The form asked several obvious questions: my name, address, and Social Security number. It also asked about my race, gender, and US citizenship status.
Under a section called “certification of transferee,” it asked about my criminal record — whether I had ever been convicted of a felony, subject to a restraining order, or prohibited from purchasing a firearm, among other specifics.
In red print, the form said that “an untruthful answer may subject you to criminal prosecution.”
The seller told me that my background check would likely be completed within a few minutes after I finished the paperwork. Once the purchase was finalized, an employee would walk the gun out to my car with me.
But I had only just finished printing my name when she stopped me and asked whether the address on my license matched my home address. I had moved since I obtained my license, and the addresses didn’t match.
That was a problem, she said.
To pass the background check, I would need to bring in a government-issued document with my correct address, such as a bill from a state-owned utility or a car registration. (I have never bought a gun, so I wasn’t aware of this.)
She apologized, told me the rules were strict around background checks, and asked me to come back another time to finish the purchase.