You may be considering purchasing a gun or are already actively shopping for one but are unfamiliar with the background check involved in the purchasing process. I often meet customers who are intimidated by the thought of a background check. It’s not that they have anything to hide, but are uncomfortable with the idea of facing what seems like an invasive process.
I’m here to tell you that it’s actually very straightforward, fairly simple and usually doesn’t take long. At Los Ranchos Gun Shop, we make the entire process as easy as possible for you. You won’t have to take a large amount of time out of your busy schedule waiting around to find out whether you’ve been approved or not.
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System or NICS is where your paperwork will be submitted. The paperwork itself consists of a short form that asks some basic questions. The form goes over things like your address, physical characteristics, and other identifying information. There are also several “yes” or “no” questions. The questions relate to any possible criminal history and whether you are buying the firearm for yourself or for someone else.
Having helped thousands of customers in Albuquerque submit these background checks over the years, I can say that it is not intimidating. The entire form can be filled out in a matter of minutes and once the background check is submitted, an answer may be instantaneous or available within a few minutes of submission.
There are three possible outcomes after you submit your forms. One, of course, would be a denial. This is pretty self-explanatory. If your records with NICS reflect that you are not eligible to purchase a gun, you will be denied. However, about 25% of denials are in error and we can help you appeal this determination.
There are two other outcomes. One is that you would be proceeded, meaning the process can move forward and you are approved to walk out of the store with the gun you are purchasing. The other is a delay. In the case of a delay, the applicant may still purchase the gun after a certain number of days waiting. This varies by shop, but it is a three-day period here at Los Ranchos Gun Shop. After that time, you may also take possession of your purchase.
There is a question on the form related specifically to marijuana and other substances, and whether you are a habitual user of these substances or not. Because we live in New Mexico, a state that recently legalized marijuana, this may be confusing. But remember, the form you are filling out is a federal form and marijuana, although legal at the state level, is still a federally controlled substance.
What does this mean for you? Well, we don’t give legal advice at Los Ranchos Gun Shop but it’s at least important to be aware of what you will be answering on the form. How you choose to answer is ultimately up to you, but for the safety of yourself and others, we encourage our customers to just be honest. Keep in mind that the form states that there are federal penalties for violations of the Gun Control Act.
The form itself can be viewed on the ATF website and I recommend going there and taking a look at it, if you haven’t seen one in some time. Hopefully, this will take any surprises out of the process before you come in to see us and fill one out. Please note that you must complete the form itself at the location of the dealer.
As a gun shop, we are responsible for keeping our FFL (Federal Firearms License), which is what allows us to be able to sell and engage in business related to firearms. This also allows us to be able to help you if you choose to buy a firearm from another source. As an FFL holder, we can assist you in acquiring a gun that you might be trying to purchase online or from a private party.
When you order a gun online, it cannot be sent directly to you. Instead, the gun must be sent to an FFL holder who can then run your background check and turn the firearm over to you after you have been proceeded or following a delayed response.
As always, we encourage you to visit us at the shop and ask us any other gun or background check related questions that you might still have. Our shop is designed to provide you with a more comfortable and accessible gun shopping experience, with experienced and friendly staff. We’re located at 6621 4th St NW Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM 87107. We look forward to helping you get set up with a firearm that’s just right for you.