What do you have to legally do to buy a gun?

When you’re ready to buy a new gun what legal hoops do you have to jump through to purchase your gun?

Our friend @NJStraightShooter posted this on a different topic:

Do you have to get a permit to purchase before you decide to buy? What else do you hae to legally do before you can purchase?


As stated before, in New Jersey:

  1. You have to apply for a Firearms ID Card and they do a background check on you with fingerprints.
  2. You have to apply for a Purchase Permit and they do a background check on you.
  3. You get to the dealer at the gun shop and he runs a NIC check on you.

How many background checks do they have to do to make sure you are on the up and up?

And now, if our Governor Murphy gets his wish, the prices of these permits will go so high that only the rich could afford to buy and own a firearm.

So sad! If I could afford to move, I WOULD! :frowning_face:


I live in Arizona. And if you want to by a firearm you go into a gun store fill out the paperwork. They call it in for a background check and if ok you buy the firearm. And if you have a carry permit things go a lot faster. Because you’ve already had the background check done with finger prints. To get the Permit.


Go to a FFL dealer fill out paperwork and if everything is fine, you walk out with the firearm. With a CCL I have been in and out in 5-10 mins with a new firearm.


Do I dare ask how much each of those background checks cost, @NJStraightShooter? And why do they need 3 different background checks - are they checking different places?

1 Like

Illinois you need FOID card( Firearm Owner ID) first and foremost. Currently those are 10 bucks, and good for 10 years. Then, go to the gun store, do your 4473 paperwork. The store sends in for the NICS check. If everything checks out, wait 72 hours, and go home with your new gun.



The Firearms ID Card, Needed in NJ to buy a gun and/or ammunition is currently $5 but in the future our Governor wants to make it $100!

The Handgun Purchase Permit costs only $2 now but in the future our Governor wants to make it $50! You can ask for more than one on one application but then you have to pay per handgun (ie: 2 guns = $4 or 4 guns = $8, etc.)

If you have a valid reason (like a valid death threat, you’ve been attacked, you’ve been shot at, etc.) for carrying a handgun concealed you must apply for a concealed handgun permit which now costs $20 but Governor Murphy wants to make it $400!!!

In answer to Dawn’s question about the background checks; for the first two they ask for 2 references and I usually use the same two (one is actually a Sergeant on the local police department) and I believe it is the same background check source for each of them.

For the Concealed Carry Permit you must supply three references and as far as the background check it is probably the same source. When I applied for my Virginia Out of State Concealed Carry License, I believe I only had to have 2 references, I proved my knowledge of using a handgun by my DD214 showing Honorable Discharge from the US Navy and they performed whatever background check that they do. I believe it only cost me $10!

Oh and while some departments charge to take your fingerprints, my local PD so far has not charged me a dime, but then they know me too.

Sorry that this took me a while but I was out Grocery Shopping which is only my second favorite thing to do next to Laundry. (Insert Laughter Here)

1 Like

Please tell me you don’t need to get a Firearms ID every time you want to buy ammo or a firearm, @NJStraightShooter?

And you have to buy a permit to purchase each gun and pay for it by the gun?

Can’t the reason be I don’t want to be attacked, shot at, raped, killed? :woman_facepalming:

Veterans and active military can use their DD214 in a lot of states to substitute for a required concealed carry class.

I 100% agree with you on that, @NJStraightShooter! (shudder)

I’m sitting here shaking my head at all these requirements. (I am really glad my parents moved out of NJ when I was still an infant.)


Oh no @Dawn,

The Firearms ID Card is one time, Yours for life. Just show it to buy ammo. To buy a pistol you need to apply for a Handgun Purchase Permit (you can get multiple Permits on one application) when you want to buy a gun and they will verify your Firearms ID Card at the Gun Store when you purchase the gun.

Next question, UH, NOPE!!! Not Valid!! NO JOKE!! You have to prove that you are in danger. To keep this non-personal, I had someone threaten my life many years ago but since they haven’t acted on it since then, I don’t have a valid reason. I have even helped many police departments in reporting Drug Dealings and might have even been seen reporting once or twice, still not a reason for my safety.

Next question: When I applied for Virginia and now I am in the process of applying for Florida and they both accept the DD214 for proof of proper firearms handling. That is for Veterans. Active Duty doesn’t get a DD214 until they get out but I assume they could produce their initial order to duty as proof that they had training.


Seriously the pain just gets worse! Do they make you show your drivers license to buy gas? Or show your pay stub and utility bill to prove you have a valid reason to buy a car?:scream:


@Zee and @Dawn, You’re speaking to the choir and I’m tired of this Same Old Song.

I would love to live in a state where you could buy a gun like you buy your bread. Granted it would be like buying a $500 loaf of bread but you know what I am saying! :laughing:

If I had the money I would be ready to move but Sherry says that all of her doctors are here. My answer, find new doctors. There has to be good doctors in other states too!


Tennessee here. Nothing special, go in, fill out paperwork and pay for background. Pay for whatever gun(s) and go home. I have noticed, as have some friends, once you have your HCP (Handgun Carry Permit) background checks typically come back in two minutes or less. Our permits are issued by the Tennessee Highway Patrol and everything goes through DMV (Homeland Security, in Tennessee). Our permits are linked and have the same number as our driver’s license. The background checks are handled by TBI, another agency under the “Homeland” umbrella here.


Milwaukee has great doctors and so does Minneapolis. I’m sure St. Louis does too, right @Zee.

I do have to go through a background check that can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 days to get back for every gun. And I think it’s like $10 per background check.


In the last three years the longest I have had to wait was 30 minutes (they were really busy that day). Most took less than ten minutes.


I had a three day wait when I purchased my first handgun. When I got my second handgun I filled out the paperwork and the background check was done over the phone while I waited. The only thing I need to purchase ammo is money. I may need an ID if someone doesn’t think this 70YO is old enough.:upside_down_face:


Wisconsin use to have a three day waiting period for handguns but that requirement was changed a few years ago.


In CA you must be, have, produce, conduct, and pay the following;

-21 years or older for handguns or long arms
-18 years may purchase a long arm with a valid hunting license
-have a valid Firearms Safety Card
-legally be able to purchase/own/possess a firearm, not be a Felon, or other prohibited person
-provide 2 forms of ID such as a drivers license and vehicle registration or utility bill.
-fill out a 4473
-get fingerprinted
-pass a background check
-pay $35 combined in Dealer Record of Sale, Firearms Safety Act, Safety and Enforcement, Dealer additional fees
-wait 10 days to pick up after the cooling off period unless your exempt (most are not)
-perform a safe handling check demonstration
-provide affidavit of qualified gun safe
-in Los Angeles read and confirm by initial a firearms may be hazardous to your health advisory
-Pay the purchase, and taxes


@KenM, After seeing what you go through, I am glad I live in New Jersey. (I thought I would never say that).

The only thing I didn’t see is: reciting the Pledge of Allegiance while standing on one foot and patting the top of your head! :wink:

And what is the utility bill for? Do they want to make sure that you are keeping up with the payments? Maybe next time ask them if they would like to make the next payment for you. I figure if they see your Firearms Safety Card and your Drivers License and another form of ID then they must know where you live, why the utility bill?

And they make you read and sign that firearms may be hazardous to your health? I hope they are hazardous to someone’s health otherwise pointing it at a bad guy will do me no good!

1 Like

In Michigan you go through the NICS background check. There is a bill that allows FFLs to skip this for those of us with Concealed Pistol Licenses. Some skip it some just have blanket policies to run the check on all.
We do not have a waiting period. Each time I’ve purchased a firearm I’ve left with it within 30 minutes of starting paperwork.
I have a Michigan CPL and an Arizona CHL, so I’m not surprised when my checks come back good to go.


@Spence, In New Jersey we don’t have a waiting period either but if NICS is backed up we have to wait until it goes through. As for FFL’s or CCP holders, New Jersey doesn’t give Freebies to anyone. We are at the mercy of the Government unfortunately. By the way, I have a Virginia Non Resident CCP and in New Jersey that won’t even get me a cup of coffee. :frowning_face: