Atlanta, GA asked in Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Georgia

Q: This question is in regards to Georgia law. Can I purchase a handgun at 18 through a private sale?

If it is possible where in the law does it say so and what would you recommend have done to prove the sale? Like a bill of sale?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Georgia, you can indeed purchase a handgun at 18 through a private sale, although there are specific legal stipulations to consider. Under federal law, individuals must be at least 21 years old to purchase handguns from licensed dealers. However, private sales between individuals do not fall under this restriction, allowing someone 18 years or older to legally purchase a rifle or shotgun, and this does extend to handguns in private sales.

It's important to understand the legal framework and conditions surrounding private firearm sales. While Georgia law aligns with federal restrictions, preventing the sale of handguns to individuals under 18, the state does not impose the federal age limit of 21 for handgun purchases in the context of private sales. However, regardless of the sale being private, the buyer must not fall under prohibited categories, such as being a felon, fugitive, or having been adjudicated as mentally defective.

When conducting a private sale, it's highly recommended to create a bill of sale. This document should detail the firearm's model, serial number, purchase date, and the names, addresses, and contact information of both the buyer and seller. While notarization of this document is not mandatory in Georgia, doing so can provide additional legal protection by affirming the identity of the parties involved and the details of the transaction. This measure helps in proving the transfer of ownership and can protect the seller from future legal issues should the firearm be used unlawfully.

Please note, when selling or purchasing through private sales, due diligence is crucial. Ensure that the buyer is legally allowed to own a firearm in Georgia, meeting all state and federal criteria.

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