Yesterday I bought a gun via Facebook. That might seem a bit weird; Facebook is obviously not considered a place to purchase a firearm. However, if you have a lot of friends on Facebook, it’s likely they share the same interests as you. For example, on my Facebook News Feed I generally don’t see posts where folks are complaining about hunters, and I never see posts about how we need more gun laws—laws that might restrict your ability to purchase a firearm on the Internet.
Why did I turn to Facebook to find a gun? I simply could not find the gun I wanted anywhere else. I tried bidding on one on GunBroker.com, which is a great Internet auction source for firearms, but apparently, I’m too poor to play there. I got out-bid fairly handily. I also tried GunsAmerica.com but had no luck.
So, I simply posted on my Facebook Timeline that I was looking for a Ruger Single Six in .32 H&R Mag. I said I wanted one with adjustable sights and a 4 5/8-inch barrel. It wasn’t long until a fellow contacted me and offered his up for sale at a reasonable price. I sent him the check and had my dealer send him a copy of his Federal Firearms License (FFL).
Some folks have a misconception about buying guns on the Internet. They think just anyone can order one. Well, that’s kind of true, but the issue isn’t ordering one … it’s actually getting the gun. You see, federal law requires that guns only be shipped to or from someone who has an FFL. There are exceptions, but if the firearm isn’t yours, it can’t be shipped directly to you; it has to be shipped to a dealer. This means you have to go to the dealer and go through the federally required transfer procedures. Most dealers will do this for you for a small fee—generally about $25.
Now, let’s say you’ve contacted ROBAR Guns to have your favorite Browning HiPower pistol customized. You can ship your pistol to ROBAR and they’ll do all the work you’re willing to pay for, and then they can ship it directly back to you. Why? It’s your gun. If you want to buy a gun directly from ROBAR, they’ll have to ship it to your dealer and you’ll have to go there to pick it up. And, your dealer isn’t going to give you that gun until you meet the federal firearms transfer requirements.
I’ve sold and purchased several firearms via the Internet and have had hardly any problems at all. One man I sold a rifle to was upset about the type of magazines I shipped with the rifle. I offered him a refund and he declined because he had already sold the gun. Another gun I shipped to a purchaser had its stock broken in transit. After a lengthy argument with UPS, we finally got him reimbursed for the damage.
What I have never had is someone to take my money and not send me the gun. I’m sure this happens on occasion, but I’ve never actually heard of it. If you deal with reputable Internet gun sites like GunBroker.com and GunsAmerica.com, the sellers are rated, and if you have issues, you contact the site administrators and they will black list or block the seller or purchaser.
It used to be that if you were looking for an unusual or hard-to-find firearm, you were limited to traveling around to gun shows and gun shops or looking through the local trading journal. I’ve done this and it’s kind of fun, but more and more in this modern world I just don’t have the time to devote to that kind of search. I’ve got shooting and hunting to do!
Thousands of gun owners are on the Internet looking to sell, buy, trade or just talk about guns. It’s the best place to shop for a difficult-to-find new, used or even antique firearm. If you still don’t have time to cruise the Web, tell your dealer because they’re likely to be buying and selling on the Web already. Tell them how much you’re willing to pay and they just might find it for you—for small fee of course. I like to support local gun dealers; they’re a great resource and a vanishing breed.
Right now, guns and ammo are difficult to find anywhere. Don’t overlook the Internet as an option. As a matter of fact, the gun I just bought came with 200 rounds of ammo that I absolutely couldn’t find anywhere else, and what good is a gun with no ammo?
The Internet is a marvelous thing. Without it, you wouldn’t be reading the great and wonderfully entertaining and educational “Muzzle Break” blog … and what a shame that would be.