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Discussion Starter #1
When buying a rifle online from a private party, does it need to be shipped directly to a dealer with an FFL, or can it be shipped to my address? What's a more secure payment method, paypal or postal money order?
 

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if its a longgun, and the seller is shipping from within the same state that you reside, it can go directly to you.

I would opt for the postal money order, both are pretty safe methods and very trackable, but Paypal is no friend to gunowners so why give them your business.
 

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If you are buying a long rifle online and it's from another state you do have to get it shipped to an FFL dealer. If it is coming from your home state then it can be shipped directly to you. If it is a handgun it must be sent to and/ or processed through an FFL.

As far as payments, I think post the post office and PayPal are good ways to go. Generally speaking you will have to pay like a 3% fee for using PayPal. The nice thing about them is that they will help you resolve a problem directly. If you use a money order the post office isn't going to help you resolve a problem with the buyer and refund you your money back. I'm not 100% sure but PayPal might have some rules about using there service to buy firearms. You should research that before making your decision. Good luck with your purchase, and just for knowledge and comfort I buy almost all my guns through gunbroker.com and haven't had any issues. Just make sure you know what gun you are buying by asking as many questions about it as you can.
 

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If it comes under federal law or state law as a firearm, it usually must be shipped directly to an FFL holder. Most charge $20 to $30 to receive and do paperwork. You make arrangements with the shop ahead of time to receive it. The shop I deal with faxes a copy of the signed ffl to the seller as proof of the ffl to receive it. The seller ships it after payment giving me a tracking number and when it arrives at my local shop, I already know.

I usually send postal money orders, because some sellers don't like the cut paypal takes.

As far as security for the transaction, there are some safeguards, but nothing is fool proof. Some on line auction will try to protect buyers and sellers. Others do very little. I'm not sure what paypal will do if the goods aren't shipped or are damaged in transit.

I have purchased several muzzleloaders on line and never a problem, BUT, I don't buy from anyone who has a selling history of less than 10 transactions or bad feed back. Most sellers have been great and prompt to deal with, which in itself is pleasantly surprising in this day and age.

As for postal money orders, if there is a problem, and you need proof that the money order has been cashed, I understand the post office has some wild expensive fee for providing a copy of the cashed money order. (Like $40) I never checked into getting a money order from another outfit, like Western Union, or some of the others. You may even want to check into a cashiers check from your bank. Some banks provide them for free for account holders.

Some sellers in an over abundance of caution require all guns of any kind to be shipped to an FFL holder. Some states require even muzzleloaders to be shipped to a license holder.

Then there is the wierdness of some carriers. Some post office clerks go nuts if it is a firearm. Some will lie and say it can't be shipped. I never had a problem with the post office here.

If it is a post 1898 cartridge gun and the seller isn't asking for an FFL to ship it to, I'd be very wary.
 

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As stated above, within state no ffl, interstate ffl required. I sold 6 guns online this year, both intra and inter state, and used paypal a number of times. One side or the other will get hit with the 3%. Normally the receiver pays it but the sender can mark the payment as a gift and select that they will accept the charge.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks guys! it is a long gun (ruger m77 300wsm) coming from western PA. that's good that it doesn't need to go to an FFL as the local shop charges $50 for the transfer.
 

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zimmerstutzen said:
Then there is the wierdness of some carriers. Some post office clerks go nuts if it is a firearm. Some will lie and say it can't be shipped. I never had a problem with the post office here.
Last year I attempted to send out a rifle through our local country post office and the postmaster insisted it couldn't be done..She even phoned a few nearby post offices who were 'fuzzy" about whether or not they could ship a firearm, so I went through a local shipping company that charged about double what the post office fee would have been..As soon as I got home, my post office called me back saying that they found out they COULD ship my rifle, to bring it back..I thanked them for their stupidity, but informed them that I had already shipped it through other means.
 

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If you do Paypal you better mention NOTHING about firearms.....otherwise, the seller will have his Paypal account frozen by Paypal and you won't get your firearm from the seller because he did not receive his money from Paypal.

The purchase of firearms is strictly prohibited under Paypal's rules....as is ammo and reloading components...Best to read Paypal's rules before using it....
 

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Great advice Bob, didn't realize they included reloading items in their prohibited items.

On a side note has anyone used Gunpal as an alternative??
 

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Plus, when Paypal helps you resolve an issue, they take a cut of whatever is owed to you from the other party....had it happen to me once on Ebay.
 

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Big Ken said:
Plus, when Paypal helps you resolve an issue, they take a cut of whatever is owed to you from the other party....had it happen to me once on Ebay.
If you engage Paypal to resolve a firearms-related payment you can kiss the money good-bye for many, many months....
 

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Bob,

You make it sound like you got caught.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I guess paypal didn't catch it, yet. I was not aware of that and put a note in the transaction what the payment was for. The seller said the money showed up in his account so hopefully it won't be an issue.
 

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Nope, Ed, I have never been caught BUT I do know some guys who have been....

The risk with sending a 'gift' when paying for a firearm thru Paypal is you have no remedies through them if the deal goes sour....

I also call the other party and make sure the buyer or seller completely understands the importance of keeping the payment purpose totally confidential; otherwise, NO Paypal....
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Does anyone know what paypal would do to my money if I dispute this? Will my money just go into their pockets and I'm out my money and the rifle, since its against their rules to buy guns/ammo?
 
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