Online transactions have become commonplace for most items. After few clicks of the mouse consumers eagerly await a delivery truck within the next few days. Almost anything can be ordered online, from toilet paper and video games to groceries and clothes.
Even firearms can be lawfully purchased through an online broker. And while possible to buy handguns and revolvers online, the transaction is a bit more involved than, say, buying a video game.
You’ll need to find an FFL dealer.
Dealers who hold a Federal Firearms License (FFL) are the crux of buying handguns, pistols, and revolvers for sale online. Simply put, it’s impossible to complete your transaction without one.
Firearms, unlike most other items, can’t be shipped directly to consumers. They can only be transported between FFL dealers. Thankfully, local gun shops have the proper licensing.
Contact the dealer before your purchase.
It’s a good idea to contact the FFL dealer before finalizing your purchase to let them know you’d like to have a firearm shipped to their store and inquire about the fee and store requirements for doing so. Gather any necessary license numbers and contact information from them; you will need it during your online purchase.
Make the purchase through the online retailer.
The bulk of transaction for buying handguns, pistols, and revolvers for sale online will look familiar. You simply choose your item from your website of choice and add it to your cart.
Reputable sites will require you to enter the FFL’s contact information into the checkout form before finalizing your payment method.The gun arrives at the FFL.
Once the firearm arrives at the dealer, the buying process is the same as if it were purchased in the store. The FFL will perform any background checks, permitting, and waiting periods required by your state.
They are in the best position to answer any questions you may have about the actual transfer. However, understand that issues that would keep you from being able to buy a gun in person will apply to your online purchase.
At this time the buyer completes ATF Form 4473, the Firearms Transaction Record from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). It contains your personal information; the firearm’s make, model, and serial number; as well as an affidavit stating that the purchaser complies with all federal laws.
Lying on ATF Form 4473 is a felony punishable by five years in prison and additional fines.
Inspect the firearm then take it home.
Before finalizing the transfer and taking your gun home remember to thoroughly inspect it for defects or damage. Most online transactions are final and you won’t be able to exchange or return the item; you’ll have to go through the manufacturer.