Setting aside the polarizing gun debate, firearms ownership is a freedom that millions of Americans enjoy. While few other governments in the world even recognize the fundamental right to bear arms or have it baked into their founding documents, gun ownership is a freedom afforded to every qualified US citizen.
At Green Top, we fully support that freedom and make it our aim to be America’s most trusted gun retailer.
Who Is Green Top?
Ever since we first set out to become central Virginia’s premier outdoor sports destination in 1947, Green Top has helped thousands of Americans find the gun that’s right for them.
So, whether you’re brand new to the world of guns or you’re an experienced sharpshooter, we hope you'll think of Green Top as your local shop.
Why Buy Guns at Green Top?
In an ever-changing world, convenience seems to be what matters most. We understand that and created a website that’s simple and easy to use. But we haven’t forgotten our roots and our commitment to provide old-school customer service, for which we don’t charge a prime fee.
In our customer-friendly environment, there are no high-pressure sales tactics. No one earns a commission on products sold. So, regardless of who you are, or whether you’re considering a used shotgun or a new Glock, Smith & Wesson, Ruger, Sig, or Springfield, we’ll spend time answering your questions and offering you the best products, advice, and service.
Why This Guide about Buying a Gun?
Anyone who’s already familiar with firearms may see little need for a guide to gun buying. We get that. If you're a gun owner, please share this with others who might be helped by it. But if you didn’t grow up around early morning hunts and sunny afternoons at the skeet range, that’s okay. Responsible gun ownership can be for you.
With over 1200+ years of collective pro experience and a 70+ year track record of satisfied customers, we’re ready to help you with all of your firearm needs. We know there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to guns.
So, if this guide helps you, we'd love a fair shot at earning your business.
Key Questions to Ask before Buying a Gun
While there's much more to be said on this topic (see here), here are some questions that we ask prospective buyers to help guide their decision:
1) What will the main use of the firearm be? (Home defense, personal defense/concealed carry, hunting, recreation, etc.)
2) What, if any, experience do you have with firearms?
3) How much time will you be able to spend learning how your firearm works?
4) How much time will you spend practicing with your firearm each month?
5) What's your price range?
Simply answering these questions for yourself will help you to better browse through our bestselling guns and narrow down your choices. And as you do, keep in mind some of the following myths that are circulating out there about buying guns online.
4 Common Gun Buying Myths
Misinformation is everywhere, and the firearms world is no exception. So, let’s dispel a few myths that continually linger around the guy-buying process.
Here’s a big one:
Myth #1 “I’m not required to have a background check. That’s just for people with a criminal past.”
The truth is, the law requires every single gun buyer to go through a background check whenever they attempt to obtain a firearm. There are no exceptions.
As a friendly word of caution, attempting to obtain a firearm is like inviting the law to put a microscope on your life. This isn't the same as buying a toaster. So, if there are issues in your background that you think could prevent you from legally owning a firearm, don’t take chances at the gun counter or online.
The Smart Thing to Do If You Have Doubts
The smart thing to do if you do have doubts about your background is to contact the state police in advance and tell them that you are interested in purchasing a firearm. Tell them what type of firearm you’re interested in obtaining and ask them to check your background with that in view. Otherwise, they may only give you the kind of background check that they would provide to a landlord who is checking out a prospective renter.
It’s not a crime to ask the authorities whether or not you are legally able to own a gun. But attempting to obtain a firearm through a retailer like Green Top crosses the line. Authorities will view it as a criminal attempt to obtain a firearm when you’re not legally able to do so. Charges, fines, and/or imprisonment are likely to result.
If you think there could be issues in your background that would prevent you from legally owning a firearm, don’t take a chance.
Additionally, each state (and some localities) have different laws regulating what types of firearms are allowed within their jurisdictions. A bit of research should help you determine fairly quickly whether or not you qualify to purchase a firearm and what limitations exist where you live.
Myth #2 “Guns can be shipped to my front door.”
Only firearms dealers with a valid Federal Firearms License (FFL) may receive gun shipments. So, that's a big no. We are not going to ship a gun to your house.
Simply ordering a firearm from an online gun store is not the same as obtaining it or owning it. You can buy a gun on the internet or over the phone, but the gun won’t be released to you until you pass the required background checks. And not passing won't just cause you trouble with the law. You'll also be held liable for any transfer fees and shipping costs.
So, again, if there are issues in your background that prevent you from legally owning a firearm, don’t try it. On the other hand, for the millions of responsible citizens with a clean background, we're ready to help you find the firearm that’s right for you.
After your online purchase is complete, Green Top will let you know when to come in and fill out your background check forms. Or, if you're having the gun shipped, we'll let you know when you should go to the FFL of your choice to fill out the forms for the required background checks.
Don't Wait to Get Training
Of course, safety training is important to receive first. So, don’t wait until your order arrives. Go ahead and become a member of your local shooting range, take safety courses, and commit to a lifetime of responsible gun ownership.
Myth #3 “It makes it easier to just download the forms for the background checks at home and bring them prefilled to the store or FFL.”
Not true. Forms are pre-numbered and can only be issued one at a time in person for the purpose of obtaining specific firearms.
The firearm buyer must also not receive any assistance when answering questions on the forms. There's no "phone a friend" option. Just read the forms carefully and answer each question to the best of your ability.
Background check forms must be filled out by hand, in person, and only by the person who is buying the firearm for his or her own personal use.
Myth #4 “I can buy a gun on behalf of another person.”
Also false. Purchasing a firearm for another person is known as a “straw purchase.” It's a criminal act. As mentioned previously, background check forms must be filled out only by the person intending to take possession of the firearm.
The Bottom Line about Buying Guns Online
Firearms have changed a lot over the past few hundred years. With all of the options available today, finding the right gun for you can be an overwhelming prospect.
But now with these popular myths about gun buying out of the way, you’re ready to move on to the next step of letting our pros help you find the firearm that’s right for you.
And that’s what we’ll cover in the next article: "5 Key Questions for New Handgun Buyers."
*For more information about purchasing a firearm at Green Top, please see our Firearms and Restricted Items Purchase Policy here.