3 Best Sites to Help You Find a Home Based FFL Dealer Near You & A List Of The Best Online Gun Stores in 2019Use A Federal Firearms Licensee When You Buy A Firearm Online and Save 15-30%
3 Best Sites to Help You Find a Home Based FFL Dealer Near You & A List Of The Best Online Gun Stores in 2019
Use A Federal Firearms Licensee When You Buy A Firearm Online and Save 15-30%
What is an FFL Dealer? An FFL Dealer is a Federal Firearm Licensee who is authorized to conduct business from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), they normally ship and receive guns and ammunition, sell and transfer items to their customers if they meet certain conditions. The article Buying and Selling a Firearm: What is an FFL? Posted on the NRA Blog website goes really in depth on exactly what a FFL is, the different classifications, and several of the ATF requirements. For our purposes, we just need to know that when you buy a firearm online you need an FFL to handle the transfer, or if you wish to sell a firearm, you need to use a firearm to ship the firearm to another FFL. What we will cover however is the best sites to use to select a good FFL. And of course the best ways to buy a firearm online. Pew Pew Guru is an FFL dealer in Illinois and must follow FFL rules and be licensed separately by the State of Illinois, but an FFL in California, or an FFL dealer in New Jersey or even an FFL Dealer in Minnesota may have to follow different rules because of state regulations and rules. FFL Dealers cost can also vary widely depending on location. For example in the Land of Lincoln, the state recently imposed a $300 state licensing fee in addition to the FFL Dealer License cost associated with getting the license from the ATF, which could impact what an FFL charges.
We will cover tools you can use, like FFL Dealer License Lookup, to find an FFL License. This is a private site run by Impact Guns. You can also use the Government site, FFLezCheck to verify an FFL License. Almost all of the larger online firearm sellers have a free portal to help you find an FFL.
What is an FFL Transfer? The definition provided by FFL123 is rather straight forward that describes the process perfectly. A Transfer in a nutshell is the physical handover of a firearm. For an FFL Dealer it means that your customer fills out ATF Form 4473, you run the NCIS Background check and upon the “Proceed” decision you can give the customer their firearm.
These are the best sites to find a home based FFL that will handle your transfers and enable you to save as much as 20-35% off your online firearm purchase.
- The FFL Dealer Network.com is by far my favorite resource with over 80,000 FFL Dealers listed in their network. This one is the first FFL site I listed my FFL on. If you are an FFL Dealer or searching for one, I highly suggest you get yourself listed here and if searching for one, this is the place to find your FFL Dealer nearby. For FFL Dealers this site gets you more exposure than any I have found. They are active on Social Media and they have actually like and shared my content for my events and classes (I am a Concealed Carry Instructor also), which got me more eyes on my classes than I could have ever gotten on my own. Their search engine optimized FFL Directory brings me more customers to my business than I have advertising dollars to grab. They also have great articles and videos of interest, classifieds for gun sales and a featured members section. Pew Pew Guru just happens to be a featured member currently and I’ll tell you what, it doesn’t get much better than this. If you search FFL’s in zip code 60543 Pew Pew Guru comes up.
2. FFLGunDealers.Net Is another that is on my radar. They tout themselves as the largest resource and aims to be the most accurate database of gun shops. Most of the big online gun auctions work with them, like Gun Broker, Guns America, Auction Arms, Impact Guns just to name a few. The site isn’t as navigation friendly, for example, searching for an FFL by zip code is painstaking. You can’t just enter your zip code and begin your search, at least not from a mobile device. You literally have to scroll through all the possible zip code combinations in a state and find yours. But after scrolling my zip code, I was rewarded with being listed first, so I’ll take it.
3. ATF Federal Firearms Listings Can be searched by a list by state, by the entire listing of all FFL’s, or previous years FFL’s. The one cumbersome thing I found when playing around on the site was the need to select a year and month of that issuance. If you don’t have that information, it makes the search a little longer to comb through, but this is going directly to the horse’s mouth as the expression goes. This site even identifies the type of license a licensee holds, i.e., an 01 Type is a dealer in firearms other than destructive devices (which includes gunsmiths) or an 03 Type, who is a licensed collector of curios and relics or an 08 Type who is an importer of firearms. This is the most detailed of all the sites.
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Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you buy the product I may receive some monetary compensation. I only recommend products I use and love!
The sites you use should help you find an FFL who is competitively priced and has good reviews. I personally always rely on Google Reviews when looking for an FFL or any other establishment I do business with. If the business has poor reviews I would recommend scrolling past. The Google reviews should list the address, a phone number, and reviews from actual customers. Here is the Google Review for Pew Pew Guru as an example. If the reviews are anything other than stellar, I personally wouldn’t do business with them, you have choices. Prices in the Illinois area can range from $20-45 for a handgun and as much as $125-175 for long guns. Keep in mind you get what you pay for.
The blog post, Why is it so intimidating to go into gun shops? 5 tips to make it less intimidating! Is a great resource for buying a gun online. There are a lot of really good practical tips to help you make the leap, into the deep end of online gun buying pool. The blog post The 5 Best Guns for Concealed Carry and The Glock 19, Is it the Perfect Gun can help you narrow down your search on what to buy.
Another article I stumbled on, 8 Best Online Gun Stores was a wealth of information on the best online gun stores. Below I list my favorites. There is some overlap, but one can never have too many options, especially when the stakes are savings of 20-30%!
Best Online Gun Shops
https://www.gunbroker.com/ is more of an online gun auction site, think EBay of guns but their FFL portal is one of the best. You can really score big in the savings department here. One tip I always pass on to my students and customers, is to identify the firearm you want to purchase. Next create a search for it. Then and this is the most crucial then- set the filters to auction, and then auctions with no filters. What this does is guarantee if you are the lowest bidder even if the item has a high bidder of $10, no matter what it’s worth, the seller has to sell it at that price. As an FFL I get to see invoices, and I am always blown away at what some of my customers get amazing firearms for using this hack.
Palmetto State Armory is my second favorite online gun store. It’s more of a traditional online store but the weekly deals they do are pretty awesome. Their weekly specials are nothing short of amazing. There I said it, amazing!
Sportsman’s Outdoor Superstore. Let me just say, I stumbled on this gem when my customers were buying from them and having me do the FFL transfers. I saw what they paid for some pretty awesome firearms, one transfer was a Springfield Armory Saint riffle. This price had to be dangerously close to cost. For example, one of the today’s specials is a Ruger AR 556 for $599.99, I found this same rifle for the MSRP at $899.
CDNN Sports Is another one I only know about from my FFL customers. I handled two transfers for this guy and he couldn’t rave enough about CDNN. I signed up for their emails and can honestly say I see why he raved about them. They have some darn good pricing. They also have a pretty good FFL portal.
Grab A Gun I discovered these guys on my own. I was searching for something specific for one of my customers and Google lead me to their page. They have pretty decent prices and a robust FFL Locator. I had a few customers purchase through Grab a Gun and they used their FFL Portal to find me. Just for kicks I entered my zip and I came up 3rd in the search.
Budsgunshop.com is another one I really like. That same Ruger AR that I mentioned earlier, Bud’s has it advertised for $479. I get lots of customers from Bud’s.
Armslist is more of a mashup between an EBay type site, the traditional online firearm store, a classified ad for guns and a 2nd Amendment political ad. I’m new to it but I think their business model is on to something.
To conclude, these three sites should help you find a competitively priced FFL. The reviews on Google should help you identify one that gives good service and has convenient hours. There are many categories of FFL’s but these sites mentioned above should help you weed through the information overload and narrow in on one who meets your needs. I have also attempted to be very detailed listing out the best sites to buy a firearm online. I firmly believe this is the method of choice, the blog post Why is it so intimidating to go into gun shops? 5 tips to make it less intimidating! definitely really goes deep into this, but I think this will be the way we buy firearms in the not so distant future. Similar to how we buy on everything and anything on Amazon. For years critics and late adopters said people will never buy shoes and clothes online, needless to say those prognosticators were wrong. Gun stores operate on thin margins and really mark the guns up, but a shrewd online shopper can in a lot of cases buy at lower than dealer prices. Gun stores now make their money on range fees, accessories, and classes. Guns are almost lost leaders to get people in the doors. I suggest being a smarter shopper and buying online, it’s the only way to go.
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I am an NRA Certified Basic Pistol Instructor, a State of Illinois Concealed Carry Instructor, and a Federal Firearm Licensee (FFL). So needless to say, I come in contact with a lot of guns on any given day. I see the firearms my students bring in for basic pistol...