Sometimes, buying guns in physical stores can be a hassle. Fortunately, several gun stores can now be accessed online. However, buying online may involve a tedious process that every aspiring gun owner must know.
And to help you with this matter, our team narrowed down the procedures and rules that you could follow and remember on how to buy a gun online.
Table of Contents
- 1 8 Steps to Buying a Gun Online
- 1.1 1. Find A Local Dealer With A Federal Firearms License (FFL)
- 1.2 2. Contact Your Local FFL & Arrange The Firearm Transfer
- 1.3 3. Provide The Local Dealer’s Information
- 1.4 4. Pass The Background Check
- 1.5 5. Complete the Online Firearm Purchase
- 1.6 6. Coordinate The Firearm Transfer & Pay The Transfer Fee
- 1.7 7. Pick Up Your New Firearm
- 1.8 8. Check & Test Your Firearm For Any Damages
- 2 Rules To Follow When Buying A Gun Online
- 3 Pros & Cons of Buying A Gun Online
- 4 FAQS
- 5 Final Thoughts On Purchasing A Gun Online
8 Steps to Buying a Gun Online
1. Find A Local Dealer With A Federal Firearms License (FFL)
The first step in purchasing a gun is to find a local dealer with a Federal Firearms License (FFL). You should confirm if your local FFL dealer is willing to receive transfers from you. Some FFLs aren’t willing to receive transfers because they perceive online gun sales as competition.
It is essential to ship your firearms to an FFL because it is now a federal law that all guns and weapons be transported to an FFL dealer. The person receiving the handgun may complete the necessary documentation afterward.
Just a reminder, check to see if the guns like a rifle or a shotgun you want to buy are legal in your state before buying them online. It doesn’t mean you can own it just because it’s on sale. It is your responsibility to ensure that possessing it is legal for you.
2. Contact Your Local FFL & Arrange The Firearm Transfer
You should schedule the transfer once you’ve selected your online retailer. You have to inform the FLL that you want to buy a gun online and have it delivered. Please provide them with your contact information, including your billing address, to know where they can ship your gun when it arrives.
They’ll often hand you a copy of their FFL to use. However, they may most of the time want to send a copy of their FFL to the online gun store directly. Even better, because online gun sales are so common, your local dealer’s license may already be on file with the online firearm shop.
3. Provide The Local Dealer’s Information
You must provide the contact details for the local dealer to the website where you made your purchase. Provide your domestic FFL with your online retailer’s mailing address, email address, or telephone number so that they can send proof of their license.
If the dealer has never shipped to that dealer before, the website may ask them to email a copy of their license. If this is the case, you must reach out to the dealer again to obtain the necessary documents. Major online businesses will almost certainly have your FFL on file because it only needs to be done once.
4. Pass The Background Check
Before you can finish the transaction, your FFL dealer will check on you to ensure that everything is legal. You must have your order “transferred” to you via an FFL Transfer. It is done by filling out an ATF form, Form 4473, and meeting the background check requirements.
The purchaser’s identification must be verified, and responses to a series of questions must be provided to guarantee that you are not a forbidden person.
You must meet the background check requirements after completing Form 4473.
A forbidden person is a person who uses a controlled substance illegally. So, to avoid circumstances during your purchase, you should pass the background check. Also, some states have additional requirements.
For example, states have their background check system, and others allow possession of a valid Concealed Weapons Permit to meet background check requirements.
5. Complete the Online Firearm Purchase
The FFL Dealer will demand you to complete federal, municipal, and state-mandated documentation as well as a background check for your firearm. We urge you to contact the transferring FFL dealer with any questions to avoid problems during your purchase. Complete all the requirements they require you for speedy transactions.
Just a warning, some FFL holders dislike it when you buy your gun online because they miss out on the gun’s margin. Some states, like California, will continue to collect taxes on your firearm through the FFL.
6. Coordinate The Firearm Transfer & Pay The Transfer Fee
You’ll need to verify that the mart where you bought the gun has a copy of the FFL to where you want your firearm shipped.
They’ll be shipping your handgun, rifle, or shotgun during the online checkout process or occasionally shortly after via email.
You may trace your order using shipping details from the internet site, but the firearm must first arrive at the local dealer and be registered on their records before you can pick it up.
Let your local FFL dealer know which firearm you bought and where you bought it so they can keep a watch out for it and call when your firearm arrives.
7. Pick Up Your New Firearm
Finally, your online store-purchased gun arrives at your local gun shop. It’s time to get it transferred to you at the gun store. Don’t forget to bring a government-issued photo ID with your photograph and current address with you when picking up your order.
8. Check & Test Your Firearm For Any Damages
Even though you’ll be eager to get your gun home, do not leave the dealer until you’ve thoroughly inspected the gun to ensure there are no damaged parts.
If you discover defective parts in your new pistol, notify the FFL immediately. Any reputable merchant will arrange for a free replacement of your firearm.
Rules To Follow When Buying A Gun Online
Buying weapons online is a serious matter, and you will not lawfully purchase a firearm if you match any of these criteria: you cannot buy a gun online if you were found guilty of a crime punishable with over a year in prison. And we all know that any crime such as illegal firearm possession can cause you a lot of trouble.
Staying in the United States illegally and renouncing your United States citizenship can also prevent you from buying guns online. As well as, if you were an unlawful user or have been discharged from the military with dishonor, or you were a subject of a restraining order, these will keep you from buying a gun online.
Buying a firearm online is completely legal. However, there are some local laws and states that have additional rules and regulations regarding this matter. Some states have more strict definitions of what firearms are allowed and who is forbidden from owning one.
Pros & Cons of Buying A Gun Online
A person in one state may acquire a handgun online from a licensed seller in another state as long as the firearm is delivered to a licensed dealer in the purchaser’s home state who facilitates the transaction.
You can buy online, but the firearm cannot be shipped to you directly. After passing a background check, a firearm must be shipped to an FFL dealer (Federal Firearms License), where you can pickup your online purchase.
According to federal law, the legal age to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer is 21. Even if you don’t have a carry permit, you can buy guns online. However, if the gun is purchased from a private, unlicensed seller, such as a neighbor or someone online or at a gun show, the age limit is reduced to 18 .
Final Thoughts On Purchasing A Gun Online
Purchasing a gun online is completely legal, and you don’t have a carry permit. However, you have to do this in the proper method to avoid having any problems buying firearms online. First, you have to find a dealer with an FFL license. Once you find a dealer, you can now contact your FFL dealer about the handguns or firearms you want to buy and where they can ship them.
Then you have to pass a background check to verify that you’re not a felon. Once done, complete all the documents and requirements that are needed for your purchase. Pay for the fee and wait until your firearms arrive.
They will inform you that you can now pickup your order. Just do a thorough check if your dealer is legitimate and has a license. We hope that this information helped you regarding how to buy a gun online.