Firearm Purchase Process For First-Time Buyers

firearms purchase process for first-time buyers

Congratulations on your decision to purchase your first firearm! And thank you for turning to Sporting Systems to find the latest and most timely information on guns, accessories, and the laws that determine the procedures for buying a firearm. Let’s take a moment to go over the firearms purchase process for first-time buyers.

Your decision to purchase a firearm may not have been easy. Sometimes the laws regulating the sale of firearms can be confusing and intimidating. There can often seem to be lots of little roadblocks placed in the way.

Well, we are here to help you jump through the hoops, dot all the I’s, and cross all the T’s. We’ve even put together a little video for you that should help clear up some of the confusion about buying a gun in Washington.

In the meantime, we’ve laid the information out for you here, too, so there are no doubts about what’s required of you — and of the Sporting Systems shop — during the firearms purchase process for first-time buyers.

We can help you learn all about safety, types of firearms, concealed carry, magazine capacity, and more. We can also help you decide on firearms for home defense, firearms for sport, and how to use them safely for personal protection.

Ownership comes with responsibility. So does purchasing a firearm at a gun store. For first-time owners, the requirements can seem hefty, but we’ve simplified it all for you.

Let’s get started!

What to bring with you

  • Valid photo ID with current address
  • Completed I-639 class for semi-auto rifles

The HB1240 class stems from a Washington law that passed in 2018 by a 59% to 41% vote margin. Under this law, residents of the state of Washington who wish to purchase any semi-automatic rifle must take a firearms safety training course. Those who complete the course earn a certificate of completion.

The laws you’ll need to know

  • Every firearm sold has a background check done.
  • These checks can be instant or they can take several weeks.
  • Must have residency in your state for at least 90 days
  • You must have a valid Washington Concealed Pistol License (CPL) to carry a loaded firearm in your car or on your person.
    • CPLs are obtained from your local law enforcement agency
  • Handguns, semi-auto rifles, and receivers can only be delivered in your state of residence.
  • Initiative HB1240 requires a class for the purchase of any semi-auto rifle.
    • We offer this class free of charge on our website. Please complete this class before coming to the store.

Sporting Systems: Expert Advice For First-Timers

It’s good to have friends and family members who know about firearms and can offer advice on the subject. However, it’s better to get your information from an expert firearms professional, such as those who staff the Sporting Systems shop.

Here, you can get hands-on experience. You are unique, and so are your firearm needs. Helping to identify and define your needs is what we do.

Sporting Systems’ staff of experts can assess your needs and capabilities, and then present you with a wide range of options that would work best for you and your family.

Getting to see, feel, and handle the firearm is the best way to get familiar with it and to make the wisest and most informed purchase decision.

You will attain proficiency faster and easier with a firearm that fits you and that you have confidence in — not only in its performance and power but in your ability to handle that performance and power.

Additional Things To Know About Firearms Purchases WA

  • Paperwork! There’s no shortage of paperwork, although much of it is digital these days, including the standard Federal 4473 form. You’ll use our iPads to complete the forms.
  • If you purchase a handgun or semi-auto rifle, then we get to do a Washington state form, too. Via Pistol Transfer Application and Semiautomatic Rifle (SAR) forms. How long will this take? Plan on about 20 minutes total after you’ve made your selection.
  • After you sign your forms, we’ll collect the amount due.
  • Handguns and semi-auto rifles can take three to 30 days to process. Typically, it takes about 2-3 weeks or 10 business days from your local law enforcement agency. (Per, semiauto rifles are a mandatory 10-business-day wait.)
  • Shotguns, rifles, or receivers are same-day NICS checks, which generally means you can leave with them that day. However, sometimes it does take a day or two to clear. That stands for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
  • A CPL does not speed up the process.
  • No same-day delivery of handguns anymore.

As soon as it’s ready, we’ll call you.

Make sure your voicemail is set up properly and working! Seriously. We want to deliver your firearm, and we’ll call you as soon as it’s approved. No need to keep calling the shop to check up on the process.

Once we contact you, come down to the shop. Keep in mind that background checks expire after 30 days. After that, we have to start the process all over again.

That’s it! We hope the combination of this blog post and the video embedded within it has helped answer some of the questions you may have about the firearm purchase process for first-time buyers.

Of course, we hope you’ll visit us often, and stock up on all the firearms you’ll need for protection and sport. Remember: You’re only a first-time firearm buyer in Washington once!

Let us know if you have any questions.


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