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Buying Guns Online

Buying Guns Online: A Step-by-Step Guide


Purchasing a firearm online is a convenient option for many enthusiasts and collectors. However, it involves a strict legal process to ensure safety and compliance with federal and state regulations. This guide outlines the essential steps and considerations for buying guns online.

Step 1: Research and Choose a Reputable Dealer

Start by researching reputable online gun dealers. Look for websites with positive reviews, proper licensing, and a wide selection of firearms. Reputable dealers include:

Ensure the dealer is a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder, as this is required for all legal firearm sales in the United States.

Step 2: Understand Federal and State Laws

Familiarize yourself with federal and state laws regarding firearm purchases. The Gun Control Act of 1968 is the primary federal law governing firearm sales, which mandates background checks and transfers through an FFL dealer. State laws can vary significantly, so check your local regulations to understand specific restrictions or additional requirements.

Step 3: Select Your Firearm

Once you’ve chosen a dealer, browse their selection and choose the firearm you wish to purchase. Pay attention to details like make, model, caliber, and any included accessories. Most websites provide detailed descriptions and specifications.

Step 4: Complete the Purchase

Add the firearm to your cart and proceed to checkout. During this process, you’ll need to provide:

  • Personal information: Full name, address, and contact details.
  • Payment information: Credit card or other accepted payment methods.

Step 5: Choose an FFL Dealer for Transfer

Federal law requires that all online firearm purchases be shipped to an FFL dealer. Find a local FFL dealer willing to handle the transfer. Websites like FFL Finder can help you locate nearby dealers. You’ll need to provide the FFL dealer’s information to the online seller.

Step 6: Background Check and Transfer

Once the firearm arrives at the local FFL dealer, you’ll need to complete ATF Form 4473, which includes a background check conducted by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The dealer will contact you to come in and complete this process.

Step 7: Finalize the Transfer

After passing the background check, you can finalize the transfer. The FFL dealer will complete the necessary paperwork and hand over the firearm to you. Be prepared to pay a transfer fee, which varies by dealer.


Buying a gun online is a straightforward process if you follow these steps and comply with all legal requirements. Always ensure you’re dealing with reputable sellers and understand the laws in your area. By doing so, you can enjoy the convenience and selection offered by online gun shopping.

By following this guide, you can confidently navigate the online gun purchasing process, ensuring a safe and legal transaction.

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