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What You Should Know About Buying Firearms Online

Firearm and paperwork

Are you thinking about buying a firearm online? The sale of firearms online is completely legal but is heavily regulated. It’s important to know what you’re doing before making any type of purchase.

Purchase from reputable dealers.

Make sure the seller is clear about their process. A seller should state somewhere on their website what happens once the transaction is completed. Here at Cal Auctions we offer firearms in many of our online auctions.

Check your state’s gun laws before buying a firearm.

This Wikipedia page outlines the laws for each state but you still may want to check the official government page for your state to confirm the laws. (In California where Cal Auctions is located, you can read the Bureau of Firearms page.)

There will be a background check.

The seller of the firearm must mail it to a local FFL (federal firearms license) dealer where you can pick it up. You must also fill out a transaction record (Form 4473) and the FFL must perform a background check on you before releasing the firearm to you. Most FFL’s will charge a transfer fee, which can range from $15-$50.

A gun cannot be shipped to your home.

When you purchase a firearm online, it will be sent to a FFL (federal firearms license) dealer. This is a federal law so that the FFL dealer can perform the required background check.

You can buy from a private party online.

Be aware of the rules for shipping via the United States Postal Service when purchasing a firearm online. A non-licensed gun holder cannot ship to a non-licensed person in another state. Also, handguns are not mailable. UPS and Fedex will not accept any shipments of firearms at all.

You cannot purchase a firearm if you are a “prohibited” person.

If you are considered a “prohibited person”, you are not allowed to receive or possess firearms or ammunition. According to the Gun Control Act (GCA), a prohibited person includes a person:

* convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;

* who is a fugitive from justice;

* who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act, codified at 21 U.S.C. § 802);

* who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution;

* who is an illegal alien;

* who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;

* who has renounced his or her United States citizenship;

* who is subject to a court order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner; or

* who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

Thinking about purchasing a firearm for Father’s Day? We have an online auction of firearms that will be posting soon. Stay tuned to this page!

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