You might have eagerly marked your calendar for your next hunting trip this year and you are excited to hone your hunting skills further. For that, you’ll need to have the best hunting gear, especially guns. If you are a new hunter who has acquired a hunting license or an experienced hunter who is looking to shift to a larger game, you must know where to get your hunting guns and gears online. The COVID-19 pandemic might still have limited the number of gun shops available, so you need an alternative source for your hunting needs online.
Here is a simple and handy guide to help you navigate through your online options for hunting guns and gears.
Research Online Gun Stores
Never underestimate the power of information and knowledge when it comes to online stuff. Gun purchases are significant investments for hunters as they will be using them for several hunting seasons in the future. As you browse for gun stores online, you also have to make a list of the specific items or filters for your purchase, such as gun brand, barrel length, mag type, cartridge, price, and other preferences or specifications you have in mind. Whether you prefer a rifle or a shotgun, you can purchase them online easily but the wide array of choices can slow down your purchase decision or overwhelm you. Thus, with a list of specifications in hand, you will know what to look for in a gun and narrow down your choices from the retailers or stores that meet your gun search criteria. There are also the fees and warranties that you need to know more about before deciding to make a purchase.
Pick Your Gun
Once you have selected the best online gun store, it’s time to refine your gun choice one last time before going ahead with the purchase. You have to keep in mind that purchasing a gun online will undergo several steps before it is delivered to you. For other non-gun hunting items purchased online, the process is easier, and they can be shipped directly to you after your purchase. Knowing the federal requirements for online firearms purchase can help reduce your wait time and avoid complications in your gun orders, especially if your next hunting trip is a few weeks or months from your purchase date.
Find an FFL Dealer
It is mandated by federal law that guns may only be shipped to a Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) dealer when you purchase a firearm online. The FFL dealer facilitates the checking and compliance of federal, state, and local law requirements and background check requirements before transferring the gun to you in person. You need to fill out an ATF form called Form 4473 to process an FFL transfer. Form 4473 requires the buyer’s identification information and has a series of questions that buyers should answer to prove that they are not prohibited persons.
You will need to prepare extra money for the fee that the FFL dealer will charge for this service. Local gun stores are your convenient sources of FFL dealers, and some individuals and companies are licensed to process an FFL transfer.
Another thing worth noting is that different FFL dealers have varying sentiments about guns purchased online. Some FFL dealers consider online gun shops as competitors, while others are open to processing FFL as an additional income source. Thus, find a willing FFL dealer with a reasonable fee and get their address details. You will need to have the FFL dealer matter accounted for before ordering a gun for a smooth checkout process, especially where to ship your purchased firearm.
Contact the FFL Dealer
You will need the contact information of the FFL dealer to arrange the firearm transfer and let them know that you will be purchasing a gun online and will have the firearm shipped to them. You will also need to provide your contact information so that they can reach you once it comes in or when it is ready to be picked up.
Oftentimes, online gun stores have physical or land-based outlets and affiliate stores that they recommend if ever you live near their brick-and-mortar branches or affiliate stores. Take advantage of this offer to get discounts or even package deals inclusive of FFL processing. Also, FFL processing is faster if the dealer is within the online store’s network of affiliates. Still, contact information exchange is vital between the dealer and buyer, especially when there are updates regarding your firearm.
If there are no preferred or affiliated FFL dealers in your area, get the contact information of the dealer you chose and also provide your contact number. Preferably, a good choice is a dealer that is close to your residence for easy access once your gun is ready.
Submit Your Order
Now that everything is coordinated with your FFL and you have the necessary contact information, it is time to submit your order and make the purchase. Your ordered gun will be shipped directly to the FFL dealer’s address. You can now wait for the FFL dealer to contact you if your gun can be picked up.
Pick Up Your Gun from Your FFL Dealer
We emphasized the importance of contact information exchange between the FFL dealer and gun buyer earlier when it comes to a smooth gun pickup. Aside from checking on the pickup date, your dealer may also remind you in advance to bring a government-issued photo ID with your current address or if a background screening using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) might be required. Usually, bringing your ID, gun license, or other supporting documents would suffice.
Hunting can be a fulfilling activity when you use the right type of gun. As such, hunters need convenient access to a wide range of gun options. Online gun stores can meet these needs and hunters must know the processes needed for online gun purchase. Complying with state and regulations helps you get the guns you need on time for your next hunting trip. Lastly, here’s one helpful piece of advice – be safe and hunt responsibly.
Last Updated on June 15, 2021