In the United States, any adult with a clear criminal record can purchase a firearm for personal use, be it for hunting, self-defense or collection purposes. Different states have different processes for buying a gun, but generally, one goes to a gun or sporting goods store, selects a gun, then waits for the store to run a background check and waiting period before finalizing the purchase. however, to purchase a gun in another state, including through the Internet, you need to contact a dealer or individual with a Federal Firearms License (FFL). The FFL holder will either receive the gun for you or purchase it directly, then sell it to you.
Search an online gun store, sporting goods store or gun auction site for the gun you wish to purchase. Some of the more popular online gun sites operating in the United States are GunBroker, Cheaper Than Dirt, Auction Arms and MidwayUSA. Most national sporting goods stores will only sell guns at retail outlets, though you may be able to browse stock on their websites.
Once you've found a gun you wish to purchase, you need to find an Federal Firearms License holder. The easiest way to do this is to go to your local gun shop. Every gun store in the United States has a Federal Firearms license, and most of them will handle your gun transfer for a modest fee.
Purchase your gun through the website you've chosen. You need to contact both the seller and your local FFL holder to arrange the transfer. The seller must receive a copy of the FFL holder's license before he or she can ship the gun. You may send a copy yourself, but some gun stores will insist that only they be allowed to keep copies of their licenses.
Instruct the seller to ship the gun to the FFL holder's address; in the case of gun stores, this is the address of their retail store or their warehouse. An online gun seller is not legally capable of shipping directly to a non-FFL customer, so do not ask him or her to do so.
Wait for your gun to arrive at the FFL holder's place of business. Most gun stores will call you once they receive the package. Go to the store and receive your gun, making sure to carry it safely and discreetly home with you.
- If you are not legally capable of buying a firearm for reasons of age, criminal history or mental status, you are not allowed to purchase a gun online or through an FFL holder either. The FFL holder will run a background check before allowing you to receive your gun. Attempting to gain access to a firearm when you are not legally permitted to do so carries state and federal penalties, most of which involve considerable jailtime. In addition, state and local ordinances must be followed by the FFL holder - you cannot purchase a gun that is illegal in your state or municipality, even if the gun originated in another state.
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