The Prince George RCMP has some safety suggestions for those selling their firearms.
Online marketplaces and websites designed for individual selling give consumers an easy and convenient way to sell their belongings from the comfort of their own home. However, there are also pitfalls associated to online selling that consumers need to be aware of, especially when selling their firearms.
“What we want firearms owners to remember is that the more people use these electronic services, the more information we inadvertently give away. The more people who know you have firearms, the higher the chance you will be at risk for having them stolen,” said Const. Jennifer Cooper of the Prince George RCMP.
Here are some safety tips and suggestions if you are thinking of selling your firearms:
- Avoid providing your physical address to the buyer, if possible. Using a licensed firearms retailer who can sell your firearm by consignment is one way to limit your risk.
- Try not to let the buyer know when you will be out of the house. For example, “I will be home after work by 4” lets the buyer know your house is potentially empty until 4 p.m.
- Check the buyer’s PAL information with the Canadian Firearms Program by calling 1-800-731-4000 to make sure it is valid.
There are also local businesses who are willing to assist firearms owners with the sales of their guns, providing services such as consignment or online brokerage. While both of these options require the seller to pay a fee, it does provide you a safe way to keep the sale of your firearm away from your residence.
Some other things for firearms owners to consider are:
- Decals and stickers on your vehicle advertise that you own or like guns.
- Be aware of your surroundings when arriving or leaving a range or tactical store.
- It is unlawful to store firearms in a vehicle. When a firearm is in a vehicle, boat or aircraft, it is being transported and must be done so in accordance with the Firearms Act and Regulations.
Upon arriving at your destination (such as a stop at a hotel on your way to a hunting camp) or returning to your residence, firearms must be brought inside and properly secured. Leaving firearms and ammunition unattended in a vehicle invites thieves to break into it, and creates a source of illicit firearms and ammunition to be diverted directly to criminals.