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Ordering a Firearm on a Website Using an FFL Dealer

You can order a firearm that isn’t available locally, in many cases. But you must use a dealer with a federal firearms license (often referred to as an FFL dealer) to take delivery and complete the transaction.

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What is an FFL Dealer?

An FFL dealer has a federal firearms license, which is issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Typically an FFL dealer is a retail store which sells firearms. To keep this license in good standing, this business must maintain extensive records on gun purchases by individuals and be able to run background checks on individuals who are attempting to purchase firearms.

How does an FFL Dealer Complete Your Firearms Purchase?

For example, if you ordered two Gen5 Glock pistols online, the seller must ship the pistols to a local FFL dealer, where you would complete the transaction. This local FFL dealer will be responsible for running the background check on you and maintaining the records on this transfer in much the same way as if they had sold the firearms to you. They would also be responsible for ensuring that the firearms you’re taking delivery of are legal for you to possess according to your state and local laws.

What Does an FFL Dealer Charge for This Service?

An FFL dealer must be compensated for their time and effort in receiving the firearm, meeting with you and running a background check on you, and keeping the records on the sale. Most FFL dealers charge around $50 for this service. Sometimes the seller arranges for this fee to be paid, but in other cases you must pay the fee when you receive the firearm. 

A local FFL dealer will be happy to help you complete a legal transfer of a firearm you’ve purchased elsewhere. In addition to the fee, they can often sell accessories, ammunition and other items to you.