I was talking to a friend who had never purchased a gun and who was under the misconception online purchases are evil and illegal it might be good to put up a blog post on just what it takes to purchase a gun online. There are two types of transactions, one between private individuals and one from online dealers. If the private individual resides in a different state the final transfer of the firearm will have to take place at an FFL. If the person is in the same state you will have to follow your state law in order to take possession. Keep in mind in NC you will need a PPP for a handgun. For today’s post I would prefer to detail online purchases from dealers.

So you’re looking at a website and spot a firearm you want. What happens next is actually pretty simple. Add the items to your cart and be sure to know what the shipping charges are, if any. I always like to scour the web to be sure I am getting the best possible price, you can always add it to the cart and never complete the purchase. Somewhere in the checkout procedure it will ask for your FFL information. I find it handy to have the FFL selected ahead of time. There is one in my area who accepts shipments without any notification. There is another who requires they be told of each and every shipment. The difference between the transfer fees of those two businesses is only $5 and the one who accepts shipments is already on file with most major vendors so I generally choose them for a single firearm delivery. Now if the FFL is not on file with the vendor you selected you will need to get a copy of their information to the vendor. Typically most FFLs will not give that information to you. They will however fax a copy to the vendor, mail a copy for you, or email a copy. This took me a little time to wrap my brain around, but once I understood the process it is smooth as silk.

To quickly recap:

  • Order the firearm
  • Checkout and provide FFL information
  • Firearm is shipped to FFL
  • Pickup firearm from FFL

There is nothing difficult nor illegal about purchasing a firearm online. The FFLs have been vetted by the feds and you will be vetted by the FFL according to all applicable laws. Those who say you can buy online without a background check are idiots.

If in doubt about the process speak with your FFL to be sure what you will need once the firearm arrives.