Once a person has made the decision to purchase a gun, a federally licensed dealer will fill out a federal form 4473, which requires identifying and other information about the buyer, and record the make, model, and serial number of the firearm. The licensee initiates a background check on the buyer through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NCIS) to determine whether the buyer is not qualified to own a firearm. This NCIS background check may be immediate, or may take up to three business days. Prior to November 30,1998, a five-day waiting period was required.
It is unlawful for an individual to purchase a firearm through mail-order from another state. Only licensed dealers are allowed to purchase firearms across state lines from other licensed dealers.
Provided that all other laws are complied with, a person may temporarily borrow or rent a firearm for lawful sporting purposes throughout the United States.