Can I do a face to face sale to a resident of a neighboring state without involving a FFL? Is this legal or do I need to go through a FFL?
We don't live that far apart but it's across state lines. I'm in Illinois, he's not.
Depends on the type of gun (handgun absolutely not, long gun maybe) and state laws in particular. If your state and Illinois have reciprocal agreements and allow for purchase/sale of long guns between states, maybe. Contrary to the above advice, you had better check into the specific laws governing this, rather than rely on so-called "advice" from the forum. If for reason the gun you sold ended up getting stolen and misused, it would eventually be traced back to you as the last "legal" or "registered" owner and the resulting questions might turn out to be a bit awkward for you. The consequences might then result in your loss of all guns, felony charges, what have you. We might not like, or agree with the many firearms laws existing (or believe they are even Constitutional) but as long as they exist, failure to observe them can result in some very unpleasant consequences. Check with your local authorities and the authorities in Illinois first. The forum is no place for legal advice.
Meet him at an FFL in his state (call the FFL first and make an appointment), with the gun, and do the transfer there. The most ocmmon apprach is that the buyer pays the FFL fee. You loose nothing, but gain peace of mind should a scenario develop like Jim proposed.
Use common sense. My my state we can do person to person shot gun sales to four neighboring states but not the 5th. None the less, I always use a bill of sale and have them fill out name, drivers license number and provide signature. I state this upfront and in one instance, one guy said he would not buy it becasue of that...
To Jim's point, stolen shotguns are a reality as is their use in violent crimes. Not knowing who you you sell it to is needless risk to you...
I agree with Jim & Tiny. Go the FFL route. It would be worth the piece of mind to me. Split the $37.50 FFL transfer fee. (that's what my guy charges me) I'd call it cheap insurance.
If for some reason this would not work or be a hassle I would go to a Kinkos or some place with a copy machine. Copy your FOID card and his/her drivers license on a piece of paper and put Seller by your card and Buyer beside his. Both sign and date, and each retain a copy.
I doubt that is "legal", but at least there is a record if something went wrong. The state would probably revoke your FOID for only 5 or 10 years instead of life.