Firearms Transfer Process: What You Need To Know

We thought it would be a good idea to put together an online gun transfer tutorial. There remains a lot of confusion out there about the firearms transfer process among the gun-buying and gun-owning public. But the good news is that the process is easy to navigate when you have professionals on your side.

And you do!

Sporting Systems, a gun dealer in Vancouver, Washington, is here to answer any questions you may have about how to transfer a gun. We’ll go over the firearms transfer process in general and the online transfer process specifically.

Let us know if we can help clarify any of the information presented in this blog piece and/or the accompanying video (below).

First of all, congrats on your online firearm purchase. You’ve bought your gun from your favorite store or auction site. The next step is to transfer that firearm.


When you arrive to pick up your firearm, be sure to bring the following:

  1. Valid photo identification with current address showing state residency
  2. Your sales receipt from the seller
  3. Completed 1639 class for semi-auto rifles. This is a requirement in the state of Washington. We offer the class for free!
  4. Proof of private party sale

Once you arrive, we’ll collect the FFL transfer fee and any applicable sales taxes.

One last bit of info for you: We start the background check in the store with you in person. (This can’t be done online.) Handguns and semi-auto rifles can take anywhere from two to four weeks. Shotguns, rifles, or receivers are same-day checks.

Background checks expire after 30 days. After that, we have to start all over again! So please make sure you are able to pick up the firearm within 30 days of approval. Storage fees/application fees may apply if background checks expire without retrieval. After 90 days, it is possible that the firearm has to be declared abandoned and monies forfeited to Sporting Systems.

Finally, semi-auto rifles have a minimum delay of 10 business days. A Concealed Pistol License does not speed up the process. Thus, no same-day deliveries.

We appreciate your patience as we work through these processes. As an FFL dealer, we follow the letter of the law — both state and federal law.

We make sure that each of our firearm transactions is done completely and properly. We don’t take shortcuts or skip any steps. This is to protect you as well as us.

As always, we’re here to help! Get in touch with any questions or concerns about possession of a firearm, long guns, temporary transfers, and more. We can also help out with other related topics, including law enforcement, gun shows, shooting ranges, and other items of interest.

And thank you for visiting with Sporting Systems today. Let us know how we can be of service.

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