For the most part, internet-based sales of firearms has been limited to a few large players and many, many small ones. With FFLs abound willing to do the transfers and options like GunBroker, the market has been democratized quickly, but there has yet to be a large player offering online sales and local-pick up across the country… until now.
Announced on Monday, Cabelas has outlined that it will begin to sell firearms online with free shipping to a store. With 82 locations nationwide, all located in or near major metropolitan areas, the chain has significant reach and when combined with their buying power, has the potential to drive down prices (though with their focus on high-margin products, I doubt they will use the opportunity).
The policy does not yet offer the ability to ship firearms to FFLs other than Cabela’s stores. While I can understand the reasoning given Cabela’s focus on in-store environments, its hard to reconcile with the increasing volume of sales made through online outlets and the fact that Cabela’s will ship ammunition and other items straight to the home.
Still, its a solid start for the outdoors chain. With the aforementioned buying power, they have access to many hard-to-find or hard-to-source firearms that small dealers (such as myself) cannot buy due to demand.