How to purchase rifles in West Virginia

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Long guns and rifles are a hot item for hunters in the mountain state. However, rifles have also been the weapon of choice for mass shooters here in the U.S. In the wake of the recent shooting in Orlando some legislator’s across the U.S. are now calling for stricter gun laws specifically aimed at the process of buying them.

The process with buying handguns and rifles varies from state to state. 

“I’ve been a NRA instructor for 22 years and I’ve been hunting for 40 years,” said Mark Dempsey. Dempsey is the manager at Flat Top Arms gun store in Beckley. He said the process for buying a handgun versus a rifle is the same.  However, the requirements are different.  In order to purchase a hand gun, he said you have to be a West Virginia resident.  If you’re looking to buy a rifle, then you don’t have to be a resident.

“The applicant must have a valid photo I.D. with their current physical address on it. And then they fill out the form that the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms) provides us with and then we call it in for a background check if they approve you, then we are able to sell you a firearm,” Dempsey said. 

Dempsey added that if a person does not pass the background check, the gun store is then transferred to the Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI). 
“When we are talking with an FBI representative and then they look at the person’s background to see what it is that looks a little odd, then they give us the approval, delay, or denial.” 

Dempsey also said there are currently no laws in place for buying or selling hand guns and rifles privately, such as online and through classified ads. 

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