Need advice on a THR gun purchase that may have gone bad


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rock jock
October 11, 2004, 12:24 PM
I won't bore you with the details. Suffice it to say I sent a MO ten days ago to a member here on THR. That person lives in Texas and based on correspondence with friends in that area, it typically takes 2-3 days to receive mail from my location. So, I am pretty confident that he has had the MO in hand since probably mid-last week. He has not responded to several inquiries in any way regarding receipt of the MO or when he intends to ship the gun. I know he was in town last week because I called his house and spoke with his wife/daughter(?), who also confirmed that he had not shipped any guns. I don't want to threaten legal action yet, but I am beginning to worry. I have never had a seller take this long to respond. IF this turns out to be a scam, what are my options? What can someone face in terms of criminal charges for a fraudulent sale? How long should I wait before pursuing legal action?

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boofus
October 11, 2004, 12:49 PM
If the deal goes bad contact his local PD. They might be able to help you out. Was it supposed to be delivered to a FFL or a face to face deal?

rock jock
October 11, 2004, 01:45 PM
Direct mail to me, which is legal for an in-state transfer.

Mike Hull
October 11, 2004, 03:11 PM
The postmaster general will aggressively pursue mail fraud cases, and they are felonies. Just call your local post office(You mailed the MO I assume?).

They do this fairly quickly too.

bg
October 11, 2004, 03:57 PM
Here's a place that will take special interest in this since it started via the internet.
Ck out who runs this at the bottom...
www.ifccfbi.gov

Tharg
October 11, 2004, 04:17 PM
Have copies of the money order? know the date sent? bah - i can't think of anything else off the top of my head - but have yer ducks in a row no matter what. Just saying to someone that something happened doesn't lend a lot of credence to someone who prolly hears it however many times a day/X amount of cases etc...

Just saying - not saying yer lieing or he is not... etc.. just saying that i'd have my ducks in a rob before i called police/fbi etc.. =)

J/Tharg!

rock jock
October 11, 2004, 06:01 PM
Yeah, I have the receipt from the MO. From that, I can find out who cashed it and where. I also have copies of email correspondence. Good points, though.

Standing Wolf
October 11, 2004, 06:04 PM
The postmaster general will aggressively pursue mail fraud cases, and they are felonies.

I have a hunch the B.A.T.F.E. might have an interest in a case of this sort, too.

beemerb
October 11, 2004, 06:06 PM
The postmaster general will aggressively pursue mail fraud cases, and they are felonies. Just call your local post office(You mailed the MO I assume?).

bought a item from a ebay dealer in Florida.Never arrived ,no answer to emails.Turned it over to the post office with a copy of the PMO and filled out the form.Recieved another form to fill out about 6 months.About a year after that I recieved a letter from them stateing that they could do nothing.So do not expect the PO to be of any help

Wildalaska
October 11, 2004, 06:09 PM
If its a senior member here Im gonna be pretty dissapointed

WildhmmmAlaska

Smoke
October 11, 2004, 06:22 PM
Direct mail to me, which is legal for an in-state transfer.

Are you sure about that?


Hmmmm...maybe we have found part of the problem.

Smoke

rock jock
October 11, 2004, 07:33 PM
Are you sure about that?
Yes, it is legal as long as it goes through a common carrier (e.g., FedEx, UPS).

If its a senior member here Im gonna be pretty dissapointed
Not a senior member.

bought a item from a ebay dealer in Florida.Never arrived ,no answer to emails.Turned it over to the post office with a copy of the PMO and filled out the form.Recieved another form to fill out about 6 months.About a year after that I recieved a letter from them stateing that they could do nothing.So do not expect the PO to be of any help
Yeah, I don't have a LOT of faith the USPS would do something, BUT since the threat of a felony conviction would mean bye-bye to any firearms for the rest of his life, I expect it might get his attention.

I have a hunch the B.A.T.F.E. might have an interest in a case of this sort, too.
I think you're right, especially since he has admitted sending handguns through the post office before.

mcmoyer
October 11, 2004, 08:10 PM
If its a senior member here Im gonna be pretty dissapointed
:scrutiny:

looking back through posts & using Charlie Chan decoder ring it appears that it was a new member.

:scrutiny:

edited to add: I hope you get it straightened out for the good!

Psssniper
October 11, 2004, 08:19 PM
USPS will NOT aggressively pursue this, sorry. Do a search in the feedback for coppergold or tina and see what a whole bunch of THR guys got ripped off for and guess what? USPS did nothing and the local PD also did nothing.
Lots of smoke and BS but no real action. Drive over to his house (No whining about how far it is) and pick up your gun or get your money back, face to face.

Ed
October 11, 2004, 08:21 PM
Don't count on the USPS to help. I'm still waiting on a problem I encountered 5 months ago. They said they'd send him a letter telling him to pay me back my money. It also said that they investigate if there are numerous complaints. So I added mine to the list. Hope you get your gun.

Vodka7
October 11, 2004, 09:43 PM
I think you're horribly overrreacting. You mailed it on a Friday, so basically it's been one week sandwhiched between two weekends (one of which was a holiday). In those ten days, arguably only five of which were working days if you missed the outgoing mail on Friday, you've contacted him repeatedly and called his wife.

Mail is slow. People have lives.

Perhaps you should settle down, enjoy a nice smoke or glass of whiskey, and try calling again tomorrow?

If you really want to you can cancel the MO right now if it hasn't been cashed and get all your money back. And in the future you can be sure to send large amounts of money with a tracking number an delivery confirmation so there's a record of where it ended up and when.

Honestly, and I don't mean this to be rude, but you sound like a real problem buyer. If it were me, I'd pack your gun up and ship it out without even telling you. Not worth the hassle on my part to try and explain to you that I just got your money order when you obviously believe I'm a liar and have already harassed my family.

rock jock
October 11, 2004, 10:04 PM
Honestly, and I don't mean this to be rude, but you sound like a real problem buyer. If it were me, I'd pack your gun up and ship it out without even telling you. Not worth the hassle on my part to try and explain to you that I just got your money order when you obviously believe I'm a liar and have already harassed my family.
You are being rude and I assume you have never done a gun purchase over the Internet. I have done close to two dozen, both on the buying and selling end. It is more than just a simple courtesy to let the buyer know ASAP when you have received payment and when the gun will be shipped. It is expected. That means if a seller receives on a Wednesday, for example, they get off their lazy backside and send a confirmation email that day if possible or the next day if not. It is also expected that you have the gun ready to ship BEFORE payment is received so that it then becomes a simple process to bring it to UPS/FedEx and send it on its way. It is then expected that the seller send another email letting the byuer know that the gun has been sent, perferably with a tracking number.

In fact, I seriously doubt you have ever made a sale of anything over the Internet period. Because I can pretty much guarantee that someone with your lackadaisical attitude about holding a stranger's money for days will garner you a pretty bad rep real fast.

You also make a great many assumptions. I never said I harrassed his family. I very calmly asked when he would be in and if she knew whether or not he had mailed a gun to me.

aguyindallas
October 11, 2004, 10:43 PM
If it helps, I have an "internal" contact with a Special Agent in Charge here at the Dallas ATF office. PM me if you would like some help. I dont mind also just doing a drive by assessment of the guys place if its local.

PM me...

rock jock
October 11, 2004, 10:48 PM
aguy, it is just outside Fort Worth and I very much appreciate your offer of help. I may take you up on that shortly.

Lone_Gunman
October 11, 2004, 10:57 PM
I was under the impression that even an in-state private sale had to go through an FFL on both ends if the gun is to be shipped.

I know you can do a face to face transaction, but I did not think shipping between two private individuals was legal, even if in the same state.

Also, I did not the the US Postal Service would ship guns unless you were an FFL, and I did not think Fed Ex and UPS would let you ship them to private individuals either.

faustulus
October 12, 2004, 03:52 AM
I thought the FFL just had to be on the receving end.

Model520Fan
October 12, 2004, 09:29 AM
I have had a number of internet transactions on grips and such, all through gun boards, all good. A private seller may have time to notify the buyer of every step of the process, and often does. Dealers often don't have time, therefore don't.

One of my transactions seemed a little slow, but it really wasn't, when looked at from the other side.

I recommend counting days for both parts of the process, and allowing a little extra. Then you can start calling him, and finding out what is really going on. If your ducks are in a row today, they will be next week. I doubt that he is planning to pick up and move out of state over this transaction.

Majic
October 12, 2004, 10:35 AM
You can "expect" a lot of things to happen, but life sometimes don't follow your little rules. I have bought handguns before and learn from the seller after the sale that they ship out their orders in bulk. They had my payment for 2 weeks before they shipped it out. I now question all aspects of the sale before I send the payment so there won't be any more surprises.

Greg L
October 12, 2004, 11:28 AM
Have you looked down in Rate P&R Transactions? There is a tale of woe involving a MO down there. I don't know if this is the other half of your situation (& if it is he should have at least had the decency to PM/email/call you).

FWIW.

Greg

Andrew Rothman
October 12, 2004, 02:45 PM
Apropos of nothing, I noticed this thread:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=101965

I hope this turns out well, but let this be a caution to all: Be very wary of a brand spanking new THR member without a single post except a for sale ad.

rock jock
October 12, 2004, 05:59 PM
Yep, Matt, that's him. I'll have an update tonight.

rock jock
October 12, 2004, 09:35 PM
Lone Gunman, from the ATF website:

(B9) May a nonlicensee ship a firearm by carrier?

A nonlicensee may ship a firearm by carrier to a resident of his or her own state or to a licensee in any state. A common or contract carrier must be
used to ship a handgun. In addition, Federal law requires that the carrier be notified that the shipment contains a firearm and prohibits common or contract
carriers from requiring or causing any label to be placed on any package indicating that it contains a firearm. [18 U. S. C. 922( a)( 2)( A) and 922( e), 27 CFR 178.31]


I got ahold the guy tonight by phone. This is after I sent an email to him yesterday demanding that he contact me immediately by email or phone. Conversation:

Me: "Did you get my emails?"
Steve Ray: "Uhhhh, yeah, but I've been out of town"
Me: "Your wife said you were in town all of last week."
Steve Ray: "Uhhhh, I been asleep. I can't remember no more."
Me: "When did you receive my money order?"
Steve Ray: "Uhhh, sometime last week. I don't remember when."
Me: "I asked you to send me a confirmation email and to respond in some way. Why didn't you?"
Steve Ray: "Uhhhh, I, uhhhh ain't been on the computer."
Me: "When am I going to get my gun"
Steve Ray: "I sent it out today."
Me: "Today??"
Steve Ray: "Uhhh, yeah, today."

We will see.

Lone_Gunman
October 12, 2004, 10:09 PM
Thanks for the info, Rock Jock.

I did not know that.

JohnKSa
October 12, 2004, 11:26 PM
I presume he didn't offer to give you a tracking number... :rolleyes:

Greybeard
October 12, 2004, 11:39 PM
Something tells me that one might be just a little on the warm side ...

TechBrute
October 14, 2004, 04:34 PM
FYI, mailing a pistol FTF within state is not legal. Mailing a long gun within state is.

http://www.nraila.org/media/misc/FederalFirearms.htm#Mailing%20of%20Concealable%20Firearms

Combat Magnum
October 14, 2004, 04:34 PM
I second what "vodka7" wrote!

R.H. Lee
October 14, 2004, 04:46 PM
I don't have a dog in this fight, but the seller should have communicated with the buyer immediately upon receiving payment, and provided the buyer with the shipping information & tracking number.

Redlg155
October 14, 2004, 05:11 PM
Bummer.

I looked at the thread and noticed that there was some input there and that the seller said he had shipped, so hopefully all will be well.

I personally try to avoid any troubles by asking that the following rules be followed whenever I do a transaction here at THR. If it is a major sale I always contact via telephone and then send this in the Email.

1. The buyer will notify the seller when payment is sent via Email or phone. ( I always send with delivery confirmation.)

2. The seller will notify the buyer once the payment is recieved and the anticipated shipping date.

3. The seller will notify the buyer of the actual shipping date as well as providing tracking numbers. If the item is small and sent via USPS, the seller can provide a delivery confirmation number as proof of the item being sent...... ( In certain cases the seller may be asked to provide a bill of sale as well as identifying information. This is especially true with non FFL to FFL transfers. Dealers love it when a gun just "shows up" at their business without any paperwork included. )

4. The buyer will notify the seller when the item is recieved and the condition of the item. At this time any previously agreed upon inspection agreement starts.

I also try to provide some positive feedback for a good sale. I'm sure there are a lot of things folks will add, but this is my basic statement that I send before selling an item online.

Good Shooting
Red

rock jock
October 14, 2004, 06:42 PM
I received the gun today. I do not yet know the condition of the gun since I have yet to open the package. Please refer to this thread to find out why:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=101965


Redlg155,

I agree completely and have ALWAYS followed those rules. I have done lots of deals on TFL, THR, Glock Talk, AR-15.com, and AK-47.net Every single transaction in the past has gone smooth as silk. Not this one. In the future, I will be extremely careful who I deal with.

Cacique500
October 14, 2004, 08:13 PM
Mailed a pistol USPS for a FTF? EEK!

musher
October 15, 2004, 12:47 AM
Darn,

posted my comment over in the forsale thread. try again...

I'd echo techbrute. Not much point in making a threat to turn the guy in on the forum. Just brings the level of discussion down I think.

I do understand your quandary though. The fellow commited a felony and involved you while doing it. I'm not sure what your legal exposure is on this. I can certainly understand where it might be the smartest thing to do just to turn the deal over to the authorities now that it's been aired in public.

If I were in your shoes, I think I might give a lawer familar with federal gun laws a jingle and pay them a c-note or two to tell me what I would be risking I kept the gun.

If you're exposed to felony prosecution as well, you've got a tough decision. Hard to fault covering your own (and your family's) hide given that the other fellow knowingly put you in this situation. On the other hand, dropping a dime for something like this on a fellow gun owner would be hard to do (even if he is exasperating). On the third hand felonies are forever.

If you're potentially in trouble, you might be able to work out a no-prosecution deal if you come forward together and surrender the gun.

"Really sorry, goofed up, won't happen again old chap."

It would be worth the lawyer fees and price of the gun not to worry about getting the door kicked in, I would think. Can't amount to much more than a few cases of ammo. Ok, a few cases of GOOD ammo, but way less than a felony defense.


musher

BluesBear
October 15, 2004, 09:15 AM
ANYTIME you want to buy a gun or any item for that matter over the internet, and you have a doubt as to whether the seller actually has the item for sale or not, the simply ask for more photos of the item. But ask for a certain view to ensure that the seller isn't using the pics from a long ago sold item.

In the case of a revolver ask for a photo showing the back of the cylinder with the extractor star raised.

For any other pistol, rifleor shotgun ask for a shot with the action open showing the feed ramp/breech area.

Ask to see the gun with the grips off. Anything as long as it's not the standard shots commonly used.

An honest seller should not mind taking 1 or 2 extra photos to close the deal and ensure a happy customer.

In photos, I often use the daily newspaper as a background. that way you can prove you had the item after a certain day.

twoblink
October 15, 2004, 09:29 AM
I think no matter what happens, an email communication is in order..

I sold something on ebay, and then I had to make an emergancy trip to Taiwan at the time, and didn't come back for 3 weeks. I emailed the guy every week, apologizing (it wasn't like I wanted my grandfather to die!!) and he was pretty sympathetic about it.. So I think communication is the key.

"Did you get my MO?"
"No, not yet, I'll let you know when it gets here"

That would have smoothed like 99% of everything..

gigmike
October 15, 2004, 09:44 AM
Rockjock,

I'm sorry to hear about how you've been involved in a potential crime here. I too echo the need for you to contact an attorney familiar with gun laws. However keep in mind that all an atty will do is offer an opinion on how those laws affect you. I know attorneys whose view of the law is very skewed by their own biases and views. I guess what I'm saying is be careful who you rely on.

If I were in your shoes I might have a trusted attorney consult me on how to best take this directly to the powers that be. As far as "turning in" the guy who illegally shipped the gun; that would be my last concern. Your first concern is your standing with the law, your freedom and ability to be there for your family. His carelessness created this scenario, it's inevitable he'd be involved if there are any negative repurcussions.

Good luck to you.

Bacchus
October 15, 2004, 10:02 AM
Lots of members are watching this thread closely...can we have an update when you get a chance?

rock jock
October 15, 2004, 11:22 AM
As I related in the For Sale Forum, I did nothing wrong or illegal here. He shipped in incorrectly and as it turns out, the box was inadvertantly tossed with the trash so it is a moot point now.

Kingcreek
October 15, 2004, 01:15 PM
Dare I ask?
Did ya get a nice mod 19 and was it represented accurately?
(even if there were a couple rough spots in the transaction?)
IOW, Did it all work out OK in the end?

rock jock
October 15, 2004, 02:56 PM
No, it was not represented accurately. The drag line is very apparent. It has not been abused, but it has been shot a good number of rounds. There is a small scratch on the left side, and in full lockup, there is quite a bit of wiggle. I would rate it as 90-95%, NOT the 99% that was advertised.

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