How to Purchase Firearms over the Internet
There are many sites on the internet selling firearms. Federal laws only allow firearms to be shipped ONLY to licensed dealers (FFL holders) and in some instances to licensed collectors.
Firearms that are classified as Curios and Relics (C&R) can be shipped to C&R License holders. Buying a firearm on the internet requires that you have it shipped to a licensed dealer and requires that the receiving dealer have you fill out the appropriate paperwork (Form 4473) and wait the required waiting period for your jurisdiction. Individuals can ship firearms to licensed dealers ONLY. This should not be a problem as there are more than 80,000 licensed dealers in the United States. Under no circumstances can an individual legally ship a firearm directly to another individual.
*****NOTE GENERALLY... FIREARMS MANUFACTURED PRIOR TO 1899 ARE NOT DEFINED AS FIREARMS UNDER FEDERAL LAW AND CAN BE LEGALLY TRANSFERRED BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS AND DO NOT REQUIRE A DEALER!!!!! (Check your Local & State Laws)
The first step is to find a dealer near you who is willing to transfer firearms. The most important part of this step is determining the fee the dealer will charge for this service. This is important in determining the final price that you will pay for the firearm. Some dealers are resistant to doing transfers or charge excessive fees. Avoid these dealers, but don't forget that your local dealer has overhead and it must be worth his time and effort to do these transfers. Remember, A good deal is when everyone walks away happy. It pays to shop around. At this step you may wish to ask the dealer what he will charge to order you a particular firearm. this will give you something to compare to the items you find on-line. Many times the dealer will be able to get the firearms at a similar price by the time you calculate the fees and cost of shipping the firearm to your dealer.
NOTE:!!!! IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO DETERMINE IF A PARTICULAR FIREARM IS LEGAL IN YOUR JURISDICTION. DON'T BUY A FIREARM THAT THE TRANSFER DEALER CANNOT TRANSFER TO YOU!!!
Next find a firearm on-line that you are interested in purchasing. There are many great sites and you may find that bargain or impossible to find firearm. The most important step here is to determine the sellers on-line selling history. Most sites such as auctionarms.com and gunbroker.com have what is called buyer and seller feedback. This allows buyers and sellers to view the results of previous transactions that individuals have completed on-line. Use this information to determine if you wish to deal with this individual. Generally FFL holders and gun owners are outstanding citizens and the ones that legally own guns have not been out in society stealing, cheating or otherwise engaging in criminal behaviour or they would not pass the required background checks to purchase firearms. Just use common sense. It is generally safer to by from a dealer as the fed's frown upon dealers that are acting improperly.
Once you have found a transfer dealer and found an on-line seller you are comfortable with, determine what the sellers shipping and handling charges are. This should be clearly marked in their listing. If this information is not listed, contact the seller and ask. Some sellers will list an item at a bargain price, then overcharge on the shipping and handling to make their profit. This is OK as long as the bottom line works for you. Many dealers will also charge a fee to pay with a Credit Card. Please be aware that Handguns shipped through UPS FEDEX etc. must ship Next Day Air so expect 25.00-50.00 shipping fees on handguns. Rifles should generally ship in the 15.00-20.00 range. This is all ballpark estimates and may vary depending on distance, value and weight.
Before committing on a sale take into consideration the payment methods. The most safe way to purchase is using a credit card, this gives you recourse in the case of problem. Generally remember that if the it is too good to be true.......
I have transferred thousands of firearms for people and only had two incidents where UPS lost a firearm (they were insured), Again, just use common sense. Paying with Cashiers checks or Money orders is sometimes required and you should not have any problems.
So before making that committment to the seller
Add the following numbers: Cost of firearm + shipping and Handling + Credit Card Fee (If Any) + Transfer Dealer fees and taxes = Purchase price
Make sure you are happy with the ultimate purchase price taking into consideration the above details.
Now that you have committed to a purchase you must pay the seller. Generally the financial deal is between you and the seller and does not include your transfer dealer. The seller will require a copy of your transfer dealers FFL before he will ship to your transfer dealer. Some transfer dealers will give you copies of their FFL which you send to the seller with the payment. Some transfer dealers will not give you copies but will send them to the seller on your behalf. Once the seller receives payment and the transfer dealers FFL, the seller will ship the firearm to the transfer dealer.
Your Transfer Dealer will have you fill out the appropriate paperwork Form 4473 and wait the required waiting period in your jurisdiction. Your local transfer dealer can answer questions related to this part of the process.