I thought I would take a chance and buy a gun from an online retailer to exploit the online gun loophole. I will see how it goes.
Turns out the process isn't so bad. It's basically like going to the gun shop and buying a gun! Background check and all!
Seriously, you have to do a background check when you buy a gun from an online dealer.
Anyway, the procedure works like this. You surf the website for a firearm you want to purchase then add it to your cart just like you're buying something from Amazon. You'll have to create an account but that's not that hard. When you go to check out, you'll be prompted to choose an FFL to deliver to. Wait, what? You see there is no online loop-hole. When you buy a gun from an online dealer like Buds Gun Shop or KY Gun Co or Palmetto State Armory or any other FFL dealer with a website, you don't get to have the weapon shipped to your door. It must be shipped to an FFL in your state for transfer.
Anyway, I ordered a Savage Axis XP in 308 (yes this was a while ago). After choosing to ship it to a Big Box store in my state (Maryland at that time) I paid via the normal online payment method, a credit card.
It took several days for the online dealer to process the order, it would have been faster to have Bass Pro bring one in from another store. Anyway, once the rifle was shipped out I was able to track it like a normal package. Once it was delivered to the dealer, I was notified. The local dealer had to go through a process to have it transferred to their books but didn't take too long. Smaller dealers don't take so long but the Big Box store took a day or so. After that I was able to go in a complete the background check paperwork. Yup, I did a background check for an online gun. BTW, this wasn't just because I was in Maryland. I recently purchased a surplus CZ 70 and still had to do a background check here in Georgia. Essentially, I didn't exploit a loophole because the online loophole is made up.
The thing that people THINK is a loophole or refer to as the "online loophole" is when a private citizen posts on a forum or Facebook that they have a firearm for sale and another private citizen wants to buy it. They meet up and the transaction is completed. The federal government does not regulate transfers between private citizens and to be honest, I don't believe they should.
Buying a gun online typically adds about a week to the buying process. This is how it is across the board. Even if you get a deal on the weapon there is usually a transfer fee by the transferring local dealer. Hopefully you can get it cheap. The advantage to buying online is usually cost or rarity. No dealer has access to every firearm available and the guns they do have are things they can typically move. Remington 700s, Mossberg 500s and Glocks are going to sell. When you're looking for something that isn't exactly common these days like a surplus Mauser, a brand new CZ-USA P-09 Urban Grey edition, an ultra rare HK MR556 or a used P7M8, chances are your local dealer won't have it in stock but the online world will likely have what you want and can deliver it in whatever color and caliber.