Due to this [“curio or relic”] status, which the SKS shares with many other models of Berettas, Colts, Remingtons, Rugers and other firearms that are at least 50 years old, gun dealers said that in some states and jurisdictions the Soviet-era rifle can be purchased online and delivered to your door without securing a permit.
To purchase the SKS online and other firearms that are at least 50 years old (excluding Title II firearms) and have it sent directly to you, you must have a Federal Firearms License. Specifically, you need a Type 3 Federal Firearms License, also called a “Curio & Relic” license, or C&R license for short, which is available to civilians instead of gun sellers.
Note: Firearms classified under Title II of the National Firearms Act of 1968 cannot be obtained with a Type 3 FFL regardless of age. Such transfers must still go through a Type 1 FFL Class III SOT dealer and follow the procedure defined by the ATF.
Obtaining a C&R license requires going through the ATF application process with a 30 USD fee that includes an FBI background check and approval by the local law enforcement authority (county sheriff or local police chief, whichever has immediate jurisdiction over you). Once that comes back as clean, the license you receive is valid for up to three years and must be renewed to continue to receive its privileges. If it expires you have to go through the application process again. Note that a person with an expired Type 3 FFL is not required to surrender any firearms obtained by that FFL when the license expires.
And one other note: your Federal Firearms License is public record. As of June 2016, there are 57,990 active Type 3 FFLs, and 56,580 Type 1 FFLs (licenses needed to be in the business of selling firearms). You can find the names and addresses for everyone who has ever been issued an FFL from January 2013 onward through the ATF website.
And if you purchase a firearm using your Type 3 FFL, you must present the FFL to the seller. If you buy it online, this means you need to send a copy of the FFL to the seller. If you’re buying it in a store face-to-face, for example you’re buying an M1911 issued during WWII in a store outside your home State, you must have the FFL with you to present when you acquire the firearm.
So it’s not “delivered to your door without securing a permit”. The FFL is the permit. A common civilian without the Type 3 FFL cannot order a Mosin Nagant online and have it delivered to their door. The FFL is required to allow that to happen.
Numerous people have pointed this out to CBS in the comments to the above-linked article. I’m not holding my breath on them posting a correction or retraction.