Definition - What does Waiting Period mean?
A waiting period is an amount of time specified by law that must elapse before a certain event can occur. This can include the amount of time before someone can take ownership of a firearm or the amount of time between the issuance of a marriage license and the actual marriage. It can also include the amount of time before someone receives the proceeds or benefits from an insurance claim.
Justipedia explains Waiting Period
When used in connection with gun ownership, state waiting period laws stipulate that a certain amount of time must elapse between the point at which someone buys a firearm and the point at which they actually take ownership of it. These laws are put into effect to allow time for background checks and to prevent gun violence, including self-harm.
However, in the absence of a federal waiting period pertaining to firearms sales, gun dealers can allow the buyer to take possession upon completion of a background check.