Shopping Online Gun Retailers- A Few Questions

This is a discussion on Shopping Online Gun Retailers- A Few Questions within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I know there a ton of online gun retailers. I have checked prices locally on a new Browning rifle & have found the online guys ...

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Thread: Shopping Online Gun Retailers- A Few Questions

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    Senior Member Array McPatrickClan's Avatar
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    Shopping Online Gun Retailers- A Few Questions

    I know there a ton of online gun retailers. I have checked prices locally on a new Browning rifle & have found the online guys to be about 10-15% cheaper.

    I have a few questions:

    1) They say they will ship to your FFL (did I get the acronym right?). How do I get a relationship with an FFL so they will receive packages for me?

    2) Are there federal or state taxes charged on these transactions? If yes, which state?

    3) What is a normal processing fee for shipping these items to an FFL?

    Thanks!

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    JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by McPatrickClan View Post
    I know there a ton of online gun retailers. I have checked prices locally on a new Browning rifle & have found the online guys to be about 10-15% cheaper.

    I have a few questions:

    1) They say they will ship to your FFL (did I get the acronym right?). How do I get a relationship with an FFL so they will receive packages for me?

    2) Are there federal or state taxes charged on these transactions? If yes, which state?

    3) What is a normal processing fee for shipping these items to an FFL?

    Thanks!
    1. They are not receiving packages for you, they will transfer the gun to you, so you are doing the normal paperwork for the gun thought them once it arrives. It's not like they just hand it to you when you come in. All you need to do is contact your local gun shop of FFL holder and see it they will do the transfer for you. Some will handle these transactions for anyone, some won't unless you're a regular customer, some won't do it at all.

    2. Generally, no taxes are involved as long as the seller of the gun does not reside in the same state as you. All you need to pay is the cost of the firearm, the cost of shipping, and any fees associated with the background check/processing of the paperwork in your home state.

    3. Anywhere from $25 - $75.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Every gun shop has an FFL license. It's what allows them to do the business of reporting the transfer in ownership of firearms. Many individuals have an FFL, as well, even though they don't have a shop themselves. So, they can execute transfers in the same manner in which a standard shop does.

    This differs between individual transfers between two citizens, which in many states is perfectly legal without any paperwork, reporting or legal transfer, other than your mutual willingness to execute the sale.

    If you're seeing a ~10-15% difference between online prices as your local shops, consider that the local shop will generally have rolled in the cost of the FFL transfer to the price of the gun, whereas with an online purchase you need to pay for that separately (at a premium, since it's separate). For new items, that and shipping might nullify the "better" pricing that you'd pay. Depends on the purchase.

    Now, for used firearms, hunting around to find other shops or sellers who would need to transfer it to you can be one of the better ways to find bargains, outside of knowing someone, or finding a gem at a gun show. Sometimes, this is the only way to get a specific example, though going online means it'll be sight unseen (or, at least, un-handled, un-fired and with a degree of faith that it'll be kosher once you get it).

    How do you find an FFL? Any gun shop will have one. How do you find folks who aren't shops, yet who are FFL's? Gunbroker and other online sources often have lists of FFL holders by state. Or, you can ask folks at your local gun range.
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    Member Array FreedomHDM's Avatar
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    I've been thinking about ordering a gun online too, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with buying a handgun from an auction like gunbroker. Do you guys know any reputable online dealers that I can buy a 1911 from?
    Heavily armed.
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    I've bought several guns from gunbroker and auctionarms,most of the sellers are gun dealers,they also advertise if it's used or NIB=new in box.
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    Just bought Ruger LCP through GunBroker.com. Found local FFL agent through them who charged $12.50. Everything went smoothly. Hint: make sure the person you are buying from has positive feedback.
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    JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreedomHDM View Post
    I've been thinking about ordering a gun online too, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with buying a handgun from an auction like gunbroker. Do you guys know any reputable online dealers that I can buy a 1911 from?
    The best actual "on-line shops" I can think of are Budsgunshop, Pro Load Distributors, and Whittaker Guns

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    You can all so look at Gallery of Guns.com - Gun Gallery, Ruger Firearms, Shooter Online Services, Firearm Industry News, Firearm Dealer, Gun News They have arrangements with FFL dealers and include shipping and transfer fee.

    I have not found them to be cheaper
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    Member Array Magnum Mikie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreedomHDM View Post
    I've been thinking about ordering a gun online too, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with buying a handgun from an auction like gunbroker. Do you guys know any reputable online dealers that I can buy a 1911 from?
    I've had good luck with AIM New Handguns New Handguns

    Or

    Centerfire Systems - 1911

    Or

    Handguns

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    Member Array wagglebee's Avatar
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    While you're right about saving 10-15% on the gun, you also have to realize that you are going to pay shipping on the gun (usually $25 or more) and your local FFL is going to charge you a fee of around $20.

    So, on a gun that's around $400 or so, you really haven't saved any money by the time everything is done. PLUS, if there is a problem with the gun you've got the expense and hassle of dealing with an online dealer.

    However, on a more expensive or hard-to-find gun, it's definitely worth it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    1. They are not receiving packages for you, they will transfer the gun to you, so you are doing the normal paperwork for the gun thought them once it arrives. It's not like they just hand it to you when you come in. All you need to do is contact your local gun shop of FFL holder and see it they will do the transfer for you. Some will handle these transactions for anyone, some won't unless you're a regular customer, some won't do it at all.

    2. Generally, no taxes are involved as long as the seller of the gun does not reside in the same state as you. All you need to pay is the cost of the firearm, the cost of shipping, and any fees associated with the background check/processing of the paperwork in your home state.

    3. Anywhere from $25 - $75.


    +1. JD's answer is spot on. I'd shop your local gunshops for the best price on a transfer. I've been charged as little as $20 and been told as high as $50. $30 or less is a good price for a FFL (Federal Firearms License) transfer.

    If you buy off of gunbroker go with someone with at least 100 sales and a top rating. Lots of sales means someone wants your business back next time.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I found an FFL in my area that only charges 15.00 if you have a concealed handgun license,you may be able to find one that will do the same deal,I've been charged up to 25.00 for transfer and one gun shop quoted me 80.00 bucks I don't think they like people buying online and not from them even tho their prices are high
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    Senior Member Array ICTsnub's Avatar
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    In my mind, retail pricing is justified by providing service, selection, and a knowledgeable person to help you. I live in a 600,000 population metro area, looked at gun shops, pawn shops, and the two national chains that sell handguns, and could not lay my hands on a Colt Lightweight Commander. At one gun shop, the owner was too busy bs'ing with his buddies to help me, so when I finally asked about a gun, they all chimed in about what a bad choice I was making. Most of the places just said they didn't have one, two offered to order one. About $1100 bucks to take my money, and call me when it showed up.

    I found a shop on Gunsamerica that had one for $834, $20 to ship, $15 FFL transfer, and no tax. Plus side, I saved over $200 for the same level of customer service.

    Down side, I sent a bunch of money to someone I never saw, and he was supposed to mail my gun to a guy I never net.

    So I checked how long the seller was on Gunsamerica, Googled the gun store, called them and got an answer that sounded like a legitimate store front, checked the county appraiser online to match the name of the FFL transfer dealer's name to his home address(hobby dealer), sent a bunch of money in the mail, and bit my nails for a week.

    The FFL turned out to be a good guy. So, when I wanted an AR, I called him and told him if he could get me one around gunsamerica money, I would buy from him, or just do a transfer if not. I'm Going to pay him a little more than online auction, and I hope he makes some money. He will see more business from me, and I am referring him to lots of folks. And my AR should be here in one or two days!!

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