Dunham's Sports refuses to honor FFLs


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Black Wolf
October 20, 2008, 09:24 PM
This evening, I went to Dunham's Sporting Goods in Lansing MI (Lansing Mall) to purchase a Mosin Nagant 91/30 rifle (on sale for $69). Upon presenting my C&R License to them the Store Manager advised that Dunham's policy is to not accept Federal Firearms Licenses (both Dealers and Collectors). I informed the Manager that my C&R License, in accordance with the law, does allow me to acquire C&R firearms at any location (see 27 CFR Part 478, Subpart D, Section 478.50(b)). Having informed the Manager that I was a resident of NC, she also advised that Dunham's does not sell rifles to non-residents which I informed her was contrary to Federal Law (specifically: 27 CFR 478.29(b) & 478.96(c)).

I am aware that a Dealer has the right to refuse to sell a firearm to anyone they choose; however, I feel that anyone or any organization who does not honor Federal Firearms Licenses is not supporting the Pro-Gun movement nor the 2nd Amendment. As a result, I will not ever be a patron of any Dunham's Sporting Goods stores. Additionally, I am contacting Dunham's Corporate Headquarters; specifically Chris Cielak (Corporate Store Manager) at (248) 674-4991 ext 529, to ensure that they are made aware of my opposition to their store policy.

I hope you join me in contacting Dunham's to express your concerns.

Thank you.

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Mossberg88
October 21, 2008, 01:44 AM
There's a Dunham's right by my college. After reading that, i'm on the same boat as you.

M203Sniper
October 21, 2008, 03:39 AM
They don't accept an FFL of C&R?



That's kind of like not taking cash; "Sorry sir we can't accept anything green for payment. Do you have any acorn's by chance?"



Did he show you a copy of the policy? or is he just being discriminatory? or saving the thing for himself?

NavyLCDR
October 21, 2008, 06:36 AM
she also advised that Dunham's does not sell rifles to non-residents which I informed her was contrary to Federal Law (specifically: 27 CFR 478.29(b) & 478.96(c)).

Their choice to not sell to non-residents is not contrary to any Federal Law. If you are going to make an argument, you need to make a proper argument.

Jolly Rogers
October 21, 2008, 08:23 AM
I think a FFl kinda trumps the residency requirements...other wise there could be NO out of state sales.
Joe

Jolly Rogers
October 21, 2008, 08:24 AM
delete
Joe

rbernie
October 21, 2008, 09:08 AM
Their choice to not sell to non-residents is not contrary to any Federal Law. That only applied to non-FFL holders. If FFL holders could not sell guns to out-of-state FFL holders, how would we ever ship guns from the factory to the store? ;)

Black Wolf
October 21, 2008, 09:30 AM
27 CFR 478.29 explicitly states that:

478.29 - Out - of - State acquisition of firearms by nonlicensees.

No person, other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector, shall transport into or receive in the State where the person resides (or if a corporation or other business entity, where it maintains a place of business) any firearm purchased or otherwise obtained by such person outside that State: Provided, That the provisions of this section:
(b) Shall not apply to the transportation or receipt of a rifle or shotgun obtained from a licensed manufacturer, licensed importer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector in a State other than the transferee's State of residence in an over-the-counter transaction at the licensee's premises obtained in conformity with the provisions of 478.96(c).

If they chose to disregard my FFL - fine. I would have filled out the 4473 and walked out with the rifle. However, they chose to disregard the ability for them to transfer to me the rifle in accordance with 478.29 which permits them to sell rifles and shotguns to non-residents as stipulated in subparagraph (b) of 478.29.

I agree it is their choice not to - and I don't argue that. My argument is that they chose not to sell a firearm to a licensed FFL holder or an individual who is otherwise qualified to purchase that firearm (ie., 478.29) and their choice to do so does not support gun ownership. If they choose not to support gun ownership in compliance with the law then I won't support their business.

But, yes sir. It is legal for them to sell me a rifle and/or shotgun even without my FFL but their policy is to not honor FFLs or legally qualified non-residents. Trust me, I've done it before with other dealers in other states.

Update:
I called and spoke with their Corporate Office. She was respectful and even somewhat sympathetic; and stated that 1) they in fact do not honor FFL licenses 2) that even though I legally could have purchased the firearm as a non-resident their policy does not allow that either. She did state she would address this issue with her superiors. I did express to her that while I don't dispute the right for the store to have policy to restrict who they sell firearms to, I told her that I shared the fact that they did not honor FFL licenses with 134,642 gun owners on a variety of gun boards - it was silent. Good conversation, respectful, and I do feel better having voiced my opposition to their policy and shared this information with other law abiding gun owners.

Beren
October 21, 2008, 09:45 AM
What makes this even more sad is that as a C&R FFL holder, you are required to record that Mosin purchase in your bound book, even if you didn't buy it using your FFL.

I spoke with some folks at my local Dunham's a couple of weeks ago. They seem to have one procedure for selling firearms, and no deviation is permitted. The sense I got was that corporate is scared that a clerk would otherwise do something stupid and get the company in trouble with the BATFE. I'm not sure I blame them for that attitude, but I'm curious to see what response Wolf gets from corporate.

ETA:

In my case, I had observed a Dunham clerk tell a woman she could not purchase a firearm as a gift for her husband. He would have to come and buy it. I spoke with the clerk later and he acknowledged the law is not so cut and dried about the issue, but that's their policy to prevent straw purchases and to avoid BATFE hassles.

Black Wolf
October 21, 2008, 10:32 AM
Update:
I called and spoke with their Corporate Office. She was respectful and even somewhat sympathetic; and stated that 1) they in fact do not honor FFL licenses 2) that even though I legally could have purchased the firearm as a non-resident their policy does not allow that either. She did state she would address this issue with her superiors. I did express to her that while I don't dispute the right for the store to have policy to restrict who they sell firearms to, I told her that I shared the fact that they did not honor FFL licenses with 134,642 gun owners on a variety of gun boards - it was silent. Good conversation, respectful, and I do feel better having voiced my opposition to their gun policy and not honoring Federal Firearms Licenses and shared this information with other law abiding gun owners. Hopefully they'll review their policy as a result.

RPCVYemen
October 21, 2008, 10:47 AM
The sense I got was that corporate is scared that a clerk would otherwise do something stupid and get the company in trouble with the BATFE.

This sort of makes sense - whenever someone is popped for violating BATFE regs, they always claim that some low level clerk screwed up the paperwork, etc. You really don't want a clerk or manager making legal decisions.

It does make sense to me that an employee/manager would pay absolutely no attention to law being spouted by a customer - would you? I think that with my FFL at stake, I'd listen to my lawyer, and the corporate policies he directly or indirectly specifies. Somehow, if something goes wrong, standing in court saying, "But the customer told me it was legal!", looks like a poor idea.

I certainly would not want a clerk or store manager evaluating legal arguments advanced by a customer. Very few managers and/or clerks have any legal training.

The decision not to sell to out of state customers may make a lot of sense, was well - as a business decision. How much business will the store lose by denying out of state purchases? If the store perceives additional risk (as opposed to residential sales), and they will lose very little business by denying non-resident sales, it very well may be a reasonable business decision.

Mike

RPCVYemen
October 21, 2008, 10:50 AM
I called and spoke with their Corporate Office. She was respectful and even somewhat sympathetic; and stated that 1) they in fact do not honor FFL licenses 2) that even though I legally could have purchased the firearm as a non-resident their policy does not allow that either.

The right way to proceed. Nor corporation wants clerks/managers changing corporate policy. The only reasonable way to get this kind of thing changed is by getting the corporate policy changed.

Evil

deadin
October 21, 2008, 10:56 AM
I think that part of the problem is the attitude that having a FFL (either an 03 or 01) gives you the RIGHT to do something like buying out of State, it only ALLOWS you to do it. If the other party doesn't agree, that's all there is to it.

NavyLCDR
October 21, 2008, 11:49 AM
That only applied to non-FFL holders. If FFL holders could not sell guns to out-of-state FFL holders, how would we ever ship guns from the factory to the store?

Please read my reply carefully. I never said that a choice TO sell to an FFL holder was against the law, it's not. Neither would selling rifles to certain out-of-state residents. The point that I was making was that the OP made it sound like somehow their choice NOT to sell to him was contrary to law. It's not. They have the right to choose to NOT to sell to whomever they want NOT to sell to. The choice they made not to sell to him was against no federal law, like the OP claimed it was:

I informed the Manager that my C&R License, in accordance with the law, does allow me to acquire C&R firearms at any location (see 27 CFR Part 478, Subpart D, Section 478.50(b)). Having informed the Manager that I was a resident of NC, she also advised that Dunham's does not sell rifles to non-residents which I informed her was contrary to Federal Law (specifically: 27 CFR 478.29(b) & 478.96(c)).

Dunham's choice not to sell rifles to non-residents is not contrary to any law.

SSN Vet
October 21, 2008, 11:59 AM
They have the right to choose to NOT to sell to whomever they want NOT to sell to.

Yup!

And I have the choice to tell Dunham's to pack sand, refuse to do business with them and spend my hard earned dollars elsewhere.

I also have the choice to encourage others to do the same.

Sheldon J
October 22, 2008, 01:00 PM
I'm betting it is a uninformed employee or a manager issue, my youngest son worked for Dunham's for close to 4 years in Battle Creek, and it was never a issue here.

Phil DeGraves
October 22, 2008, 01:13 PM
I had observed a Dunham clerk tell a woman she could not purchase a firearm as a gift for her husband. He would have to come and buy it. I spoke with the clerk later and he acknowledged the law is not so cut and dried about the issue, but that's their policy to prevent straw purchases

Just for the record, buying a gun as a gift for a relative is not a straw purchase, unless that relative is a prohibited person.

Acera
October 22, 2008, 02:28 PM
You have a C&R so why did you not order one through the mail??

Aran
October 22, 2008, 02:34 PM
Time, shipping costs, price, perhaps?

stevemis
October 22, 2008, 03:22 PM
Dunham's, like any other private entity, has the right to make up whatever silly policies they like, as long as they are within the law.

Likewise, I as an individual have the right to develop the policy that I will not purchase anything from Dunham's Sports during any day of the week that ends in "Y", and encourage others to do the same.

Steve N
October 22, 2008, 06:55 PM
I stopped by the local Dunhams one weekend early this summer to look at a couple of rifles. The guy at the counter said I could buy the gun, have the 4473 approved, pay for the gun, but could not take it out of the store until Monday. He said this was a Dunham's corporate policy. He didn't agree with it, but had to follow their policy or lose his job. It didn't bother me because the store is only 3 miles from home.

I'm going that way tonight. Think I'll stop in and check out their policy.

everallm
October 22, 2008, 07:39 PM
There seems to be a little confusion with folks here on out of state purchase of long arms.

ANY out of state legal person can purchase ANY legal long arm in ANY state so long as it is transacted through an FFL.

If you are a resident of the state and your state does not prohibit long arm face to face sales then you don't even need an FFL then.

(b) Shall not apply to the transportation or receipt of a rifle or shotgun obtained from a licensed manufacturer, licensed importer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector in a State other than the transferee's State of residence in an over-the-counter transaction at the licensee's premises obtained in conformity with the provisions of 478.96(c).

Steve N
October 26, 2008, 09:28 AM
Went to my local Dunham's Friday night to look at a WASR-10. Told the guy behind the counter that I needed to get one before Obama banned them all and he agreed.

I believe he was the same person I spoke with about the policy of not letting guns out of the store on weekends. He explained that this was a "punishment" for this store only, based on an incident a year ago. As he told it, both a manager and an assistant manager failed to note that two boxes on the 4473 were not checked, and let a purchase go thru and the gun to leave the store. BATFE did a check, found the problem, AND DID NOT FINE, THREATEN, SEIZE OR OTHERWISE SHUT DOWN Dunham's. They made the store correct the forms (I don't know how), and told them to be more careful. Corporate put the policy in place for this store only. So now a buyer cannot remove a gun from this store unless corporate has reviewed the 4473 first, which means no guns out of the store after 5 PM, or on weekends. The clerk told me this has cost this particular store a lot of sales.

Onmilo
October 26, 2008, 09:45 AM
There is no mandatory requirement that a retail establishment has to accept another retail establishments credentials if the buyer does not wish to abide by the selling stores policies on paperwork requirements.
A collectors license does not give you an automatic get out of 4473 requirements if the seller insists that you fill them out.

If you don't like the store policies then don't buy at that establishment.

WNC Seabee
October 27, 2008, 12:48 AM
Small world...I grew up within walking distance of the OP's store and am also now an NC resident.....

Anyway, I don't agree with Dunham's refusing the sale, but it is their choice. I think where they got in trouble with the OP was in trying to justify the policy.

If I were to run a gun shop and chose not sell (policy, gut feeling, whatever), I think I'd just say, "Sorry, I won't sell to you. The laws are too complicated and it's not worth $69 to take the risk on this particular transaction." Then shut up and move on to the next customer.

I'm not saying that's right or decent, just recognizing that the laws are so freaking convoluted that it likely does not make sense to risk any transaction that throws a red flag.

TAB
October 27, 2008, 01:03 AM
There seems to be a little confusion with folks here on out of state purchase of long arms.

ANY out of state legal person can purchase ANY legal long arm in ANY state so long as it is transacted through an FFL.

If you are a resident of the state and your state does not prohibit long arm face to face sales then you don't even need an FFL then.

(b) Shall not apply to the transportation or receipt of a rifle or shotgun obtained from a licensed manufacturer, licensed importer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector in a State other than the transferee's State of residence in an over-the-counter transaction at the licensee's premises obtained in conformity with the provisions of 478.96(c).


State laws can say other wise... and many do.

Kind of Blued
October 27, 2008, 04:37 AM
I blame the ATF. :neener: Yet another innocent act thwarted by instilling fear in the hearts of law-abiding citizens.

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