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Gun Brokers Online: How Buying Firearms From the Web Works

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By    |   Sunday, 14 Sep 2014 12:27 PM

The decision to buy a firearm on the Internet, whether from a gun store or a private seller, means becoming familiar with the laws that regulate such sales.

It is legal to purchase guns online, according to the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. However, like sales that occur in person, the buyer and seller must follow federal regulations for a legal sale.

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A simple Web search for firearms brokers will pull up dozens of websites offering guns for sale. Those websites that are run by gun stores will require a background check before the sale can be completed, just as the store would if you were shopping onsite, according to GunAuction.com writer Manny DelaCruz.

Gun sellers must have a Federal Firearms License, or FFL, to sell guns. When an individual in South Carolina buys a firearm from a gun store in Omaha, Nebraska, for instance, the dealer will contact someone who has an FFL in Omaha to handle the transfer of the weapon.

It sometimes rests on the buyer to find a local FFL holder to facilitate the sale, and DelaCruz recommended visiting a local gun store or checking GunAuction.com’s FFL Network.

North Carolina’s Hyatt Guns, which bills itself as the largest gun store in the country, charges $39.95 to facilitate a gun transfer from out of state.

DelaCruz said it’s important to understand state regulations that impact firearms sales, and that includes the originating state where the firearm will be mailed from and the state where it is going.

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“For example, California only permits the sale of handguns that are on the State Attorney General's drop-test list. Weird, right?” he wrote. “Some cities have complete bans on handguns. Chicago, for example. In New Jersey, the sale of an air gun is treated like the sale of a firearm.”

Regulations are different when the sale occurs between two individuals, neither of whom hold an FFL, DelaCruz said. According to Hyatt Guns, though, some people do choose to legally register the purchase even when it’s a private sale, and those can also be shipped to Hyatt, or other gun stores, so they are accepted by an FFL holder.

When a private sale occurs, it should be noted that regulations apply to how the firearm is shipped, especially as it is often illegal to ship guns across state borders.

An unlicensed person may ship a firearm to an FFL license holder living anywhere, but may only ship to a private buyer within his or her own state, according to Gun Broker.

The U.S. Postal Service will only ship rifles or shotguns from individuals, no handguns, according to Gun Broker. Licensed sellers, though, can ship all guns by USPS. For unlicensed individuals, a common or contract carrier must be used to ship handguns.

Regulations change over time and it’s important to stay up-to-date. Visit the ATF website for regulations on firearms sales and shipping firearms.

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The decision to buy a firearm on the Internet, whether from a gun store or a private seller, means becoming familiar with the laws that regulate such sales.
gun, brokers, online, how, buying, works
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2014-27-14
Sunday, 14 Sep 2014 12:27 PM
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