• Walker & Taylor, PLLC

Texas Gun Registration (or lack thereof)

A common question many gun owners in Texas have is "How do I register my gun?" In Texas, there is no registration process for firearms and firearms are not registered to an owner. Other states, such as Illinois or New Jersey, require gun owners to register with the state and document any firearms in their possession. Our great State of Texas holds no such registry.

Practically, what does this mean? If a private individual sells, gifts, or otherwise transfers a firearm to another individual, there is no reporting requirement and no documentation of the sale is required. There is no way to "change" the name associated with the firearm.

Document sales and transfers

Although it is not legally required, it would be prudent to document the sale or transfer of any firearms by using a "bill of sale." This is a simple document which needs only include the names of the parties, the date of the transaction, and the serial number of the firearm. Why bother if the law doesn't require any documentation? Once a firearm leaves your possession, you can never be quite sure where it will wind up. For example, if you sell your gun and it is later recovered in Mexico, the gun may be traced back to you and the ATF might have some questions that need answering. If you find yourself in such a situation it would be extremely beneficial to have a clear record of your lawful transaction.

Keep an inventory

As you buy and sell guns over the years, we recommend you always keep an inventory of your current firearms in the event any are ever lost, stolen, or destroyed. If your home is broken into, you can use the inventory to look up the serial numbers of stolen firearms and quickly report them to the police. Additionally, if your firearms are destroyed or lost due to a natural disaster you will have a documented record to support any insurance claims. Be sure to keep your inventory in a safe, secure location and record the make, model, serial number, and the date of acquisition of your firearms.

Make sure it's legal

Bear in mind that although there is no registration process in Texas, that doesn't mean you can buy and sell without taking the law into consideration. If you have reason to believe the buyer is intoxicated, under the age of 18, prohibited from possessing firearms, or intends to commit a crime with the firearm, Texas law prohibits you from completing your sale. Further, there are several situations where federal law is implicated.

If you sell or transfer a firearm to a citizen of another state, you are required to go through a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer ("FFL"). This means if you have a relative visiting from out of state you cannot simply give him a firearm as you would another Texas resident. As absurd as it sounds, you would both need to go to an FFL dealer together or have an FFL dealer ship the firearm to another FFL dealer in your relative's home state. Similarly, National Firearms Act ("NFA") restricted items are also subject to federal law and any transfer of such items must go through the ATF.

Make sure you are complying with the law on transfers of firearms, and always—document, document, document!

Author: Dylan Price

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website does not contain legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Every case is different, and this material is not a substitute for, and does not replace the advice or representation of, a licensed attorney.



1020 BAY AREA BLVD. Ste. 105

TEL: 281-668-9957

FAX: 281-282-9419

It is critical that you seek legal representation as soon as possible to protect your rights and record. Each case is different, but depending on the accusation, you could face a wide range of penalties including jail time, expensive fines, and more. The first step in protecting yourself is obtaining competent legal representation. Please fill out our contact form, and we will schedule your free case evaluation today. Provide only name and contact information. Do not provide the details of your incident in this message. 

Acceptable payment methods include cash, checks, and credit cards.

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Yelp Social Icon
  • LinkedIn Social Icon

© 2020-2021 Walker & Taylor, PLLC. 

Walker & Taylor, PLLC is located in Houston, TX and serves clients in and around Harris, Galveston, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Liberty, Brazoria, and Chambers Counties.

Attorney Advertising: This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

Looking for: Criminal defense attorney Houston? Criminal defense attorney Galveston? Criminal lawyer Galveston? Criminal lawyer Houston? Criminal defense law Houston? walkertaylorlaw.com