Buying a Handgun Online: Tips and Best Practices (Updated )


Buying a handgun online can be a convenient way to purchase a firearm. However, it’s important to follow the correct procedures to ensure that the process is legal and safe. In this article, we’ll provide tips and best practices to help you buy a handgun online successfully.

Research the Legal Requirements

Before you start shopping for a handgun online, it’s important to research the legal requirements in your area. Each state has its own laws regarding firearm purchases, and you’ll need to comply with these laws to avoid legal issues.

Find a Reputable Online Retailer

Once you know the legal requirements in your area, you can start looking for a reputable online retailer. Choose a retailer that has a good reputation and offers a wide selection of handguns from reputable manufacturers.

Read Reviews and Compare Prices

Before making a purchase, read reviews from other customers to ensure that the retailer has a good track record. It’s also a good idea to compare prices between retailers to ensure that you’re getting a fair deal.

Check the Retailer’s Shipping Policy

Make sure to check the retailer’s shipping policy before making a purchase. Some retailers may have restrictions on shipping firearms to certain states, and you’ll need to ensure that your state is not one of them.

Find a Local FFL Dealer

When buying a handgun online, you’ll need to have it shipped to a licensed Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealer in your area. Find a local FFL dealer and ensure that they are willing to receive the shipment for you.

Complete the Purchase

Once you’ve found a reputable retailer and a local FFL dealer, you can complete the purchase. Make sure to follow all the required steps, including providing the FFL dealer’s information to the retailer and filling out any necessary forms.

Pick Up the Handgun

After the purchase is complete, the handgun will be shipped to the FFL dealer. You’ll need to pick up the handgun in person and complete any necessary background checks or paperwork before taking possession of the firearm.

Best Practices for Buying a Handgun Online

In addition to following the above steps, there are some best practices to keep in mind when buying a handgun online:

Ensure the Handgun Meets Your Needs

Before making a purchase, ensure that the handgun meets your needs. Consider factors such as the size, weight, and caliber of the firearm to ensure that it’s a good fit for you.

Consider the Manufacturer’s Warranty

Check the manufacturer’s warranty before making a purchase. Ensure that the warranty is valid and that you understand the terms and conditions.

Follow Safe Storage Practices

Once you’ve taken possession of the handgun, follow safe storage practices. Keep the firearm in a secure location and ensure that it’s not accessible to unauthorized individuals, especially children.

Get Proper Training

If you’re new to handguns, it’s important to get proper training before using the firearm. Consider taking a safety course or working with a qualified instructor to ensure that you know how to handle the firearm safely.


Buying a handgun online can be a convenient way to purchase a firearm. However, it’s important to follow the correct procedures to ensure that the process is legal and safe. By following the tips and best practices outlined in this article, you can buy a handgun online successfully and with confidence.


  1. Can anyone buy a handgun online?
  • No, you must comply with the legal requirements in your area and have the firearm shipped to a licensed FFL dealer.
  1. How do I find a reputable online retailer?
  • Look for a retailer with a good reputation and a wide selection of handguns from reputable manufacturers. Read reviews from other customers before making a purchase.
  1. What is an FFL dealer?
  • An FFL dealer is a licensed Federal Firearms License dealer who is authorized to receive and transfer firearms.
  1. What should I do if the handgun is damaged during shipping?
  • Contact the retailer and your local FFL dealer immediately to report the damage and follow their instructions for returning the firearm.
  1. Do I need to register my handgun after buying it online?
  • It depends on the laws in your state. Some states require handgun registration, while others do not. Research the laws in your area to determine if registration is required.
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