I’ve posted how to purchase a firearm online in the past, but I don’t think I spent quite enough time on one of the most important parts of the transaction which can make your life painful or pleasant. That piece of the puzzle is your receiving FFL. I often see people asking who they should use which means they have not taken the time to find someone they know and trust. I prefer someone inexpensive and nowadays that is $20 or less. If you are paying more, ask yourself what you are really getting for the extra money. If the are very close to your home, that may be worth the extra money, but all the FFL does is take care of the paperwork. So what I look for in a FFL is pretty simple.
- Low fees
- Good communication
- Quick paperwork
It does you no good if the FFL receives the firearm and sits on it for a week. I had one place with good fees if you received multiple firearms and they sat on my firearms for a week leaving them in an alcove. I was so pissed I almost turned them over to the ATF. Had they at least locked them in a safe it would have been better, but just sticking them in a hallway is unacceptable. The paperwork is pretty simple to fill out, but some FFLs just seem to be slow about handing me the form and photocopying my CHP and DL. I don’t know why, it is pretty simple stuff.
So I suggest you speak with your intended FFL and ask about their fees, when they will call after the firearm arrives, and if someone will be at the ready to help with the paperwork finalization. If you have to arrive and take a number that is just not worth it IMO, it’s $20 to receive a package and let me fill out a form I should be near the front of the line for the amount of work it actually requires.
Once you find this FFL if you are purchasing the other dealer will need their FFL documents. It is best IMO to find someone who will either fax, mail, or email their documents on request. One you find the right FFL, have them on speed dial since the relationship is critical for you to be able to finally hold that online purchase in your hand. My FFL is a little more than some others at $20. They will fax their information to the sender the second I call them and I think that is critical. The second they receive the firearm they call me and tell me it has arrived and I can pick it up. They are a few miles away, but for the service I get I feel it is worth the drive. Find your ideal FFL and once you do, put them on speed dial.