What’s the Law: Selling a firearm made before 1899



TOPIC: Selling a firearm made before 1899

Question: I have a firearm that was manufactured before 1899 and have a buyer. What is the procedure?

Answer: First, you must be certain that your firearm was actually manufactured before 1899. Don’t go by the model. Less than 1% of Mauser 98s was made before 1899, and most 1891 Mosin Nagant rifles were made after 1898. You may need to do some research on the actual date of manufacture of your particular firearm. The serial numbers may be critical. If your firearm was indeed made before 1899, the buyer must still have a current police permit to acquire. Make a copy for your records. However, your buyer need not register the firearm with the police department.

Note: Pre-1899 firearms are not covered under federal law and a FFL dealer need not be involved. This includes firearms that have been “sporterized” or modernized to fire a current cartridge; e.g., a Mauser 1891 Argentine converted to a modern caliber does not come under federal regulation. It is uncertain this is the same by state law.

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