Most people think buying a gun is very easy in the United States. In fact, US is the number one country when it comes to gun ownership with more or less 88 guns for every 100 citizens. This means, almost every person can have a gun in the country.
This is because the government upholds the rights of its citizens to defend themselves. Therefore, it is important for everyone to know how to buy a gun legally in the country. If you’ve just staring “what paperwork do I need to buy a gun,” follow the steps below to know?
5 Step How to Buy A Gun Legally?
1. Know the Qualifications and Requirements
Citizenship – You must be a United States citizen or a green card holder with permanent residency.
Age – You can’t legally buy a gun if you’re less than 18 years old. And once you turn 18, the guns you can only have access to are shotguns and rifles.
Criminal Record – You must not be currently under indictment or not have been previously convicted of a crime by a penalty for more than one-year imprisonment. You must not have a restraining order against you filed by your partner or your child. You must also have not been convicted of domestic violence. Fugitives and drug addicts are not also allowed to buy guns legally.
Sanity – You must not have a record of being a patient in a mental institution.
2. Research the Regulations on Gun in Your State
Generally, states and municipal laws are more restrictive in controlling guns in their jurisdiction. Educate yourself on the local guidelines about what you need to do and not to to be able to purchase a gun in your locality.
Generally, you do not need a federal license to own a gun in the US. Similarly, almost all states follow this custom. Note however that most states oblige every gun owner to have a license to carry weapons, regardless whether you’re concealing it or you’re openly using it.
3. Purchase a Gun from a Retailer with an FFL License
FFL or Federal Firearm License is needed for a retailer to legally sell guns. Make sure to buy weapons from stores with this license because you can be sure that the guns they sell are legitimate.
Maybe you’re wondering, “Where can I buy a gun without a license?” Buying guns from non-FFL licensed sellers is possible. If you’ve heard of the “gun show loophole,” you probably know that at gun shows or antique auctions, guns can be sold without the necessary regulations.
Nonetheless, to make your gun purchase clean, ensure that the retailer’s license is valid and completely fill up the paperwork. Also, check if the gun you bought has a registered serial number and keep the official receipt.
4. Fill up the Necessary Paperwork
If you’ve asked yourself the question, “What do I need to buy a gun,” the answer is you should file the necessary paper works.
Unlike buying regular stuff where you pay for the item over the counter, and you immediately get to take it home, buying a gun is much stricter. If you’re buying a gun background check is very important.
The licensed retailer will have to make you present an ID photo and fill up the Form 4473. These are the necessary paper works detailing your identification the retailers need to make sure that you fit the qualifications stated above.
Guns stores keep these files and send it to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) if the latter asks for it. In the event that the gun stores run out of business, these files automatically become properties of the BATFE.
5. Pay for It and Wait
There are also some states that set up regulations to check on safety precautions. They make sure that you also buy gun safes or gun locks and ensure that the owners are responsible gun owners before being allowed to purchase a gun. And these additional precautions take time.
As for the waiting period, some states require you to wait for weeks before you submit the necessary paperwork and pay fully for the gun. Then you have to wait for another few more weeks before you can take your gun home.
But ask your gun retailer for their specific time period. Some may immediately give it to you once they’ve finished counter checking the backgrounds check and upon your complete the payment.
Hope these easy steps thought you how to buy a gun legally. You can share this tips to your friends so they too would know the right process.