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We previously wrote about Sammy “Shooter” Williams, and him holding his 29th annual gun auction.

Over 700 bidders from 9 states bid live in addition to 475 online bidders from throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

Shooter holds an Federal Firearms License (FFL) and as such, he can:

  • Engage in the business of selling firearms
  • Possess firearms belonging to others
  • Buy and sell firearms, as a business
  • Hold oneself out as a dealer in guns
  • Make a living in dealing in guns
  • Repeatedly assist the same seller with the sale of their guns
  • Conduct a gun consignment auction, or take gun consignments

Without an FFL, Shooter would not be able to do any of those aforementioned actions, but rather would only be able to assist an owner to sell a gun at auction without taking possession, and not hold himself out as a gun dealer, nor facilitate a gun sale across state lines.

We wrote extensively about auctioneers selling guns at auction here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/a-guide-for-auctioneers-selling-guns/

We wrote about Shooter selling a gun to a buyer who questioned the need to fill out an ATF Form 4473 due to him having a concealed carry permit here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/but-i-have-a-concealed-carry-permit/

Our story today regards a particular buyer at Shooter’s Saturday gun auction. Ralph Conner was the high bidder on a Smith & Wesson 642 Airweight .38 Special revolver for $750. Ralph bid online, and lives in Bristol, England. Ralph wants his gun shipped to him there.

In this article, we’ll discuss both Shooter “exporting” this gun to Ralph Conner, as well if Ralph Conner wanted to send this same gun to Shooter’s client (and thus be “imported” to the United States.

First, for Shooter, he must utilize a licensed exporter located within the United States to export this Smith & Wesson 642 to Ralph Conner. There are several licensed exporters at any one time in the United States. The licensed exporter coordinates the shipment of the firearm, ensuring that the country (and/or local jurisdiction) permits such transfer.

Secondly, if Shooter’s client had been the buyer of the gun, and Ralph Conner the seller, then Shooter could process the importation of the Smith & Wesson 642 since he is a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL). Any Federal Firearms License (FFL) can occasionally import a firearm for personal use or on behalf of an unlicensed person by filling out the proper paperwork.

Occasional importation paperwork involves two forms. These are commonly known as:

We are using the words, “occasional importation” here to distinguish these from regularly occurring transfers; if Shooter wanted to regularly import guns into the United States, he would be required to become a “Federal Firearms Licensed Importer.”

Can auctioneers assist their clients in the importation and exportation of firearms? Yes, they can with the proper licensing and associated forms.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. His Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/mbauctioneer. He serves as Adjunct Faculty at Columbus State Community College and is Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School.