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How To Buy a Gun Online with Guns.com

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The subject of buying a firearm online often draws undue attention. In its most basic form, purchasing a gun online is a merging of the old and the new. The advent of the internet has not yet completely integrated into social expectations, even as it has certainly invaded almost all aspects of everyday life. Just as the internet has exponentially expanded the flow of information, it has also created purely digital storefronts. While we don't think twice about ordering food or car parts from various websites, how to buy a gun online brings with it different requirements.

how to buy a gun online guns.com

Photography from Guns.com

How to Buy a Gun

While different states have different minor variations, the foundation of purchasing a firearm from a business follows a specific set of guidelines. In order to buy a gun from a guns store, the purchaser must undergo a NICS background check, which for the purchaser, is performed in the store by filling out a form known as an AFT Form 4473. That background check is completed almost instantly and needs some clarification. Following under the precedence, “Innocent until proven guilty,” the NICS background check screens the potential purchaser for clearly defined factors that would prohibit them from owning a firearm. If none are adequately present, the sale proceeds. Money is exchanged and off to the range with you.

how to buy a gun online guns.com

Photography from Guns.com

The traditional pipeline follows one of two routes: 

Manufacturer -> Distributor -> Brick and Mortar FFL Storefront -> Buyer

Craftsman -> Brick and Mortar FFL Storefront -> Buyer

Guns.com

Adding a dash of internet to the equation, Guns.com is an example of the benefits of online storefronts. In times past, when buying from a brick-and-mortar store, we were once limited to choosing between what was on the shelf or what could be ordered, the internet has drastically changed both our perception of the options, and what is immediately available for purchase. Online gun stores have the upside of variety, with the negligible downside of time.

how to buy a gun online guns.com

Variety is the spice of online firearms sales. No longer restricted to the selection attuned to those within driving distance. Photography from Guns.com

In order to purchase a firearm online from a distributor, manufacturer, or digital storefront, the same things need to take place: money must be exchanged, the firearm must be delivered to an FFL dealer, and the purchaser must undergo a background check. when someone buys a gun from Guns.com, the firearm is then shipped to an FFL of the buyer's choice, where they will go and make the transfer legally, after completing an ATF Form 4473 and passing the background check.

stocking gun shelves

At the apex between supply and demand, online gun stores can reach a larger base, and legally. Photography from Guns.com

Advantages of the Digital Age

The common myth that one could go online, buy a firearm, and immediately have it shipped to their home shows, not the dangers of buying a gun online, but the advantages of modern logistics. Since the Federal Government requires a gun to be shipped to a Federal Firearms Licensed gun store or dealer, the same laws that apply to regular firearms purchasing remain in effect and effective at the point of transfer.

The online Pipeline resembles the Old Ways:

Manufacturer -> Online Gun Store -> Your Local FFL -> Buyer

How to Buy a gun online, then, and stay within the good graces of the legal code, requires nothing more, and nothing less than what the buyer would have originally gone through. The big difference between stores like Guns.com and the days before the internet, is that the buyer gets to choose what they want before it reaches their local gun store: a big benefit for those looking to legally acquire a firearm, and no less regulated by the current laws.

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