For those that have never purchased a gun online from a licensed dealer, this is the way it works. The dealer will ship your purchase to another licensed dealer, where you will perform (and hopefully pass) a background check. This service is called a firearm transfer, and the vendor performing this service will charge a fee for this service usually called a transfer fee.
There are several options open to you as a customer for the best deal on a transfer. It’s a good idea to shop around and find out who has the lowest fees or the best value for your needs. The first thing to do is find out who is in your local area with the proper license. This is public information and can be found for free at http://fflgundealers.net. Just type in your zip code and there you go.
It’s important to note that places with the correct license may opt not to do transfers. They are not required to perform this service. Big box stores, independent Gun Shops, Pawn shops, kitchen table and repair places, where to go?
Big Box stores tend to shy away from transfers, and finding the correct person to talk to about it can be a real challenge. As you wait on hold for someone to make a decision while listing to your great grandparent’s favorite tunes you may decide to go elsewhere.
Independent gun stores and ranges know the business, have regular store hours, and understand how it all works. They are usually receptive to your call and can give you an answer on the spot. Their fees have a wide range depending on the services they offer. Some stores embrace the transfer customer and wave the fee with a set amount of in-store purchase when you come in. Other stores charge high fees to discourage transfers, so they can free up their time to help in-store customers.
Pawn Shops have regular hours and usually have the correct license. Most are happy to do a transfer for you, and for a reasonable amount of money.
Repair Shops or Gunsmiths know the business and how it all works. They’re a mixed bag, some do transfers and some do not. The ones that do most often want you to schedule an appointment, as being called away from their work is difficult for them to keep on schedule with customer demands. If you decide to go with them please be there when you say you will, they’re hard working people and their time is in demand.
Kitchen table dealers this group of dealers most often works out of their home or other business, everything from clothing stores, auto parts, real estate office to… well, a kitchen table. These people have gone through the same extensive background check as anyone with a license and are competent and capable. They often have the lowest fees in the industry and are more than happy to help you, provided you can come when they have time away from their primary income source. Expect to go on the weekend and have an appointment.
Who ever you decide to go with, it is a good idea to build a rapport and use them for future transfers. This will make all your future firearm transfer needs fast, and without the need to spend your time looking for a transfer agent.
We hope this was helpful and look forward to seeing your orders.