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GunAuction.com - How To Buy a Gun Online by Manny DelaCruz
Manny DelaCruz - CEO/GunAuction.com
So you want to buy a gun online? You're in luck! There are dozens of websites out there prepared to supply you with whatever gun you're looking for. Whether it's a rifle or shotgun, semi-auto pistol or revolver, or even a Class III item like a machinegun, it can be found on the internet. The only thing keeping you from enjoying eternal firearms bliss is that you don't know how to buy a gun online. I can understand if you're nervous or intimidated by the idea - there are rules, and you don't want to get ripped off. But I can help you with that.

The first question that needs to be answered is: Are you legally allowed to buy a gun? Generally speaking, if you are over the age of 18 and NOT a convicted felon, you can purchase any kind of long gun (shotguns and rifles). If you are over the age of 21 and NOT a convicted felon, you can purchase both handguns and long guns. That's generally speaking. While not usually the case, there may be additional rules specific to your state. For example, some states don't allow anyone with a domestic violence conviction (even a misdemeanor) to own a gun. If you've never gotten in any kind of legal trouble, and you're over the age of 21, you're good to go.

What Kind of Gun?

Next, you should figure out what kind of gun you want. Knowing what you want before you start looking for a gun is important, because there are still states out there that have funny ideas about your right to be armed, and have prohibitions on certain classes of weapons. In other words, the purchase of some guns may be illegal where you live. For example, California only permits the sale of handguns that are on the State Attorney General's drop-test list. Weird, right? Some cities have complete bans on handguns. Chicago, for example. In New Jersey, the sale of an air gun is treated like the sale of a firearm. Knowing not just what you want, but whether it's legal to buy is important. So how do you find out if the type of gun you want is legal to buy in the state you live in? And how do you know if YOU are legally able to purchase a gun? Great question!

The answer is surprisingly easy. Visit your local gun shop. Every gun shop is required to have an FFL or Federal Firearms License. This is a license issued by the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives), that permits a person or business to conduct the sale of guns. The rules about who can sell guns are pretty straightforward. If you are selling guns that aren't in your private collection, you're in the "business" of selling guns and you need an FFL. An FFL can legally transfer ownership of a gun from one party to another, and that's important if you're going to be buying a gun. Make friends with the folks at your local gun shop. They know the rules and regulations specific to the area that you're living, and they'll keep you out of trouble about what you can, or can't buy.

Dinosaurs Afoot'

Word of warning: there are a few gun stores out there that think the internet is just a fad, and can't be bothered to handle transfer of guns bought on the internet. Many of these gun store owners think that the internet is "stealing" business away from them - instead of providing them with a steady stream of new customers. There are fewer and fewer of these kinds of close-minded businessmen out there, but you may have the unpleasant experience of running into one. If you do, slowly back away, quietly apologize for disturbing their slumber, and take a picture of their store. You will be looking at a genuine dinosaur, a relic from the past, on its way to a date with extinction. Then go find another gun store that appreciates your business.

If you have a problem finding someone locally who is willing to do the transfer for your internet gun purchase, we can help. GunAuction.com has an FFL Network, a group of FFL holders throughout the U.S. who, for a modest fee, will do your transfer for you. Just search the FFL Network for an FFL holder that is nearby. Also, before you try to buy a gun online, it's a good idea to meet your local FFL holder in person and shake hands. You are after all, buying a gun! Before the seller ships a gun to that person, it's a good idea to meet the FFL holder in the flesh and introduce yourself. Let them know you'll be having someone send them a gun for the transfer. That'll also help avoid the uncomfortable surprise of the FFL holder having a strange gun arrive at their doorstep.

After you've found a local gun store willing to do the transfer, the next part is the fun part - finding and buying your gun online! Here at GunAuction.com, we have a huge variety of guns available for sale, from sellers all over the U.S. I can't tell you what kind of gun you need... Wait a minute... Yes, I can! You need them all. Buy them all. But don't try to buy them all at once. Make sure to save some for the rest of us and start slow by finding one gun you'd like to start with.

What kind of gun should I buy for home defense?

I get asked this question a lot. I understand the confusion regarding this subject. We get exposed to a lot of TV and movies that depict the valiant homeowner either saddling up with an emasculating golf club, or reaching for the trusty handgun. If you don't have any training with a handgun, I don't recommend it as your first choice. A handgun is a specialized piece of gear that requires a lot of training before it can be used safely and effectively in a self-defense situation. My Goto Gun for someone who wants one for self-defense in the home is the trusty Remington 870 pump shotgun.

There are several attributes which recommend the 870 for self-defense work. First, it's the most common shotgun made in the world. There are tons of ammunition and accessories with which to trick out your new toy. Shotguns send clouds of lead in the bad guy's direction, and it's length means it's easier to keep pointed in the bad guy's direction. Your rounds are less likely to overpenetrate, which means that if you miss the bad guy, your rounds won't go through more than a few layers of sheet rock (a problem with larger handgun or rifle rounds). It's been made by Remington for decades, and will likely be made for decades more, which means plenty of spare parts. And it's a pump shotgun, which means the mechanism for loading your next shell is less likely to jam under stress. Lastly, in a pinch, it can double as a club. If you run out of shells and your home invader is still stupid enough to be around and upright, start beating him about the head until he's horizontal.

It's tough to do that with a handgun...

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