Comments Off on Purchasing a Firearm Through a Federal Firearms Licensed Dealer
The process of purchasing a firearm in the United States involves several steps, each subject to various federal and state regulations. The following is a general overview of the steps involved and some of the relevant laws that apply.
- Determine Eligibility: The first step in purchasing a firearm is to determine if you are eligible to do so. Federal law prohibits certain individuals from owning firearms, including those who have been convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year in prison, fugitives from justice, drug addicts, and those who have been committed to a mental institution. (18 U.S.C. § 922(g))
- Choose a Firearm: Once you have determined that you are eligible to purchase a firearm, you can choose the type of firearm you would like to purchase. This could be a handgun, rifle, or shotgun. You can visit a local gun shop, browse online dealers or check your local gun classifieds.
- Find a Licensed Dealer: In order to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer, you must find one in your area. Federal law requires all firearms dealers to be licensed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). (18 U.S.C. § 923). If you a purchasing your firearm online, the seller will need to ship to a licensed dealer. Some states also mandate that private-party sales must go through a licensed dealer.
- Complete a Background Check: Before you can take possession of a firearm from a licensed dealer, you must undergo a background check. Federal law requires that all firearms purchases from a licensed dealer be accompanied by a background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). (18 U.S.C. § 922(t))
- Comply with State Laws: In addition to federal laws, each state may have its own laws and regulations regarding firearms. These may include additional background check requirements, waiting periods, and restrictions on certain types of firearms. It is important to familiarize yourself with the laws of your state before purchasing a firearm.
- Complete the Sale: Once the background check is complete and you have complied with all applicable laws and regulations, you may complete the sale of the firearm. You will be required to sign a form 4473, which confirms that you are eligible to purchase the firearm. Depending on your state’s laws, there may be a ‘cooling off’ period between the time you pass the background check and when you can take possession of your purchase. This does vary by location and some states allow for an over-the-counter transaction if the purchaser has a Concealed Carry or similar permit.
- Transport the Firearm: Federal law allows for the transportation of firearms across state lines for lawful purposes, but it is important to familiarize yourself with the laws of the states you will be passing through in order to ensure that you are in compliance. (18 U.S.C. § 926A)
In conclusion, the process of purchasing a firearm in the United States is subject to a number of federal and state regulations, designed to ensure that firearms are only sold to eligible individuals. It is important to familiarize yourself with these regulations before purchasing a firearm to ensure that you are in compliance with the law.