Bad FFL experience in FL.


October 15, 2008, 09:54 PM
Wednesday: I call to inform him I'm having a rifle transferred to him. Out of curiosity, I ask him what he has in stock. I ask him if he has any AK type rifles. He says no, and I ask him if he has any Saigas, and he politely informs me that Saigas explode and are unsafe to fire. Okay, fine. I'm not going to argue.

Friday: Rifle arrives at FFL.

Okay, here we need an explanation: I'm a college student. I live in Student Housing, off campus, not owned by the college. It's private. It's arranged such that everything, utilities included, is included in the rent. College students have two addresses: Their hometown address, where they stay during breaks, and their school address. There are no utility bills here and my driver's license is from my hometown.

Sunday: I drive 40 minutes to sign my papers (I get lost a lot). Owner repeatedly asks me for my CCW. I inform him that I am 19 and do not have a CCW, and thusly must, per Florida law, wait three days after signing. This does not stop him from asking for my CCW again. I go in and he asks me if I'm here for the "romanian thing or whatever". I say yes, and fill out the paperwork, making the Ultimate FFL Transfer Mistake: I put my school residence on the paperwork. It did not match my driver's license. Instantly, I was flagged as a wanted terrorist, placed on the no-fly list, wiretapped, and actually told to leave.

I drive home and ask for a copy of my lease, the ONLY thing I can get out of the apartment staff. I call FFL and inform him that I cannot present him with a utility bill. He says that won't work, and I ask if I can simply go get a new license. He tells me to call another FFL, because he "doesn't know what's up with why I have two addresses", a clear sign of being an anti-American flag burner who routinely melts down 1911s. He thusly had my rifle (for which I paid quite a chunk of money for) and refused to do business with me. That made me nervous.

To his credit, the very next day, I found a slightly more expensive FFL and asked him to transfer the rifle there. It was there that very afternoon, for which I'm thankful. I picked the rifle up and I've enjoyed it thoroughly since. Whether he just wanted to dump it off on someone else ASAP or he wanted to make up for being unable to render me a service is another matter.

Do I understand how pissy the ATF is? Yes, I do. I don't want to get anyone in trouble, but he lives in a college town, he should know why I have two addresses. I'm apparently not allowed to change my address on the form, so I understand that too. Regardless, I felt treated like a criminal. I get that he wanted to cover his own ass, but he does so at the expense of someone who specifically chose him on the advice of friends. Also, to refuse to deal with me kind of made me wonder if I'd be allowed to take possession of my rifle. The idea of having a completely clean record and STILL being denied a rifle is sort of frightening, isn't it? I haven't got so much as a speeding ticket on my record! He apparently told the story to the new FFL, who was a bit more understanding.

I acknowledge that it may have been I who was wrong, but I'm not sure. If I wasn't in the wrong here, I'll tell others who it was, but I won't cost the man business if I was truly the jerk in this situation.

Judge me, THR. Spare me no flame, but tell me if I'm wrong here.

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October 15, 2008, 10:01 PM
while it does not sound like he handled it well, obviously you are aware of mistakes you made in the transaction. You HOME address is your legal address. Your college address is you temparary address.

Hope it all works out for you.

October 15, 2008, 10:38 PM
Your address HAS to match your government ID, no questions. It's their butt they are covering as they can lose everything.

BTW, he does not sound that smart.

October 15, 2008, 11:28 PM
The businessman has the FFL license, he's held to a higher standard of knowledge. He's the one who should have reminded you that if you are a student, you need to put down the address on your picture I.D.

The FFL's I've bought from have 'coached' me on what the BATF wants on the form. Here in Nevada, putting down your full middle name (not an initial) is something that the BATF gets on FFL's about. The last revolver I purchased they told me that I needed to put down my full middle name--no big deal. They don't have a hassle with the BATF and I get the gun.

I darn sure wouldn't deal with this guy again and I wouldn't beat myself up over this numbskulls' actions. Congrats on the new gun, and get yourself down to the range. Gun therapy time!!!

October 15, 2008, 11:57 PM
I have my PO Box address on my ID. I've bought from several gun shops locally and have not had a problem buying guns. We have gun registration here in Hawaii and the local PD registers the guns and the PO Box address on my ID doesn't cause a problem with them either.

October 16, 2008, 01:40 AM
I have bought many guns while in Florida as a college student, here is my understanding. In the state of Florida you can only buy a gun if you are a resident of Florida. Now I will use the term resident loosely because you dont have to be a resident, just have a Florida address. What the gun shop guy should have told you is that you need to go to the DMV and get an ID card with your name and Florida address on it. The gun shop near my school use to use school id's as verification that one was a student and thus had a temporary address in Florida. However after being audited by the ATF, that changed to "you have to have a Florida ID". You can easily get an ID card from the DMV with your name and temporary address. (ID card, not driver's license) I would recomend you doing this before trying to transfer or buy another gun in Florida. Thats what I did and never had a problem.

October 16, 2008, 01:55 AM
I also bought several guns in FL while I was a college student there. The FFL I dealt with was great. I put my MD address from my MD license on the paperwork, and he sold me rifles at age 19 with no problem and no waiting period (FL only has a waiting period for handguns with no CCW License). When I wished to buy a handgun, I changed my residence to FL, got a FL drivers license to match my address in FL, and bought a handgun. I had a CCW, so no wait.
Now I'm active duty military, and Texas is my legal state of residence. I'm on temporary duty in Arkansas, and I bought a rifle at a gun show a couple weeks ago. I started filling out the papers with my temporary Arkansas address, which is not on any of my ID's. I politely told the dealer I had made a mistake and he ripped up the form and gave me a fresh one, which I put my legal address from my DL on. No problems. Sounds like your dealer is just being a pain.

Tom Fury
October 16, 2008, 05:55 AM don't routinely melt down 1911's...?

cheers, TF

Flame Red
October 16, 2008, 10:11 AM
Let me take a guess - is this one of our wonderful Orlando FFL's that I constantly complain about? You are lucky to find one that would be bothered to do a transfer for you at all. The 3rd degree treatment is free.

October 16, 2008, 11:45 AM
you can buy rifles as a resident from any state (Assuming the rifle ur buying is legal in your home state).. handguns only require Florida resident. There is no 3 day wait on rifles or shotguns, CCW or not. The guy is a moron.. dont go there and spread the work.. I dont like bad business practices of alot of FFLs.

Fish Miner
October 16, 2008, 02:03 PM
Are you in Orlando?

October 16, 2008, 02:48 PM
This FFL was around Tampa, FL. I'm not sure how well-known he is, but he owns a range around here.

Thanks for the feedback, keep it comin'.

October 16, 2008, 03:50 PM
UPDATE: I just got off the phone with a police detective. He wants to meet with me on Tuesday. Apparently, the first FFL called the police. I don't know why. This definitely far departs from "refusing to do business with".

I'm not gonna jump the gun and post the unedited story, but on Tuesday, if I don't like what I hear, I'm going public.

I wonder if anyone will come to my defense if I need to go to court to exercise the rights I was born with. I can't afford a lawyer.

October 16, 2008, 04:21 PM
Always use the address that matches what appears on your ID, everyone knows this.

October 16, 2008, 04:23 PM
I don't want to step on toes, but I ran into something that might help;

as per the BATFE, their FEDERAL FIREARMS REGULATIONS (2005) on page 126 and 127. It states that:

"State of residence" is defined by
regulation in 27 CFR 178.11 as the
State in which an individual regularly
resides or maintains a home.
The regulation also provides an example
of an individual who maintains a
home in State X and a home in State
Y. The individual regularly resides in
State X except for the summer
months and in State Y for the summer
months of the year. The regulation
states that during the time the individ-
ual actually resides in State X he is a
resident of State X, and during the
time he actually resides in State Y he
is a resident of State Y.

Applying the above example to out-
of-State college students it is held,
that during the time the students ac-
tually reside in a college dormitory or
at an off-campus location they are
considered residents of the State
where the dormitory or off-campus
home is located. During the time out-
of-State college students actually
reside in their home State they are
considered residents of their home

I called the Regional office of the BATFE to confirm this. The man I spoke with was very helpful, he confirmed everything listed in the above regulation.

October 16, 2008, 06:29 PM
You commie!!


October 16, 2008, 06:42 PM
It's the sign of the times.

This is a good lesson to find a reputable FFL and ask every question out there before transferring.

October 16, 2008, 07:23 PM
I wouldn't talk to the police without a lawyer - you've done nothing wrong, no crime occured you have nothing to gain by doing so.

They will try to build a case against you for anything they can find. I would contact the LEO under the pretext of rescheduling the appointment. Ask for the scope of the meeting/what kinds of questions will be asked (DO NOT ANSWER ANYTHING OVER THE PHONE!!! IT IS RECORDED!) I would also use this line: "Sure Detective, I'll be happy to answer all of your questions after the D.A. grants me full immunity in writing from any investigation based on testimony I may freely provide."

I bet you $100 that they won't be very interested in talking to you under those conditions. If you don't talk to them, there is no chance of them using your words against you, and they don't have a case and they go away.

IANAL, but thats how I would handle the situation if I were in your shoes.

Good luck!

Crazy Fingers
October 16, 2008, 07:32 PM
I would tell the cops sorry, but you are too busy to talk to them.

There is no good that can come of it. As another poster said, they will be looking for a way to try to nail you for something!! They might interpret the "you must be a resident to buy a gun" thing a little too tightly, and the next thing you know, you will be charged with a firearms violation.

Do not talk to them! If they arrest you, you may only repeat one phrase:

Crazy Fingers
October 16, 2008, 07:36 PM
Watch this series of videos. It may be tedious, but do it. Here's the first one.

The cops aren't coming around because they just want to chat. And you CAN NOT talk your way out of anything.

October 16, 2008, 08:54 PM
Watch this series of videos. It may be tedious, but do it. Here's the first one.

The cops aren't coming around because they just want to chat. And you CAN NOT talk your way out of anything.

I wanted to point to that video too, but I couldn't remember it!!! This is a priceless video, especially in this case!!!

Aaron Baker
October 16, 2008, 10:14 PM
Do not talk to the police. It's an extremely bad idea.

The problem is that you want to help them, because we've all been trained to be helpful to the police. But in this case, you're the object of their investigation. Anything you say CAN AND WILL be used AGAINST YOU in a court of law. That sound familiar? It's true.

On the other hand, most folks don't realize this, but anything you say that helps you CAN'T be used BY YOU if you ever show up in court.

That's because there's a rule against hearsay. Anything you said to the cops out of court is hearsay. There's an exception that allows them to bring anything you said that hurts you (it's called an admission against penal interest) but anything you say that helps you won't be admissible at trial.

So nothing you tell the cops will ever help you.

Let's apply it to the case here. If you don't talk to the cops, they will either charge you with something based on what they already know, and you'll have to defend yourself. Or they'll drop it because they don't have enough evidence of wrongdoing.

On the other hand, if you go talk to them, they will use the bad things to say to hurt you. If you say things that would normally seem like they'd help you, they'll assume you're lying to save yourself. So they'll still probably charge you with a crime.

You really need to call and cancel your appointment with the cops. If you can't get in touch with them to cancel, just don't go. It's not illegal to blow off an appointment to talk to the cops.

Seriously, whatever you do, don't ever talk to the cops without a lawyer present. Don't say anything, no matter how innocent it seems.

Finally, as I've seen someone else on here say, I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer.


Flame Red
October 17, 2008, 11:01 AM
gosh and I though the Orlando FFL's were a PITA!

Good Luck and Best Wishes. Please post this guy's business name so others can avoid him like the plague.

October 17, 2008, 11:11 AM
What is it with FL dealers?

The ones around the west palm area are the WORST places to deal with as well.

Crazy Fingers
October 20, 2008, 08:47 PM
Any updates?

October 20, 2008, 09:23 PM
None yet, expect some about noon tomorrow.

Aaron Baker
October 20, 2008, 10:13 PM
I sure hope you're not going to talk to the police by yourself tomorrow.

If you're not taking a lawyer, you shouldn't go. If you do, you may not get bailed out of jail early enough to give us an update tomorrow.

If you do go, though, remember that you can walk out any time you want. If you're there talking to them voluntarily, you can leave whenever you want, no matter how much it feels like you can't.


October 20, 2008, 10:44 PM
Why exactly do they want to talk to you?

October 21, 2008, 05:43 AM
Your address HAS to match your government ID, no questions.

No. It doesn't. Show me the law where it says it does.


October 21, 2008, 05:45 AM
Your address HAS to match your government ID, no questions.

No. It doesn't. Please show me in the law where that is required.

For the OP:

You did nothing wrong. The only thing they could pin on you, if they wanted to, was for making a false statement on the 4473, which you did not do. You answered the 4473 truthfully, both times. So don't worry about it.

October 21, 2008, 05:48 AM
Your address HAS to match your government ID, no questions.

No. It doesn't. Can you please show in me in CFR's where this is required?

October 21, 2008, 11:04 AM
Well, I went to talk to the police. I brought not one, but two lawyers and remained more or less silent the entire time. It seems to have gone well, lasted just a few minutes. The detective acknowledged that I did nothing illegal. He wanted to talk to me because of the "times", a reference to recent school shootings.

However, I think this FFL might not be all there. I'm wondering whether this guy is senile or something. I sort of wonder if he's just not completely deaf. The detective said that the FFL alleged that I:

* Showed up several times. For the record, I showed up once, alone.
* Brought with me two other people. The detective gave me their names. I've never heard of them, and apparently, the detective can't find them. I'm wondering if they exist, or if they simply entered the shop at the same time I did, or what? I'm gonna go with the "doesn't exist" option, since everyone else there seemed to be part of the "I Have a 6,000 Dollar Shotgun" clique. I'm pretty sure he knew everyone there.
* Tried to buy 3 AKs. There was only one there, since it was an FFL transfer. I didn't try to buy anything, just do the transfer.
* Tried to buy 700-1000 rounds of ammo. While this wouldn't be abnormal, I didn't. I didn't try to buy anything.
* Said that I didn't pay rent and lived with several other people. While I do have two roommates, we all pay rent. I also didn't say anything of the sort. What, does he think I'm living in some meth den or something?

So, this guy CALLED THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. Let me emphasize that: This guy called the federal government, and felt I was a threat to HOMELAND SECURITY. Since when does a kid with a rifle qualify as terrorista internacional?

He's really potentially screwed up my life here. Where else will this incident pop up? Will I be able to get a job? How about even buy another rifle? Now they have my name and a file on me. Now they know I have a rifle. And this may jeopardize me getting a security clearance, which is really important for a scientist. Now my rifle will probably be one of the first confiscated when the powers that be decide that we can't have them anymore. Now I'm gonna be strip-searched every time I want to board a plane. Seriously, this goes way beyond unprofessional. What, does he think terrorists are just gonna walk into his store at any time? Because that's basically how he acted toward me.

So, one detective visit and no-fly list later, do people think I should post the business name?

Aaron Baker
October 21, 2008, 11:12 AM
Smart man. I'm really glad you took a gang of attorneys with you.

I say you should post the name of the shop. If the guy is that nuts, you're doing everyone a service.

As for everything else, I wouldn't get too paranoid. You can probably still get a security clearance and fly commercial airlines--the guy is a kook, after all, and they didn't turn up anything in their investigation.

And the fact that they know you own a rifle? Well, they'd know anyway, since a 4473 was filled out. You gotta go all or nothing with your paranoia there. If you're really worried about it, buy a parts kit and build your own rifle. Perfectly legal and they'll never know you own it.


October 21, 2008, 02:17 PM
Silver Dollar Firearms in Odessa, FL. The FFL who did this is Michael J. Battista and I personally don't intend to ever do business with him again.

Anyone else have experiences with him?

October 21, 2008, 02:52 PM
If you sustain actual damages due to the incident, sue him for libel. Get a copy of the police report now, for evidence.

October 21, 2008, 05:28 PM
next time you may want to first talk to the FFL guy before you buy the gun and have it shipped. then you will know if both of you are compatible:)

Crazy Fingers
October 21, 2008, 10:36 PM
Thanks for posting the info. I guarantee you that the detective was much less willing to try slimy tactics with the attorneys present.

I wouldn't worry about not getting a security clearance or ending up on a no-fly list. If you work for most civilian government agencies (NASA, DOE, EPA, etc) you will get a NACI (name check with inquiries) which is done on form SF-85. It's not a cakewalk but is pretty easy. The hardest part is just remembering everywhere you've lived in the last several years and someone who can verify each address. The actual inquiries take place through the mail and all they ask the person is if the information you provided is true. "The federal government is doing a background investigation on John Doe for purposes of employment. He claims he has known you for 2 years, while he was living at 1234 Any Street. Is this information accurate?" Yes, No, I don't know this person, or I have negative information I wish to share. Easy.

Now the national security positions are done on SF-86, and the form is similar but they do real interviews. I haven't ever filled out an SF-86, but have been interviewed by Federal Investigative Services regarding a friend of mine. They ask a lot of questions about the candidate, some very personal, but mostly they are just trying to get information on the table so that the candidate cannot be blackmailed in the future. They won't care that you had some issues trying to buy a rifle back in 2008. They don't care that when you were 16 you had the cops called on you once. They will care if you used to be a drug dealer, have a gambling problem, have a drinking or drug problem, are a closet homosexual, or if you are a member of some weird organization trying to infiltrate the U.S. government. I'm hoping that none of these are true.

October 22, 2008, 12:25 AM
Either way, he definitely could have screwed my life up. I do appreciate the info on clearances, though, and it puts my mind at ease.

Guess I should go shooting now.

October 22, 2008, 12:43 AM
hope it works out for the best.

October 23, 2008, 09:11 AM
Man, that is just an over all sh*&%# experience to have to go through. Sorry it happened and I hope it all works out for you. Good luck.

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