To whom may a pawnbroker return a pawned firearm?

If the pawnbroker and nonlicensee are residents of the same state, the pawnbroker may return a handgun, long gun, or other firearm to either the person who pawned it or, where state and/or local law allows, a holder of the pawn ticket* who resides in the pawnbroker’s state.

If the pawnbroker and nonlicensee are not residents of the same state:

  • The pawnbroker may return a firearm to the person who pawned it.
  • The pawnbroker may transfer a rifle or shotgun to the holder of a pawn ticket* who did not pawn it, provided the transaction complies with the conditions of sale in both the state where the pawnbroker is licensed and the state where the pawn ticket holder resides.

* NOTE: The holder of the pawn ticket may acquire a firearm only if they are the actual “transferee/buyer” of the firearm. The holder of a pawn ticket may not acquire a firearm on behalf of another person.

[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(2), 922(a)(3) and 922(b)(3)]

Last Reviewed March 8, 2021