Hopefully no one else out there is trying to buy a gun at this point, but in case you are looking to buy one belatedly, here is how to go about it.
New Gun Buyers
First, you cannot legally buy or borrow a gun from a neighbor without going to a dealer for a background check.
At this time, you don't have much choice on what you can buy. Guns are out of stock, cases and shelves are empty, and orders are coming in late. You do not have the wide variety of every handgun for sale in the nation at competitive prices that you did in January. You have three choices:
One, go to the store and buy whatever they have in stock.
Two, go to/call the store and ask them to order whatever gun you want from their wholesaler.
Three, order it online and ship it to a dealer.
Going to the dealer
Go to the dealer's website or Facebook page to see what their current procedures are. If you need to call, be aware they may not be taking calls due to extreme volume and general busy-ness.
At the store, you will probably be asked to stand six feet apart in line. Some stores are requiring to you to glove and mask up before entering. Most stores are letting limited numbers of people in the store at any one time. Other stores have parking lot pickup for guns and/or background checks.
You're not going to go to a big sporting goods retailer. Places like Bass Pro Shops, Cabelas, Sheels, and Sportsmans Warehouse are closed (because they sell more than just guns). You will need to go to your local gun store.
Your local gun store may not accept new buyers. You missed your opportunity to get in line last week. They may only be servicing people who have made a purchase, but were waiting on the background check to clear. Under these circumstances, if you are allowed in to shop, be prepared to accept what they have in stock.
Unless you have a concealed firearm permit (CCW) you will not be going home with your gun same-day as you can do normally. Carson City (the people who run background checks for the state) are so backlogged it'll take hours on hold, if, the gun store can get someone to answer, or days for the Dept. of Public Safety to process the faxed request. Prepare for a week of waiting.
If the dealer orders you choice of gun from his wholesaler for you, the gun will have to ship from the warehouse and be processes when it arrives at the dealer. Though shipping is overnight, wholesalers and manufacturers are so backlogged that they may take days to ship.
If you bought a gun online and are wondering why the seller is asking for a Federal Firearms License (FFL), you just learned their is no "online" loophole. Firearms purchased online must be picked up at the store, or, shipped by the seller to your gun dealer. You cannot just get a gun mailed to your home (with some exceptions that probably won't apply to you).
When you buy a gun online, part of the checkout process will be indicating what dealer you will have the seller ship it to. Some sellers may have a list of dealers (FFLs) that includes your dealer, or you may need to email a copy of your dealer's FFL over to the seller. Many dealers have these forms available online for download, but you may need to call others to have them fax their FFL to the seller.
Be sure to find out BEFORE ordering if your dealer of choice will accept the shipment. Some dealers are refusing to accept gun shipments at any price in order to take care of their other customers first.
The gun will then ship to your dealer where you can go through the fun background check process and hopefully have your gun by Easter.
Clayton E. Cramer
Gun Free Zone
The War on Guns
The View From Out West