Easy and safe way to sell a shotgun in NC
September 9, 2011 5:57 PM   Subscribe

What is the easiest and safest way to get rid of a shotgun in North Carolina?

I have my ex-husband's shotgun. We live in North Carolina, where he did not need a permit to purchase the gun. I believe they did a background check on him when he bought it.

I am now in possession of the shotgun and have his written consent to get rid of it in any way I deem appropriate. Neither of us wants the gun anymore. He does not want to deal with it and wants me to keep any of the money that I may make in its sale. I just want it out of my house and am willing to do whatever is easiest to get rid of it. I don't care about making money off of it. However, I obviously want to dispose of it safely. Is this something I can do? I have no paperwork or anything, just the shotgun itself.

I have no idea how to go about getting rid of the gun in a safe or reliable way. Googling is just leaving me confused.

Please don't tell me that it's my ex's problem and that he has to figure this out. This is not a relationship question. I just want this gun out of my home in the safest and quickest way possible at this point. Thanks.
posted by anonymous to Home & Garden (19 answers total)
Put it in your trunk. Drive to the nearest police station. Tell them the situation, provide the documentation you have, give them the car keys and let them retrieve the gun. They'll deal with it.
posted by kjs3 at 6:02 PM on September 9, 2011 [4 favorites]

Pawn shop? Make some phone calls.
posted by oceanjesse at 6:02 PM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

I'm sure if you just call your local pd's non emergency line, they'll tell you how to dispose of it. Contrary to kjs3's advice, I wouldn't drive around town with an unregistered firearm without some type of plan.
posted by Think_Long at 6:04 PM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

@Think_Long: If you had actually read the post, it was purchased in NC, she lives in NC, wants to get rid of it in NC and a permit is not required to purchase, own or carry it in the trunk. Same as GA, where I live, BTW. And the same as most states, since it's a shotgun, not a handgun or other more tightly controlled firearm. Not that calling beforehand is a bad idea, one I should have suggested, but do try to control your kneejerk in the future.
posted by kjs3 at 6:09 PM on September 9, 2011 [6 favorites]

kjs3 is right- I'm from NC and am familiar with these sorts of things. Just make sure the gun is unloaded before packing it up. Calling ahead is a great idea.
posted by TheBones at 6:13 PM on September 9, 2011

Yep, call the local department (city police or county sheriff's office) on the non-emergency line. If you don't want to drive over to hand it in, they'll arrange a time to collect it.
posted by holgate at 6:16 PM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

@TheBones: You make a good point about unloading. I thought about mentioning that, but from the tone of the post, it doesn't sound like she's familiar with the weapon, nor is getting the ex to unload it an option. Any minimally trained officer will take the time to check an unfamiliar weapon when getting out of the trunk, which I figured was safer than her fumbling around trying to figure it out.

So I'll amend my comment once again with "if you are familiar with the gun and comfortable doing so, unload the gun before placing it in the trunk".
posted by kjs3 at 6:22 PM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Just take it to a local gun shop and sell it to them. You won't get much, but it'll be worth more than the $0 you get from giving it to the police.
posted by introp at 6:22 PM on September 9, 2011 [3 favorites]

If you're near Charlotte, try Hyatt Coin & Gun. I've sold coins to them and got what I felt was a very fair price, and the gun people I know buy frequently from there.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:24 PM on September 9, 2011

If you're in the asheville area, I'll buy it.
posted by schyler523 at 6:42 PM on September 9, 2011 [4 favorites]

My dad lives in NC and knows a lot about guns. He says no way should you take it to the police station, because for all you know, it's valuable. It could be worth a fair bit! You ought to take some photos of it and post them here or on a gun forum, they'll be able to tell you if the thing's worth anything. Then sell it to a gun store. (If you do have something valuable and walk into a gun store without knowing it, you could get ripped off.) But don't turn a potentially valuable piece of your own property over to the cops just because it's a gun.

(Dad also says that if you're in the Triangle and don't want to bother selling it to a gun store, he'll take it off your hands!)
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:12 PM on September 9, 2011 [3 favorites]

No matter where you are in NC, I'll come and literally take it safely out of your home, no charge, and no handling of the weapon on your part. MeMail me.
posted by paulsc at 7:37 PM on September 9, 2011 [8 favorites]

The comments above demonstrate how easily it will be for you to get rid of it. There's big demand for guns these days.

If you *really* don't care about the money, just call the police and explain that you aren't comfortable with it in the house and have them come pick it up. They will.

Better choice is to sell it. The easiest way without hassle is probably at a pawn shop - but they'll pay you pennies on the dollar of what it's really worth. If you care to get an idea of what it might be worth, check an online gun seller such as Guns America. Just look for your gun's make and model to get any idea of what people are willing to pay for it. If you have a hard time navigating that website, just look closely at the guns barrel and frame and tell us what it says. Someone will chime in with an approximate value.

Another choice, depending on your local laws, is to do a private sale. Some of the big box sports stores let people post advertisements on bulletin boards in their store. Post a good deal and someone will gladly buy it.
posted by whatisish at 7:53 PM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't want a gun in my home either, but it's not alive -- it's not going to rise up and shoot you at random. Spend a few minutes googling to make sure it's not really valuable, like showbiz_liz says, and carefully take it to your local gun shop and get a few bucks for it.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:02 PM on September 9, 2011

FWIW, North Carolina has open carry, meaning don't worry about driving it around and taking it out to show a buyer. If you get pulled over with it in the car, calmly alert the cop to its presence and he likely won't even bat an eye.

Keep in mind that it may still spook some people, so although technically legal, you may get a face full of pepper spray if you just toss it over one shoulder and walk down the street. ;)
posted by pla at 8:24 PM on September 9, 2011

Oh, good lord. Just look up the nearest gun shop, call them up, describe the gun, and see if they will buy it. Accept a lowball offer if need be. Call the next nearest one if the first isn't interested. You'll find a buyer very fast that way, most assuredly. If you don't have a proper case for the thing then stuff it, unloaded, in a sleeping bag and put it in your trunk.

If you feel guilty about making money from the sale of a weapon then donate the (probably limited) proceeds to a children's hospital.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:32 PM on September 9, 2011

Make sure it's unloaded, treat it as if it is loaded, and then sell it. Enjoy the delicious money.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:48 PM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

When my father died, we weren't sure how to deal with his old hunting rifle, so we called the police. The officer basically said that they really couldn't take it from us, and he basically told us to take it to a pawn shop or gun store. I took it to a gun shop, they took it in back to check it out, and presumably test fire it. They came back after about twenty minutes and offered me about forty dollars for it, which was fine with me, and enabled my sister and I to have a decent dinner that evening. Just treat it like it's loaded, be careful with it, and sell it a gun shop.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:13 PM on September 9, 2011

Some tenants left ammunition behind. I called the police to find out what to do with it. They came over and picked it up. Call the police; they'll know the rules.
posted by theora55 at 1:08 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

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