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How do I Register a Firearm?

Updated: Apr 13, 2021

One of the first steps in owning a new firearm is having it registered with your state. While not necessary in all states, the application process is unique to where you live and may require additional research on your part. We will cover firearm registration below, as well as provide helpful tips for making the process a quick and convenient experience.

Learning About Your State Registration Process

Firearm registration differs greatly by state, so obtaining proper information about your local process is vital. A quick visit to your state website should provide an overview of registration law. You can also contact your state's firearm department and speak with a representative directly. Lastly, you can get in touch with your local police department. The department will be able to provide the information you need and may also be the place you will undergo registration itself.

Application Forms

The next step towards registering your firearm is filling out the application form. In states like Hawaii, this form can be found online on the state website, allowing you to fill it out in advance. However not all states have this feature, so you may need to fill out the form in person when visiting your local police department. When filling out the application form you will need to provide basic information like your name, address, and physical features like your height, weight, and eye color. You will also need information on your firearm’s model, manufacturer, and serial number. Disclosing the retailer you purchased the firearm from is commonly requested as well.

Registering Your Firearm

When you are prepared to register your firearm, arrange an appointment with your local police department, or see if any walk-ins are available. Bring both proof of identification like a driver’s license or passport, as well as proof of residence which can include home bills, vehicle registration, or credit card statements. You will need to complete your application form as well as undergo fingerprinting. Be aware that fingerprinting comes with a fee and can be paid directly or through check and money orders. The last part of the registration process is presenting your unloaded firearm for inspection. It will be placed in a container and checked to see if it is safe to use and adheres to federal and state requirements.

Other Methods of Registration

In addition to registering your firearm through the local police department, certain retailers can help you through the process or register on your behalf. For example, some retailers may assist you through a firearm safety class, which is a requirement for registration in some states. Retailers can also arrange firearm transfers if you need to register a firearm given to you. While these are paid services and will come with fees, having an expert assist you with registration is both fast and convenient.

Learn More About Firearms and Registration with DCSA

If you would like to know more about firearm registration or require assistance with the process, is ready to help. specializes in firearm ownership, training, and repair services. Whether learning to use a firearm professionally or recreationally, we bring over 40 years of experience and peerless customer service. Contact us at 202-964-2010 today.

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