How soon is too soon to sell a new gun?


PDA






wristtwister
April 15, 2008, 06:47 PM
I was reading a thread somewhere last week where someone bought a gun and then resold it at a profit and got busted by the BATF for "conducting gun sales without a license". Now, that makes me wonder what constitutes "going into the gun business". I have lots of guns, but haven't sold them off... just traded them with dealers, etc. but it's a bit unnerving to think that just because I buy a gun and then sell it for a profit that I'm going to get slammed by the BATF. I know that we can go to a gun show and sell them as "private sales" here in South Carolina, but this is dysfunctional.

I read the indictment of this fellow, and he really didn't do anything extrordinary, other than buy a gun and sell it within a couple of weeks. I've bought guns that I thought sucked, and traded them off through dealers... but I'd hate to think that if I sold one to somebody that I'd end up in jail for it. What's considered a "reasonable time" for keeping a gun you think sucks pond water before selling it off? ... and if you sell it, do you have to take a loss just because it isn't going through a gun dealer?

This is not only puzzling, but really upsetting to anyone who wants to dispose of their gun collection without losing their butt to fees or being forced to take a loss just to steer them through dealers. Anybody got any experience or advice on this? Just curious...

If you enjoyed reading about "How soon is too soon to sell a new gun?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Mad Magyar
April 15, 2008, 06:59 PM
by the BATF for "conducting gun sales without a license". Now, that makes me wonder what constitutes "going into the gun business". I have lots of guns, but haven't sold them off... just traded them with dealers, etc. but it's a bit unnerving to think that just because I buy a gun and then sell it for a profit that I'm going to get slammed by the BATF
I've bought & sold through newspaper ads, gun shows, pawnshops, etc.,;never thought I was breaking the law...
Why is profit the key word in your post?:confused:

Hkmp5sd
April 15, 2008, 07:02 PM
There is no fixed number of days. You can buy a gun at a gun show and turn around and sell it five minutes later, making a profit, and still be legal. The catch is how many times you do this over a given period of time. Again, there is no fixed number of transactions. If ATF determines through their arcane rules that you have sold too many guns for profit in a given time frame, they charge you with dealing in firearms without a license.

Fat Boy
April 15, 2008, 07:15 PM
you mean some people actually MAKE MONEY on buying and reselling guns???

Moonclip
April 15, 2008, 07:20 PM
I've sold guns w/o even having shot them! However I am leery of BATF and state rules on this and try to space out sales when upgrading or something to avoid looking like I'm in the business. This is a very grey area I wish the BATF would clarify.

If the BATF thinks I'm supporting myself and in the business by selling off a gun here and there I'd love to know how they survive on a few 1000 dollars a year:)

The Lone Haranguer
April 15, 2008, 07:38 PM
I was reading a thread somewhere last week where someone bought a gun and then resold it at a profit and got busted by the BATF for "conducting gun sales without a license".
:scrutiny:

you mean some people actually MAKE MONEY on buying and reselling guns???
:D No kidding! I've yet to. The absolute worst thing you can do is sell them to gun dealers. You will get half or a third of its worth that way. (Don't ask me how I know.;))

There is no fixed number of days. You can buy a gun at a gun show and turn around and sell it five minutes later, making a profit, and still be legal. The catch is how many times you do this over a given period of time. Again, there is no fixed number of transactions. If ATF determines through their arcane rules that you have sold too many guns for profit in a given time frame, they charge you with dealing in firearms without a license.
So if - hypothetically:uhoh:- I were to sell the guns in my accumulation and got more than I paid for some of them, I would be making a profit and subject to these rules? :confused:

This is a very grey area I wish the BATF would clarify.

Indeed.

In any event, it is most improbable that the OP could get in trouble for just one sale like this.

Hkmp5sd
April 15, 2008, 07:53 PM
So if - hypothetically- I were to sell the guns in my accumulation and got more than I paid for some of them, I would be making a profit and subject to these rules?


You could sell your entire 500 firearm collection at a gunshow over the weekend and be fine. Then again, if you had bought those 500 guns the week before, ATF might want to discuss it with you.

Selling a few guns here and there isn't going to get you in trouble. Buying 10 guns every month and selling them the next might get you a visit from ATF to discuss the matter.

Moonclip
April 15, 2008, 07:54 PM
I've seen 70-100 or more guns put on sale at one time. Usually when someone dies and the widow eventually sells off the collection. I wonder what the BATF take is on such a large one time sale.

I have considered selling off a huge piece of my extensive collection and starting over again only with almost all high end guns, ie. 1 Wilson instead of Colt's Norincos and RIA's. A SIG P210 instead of 3-5 Rugers.

I fear BATF wouldn't like this.

makarovnik
April 15, 2008, 07:58 PM
I think you need a five day "cooling of period". Unless you can make a lot of money on the sale. After all money is what makes the world go 'round, right?

berettaprofessor
April 15, 2008, 08:23 PM
Okay, I'll bite. So if we buy each gun everytime through an FFL and it goes through a NICS check and the NICS checks are not "kept on file"...and as I understand it they're not supposed to be.....then how does the BATF know when and how often we're buying and selling?

(other than if we buy more than one gun from the same dealer within a week, which I understand triggers a different set of paperwork).

wristtwister
April 15, 2008, 08:25 PM
I agree that selling guns through a dealer is asking to lose money, but I can usually get a reasonable "trade" on a gun that may or might not lose or gain money. I usually buy guns and clean them up before I try to trade them, so if I got popped by the BATF, my first defense would be "I made the gun worth more by fixing things that were wrong with it".

You'd be surprised what a little cold blue and gun oil can do for guns that have been sitting around in a drawer rusting. A little work with replacing springs, pins, etc. to get them working better, and you can take a $100 gun and turn it into a good looking $100 gun...:D Seriously, I like to get "guns with problems" and fix them... so they ARE worth more once I'm finished with them... but again, most of the time, I either keep them or trade with a dealer.

The thread that I referred to, was specifically pointed at the sale of the gun "for profit"... which I found confusing, since unless you're selling them to felons or on the street in volume, you should be able to sell your own personal property at a profit without getting hammered as "running a firearms business". If you're selling 10 or 15 a month, that's different... but it really would be more settling if the BATF would clearly define what they consider "being in business" as far as guns sales go.

If I suddenly got into financial trouble and decided to sell my guns to finance medical bills or something like that, why should I have to fear being imprisoned for selling guns without a federal firearms license or being taken to the cleaners by selling them off to gun dealers who will give me maybe 25 to 30 percent of what they're worth? The:cuss: government does as much as they can to make having guns uncomfortable for citizens anyway, so why do they have to create the added threat that "if you have guns and you get rid of them, we'll put you in jail"? It makes no sense... going either way.

We used to have a law in South Carolina that you could only buy one firearm per month... so if you came into an inheritance and wanted to spend it at the gun store, it would take months to get the transactions done. I think a lawsuit for restraint of trade caused the state to change the law, but it's crazy things like that which keep citizens off balance as to how to handle firearms ownership and transactions. I know in some states, a "transaction" where you trade a gun with someone else is treated like a cash sale, and has to go through the paperwork with a gun dealer involved, and in North Carolina, you have to get a permit before you can go buy a handgun... so it's crazy trying to keep up with what you can and can't do.

Maybe keeping the law abiding citizens off balance is what the BATF wants... who the hell knows? I know they can keep you confused.

WT

Joe the Redneck
April 15, 2008, 09:47 PM
Well, the ATF was looking at this guy for a reason, so there may be other issues. Unless they did just pick his name out of a hat.

Eitherway, that what lawyers are for. Not you best friend, your only friend.

FunYet
April 15, 2008, 10:23 PM
At some of the local gun shows they say you can't buy a gun at the show and turn around and sell it at the show. They (the show organizers) claim this is considered trafficking. I have no idea if that's accurate but I've seen people tossed out for doing it. Up till then, I wasn't aware of the rule/law.

Kor
April 15, 2008, 10:50 PM
http://www.atf.gov/pub/fire-explo_pub/2005/p53004/18usc_chap44.pdf

(11) The term "dealer" means (A)any person engaged in the business of selling firearms at wholesale or retail,
(B) any person engaged in the business of repairing firearms or of making or fitting special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms, or (C) any person who is a pawnbroker. The term
"licensed dealer" means any dealer who is licensed under the provisions of this chapter.

(21) The term "engaged in the business" means—

(C) as applied to a dealer in firearms, as defined in section
921(a)(11)(A), a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms;

(D) as applied to a dealer in firearms, as defined in section 921(a)(11)(B), a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to engaging in such activity as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional repairs of firearms, or who occasionally fits special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms;

923 Licensing.
(a) No person shall engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in firearms, or importing or manufacturing ammunition, until he has filed an application with and received a
license to do so from the Attorney General. The application shall be in such form and contain only that information necessary to determine eligibility for licensing as the Attorney General shall by regulation prescribe and shall include a photograph and finger-prints of the applicant. Each applicant shall pay a fee for obtaining
such a license, a separate fee being required for each place in which the applicant is to do business, as follows:

(3) If the applicant is a dealer—

(B) who is not a dealer in destructive devices, a fee of $200 for 3
years, except that the fee for renewal of a valid license shall be $90 for 3 years.



Occasionally selling stuff out of your own personal collection is OK - however, if ATF agents happen to notice that you have a "Private Sale" table at a gun show every time one is held in your home state, and that the guns on your table are always changing, you may have a problem...

wristtwister
April 15, 2008, 11:26 PM
That seems pretty clear to me, but it makes me wonder about how active you can actually be in repairing firearms, trading, and "enhancing your collection" before it pokes up the red flag to the BATF and get you a trip to the courthouse.

"such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms;"... clearly doesn't say anything about "profit"... just sales, exchanges, or purchases... so it makes me wonder if, as we all suspect, that something else must have been going on with the guy they indicted.

Thanks for the information. It makes me feel a lot more comfortable about selling off some guns to buy some better ones.

P.S. I was on the Beretta website the other night and they had a notation that when Ryan Newman won the race in Texas, they gave him a $65,000 shotgun. That's worth more than my whole gun collection... there just isn't any justice in this world...

WT

velobard
April 15, 2008, 11:33 PM
OK, if you sell a few guns in private, FTF transactions outside of a gun show with no paperwork, how is the BATF going to even know? I don't plan on making a habit of this, but I I buy a gun from one friend and sell to another once in awhile, where does the boogeyman even come into play?

Kman
April 15, 2008, 11:41 PM
The problem is that the law isn't stated to clearly indicate an amount of time that must pass before reselling a firearm. It is left to the judge to decide if you are "dealing for profit" or just "upgrading", however if it has gotten to that point you had better have deep pockets.

wristtwister
April 16, 2008, 08:23 PM
I was laughing about this today... I've got two guns going back to the factory to be fixed, and one to be rebuilt... at that rate, I won't be able to keep them long enough to execute a sale...:D We've got a gun show in a week, and I'm having to pick up parts from one of the dealers to fix yet another gun... so between guns being broken, needing reworking, and missing parts... I just have to worry that the BATF doesn't go after people for having too many "loose parts".

WT

If you enjoyed reading about "How soon is too soon to sell a new gun?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!