We are happy to handle your inbound transfers from out-of-state, whether you are buying from an online dealer, an auction site, or a privately arranged sale. Interstate transfers of firearms are required to go through a federally-licensed dealer, as per federal law.
FeesWe charge a $25.00 fee for this service. Until the end of October 2012, we will waive that fee if you are a member of the Facebook Gun Owners of Maine group.
ProcessTo transfer a firearm through us, please contact us first, so we know to expect the firearm. We'll ask you for the sender's information, and we will contact the sender with details about where to send the shipment. If the sender is another FFL, we will have to provide them a certified copy of our FFL, usually by email. If the sender is not an FFL, we will provide them with our license number so they can verify our status as a licensee using the BATFE's FFLeZCheck system.
Once we receive your firearm, we will notify you via phone or email, and you can schedule a time to do the transfer. We are available weekday evening hours and weekends, by appointment.
Form 4473 and Background Check
When you come in for the transfer, you will have to complete ATF Form 4473. This is the same form you complete at any gunshop when buying any firearm. You will undergo an background check from the FBI National Instant Check System (NICS) before you can take possession of your new firearm. Most customers will receive a "Proceed" status from NICS within seconds, in which case the transfer can be completed immediately.
Delays and Denials
Please be aware, however, that sometimes we may receive a "Delay" status, which means that NICS must do some additional research before issuing a final status. A delayed status may take only a few minutes to clear, or up to three days. Until we receive a "Proceed" status from NICS, or until three days passes, we cannot transfer your firearm to you.
NICS may also return a "Denied" status, which means that we are not permitted to transfer a firearm to you, because NICS believes that you have some disqualifying factor in your background. If you believe NICS is mistaken (and they do sometimes make mistakes), there is an appeal process which you can use to correct the problem.
Unlike buying a gun in a local gun store, there are a few "gotchas" that can crop up when you buy a gun for later interstate transfer. In a local gun shop, you'll typically successfully complete your instant background check before pay for your gun. If there's a problem with the background check, you don't pay until the problem is resolved. But when you buy a gun from an online dealer, an auction or another out-of-state seller, you generally pay the seller before the gun is shipped to you, and long before your local FFL runs the instant background check. You need to be aware that, although you do own the gun, if the background check does not succeed, you may not be able to possess the gun that you own.
What we can't do, and what we can
Please understand, however, that if we recieve a "Denied" response from NICS, we absolutely cannot, under any circumstances, transfer your firearm to you, nor can we transfer it to anyone we have reason to believe might in turn give the firearm to you (like a spouse, relative or friend),known as a "Straw Buyer". We can hold your gun for you while you file a NICS appeal, and if you are successful in overturning the denial, we will transfer the gun to you at that time. If you do not appeal, or if your appeal is not successful, we can return the firearm to the sender or the sender's FFL (at your expense, and if the sender will accept it). Alternatively, we can consign the gun for sale to a non-local buyer, via online auction.
Know your status, and know your options
Unfortunately, dealers are not permitted to run background checks to "pre-screen" buyers to ensure that they can legally purchase a firearm. So, if you are thinking about buying a gun from an out-of-state seller, make sure you know that you are eligble to purchase a firearm, and know whether your seller is willing to accept the return of the firearm if there is any chance of a NICS denial.
More questions on transfers? Email us, and we'll answer.