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Age requirement

You must be 21 to receive any firearm or firearm receiver

An inbound firearm (Shipping to us from a licensed dealer and you are receiving the firearm or firearm receiver from us).

$14 per serial number item (includes the $5 background check) for the first firearm

  1. Have the transferring dealer request our FFL via email. Remember the dealer must also be an FFL.
  2. Email us to make an appointment for pick up when your tracking number indicates we received your firearm.
  3. Bring your government issued ID (Non-passport). Government ID must be Florida issued or if your ID is issued from another state you must bring proof of residency. This is typically property tax documents if you own a residence. All documents used to established residency must be from a Florida government agency. Remember that your ID must not be expired.

An outbound firearm (You are bringing a firearm to us for us to ship the firearm or firearm receiver to a licensed dealer)

$14 per serial number transfer & $35 UPS shipping

  1. Email to make an appointment.
  2. Bring the firearm to us along with your government issued ID (Non-passport).
  3. We will ship the firearm via UPS and email you the tracking number. We do NOT accept any shipping labels and only ship UPS.


Once you have purchased a firearm from another dealer, the selling dealer will need a copy of our FFL before your firearm can be shipped.  It is your responsibility to provide us with either an email address (preferred) or a fax number of the seller/dealer in order for us to send the FFL. Some dealers already have our FFL on file.

When the firearm arrives at Tropic Lightning, we will in-process it, call you to let you know it arrived, and lock it up until you can come pick it up.

The process isn’t always flawless.  It is the buyer’s responsibility to make sure the seller received the FFL, payment, and all information necessary for the seller to ship the firearm.  The seller will usually put your contact information in with the shipment for our staff to contact you.   From time to time, the buyer's contact information may be incorrect.  It is recommended that the buyer follow up with the seller first, then Tropic Lightning if the transaction isn’t going as expected.  If contact information was incorrect or not provided, we have no way to let you know.

When you come to pick up your firearm, we will provide you with a form 4473 (Firearms Transaction Record) to fill out.  The rightful owner of the firearm MUST be the one to fill out the form, in their own handwriting. We will verify the form has been filled out correctly and then submit a background check on-line.  Once the background check has been approved and the optional 3-day wait has been satisfied (Handguns with no Florida Carry Permit), payment for the transfer is made, the consumer may leave the store with the firearm.

IMPORTANT things you need to know:

You must be a Florida resident to pick up handguns and receivers. 

The named purchaser of the firearm MUST pick up the firearm, no substitutions.

The address on your government ID MUST be current.  If it's not, you must provide government-issued documentation of your current address (e.g. tax bill, voter registration, car registration).  Commercial mail is not acceptable.

Don't worry about filling out the ATF form 4473 before you arrive at the store.  It MUST be done in person upon your arrival.  

If you've had issues related to mistaken identity or identity theft, your background check may be delayed by up to 72 hours (weekdays).  The delay starts after the background check is complete.

Cash is preferred but we also accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and checks.

If you are going to be delayed in picking up your gun(s) (Deployment, vacation, etc.), please let us know when you will be able to pick it up.

There is no firearm registry in Florida.  Florida Statute 790.335 (Prohibition of registration of firearms; electronic records) specifically identifies firearms registration as illegal and a violation of your constitutional 2nd Amendment rights (under most circumstances).

Things that cause delays in picking up guns: 

Expired government ID or ID doesn't match current address.

Problems with a background check.

No proof of payment.  The seller may provide a DATED and PAID receipt.  If this evidence is not obtainable, the 3-day wait will start when evidence of payment made at Tropic Lightning. 

Background checks:

EVERYONE picking up gun(s) locally gets a background check; NO EXCEPTIONS.

A Florida Concealed Weapons License waives the 3-day wait but does NOT eliminate the background check.

The background check is completed by FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) and is submitted through the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) which is operated by the FBI.

A background check is good for 1 transaction or 30 days, whichever occurs first.  A transaction is 1 business day.

A background check usually takes a few minutes. However, the number of background checks submitted to FDLE at any point in time may affect how quickly a result is returned. If the FDLE system or the NICS system is down, background checks will not go through until NICS and/or FDLE have been restored.  A delay such as this can last a few hours but usually not more than a day.  The background check and 3-day wait are NOT related.

A firearm cannot be released by Tropic Lightning until the background check is approved by FDLE. 

There are four results provided by FDLE from a background check:

Approval (A):  Firearm can be released to the consumer.

Conditional Approval (CA):   Firearm can be released based on FFLs policy.  In the event the Conditional Approval should change to a Non-Approval, local law enforcement will be dispatched to recover the firearm.

Conditional Non-approval (CN):  Firearm CANNOT be released to the consumer for up to 3 business days to allow FDLE more time to research causation for the Conditional Non-Approval. NOTICE: We will NOT release the firearm after the 3rd day because of the problems associated with recovering the firearm should the CN become a Non-Approval.  

Non-Approval (N):  Firearm CANNOT be released to the consumer.  This decision can be appealed by the consumer within 30 days of the Non-Approval. 

For active military only:

If you have an out-of-state ID, bring a copy of your PCS (NOT TCS) orders assigning you to Florida and a copy of your lease agreement. This will allow you to transfer/purchase handguns/receivers in the state of Florida. If you own a residence in the state of Florida, a copy of your tax bill is a suitable alternative. Utility bills, junk mail, phone bills, and personal letters are NOT acceptable alternatives. You do NOT need to establish residency to purchase a rifle or shotgun.

Government-issued identification and proof of address:

State of Florida issued driver’s license or identification card (no further ID required if the address is current)

U.S. Passport (government proof of Florida address required)

Florida Vehicle registration (considered proof of address, but not a substitute for a picture ID and Date of Birth)

Florida Voter’s registration (considered proof of address, but not a substitute for a picture ID and Date of Birth)

Florida Tax Bill (considered proof of address, but not a substitute for a picture ID and Date of Birth)

Utility bills, junk mail, phone bills, and personal letters are NOT acceptable alternatives. 

3-Day Wait (State of Florida) for all firearms and firearm receivers:

There is a mandatory 3-day waiting period, which shall be 3 days, excluding weekends and legal holidays, between the purchase and the delivery at retail of any firearm or firearm receiver. The 3-day wait is a cooling off period and has no relation to the background check.

The 3-day waiting period shall not apply when the receiving person:

1) Has a valid Florida Concealed Weapons Permit

2) Is conducting a firearm trade-in

3) Is a Law Enforcement / Corrections Officer

4) Is a US Service Member

5) Has a Hunter Safety Course completed and a valid Hunting License

Alien Residents:

You MUST bring your alien registration card with you at the time you fill out the form 4473.

Your background check may be delayed a few hours to a few days. FDLE is required to check multiple databases.  The initial background check may be returned as a Conditional Non-Approval.  The approval status is usually updated within a few hours but may take a few days before completion of a final determination.