According to gun control advocates there is a background check ‘loophole’ in internet sales. This makes it sound like anyone can simply boot up their browser and get guns delivered to their door no questions asked.
There are no legal online gun retailers that will simply mail a gun without obtaining a Federal Firearms License through a business that holds a valid FFL.
You go online to a retailers and you select the firearm that you would wish to purchase, just like any other online order. You enter your name and address for billing just like any other online purchase. You use your credit card just like any other order. The difference is the shipping address.
The shipping address must be a current Federal Firearms License holder. The gun vendor will need a copy of the gun shops FFL where you are picking the gun up. At the local gun shop they will run a background check before relinquishing your firearm to you.
You cannot simply order whatever you want and have the postal carrier bring it to you.
Many of your local gun shops, especially mom and pop type shops, will accept your firearm shipment and process the paperwork and background check for a fee. It varies from 15 dollars in some places to 100 in others.
Why use an FFL to purchase guns online if you are avoiding a background check? Simple, because you are not avoiding anything that you wouldn’t do in a brick and mortar store if they had it in stock.
If you are asking why order online guns when its the exact same safeguards as going to a major gun retailer or mom and pop, its because of the same reason you shop online. To get the best selection and the best price. Just like the background check, you cannot avoid paying taxes either. The FFL holder collects sales tax for the state when they collect their transfer fee.
The FFL transfer to your local gun shop is an excellent way to get what you want, exactly, and at a good price. You still must have a background check and pay sales tax. There is no ‘loophole” about it. Just guns delivered straight to your local gun store that does transfers.
Local advertisements for a gun for sale when a person meets face to face is not an online transaction. These types of transactions are up to the parties to be honest law abiding citizens as it is doubtful that criminals will go to an FFL dealer and transfer a stolen or otherwise illegal gun that was or will be used in a crime.