COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- Investigators in New York arrested 22 Virginians in the largest gun trafficking bust in Brooklyn history last week.
The suspects told police it was relatively easy to buy guns in Virginia, so CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil went to Dance's Sporting Goods in Colonial Heights to learn about the process the state requires when someone purchases a firearm.
While none of the guns in the bust were purchased from Dance's, Marlon Dance, the co-owner of the store, offered to take Covil step-by-step through the process.
Dance said gun buyers should be prepared to fill out paperwork and provide identification.
In fact, the first thing a buyer must provide is current Virginia driver's license or state-issued ID that must have been issued for more than 60 days from the date of the purchase.
Next buyers must fill out two forms.
"We have two forms, a Virginia state form and a federal form," Dance said.
By the time that first form for the state is filled out, Dance said workers check to make sure the information matches.
"At this point in time, I've made a copy of your driver's license, so I've got all your information [and am] checking to make sure the paperwork is done correctly," Dance explained.
The second federal form also requires buyers to answer numerous questions.
"If they're not answered properly, we don't even transmit to the state police, because you can't buy a firearm," Dance said.
Once the buyer's identification is copied and the paperwork completed, Dance also has an internal system in place to triple check the paperwork.
"I'm checking to see everything on the page is filled correctly, all the IDs are the same and then it's handed to someone else and they do the same thing I do," said Roy Cox, a longtime Dance's employee. "So it's checked three times."
The process can take anywhere from 15 minutes to up to three days as the store waits for the background check.
Additionally, Dance's has established protocols for situations where the store will not show or sell a gun to a potential customer.
"Somebody walks in and we think they've been drinking, we won't even show them a gun much less sell them one," Dance said. "And every once in a while, we'll have some people come in and you can smell marijuana. We do the same thing, we just walk up and say, 'You're not going to see any guns, you're not going to hold any guns.'"
And if someone walks in and it appears they are on the phone with someone or using Facetime, Dance said it could be an attempt at a straw purchase, which means someone is trying to buy a gun for somebody else.
"If we've got somebody talking to somebody on a cellphone and they're telling them what to buy, we do not sell it to them," Dance said.
One first-time gun buyer told Covil the process took him about 30 minutes to get approved Friday. However, a woman who was buying her second gun, said the process took about 24 hours.