So, I purchased a gun right after Christmas.
It wasn't a snap decision. I had intended to purchase in December. Sometime last fall, I thought that I wanted a Ruger 10/22 with a scope. (Got one with iron sights already.)
Anyway, after I found a store (which I'll call Mountain of Goose) that allowed me to pre-order online, I did the order. And I waited for the phone call.
After the rifle showed up at the store, I got the call. When I arrived at the firearms-counter in the rear of the store, I had to take a number. Then I had to wait 10 minutes.
Once I began the pick-up process, I had to hand ID and my credit card to the store employee. Then I had to fill out a form. Name, address/city/county/state of residence, SSN, place of birth, ID number from State-issued ID, race, Hispanic-ethnicity status, height/weight, gender, birth-date.
Then I had to answer questions about myself. Yes, I am purchasing this for myself. No, I'm not under indictment for a crime on the Bad Boy list, never been convicted of such a crime, not a fugitive from the law, don't do drugs, never been adjudicated mentally defective, never had a dishonorable discharge from the US Military, not under a Court restraining order, never been convicted of a crime of domestic violence, never renounced citizenship, not an illegal alien, not an alien on a visa. And no, I didn't lie to any of the above questions.
The employee that handed me the form took it back, and spent 5 minutes checking every line on the form.
Then the guy behind the counter offered me a 1-year extended warranty. That's not really a surprise; I suspect the gun-counter earns more money on warranties than on gun sales. Mountain of Goose wants repeat customers, so they offer things like warranties to bring people back.
Shortly after the warranty offer, the employee handed the form (plus my ID) to another store employee. That person did the same 5-minute check. He compared all the data on my ID to the things I'd written out, then certified that I'd answered the "Yes" question properly, and answered "No" to all the others.
Finally, they submitted my name to the Federally-mandated background check
process. (Another customer at the store that day got a "delay" response on their
background check. Something about them being honorably-discharged from
the military, but not keeping their Security Clearance after discharge.
Any person who has ever had that status down-graded, for any reason,
gets yellow-flagged for gun purchases.)
Lastly, I got to put my signature on the credit-card receipt, picked up the gun in the box, and walked out of the store.
Who says gun purchases aren't regulated?
At least I didn't have to go through a waiting period. Certain States of the Union require a wait before every firearms purchase. (Among them, the state of CT, as cited in these Wiki articles.)