FFL is trying to steal my father in laws pistol


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cameroneod
July 26, 2011, 04:15 PM
Here is the situation as I know it.

My father in law recently retired from the Alaska Railroad. He is in the process of moving all of his possessions to his brothers home in Montana where they will sit until he finds a place to live. He is not moving to Montana, he's just using it as a staging area.

He mailed his pistol to an FFL dealer in Montana through an FFL in Anchorage, but when he tried to pick up his pistol the dealer told him he could only release it to him if he is a Montana resident.

Now the dealer is telling him that if he doesn't figure it out within thirty days, he is keeping the pistol.

:fire::fire::fire:

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jelayne
July 26, 2011, 04:19 PM
Guess he better get his drivers license updated to Montana really quick.

KodiakBeer
July 26, 2011, 04:19 PM
Did he fail the NICS check?

jelayne
July 26, 2011, 04:20 PM
What about getting it returned to sender?

Sam1911
July 26, 2011, 04:21 PM
Unfortunately, the dealer is at least partially right. No FFL dealer can ever transfer a handgun to a person who is NOT a resident of that state.

Your FIL should really, really have established what he was doing before sending that gun to a dealer.

The best thing to do would probably be for him to sell the gun to his brother. The dealer could legally transfer it to the brother as he's a MT resident.

Then, once your FIL knows what state he's living in, the brother can send, or bring in person, that gun to a dealer in your FIL's new home state and transfer it to him there.

(He could have shipped it to HIMSELF in care of his brother which would have saved SOOOOooo much hassle, but most folks don't know that that is legal.)

Sam1911
July 26, 2011, 04:22 PM
Guess he better get his drivers license updated to Montana really quick. He isn't going to be a MT resident, so that won't work.

You don't need a driver's license to establish residency.

cameroneod
July 26, 2011, 04:31 PM
His impression is that the dealer is trying to make it as difficult as possible for him so that he can keep the gun after 30 days. The dealer told him that he wouldn't let his brother take possession and that he had to have a license from the state to pick it up. This is further complicated by the fact that my father in laws CDL is in Alaska, and its not exactly easy to swap that over, especially when he's not going to be living in the state.

ZeroJunk
July 26, 2011, 04:39 PM
Why not just transfer it to the brother?

Redlg155
July 26, 2011, 04:42 PM
I would pay for it to be shipped back to Alaska to your original dealer. If he refuses to do so, I would contact the Sheriff of the County and see if he would pay the dealer a freindly visit. If this fails, it would be time to press charges for theft.

1. You can prove the property is legally yours.
2. You can prove that you sent it to the dealer with the honest intention of conducting a legal transfer.
3. You can prove that the dealer intended to deprive you of goods/ property belonging to you. This is indicated by his refusal to ship the item back to the sender.

USAF_Vet
July 26, 2011, 04:43 PM
I don't believe it's legal for the dealer to simply keep the pistol. It wasn't transfered to the FFL via sale, just held in his possession for transfer. If the transfer isn't made, isn't the FFL legally obligated to return the firearm to it's point of origin?

He shouldn't simply be allowed to keep it and seel it as stock or transfer it to his personal collection.

ny32182
July 26, 2011, 04:45 PM
I'd have my brother go pick it up this time, and in the future I would not unnecessarily involve FFLs in my move.

NavyLCDR
July 26, 2011, 04:51 PM
FFL is trying to steal my father in laws pistol

Maybe you should read Federal law first:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/922.html

18 USC 922 (b)(3):

§ 922. Unlawful acts
(b) It shall be unlawful for any licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to sell or deliver—(3) any firearm to any person who the licensee knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in (or if the person is a corporation or other business entity, does not maintain a place of business in) the State in which the licensee’s place of business is located, except that this paragraph (A) shall not apply to the sale or delivery of any rifle or shotgun to a resident of a State other than a State in which the licensee’s place of business is located if the transferee meets in person with the transferor to accomplish the transfer, and the sale, delivery, and receipt fully comply with the legal conditions of sale in both such States (and any licensed manufacturer, importer or dealer shall be presumed, for purposes of this subparagraph, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to have had actual knowledge of the State laws and published ordinances of both States), and (B) shall not apply to the loan or rental of a firearm to any person for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes;

Cameroneod, can you explain to us how you expect the Montana dealer to deliver the pistol to your father-in-law who is not a Montana resident without violating Federal law?

cameroneod
July 26, 2011, 04:53 PM
The dealer told him specifically that he would not let his brother pick up the pistol because he wasnt on the paperwork. Also, Im not sure what shipping it back to AK would accomplish as he's not sure when he'll be back.

He's contacted the County Sheriff and she is supposed to get back with him today. This has got to be seriously aggravating for him considering he was just trying to comply with, what he thought was, the law.

cameroneod
July 26, 2011, 04:55 PM
Cameroneod, can you explain to us how you expect the Montana dealer to deliver the pistol to your father-in-law who is not a Montana resident without violating Federal law

Nope, I cant, but Im not in the business of complying with Federal law. The people who took my father in laws pistol, however, are. Last time I checked, theft is still illegal.

ny32182
July 26, 2011, 05:01 PM
Not sure what "paperwork" it is, but there has got to be a way to get his brother on it. "Sell the pistol" to his brother if need be. This can't be that hard.

I've sold/traded guns to people out of state numerous times, and the only "paperwork" regarding who could pick it up was an informal note about who could pick it up.

doc2rn
July 26, 2011, 05:04 PM
All he needs is a State ID card and a piece of mail with his sons address. He doesnt have to change his CDL. You can get a state ID card with a passport/birth certificate/SSN card etc..or any of the two pieces usually required to start work and a change of address form from the post office. Same thing happened when I moved here to Ohio but the FFL wasnt a jerk about it.

Bozwell
July 26, 2011, 05:05 PM
Where is he living now? Wherever that is, just have him get a license in that state and have the FFL ship it there. If he's living in Montana, get a license in Montana. From what I remember, all you need to establish residency in a location is a current desire to stay there indefinitely. That doesn't mean you won't move in the future or contemplate the possibility of moving in the future, but only that you currently plan to reside in that state with no fixed plans of moving at a certain time in the future. AFAIK, you aren't required to own land, lease a residence, have a job, or anything else in a state to be a resident.

ZeroJunk
July 26, 2011, 05:06 PM
because he wasnt on the paperwork

Is he saying the FFL in AK is telling him who he has to transfer it to and that it cannot be changed?

If he plans to keep it he is going to have to transfer it to somebody sooner or later.

Bubbles
July 26, 2011, 05:17 PM
Did your FIL call this dealer before shipping the gun to let him know what he planned to do? Because the dealer should have known there is no legal way for him to transfer the gun to your FIL until he becomes a MT resident. That's federal law, as already posted, and the dealer should have explained that to your FIL.

OTOH threatening to keep the gun for himself after 30 days isn't right either, and there's certainly no reason that the dealer can't transfer the gun to your FIL's brother, assuming that he is a MT resident and not a prohibited person. At that point though the brother can't give the gun to your FIL; he has to ship it to a dealer in your FIL's new state for transfer back to him.

FWIW this is why if I ever have to move, I'll turn everything except the guns over to the movers/shippers, and the guns, ammo, and safes will go in my truck.

Danb1215
July 26, 2011, 05:22 PM
Not much you can do with getting it transferred in Montana. In this case he's not trying to steal it, hes trying not to lose his FFL, as this transfer would unfortunately be illegal.
However if the dealer is unwilling to ship it back to Alaska at your FIL's expense then he is stealing it, same as if he took a torch to the safe.

My short answer: Try to have it shipped back to an FFL in Alaska so your FIL can get it down to the lower 48 another way.

MachIVshooter
July 26, 2011, 05:31 PM
but when he tried to pick up his pistol the dealer told him he could only release it to him if he is a Montana resident.

Correct. Which, as previously stated, his brother could fill out the form and take possession. It is not within The FFL's scope to deny that transaction, he's just being a persnickety jerk.

Now the dealer is telling him that if he doesn't figure it out within thirty days, he is keeping the pistol.

Unless your FIL signed a document that stipulates this condition, it would constitute theft.

dogtown tom
July 26, 2011, 05:47 PM
1. It's not theft because your father in law sent it to the Montana dealer willingly. It eventually may amount to unlawful conversion, but at present the Montana dealer has committed no crime.
2. The Montana dealer cannot transfer the handgun to your FIL as he is not a resident of Montana.
3. The Montana dealer cannot transfer it to another family member in Montana because it would be a straw purchase.

So............your father in laws options are:
1. Pay the Montana dealer to return the firearm to Alaska. The FIL can then ship the handgun via common carrier addressed to himself at the location he will be staying while in Montana.
2. Establish residency in Montana. He does not need a Montana DL, but would need a government issued photo ID (his Alaska DL) plus alternate government issued documents to show that he is a resident of Montana.

Cosmoline
July 26, 2011, 05:49 PM
I would pay for it to be shipped back to Alaska to your original dealer.

There you go. Just undo the error.

Why was the dad trying to do an FFL to FFL transfer out of Alaska anyway? It's cumbersome, expensive, unnecessary and in this case appears to be impossible anyway.

If he's still legally an Alaska resident, he's going to have to come back up here to get his handgun from the dealer, then he can take it with him as checked baggage in the usual manner for handguns.

Either that or he can have the Montana or Alaska dealer put it up for sale on consignment.

He is in the process of moving all of his possessions to his brothers home in Montana where they will sit until he finds a place to live.

He should either fly with the arms himself in locking cases or ship them to himself.

dirtykid
July 26, 2011, 05:54 PM
^^ This ! and then come back and let us all know WHICH FFL in Montana to AVOID !,, why's he being such a "richard-for-short" ?

HankR
July 26, 2011, 05:59 PM
...as previously stated, his brother could fill out the form and take possession. It is not within The FFL's scope to deny that transaction, he's just being a persnickety jerk.


Could the FFL claim that he thinks this is a straw purchase (selling it to the brother, after the FIL is denied)?

tarosean
July 26, 2011, 06:01 PM
Is this a rare or extremely valuable pistol?

If not I would chalk it up to lessons learned and try and sell it on consignment.

NavyLCDR
July 26, 2011, 06:03 PM
It is not within The FFL's scope to deny that transaction

Really. Please show us the statute that REQUIRES any FFL to transfer ANY firearm.

This is a plain and simple mistake on the OP's part. He sent a handgun to an FFL with the expectation that the FFL would violate Federal law and transfer that handgun to an out-of-state resident.

Now, the absolutely simple solution to the problem is for the father-in-law to gift or sell the gun to a Montana resident, then the Montana FFL COULD legally transfer the handgun to the recipient. But nothing REQUIRES the FFL to. The problem is, apparantly there was no prior arrangements made with the Montana FFL and now he's ticked about the whole deal.

Yes, the FFL is unnecessarily being a male organ about this whole thing. But equal fault lies with the sender of the firearm who should have known the legal problems associated with the situation.

Red Cent
July 26, 2011, 06:25 PM
Play it again, Sam.

I didn't know that. Please explain. Across state lines?

cameroneod
July 26, 2011, 06:33 PM
He had no idea he could legally send the firearm to himself until I (and then the ATF) told him. He's trying to make nice with the ffl and work something out, but the last time I talked to him it didnt sound promising.

Sam1911
July 26, 2011, 06:34 PM
Could the FFL claim that he thinks this is a straw purchase (selling it to the brother, after the FIL is denied)?
Not to side too firmly with a dealer who probably is being unnecessarily hard-nosed about this, but YES.

An FFL can deny any sale to anyone, and is instructed by the ATF to do so if he/she believes a firearm is being bought for another person. (Not as a gift ... bought on behalf of that person, with that person's funds.) In other words, a "straw purchase."

Now, if someone tries to do a sale and it falls through for any reason, and then shows up the next day with their brother and says, "now HE's buying this gun," I may feel very VERY certain that that gun will be in the hands of the original intended (refused) purchaser just about as soon as they walk out of my shop. I would be in my rights to deny that as a straw purchase.

I think, if the dealer is reasonable at all (he may be, just a stickler for the rules), your FIL could go back to the shop, with his brother, explain the entire situation again, and say specifically this:

"I want to sell this gun to my brother. He will hold it for me until I am settled. When I am settled in my new state, he will transfer it to me legally -- through a dealer in my new state."

At that point, your FIL is throwing himself on the mercy of the dealer, and asking the dealer to trust him to do the legal thing. Acknowledging that this COULD be a straw sale, but promising that it will not be.

The dealer may still say no, and be within his rights to say no. But he may say yes, and be within his legal rights to say yes, too.

If he sticks with "NO," I would then instruct him to send it back to the original FFL, and of course offer to pay for the shipping. (Contact THAT dealer again, and explain what in the world is going on!) Then, at least he can get it out of the MT dealer's hands and back to someplace he could legally come get it.

It may even be possible to have the AK dealer send it to ANOTHER MT FFL -- AS A SALE TO THE BROTHER. Then the brother can pick it up, and do the appropriate transfer once your FIL is settled down. That's probably cheaper and easier than another trip to Alaska.

Hardtarget
July 26, 2011, 06:40 PM
None of this sounds right. Take the dealer to civil court. Make him explain his actions to a judge.

Mark

Sam1911
July 26, 2011, 06:43 PM
Not wanting to bring in the Feds...but, why not talk to BATFE and get real info from the people that have the last word?


Well...what would you expect them to say? They'll tell the FIL that the dealer cannot transfer it to him, and would certainly back up his choice to refuse to sell to the brother.

They aren't going to have anything to say on the "theft" issue, most likely.

cameroneod
July 26, 2011, 06:47 PM
It may even be possible to have the AK dealer send it to ANOTHER MT FFL -- AS A SALE TO THE BROTHER. Then the brother can pick it up, and do the appropriate transfer once your FIL is settled down. That's probably cheaper and easier than another trip to Alaska.

Good advice. At this point he just wants someone besides the pawn shop to get it. I told him to list it on gunbroker. No way can the dealer say thats a straw sale.

dogtown tom
July 26, 2011, 07:07 PM
MachIVshooter Correct. Which, as previously stated, his brother could fill out the form and take possession. It is not within The FFL's scope to deny that transaction, he's just being a persnickety jerk.
Not correct. It IS within the FFL's "scope" to deny the transaction as it would be a straw sale.......a Federal felony.



dirtykid ^^ This ! and then come back and let us all know WHICH FFL in Montana to AVOID !,, why's he being such a "richard-for-short" ?
The Montana dealer isn't being a "richard-for-short".....he's following Federal law.




cameroneod He had no idea he could legally send the firearm to himself until I (and then the ATF) told him. He's trying to make nice with the ffl and work something out, but the last time I talked to him it didnt sound promising.
Making nice with the Montana dealer has nothing to do with this situation.......by law the Montana dealer cannot transfer the firearm to your FIL. No amount of being "nice" will change that.




Sam1911 ...."I want to sell this gun to my brother. He will hold it for me until I am settled. When I am settled in my new state, he will transfer it to me legally -- through a dealer in my new state."
Straw sale. No dealer in his right mind would participate in that.





Hardtarget None of this sounds right. Take the dealer to civil court. Make him explain his actions to a judge.
Take the dealer to court for what?????:scrutiny:
No crime has occured. Nothing actionable has occured.



The dealer is following Federal law.

SARDiver
July 26, 2011, 07:20 PM
Tell him you're picking it up for someone in Mexico. The ATF should be fine with that.





"Straw sale. No dealer in his right mind would participate in that."

I wouldn't think it would be a straw sale if the brother filled out a form 4473, had the NICS background check and received the goods from the FFL.

NavyLCDR
July 26, 2011, 07:31 PM
None of this sounds right. Take the dealer to civil court. Make him explain his actions to a judge.

Mark

Easy explanation. FFL: "Your honor, Federal law, 18 USC 922 (b)(3) prohibits me from lawfully transferring a handgun to Mr. J. Citizen. Respectfully, your honor, I am not going to risk my license, my business, and going to Federal prison to transfer one handgun to a person to whom it is illegal for me to transfer the handgun to. I received a handgun in the mail from another FFL for transfer to Mr. J. Citizen and when Mr. J. Citizen shows up he turns out not to be a Montana resident. Simply not my problem.

Then, after explaining to Mr. J. Citizen why I could transfer the gun to him, he comes back a week later and claims that he sold his gun to his brother, and would like me to transfer the gun to his brother. Tell me, your honor, would you believe that?" End of explanation.

Nushif
July 26, 2011, 07:36 PM
You conveniently tend to skip the part where he says he will just keep it.
That is the part I would assume he would be taking the guy to court for. It is *not* the dealer's firearm.

Sam1911
July 26, 2011, 07:37 PM
Straw sale. No dealer in his right mind would participate in that.
As I said, he could refuse it, legally.

But, he could chose to make the sale without breaking the law. It would be entirely up to him.

A long shot, but not outside the realm of possibility.

snubbies
July 26, 2011, 07:45 PM
There have been many opinions put forth but the simple answer may be is to pay for the receiving FFL, after coordination with sending FFL, to send the gun back to the sending FFL. Back to square one.

atblis
July 26, 2011, 07:48 PM
Is this even technically a transfer? If I am understanding this correctly, this did not need to involve an FFL. It's not interstate commerce. Effectively what he did is ship it to himself.

Getting the ATF involved might be the best option.

pikid89
July 26, 2011, 07:48 PM
ask him to ship it back to Alaska on your fathers dime

if the FFL refuses to do even that, then i think you would probably be right on him wanting to keep the gun

dogtown tom
July 26, 2011, 08:19 PM
SARDiver ....I wouldn't think it would be a straw sale if the brother filled out a form 4473, had the NICS background check and received the goods from the FFL.
It is a straw sale because the brother is not the actual purchaser/buyer/transferee......which is the first question on a Form 4473. According to the OP the FIL never intended to sell it to his brother, so having the FIL's brother attempt to acquire the handgun is a classic straw sale.



Nushif You conveniently tend to skip the part where he says he will just keep it.
That is the part I would assume he would be taking the guy to court for. It is *not* the dealer's firearm.
The dealer could say he was going to melt it into a statue of Rosie O'Donnell.....and STILL no crime has been committed until he actually does so.

Every state has abandon property laws. If Montana has laws that allow the dealer to keep the gun after thirty days.....the OP's FIL better have him ship the gun back to Alaska before then. Until then NO CRIME HAS OCCURED.




Sam1911 ....But, he could chose to make the sale without breaking the law.
Nope. If the dealer has any suspicion that it is a straw sale he cannot by law complete the transaction. The OP's first post said the FIL made it clear that the gun was intended for himself. The OP's second post states the dealer would not transfer to the FIL's brother.......undoubtably because he suspects a straw sale.





atblis Is this even technically a transfer? If I am understanding this correctly, this did not need to involve an FFL. It's not interstate commerce. Effectively what he did is ship it to himself.
It is a transfer. The FIL did not ship it himself, to himself.....he had an Alaska dealer ship it to a Montana dealer.....which would require the Montana dealer to transfer the firearm according to Federal law.

The FIL messed up.




pikid89 ask him to ship it back to Alaska on your fathers dime

if the FFL refuses to do even that, then i think you would probably be right on him wanting to keep the gun

The Montana dealer would probably be delighted to get this gun off his books. He cannot transfer it to the owner and like most dealers doesn't want someone else's gun sitting in his safe taking up space. (I'm currently sitting on three AR lowers for someone who hasn't shown the least amount of interest in picking them up....going on six weeks now)



.

goon
July 26, 2011, 08:28 PM
Could the father have the gun shipped to the OP's wife, his daughter, in another state. Daughter takes possession, holds the gun, ships to his father's new FFL when the father arrives wherever he is going. Or if the state is like PA and doesn't require a transfer between immediate family, she could just give it to her dad when he stops by to visit next time.

dogtown tom
July 26, 2011, 08:33 PM
goon Could the father have the gun shipped to the OP, his son, in another state.
Son takes possession, holds the gun, ships to his father's new FFL when the father arrives wherever he is going.

Only if the father in law has established residency in the new state (and can document his residency).

goon
July 26, 2011, 08:36 PM
Well if that seems to be the goal anyhow, isn't that better than surrendering the gun to someone else and never seeing it again?

SARDiver
July 26, 2011, 08:51 PM
I still don't see how selling the weapon to someone who is legally permitted to own a firearm is a straw buy.

According to the OP the FIL never intended to sell it to his brother, so having the FIL's brother attempt to acquire the handgun is a classic straw sale.

The circumstances changed. It was no longer legal for the FIL to receive the weapon in Montana. If there is a bill of sale to the brother, where is the law being broken? It IS legal for the brother to purchase the firearm in MT, and an NICS background check will show that. If they go in and say, "Hey, you transfer it to him and I'll just buy it back," then yes, it's a straw sale.

Unless my definition of the straw sale is completely off....I thought it was purchasing a weapon or ammunition for someone not lawfully entitled to do so himself.

VintovkaMosin
July 26, 2011, 08:56 PM
@SARDiver

Technically, yes, but then again everything gun related in the US has gone to heck since 1968, where the ATF seems to have free reign over everything, they can defines something as illegal without a law being past apparently, with them banning open bolt guns.

dogtown tom
July 26, 2011, 08:56 PM
SARDiver I still don't see how selling the weapon to someone who is legally permitted to own a firearm is a straw buy.....Unless my definition of the straw sale is completely off....I thought it was purchasing a weapon or ammunition for someone not lawfully entitled to do so himself.

A straw sale is any sale where the purchaser is not the actual buyer.
Question 11a on Form 4473: "Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form? Warning: You are not the actual buyer if you acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person....."

NavyLCDR
July 26, 2011, 09:02 PM
Unless my definition of the straw sale is completely off....I thought it was purchasing a weapon or ammunition for someone not lawfully entitled to do so himself.

You are combining two separate actions into one, a common mistake.

Buying a firearm from an FFL on behalf of another person is a straw purchase, violating 18 USC 922 (a)(6). Period, end of definition.

If the other person happens to be prohibited person, when the buyer provides the firearm to the prohibited person, they have committed that separate criminal act, violating 18 USC 922 (d).

In this case, if the brother obtains the firearm on behalf of the father-in-law he would be committing two felonies, the first "straw purchase" even though it is just a transfer, not a purchase, still violates 18 USC 922 (a)(6). Then giving the firearm back to the father-in-law would violate 18 USC 922 (a)(5).

18 USC 922 is here:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/922.html

BeerSleeper
July 26, 2011, 09:06 PM
My father in law recently retired from the Alaska Railroad. He is in the process of moving all of his possessions to his brothers home in Montana where they will sit until he finds a place to live. He is not moving to Montana, he's just using it as a staging area.

It sure sounds to me like he's presently a resident of Montana. He's moving, therefore no longer a resident of Alaska. The fact that he has intent to become a resident of some other state does not negate the fact he is presently residing in Montana. I would find out what is required to prove Montana residency, and see about acquiring that documentation. It does not necessarily have to be a driver's license, but if the FFL in question does not realize that, that will make it harder.

SARDiver
July 26, 2011, 09:12 PM
You are combining two separate actions into one, a common mistake.

Buying a firearm from an FFL on behalf of another person is a straw purchase, violating 18 USC 922 (a)(6). Period, end of definition.

Okay. Fair enough. But there's a distinction there that is getting lost. The brother, with a bill of sale and transfer of funds, is not buying on behalf of another person. He (after filing the paperwork with the FFL) is receiving the firearm on his own behalf. He's not buying it for the father-in-law...He can't be; The FIL is already the owner. The FFL would then be an intermediary in a perfectly legal sale.

ThePunisher'sArmory
July 26, 2011, 09:13 PM
What in the hell happened to America? He should be able to put his holster/belt on, place the pistol in the holster, get on his horse (car), and ride south to Montana. All these stupid......rules are just that. STUPID! If I can ever afford to move out of Illinois all my guns are going in the truck and moving. Period. I just can't stop shaking my head and saying *** at all this.

tarosean
July 26, 2011, 09:21 PM
What in the hell happened to America? He should be able to put his holster/belt on, place the pistol in the holster, get on his horse (car), and ride south to Montana. All these stupid......rules are just that. STUPID! If I can ever afford to move out of Illinois all my guns are going in the truck and moving. Period. I just can't stop shaking my head and saying *** at all this.


He could have and this whole headache would have been avoided. Or took it on the plane (locked check baggage) if that was his mode of transportation.

NavyLCDR
July 26, 2011, 09:34 PM
It sure sounds to me like he's presently a resident of Montana. He's moving, therefore no longer a resident of Alaska. The fact that he has intent to become a resident of some other state does not negate the fact he is presently residing in Montana.

Actually, it IS exactly the fact that he has intent to become a resident of some other state that DOES negate his claim of Montana as a state of residence.

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2003/aprqtr/27cfr478.11.htm

27 CFR 478.11:
State of residence. The State in which an individual resides. An
individual resides in a State if he or she is present in a State with
the intention of making a home in that State.

SARDiver
July 26, 2011, 09:38 PM
He could have and this whole headache would have been avoided. Or took it on the plane (locked check baggage) if that was his mode of transportation.
Except he had to pass through Canada on the way.

Air travel fine....Driving, nope.

gym
July 26, 2011, 09:44 PM
If they honor dual residency, he can just go get a part time reident ID, my mom did it here in FL. Then they gave her problems back in NY untill I got the bank manager on the phone. These people are like robots. You have to explain things in an orderlly fasion or you will waste your entire day. Tell them you have several homes and this is just one of them, If needed hook up a phoneline. Walk in with your untility bill and get a residency id. That should fix it.Once you have a mailing adress and a utility bill or two, you are a resident. You don't have to get a drivers license, just a part time resident ID card.Open a bank account and thet should take care of it in an hour.

mgkdrgn
July 26, 2011, 09:47 PM
The FFL is correct, he can't release a handgun to anyone that isn't a resident of that state.

Just have the brother pick it up.

mnrivrat
July 26, 2011, 09:47 PM
There have been many opinions put forth but the simple answer may be is to pay for the receiving FFL, after coordination with sending FFL, to send the gun back to the sending FFL. Back to square one.

+1 FOR THE RIGHT ANSWER !

Pay Montana dealer to ship gun back to FFL dealer in Alaska - have that dealer hold & transfer the gun back to an FFL in the state of residence after owner decides where. If Montana dealer refuses to ship the gun back to Alaska for a reasonable fee, then file a stolen gun report with Montana law enforcement. But until then - attempt to do it the right way

briney11
July 26, 2011, 09:57 PM
I understand about the transfer issue, but the ffl IS trying to steal the gun. He telling your FIL to do something IMPOSSIBLE or else he will keep it. There is no possible way to become a resident of Montana in 30 days. I have a hard time believing that the ffl doesn't know what he is doing.

http://mt.gov/howdoi/worklive.mcpx

Onward Allusion
July 26, 2011, 09:58 PM
Have the FFL send it back to the AK FFL. 2nd option is to become a MT resident and get a State ID. In which case, your FIL will probably have to trade in his CDL (or re-test).

dogtown tom
July 26, 2011, 11:05 PM
ThePunisher'sArmory What in the hell happened to America?...
Americans have been saying that since Plymouth Rock. :D
These regulations aren't new, they've been Federal law for the last forty three years.



gym If they honor dual residency,...
Doesn't matter.....the OP's FIL has no intention of making Montana his home.



mgkdrgn The FFL is correct, he can't release a handgun to anyone that isn't a resident of that state.

Just have the brother pick it up.
Aren't you an FFL?:scrutiny:
That would be a straw sale and a Federal crime.



briney11 I understand about the transfer issue, but the ffl IS trying to steal the gun.
Seriously?
If he actually does steal the gun it will be pretty darn easy to prove. Why don't we wait and see if the dealer was engaging in a bit of humor first.


He telling your FIL to do something IMPOSSIBLE or else he will keep it. There is no possible way to become a resident of Montana in 30 days.
Sure there is. What ATF considers as your state of residence is not the same as what most states require for voting, etc. All you have to do is intend to make your home in that state, then you need to get documentation from a government source that shows your new residence address....it doesn't have to take thirty day. I covered all this in a previous post.

cyclopsshooter
July 26, 2011, 11:25 PM
Having just gone through an ATF audit the Montana dealer is dead right to pucker up and play by the rules- his licence is his life!
like others have said, your FIL goofed and should pay the Montana FFL to mail the pistol back to the AK dealer to hold till things get settled.

natman
July 27, 2011, 03:18 AM
1) The FFL can't release the pistol to the FIL because the FIL isn't a Montana resident. That's clear.

2) The FFL can't release the pistol to the brother because it would be a straw purchase. That should be clear, but just in case:

http://www.atf.gov/publications/download/p/atf-p-5300-4.pdf
page 166

15. STRAW PURCHASES
Questions have arisen concerning the lawfulness of firearms purchases from licensees by persons who use a "straw purchaser" (another person) to acquire the firearms. Specifically, the actual buyer uses the straw purchaser to execute the Form 4473 purporting to show that the straw purchaser is the actual purchaser of the firearm. In some instances, a straw purchaser is used because the actual purchaser is prohibited from acquiring the firearm. That is to say, the actual purchaser is a felon or is within one of the other prohibited categories of persons who may not lawfully acquire firearms or is a resident of a State other than that in which the licensee's business premises is located. Because of his or her disability, the person uses a straw purchaser who is not prohibited from purchasing a firearm from the licensee. In other instances, neither the straw purchaser nor the actual purchaser is prohibited from acquiring the firearm.

In both instances, the straw purchaser violates Federal law by making false statements on Form 4473 to the licensee with respect to the identity of the actual purchaser of the firearm, as well as the actual purchaser's residence address and date of birth. The actual purchaser who utilized the straw purchaser to acquire a firearm has unlawfully aided and abetted or caused the making of the false statements. The licensee selling the firearm under these circumstances also violates Federal law if the licensee is aware of the false statements on the form. It is immaterial that the actual purchaser and the straw purchaser are residents of the State in which the licensee's business premises is located, are not prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms, and could have lawfully purchased firearms from the licensee.

In short if it's not for the person who's filling out the 4473, it's a straw purchase, period, no matter what the extenuating circumstances might be. And since the Montana FFL now has every reason to suspect it's not really for the brother, his hands are tied.

So this begs the question - where DOES the FIL intend to become a resident? Have the Montana FFL ship the gun to an FFL in that state and have the FIL pick it up there after he establishes residency in the new state. This may take a while, so this time arrange things with the new FFL IN ADVANCE. There's no point in shipping it to Alaska.

The moral of the story: Find out what the law is BEFORE you act, not AFTER.

lechiffre
July 27, 2011, 06:55 AM
If i were your father in law, I would decide to be a resident of your state for at least as long as it took me to get my gun back. I would get an in state ID. I would pick up my gun. Then I would make plans on where to move.

SARDiver
July 27, 2011, 07:52 AM
How the hell can you make a straw purchase for someone who already owns the weapon? There is no "purchase" of the firearm at all, unless the brother buys it from the FIL. You guys can keep highlighting "PERIOD" all you want, but the FIL wouldn't be buying the weapon at all. He would be selling it, not having it bought on his behalf. The sale would then be taking place through the MT FFL, AND if the brother sold it back to the FIL at some future point, they would use another FFL to make that interstate transfer.

I realize I'm arguing a narrow point, but I also think it's a correct point. If the the FIL came in one day, did not own the weapon, and was there to pick it up from the FFL after buying it from someone out of state, was rejected, then showed up with the brother, then absolutely, that's a straw buy.

Yeah, I get that the FIL wanted to pick the weapon up for himself. IF the two can show that a sale has been committed, and the brother is then picking the weapon up for himself, then it ISN'T a straw purchase, by definition. Would that be good enough for the FFL? Maybe not. Would it hold up in court?

pintler
July 27, 2011, 08:10 AM
1)Re: straw sale. Maybe, maybe not. If the MT resident relative intends to fill out the 4473, pick up the gun, and then give it to the passing thru relative sans paperwork, that would be a straw sale. OTOH, if the current owner is thinking 'Hmmm, option 1, FFL keeps gun w/o reimbursement, option 2, I sell it to relative and it stays in the family', and the MT relative in fact keeps it, that's not a straw sale. Even if a year from now, the MT relative decides to sell it to the original owner (complying with all laws in the process).

As a hypo, I sell a gun to Fred on gunbroker, and ship to a FFL. Fred dies before picking up the gun. Who owns the gun - the FFL or Fred's estate? It's the same situation - the person who was supposed to pick up the gun is no longer able to do so. That doesn't mean the gun is a freebie to the FFL. The FFL rules are about who the FFL can transfer to, not who owns the gun. In Fred's case, Fred's estate is the current owner, and can direct the FFL to transfer the gun in any legal way - ship to another FFL, sell to a specified state resident, whatever. If Fred's executor walks in and says 'give me the gun' (and the executor isn't a prohibited person), the FFL has to comply. If Fred's executor sells the gun on gunbroker and directs the FFL to ship to an FFL in Florida, the MT FFL needs to comply. If the MT FFL wants to charge reasonable fees or whatever, that's OK, but the FFL can't refuse to transfer the gun and then claim it himself as abandoned property.

3)As a low budget resolution, the AK resident could sell to the MT relative. The MT relative could attempt pickup. If the FFL refuses, the MT relative could sue for the value of the gun in small claims court.

natman
July 27, 2011, 08:27 AM
How the hell can you make a straw purchase for someone who already owns the weapon? There is no "purchase" of the firearm at all, unless the brother buys it from the FIL. You guys can keep highlighting "PERIOD" all you want, but the FIL wouldn't be buying the weapon at all. He would be selling it, not having it bought on his behalf. The sale would then be taking place through the MT FFL, AND if the brother sold it back to the FIL at some future point, they would use another FFL to make that interstate transfer.

I realize I'm arguing a narrow point, but I also think it's a correct point. If the the FIL came in one day, did not own the weapon, and was there to pick it up from the FFL after buying it from someone out of state, was rejected, then showed up with the brother, then absolutely, that's a straw buy.

Yeah, I get that the FIL wanted to pick the weapon up for himself. IF the two can show that a sale has been committed, and the brother is then picking the weapon up for himself, then it ISN'T a straw purchase, by definition. Would that be good enough for the FFL? Maybe not. Would it hold up in court?

Your making a distinction between "buying" and "transferring without payment" that I don't think makes a difference to ATF. I realize that the phrase is straw purchase, and that words like "seller" and "selling" are used, but whether or not money changes hands is immaterial.

Regardless of the nature of the transaction, the FFL can't release the gun without someone filling out a 4473, and if the gun isn't intended for the person filling out the 4473 - which it isn't in this case - then it's a straw purchase, regardless of whether it's a sale, transfer, whatever.

Here's the text, right off the 4473 form:
a. Are you the actual buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form? Warning: You are not the actual buyer if you are acquiring
the firearm(s) on behalf of another person. If you are not the actual buyer, the dealer cannot transfer the firearm(s) to
you.

Sam1911
July 27, 2011, 08:32 AM
SARdiver and pinter, I think you are technically correct. It would, and maybe SHOULD be possible for the FIL to decide that he'd rather sell it to his brother than lose the gun, and so ask the dealer to transfer it to the brother as a legal interstate sale.

However, the point dogtown tom and NavyLCDR are making is that the dealer sees a man who screwed up and now can't get his gun, has asked and been refused once to let the brother pick it up for him, and who is now CLAIMING that he's decided to sell the gun outright to the brother.

If I were that dealer, I would be 99% certain that if I did go ahead with the sale to the brother, they would simply head out the door and the brother would give the gun directly to the FIL. I'd have just enabled a blatant straw sale.

Now, if as that dealer, I somehow was NOT entirely convinced that they would go break the law that way, I would be within my rights to make the transfer to the Brother...

BUT, if the dealer at all suspects that this is a straw purchase, he's supposed to refuse.

And, while I personally am certain that the FIL and brother would adhere to federal law strictly and wait to handle the transfer properly once the brother is established in his new state ... if I was that dealer I'd probably be thinking, "Who are you trying to kid? You're going to walk out the door, hand him the gun, and will have played me for a fool. No WAY!"

ny32182
July 27, 2011, 09:05 AM
Makes you wonder how anyone ever gives a gun as a gift.:rolleyes:

Sam1911
July 27, 2011, 09:27 AM
Makes you wonder how anyone ever gives a gun as a gift.

Really? It is simple. Buy gun with your money, as a gift. Give it as a gift (to a resident of your state, where legal). If you walk into a dealer's shop and say, "This is my brother. I want to buy him a new 1911 as a gift." A knowledgeable gun dealer will proceed with that sale, as it is clearly legal. In fact, you wouldn't be breaking the law (or offending that dealer, most likely) if you turned around, handed your brother the gun and said, "Happy birthday!"

Now, if you walk up to the counter, ask your brother which one he wants, and he hands you a stack of $100 bills to pay for it, that's going to send up red flags. Clearly this is no gift -- you are purchasing a gun in his stead. That's not legal.

Also, if you try to take transfer of a gun and are refused for some reason, and then show up the next day with your brother and say, "now HE'S going to buy that gun I wanted," -- that's going to send the dealer's blood pressure up, too, and neither of you will likely be welcomed back.

It is a fine distinction -- and the line can get MIGHTY blurry, especially if you consider certain scenarios like a husband and wife buying guns for each other with a joint bank account, or something like that -- and all absurd on a very basic level, but in this case the dealer is probably making the "right" call.

jmorris
July 27, 2011, 09:33 AM
Why in the world would you pay not one but two FFL's to transfer a gun you own to yourself?

ny32182
July 27, 2011, 09:37 AM
So how is it not legal to:

1) Sell the gun to the brother for $1 or whatever quantity floats your boat
2) Have brother pick up his gun
3) Have brother give gun as a gift to the FIL.

What distinction could possibly exist, much less be proven, between buying the gun "for someone else" or buying it "as a gift"? Assuming neither party is a prohibited person here.

pintler
July 27, 2011, 09:54 AM
However, the point dogtown tom and NavyLCDR are making is that the dealer sees a man who screwed up and now can't get his gun, has asked and been refused once to let the brother pick it up for him, and who is now CLAIMING that he's decided to sell the gun outright to the brother.
...
Now, if as that dealer, I somehow was NOT entirely convinced that they would go break the law that way, I would be within my rights to make the transfer to the Brother...

That's an argument the FFL can make to the small claims court judge. And maybe that judge would buy the argument, and direct the FFL to return the gun to the Alaska FFL, hold it to transfer to a FFL in the eventual state of residence, or even sell the gun and give the proceeds to the original owner. But I just can't see the judge saying 'sure, keep the gun for yourself, or sell it and keep the money yourself'.

I'm a mechanic and have worked on your car. You come to pick up the car and are blind drunk. Of course I can refuse to hand you the keys. But if you show up sober later, or with a designated driver, I can't say 'nope, I think your friend will give just give you the keys before you're sober, so I'm gong to sell the car in 30 days and keep the money'.

There are a lot of resolutions that fully comply with the law, even for an extremely cautious FFL. The FFL personally confiscating the gun just isn't one of them.

I, personally, would go to small claims. The FFL can't object to that, no matter what the judge decides. The FFL is covered because he is complying with the court's instructions. IANAL, but I don't think you can ever get in trouble complying with a judge's orders.

pintler
July 27, 2011, 09:57 AM
So how is it not legal to:

1) Sell the gun to the brother for $1 or whatever quantity floats your boat
2) Have brother pick up his gun
3) Have brother give gun as a gift to the FIL.

Remember that (since the brothers aren't residents of the same state) the *transfer* in #3 has to go through a FFL in the recipient's state of residence.

natman
July 27, 2011, 10:09 AM
So how is it not legal to:

1) Sell the gun to the brother for $1 or whatever quantity floats your boat
2) Have brother pick up his gun
3) Have brother give gun as a gift to the FIL.

What distinction could possibly exist, much less be proven, between buying the gun "for someone else" or buying it "as a gift"? Assuming neither party is a prohibited person here.
Because:

1) The FIL is a prohibited person in this transaction, because he is not a MT resident.
2) The dealer has every reason to suspect that if the brother filled out the 4473, it would be to give the gun to the FIL, which would be a straw purchase. Therefore he can't give it to the brother.

The licensee selling the firearm under these circumstances also violates Federal law if the licensee is aware of the false statements on the form.

3) Even if the dealer DID release the gun to the brother, the brother can't give it to the FIL because the FIL is not an MT resident. He would have to ship it to an FFL in a state where the FIL was a resident. Which I believe I suggested already, only skipping the illegal part by having the MT FFL ship directly to an FFL in the FIL's new state of residence.

Frank Ettin
July 27, 2011, 10:11 AM
...That's an argument the FFL can make to the small claims court judge. And maybe that judge would buy the argument, and direct the FFL to return the gun to the Alaska FFL, hold it to transfer to a FFL in the eventual state of residence, or even sell the gun and give the proceeds to the original owner. But I just can't see the judge saying 'sure, keep the gun for yourself, or sell it and keep the money yourself'.
....

I, personally, would go to small claims. The FFL can't object to that, no matter what the judge decides. The FFL is covered because he is complying with the court's instructions. IANAL, but I don't think you can ever get in trouble complying with a judge's orders. The big problem here is that isn't the sort of thing one can do in small claims court. Small claims courts only have limited jurisdiction and can only award money damages. They can not issue orders (called "injunctions") to require that someone do, or not do, anything.

SSN Vet
July 27, 2011, 10:12 AM
WOW...

this sure has dragged on....

there are two easy answers....

Get MT id card and become a citizen of MT, get the gun, then move to whatever state you want.

Pay shipping to have MT dealer send it back to AK and start all over.

The FIL made a mistake in how he shipped the gun.

But the FIL was smart enough to avoid the biggest mistake of all.... transporting a handgun through Canada. That's one mistake that you do NOT want to make. Unless you're looking for free room and board and health care, compliments of the Canadian tax payers.

natman
July 27, 2011, 10:21 AM
Why in the world would you pay not one but two FFL's to transfer a gun you own to yourself?
Because the FIL screwed up by getting the MT FFL involved in the first place. What he should have done is ship the gun to himself, c/o the brother's MT address. That would have been perfectly legal. But now that the gun is on the MT FFL's books, it has to be gotten off his books legally. Which is complicated in this case.

Sam1911
July 27, 2011, 10:21 AM
That's an argument the FFL can make to the small claims court judge.And maybe that judge would buy the argument...
Well, the judge certainly will "buy" the argument, as he cannot direct the FFL to break federal law, and the ATF has spoken clearly on this point.

But another facet of this problem is that unless this is a VERY special gun, going to small claims court over it might not be worth the cost and trouble. (Sort of like buying round-trip airfare to Alaska and back, hotel, food, etc. just to go pick up the gun and fly home with it.)

...and direct the FFL to return the gun to the Alaska FFL, hold it to transfer to a FFL in the eventual state of residence, or even sell the gun and give the proceeds to the original owner. But I just can't see the judge saying 'sure, keep the gun for yourself, or sell it and keep the money yourself'.
I'm not sure what the judge could legally require the dealer to do. Selling the gun and giving the proceeds to the owner might be the most equitable thing and minimize his losses to the greatest extent, but he's still going to be several hundred dollars poorer for the experience.

I'm a mechanic and have worked on your car. You come to pick up the car and are blind drunk. Of course I can refuse to hand you the keys. But if you show up sober later, or with a designated driver, I can't say 'nope, I think your friend will give just give you the keys before you're sober, so I'm gong to sell the car in 30 days and keep the money'.Sure. But gun transfer laws don't work that way. It is just possible that there IS a legally valid forfeiture rule to ensure that a dealer isn't stuck with something -- or even out money for shipping or whatever -- if some problem of your own leaves you unable to retrieve your property. If, you don't pick up a firearm from a gunsmith after a certain period of time, they are able to consider it abandoned and sell it off. Some variation of that may indeed apply.

Bozwell
July 27, 2011, 10:41 AM
Unless he can establish residency in MT (which if he's staying there for the foreseeable future should be doable), I would just sell the gun on gunbroker or your favorite auction site. The FFL may not be able to give the gun to the OP who isn't a MT citizen, but he could certainly send it elsewhere on request of the OP. A low cost gun wouldn't merit a trip back to Alaska, but you could get a few hundred bucks for it.

Honestly, the laws on this subject aren't complex, but they aren't always intuitive either. This thread just goes to show that you should really look into the procedure (or have someone look into it for you) before just up and shipping a firearm to a FFL.

CoRoMo
July 27, 2011, 10:44 AM
Just have the brother pick it up.
Aren't you an FFL?
That would be a straw sale and a Federal crime.
I'm following along here, and I think I would say that this FFL certainly won't let the brother pick up the gun because he sees it as a straw sale. He has the authority to make that decision. He has more than enough evidence. He's under no obligation to change his mind.

But as you posted earlier...
If the dealer has any suspicion that it is a straw sale he cannot by law complete the transaction.
The dealer's suspicion (or lack of) seems to be key. If the two brothers were truly going to transfer ownership of this gun that is in the FFL's possession, no games, no lies, no gimmicks, they were sincerely changing the ownership of this gun for real, and they could convince a licensee of this, the licensee would obviously not hold the same suspicion that this MT FFL does. Question 11a on Form 4473 would be answered correctly in that instance. It would only be up to the suspicions, or lack thereof within the licensee.

So then, if a licensee was to make the transaction with no suspicion at all, HE wouldn't have broken the law, right? We can call him an idiot, out of his mind, and gullible for believing that their arrangement is legit, but we couldn't possibly call him in violation of federal law because he had no suspicion of a straw purchase.

The MT licensee certainly is suspicious, and he has plenty of reason to be.

But that doesn't mean that another licensee would be as stubborn if the brothers were honest in their claim, and he saw it as legit.
Posted by numerous members:
[regarding no technical requirement to present FFL with a state DL]
Even though a DL isn't the defined residency requirement, the FFL is running his business the way he's decided to run it. If HE requires it, that's that; you need a DL to receive a transfer from him, period.

chevyman097
July 27, 2011, 10:50 AM
Just get a state issued Id and claim residency. Nothing they can do about it then.

goon
July 27, 2011, 10:54 AM
The FFL may not be able to give the gun to the OP who isn't a MT citizen, but he could certainly send it elsewhere on request of the OP.



Which is why I still vote on having the gun shipped to FFL of the OP or the OP's wife in their home state, transferred legally to them, and held until the FIL can get himself in a position to legally receive it again. It's stupid and it sucks, but sometimes that's just how it is.

pintler
July 27, 2011, 11:05 AM
The big problem here is that isn't the sort of thing one can do in small claims court. Small claims courts only have limited jurisdiction and can only award money damages. They can not issue orders (called "injunctions") to require that someone do, or not do, anything.

That's a good point, and thanks for the clarification. Let me rephrase - the judge will (IMHO) offer the FFL some options. Just keeping the gun (or selling it and keeping the proceeds) isn't going to be one of those options (again, IMHO, IANAL).

It is just possible that there IS a legally valid forfeiture rule to ensure that a dealer isn't stuck with something -- or even out money for shipping or whatever -- if some problem of your own leaves you unable to retrieve your property. If, you don't pick up a firearm from a gunsmith after a certain period of time, they are able to consider it abandoned and sell it off. Some variation of that may indeed apply.

Sure, that's true whether you're a mechanic, landlord, or gunsmith - but note 'leaves you unable' and 'after a certain period'. The holder of the property has to reasonably attempt to return the property, and the owner has to not make reasonable attempts to recover it. That's not the case here.

Selling the gun and giving the proceeds to the owner might be the most equitable thing and minimize his losses to the greatest extent, but he's still going to be several hundred dollars poorer for the experience.

IMHE, small claims judges are indeed quite interested in the 'most equitable' thing; that may well be a resolution acceptable to all. But I disagree about the 'out hundreds of dollars'; in Montana it costs $20 to file a small claims case. He might or might not have to pay for process service. Either way, it's going to be cheaper than than almost any gun. And if he wins, his fees are reimbursed. Personally, my guess would be that when the FFL is served, the FFL will put on his thinking cap and find a way to make the owner whole w/o breaking the law, or taking an afternoon to go to court.

If the gun isn't an heirloom, this gets you an equitable resolution. If it is an heirloom with immense sentimental value, talk to a real lawyer. But just saying 'OK, sounds weird, but I'll let the FFL keep the gun/$$$$' - respectfully, I'd only do that after hearing from the judge. Opinions vary, of course!

brickeyee
July 27, 2011, 11:06 AM
Nope, I cant, but Im not in the business of complying with Federal law. The people who took my father in laws pistol, however, are. Last time I checked, theft is still illegal.

And transferring a handgun to a non-resident is a federal crime.

You set yourself up for failure by not understanding the law.

David E
July 27, 2011, 11:33 AM
If the FIL doesn't want to get a state ID, why not sell the gun to SIL inside the FFL's business and write a bill of sale, all in front if the dealer. Hopefully, he's also a notary and can notarize the receipt. (this could be another reason for doing the transaction in view of the dealer)

Saying "I'd rather sell it to him than lose it.". Then walk out and let SIL buy it. Dealer can keep a copy of the bill of sale for proof it wasn't a straw purchase.

DCR
July 27, 2011, 11:37 AM
I'm curious why the FFL, and town hasn't been named.

My take is that the FFL is trying to get a freebie by hiding behind federal law. There's no reason for a "30 days and it's mine" policy in this case, and no reason why the FFL shouldn't work with him in trying to get him his property back, even if it meant sending it back to Alaska.

I smell unscrupulous behavior on the part of the FFL, and think the FFL and the town in MT should be named so those of us who disagree with the FFL's actions can choose another dealer for our firearms-related needs.

Sam1911
July 27, 2011, 11:42 AM
If the FIL doesn't want to get a state ID, why not sell the gun to SIL inside the FFL's business and write a bill of sale, all in front if the dealer. Hopefully, he's also a notary and can notarize the receipt. (this could be another reason for doing the transaction in view of the dealer)


Well, we've been discussing that one extensively, except it was the brother, not the son-in-law who was going to be the buyer.

The dealer has refused to do this as he believes this will simply be a straw sale. All the bill-of-sale and notarizing stuff doesn't change what he suspects is really going on.

Now, I'm with you (and CoMoRo) that if they can convince the dealer...

So then, if a licensee was to make the transaction with no suspicion at all, HE wouldn't have broken the law, right? We can call him an idiot, out of his mind, and gullible for believing that their arrangement is legit, but we couldn't possibly call him in violation of federal law because he had no suspicion of a straw purchase.

... and the bill of sale might be a step in convincing him. I mean, we aren't him and can't know what he'd believe or wouldn't believe.

But if he suspects that there's a straw sale going on, he is not supposed to do the transfer.

NavyLCDR
July 27, 2011, 11:55 AM
Honestly, the laws on this subject aren't complex, but they aren't always intuitive either. This thread just goes to show that you should really look into the procedure (or have someone look into it for you) before just up and shipping a firearm to a FFL.

And in almost every thread started on this forum, when someone asks, "I am going to state X (usually Alaska), how can I get my gun there" there is invariably someone that is going to post, "Just send it to an FFL there and pick it up when you get there." And then someone who knows what the Federal law says...."NO!"

ZeroJunk
July 27, 2011, 11:57 AM
Establishing Montana as a residence is not all that easy, even if you are a large land owner. Hunters have ran in to that problem trying to get a resident hunting license and the fact that they owned a house and thousands of acres of land didn't convince the authority having jurisdiction.

stonecutter2
July 27, 2011, 11:59 AM
What a mess, I hope it all gets sorted out fast.

I really hope that the father-in-law just gets an ID, it wouldn't be too hard to do and the matter would be settled.

I understand the frustration of it all, but more research should have been done before embarking on this BATF adventure. Just checking the handgun in your luggage on the flight to MT would have been the same cost as the transfers (or more likely, less) and there wouldn't have been such a frustrating situation for all involved.

I do find it suspicious that the dealer claimed he could just keep the gun, that just seems a little shady. Hopefully it was just words that got out in a heated discussion amongst frustration.

Good luck and let us all know how this turns out.

Sam1911
July 27, 2011, 12:01 PM
Establishing Montana as a residence is not all that easy, even if you are a large land owner.That may be true. Technically, the ATF is satisfied with this answer:

The State of residence is the State in which an individual is present; the individual also must have an intention of making a home in that State

But the gun dealer will want to see some proof. And that proof is probably a driver's license or some other state-issued id.

And it doesn't seem to apply anyway, as the OP stated from the start that his FIL has no intent to move to MT.

dogtown tom
July 27, 2011, 12:06 PM
....and some of you guys persist in villifying the Montana dealer, who has broken no law.

Some of you internet lawyers are quick to jump the gun and advise taking him to smail claims court, calling the ATF, calling the local PD.............NONE of which is an option at this point!

NO CRIME or ACTION has occured that would warrant any lawsuit or involvement by any law enforcement agency.

I don't know if it's a failure to read the entire thread or lack of reading comprehension, but it was made clear by the OP on page one what his FIL's intent is.....and "selling" the gun to his brother was not the intent.

You can offer up convoluted arguments all day but it always comes back to:
1. The Montana dealer cannot legally transfer a handgun to someone who is not a resident of Montana. The FIL is not and does not intend to become a Montana resident (according to the OP).
2. The Montana dealer cannot transfer the handgun to the FIL's brother as it is a classic example of a straw sale....a Federal crime.
3. The Montana dealer has not sold a darned thing! So accusing him of theft at this point is premature and potentially libelous.
4.We've only heard the OP/FIL side of the story. I'm sure the Montana dealer would have his own version.
5. Federal law has been very clear for the last forty three years on how firearms must be transferred when acquired from a licensed dealer. This situation is nothing new.The legal requirements to transfer POSSESSION of a firearm have been the same since 1968.
6. "Ownership" is not addressed in Federal law firearms law. It doesn't matter if you've owned a gun for eighty years....you hand it to an FFL to ship you are bound by Federal law regarding transfer of possession.
7. A "straw sale" is the common name for a transaction where the actual purchaser (or person who will ultimately possess the firearm does not complete the 4473 and pass the NICS check himself....but has another person do it for him. It doesn't matter if you own the guns, you don't have legal possession....the FFL does and can only transfer the firearms according to Federal law.
8. The father in law has two choices: become a Montana resident or pat the Montana dealer to ship it to another dealer in the state he intends to reside.
9. The Alaska dealer who shipped this handgun should have known that an Alaska resident (the FIL) could not acquire a handgun out of state, yet he apparently failed to tell the FIL of that pretty important fact. Funny that no one has asked for HIS imprisonment.:rolleyes:

stonecutter2
July 27, 2011, 12:07 PM
Establishing Montana as a residence is not all that easy, even if you are a large land owner. Hunters have ran in to that problem trying to get a resident hunting license and the fact that they owned a house and thousands of acres of land didn't convince the authority having jurisdiction.
I don't see that it'd be all that hard. Two primary forms of identification, or 1 primary and secondary:
http://www.doj.mt.gov/driving/requireddocuments.asp#proofidentity

Then proof of residency:
•any of the following, dated or issued not more than four months prior to application:
◦a payroll check or payroll check stub
◦a bank statement
◦a utility bill or utility hook-up order
◦canceled mail addressed to the applicant

Have the Father in Law go into a bank and start a savings account with the brother's Montana address listed (as this would be his residence while in Montana, staying with the brother, his account statements would thus go to this address). Deposit $20 or whatever the minimum initial deposit is. Upon deposit and creation of the account, ask for a copy of a bank statement for the account. They will happily print one out at that moment.

Go into the drivers' facilities with these documents and get a State ID.

Go to the FFL and get your gun.

Sam1911
July 27, 2011, 12:11 PM
dogtown tom has explained it (again) pretty clearly. Let's pause for a bit here (lest we go 'round the barn again) and give the OP's FIL a chance to get it sorted out.

Maybe he'll be able to use some of our suggestions in working this out with the dealer.

CAMERONEOD: When this is resolved, please send me a Private Message and I'll reopen the thread so you can tell us how it all worked out.

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