Regardless of what you might read on the internets or hear on TV, you can’t just order a firearm online and have it shipped to you. No. You can’t. It’s really not easier to buy a gun than a book, or fruits and vegetables.
So what do you need?
Well, first of all, you must be over 18 to purchase a rifle, and over 21 to purchase a handgun.
Secondly, you must be able to pass a Federal NICS check. This is a background check that is required by everyone purchasing a firearm from a FFL. This is not optional. The database queried is run by the FBI, and will come back with one of three responses: PROCEED, DELAY or DENY.
PROCEED: you’ve passed the background check and we can move to the WA check! Congratulations!
DELAY: don’t panic! This just means that an FBI agent needs a little more time to process the check. This usually happens if you’re a non-US Citizen, or if you have a name similar to someone else.
DENY: You haven’t passed the background check and I won’t be able to sell you the firearm. The NICS system doesn’t tell me why, but there is an appeal process that you can use to figure out what happened.
Thirdly, in the State of Washington, you must also be able to pass a background check conducted by the Washington State Patrol. If you have a WA Concealed Carry Permit (CPL) you can usually leave the same day with your handgun. If you don’t have a CPL, there is a mandatory waiting period of ten business days* (weekends don’t count).
Freyas’ tip: Get a Concealed Pistol License!
Next, you must be a resident in the State of Washington and be able to prove it, if you want to buy a handgun. For this, the best thing to have is your WA Drivers license. The rules for state residence are different for long guns, so contact me if you have any questions on them.
If you are a permanent resident in the United States on a H-1, L-1 or similar visa, you can purchase a firearm, as long as you meet certain criteria. You must obtain an “Alien Firearms License” (AFL) from the State of Washington, and to do that, you must obtain a Hunting License. To do that, you must take a Hunters Education Course and pass a test. Once you have your Hunting License, you must go to the local issuing authority (in Snohomish, that’s in Everett, in King County, downtown Seattle) and apply for your AFL. You will be finger printed and the FBI will run a background check on you. Once you have your AFL, I would strongly urge you to go back to the local issuing authority and apply for your CPL. This will take somewhere in the region of 2-4 weeks. If you consider that NOT having one when you come to purchase your handgun will mean you have to wait 2 weeks anyway, it’s well worth it.
If you are in possession of a valid Green Card, you do not need an AFL.
* Yes, we know that King County’s website says five days, and so do a bunch of others, but as of November 2014, the relevant RCW of the State Legislator says ten.
That seems like a like of work, huh?
Owning a firearm is serious. It’s a massive responsibility, and contrary to what people might think or tell you, obtaining a firearm is not easy. Freya Firearms wants our customers to be safe and to be able to protect their lives and those of their loved ones and I will help you become the responsible gun owner you want to be.