Trade and purchase gone bad


September 22, 2005, 10:30 PM
I would like some advice on how to proceed with this. I traded a handgun to someone out of state back in May. I sent the pistol overnight to his FFL. We also agreed on a sale (Me buying another pistol he had listed for sale in one of the forums). I sent him a postal money order for the second pistol.

He didn't send the pistols to my FFL by the end of June, and I moved out of state. I finally got settled in my new state (illinois), found a FFL and filled out my FOID application. Contacted the person with my new FFL information and still no pistols. He has stated he can't afford to ship them right now since he is out of work and I have offered to pay for shipping. Still no pistols, no communication from him.

How should I proceed? He has had my pistol and my cash since May, and I can't get him to move on this. He's in Texas, BTW. Should I contact his local sheriff office (no PD in his small town), call the postal office about using a postal MO and not receiving goods, contact the BATF, etc?


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September 22, 2005, 10:33 PM
This is a contractual issue, not a BATFE issue. Start with the postal inspectors. The two of you had an agreement. You have fulfilled your end, he has not fulfilled his end. If any part of the transaction was carried out via U.S. Mail, I believe the postal inspectors have jurisdiction.

If they won't take action, contact his local PD and file a complaint that he defrauded you out of a firearm.

September 22, 2005, 10:44 PM
Not performing on a contract isn't a crime. Beating a guy out of his money is a crime. Get somebody with arrest powers involved. The fact that a postal m.o. was used for payment won't be an issue with the postal inspectors.

Vitamin G
September 22, 2005, 10:53 PM
People who trade alot of paintball guns hear this same sorry excuse all the time. Its BAD news. Call the police/lawyer.

Taurus 66
September 22, 2005, 10:58 PM
NOW Why would you do that?? - a trade that is. You gave him the goods, you gave him a money order too. Now you're with nothing.

This is not directly related to the main topic, but if solicitor was to call your house, and the caller says he's collecting for the Katrina disaster, would you give freely without giving it a second thought? - I'm just trying to get an accurate measurment as to your level of trust.

Trading via USPS or whatever means sounds risky. If it's you give him, or he gives you, with no middle ground or middle man worked into the deal, someone's gonna get burned, eventually.

He has something that doesn't belong to him. If it was me, I'd go after him with his local PD and press charges. If you know a few LEOs in your area, you will get better results if they talk to the other department, rather than you.

Tell this worm you have no time for his games. Tell him the deal's off and you want your gun and money order back, or you will get him for grand larceny.

September 23, 2005, 01:53 AM

These guy's will put the fear of god in him. :cuss:

September 23, 2005, 08:40 AM

Please let us know via the feedback forum, who this WORM is so we can avoid the same mistake! That would be a great service to your fellow THRs

And, go after this dog, he deserves whatever he is about to get.

September 23, 2005, 10:09 AM
Guy sounds like a total POS. I hate crooks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Standing Wolf
September 23, 2005, 08:14 PM
I'd contact my local police, the police at the "seller's" end, and the B.A.T.F.E., all in writing by registered mail, return receipts requested.

I'd say you're looking at a professional fraudster who belongs in prison.

September 24, 2005, 12:16 PM
Don't forget about your atty general's office and the state of TX's. Most have a web-page that will outline consumer protection including interstate commerce.

September 24, 2005, 02:50 PM
As others have stated, I would pursue this through every available agency you can contact.

Start NOW.


September 25, 2005, 12:04 PM
The only thing I can add to what has already been said is to organize all your correspondence with the individual. It will be needed by the police if you chose to go that route, which I too highly recommend.

Also write down all correspondence and actions that took place using a time line. It will help you keep dates and what happened when straight.

I presume that you have already sent the person in question a registered letter (you keep/kept a copy) with a demand for return of your money / goods?!

Good luck.


September 25, 2005, 01:59 PM
Sorry to say are pretty much S.O.L. I tried to buy 2 45s off of G.A. a few years ago...The seller never sent them in fact never even had them...He was a con man and scammed 15/20 buyers on the same guns...I contacted postal inspectors, my local authorities, his local[tucson], finally had FBI contact me...they all knew who the guy was...but nobody did anything...said I could file a lawsuit against him but not to expect anything even if I won because the guys only other income [other than scams] was SSI disabitity....So $1000 gone!!! If I ever get to Tuscon the guy will stop collecting his SSI real quick...

September 25, 2005, 03:06 PM
Here's a new idea. See if you can find one of our THR friends that live in the scums area that might be willing to go to his house with the police and confront him. If you can find someone to do this offer to pay if anything is recovered. It might be a long shot but your only shot. The police generally aren't interested in arresting someone that doesn't owe the government money.

September 25, 2005, 07:10 PM
I did talk to the guy Friday-he said that when his retirement check comes in two weeks he will settle up with me. He also said that he was being "straight up" with me and that one of the pistols is in a pawn shop and he can't afford to get it out until this check comes.........AAARRGGHHHHH!

I contacted the postal inspectors last Friday, they said that since the deal was done over the internet it counted as mail fraud. I am pursuing this with them. I also contacted the local BATF office (on his end) and will continue the conversation with them this week.

Some other good suggestions here. I wrote a letter today and am having an attorney review it tomorrow. It will go out registered mail. Also printed out all the email correspondence between us, have the overnight shipping tracking number and the receipt for the postal money order.

I was thinking of hiring a private detective from Dallas to go out and have a polite word with the man, not sure if that would really accomplish anything though. I am going to see how to go about filing a lawsuit-even if he doesn't have any money now, I will have someone check up on him and if he does come into money I will make sure the court knows.

thanks for all the suggestions.

Spreadfire Arms
September 25, 2005, 07:14 PM
how about outing this guy if he is a THR member. let us know his name at least so none of us go and "trade" or "buy" from him.

September 25, 2005, 07:20 PM
I don't know how other states would do this, but in my state, if you prevail in a small claims lawsuit, you can have the court issue an order to seize the other party's assets to satisfy the judgement, and then forward that order to the local law enforcement people in the other party's state with a request that they enforce it.

This guy must have something of value -- that he does not want to lose -- that can be seized and sold to settle up with you.

Also, this is definitely something Postal Inspectors would want to get involved in.

Good luck!

September 25, 2005, 08:51 PM
Something of value? How about your gun -- which he has not paid for, thus cancelling the deal. The gun you sent him has not been paid for, thus it is still your property. If you go to small claims court, ask for a judgment calling for the return of YOUR property, then submit the judgment to a marshal or sheriff or whoever enforces judgments in his jurisdiction. If your gun is in a pawn shop, the pawn shop has no claim to it, since it was obtained by the guy fraudulently.

Pull out all the stops and pursue all available avenues of recourse.

September 26, 2005, 12:09 AM
I would be suspicious of the when the retirement check comes in statement. Since you sent him money to purchase another handgun then he had money to ship the firearms and get the one that was pawned out of the shop. Sounds like he is still putting you off.

September 26, 2005, 12:24 AM
I had a $1900 deal go bad on me. After alot of correspondence and a full month and a half I had no gun and was out the money.

I called his local police department and explained the whole ordeal to them. At this point I wasn't even sure the person I thought I was dealing with existed.

They sent a couple cruisers over within two hours of my talking with them.

One week later the check arrived, 50 bucks short. It cleared and I felt lucky I was only out the 50.

I got his account pulled from GunBroker.

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