You’re ready to take the big step and buy a gun online. Guns can be a source of great fun, and of course, there’s nothing quite as powerful as them when it comes to defending your home.
You might not be sure whether it’s safe to buy one online though. Is it legal? Is it reliable? How do you do it?
Due to the Gun Control Act passed in 1968, sellers are not allowed to send guns directly to people’s homes. This means that the gun market is generally well regulated, and the internet marketplace is no exception.
Regulations help ensure that buying a gun online is safe and reliable for everyone. However, it means that there are certain steps you must take to purchase a gun from an online seller.
In this article, we’ll review everything you need to know in order to buy a gun online without hassle.
Why Buy Online?
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably seriously considering purchasing a gun online. But you might also be wondering: “Are there any downsides to buying online? Should I go to a local shop instead?” Let’s look at the pros of online gun shopping first.
Getting your gun online has a few advantages compared to going at your local gun store. For starters, the price will be cheaper. Online sellers don’t need to have a physical store, so the overall price is reduced. Furthermore, there is no tax if you’re buying from an out-of-state vendor.
Finally, you also get a much wider selection to choose from since you can shop at any online store in a matter of a few clicks.
On the flipside, shopping online means that you don’t get the valuable input that your local store’s employees might give you. Additionally, you won’t be able to handle the gun before purchasing it. And if you encounter an issue, you can’t go to the store to see what’s wrong. Lastly, you’ll have to wait for your gun to arrive.
Choosing a Gun
The first step before seeing how to buy a gun is picking one! You want to pay particular attention if you’re buying your first gun. It’s exciting, but it’s also a big responsibility.
There are several things to consider before making the leap and even after. It’s important to understand the laws that pertain to gun ownership, use of the gun, and to learn how to be proficient with your weapon.
Buying your first gun can be quite tricky, especially because there are so many to choose from. You may have a specific purpose in mind, but even then the wealth of manufacturers and models might be overwhelming.
In that case, it’s worth it to not rush, take some to research your options, and get the advice of experts in order to make an informed decision.
It can be helpful, however, to remember that even experts will have differing opinions. There is no universal truth, no ideal gun that will fit everyone’s needs. An important parameter to consider is the intended use as well as the person who is going to wield the gun.
For instance, even a gun that’s perfect in theory for home protection might not be the best fit if it is intended for elderly people to use. The discrepancy in strength between a young person and an older sickly person can mean the difference between the ability to pull the trigger or not. Therefore, you should remember to weigh in all the essential factors before making a purchase.
It’s never a bad idea to ask a question, as silly as it may sound. And it is certainly better to ask a basic question and feel stupid for a minute than to abstain and make a grave mistake.
Let’s review the important steps to choosing a good gun.
1. Do Some Research
For starters, you should research guns and see what gun will fit your intended purposes. There is an outstanding number of guns available on the market, and even more information about firearms, so much so that it can be difficult to make a decision.
Make sure to prioritize getting information from quality sources and to check for specific materials about the way you’re going to use your gun. For example, you might want to buy a different gun whether you’re going to use it for personal protection or hunting.
So ask yourself what purpose your gun will serve. Will it be remain in your home or will you take it with you? Who is going to use it? Are you going to take part in shooting sports or keep it at the gun range? Is it for defense? If so, for at-home defense or concealed carry.
Outlining all these parameters will narrow down the choice of guns to ones that suit your needs. You’ll have a better idea of the size and caliber you need.
A gun can be top-notch and yet not be the right fit for you. You want to make sure the person wielding it will feel comfortable with it and be able to handle it with ease. If you have the opportunity, there’s nothing like trying out a few options before making a final choice.
2. Practice at the Range
There can be benefits to practicing at a shooting range before actually getting a gun. Getting some first-hand experience before making a decision on what gun to purchase will give you opportunities to discover your likes and dislikes when it comes to firearms.
Even a tiny bit of direct experience can prove more valuable than a mountain of advice from experts. Shooting a wide variety of guns will give you a better idea of what works for you.
Define the range of your budget beforehand and use it to buy the highest quality possible. You won’t need to buy the very best prototype of the type of gun you’re after, but there is such a thing as spending too little.
Some of the cheapest brands out there try to imitate the top manufacturers while using materials of mediocre quality, not to mention poor quality control. This results in high rates of malfunction and breakage, which could be terrible if it happened in a dangerous situation.
It might be tempting to try to save some money if you’re not much of a gun person. You might think you won’t use it your gun often anyway, so there’s no need to break the bank for it. Yet, while there’s no need to invest an obscene amount of money in a firearm, it is important to buy from a reputable vendor to guarantee that you’re getting your hands on a reliable weapon.
4. Selecting a Good Gun
While it would be a tall order to examine the best guns in every category, we can give you some criteria to sort the wheat from the chaff.
It can be interesting, when comparing manufacturers, to take a look at their best selling items. It’ll give you a general idea of what guns have almost universal appeal. When it comes to the best guns of world-famous brands (like a Glock semi-auto), you can’t go wrong.
We compiled a list of some of the best manufacturers that pretty much guarantee that you will get a quality gun.
- Glock makes some of the best semi-autos in the business. They are generally affordable and incredibly reliable, no matter what use you have in mind.
- Smith & Wesson is comparable to Glock as one of the most popular manufacturers with a wide selection of dependable guns. They are also renowned for their top-of-the-line revolvers.
- Springfield Armory is a manufacturer that rivals Glock and Smith & Wesson through their wealth of quality offerings. They often tend to be cheaper than the other two as well.
- Colt is perfect if you’re looking for a rifle for home defense with their Model 6920 AR-15.
- Remington’s Model 700 is versatile, accurate, lightweight, and a great rifle for hunters all around.
- Marlin is famous for its awesome lever action rifles, available in a wide array of calibers.
- Remington created the most popular shotgun in the US with the 870.
- Mossberg, with the Model 500 and 590, established a durable legacy in the world of shotguns.
Find an Online Dealer
After deciding on a gun to buy, it’s time to find a reliable online firearms dealer. There are quite a few of those around, including Brownells, Palmetto State Armory, Gunbroker, Rainier Arms, Buds Gun Shop, etc.
How to Buy a Gun Online
Now that you’ve picked out your gun and found an online vendor, it’s time to purchase it. At that point, you should know that the gun won’t be sent directly to your address in the mail.
To get your gun, you need to find a local dealer that has a Federal Firearms License. That should be the case for any gun store in your area, as well as some pawn shops and collectors.
The gun will arrive at the store of your choosing. To facilitate this process, you can set up your pickup location prior to ordering your gun. Keep in mind that there’s a fee, and some stores won’t like doing this for you since they lose out on selling their own weapons to you.
To prepare your pickup location, start by contacting the store. Let them know you want to have your gun shipped for them to pick up. Inquire about their fee for this service, which is usually between $25 and $75.
Provide the store with the address or email address of your online vendor. The store will use it to send proof of their license if it is needed. This step won’t be required if the online dealer already has the store on file.
Lastly, let the online vendor know the name and address of the store used for pickup.
A background check is needed to purchase a gun online. It’ll be conducted by the local store you’re using to pick up your weapon before you complete the transaction. It’ll be just the same as if you were buying a gun in person at the store.
- As long as you don’t meet any of the following conditions, you’ll be able to purchase a firearm without any issues:
- You were convicted of a crime punishable with over a year in prison
- You’re a fugitive from justice
- You are an unlawful user or addict of any controlled substance
- You are in the United States illegally
- You were dishonorably discharged from the military
- You have renounced your United States citizenship
- You have a restraining order out against you
- You are under indictment for a crime that could be punishable with over a year in prison
- However, if any of these apply to you, you won’t be legally allowed to buy a gun and your purchase will be denied by the store.
Inspect the Gun
That’s it, you’ve made the purchase and your gun is ready for pickup. It’s time to take it home!
However, before you do that, you should make sure to take a close look at your new acquisition to make sure everything is A-Okay. If you find any damaged parts, refuse the transfer and notify the store where you’re picking up your gun. Your online retailer should arrange for a replacement at no additional cost to you. Once you accept the gun, the sale is final.
At that point, don’t hesitate to ask your local dealer for any tips on how to maintain your new firearm.
Buying a Gun Online is Easy
That’s it! With this article, you’ll be able to buy a gun online without any trouble. It’s pretty easy and convenient, not to mention that you’ll benefit from a vast selection of firearms at cheaper prices. Don’t forget to set up a pickup point with a local store, and you’re good to go.
Make sure to learn proper gun etiquette, stay safe, and most of all, have fun!