Shipping To An FFL Dealer


April 26, 2008, 11:22 PM
Hi, I recently won an online auction on a pistol and have lined up an FFL dealer/gunshop in my state (WA State) to receive my pistol. When I went to get the signed FFL copy, I asked if they open the package which will be addressed to "me" C/O the FFL Dealer and they said that they have to open "My Package" and log it right away, he was adamant about it being a Federal Law, the guy said everybody does it.

Is that true? I don't like that idea. I want to be physically present when my package is opened. As I don't want any funny business, and I really want to make sure that the seller packed everything, and packed it correctly. Am I being unreasonable? What is the protocol? Is what this FFL Dealer told me true? What is this law?

Thank You

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Neener Neener
April 27, 2008, 12:01 AM
I would guess they are telling you the truth. As strict as FFL regulations are, I would believe they must immediately log firearms in. Why would you choose an FFL you obviously don't trust?

April 27, 2008, 12:08 AM
It's not that I don't trust him. You just never know.... Would you want someone else opening your packages? There's gotta be some kind of liability as well right? I live 5 minutes away from this FFL Dealer, and could be there really quickly, that same day. I just wanna know if this is true, is there some kind law on the books about this?

April 27, 2008, 12:10 AM
I have a C & R and from what I recall reading in the stuff they sent me he has until the close of the business day to log the firearm in his bound book. It is in his best interest to log it as soon as it crosses the threshold lest it be forgotten. Discrepencies in the bound book (aquisition log) are serious and can result in the loss of his license. And the BATFE can and do conduct not only unannounced visits but also covert visits to make sure everything is on the up and up.

He is telling it to you straight. However all that involves is making sure the serial number and description and source are logged and confirmed. He will do just that and return it to the box to await you. Be assured the sender knows and anticipates this.

I would.

Neener Neener
April 27, 2008, 12:15 AM
IJ, I have received 3 pistols over the last month and a half at my FFL from internet trades. He has opened every one, as they are addressed to him, to log the information. It hasn't even crossed my mind to be concerned. I trust the people I deal with. "Your" package is addressed to your FFL, as stated in your initial post by the "C/O" in the addressing.

April 27, 2008, 12:25 AM
Addressed to me, in care of my FFL. I dunno, I'm still bothered over this. I mean, I believe you, but

April 27, 2008, 02:14 AM
My FFL opens my shipments every time... It isn't a problem.

Zach S
April 27, 2008, 02:22 AM
Would you want someone else opening your packages?
No, but I dont have a problem with if its needed.

April 27, 2008, 02:30 AM
I wouldn't care, but mine has me open the package. I don't know what you do if the contents are unsatisfactory.

April 27, 2008, 07:05 PM
It is a legal requirement because even if you are on their premises to fill out the 4473 form and go through the NICS check the moment the firearm gets delivered to the FFL holder, they are still legally required to log the firearm in before you take possession of it. If the ATF ever audits the FFL holder's records and finds out they have a completed 4473 form and NICS check for a firearm the FFL holder didn't first have logged into their inventory, it is virtually guaranteed that the ATF would either give them a hefty fine, or (increasingly more likely these days) even try to revoke their FFL.

I understand you feel it is your package the FFL holder is opening, but from a legal standpoint it really is theirs until you take possession of the firearm. Remember, as far as federal law is concerned the firearm is in the possession of the FFL holder the moment they receive it, and it remains theirs (and their legal responsibility to keep track of it) until you have filled out the 4473 form, gone through the NICS check, and formally taken possession of the firearm.

April 27, 2008, 08:20 PM
The gun has to be logged in with in 24 hours of arrival at the FFL.. There are times that I do not open a damaged package until the customer is there to witness it.

April 27, 2008, 10:43 PM
I open all of the packages right away.

First, usually that is how I know who the gun belongs to. They are almost always adressed to me and have no indication on the outside of the box who the gun is for.

Second, that is my system, and I like to follow a system to make sure every gun gets logged in as soon as I open it. It is too easy to get distracted otherwise. As soon as I log it in I let the customer know that their gun has arrived.

If a customer was very antsy and could be here 5 minutes after it arrived I suppose I could make special arrangements, but in general I open the gun and log it in.

April 27, 2008, 11:01 PM
I've done transfers through shops and kitchen table FFLs. Some open them, some give me the box cutter to open it myself when I get there.

Flintlock Tom
April 28, 2008, 12:45 AM
The last transfer I had sent to an FFL was shipped in a locked hard case. The seller sent the keys to me. As soon as the FFL received the box he called me and asked if I had the keys. I told him, yes and I would be there shortly.
He had no problem with this system.

April 28, 2008, 10:09 AM
So, if it's locked, and the FFL can't open it doesn't that defeat the purpose of "His" asinine requirement? Yeah it's 24hrs, not immediately.

April 28, 2008, 10:19 AM
My FFL opens the package. Its addressed to him. Yes, I trust him, or I wouldn't be doing business with him.
If you don't trust your FFL, find another.

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