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Frequently Asked Legal Questions

Find answers to common questions in our searchable FAQ.


61 views   |   1   |   Last updated on Jul 07, 2020    Guns

In Texas, there is not a state firearm registry. The federal government also does not maintain a general registry of handgun or rifle ownership. Therefore, when a sale is made between two Texas residents for a firearm not covered by the National Firearms Act (such as such as short-barreled shotguns, machine guns, silencers, etc.), there is no registration to transfer.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has published this brochure [PDF] with information about the best practices for transfers of firearms between private sellers. It suggests using ATF form P 3312.8, Personal Firearms Record, to record the purchase of a firearm.

If you are selling a firearm to someone who does not live in Texas, the procedure for the transfer will differ. Federal law, in 18 U.S. Code 922(a)(3) and 922(a)(5), allows private individuals to sell guns to one another only if they both live in the same state and if they are not legally prevented from possessing a firearm. Unless a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) is involved, Texans can only sell firearms to another Texas resident. If you are selling a firearm to someone who lives in a state with a state firearm registry, you will need to conduct the sale through an FFL who can advise you about how the registration should be handled.

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