Shipping To An FFL Dealer


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IJ-70
April 26, 2008, 11:24 PM
Hi, I recently won an online auction on a pistol and have lined up an FFL dealer/gunshop in my state (WA State) 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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kolob10
April 26, 2008, 11:27 PM
Your FFL is doing what is required of him. He must log the gun in his log book.
I believe they must log in on the same day received. Any FFL's out there to verify?

IJ-70
April 26, 2008, 11:31 PM
Yeah but it's not like I'm 200 miles away from him in another part of the state, and I would pick it up 2 days later than it arrives. I live 5 minutes away, why can't he wait for me to come over, and we open it together?

Neener Neener
April 27, 2008, 12:08 AM
Why are you posting this in 2 sections?

kingpin008
April 27, 2008, 12:41 AM
Double-post, apparently.

kingpin008
April 27, 2008, 12:47 AM
why can't he wait for me to come over, and we open it together?

Because it's more important to be sure you're in compliance with Federal law than making sure your clients are there for every package you recieve?

I'm honestly sort of confused about this whole thing - if you're really that worried that your dealer would monkey around with your gun, why are you using him? It's not really in his best interest to steal anything from or vandalize your shipment in any way, ya know? Think of it this way - let's say that he recieves your gun, and calls you up to come down so he can open it and log it in. You're at work, or shopping, or out with friends and can't come down right that instant. He puts the package aside, and in the meantime he gets slammed with business, or an employee moves the package, and it gets forgotten about temporarily. If an ATF agent decided to pay him a visit, and he hadn't logged it in, he could conceiveably be in serious trouble. If you haven't heard of Red's Trading Post, you should look it up sometime. They're raking those folks over the coals and trying to shut them down because of what amounts to *typos* on forms. If you think the ATF wouldn't do anything about an un-logged firearm, you're mistaken. Your dealer is following the rules. He's got a hell of a lot more to lose if he doesn't, than you do if your gun is damaged or was sold to you in a different condition than you expected.

Gator
April 27, 2008, 01:26 PM
Am I being unreasonable?

Yes, I'm afraid you are. It is not your gun until the dealer transfers it to you. He is responsible for making sure all the legalities are observed, including receiving the proper paperwork from the person who shipped it.

woof
April 27, 2008, 01:56 PM
I think the buyer should be able to track the package almost to the hour of arrival. I don't think it is asking too much for the FFL to wait for you to open it. My FFL does this. I would look for another FFL willing to acomodate you on that, many will I'm sure. Soppose an FFL dealer opens your gun and passes it around a crowded shop and it gets a mark on it. Do you think they will admit it? They'll say it was there, the sender will deny it was there. It's yours and you should open it.

slr777
April 27, 2008, 02:00 PM
Uh dont buy anymore auction guns and stop freaking out? NO serious where at in Wa and who did you use?
I am in Puyallup and been looking at Gunbroker a lot am thinking of purchase.

kingpin008
April 27, 2008, 02:57 PM
Soppose an FFL dealer opens your gun and passes it around a crowded shop and it gets a mark on it. Do you think they will admit it? They'll say it was there, the sender will deny it was there. It's yours and you should open it.

And why, pray tell, would a dealer do this? And why would you trust a dealer who would do this?

dejr2000
April 27, 2008, 04:31 PM
I am an FFL and when you get multiple guns in at the same time it could get a little hectic and confusing to sort it all out if waiting to open until buyer arrived. You have to put them in log book and verify serial numbers and log where each piece came from. What if multiple buyers show up the same time? Do they all want to wait for all this behind the scenes paperwork. If you don't like the process find another FFL. I open all of mine because I put them in the safe immediately after they are logged and I don't have room in there for a bunch of nasty shipping boxes. My .02

IJ-70
April 27, 2008, 06:59 PM
"If you don't like the process find another FFL."

He said it was "A Law" that ALL FFL DEALERS OPEN PACKAGES, so how can I find another dealer, if they all do it? Look, I'm getting conflicting answers here, some say that their FFL's wait, others say that the FFL must log it immediately, why don't I trust them, don't buy anymore guns, etc....

SHOW ME THE FRICKEN LAW

I don't think I am being unreasonable, and just like Woof said,

"Soppose an FFL dealer opens your gun and passes it around a crowded shop and it gets a mark on it. Do you think they will admit it? They'll say it was there, the sender will deny it was there. It's yours and you should open it."

I agree Woof....

IJ-70
April 27, 2008, 07:03 PM
BTW, there's also a law about opening other peoples mail, and packages. The package is addressed to "ME" in care of my FFL. So yes it is "Mine"

And how would the BATF know that there is a handgun in the package/box if they (Gunshop) don't open it? Not everbody always opens their boxes/packages up right away.

This is RIDICULOUS.

2TransAms
April 27, 2008, 07:16 PM
I have bought and sold a few guns online,and the packages have always been addressed to the FFL holder/gunstore, with all pertinent paperwork inside saying who exactly the gun is for. Essentially (and legally),even though you have already paid me it is my gun that I sent to your FFL,then it's yours after you do the 4473.

Edit to add: Although they do have to open it (or someone does,at some point,and I don't know how long they can wait to log it in) there's no reason you can't be there. On the other hand, I think you're being a little paranoid. If you really think they'll ding it up then find another FFL to use.

Telperion
April 27, 2008, 07:55 PM
He said it was "A Law" that ALL FFL DEALERS OPEN PACKAGES, so how can I find another dealer, if they all do it? Look, I'm getting conflicting answers here, some say that their FFL's wait, others say that the FFL must log it immediately, why don't I trust them, don't buy anymore guns, etc....

SHOW ME THE FRICKEN LAW


See CFR 478.125 (e): "...The purchase or other acquisition of a firearm shall, except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section (not applicable here), be recorded not later than the close of the next business day following the date of such purchase or acquisition ..."

2TransAms
April 27, 2008, 08:26 PM
There we go. Thanks,Telperion!

Shootcraps
April 27, 2008, 08:32 PM
AFAIK, it is not federal law that they have to open and log it the second they receive it. So he's wrong on that point. They may prefer to do it that way, and it's their business so that's fine. But it's not the law.

I would ask them nicely, "Hey, I would really like to be here when you open it. If you call me I can come right down.". If they object to that and you're still worried about it, then your only choice is to find another dealer.

kingpin008
April 27, 2008, 09:36 PM
it's yours and you should open it.

I think this is the real meat of your argument, and unfortunately, you're 100% wrong about it. The package may be addressed to you, but it is not legally yours until your dealer logs it into his bound book, and you fill out the necessary forms and get through whatever waiting period your state may have.

So it's not like he's withholding property from you. It's not your property until all of those things have been done. If it were your property, why do you need to go through a dealer to have it transferred to you in the first place? Whether he will let you be there when he opens it is secondary.

divemedic
April 27, 2008, 10:01 PM
Honestly, complying with the ATF can be aggravating and tricky. It isn't your license and butt on the line with this matter, it is the dealer's. For what he is charging for the transfer, (I am sure it isn't more than $50) it isn't worth the risk.

Since you are that worried, I am betting that you aren't a regular customer. If I were the FFL in question, and a buyer made that big of a deal out of it, I would just turn down the $50 or so and tell you to find another FFL. It just isn't worth the hassle.

Kman
April 27, 2008, 10:22 PM
This is interesting, cause my dealer never opens the packages {guns} I have sent to him for transfer. All I do is fill out the form, and state if it's a long gun or hand gun, he calls it in, I get the green light and away I go.

Gator
April 27, 2008, 10:40 PM
Kman, are you saying he hands you an unopened package? Without logging it into his bound book? Its hard to believe any dealer would be that stupid.

waterhouse
April 27, 2008, 10:45 PM
This is interesting, cause my dealer never opens the packages {guns} I have sent to him for transfer. All I do is fill out the form, and state if it's a long gun or hand gun, he calls it in, I get the green light and away I go.

Really? Does he log the make, model, and serial number into the bound book? How does he put this information on the 4473? Any idea how long he has been in business?

kingpin008
April 27, 2008, 11:29 PM
I'm curious as well. If he's giving you the package unopened as you seem to be indicating he's either a fool, a criminal, or both. Please clarify, so that we might better understand.

Oro
April 27, 2008, 11:40 PM
Let's be clear - he's acting as a "trasnfer" agent. Since he's transferring it, he has to verify what's in it, and he is legally responsible for it while in his possession. Personally, from an FFL's perspective, I wouldn't want to sit around with an unopened weapon in the safe waiting to find out what's in it. If an ATF audit happened and there was an unregistered NFA weapon in there, he's in jail. He has a right to verify the contents of a package match what he's being told they are. It is also addressed to him - he's the transfer agent. Regardless of what is written on the label, it's addressed to him - you aren't legally allowed to receive a firearm, get it?

If this is a big issue to you, you should either get an FFL or your own, or find a sloppy one who's not being careful and thorough. Believe me, there are sloppy FFL's out there - I had one last week try to have me ship him a handgun against the carrier's policy.

JerryM
April 27, 2008, 11:56 PM
I think you are unreasonable, but if you don't like it try to find another FFL who will do as you wish.

Best,
Jerry

jenrob
April 28, 2008, 02:55 AM
The last one I ordered my dealer opened the box but never took it out of the plasic. got all the numbers and model off it looking through the plastic. Joking said nope didn't take it out of the plastic hasn't got my prints on it.

But he did have it logged in and it was addressed to him even though I ordered it.

Assume that your dealer receives your package waiting on you he gets na emergency call and has to leave nobody knows of it to log it in cause he accepted the package and it is on his desk. you get into an accident on your way there. next morning when dealer comes to open shop ATF is at the door to check out paper work. They don't care that he had an emergency and you are in the ICU at the local hospital, but they do care about the undocumented gun that is setting on his desk.

As soon as he receives the package most will open it and get the info they need and put it right back in the box and into the safe.

thoot
April 28, 2008, 03:52 AM
Yeah, this kind of irks me too. I don't like the idea of someone fondling my things--especially when I have a rifle shipped in that's in the four digit range (as in $5,xxx or higher.) I don't buy cheap guns.

GRIZ22
April 28, 2008, 06:00 AM
BTW, there's also a law about opening other peoples mail, and packages. The package is addressed to "ME" in care of my FFL. So yes it is "Mine"


Yeah, this kind of irks me too. I don't like the idea of someone fondling my things--especially when I have a rifle shipped in that's in the four digit range (as in $5,xxx or higher.) I don't buy cheap guns.

Every firearm is handled by several different people from the manufacturer to your hands. I really can't see what the big deal is.

RogersPrecision
April 28, 2008, 06:09 AM
WOW!
A 'hot topic'.
I am an FFL, I do not do transfers. But if I did, Step One is opening the box, verifying and logging the serial number.
No, I will not let the shop rats shoot your piece with their gun show reloads!

:eek:

If you truly require 'hands off' pre-arrange with the FFL to be notified immediately when the package arrives. And/or track your pkg from sender to receiver via UPS, USPS or FedEx Tracking numbers.

Ok?
:)

moooose102
April 28, 2008, 07:35 AM
i understand your concern, i really do. but why do you think he is going to take something out of the box and steal it. what benifit would he have from stealing something like an owners manual, or other small part. the amount of hassle it would cause is in no way proportionate to what little bit of monetary gain from such activity, that no one in their right mind would bother. if you are still afraid he is going to do this, have the seller send you a digital photograph of EXACTLY what is in the box just before it goes out the door, and compare it to what you get when you go to pick it up. that way, if there is any discrepancy, you will have a photo in hand to show your ffl dealer. if something is missing, it would probably be an oversite on the part of your ffl dealer, and when confronted with a photo, they would go back where they checked in the gun and find whatever was missing. i personally think you are worrying to much about this, unless you are buying several very rare items that would be worth lots of money. in any case, you are having it insured aren't you? you could file an insurance claim on what ever is missing, if anything, and recoup your money that way. you have to remember, the ffl dealer is DOING YOU A FAVOR, he has the right to protect himself as do you. but if he is putting his license on the line, let him do what he needs to do. like it or not, sometimes, you just have to trust people. remember, he had to go through a background check to get his ffl license, if he was a shady character, he probably wouldn't have gotten it.

IJ-70
April 28, 2008, 11:14 AM
So, what happens if the seller puts a lock on the gun case? There goes your requirement to open the package, as you say..... Mails the keys to me....:banghead:

divemedic
April 28, 2008, 12:56 PM
You realize of course that once he receives the firearm, not only does the FFL have the ability to refuse to transfer it to you, there are cases where he has a legal responsibility to refuse to transfer it to you.

NC Dave
April 28, 2008, 01:11 PM
IJ,

If you can't accept that this really is how things are typically done in the world of FFL transfers, you either need to find another FFL that will cater specifically to you or you need to give up auctions and just buy locally.

The FFL that you are railing against has, bottom line, done nothing illegal or underhanded in any way. Quite the opposite.

Just my 2 cents.

kingpin008
April 28, 2008, 01:52 PM
NC Dave nailed it - if you have such a problem with the way things are, perhaps you should just not buy guns online. You aked a question, and we answered it. Don't like the answer? Tough!


So, what happens if the seller puts a lock on the gun case? There goes your requirement to open the package, as you say..... Mails the keys to me....

If the seller puts a lock on the case and the dealer doesn't have a key to open it, GUESS WHAT? He doesn't have to accept the package! A lock on the case doesn't magically remove the requirement of the FFL to open the package and log in the contents. If you think it does, you're quite wrong.

You seem to be desperate to find a way around the dealer opening the package without you there, and personally, I'm starting to wonder why. I can understand not wanting to take the risk of damage, but as more than a few of us have explained to you, there are procedures in place to make it right should such a thing happen. For whatever reason, you don't want to accept that.

dejr2000
April 28, 2008, 04:06 PM
Maybe shopping locally and supporting your hometown gun shop or dealer would ease your mind and I'm sure they would appreciate the business. But you do realize just about any gun you buy has been out of the box at least once to verify serial numbers right? How many times do you think the guns on the rack behind the counter have been handled? Not trying to fan the flames, just stating the obvious.:D

NC Dave
April 28, 2008, 04:09 PM
Since you have found "several other" FFLs that will behave in a manner that you prescribe, it would seem that you have a solution to your problem and this thread may be brought to a close.

Rugerlvr
April 28, 2008, 04:13 PM
Not trying to fan the flames, just stating the obvious.

There's only one poster here fanning the flames. He doesn't want to accept the advice of a whole lot of people here including FFL holders. That's fine dude, but don't come in here and tell everybody that they're all wrong, and excoriate them for offering their $.02.

You seem rather upset, and want your position validated, and you're not getting it here. So my advice to you would be to go seek advice elsewhere. If you've gotten advice you like from other FFL dealers in your area. Use them. I think you're gonna have to follow the policy of the dealer you've chosen on this particular transfer, and then just steer clear. You're not likely to force this dealer to change his policy, no matter what advice you get.

McCall911
April 28, 2008, 04:14 PM
Since you have found "several other" FFLs that will behave in a manner that you prescribe, it would seem that you have a solution to your problem and this thread may be brought to a close.


I second that notion!

:rolleyes:

waterhouse
April 28, 2008, 04:45 PM
So, what happens if the seller puts a lock on the gun case? There goes your requirement to open the package, as you say..... Mails the keys to me

If you called me ahead of time and explained the situation, I would try to accommodate you.

If I don't know about it, and a cardboard box comes addressed to me, and I open it up and there is a locked box inside, I'll probably check to see if there are keys anywhere in the cardboard box. If I can't find them, I have both bolt cutters and a good drill, neither of which has ever had much problem with any common padlock.

Usually, when a box arrives, there is zero indication of who that gun belongs to on the exterior. I contact my customers as soon as I verify that their gun is arrived. If I took every box that arrived and stuck it unopened in the corner and waited for the owners to go check their tracking number I'd have a huge pile of boxes and line of upset customers.

Your FFL told you it was the law that it be logged in immediately. He is mistaken. It is probably his policy, as it is mine. If you can find someone to make special arrangements for you, that is fine, but it is not typically the way things are done.

Also, you might want to watch your language. I see you are new here, but this is considered a family friendly site and that sort of thing is frowned upon.

This is some [deleted] FFL dealer making stuff up, for what reason? I don't know. But it bothers me.

He probably wasn't "making it up" in the sense that he was lying. Every ATF agent I have spoken to recommends logging guns in as soon as they arrive. If you do that every time, it doesn't matter what the law says, because you know you are following it. Right away is better than the law, and in the gun business it is better to be way on the correct side of the law than a little bit on the incorrect side. We deal in the business of guns, which is somewhat strictly regulated. The reason that he logs guns in as soon as they arrive is because that is the safest thing to do and ensures that he may continue his business and his livelihood. That is the reason. He doesn't do it to bother you.

Art Eatman
April 28, 2008, 06:13 PM
Looks to me that folks made honest efforts to help, but were not successful.

Enuf.

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