Before we talk about how to buy a firearm online, let’s first take a brief look at the federal requirements on how firearms are purchased (in-store or online).how do buy a gun online usa
These firearm purchase rules differ from state to state (some states have extra firearm purchase requirements) and whether the purchase is from a gun store/dealer or a private party transaction.
If you’re buying a gun online, you’ll have it shipped to a gun store. They are often referred to as FFL dealers because they have a Federal Firearms License (FFL), which permits them to satisfy the background check requirements, and transfer the gun to you in person.
Therefore, we’re not going to cover private-party sales here where one private seller sells the firearm to another person in a private sale which doesn’t require using a gun dealer. These private gun sales are legal in most states, without using a licensed gun dealer to conduct the transfer process, under state law. Conducting a gun sale online typically requires an FFL dealer under the laws of the United States, so we’re only going to focus on Federal gun laws here. how to buy a gun online
When buying a gun from an FFL, you’ll need to have the firearm “transferred” to you via an FFL Transfer.
A transfer occurs by you filling out an ATF form, called Form 4473 (the firearms transaction record), and satisfying the background check requirements.
Form 4473 requires information about the identity of the purchaser, and it requires answers to a series of questions to ensure that you are not a prohibited person.
Firearm Background Checks
Upon completing Form 4473, you must satisfy the background check requirements. Typically, this means that the FFL will conduct a federal background check on you through the federal National Instant Criminal Check System (NICS). cheap gun for sale
However, some states have different requirements. For example, some states have extra forms/processes that must be followed (we’re looking at you, California), some states use their own background check system through their own law enforcement agencies, and some states allow for the possession of a valid Concealed Weapons Permit to satisfy the background check requirements.
To learn more about federal vs state background checks for firearms and which states allow CCWs, check out this article: Federal Background Checks for Firearms