Pawning, Selling and Trading Firearms


“Pawn, Sell and Trade” As part of the pawn business model, it goes without saying that a shop can expect to not only see firearms heading out the door, but also being brought in by customers for pawning, sale, trade, or even gun-smithing  services.

Some risk-reducing measures to consider:

  • Make sure conspicuous signs are posted on all entry doors telling customers bringing loaded firearms into store is strictly prohibited. Optimally, exterior signage should instruct patrons to advise and seek instructions from staff BEFORE bringing any firearms into the store. When this type of rule is obeyed, it allows for an opportunity for staff to prep for the transaction, as well as give one last reminder to ensure the firearm is unloaded.
  • As another early layer of defense, post a guard at the door to ask each customer if they are bringing a firearm into the store and checking to make sure it is not loaded. At a minimum, if a guard is not feasible, ensure that all customers are properly greeted upon entering the store, and inquire if they plan to conduct a transaction with a firearm. Do not assume since you do not see a customer carrying a firearm, that they do not have it tucked in a pocket or carried loosely in a purse.
  • Instruct customers that after obtaining permission, all unloaded firearms should be carried into the store in cases or containers. Ammunition should not be brought in at the same time or in the same container. In addition, if the pawn shop sells ammunition, it should be stored separate from firearms and out of the reach of customers.

Train employees to use proper procedures to accept firearms from customers wishing to sell, trade or pawn. This includes safe handling of firearms and ensuring all firearms are unloaded. Firearm safety training is critical for all employees handling firearms. All employees must always assume a firearm is loaded and follow the proper procedures to ensure it is clear each time it is handled. Standard practice, such as keeping the barrel pointed in a safe direction and trigger discipline, must always be observed. For personnel carrying firearms, consideration should be given to including classroom and range training.

Classroom training should include, but is not limited to:

  • Statutory requirements
  • Use of deadly force
  • Company policy on the use of force
  • Firearms safety
  • Safety practices both on-duty and at home
  • Written examination

Range training should include, but is not limited to:

  • Shooting stance
  • Breathing control
  • Trigger control