Purchasing Firearms Online
For any buyer considering purchasing a firearm online, there are typically a lot of questions, concerns, and some frustrations that can come to mind before you ever select whom you are going to buy your firearm online from.
One of the big things about purchasing a firearm online is you are likely purchasing from an unknown company, or unknown to you, who uses stock pictures, has very little reviews, and in many cases, they are so far behind in the times that just getting a response via email could be a challenge. You could always purchase from the more known companies, but if you are a budget-conscious shopper like me, then you are likely going to look for the best price online, and in many cases, the big box retailers will cost you more. Additionally, they can be very difficult to work with and if you are like me, you may be exhausted with the big box retailers constantly giving in to the anti-gun movements every time there is a shooting and taking certain products off the shelves or restricting access to certain items that aren’t deemed politically correct. These days I find myself wanting and seeking out companies who stand by what they sell and won’t give in to the cancel culture at every turn. Sorry I digressed on that one and will get back to my point, which was purchasing guns online.
In our experience, the shops you want to work with are the ones that are more willing to work with you, they will respond quickly, and they will communicate with clarity and a defined schedule of every step that will happen after you have purchased your firearm.
That said, here are a couple of things I have discovered over the years that helped me vet out my online purchases:
- Is the picture a stock picture? This isn’t a showstopper, we use them as well on some of our posts, but it should raise your awareness to some of the other things we recommend you pay attention to when processing your order.
- Do they have recent reviews on Facebook, Google, etc.…?
- How quickly did they respond to your questions? In my experience response time is everything and if they take days to respond then in my opinion, they aren’t serious online sellers, and they really don’t want your business
- How do they respond? Is it professional, does it discuss next steps, and does it clearly lay out what they need from you, how do you get it to them, etc.…?
- If the price is too good to be true, then it is not true, or the firearm is different in some way. We have seen plenty of deals where the firearm was $50 lower than anybody else. They looked legit, they answered questions, the specs looked the same, and then you get the pistol with one less magazine, or it doesn’t have some of the accessories everyone else’s came with. Our advice is, if it’s significantly lower than everyone else, ask questions that are very specific like: what’s missing from this post, why is it cheaper than everyone else’s, please verify that your pistol is the same as X’s and comes with everything this one does…. If they don’t want to answer than walk.
- If the gun is used, ask for additional pictures if you are not satisfied with what has been posted. If they won’t send them, then they don’t want your business and I would walk.
In order to Purchase Firearms Online:
- You must be 18 or older to purchase rifles (Long Guns) and 21 or older to purchase handguns. You should check with local & state laws, rules can vary from state to state.
- Verify that the firearm you would like to purchase meets your state, county, or city firearm laws.
- Typically, you will receive an email with your order confirmation. We recommend that you respond to that email to verify your shipping location.
- Your shipping location must be a local FFL Dealer (gun shop) where you can pick up and process any state and federal documentation requirements. This can be your local Gun Shop, Pawn Shop, Gun Range or any other location that holds a current FFL and will help you with your transaction.
- Once your FFL holder receives your firearm; you will need to pick it up.
- ***Important: **** Upon arrival at your FFL, inspect your firearm to make certain that everything is acceptable before filling out the necessary paperwork. Once the transfer of the firearm is complete, the manufacturer’s warranty is then in effect and from that point on any complications with the firearm will need to be handled by the manufacturer.
- Is it legal to purchase firearms online?
- Yes, it is legal to purchase firearms online and because you must ship and pick up your firearm at a local dealer, all paperwork, background checks, and other state and federal rules are followed by your pickup dealer
- Does the firearm ship directly to me?
- No, all FFL’s (gun dealer) are required to ship any long gun (rifle) or handgun to a registered FFL dealer where you can pick up your purchase.
- It is the local dealer’s responsibility to verify the legality and your status/ability to pick up your purchase
- On that note, it is up to you to know if you are legally able to purchase the firearm you are considering.
- Does it cost more to purchase online?
- Sometimes yes, some time no. How is that for an answer? There are a few extra charges that you must consider when purchasing online. First, the local dealer where you are shipping your firearm purchase to will typically charge a transfer fee which can range from $25-50. Additionally, you may or may not pay for shipping with your purchase and that can help lower the costs
- That said, you don’t typically pay tax if you purchase from an out of state dealer which helps balance out the costs
- When should I purchase online vs. a local gun store?
- Although you can purchase just about any firearm you want online, it may not make sense to purchase mainstream guns that you can find at any local dealer.
- I started this company online and I believe that one of the reasons we were successful was that we decided to focus on selling things that we’re hard to find and not items you could get at any local store. For example, if you were to ask me should I buy a Glock online, I would typically tell you no it’s not worth it. Why? Because you can get a Glock anywhere guns are sold and paying the additional shipping and transfer fee rarely makes sense unless it’s some rare, used, or older Glock that you can’t find anywhere else.
- Purchasing firearms online is a great place to find those harder to find items that can be tax free and because the online market is broad and public, we all must compete with everyone else which drives everyone’s pricing down.
We thank you for reading and coming to our website and want to ensure we are answering all your questions. Please feel free to send an email to Sales@TarRiverArms.com if you want to ask additional questions, or want greater clarification on anything posted in this article.