Firearms Auctions FAQ
Midway Auction Company and Federal Firearms License (FFL)
Customers can buy or sell new or used firearms with us. Midway Auction company has gun auctions at our establishment once every few months. We are a Federal Firearms dealer with a Federal Firearms License.
FFL (Federal Firearms License) is a license issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and, and Explosives (ATF) that enables individuals at a company to engage in business pertaining to the manufacture, importation, and interstate/intrastate sales of firearms and ammunition.
What are the criteria in order to purchase a firearm at auction?
The sale of guns is regulated, first, by the federal government in the United States. Then, states can have (and do have) additional laws that regulate the sale and/or transfer of guns. Too, some local laws have been enacted by cities, counties, townships, etc. In order to purchase a firearm at our facility you first must be able to meet the following criteria.
- You must be 18 years of age or older to purchase a long gun
- You must be 21 years of age or older to purchase a handgun
- You must be a resident of the state of Indiana
- You must present a valid Indiana Driver’s License
- You must be able to pass NICS on the day of the auction.
- We will provide the necessary paperwork
- We will run the NICS check in our facility
What is NICS?
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is a United States system for determining if prospective firearms or explosives buyers’ name and birth year match those of a person who is not eligible to buy. It was mandated by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Brady Law) of 1993 and launched by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1998.
After a prospective buyer completes the appropriate form, the holder of a Federal Firearms License (FFL) initiates the background check by phone or computer. Most checks are determined within minutes. If a determination is not obtained within three business days then the transfer may legally be completed.
Federal Gun Laws
First, most notably, there are four federal gun acts to consider:
- The Gun Control Act of 1968, L. No. 90-618, 82 Stat. 1213 (also known as GCA or GCA68, and codified as Chapter 44 of Title 18, United States Code) is a federal law in the United States that broadly regulates the firearms industry and firearms owners. It primarily focuses on regulating interstate commerce in firearms by generally prohibiting interstate firearms transfers except among licensed manufacturers, dealers and importers.
- The Firearm Owners’ Protection Act (FOPA), Pub. L. No. 99-308, 100 Stat. 449 (May 19, 1986), codified at 18 U.S.C. § 921 et seq., is a United States federal law that revised many statutes in the Gun Control Act of 1968.
- The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Pub.L. 103-159, 107 Stat. 1536) was an Act of the United States Congress that, for the first time, instituted federal background checks on firearm purchasers in the United States. It was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on November 30, 1993, and went into effect on February 28, 1994. The Act was named after James Brady, who was shot by John Hinckley, Jr. during an attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981.
The Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) (or Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act) was a subtitle of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, a federal law in the United States that included a prohibition on the sale to civilians of certain semi-automatic firearms, so called “assault weapons.” There was no legal definition of “assault weapons” in the U.S. prior to the law’s enactment. The ten-year ban was passed by Congress on September 13, 1994 and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton the same day. The ban only applied to weapons manufactured after the date of the ban’s enactment. The Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired September 13, 2004, as part of the law’s sunset provision. It is important only here because there are recent efforts to reenact similar AWB laws.
Can Midway sell my guns at auction?
Here at Midway, we are constantly seeking out great quality consignments, and that’s no exception when it comes to firearms. If you would like us to sell your firearm or your entire collection/store of firearms, please contact us for more information on our upcoming specialty gun auctions and ask about reduced commission rates!
Firearms and Auction Procedures
The exact text of Title 18 § 923 and Rule 96-2 of the United States Code is as follows:
18 U.S.C. § 923 (a): ENGAGING IN THE BUSINESS OF DEALING IN FIREARMS
Auctioneers who regularly conduct consignment-type auctions of firearms, for example, held every 1-2 months, on behalf of firearms owners where the auctioneer takes possession of the firearms pursuant to a consignment contract with the owner of the firearms giving the auctioneer authority to sell the firearms and providing for a commission to be paid by the owner upon sale of the firearms are required to obtain a license as a dealer in firearms.
ATF Rul. 96-2
An association of auctioneers has asked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) for a ruling concerning the auctions conducted by their members and whether the sale of firearms at such auctions requires a Federal firearms license as a dealer in firearms.
The auctioneers’ association stated that their members generally conduct two types of auctions: estate-type auctions and consignment auctions. In estate-type auctions, articles to be auctioned, including firearms, are sold by the executor of the estate of an individual. In these cases, the firearms belong to and are possessed by the executor. The auctioneer acts as an agent of the executor and assists the executor in finding buyers for the firearms. The firearms are possessed by the estate and their sale to third parties is controlled by the estate. The auctioneer is paid a commission on the sale of each firearm by the estate at the conclusion of the auction.
The association states that, in consignment-type auctions, an auctioneer may take possession of firearms in advance of the auction. The firearms are inventoried, evaluated, and tagged for identification. The firearms belong to individuals or businesses who have entered into a consignment agreement with the auctioneer giving the auctioneer authority to sell the firearms. The agreement states that the auctioneer has the exclusive right to sell the items listed on the contract at a location, time, and date to be selected by the auctioneer. The consignment-type auctions generally involve accepting firearms for auction from more than one owner. Also, these auctions are held on a regular basis, for example, every 1-2 months.
Section 923(a), Title 18, U.S.C., provides that no person shall engage in the business of dealing in firearms until he has filed an application and received a license to do so. Section 922(a)(1), Title 18, U.S.C., provides that it is unlawful for any person, other than a licensee, to engage in the business of dealing in firearms. Licensees generally may not conduct business away from their licensed premises.
The term “dealer” is defined at 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(11)(A) to include any person engaged in the business of selling firearms at wholesale or retail. The term “engaged in the business” as applied to a dealer in firearms means a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms. A dealer can be engaged in the business” without taking title to the firearms that are sold. However, the term does not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms. 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(21)(C).
In the case of estate-type auctions, the auctioneer acts as an agent of the executor and assists the executor in finding buyers for the estate’s firearms. The firearms are possessed by the estate, and the sales of firearms are made by the estate. In these cases, the auctioneer does not meet the definition of “engaging in the business” as a dealer in firearms and would not require a license. An auctioneer engaged in estate-type auctions, whether licensed or not, may perform this function, including delivery of the firearms, away from the business premises.
In the case of consignment-type auctions held on a regular basis, for example, every 1-2 months, where persons consign their firearms to the auctioneer for sale pursuant to an agreement as described above, the auctioneer would be “engaging in the business” and would require a license. The auctioneer would be disposing of firearms as a regular course of trade or business within the definition of a “dealer” under §_921(a)(11)(A) and must comply with the licensing requirements of the law.
As previously stated, licensed auctioneers generally must engage in the business from their licensed premises. However, an auctioneer may conduct an auction at a location other than his licensed premises by displaying the firearms at the auction site, agreeing to the terms of sale of the firearms, then returning the firearms to the licensed premises for delivery to the purchaser.
Persons who conduct estate-type auctions at which the auctioneer assists the estate in selling the estate’s firearms, and the firearms are possessed and transferred by the estate, do not require a Federal firearms license.
Persons who regularly conduct consignment-type auctions, for example, held every 1-2 months, where the auctioneer takes possession of the firearms pursuant to a consignment contract giving the auctioneer the exclusive right and authority to sell the firearms at a location, time and date to be selected by the auctioneer and providing for a commission to be paid upon sale are required to obtain a license as a dealer in firearms pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 923(a). [ATFB 96-2 101]
Selling and Buying Antique Firearms
One area not covered in the federal code is antique firearms. Auctioneers can sell to out-of-state buyers without a license, if the firearm meets the federal definition. An antique is described in the U.S. Firearms Code as any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock or percussion cap manufactured in or before 1898, or a replica of such item. Auctioneers can also sell a firearm without a license if it uses a ring-fire or conventional center-fire fixed ammunition that is no longer manufactured in the United States or is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.
Indiana Laws on Purchase, Possession, and Carrying of Firearms
It is generally unlawful to sell or otherwise transfer possession of a handgun to a person under 18 except if the gun comes from the juvenile’s parent or guardian.
It is unlawful for any person to sell or give a firearm to any person whom he has a reasonable cause to believe has been convicted of a felony or is a drug abuser or under the influence of a drug, or is an alcohol abuser or in a state of intoxication, or is mentally incompetent.
If a buyer or transferee is denied the right to purchase a handgun because of erroneous criminal history information, the buyer or transferee may exercise the right of access to and review and correction of criminal history information.
Exempt from the instant check are law enforcement officers; holders of an Indiana concealed carry license; and transactions between licensed firearms importers, collectors, firearms manufacturers or dealers. In some instances, a federal instant check is required.
IC 35-47-2-17; IC 35-47-2.5-14
No state permit is required for the possession of a rifle, shotgun, or handgun.
It is unlawful for an adult to provide a firearm to a child or for a child to possess a firearm EXCEPT while the child is:
- attending a hunter safety or firearms safety course and an adult is supervising the child during the course;
- target shooting at an established range or in an area where the discharge of a firearm is not prohibited or supervised by a qualified firearms instructor or adult while at the range;
- engaging in an organized firearm competition or practicing for a performance by an organized group that uses firearms as a part of a performance;
- lawfully hunting or trapping with a license;
- traveling with an unloaded firearm to or from an activity described in this section;
- on real property that is under the control of the child’s parent, an adult family member, or legal guardian and has permission from the child’s parent or legal guardian to possess a firearm;
- at the child’s residence and has the permission of the child’s parent, an adult family member or legal guardian to possess a firearm.
IC 35-47-4-5 Unlawful possession of firearm by serious violent felon
IC 35-47-10-5 Dangerous possession of a firearm
IC 35-47-4-6 Unlawful possession of firearm by domestic batterer
No person shall carry a handgun in any vehicle or on or about his person without a license being in his possession.
A person may carry a handgun WITHOUT being licensed to carry a handgun if:
(1) the person carries the handgun on or about the person’s body in or on property that is owned, leased, rented, or otherwise legally controlled by the person;
(2) the person carries the handgun on or about the person’s body while lawfully present in or on property that is owned, leased, rented, or otherwise legally controlled by another person, if the person:
(A) has the consent of the owner, renter, lessor, or person who legally controls the property to have the handgun on the premises;
(B) is attending a firearms related event on the property, including a gun show, firearms expo, gun owner’s club or convention, hunting club, shooting club, or training course; or
(C) is on the property to receive firearms related services, including the repair, maintenance, or modification of a firearm;
(3) the person carries the handgun in a vehicle that is owned, leased, rented, or otherwise legally controlled by the person, if the handgun is:
(B) not readily accessible; and
(C) secured in a case;
(4) the person carries the handgun while lawfully present in a vehicle that is owned, leased, rented, or otherwise legally controlled by another person, if the handgun is:
(B) not readily accessible; and
(C) secured in a case; or
(5) the person carries the handgun:
(A) at a shooting range (as defined in IC 14-22-31.5-3);
(B) while attending a firearms instructional course; or
(C) while engaged in a legal hunting activity.
(c) Unless the person’s right to possess a firearm has been restored under IC 35-47-4-7, a person who has been convicted of domestic battery under IC 35-42-2-1.3 may not possess or carry a handgun.
(d) This section may be not construed:
(1) to prohibit a person who owns, leases, rents, or otherwise legally controls private property from regulating or prohibiting the possession of firearms on the private property;
(2) to allow a person to adopt or enforce an ordinance, resolution, policy, or rule that:
(A) prohibits; or
(B) has the effect of prohibiting;
an employee of the person from possessing a firearm or ammunition that is locked in the trunk of the employee’s vehicle, kept in the glove compartment of the employee’s locked vehicle, or stored out of plain sight in the employee’s locked vehicle, unless the person’s adoption or enforcement of the ordinance, resolution, policy, or rule is allowed under IC 34-28-7-2(b); or
(3) to allow a person to adopt or enforce a law, statute, ordinance, resolution, policy, or rule that allows a person to possess or transport a firearm or ammunition if the person is prohibited from possessing or transporting the firearm or ammunition by state or federal law.
APPLICATION FOR LICENSE: An application for a license to carry a handgun must be made to the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality where the applicant resides, or to the sheriff of the county where the applicant resides or has a regular place of business or employment. The application contains identifying information on the applicant such as: name, address, length of residence in the community, occupation, age, race, nationality, any criminal record, height and weight, and reason for desiring a license. The officer to whom the application is made shall conduct an investigation into the applicant’s official records and verify his character, reputation, and information contained in the application. The information together with his recommendation and one set of fingerprints are forwarded to the Indiana State Police Superintendent. The superintendent may make whatever further investigation he deems necessary. If it appears to the superintendent that the applicant has a proper reason for carrying a handgun and is of good character and reputation and a “proper person” to be so licensed, he shall issue either a qualified or an unlimited license to carry any handgun lawfully possessed by the applicant.
Licenses to carry handguns shall be either qualified or unlimited and are valid for 4 years or for the lifetime of the individual receiving the license. Proper reasons for a qualified license are hunting and target practice. Unlimited licenses shall be issued for the purpose of protection of life and property. The superintendent may adopt rules imposing limitations on the use and carrying of handguns by a license holder who carries a handgun as a condition of his employment.
The term “proper person” includes a person:
- who is 18 and has not been convicted of a crime which carries a sentence in excess of 1 year;
- who is not a drug or alcohol abuser, does not have a reputation or propensity for violence or instability;
- who has not made a false statement of material fact on his application;
- does not have a conviction for resisting law enforcement or of violating Indiana’s weapon laws within 5 years of the application; and
- does not have an adjudication as a delinquent child for an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult if the applicant is less than 23.
Every initial application will be granted or rejected within sixty days by the Indiana State Police Superintendent. Renewal of an existing license may be filed 365 days before the expiration of the existing license. An application for renewal filed within thirty days of expiration automatically extends the existing license until the application for renewal has been decided. If an application for a license to carry has been denied, a request for a hearing before the superintendent may be made. Should the denial be upheld at the hearing, an appeal may be taken to the circuit court.
The superintendent shall have the authority to suspend at any time any license issued upon having reasonable grounds to believe that the person’s license should be suspended or revoked.
Licenses to carry handguns, issued by other states or foreign countries, will be recognized according to the terms thereof but only while the holders are not residents of Indiana.
With the exceptions of limitations on carrying during game seasons, state law is silent on the issue of carrying rifles and shotguns.
Prohibits a person, including an individual, corporation, and a government entity, from adopting or enforcing a rule that prohibits an employee of the person from legally possessing a firearm or ammunition that is locked in the trunk of an employee’s vehicle while the person’s vehicle is on the person’s property, unless the firearm or ammunition requires a federal license to possess.
Gun Safety and Education in the Home
Here at Midway Auction, we believe gun safety and education is really the first step to purchasing a firearm. The following comes directly from the National Rifle Association (NRA) website. We strongly encourage all gun owners to know and familiarize themselves with all these necessary safety precautions.
NRA Gun Safety Rules
At the NRA, firearm education and safety are paramount—that’s why we offer a variety of programs and services to promote the safe handling, use and storage of firearms. Whether you’re a parent in search of information about firearm safety in the home, a first-time gun owner, or an old pro looking to brush up on your firearm handling skills, the NRA is here to keep you and your family safe. Explore NRA’s fundamental rules of gun safety, as well as information how to safely store a gun and good cleaning practices.
The fundamental NRA rules for safe gun handling are:
ALWAYS Keep The Gun Pointed In A Safe Direction
This is the primary rule of gun safety. Common sense dictates the safest direction, depending on different circumstances.
ALWAYS Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Ready To Shoot
When holding a gun, rest your finger alongside the frame and outside the trigger guard. Until you are actually
ready to fire, do not touch the trigger.
ALWAYS Keep The Gun Unloaded Until Ready To Use
If you do not know how to open the action or inspect the chamber(s), leave the gun alone and get help from someone who does.
When using or storing a gun, always follow these additional NRA rules:
Know your target and what is beyond.
Be sure you have identified your target beyond any doubt. Equally important, be aware of the area beyond your target. This means observing your prospective area of fire before you shoot. Never fire in a direction in which there are people or any other potential for mishap. Think first. Shoot second.
Know how to use the gun safely.
Before handling a gun, learn how it operates. Know its basic parts, how to safely open and close the action and remove any ammunition from the gun or magazine. Remember, a gun’s mechanical safety device is never foolproof. Nothing can ever replace safe gun handling.
Be sure the gun is safe to operate.
Just like other tools, guns need regular maintenance to remain operable. Regular cleaning and proper storage are a part of the gun’s general upkeep. If there is any question concerning a gun’s ability to function, a knowledgeable gunsmith should look at it.
Use only the correct ammunition for your gun.
Only BBs, pellets, cartridges or shells designed for a particular gun can be fired safely in that gun. Most guns have the ammunition type stamped on the barrel. Ammunition can be identified by information printed on the box and sometimes stamped on the cartridge. Do not shoot the gun unless you know you have the proper ammunition.
Wear eye and ear protection as appropriate.
Guns are loud, and the noise can cause hearing damage. They can also emit debris and hot gasses that could cause eye injury. For these reasons, shooting glasses and hearing protection should be worn by shooters and spectators.
Never use alcohol, over-the-counter drugs or prescription drugs before or while shooting.
Alcohol, as well as any other substance likely to impair normal mental or physical bodily functions, must not be used before or while handling or shooting guns.
Store guns so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.
Many factors must be considered when deciding where and how to store guns. A person’s particular situation will be a major part of the consideration. Dozens of gun storage devices, as well as locking devices that attach directly to the gun, are available. However, mechanical locking devices, like the mechanical safeties built into guns, can fail and should not be used as a substitute for safe gun handling and the observance of all gun-safety rules.
Additional Safety Precautions
Be aware that certain types of guns and many shooting activities require additional safety precautions.
Regular cleaning is important in order for your gun to operate correctly and safely. Taking proper care of it will also maintain its value and extend its life. Your gun should be cleaned every time that it is used.
A gun brought out of prolonged storage should also be cleaned before shooting. Accumulated moisture and dirt, or solidified grease and oil, can prevent the gun from operating properly.
Before cleaning your gun, make absolutely sure that it is unloaded. The gun’s action should be open during the cleaning process. Also, be sure that no ammunition is present in the cleaning area.