If you are purchasing a firearm online, you can't exactly have the firearm shipped directly to your home. It first needs to be shipped to a federal firearms licensed holder, an FFL, which is typically a local firearm shop. They help act as an intermediary in the firearm transfer process to ensure that it is done safely, correctly, and legally. Here is what you need to know about this process.
FFL Holder Is Notified
The first thing that needs to be done is to notify a local FFL holder that you purchased a firearm online and that they will be needed to complete the transfer. The FLL holder is going to take your information down as well as the information of the seller, and the FFL holder will handle the rest of the process. You must start this by finding an FFL holder that is able to take the firearm into their system and handle the transfer process, since it cannot be done blindly. For example, an FFL holder may have a backlog of transfers to go through, and you would like to receive your firearm faster and seek out a different FFL holder.
FFL Holder Receives The Firearm
The FFL holder will eventually receive the firearm from the seller. While you may look at the tracking information and be excited to pick up your firearm, know that there is a process that it must go through. The FFL holder will need to log the firearm into their system, which requires recording the serial number on the firearm, notifying the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
Be aware that this is necessary because the FFL holder is responsible for keeping records of every firearm that passes through their store, and the ATF will check in with the FFL holder occasionally to verify their records.
FFL Holder Receives A Fee For Their Services
As you can imagine, it is a lot of work for the FFL holder to process the firearm so that you can buy it. That is why you must pay a fee for their services, which is usually for each firearm that they process. It's a manual and time-consuming process, so the FFL holder wants to be compensated appropriately for the time they take to manage the sale of your firearm.
Reach out to a local FFL holder if you have questions about the firearm transfer process.