Pawnshops that accept firearms generally either purchase them outright or allow you to use one or more guns as collateral for a short-term loan. When you pawn a firearm with the intent to get it back, the process often is slightly different than it is for other items.
Legal Requirements and Restrictions
Although no state laws prohibit pawnshops from accepting guns, pawnshops that do so must meet federal, state and local government requirements.
- To accept guns, a pawnshop must be a federally registered firearms dealer and comply with all federal gun regulations.
- State gun laws generally require that guns be cased and unloaded, and may require that dealers conduct a background check before returning a pawned gun to its owner.
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- Local laws may require pawnshops to share information with local law enforcement agencies.
- Most shops will not accept firearms from a minor or from anyone who is not a legal state resident.
Bring your unloaded, cased gun and valid, government-issued photo identification -- such as a driver's license or state-issued ID -- to a federally licensed pawnshop.
Fill out ATF Form 4473 Firearms Transaction Record if the broker conducts a background check before making a loan. As an additional step or as an alternative, you may be asked to fill out the form before reclaiming your gun.
Review the terms of the loan agreement. Look especially closely at the interest rate and fees that the broker may charge. According to Lawyers.com, interest rates on a pawn loan range from three percent to 25 percent, depending on the laws in your state. Most shops charge either a flat service fee upfront or a percentage of the outstanding loan balance each month. In addition, look to see whether the loan has a grace period if the term should expire with an outstanding balance. A grace period usually provides a 15 to 30 day window to reclaim your gun before the shop can sell it.
Store your pawn ticket in a safe location. If it becomes lost or stolen, you may not be able to reclaim your gun.