Did you know that about 30% of Americans own one or more guns in their households? About 1 in 10 US citizens also live with someone who owns a gun. The Second Amendment allows Americans to own guns and some of them use these weapons for entertainment or hunting purposes. Since gun ownership is so popular in America, many people wonder if it’s possible to buy guns and gun accessories online. You might be happy to find out that it’s possible to sell gun accessories online and get the parts that you want. In some cases, you can stumble upon massive discounts as well.
What Are the Pros of Buying Gun Accessories Online?
Online shopping is great for food, clothes, and other accessories, but should you do it for guns too? Well, the answer is yes. You have many advantages if you buy guns and gun accessories online.
For example, you have a large collection of items to choose from. If you didn’t find your preferred gun cleaning kit in a physical store, you will surely find it online. Reputable retailers such as Magpul sell a wide variety of accessories for different types of handguns and rifles, so you have lots of options available.
Buying guns from the internet also saves time because you don’t have to drive to the physical store, wait at a queue, etc. You can do it directly from your smartphone and online guns and accessories are usually cheaper than those found in physical stores.
However, buying guns from the internet should be done cautiously. Keep reading to find out how to buy firearms and gun accessories online safely.
See the Accessories in a Physical Store First
Whether you want to buy a rifle scope, carrying case, or additional ammunition, it’s a good idea to see these objects in real life first. That’s why most gun experts recommend visiting a physical gun store and see if you can find your desired accessories here.
Today’s gun stores feature a plethora of accessories. You can find everything from cleaning kits to pistol holsters and gun stands. If you have found the desired part, inspect it thoroughly, and see if it matches your needs and preferences.
Chances are that most gun stores sell these accessories for more money than online stores. If you like the products you viewed, note down their name, and model number. Go home and check online for the exact same gun accessories. Since you have seen these items in person already, you know what to expect in the mailbox.
Make a List of Places From Where You Can Buy
The good news is that anyone can set up a gun shop online if they have some spare time and a small budget. This means that customers have a large collection of guns and gun accessories to choose from.
The bad news is that most of these sellers are not to be trusted. If you want to buy gun accessories online, you need to spend some time screening these vendors. The best way to approach this is by creating a small list of 5-10 online stores that caught your attention.
Some of these stores can be large and sell a wide variety of guns and gun accessories. Other stores are smaller and more specialized. Once you have a list of online stores, the next step is to narrow it down to one or two reputable vendors that are worthy of your money.
Screen Online Stores With the Help Of BBB
The Better Business Bureau website is great for finding trustworthy sellers and service providers. Whether you’re looking for a good locksmith, pest control specialist, or an online gun store. Take every business from the list you made previously and look for it on the BBB website.
Chances are that some of the online stores you have chosen are not BBB accredited, so avoid them completely. Focus on those online gun stores that have positive reviews and high ratings on the BBB website.
Check the Internet for More Information on Online Gun Stores
Most people eventually end up with 1 or 2 trustworthy gun stores that they could buy from. Once you have found these online businesses, look up for more information on the internet, and do some background checks.
For example, you should check if there are any Facebook or Google reviews online. People who have used this gun store before might have left insightful feedback. You should also check out their website, “About Us” page, and other relevant web pages.
Make sure that you find out when the store was founded. If the online business was founded recently, this is not a very good sign. On the other hand, an online gun store with years of experience is usually more trustworthy.
Lastly, it wouldn’t hurt you to send them an email. Contact the guys behind the gun store and ask a few questions. If they respond quickly and on point, that’s a good sign. If you never get a reply, this might mean that the business is not operational anymore.
Find an FFL Dealer Near You
Although you can buy guns and gun accessories online, it’s illegal for these stores to ship them to private customers. This rule is put in place for safety reasons such as combating terrorism, reducing the crime rate, etc.
However, you can still buy guns and gun accessories from the internet if you collaborate with an FFL dealer. FFL stands for federal firearms license. This is a business that has been approved to make transactions with guns and accessories for them.
You need to contact an FFL dealer near you so the online gun store can ship the items you purchased to them. When your items have arrived, you pick them up as if you just bought them from a physical gun store. There are many FFL dealers in the US and it won’t be hard for you to find a reputable one in your location.
Do a Background Check
For safety reasons, those who purchase guns and gun accessories need to do a background check. This check is mandatory and it prevents convicted criminals and other malevolent people from buying weapons that they could later use for criminal activities.
You will do a background check at the FFL dealer you selected. In some cases, you might need to pay for this background check, but it’s only done once. If you don’t have a criminal record, you have nothing to worry about in this case.
Talk About the Pickup Fee
FFL dealers charge a small amount of money for the service of picking up your gun or gun accessories when they arrive. This is customary in most states and the amount charged varies depending on various factors. For example, most people pay under $50 for a standard gun or small gun accessories that can be used on most weapons.
It’s important for you to know about the pickup fee in advance, so you know how you calculate your budget. Ask if there are any other fees associated with this service. For example, you might pay extra if you ask the FFL dealer to send the gun to your house.
Give the FFL Dealer’s Address to the Online Store You Buy From
Remember that the FFL dealer acts as an intermediary between you as a customer and the gun store that ships you the accessories. That’s why in the address field you should put the FFL dealer’s address details and contact information.
The online store will ship the goodies to the FFL store. They will notify you about the shipment arrival date and other relevant information. Once your gun and/or gun accessories have arrived, you just go to the FFL dealer and pick them up.
Inspect the Gun and Its Accessories Before Leaving the FFL Dealer
There is still one more step you need to complete before closing this deal. Just because you worked with an FFL dealer and bought from a reputable online store doesn’t mean that everything will be ok. Make sure that you inspect the gun accessories you bought and see if they are the ones you ordered.
For example, check the serial numbers usually attached to the guns or gun accessories you bought. Do they match the ones you wanted? Are things missing from the package such as bullets, rifle scopes, etc?
Finally, do the accessories look brand new and in good condition? Do a quick visual inspection and look for scratches and usage marks. If everything seems to be ok, that’s when you thank the FFL dealer for collaboration and go home.
Now You Know How to Buy Gun Accessories Online
As you can see, it’s possible to buy gun accessories online if you do your homework and find a reputable store. You will only do this once because if you are satisfied with the products bought, you’ll probably become a regular customer and don’t have to keep searching for a good online gun store in the future.
For more information on how to buy guns and accessories online, how to maintain and safely use them, check out the other articles on our website.