Purchasing A Gun Online- What To Know About Background Checks

Are you looking to buy a gun online? With the Firearms industry facing significant challenges from the society, law firms and even by major banks, account issuers and gateway providers, gun merchant account holders still have a lot to worry about. For buyers, here’s how to know when you need a background check or not.

I’m ready to purchase a gun. Where do I begin?

Well, unlike other goods, with firearms you only have a few options. A quick search of “online gun shop” on Google will present a group of websites like Budsgunshop.com, Grabagun.com, and Impactguns.com, which pose as digital platforms for real gun stores. Sites like Gunbroker.com, however, host gun auctions, more like eBay does.

The last category of sites does not carry out gun sales, but rather allow people to arrange sales. Armslist.com is the most known gun dealer who is, in fact, a Craigslist for firearms — but others like Glocktalk.com also list gun offers in their “classified ads” section.


What are the procedures of buying a firearm online from a gun store’s site?

In most case, you will go through an FFL background check.

If you purchase firearms from a Federally Licensed Firearms dealer’s (FFL) website e.g. Buds, you can’t just pay through your credit cards and have the weapon shipped to your home. Instead, the dealer will send the gun to your nearest local FFL office, where you will go through a background check before receiving your weapon. In most cases, you will have to part with $25–$50 transfer fee at the local FFL office to facilitate the transaction.

These terms apply to merchants with brick and mortar location such as Bud’s, and dealers who conduct all their purchases online, like Grabagun, which has no storefront. For online sellers with gun merchant accounts provided byissuers like EMB, the case is different.

What if I purchase a gun via an auction site?

It depends on the dealer, and where you live or wish to buy your weapon.

Firearm Auction sites are a business platform for both unlicensed private dealers and FLLs. Gunbroker.com brags as the largest private gun dealer on the internet. However, if the merchant is an FFL, or if you win the auction and live in a different state (for both private and licensed dealers), you must collect your gun at an FFL after a background check before carrying your weapon home.

But if you buy a gun on an auction site from a private dealer in the same state, sometimes they can ship it directly to your doorstep without the need for a background check.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) will mail shotguns and rifles (but not handguns) between persons within state borders, on confirmation that the guns are unloaded. FedEx and UPS won’t ship a gun to you whatsoever.

Beware of tricksters

Gun auction sites like any other online businesses may be at risk for fraud. You don’t want to buy a gun from a dealer only to realize it was a stolen firearm when you go to collect it at your local FFL office. The worst part is you will have to deal with the refund problems on your own.


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