Tips on Buying and purchasing a gun
When it comes to buying a firearm most of think of personal protection or hunting and you can only purchase these firearms at a store. The fact is, you can buy guns online, too. Below are some of my findings and tips on buying a gun online and stores.
Whether you buy online or in a store let me point out that these transactions are fully legal and regulated. Federal laws are followed throughout; if the gun must be shipped, then it must be shipped to a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder. Before a gun is released to the buyer, the required background checks are done by the receiving FFL holder. The FFL holder will often charge a small fee for his services. I a state like Illinois you must possess a FOID card to purchase firearms and ammo. There is also a wait period of 72 hours for handguns and 48 hours for long guns.
Types of Sites
Large retailers like Cabala’s, Gander Mountain, Scheele, and Bass and Pro offer a wide variety of firearms. They usually carry the top selling brands that are fast movers. Retailers get judged on turning out inventory so you very seldom find the top notch exclusive brands in those stores. If you are looking for a more exclusive brand try touching base with your local gun shop. Most retailers these days sell both new and used firearms. They will even buy your used firearms.
Most of the internet sales follow the classified-ad or auction format, and are selling both new and used guns. In the past, most listings were placed by average folks looking to sell a gun they’ve decided to replace or just get rid of, but dealers are selling online more often.
These ads can also be a great place to find deals on holsters and accessories, oftentimes by small dealers who don’t get sufficient buying traffic on their Web sites. I have bought a few guns online, and the process is not complicated.
If you’re a new shooter this can be a very difficult thing. I highly recommend talking to a person that has experience. You will be able to find out useful information from and NRA Instructor, or another professional in the field. You might even want to take a class as most NRA Instructors will have a wide variety of firearms for you to touch, feel, and even shoot. There are many firearms to choose from and a lot of stores and sites to choose from. Another good way to start is by doing your research online as many categories are available on most Web sites, such as shotguns, rifles, revolvers, pistols, antiques, etc (it’s helpful to know that semi-automatic handguns are properly referred to as pistols. Pistols and revolvers are not the same thing). Select the category you’re interested in, and take a look.
Make sure you shop around and ask a lot of questions. You want to make sure you are getting a fire arm you are comfortable with as it will more than likely by with you for the rest of your life. If it is going to be used for personal protection do your research is a must. Excellent gun shops usually have a shooting range and will allow you to test a firearms out before you purchase.
New vs. Used
Buying used or new firearms is up to you. I seldom buy guns used. You can usually get a used one just as good, for less, in most cases. Although firearms have been known to be a great investment and retain their value very well. When buying a used gun make sure your buying it lower than the resale value. Buy a used gun if it is a collector’s item. I sometimes find used guns for a great value at estate sales or even garage sales.
New is new. Some people just like the fact that they are the only or original owner of something.
First Time Buyer
When buying a firearm online always ask the buyer why he is selling it. The last thing you want to buy is a hot gun. You can never be sure but do as much research as possible. You will hear all kinds of stories. Just try to be as safe as possible and do as much research as possible. When you’re buying used from a store, the firearms has been researched and you are in pretty good shape.
Remember when you shop at a retailer your shopping convenience. They know this to and do not always have the best deals. What I do know is there is always a sale going on somewhere. Search a couple retailers for the same gun and you will be surprised in the variances you will find. In some cases you might be able to find a retailer to price match.
Make a Call
Always make a call before you purchase online. In most retail stores you can ask a lot of questions. When shopping at some retail stores you may know more than then person working behind the counter. Make sure you ask them why they are selling, if there is any custom features to the firearm, and how the firearm has worked for them.
Phone calls will help you judge whether you want to deal with this person depending on the way they carry themselves. You might be able to find out additional information about the firearm before you buy it allowing you to step back before you make the purchase.
In conclusion, do your research! You want to know more about the gun then the person selling it does. This will make you a better negotiator and buyer. Compare prices. Consult a reference book or someone with firsthand knowledge of gun trading and values. Never make a deal you’re unsure about. And always ask why the gun is being sold.