms dealers in any way. See the Kansas Private Sales section for laws that apply to gun sales generally. See the Kansas Background Checks section for laws that require federally licensed dealers to conduct background checks on firearm purchasers.

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Dealer Regulations in Kentucky

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Kentucky has no law requiring firearms dealers to obtain a state license or permit. Kentucky also has no law requiring dealers to conduct a background check on prospective firearm purchasers, although the federal background check requirement applies. The only substantive state law restriction Kentucky places on firearm dealers is its prohibition on knowingly transferring a firearm to a convicted felon.1

For information about Kentucky law:

Notes
  1. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 237.070. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Louisiana

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Louisiana has no law requiring firearms dealers to obtain a state license,1 or generally regulating firearm dealers in any way.

Louisiana also has no law requiring dealers to conduct a background check on prospective firearm purchasers, although the federal background check requirement applies.  For laws applicable to both licensed and private firearm sellers, please see the Louisiana Private Sales section.

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. However, dealers in short barreled shotguns and rifles, shotguns or rifles modified to have an overall length of less than 26 inches, concealable firearms with obliterated serial numbers, machine guns, or mufflers and silencers for firearms must register with the Department of Public Safety and Corrections (“Department”). La. Rev. Stat. §§ 40:1781, 40:1787. The dealer must provide his or her name and all places of business within the state. Each dealer of these firearms must identify the firearm with an identification mark approved by the Department, and keep records of the transactions in these specified firearms as required by the Department. La. Rev. Stat. §§ 40:1788, 40:1789. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Maine

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Maine has no law requiring firearms dealers to obtain a state license. Firearms dealers are only subject to laws governing private sales generally.

Maine also has no law requiring dealers to conduct a background check on prospective firearm purchasers, although the federal background check requirement applies. However, Maine law requires federally licensed firearms dealers to:

  • Include a “basic firearm safety brochure” with every firearm sold at retail in Maine (unless the brochure is already provided by the firearm manufacturer);
  • Offer to demonstrate to the purchaser the use of a trigger locking device; and
  • Post in a conspicuous place information relating to the availability of local voluntary firearm safety programs.1

Maine law also requires retail firearms dealers to “conspicuously post” at each purchase counter the following warning, which recommends safe storage practices for firearms and ammunition, in block letters not less than one inch in height:

“ENDANGERING THE WELFARE OF A CHILD IS A CRIME. IF YOU LEAVE A FIREARM AND AMMUNITION WITHIN EASY ACCESS OF A CHILD, YOU MAY BE SUBJECT TO FINE, IMPRISONMENT OR BOTH.
KEEP FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION SEPARATE.
KEEP FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION LOCKED UP.
USE TRIGGER LOCKS.”2

Notes
  1. Me Rev. Stat. tit. 25, § 2012. ⤴︎
  2. Me. Stat., 15 § 455-A(1). The warning also must be posted at all entrances of “an organized gun show.” Section 455-A(1-A). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Maryland

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Any person in Maryland engaged in the business of selling, renting, or transferring state-defined “regulated firearms” (handguns and assault weapons)1 must have a Maryland firearms dealer’s license.2 A separate license is required for each place of business where regulated firearms are sold.3 Prospective dealers may only obtain such a license if they are not prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal or state law, as outlined in the Prohibited Purchasers Generally in Maryland section.4

As of October 1, 2013, the Secretary of State Police (Secretary) must disapprove an application for a dealer’s license if the Secretary:

  • Determines that the applicant supplied false information or made a false statement; or
  • Receives a letter from the applicant’s licensed attending physician that the applicant suffers from a mental disorder and is a danger to the applicant or to another.5

The Secretary also must disapprove such an application if the Secretary determines that the applicant intends to provide a dealer’s license to another person ineligible to receive one, or whose dealer’s license has been revoked or suspended, if such dealer or ineligible person:

  • Will participate in the management or operation of the business for which the license is sought; or
  • Holds a legal or equitable interest in the business for which the license is sought.6

If the Secretary disapproves of an application for a dealer’s licensee, the Secretary must notify the applicant in writing of the disapproval of the application and the reason the application was denied.7

The Secretary may suspend a dealer’s license if the licensee is not in compliance with the record keeping and reporting requirements of Maryland law, which are described in detail below. The Secretary may lift a suspension after the licensee provides evidence that the record keeping violation has been corrected.8

A regulated firearms dealer’s license is valid for one year, and may be renewed for a term of one year or will expire on the first June 30 following its effective date.9

A dealers is required to “display conspicuously” his or her license and any other licenses required by law at the dealer’s place of business.10

A licensed dealer must keep records of all receipts, sales, and other dispositions of firearms affected in connection with the licensed dealer’s business.11

The records must include:

  • The name and address of each person from whom the dealer acquires a firearm and to whom the dealer sells or otherwise disposes of a firearm;
  • A precise description, including make, model, caliber, and serial number of each firearm acquired, sold, or otherwise disposed of;
  • The date of each acquisition, sale, or other disposition; and
  • Any other information required by regulations adopted by the Secretary.12

The Secretary must adopt regulations specifying the time period and form in which records are to be kept.13

When a firearms business is discontinued and succeeded by a new dealer, the records required to be kept under the above provisions must reflect the business discontinuance and succession and must be delivered to the successor dealer.14

A dealer must respond within 48 hours after receipt of a request from the Secretary for information contained in the required records when the information is requested in connection with a bona fide criminal investigation.15

The Secretary must inspect the inventory and records of a licensed dealer at least once every two years, and may inspect the inventory and records at any time during the normal business hours of the licensed dealer’s business.16

For laws applicable to both licensed and private firearm sellers, please see the Private Sales in Maryland section.

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-101(r). ⤴︎
  2. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-106(a). ⤴︎
  3. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-106(b). ⤴︎
  4. Note that the state prohibitions for firearms dealers are defined somewhat differently than those for firearms transferees, and there appear to be no dealer prohibitions specifically addressing persons who have previously been adjudicated delinquent. See Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-107(b)(4). ⤴︎
  5. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-110(a)(1)-(3). ⤴︎
  6. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-110(a)(4). ⤴︎
  7. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-110(b). ⤴︎
  8. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-114(a)(2). ⤴︎
  9. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-111(a). ⤴︎
  10. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-113(a). For information on the suspension or revocation of a regulated firearms dealer’s license, see Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety §§ 5-114, 5-115 and 5-116. For further information about dealer licenses, see Md. Code Regs. 29.03.01.13 – 29.03.01.16. ⤴︎
  11. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-145(a)(1). ⤴︎
  12. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-145(a)(2), (3). ⤴︎
  13. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-145(a)(2). ⤴︎
  14. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-145(c). ⤴︎
  15. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-145(d)(1). ⤴︎
  16. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-145(f). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Massachusetts

See our Dealer Regulations policy for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Massachusetts law requires any person who sells, rents, or leases a firearm to possess a Massachusetts firearms dealer license.1 This requirement does not apply to an unlicensed Massachusetts resident who transfers “not more than four” firearms in any one calendar year, so long as both the buyer and the seller have the proper cards, permits or licenses to possess or purchase firearms, and the seller reports the sale to the state.2

A city or town police department (“licensing authority”) may, after an investigation into the criminal history of the applicant, grant a firearms dealer license to any person except:

  • An alien;
  • A minor (under 18 years of age) (note, however, that the licensing authority requests an applicant’s Federal Firearms License (FFL) during the background investigation of an applicant for a state license, and federal law requires that an applicant for a FFL be at least 21 years of age);
  • A person who has been adjudicated a “youthful offender,” including those who have not received an adult sentence; or
  • A person who has been convicted of a felony, or of the unlawful use, possession or sale of narcotic or harmful drugs.3

Every license must specify the street and number of the building where the business will be located.4 A firearms dealer’s business must not be located in a residence or dwelling and must be in the location identified on the license.5 The licensing authority is required to submit one copy of an applicant’s fingerprints to the department of state police, who must, within a reasonable period of time, advise the licensing authority in writing of any criminal record of the applicant.6 The licensing authority must also send a copy of the application to the commissioner of the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services.7

A law enacted in 2014 requires firearms dealers to conduct background checks of employees prior to hiring them. Dealers must search the state’s Department of Criminal Justice Information Services database for criminal offender information to determine the employee’s suitability to have direct and unmonitored contact with firearms. The law also requires dealers to conduct background checks of existing employees by July 1, 2015.8

Under federal law, federally licensed firearms dealers must conduct background checks on prospective purchasers each time the dealer transfers a firearm. Massachusetts also requires that dealers verify the validity of a potential transferee’s license prior to transferring a firearm. For further information, see the Massachusetts Background Checks section.

The licensing authority is required to conduct, and a dealer must submit to, one mandatory records and inventory inspection per year and a dealer’s records must be open to inspection by law enforcement “at all times.”9

A firearms dealer must not display any firearm in any outer window or in any place where it can be readily seen from the outside.10

For recordkeeping requirements, see the Retention of Sales / Background Checks Records section.

Any dealer who loses a firearm or has a firearm stolen must report the loss or theft “forthwith” to the licensing authority and the executive director of the criminal history systems board.11 The report must include a complete description of the weapon, including the make, model, serial number, caliber and whether such weapon is a “large capacity weapon.” (“Large capacity” includes assault weapons and most firearms capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition or more than five shotgun shells (either directly, or via a large capacity feeding device)).12

Massachusetts law prohibits any person from selling or furnishing a rifle, shotgun, machine gun or ammunition to any person under age 18 or selling or furnishing a handgun or large capacity rifle or shotgun or ammunition for those firearms to anyone under age 21.13

Any person selling firearm ammunition in Massachusetts must possess a license to do so.14 This license—distinct from a firearms dealer license—is subject to the same basic conditions as the dealer license.15 Once issued, both license types expire three years from the date of issuance.16

For further information on firearm-related sales restrictions for safety purposes, please see the Design Safety Standards section.

For additional Massachusetts laws related to these topics, please see the Licensing of Gun Purchasers/Owners and Registration of Firearms sections.

Notes
  1. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, §§ 122, 128. ⤴︎
  2. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 128A. It also excludes an unlicensed person who transfers a firearm to a state or federally licensed dealer or to a historical society, museum or institutional collection that is open to the public. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 122. ⤴︎
  4. Id. ⤴︎
  5. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, §§ 122, 123 (First, Fifteenth). ⤴︎
  6. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 122. ⤴︎
  7. Id. ⤴︎
  8. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 6, §§ 172, 172L; Act of Aug. 13, 2014, Mass. Pub. L. No. 284-2014, Section 99. ⤴︎
  9. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 123 (Second). ⤴︎
  10. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 123 (Fourth). ⤴︎
  11. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 123 (Seventeenth). ⤴︎
  12. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, §§ 121, 129B(6). ⤴︎
  13. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 130. ⤴︎
  14. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 122B. ⤴︎
  15. Id. ⤴︎
  16. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 124. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Michigan

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Michigan does not require firearms dealers to obtain a license.

When selling a firearm in Michigan, a federally licensed firearms dealer must:

  • Provide a free “brochure or pamphlet that includes safety information on the use and storage of the firearm in a home environment;”
  • Ensuring that the purchaser has either a locking device or a gun case (see the section entitled Locking Devices in Michigan for details); and
  • Sign a statement and require the buyer to sign a statement that the sale is in compliance with the aforementioned requirements under Michigan law.1

A federally licensed dealer must also post a notice, conspicuously at the entrances, exits and points of sale on the premises of his or her business, stating “[y]ou may be criminally and civilly liable for any harm caused by a person less than 18 years of age who lawfully gains unsupervised access to your firearm if unlawfully stored.”2

For laws:

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.435(1) – (4). The dealer must retain a copy of the signed statements for a minimum of six years. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.435(5). ⤴︎
  2. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.435(6). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Minnesota

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Minnesota requires small firearms dealers (dealers displaying 50 handguns or less for sale at a time) to secure all handguns in a locked safe, locked steel gun cabinet or on a locked, steel cable that runs through the handgun’s trigger guards, after business hours.1 The safe, gun cabinet, rod or cable must be anchored to prevent its removal from the premises.2

In addition, the Commissioner of Public Safety (“Commissioner”) is required to adopt standards for minimum security requirements for all firearms dealers.3 The standards may provide for:

• Alarm systems for all firearms dealers;

• Necessary and effective security measures required for large firearms dealers (dealers displaying more than 50 handguns for sale at any time);

• A system of inspections, during normal business hours, by local law enforcement for compliance with the standards; and

• Other reasonable requirements necessary and effective to reduce the risk of burglaries at firearms dealers’ business establishments.4

The Commissioner has issued firearms dealer security standards that describe the required alarm system and other mandatory security features, prescribe the manner in which handguns may be stored, and require the availability of the business for inspection by local law enforcement.5 A firearms dealer may request an exemption from these requirements.6

Minnesota requires federally licensed firearms dealers to post signs conspicuously on their premises with the following warning: “IT IS UNLAWFUL TO STORE OR LEAVE A LOADED FIREARM WHERE A CHILD CAN OBTAIN ACCESS.”7

Licensed dealers in Minnesota must comply with Minnesota’s waiting period and background check laws. See Waiting Periods in Minnesota, and Background Check Procedures in Minnesota.

Minnesota prohibits federally licensed dealers from selling a “Saturday Night Special Pistol.”8 See  Design Safety Standards for Handguns in Minnesota.

Notes
  1. Minn. Stat. § 624.7161, subd. 1(c), subd. 2. ⤴︎
  2. Minn. Stat. § 624.7161, subd. 2. ⤴︎
  3. Minn. Stat. § 624.7161, subd. 1(d), subd. 3. ⤴︎
  4. Minn. Stat. § 624.7161, subd. 3. ⤴︎
  5. Minn. R. 7504.0200—7504.0500. ⤴︎
  6. Minn. R. 7504.0600. ⤴︎
  7. Minn. Stat. § 624.7162. ⤴︎
  8. Minn. Stat. § 624.716. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Mississippi

Mississippi does not license firearms dealers. Any person dealing in deadly weapons (including handguns, but not long guns) must pay a one-time “privilege tax” of $100, however.1 In addition, firearms dealers are subject to state laws governing gun sales generally. See the Mississippi Private Sales section for further information.

Pursuant to the Brady Act, federally licensed firearms dealers must conduct background checks on prospective purchasers each time the dealer transfers a firearm. See the Mississippi Background Checks section.

In 2012, Mississippi repealed a law that required sellers of handguns to keep records of all handgun sales.2 For additional information, see the Mississippi Retention of Sales / Background Check Records section.

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Miss. Code Ann. §§ 27-17-9, 27-17-415. ⤴︎
  2. 2012 MS HB 455, repealing Miss. Code Ann. § 97-37-11. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Missouri

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Missouri does not require firearms dealers to obtain a state license.

Missouri makes it a violation of state law for a licensed dealer to violate certain federal requirements. More specifically, a federally licensed dealer commits a state crime if it violates the federal law:

  • Governing the age of firearm purchasers;
  • Prohibiting sales to purchasers prohibited by state law from possessing a firearm; and
  • Limiting the state of residence of certain purchasers.1

However, Missouri law prohibits a federal firearms dealer who engages in the sale of firearms from failing or refusing to complete the sale of a firearm to a customer when the sale is authorized by federal law.2 This provision does not apply to any individual federal firearms license holder or his or her agents or employees to the extent they chose in their individual judgment to not complete the sale or transfer of a firearm for articulable reasons specific to that transaction, so long as those reasons are not based on the race, gender, religion, or creed of the buyer.3

For laws:

 

Notes
  1. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 571.080 (referring to 18 U.S.C. § 922(b). ⤴︎
  2. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 571.014.3. Note that this provision appears to nullify all of the state prohibited purchaser categories. See the Missouri Prohibited Purchasers Generally section for these provisions. ⤴︎
  3. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 571.014.4. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Montana

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Montana does not require firearms dealers to obtain a state license or otherwise significantly regulate firearms dealers. For laws:

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Dealer Regulations in Nebraska

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Nebraska has no law requiring firearms dealers to obtain a state license. However, firearms dealers are subject to state laws governing gun sales generally.

Firearms dealers are required to distribute to gun purchasers information developed by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services regarding “the dangers of leaving loaded firearms unattended around children.”1

Nebraska law prohibits a firearm dealer from transferring a handgun until the dealer has either conducted a background check on the purchaser or verified that the purchaser has a handgun certificate or a concealed handgun permit. For more information, see the section entitled Background Checks in Nebraska.

Notes
  1. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 69-2426(1). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Nevada

Nevada does not license firearms dealers. However, firearms dealers are subject to state laws governing gun sales generally. See the Nevada Private Sales section for further information. Pursuant to the Brady Act, federally licensed firearms dealers must conduct background checks on prospective purchasers each time the dealer transfers a firearm. For additional information, see the Nevada Background Checks section.

Federally licensed firearms dealers or collectors who purchase secondhand firearms or related items at certain shows or exhibits must comply with state recordkeeping,1 reports of transactions,2 and retention of marked or individually identified property3 requirements that apply to all dealers in junk or secondhand materials.4

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 647.110. ⤴︎
  2. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 647.120. ⤴︎
  3. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 647.130. ⤴︎
  4. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 647.018(2), 647.105. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in New Hampshire

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

New Hampshire prohibits any person from selling, advertising or exposing for sale, or having in one’s possession with intent to sell, a handgun without a local license to sell handguns.1 However, a person who is not licensed to sell handguns and not engaged in the business of selling handguns may sell a handgun to a person who is personally known to her or him or who is licensed to sell handguns.2 A license to sell a handgun may be obtained from the selectmen of a town or the chief of police of a city, and remains in effect for up to three years.3 Licensees must:

  • Conduct business in the building designated in the license or at certain sporting shows or collectors’ meetings;
  • Display the license on the premises, where it can be easily read; and
  • Deliver firearms only to purchasers who provide evidence of their identity or to purchasers personally known to the licensee.4

Failure to comply with these conditions may result in revocation of the license to sell handguns.5

Licensees must conspicuously post at each purchase counter the following warning in bold type not less than one inch in height: “IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THE OWNER OF A FIREARM SEEK FIREARM SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS FROM A CERTIFIED FIREARMS INSTRUCTOR AND KEEP FIREARMS SECURED FROM UNAUTHORIZED USE.”6

New Hampshire does not require sellers of rifles or shotguns to obtain a license.

For information about the laws:

Notes
  1. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 159:10. ⤴︎
  2. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 159:14. ⤴︎
  3. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 159:8. ⤴︎
  4. Id. ⤴︎
  5. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 159:8, 159:8-b. ⤴︎
  6. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 650-C:1(VII). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in New Jersey

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

In order to engage in the retail sale of firearms in New Jersey, all firearms dealers and their employees must possess a valid retail license.1

Applicants for a retail license must submit applications to the Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police (NJSP), through the NJSP’s Firearms Investigation Unit, which conducts an investigation to determine whether the applicant or employee meets state requirements to obtain a license.2 Once the investigation is completed, the application is forwarded to a superior court judge in the county where the applicant maintains his or her place of business for a final decision on the application.3 The judge shall grant a license if he or she finds that the applicant or employee meets the standards and qualifications established by the Superintendent,4 and that the applicant can engage in the business of the retail sale of firearms or be an employee of a retail dealer without any danger to the public safety, health and welfare.5

No license shall be granted to any retail dealer under age 21, to any employee of a retail dealer under age 18, or to any person who could not qualify to obtain a permit to purchase a handgun or a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (FPIC) (including any corporation, partnership or other business organization in which the controlling interest is held by an ineligible person).6

Once issued, each retail dealer license shall be valid for three years.7

New Jersey also subjects all licensees to the following conditions:8

  • The business shall be carried on only in the building or buildings designated in the license;
  • The license or a certified copy shall be displayed at all times in a “conspicuous place” on the business premises where it can be easily read;
  • No firearm, imitation firearm or ammunition shall be placed in a window or any place else where it can be readily seen from the outside;
  • No rifle or shotgun shall be delivered to any person unless the person presents a valid FPIC, along with a signed certification including the purchaser’s name, permanent address, and FPIC number (the certification shall be retained by the dealer and made available for inspection at any reasonable time); and
  • No handgun shall be delivered to any person unless:

o The transferee presents a valid permit to purchase a handgun, and at least seven days have elapsed since the date of application for the permit;

o The person is personally known to the seller or presents evidence of identity;

o The handgun is unloaded and securely wrapped;

o Except in the case of personalized handguns, the handgun is accompanied by a trigger lock or a locked case, gun box, container or other secure facility; and

o Six months following the date on which the list of personalized handguns is established,9 the handgun is identified as a personalized handgun and included on that list.

In addition, retail dealers must also meet local zoning requirements as a condition to issuance of a dealer license.10

Retail dealers have an obligation to keep a register of every handgun transferred, and must note whether a locking device was delivered with the handgun.11 The register shall include the date and time of transfer; the name, age, date of birth, complexion, occupation, residence and physical description of the purchaser; the name and permanent home address of the person making the transfer; the place of the transaction; and the make, model, manufacturer’s number and caliber of the handgun.12 Copies of the register must be delivered to local law enforcement (or the county clerk) and the NJSP within five days.13

Retail dealers are required to install a system “for the prevention and detection of the theft of firearms or ammunition from” his or her business premises.14 The dealer must submit his or her planned security system to the NJSP for approval.15 In addition, dealers must implement internal security and safe storage measures for all firearms and ammunition within the business premises.16

New Jersey also requires gun dealers to post certain warnings regarding safe firearm storage and the state’s “KeepSafe” trigger lock rebate program.  See the New Jersey Child Access Prevention and New Jersey Locking Devices sections for more information.

For additional laws applicable to both licensed and private firearm sellers (including pawnbrokers), see the section entitled Private Sales in New Jersey.

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-2a, N.J. Admin. Code § 13:54-3.2. ⤴︎
  2. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-2a, N.J. Admin. Code §§ 13:54-3.3, 13:54-3.4, and 13:54-3.7. ⤴︎
  3. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-2a. ⤴︎
  4. See N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-2 and N.J. Admin. Code §§ 13:54-3.3, 13:54-3.4, and 13:54-3.7 for these standards and qualifications. ⤴︎
  5. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-2a. ⤴︎
  6. Id. ⤴︎
  7. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-2a. ⤴︎
  8. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-2a(1)-(5); N.J. Admin. Code § 13:54-3.9. ⤴︎
  9. See the Personalized & Owner-Authorized Firearms in New Jersey section for further information. ⤴︎
  10. N.J. Admin. Code § 13:54-3.4(f). ⤴︎
  11. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-2a(6). ⤴︎
  12. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-2b. ⤴︎
  13. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-2e. ⤴︎
  14. N.J. Admin. Code § 13:54-3.11. ⤴︎
  15. N.J. Admin. Code §§ 13:54-6.2 – 13:54-6.4. ⤴︎
  16. See N.J. Admin. Code § 13:54-6.5 for details. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in New Mexico

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

New Mexico does not require firearms dealers to obtain a state license or otherwise significantly regulate dealers. For laws:

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Dealer Regulations in New York

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

New York law requires those who engage “in the business of purchasing, selling, keeping for sale, loaning, leasing, or in any manner disposing of, any assault weapon, large capacity ammunition feeding device, pistol or revolver” to obtain a state license in order to conduct business.1 Applications must be submitted in the city or county where the business is located.2 Applicants go through the same background check process as those seeking to carry or possess handguns (see Licensing of Gun Owners in New York). New York does not require sellers of long guns only (rifles and shotguns) to obtain a state license.

A firearms dealer license must describe the premises for which it is issued, be valid in that location and be displayed prominently on the premises.3 A licensed dealer may conduct business temporarily at a gun show or event sponsored by any organization devoted to the collection, competitive use or other sporting use of firearms, however.4 A firearms dealer license is valid for up to three years from the date of issuance.5

For information about the New York law:

• Requiring a locking device to accompany the sale of a firearm, see Locking Devices in New York.

• Limiting sales of ammunition, see Ammunition Regulation in New York.

• Requiring federally licensed dealers to conduct background checks on firearm purchasers, see Background Checks in New York.

• Requiring dealers to maintain records of sales, see Retention of Sales / Background Check Records in New York.

• Involving dealers’ obligations regarding New York’s “Combined Ballistic Identification System,” see Microstamping/Ballistic Identification in New York.

• Applicable to both licensed and private firearm sellers, see Private Sales in New York.

Notes
  1. N.Y. Penal Law §§ 265.00(9), 400.00(2 ⤴︎
  2. N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(3). ⤴︎
  3. N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(7), (8). ⤴︎
  4. N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(8). ⤴︎
  5. N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(10). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in North Carolina

North Carolina does not license firearms dealers. However, firearms dealers are subject to state laws governing gun sales generally. See the North Carolina Private Sales section for further information. Pursuant to federal law, federally licensed firearms dealers must conduct background checks on prospective purchasers each time the dealer transfers a firearm. See the North Carolina Background Checks section.

Under state law, a retail seller or transferor must deliver a written copy of state law relating to storage of firearms to protect minors to the purchaser or transferee with every firearm transfer.1 A retail or wholesale store or outlet that sells firearms must conspicuously post at each purchase counter the following warning:

“IT IS UNLAWFUL TO STORE OR LEAVE A FIREARM THAT CAN BE DISCHARGED IN A MANNER THAT A REASONABLE PERSON SHOULD KNOW IS ACCESSIBLE TO A MINOR.”2

See the section entitled Retention of Sales / Background Check Records for laws requiring dealers to retain records of sales.

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-315.2, 14-315.1. ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in North Dakota

North Dakota does not license firearms dealers. However, firearms dealers are subject to state laws governing gun sales generally. See the North Dakota Private Sales section for further information.

Pursuant to the Brady Act, federally licensed firearms dealers must conduct background checks on prospective purchasers each time the dealer transfers a firearm. See the North Dakota Background Checks section.

Within seven days of receiving a federal license to sell handguns, a retail firearms dealer who sells handguns must send a copy of the license to the chief of police of the city and the sheriff of the county in which the dealer is licensed.1

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-03-03. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Ohio

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Ohio has no law requiring firearms dealers to obtain a state license or permit.

The Ohio Department of Public Safety is required to prepare a poster and a brochure that describe safe firearms practices, and must furnish copies of the poster and brochure free of charge to each federally licensed firearms dealer.1

For information about the Ohio law requiring a locking device to accompany the sale of a firearm, see Locking Devices in Ohio.

Ohio has no law requiring dealers to conduct a background check on prospective firearm purchasers, although the federal background check requirement applies.

See also Private Sales in Ohio for Ohio laws that apply to gun sales generally.

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ohio Rev. Code § 5502.63. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Oklahoma

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Oklahoma does not require firearms dealers to obtain a state license.

For laws:

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Dealer Regulations in Oregon

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Oregon has no law requiring firearms dealers to obtain a state license or permit. However, firearms dealers are subject to state laws governing gun sales generally.

The Superintendent of State Police may adopt rules necessary for the provision of a security system to identify dealers who request a criminal history record check, and for the creation and maintenance of a database of the business hours of gun dealers.1

For laws requiring dealers to:

When a firearm is delivered by a dealer, it must be unloaded.2

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.412(10). ⤴︎
  2. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.412(9). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Pennsylvania

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Pennsylvania law requires all retail firearms dealers to be licensed by the state.1 A license will be revoked if the licensee:

  • Fails to conduct business only where designated in the license or at a lawful gun show or meet;
  • Fails to display the license on the premises;
  • Sells any firearm in violation of Pennsylvania law;
  • Sells a firearm to a purchaser without evidence of the purchaser’s identity unless the purchaser is personally known to the licensee;
  • Fails to keep a record in triplicate of every firearm sold and retain the records for 20 years;
  • Displays any firearm where it can be readily seen from outside the premises;
  • Fails to store firearms securely when closed for business in the event of a clear and present danger to public safety as declared by the Pennsylvania State Police (“PSP”); or
  • Fails to possess all applicable current revenue licenses.2

By signing the application for a license to sell firearms, the applicant is acknowledging that if a license is granted, the applicant gives permission to PSP, or their designee, and the issuing authority, to visit the licensee’s business location and inspect the premises, records, and documents without a warrant.3

When an unlicensed person sells or transfer a handgun or short-barreled rifle or shotgun to another unlicensed person, he or she must do so upon the place of business of a licensed dealer, and the dealer must follow the procedures for the transfer as if he or she were the seller of the firearm.4

All licensed dealers must provide each purchaser a free firearms safety brochure containing a summary of state firearms regulations.5 The brochures are provided by PSP at no cost to the dealer.6

Pennsylvania law only regulates the storage of firearms and ammunition by dealers when closed for business in an area where the Commissioner of PSP has found a clear and present danger to public safety to exist.7

Retail firearms dealer licenses are issued by the chief or head of any police force or police department of a city, and, elsewhere, the sheriff of the county, and are valid for three years.8

For information about the Pennsylvania law:

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6112. ⤴︎
  2. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6113. For information about applications for a Pennsylvania license to sell firearms, see 37 Pa. Code § 33.116. ⤴︎
  3. 37 Pa. Code § 33.116(c). ⤴︎
  4. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6111(c). A person violating these provisions who has already been convicted under them previously (in other words, a repeat offender), receives an enhanced punishment under Pennsylvania law. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6111(h). ⤴︎
  5. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6125; 37 Pa. Code § 33.111(d)(5). ⤴︎
  6. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6125. ⤴︎
  7. 37 Pa. Code §§ 31.101-31.106. ⤴︎
  8. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6113(a). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Rhode Island

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Rhode Island prohibits the retail sale of handguns without a state license.1

Handgun dealers must:2

  • Conduct business only in the building designated in the license;
  • Display the license on the premises;
  • Require evidence of a purchaser’s identity, unless the purchaser is personally known to the dealer;
  • Comply with other applicable laws.

For laws applicable to both licensed and private firearm sellers, please see the Rhode Island Private Sales section.

See the section entitled Locking Devices in Rhode Island for laws requiring a locking device to accompany a dealer’s sale of a handgun.

No firearms dealer (other than a wholesaler selling to a retail dealer), may display any handgun or imitation handgun, or advertising for such weapons, where it can be readily seen from the street.3 Moreover, any person selling a firearm from a “place of business” shall not exhibit any firearm in a display window unless he or she possesses a permit to do so that is issued by local law enforcement.4

A handgun dealer’s license is valid for “not more than” one year from the date of issue and will be forfeited if the licensee violates any of the aforementioned conditions.5

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-47-38 and 11-47-39. Note that R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-38 requires all firearms dealers to be licensed. However, state law only provides a mechanism for the licensing of dealers in handguns. ⤴︎
  2. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-39. ⤴︎
  3. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-40(b). ⤴︎
  4. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-47. ⤴︎
  5. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-39. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in South Carolina

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

In 2012, South Carolina repealed its law governing handgun dealers. 1 South Carolina formerly required that any retail dealer selling handguns must possess a dealer license and comply with certain conditions.

For laws:

Notes
  1. 2012 S.C. Act No. 285, § 2. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in South Dakota

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

South Dakota does not require firearms dealers to obtain a state license. South Dakota law requires firearms dealers to ensure that handguns are securely wrapped and unloaded when delivered to the purchaser.1 South Dakota also prohibits a dealer from selling a handgun unless the purchaser is personally known to the dealer or presents clear evidence of his or her identity.2 South Dakota has no other significant laws regulating firearms dealers.

For laws applicable to both licensed and private firearm sellers, please see the South Dakota Private Sales section. For laws requiring firearms dealers to conduct a background check on purchasers, see the South Dakota Background Checks section.

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. S.D. Codified Laws § 23-7-9. ⤴︎
  2. S.D. Codified Laws § 23-7-18. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Tennessee

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Tennessee does not require firearms dealers to obtain a state license.

For laws:

A law enforcement agency may inspect the records of a dealer relating to transfers of firearms in the course of a reasonable inquiry during a criminal investigation or under the authority of a properly authorized subpoena or search warrant.1

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1316(k). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Texas

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Texas does not require firearms dealers to obtain a license or otherwise significantly regulate firearms dealers, though its firearms dealers are required to post certain warnings regarding the safe storage of firearms.1 See the Texas Child Access Prevention section.

A pawnbroker may not display a pistol for sale in a storefront window or sidewalk display case or depict in a sign or advertisement in such a way that the pistol, sign, or advertisement may be viewed from a street.2

For laws applicable to both licensed and private firearm sellers, please see the Texas Private Sales section.

Texas has no law requiring dealers to conduct a background check on prospective firearm purchasers, although the federal background check requirement applies.

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Tex. Penal Code § 46.13(g). ⤴︎
  2. Tex. Fin. Code § 371.179. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in the District of Columbia

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

In the District of Columbia, any person or organization that wants to “engage in the business of selling, purchasing, or repairing” firearms or ammunition must obtain a District dealer’s license.1 Any person eligible to register a firearm in the District (and who, if a registrant, has not previously failed to perform any of the duties imposed by law), and any person who is otherwise eligible to engage in the sale of firearms, may obtain a dealer’s license.2 See the District of Columbia Registration section for related information.

Dealer Licensing

Dealer applicants must go through the same background check process established for firearm purchases (see the District of Columbia Background Checks section), indicate the address of the proposed business, note whether they held a license to deal in deadly weapons in the District prior to September 24, 1976 (the effective date of the D.C. Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975), and must provide “[s]uch other information as the Chief [of Police] may require, including fingerprints and photographs.”3 The Chief shall approve or deny an application within 60 days, unless good cause is shown, including non-receipt of information from sources outside the District government.4 The Chief may hold in abeyance an application where there is any firearm revocation proceeding pending against the applicant.5

Licensed dealers may transfer any registerable firearm to any person or organization possessing a registration certificate for such firearm.6 However, a special license is required for a retail dealer to sell, or expose for sale, or have in his or her possession with intent to sell, any handgun, machine gun, or sawed-off shotgun.7 Wholesale dealers do not need a special license to sell such weapons, but are only allowed to sell them to a licensed dealer.8

A dealer’s license is valid for one year from the date of issuance.9

Duties of Licensed Dealers

Licensed dealers shall, among other things, keep at the dealer’s premises a current record in book form of:

  • The name, address, home phone, and date of birth of each employee handling firearms or ammunition;
  • Detailed information about each firearm received into inventory or for repair, or subsequently sold or transferred, including the:
    • Serial number, caliber, make, model, manufacturer’s number, dealer’s identification number, and registration certificate number of the firearm;
    • Name, address, and dealer license number or registration certificate number of the person or organization from whom the firearm was purchased or otherwise received, or to whom the firearm was transferred;
    • Consideration for transfer;
    • Date and time of receipt or delivery and, in the case of repair, return to the person holding the registration certificate; and
    • Nature of the repairs made; and
  • Detailed information about ammunition received into inventory or subsequently sold or transferred, including the:
    • Brand and number of rounds of each caliber or gauge;
    • Name, address, and dealer’s license or registration number of the person or organization from whom received, or to whom sold or transferred;
    • The registration certificate number of the firearm for which the ammunition was sold or transferred, for transferees who are not licensed dealers;
    • Consideration given for the ammunition, or received for the sale or transfer of ammunition; and
    • The date and time of the receipt, sale or transfer of the ammunition.10

These records must be exhibited during normal business hours to any member of the Metropolitan Police Department upon demand.11 For additional requirements regarding the transfer of ammunition, see the District Ammunition Regulation section.

In addition, each licensed dealer must, when required by the Chief in writing, submit on a form and for the periods of time specified any of the aforementioned record information, as well as any other information reasonably obtainable from those records.12 Failure to comply with this requirement will result in revocation of the dealer’s license.13 A license shall also be revoked if the information furnished to the Chief on the application for a dealer’s license proves to be intentionally false.14

Firearms dealers selling handguns and machine guns must keep specific records of transactions for these firearms.15 Purchase records must contain the date of purchase, the caliber, make, model, and manufacturer’s number of the weapon, and the date of sale (once the firearm is sold).16 In addition, sales records must also be signed by both the purchaser and the person effecting the sale, each in the presence of the other, and must contain the date of sale, the name, address, occupation, color, and place of birth of the purchaser, and include a statement by the purchaser that he or she is not prohibited under District law from possessing a firearm.17 One copy of the sales record shall, within seven days, be forwarded by mail to the Chief and a copy retained by the seller for six years.18

Secondhand and junk dealers must also secure the name and address of any person purchasing or otherwise acquiring any firearm.19

Licensed dealers are also obligated to notify the Chief in writing of: 1) the loss, theft, or destruction of the dealer’s license immediately upon discovery of such loss, theft, or destruction; 2) the loss, theft, or destruction of any firearms or ammunition in the dealer’s inventory; or 3) a change in any of the information appearing on the dealer’s license or required to obtain a dealer’s license immediately upon the occurrence of any such change.20

A dealer also must:

  • Display the dealer’s license in a conspicuous place on the premises;21
  • Not display any firearm or ammunition in windows visible from a street or sidewalk;22
  • Not knowingly employ any person in his or her establishment if such person would not be eligible to register a firearm;23 and
  • Keep all firearms and ammunition in a securely locked place “affixed” to the premises except when being shown to a customer or being repaired.24

Strict Liability

Any dealer of a firearm who can be shown by a preponderance of the evidence to have knowingly and willfully engaged in the illegal sale of a firearm shall be held strictly liable in tort for all direct and consequential damages that arise from bodily injury or death if the bodily injury or death proximately results from the discharge of the firearm in the District, regardless of whether or not the person operating the firearm is the original, illegal purchaser.25 This also applies to firearm manufacturers and importers.26

Furthermore, any individual who can be shown by a preponderance of the evidence to have knowingly and willfully engaged in the illegal sale, loan, lease, or rental of a firearm for money or anything of value shall be held strictly liable in tort for all direct and consequential damages that arise from bodily injury or death if the bodily injury or death proximately results from the discharge of the firearm in the District, regardless of whether or not the person operating the firearm is the original, illegal purchaser.27

No strict liability action may be brought:

  • When the basis of the strict liability is a firearm originally distributed to a law enforcement agency or a law enforcement officer;
  • By a person who can be shown by a preponderance of the evidence to have committed a self-inflicted injury or who was injured by a firearm while committing a crime, attempting to commit a crime, engaged in criminal activity, or engaged in a delinquent act;
  • By a person who can be shown by a preponderance of the evidence to be engaged in the sale or distribution of illegal narcotics; or
  • By a person who either assumed the risk of the injury that occurred or negligently contributed to the injury that occurred.28

Dealers of assault weapons or machine guns will be held strictly liable in tort for all direct and consequential damages arising from bodily injury or death if the bodily injury or death proximately results from the discharge of the assault weapon or machine gun in the District.29 This also applies to manufacturers and importers of assault weapons and machine guns.30

Location Restrictions

The District of Columbia prohibits retail firearm sales in:

  • Commercial-Residential mixed use districts;31
  • Waterfront Districts;32 and
  • “C-1” Commercial Districts.33

Firearm retail establishments are permitted in a “C-2” Commercial District, provided that no portion of the establishment shall be located within 300 feet of: 1) a residence or Special Purpose District; or 2) a church or other place of worship, public or private school, public library or playground.34

For laws applicable to both licensed and private firearm sellers, please see the Private Sales in the District of Columbia section.

For laws requiring dealers to conduct a background check on prospective firearm purchasers, see the Background Checks in the District of Columbia section.

Notes
  1. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2504.01(b). ⤴︎
  2. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2504.02(a). ⤴︎
  3. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2504.02(b). See D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 24, § 2321 et seq. ⤴︎
  4. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2504.03(b). ⤴︎
  5. Id. See D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2504.06 for procedures regarding the denial or revocation of a dealer’s license. ⤴︎
  6. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2505.02(c). ⤴︎
  7. D.C. Code Ann. §§ 22-4509, 22-4510. ⤴︎
  8. D.C. Code Ann. § 22-4509. ⤴︎
  9. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2504.02(a). ⤴︎
  10. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2504.04(a) (3). ⤴︎
  11. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2504.04(b). ⤴︎
  12. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2504.04(c). ⤴︎
  13. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2504.05. ⤴︎
  14. Id. ⤴︎
  15. D.C. Code Ann. § 22-4510(a)(4). ⤴︎
  16. Id. ⤴︎
  17. D.C. Code Ann. § 22-4510(a)(5). ⤴︎
  18. Id. ⤴︎
  19. D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 16, § 1003.7(c). ⤴︎
  20. D.C. Code Ann. § 2504.04(a)(2). ⤴︎
  21. D.C. Code Ann. § 2504.04(a)(1). ⤴︎
  22. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2504.07(a); D.C. Code Ann. § 22-4510(a)(6). ⤴︎
  23. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2504.07(b). ⤴︎
  24. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2504.07(a). ⤴︎
  25. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2531.02(a). ⤴︎
  26. Id. ⤴︎
  27. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2531.02(b). ⤴︎
  28. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2531.03. ⤴︎
  29. ((D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2551.02. ⤴︎
  30. Id. ⤴︎
  31. D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 11, § 602.1(i). ⤴︎
  32. D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 11, §§ 901.2, 902.1(r). ⤴︎
  33. D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 11, § 702.4. ⤴︎
  34. D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 11, § 721.3(k). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Utah

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Utah does not require firearms dealers to obtain a state license or otherwise significantly regulate firearms dealers. For laws:

  • Applicable to both licensed and unlicensed sellers of firearms, see the Utah Private Sales section;
  • Requiring firearms dealers to conduct a background check on the purchaser, see the Utah Background Checks section;

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Dealer Regulations in Vermont

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Vermont has no law requiring firearms dealers to obtain a state license or permit.

For information about the Vermont law requiring firearms dealers to maintain records of sales, see the Vermont Retention of Sales/Background Checks Records section.

Vermont has no law requiring dealers to conduct a background check on prospective firearm purchasers, although the federal background check requirement applies.

Dealer Regulations in Virginia

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Virginia does not require firearms dealers to obtain a state license. For the laws requiring federally licensed dealers to conduct background checks on firearm purchasers, see the Virginia Background Checks section. Also see the Virginia Assault Weapons section for assault weapon sales-related provisions.

In 2010, Virginia repealed a law that had allowed counties to require sellers of handguns to furnish the clerk of the circuit court “with the name and address of the purchaser, the date of the purchase, and the number, make and caliber of the weapon sold” within 10 days of any handgun sale.1 The repealed law had also allowed a county to impose a license tax up to $25 on persons engaged in the business of selling handguns to the public.2

Virginia law prohibited a federally licensed firearms dealer from employing any person to act as a seller of firearms if the employee is an illegal alien, or is otherwise prohibited from possessing, purchasing or transporting a firearm under state law.3 Prior to permitting an applicant to begin employment, the dealer must obtain a written statement or affirmation from the applicant that he or she is not disqualified from possessing a firearm and must submit the applicant’s fingerprints and personal descriptive information to the Central Criminal Records Exchange to be forwarded to the FBI for a criminal history check.4 A dealer can obtain an exemption from this requirement if it submits a sworn notarized affidavit on a form prepared by the Department of State Police (“DSP”) stating that the seller was subjected to a record check prior to the ATF’s issuance of the federal license.5 Upon receipt of the request for a criminal history record information check, DSP must establish a unique number for that firearm seller.6 Beginning September 1, 2001, the firearm seller’s signature, firearm seller’s number and the dealer’s identification number shall be on all firearm transaction forms. DSP must void the seller’s number when a disqualifying record is discovered, and may suspend a seller’s number upon the seller’s arrest for a potentially disqualifying crime.7 This section does not restrict the transfer of a firearm at any place other than a dealership, or at any event required to be registered as a gun show.8

Virginia only allows firearms dealers to check whether a pre-owned firearm being transferred to a dealer from a non-dealer has been reported lost or stolen if the non-dealer consents to the check in writing.9

See the Virginia Private Sales section for laws that apply to gun sales generally.

Notes
  1. 2010 Va. ALS 495 (amending Va. Code Ann. § 15.2-1207). ⤴︎
  2. Id. (repealing former Va. Code Ann. § 15.2-1206). ⤴︎
  3. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.2:3(A). ⤴︎
  4. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.2:3(B). ⤴︎
  5. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.2:3(D1). ⤴︎
  6. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.2:3(G). ⤴︎
  7. Id. ⤴︎
  8. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.2:3(H). ⤴︎
  9. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.2:4. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Washington

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

No firearms dealer may transfer, expose for transfer, or have in his or her possession with intent to transfer, any firearm or ammunition without being licensed by the State of Washington.1 Licenses are granted by the appropriate local or state licensing authority, and no person may qualify for a license without first receiving a federal firearms license and undergoing fingerprinting and a background check.2 In addition, if a person is ineligible to possess a firearm or obtain a concealed pistol license, he or she cannot qualify for a dealer’s license.3 (See the Washington Prohibited Purchasers Generally and Washington Concealed Weapons Permitting sections for further information on those topics.) For laws requiring firearm dealers to conduct background checks on prospective purchasers, see the section entitled Background Checks in Washington.

No dealer may deliver a handgun to a prospective purchaser until:

  • The purchaser produces a valid concealed pistol license, and the dealer has recorded the purchaser’s name, license number, and issuing agency;
  • The dealer is notified in writing by the chief of police or sheriff of the jurisdiction in which the purchaser resides that the purchaser is eligible to possess a handgun, and that the application is approved by the chief of police or sheriff; or
  • Five business days have elapsed since the application for purchase was received by local law enforcement and the handgun is securely wrapped and unloaded when delivered to the purchaser.4

Where local law enforcement discovers open criminal charges, pending criminal or commitment proceedings, or an arrest or other outstanding warrant for an offense making a person ineligible to possess a handgun, sale and delivery of a handgun may be delayed for up to 30 days in order to confirm existing records in Washington or elsewhere.5

No handgun may be sold under any circumstances unless the purchaser is personally known to the dealer or presents clear evidence of his or her identity.6 In addition, no person may deliver a firearm to anyone whom he or she has reasonable cause to believe is ineligible to possess a firearm.7

A dealer must require that every employee who may sell a firearm in the course of his or her employment undergo fingerprinting and a background check.8 An employee also must be eligible to possess a firearm, and must not have been convicted of a crime that would make him or her ineligible for a concealed pistol license before being permitted to sell a firearm. All employees must comply with state requirements concerning purchase applications and restrictions on the delivery of handguns that are applicable to dealers.9

Licensed dealers must also keep a record of every handgun sold in a book kept for that purpose.10 Dealers are also required to keep detailed forms in triplicate of each handgun sold.11 See the Washington Retention of Sales / Background Check Records for more detail.

A dealer may conduct business only in the building designated in his or her license, although the dealer may temporarily conduct business at a gun show sponsored by a national, state or local organization or an affiliate thereof, devoted to the collection, competitive use, or other sporting use of firearms in the community.12

The fee for a license to sell handguns, long guns, or ammunition is $125.13 Dealer licenses are valid for one year.14

For laws applicable to both licensed and private firearm sellers, including special provisions for pawnbrokers and second-hand dealers, please see the Washington Private Sales section.

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.110(1)-(3). ⤴︎
  2. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.110(4), (5)(a). ⤴︎
  3. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.110(5)(a). ⤴︎
  4. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.090(1). ⤴︎
  5. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.090(4). After 30 days, the sale or delivery may proceed unless an extension is approved by a local district court or municipal court after a showing of good cause. Id. ⤴︎
  6. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.110(8)(a)(ii). ⤴︎
  7. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.080. A violation of this prohibition is a class C felony, and any firearms dealer violating this prohibition is subject to mandatory permanent revocation of and permanent ineligibility for his or her dealer’s license. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 9.41.080, 9.41.110(8)(b). ⤴︎
  8. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.110(5)(b). ⤴︎
  9. Id. ⤴︎
  10. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.110(9)(a). ⤴︎
  11. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.110(9)(a), (b). ⤴︎
  12. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.110(6). ⤴︎
  13. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.110(8)(c). ⤴︎
  14. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.110(4). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in West Virginia

West Virginia does not require firearms dealers to obtain a state license. However, firearms dealers are subject to state laws governing gun sales generally. See the West Virginia Private Sales section for further information.

Pursuant to the Brady Act, federally licensed firearms dealers must conduct background checks on prospective purchasers each time the dealer transfers a firearm. See the West Virginia Background Checks section.

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Dealer Regulations in Wisconsin

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Wisconsin has no law requiring firearms dealers to obtain a state license or permit. However, before a firearms dealer may offer a handgun for sale, the dealer must register each handgun store he or she owns or operates with the Wisconsin Department of Justice (“DOJ”).1 DOJ will provide the dealer with a unique dealer identification number for each store.2

Wisconsin has established procedures for handgun dealers to follow when complying with state background check requirements for the transfer of any handgun.3 The state also requires handgun dealers to retain certain forms regarding handgun sales.

See the Wisconsin Background Checks and Retention of Sales / Background Check Records sections for further information.

Firearms dealers must provide to all firearm purchasers a written warning in block letters not less than one-fourth inch in height, stating: “IF YOU LEAVE A LOADED FIREARM WITHIN THE REACH OR EASY ACCESS OF A CHILD YOU MAY BE FINED OR IMPRISONED OR BOTH IF THE CHILD IMPROPERLY DISCHARGES, POSSESSES OR EXHIBITS THE FIREARM.”4

Notes
  1. Wis. Admin. Code Jus § 10.04(1). ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Wis. Stat. § 175.35(2g); Wis. Admin. Code Jus § 10.01 et seq. “Handgun dealer” means a firearms dealer (person engaged in the business of importing, manufacturing or dealing in firearms and having a license as an importer, manufacturer or dealer issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, per Wis. Stat. § 175.35(1)(ar) who offers one or more handguns for sale. Wis. Admin. Code Jus § 10.03(7). ⤴︎
  4. Wis. Stat. § 175.37(1). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Wyoming

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Wyoming does not require firearms dealers to obtain a state license or otherwise significantly regulate firearms dealers. For laws:

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.