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I’ve only bought one gun over the intertubes. It was my first gun, a cheap POS Russian shotgun I bought when I first took up trap. Still have it, too, if anyone’s interested. Anyway, I prefer to patronize my local sellers. That doesn’t mean I won’t buy a gun from an on-line dealer if the savings are big enough. But as long as my local dealers can keep things close enough, they’ll get my business. I’m going to be reviewing some guns for TTAG, though, and that means having guns shipped to me from the manufacturers. Which means transfers. So I’ve searched local FFLs to see what they charge and got fees from $15 to $50. Fifty bucks to process some paperwork and make a phone call seems on the steep side to me. You, too? If you buy on-line, how much do you usually pay for a transfer? What’s reasonable?

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  1. $25

    What do you think a dealer makes on a gun? $25, $100, $50? The transfer fee is all margin, no need to stock anything, minimal overhead. For the moment, online sales are also only subject to use tax, not sales tax. So that saves a bit there as well. I have a good relationship with my dealer. I’ve never bought a gun from him but whenever I pick up a transfer I invariably pick up an accessory or three. He’s an excellent guy and seems happy with my business.

    As an aside, local dealer firearm selection also tends to be pretty limited.

  2. $50.00 is what you pay at most gun shops in the Chicago. I was told, here, one time that they wouldn’t do the transfer if it was a new gun. They wanted you to buy from their stock, which was always marked up high. I found a guy who sells out of his house–he does it for $25.00. The ammo is always marked up high, too (you can only buy ammo in crook county at gun stores).

  3. $50 +/- $5 depending on the store in the greater Chicagoland area. They’ll only do transfers for new guns if they cant order one to sell you.

  4. It was $15 for a long long time then it suddenly jumped to $30. That’s when I buddied up to an FFL holder, now it’s free (except for steak and beverages). I think an FFL should charge a fair price for transfers, they DO have overhead (meeting BATF rules, requirements and license fees). But $50+ seems out of line.

  5. Good question. I pay my favorite LGS $20.00 per transfer and if you do a multiple transfer then the cost drops to $15.00 per firearm. I still give him the $20.00 per though because every single other LGS in this area is such a baby about you buying guns at Bud’s and transferring them in that I figure it’s worth it to keep this guy happy.

    Although he did just charge me fifteen bucks over list on a CZ Kadet (I wasn’t paying attention when he wrote me up) so that sours me a little bit.

    Typically if you buy your SIG from, say Donna Flanagan, and you bring it in to one of the local guys here in Reading, then you’re looking at at least $35.00 and possibly up to a quite salty $55.00 depending on who you choose to do the deed.

  6. I’m a custom gunsmith, and I charge $20.00 for transfers for my special order customers. And when you tally my expenses for insurance, payments on the building, keeping the lights on, etc., that’s dirt cheap for “just a phone call and a little paperwork.”

  7. $20 from my preferred dealer in Montana. $10 has been quoted to me twice. And a friend with a FFL does it for free.

  8. Nothing. Here in Alberta and I suspect the rest of Canada the cost is nil. But you guys in the U.S. don’t have to put up with the rest of the bull paperwork we do up here.

  9. $20-25 at local pawn shops. The LGS wants $75. Yes, you read that right. $75. Of course this is the same shop where they scoff at you if you look at anything other than a Kimber, H&K or Sig. They have a pretty high opinion of themselves and their products. I WANT to do business locally, but the attitude there makes it hard.

  10. My local FFL doesn’t charge anything. She and her husband see it as a community service. After some traveling, I had multiple firearms sent to her for transfer and she wouldn’t let me pay her anything for the trouble. I figured with several, her time requirement went much higher. Nope. She was just glad to help out.

  11. In Fairfax County, VA outside of DC, transfers run from $52 at Blue Ridge Arsenal in Chantilly to $25 at Nova Armament in Herndon. Blue Ridge requires you to come in to fill out a paper form whereas Nova lets you do it online. I use Nova.

    • +1 on NOVA Armament. Real friendly people, pretty good selection for the size of the store, and reasonable prices. I haven’t found a gun store anywhere in VA that I like better.

  12. Hey Mr Zimmerman,

    I am a sales associate with the Midwest Gun Exchange, based in Mishawaka, IN. We deal in both retail and wholesale markets. We typically charged a $25 fee for transfers. However as of last month this fee has gone up to $35. This was primarily because we wanted to test the waters and see if this impacted the amount of transfers we did. I’m fairly sure that at least where I work that the fee won’t hit 50 any time soon. That is just too expensive for many customers to consider going through us. So judging by what we’ve been doing 30 appears to be the magic number that a majority of people can work with. Go above that and you are starting to get into the danger zone.

    It is worth noting though that the fee amount for many dealers is not set in stone. If you are a frequent patron or do a lot of transfers with us (as some collectors do) we’ll knock the fee down considerably. You have to be a really loyal customer though. Most of the guys who we discount are more like personal friends than customers they know almost the entire staff by name and have been seeing us for years.

  13. ZERO!!!! I buy most of my guns at Heritage Guns, and even the guns I buy from someone else is transfered for free. The guys at this shop offer great prices on everything and they’re real easy to deal with.

  14. I support gun dealers, and don’t mind at all paying $50.00 for a transfer. I’m betting most of you make that or better in an hour. Every hour.

    Hey, no gun dealers, no guns…

  15. As far as I can tell, here in The Democratic People’s Republic of New Jersey most stores charge $50 – 100, or around 30ish if you are a member of a pistol club.

  16. Bought a pistol over the interwebs about 4 years ago. Think I paid $25 to the dealer in Gainesville, FL for the transfer.

  17. Most places in NJ charge $35 plus $15 background check fee so it works out to $50.
    Recently found one that charges $16.25 for transfer (his primary business is not firearms related, so he only does transfers)

  18. My dealer does transfers for me at no charge. I like to think we look after each other. I am a big believer in local business and support him every way I can.

  19. 25 dollars per transferred gun at my favorite dealer. He sells boxed factory ammo super-cheap, and if you buy a decent quantity, usually lets the transfer fee slide.

  20. Unfortunately, in my neck of the woods (Aspen area) transfer + check runs $60-75, so I’ve been driving 45 miles to a good dealer that charges a (somewhat) more reasonable $55.
    Then again the lost of living is higher here, too…

    • Hmm. Opportunity costs seems to be siding against you. at 75 miles at 25mpg that’s 6 gallons there and back. Gas is around 4$ per gallon so 55+4*6=$79 without factoring in the time it takes to drive there and back. This is obviously negated the more transfers you make at the same time but for a single transfer it probably makes more sense to go to the local guy.

  21. TDS Guns in Rocklin (a bit north of Sacramento) California charges $30, which includes the $25 DROS (background check) paperwork fee.

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