Non Responsive FFL


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Babarsac
February 8, 2011, 02:31 PM
I am currently experiencing some issues working with a local FFL here in Virginia. In late November I turned over an Ishapore for some duracoating. As of the beginning of 2011 I have not been able to contact the FFL. Email's go without response and their voice-mail box is full so I can't leave a message. On a local gun forum (VAguntrader.com) other people have had similar problems with this guy dropping off the radar since the New Year.

I ran his FFL# and it's still valid so I'm wondering what my next move should be. Would it be to call the local police or get a lawyer?

One small issue I have with the lawyer route is that I paid $200 for this gun so the cost of legal aid would eclipse the cost of replacing the rifle outright.





ugh :(

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ants
February 8, 2011, 02:36 PM
I'm not sure you're at that point in the road yet.

Can't you drive to his shop and confront him?

Email and voice mail are valid communication,
and you should keep a record of it.


But if he has your gun and won't respond
then you need to go get your gun back.

kingpin008
February 8, 2011, 02:40 PM
I'd second the suggetion to see the fella in person. If for some reason you can't locate him or he won't give you an appointment time to meet, then I'd escalate things - first by sending him a certified letter demanding either information on your rifle, or the return of same. If he refuses to respond to that, then I'd let the cops see what they can do about it.

Babarsac
February 8, 2011, 02:52 PM
Unfortunately the gentleman doesn't have a store front I can just walk into. I'm going to keep calling but will send out a letter tomorrow.

Bubbles
February 8, 2011, 02:56 PM
I wouldn't do the cop/lawyer thing yet. I'd just show up at his place of business during normal business hours if he rents commercial space, or if he's home-based knock on his door around dinner time.

I have a lot of contacts in northern VA - if you PM me the guy's name I can have them investigate as well.

ColtPythonElite
February 8, 2011, 02:56 PM
Calling the police will get you no where. They investigate crimes. This isn't a criminal case. This is a civil matter. As suggested, send him a certified letter. If you get no satisfaction, you are gonna have to take him to small claims court, which is easy to do. You just go to the General District court, file a claim, and pay the small filing fee. He will be served. You will be subpoenaed to come to court. Each of you tell your side and the judge makes a ruling. Just like on TV.

ants
February 8, 2011, 05:09 PM
Send a PM to Bubbles. Good offer, friend.

It doesn't matter if he has a commercial store. He has an FFL license attached to his address, it is his place of business. Knock on the FFL's door and speak with him. Maybe they've had a death or illness in the family. Or he was a crime victim. Maybe bankrupt. Maybe he sent the gun out for the finish and the vendor flaked out. Find out what's going on before you get tough.

Small Claims is an ultimate solution if knocking on his door at dinner time proves unfruitful. But Small Claims will not collect your money for you, even if you win a judgement. You still have to find a way to collect the money. If he won't answer emails & phone calls now, collecting may be extremely difficult.

czrami9
February 9, 2011, 01:23 PM
I would be concerned as well and would take up Bubble's offer.

PS. Go Dukes!

Babarsac
May 4, 2011, 08:50 AM
Still nothing. Gonna send a letter this week. :mad:

TechBrute
May 4, 2011, 09:15 AM
Have you physically gone over there?

B1gGr33n
May 4, 2011, 10:30 AM
Make sure you send the letter Certified Mail with a receipt requested, so you know for a fact whether or not he got it.

bikemutt
May 4, 2011, 01:06 PM
Something similar happened to me years ago, roughly the same value, not a gun. I started to get the feeling I was getting screwed so I took the chance and called the local PD's fraud department. To my surprise a detective listened to my story, pulled up the perpetrators name and said something like "oh yeah, we know her".

Anyway, within two weeks I get a call from her lawyer begging me take the merchandise back and the deposit I'd paid if I'd call the cops and tell 'em I was made whole.

I agreed, got everything back, called the cops, end of story. I think that was just a lucky break for me but who knows, one phone call rang the right bell.

dprice3844444
May 4, 2011, 02:30 PM
go visit personally.if no answer notify cops and atf,explain situation,they will contact him

JohnBT
May 4, 2011, 04:07 PM
Didn't read the thread, did you?

"Unfortunately the gentleman doesn't have a store front I can just walk into."

Toforo
May 4, 2011, 06:02 PM
Didn't read the thread, did you?

"Unfortunately the gentleman doesn't have a store front I can just walk into."
Then how does he have and maintain a valid FFL?

Where does he receive, send from, and/or store the FFL weapons (in accordance with BATFE rules and regs) that he's working on?

Sorry, but I think he'd have to have SOME kind of address (his location had to be approved by the BATFE)

To which address was the item in question shipped?

I agree with Bubble's past post... I have LOTS of contacts in the VA Triangle of Winchester to Front Royal to Fairfax - it's an easy "check"

kingpin008
May 4, 2011, 06:07 PM
Then how does he have and maintain a valid FFL?

One does not need a storefront to maintain an FFL. Many current FFLs do business out of their house. And despite what many think, a home-based FFL does NOT have to have posted business hours. If this is the case with the FFL the OP is dealing with, I can see how it could be tough to just drop in and see the fella in person.

M-Cameron
May 4, 2011, 06:24 PM
, I can see how it could be tough to just drop in and see the fella in person.

i dont....

....guy has your gun for 6 months for a simple duracoating....and is refusing to reply to emails and phone calls.......

......the guy has a listed address, stop by and see whats up......i dont care if its a store front or his grandmothers house.......if someone has my gun, and they arent responding back to me.....im going to their place of business....

dogtown tom
May 4, 2011, 06:32 PM
Phone calls not returned.
Emails not returned.
Local gun forum reports are similiar.

He's sick/dead/bankrupt. In the case of being bankrupt he may have been advised to not have contact with any creditors.

Theres only one way to find out....knock on the door and ask him if he's dead or wants to be.

Shadow 7D
May 4, 2011, 06:36 PM
Contact the local ATF office, I'm sure they would like to know if the FFL is having issues, it maybe that a Compliance inspector goes to look him up, and it may be that if you ever want to see your guns, you will need their help.

Hell for all you know, he could have died and is family has no clue what to do.

ants
May 4, 2011, 08:35 PM
Wow. Six months. It's way beyond letter writing time.
Go get your gun back, and don't be gentle about it.

Toforo
May 4, 2011, 09:56 PM
One does not need a storefront to maintain an FFL. Many current FFLs do business out of their house. And despite what many think, a home-based FFL does NOT have to have posted business hours. If this is the case with the FFL the OP is dealing with, I can see how it could be tough to just drop in and see the fella in person.
Correcto!

BUT - he DOES need a PHYSICAL address and not simply a post office box.

The OP has a PHYSICAL address where he SENT the gun - so there's a PHYSICAL address to go talk to the guy and/or get his gun back......

.....no store-front required.

kingpin008
May 4, 2011, 10:05 PM
Yeah, I get that. But showing up randomly at someone's house wanting to talk to them isn't exactly the most effective tactic, for a number of reasons. Who knows what this guy's schedule is?

I don't know many people who can afford to just keep dropping by someone's house hoping to catch them there. And what happens if he is home, but won't answer the door? What are you going to do, call the cops? They might come out to help, but they might not. It's a crapshoot.

mgkdrgn
May 4, 2011, 10:16 PM
One does not need a storefront to maintain an FFL. Many current FFLs do business out of their house. And despite what many think, a home-based FFL does NOT have to have posted business hours. If this is the case with the FFL the OP is dealing with, I can see how it could be tough to just drop in and see the fella in person.
Um, actually, yes they do, or at least they do now. "By appointment" is no longer an accepted answer on the application. BATFE wants you to list some regular "office hours" so they know when they can "drop in". Could be just one hour a day, one day a week, but you have to list something. (personally I listed 1 - 4 pm, M - F)

dogtown tom
May 4, 2011, 11:04 PM
mgkdrgn Quote:
Originally Posted by kingpin008
One does not need a storefront to maintain an FFL. Many current FFLs do business out of their house. And despite what many think, a home-based FFL does NOT have to have posted business hours. If this is the case with the FFL the OP is dealing with, I can see how it could be tough to just drop in and see the fella in person.
Um, actually, yes they do, or at least they do now. "By appointment" is no longer an accepted answer on the application. BATFE wants you to list some regular "office hours" so they know when they can "drop in". Could be just one hour a day, one day a week, but you have to list something. (personally I listed 1 - 4 pm, M - F)
kingpin008 is correct...."Posted business hours" are what you put on a sign or on the door of your business for the public to see. There is no ATF requirement for a licensee to post his business hours. The only place an applicant is required to list his hours are on the application for an FFL.

B1gGr33n
May 5, 2011, 12:36 PM
Ok so can't he contact the ATF, inquire about the persons listed business hours, and drop by then? If the guy is closed during regular stated business hours, surely there's some sort of recourse then, right? And I don't mean closed just once, but for an extended or multiple times.

kingpin008
May 5, 2011, 01:33 PM
Sure, he can contact the ATF and ask. They're have no obligation to answer him, though.

Realistically, all it'd take for the FFL to really screw the OP is to have his business set up as an "appointment only" sort of thing. Nothing says that he has to be available at all times to make appointments, or that he has to accept appointments from people who want them.

Of course, this would end up with him getting the smackdown from the cops and/or the ATF, but if he chose to go that route it'd make a ton more work for the OP. I'd be on the phone to the cops and a lawyer at this point.

Babarsac
May 5, 2011, 01:46 PM
Well I have the address from his FFL so I'm just sending a certified letter to start there. It's a home based FFL\gunsmith with no store front.

snubbies
May 6, 2011, 09:40 AM
As stated earlier ATF has no means by which to retrieve your gun. The only action, according to ATF Chicago, is to give your local ATF the dealers name. They will then research his file. If there are other complaints they can take action against his license

Art Eatman
May 6, 2011, 10:24 AM
Babarsac, give us an update when you find some sort of resolution.

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