Giving a used gun a home

Today more than ever, folks across the country are looking for bargains. From just about everything from "A" to "Z," people are keyed in on what is a good deal and what is not.

Firearms are highly sought after items. Guns, related items such as ammunition, and their purchase remain controversial subjects. However, to a hunter or firearm collector, buying used guns means money saved, if you know what you are looking for. But when selling, finding a home for a used gun can be tricky.

Where are the used guns and why are they available? There are several reasons why used guns are available. Most of the time, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the particular firearm.

If you're looking for used firearms in gun shops or at gun shows, one of the first things you will pick up on is the abundance of magnums for sale. Usually these are .30-caliber hunting rifles that previous owners thought would be the ideal long-range hunting gun. After a few times on the range of shooting the "kicker" and not being able to handle the recoil, most people just want to get rid of the gun and go back to "old Betsy," of their favorite caliber.

Another reason is divorce. It goes something like this: Spouse gets settlement that includes guns and they are sold cheap just to get the cash.

Still another reason is gun owner dies, has several firearms, spouse or relatives couldn't care less about guns, so they are sold at yard sales or auctions.

The list goes on and on, but the bottom line, as far as the used gun buyer is concerned, is savings and perhaps getting a rare gun or a gun he or she has been looking for a long time and cannot find on the market. This is especially true of antique firearms that are no longer manufactured.

A word of caution here. The person who purchases a used firearm should be aware and up-to-date on federal or state laws that may apply to the transfer or purchase of a gun. There are many laws that apply to some states and not others, so be sure to check it out before you buy. If in doubt, contact your local law enforcement agency. They will be able to assist you with any questions you might have.

In general you should only purchase firearms from a licensed dealer who is in the business of selling firearms or an individual whom you know and trust. If you are not an expert on firearms or with someone who is, it is best to avoid the good ole boy table at the local gun show. You really don't know just what you are getting or if it functions properly.

No matter how good the deal sounds or seems, shy away and walk on. You may end up spending more money trying to get a gunsmith to repair the "bargain" you found. Even if buying from a reputable dealer, you want to avoid any firearm that shows obvious wear or abuse rust, damaged stock, worn spots or signs of owner neglect such as dirty action and bore.

Usually if someone offers a bargain that is too good to be true, it is. However, that is not to say there are no good buys out there. You must know what to look for and how.

A firearm that is moderately priced and is in good condition with minor signs of use is certainly worth looking at and considering. Once in a great while you may even find a particular firearm you've been looking for that needs some minor repair and would be worth the little extra money it would take to fix.

Another instance would be if you found a firearm that was what you were looking for, it needed some work and you knew a friend who was a professional gunsmith who would do the repair for free or a nominal fee.

Then, there is always the possibility that you just may be in the right place at the right time and get lucky with a firearm purchase. Don't hold your breath, the odds of such an occurrence are almost as high as those for winning the lottery.

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