I'm proud of my LGS


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cougar1717
August 29, 2011, 03:36 PM
Friday afternoon, about 1/2 hour before closing, I ran into my local gun shop to just take a look. As I'm looking around, a young man and an older woman walk in and say they want to look at home defense handguns for her. So the guy working the counter asks a few pertinent questions: pistol or revolver, caliber, frame size, etc. By their answers, it becomes pretty obvious that these two are mother and son, but the son seems to be answering all the questions. So they pick out a pistol and the salesman pulls out the form to start paperwork and explains that an FBI check is involved. At this, the mother bristles and looks at the son as if he is supposed to fill out the paperwork. At this point, as they are having a little spat over who is going to fill out the paperwork, it comes out that mom "has" to complete the form. The saleman immediately asks who is buying the gun and explains what a straw purchase is and that it is a felony. The saleman picks up the gun from the counter, holds it out of reach, asks the son's age, and explains that he could place the gun on layaway if he's close to being 21. When he responds that he's 19, the salesman places the handgun back in the case and cordially thanks them for coming in. After seeing all this go down, it was time for me to go, but I was proud of my LGS for not batting an eye to make a sale. The mom could have filled out the paperwork, paid for the gun, and given it to her son after they left, but the salesman asked the right questions and when the truth was revealed, protected himself and the gun shop owner instead of seeking a commission.

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pendingKill
August 29, 2011, 03:44 PM
He definitely made the smart choice here!!

Telekinesis
August 29, 2011, 04:18 PM
The LGS made the right choice as far as legal liability, but wouldn't this still fall under ATF's ruling that buying a gun for your child is ok? I know they have (or at one point had) a FAQ that said a parent could buy a gun for their child who was under age (think buying your 12 year old kid a hunting rifle) but is it a no-go when the child is in that awkward legal stage between 18 and 21?

I've always thought it kinda screwy that I can legally buy a pistol in a parking lot from a guy I don't even know, but legally can't buy a pistol from a reputable dealer... (I'm 20 by the way. Just a few more months to go....)

GCBurner
August 30, 2011, 02:41 PM
I would have done the same thing. Maybe it's just paranoid, but in a situation like that, I'd have to wonder if it might be some sort of "Sting", if not by the BATFE, then by an anti-gun group or local news media attempting to document a "straw purchase" by using actors undercover. The local TV station here did something similar to document underage alcohol and cigarette purchases at local convenience stores.

il_10
August 30, 2011, 09:14 PM
IANAL, but it's my understanding that:
Gifts are legal. We don't have enough information to determine if the LGS thwarted a felony or just brashly lost a sale.

Straw purchase laws apply to the actual purchaser. If someone other than the actual purchaser (the person with the money) is attempting to buy the firearm, that's a straw purchase. However, if the mother was just buying a gun for her son, with her cash, then she's the actual purchaser, and it's perfectly legal for her to buy the gun and transfer it to her son who is not prohibited from owning a handgun. This, of course, assumes that the son isn't a felon and is over 18.

sixgunner455
August 30, 2011, 09:28 PM
It may be legal to give a firearm to your kid (I have done so), but from the sounds of things, it was in the store's best interests to deny a screwy-sounding sale rather than run the risk of all the legal issues that happen with a straw sale.

When I go to buy a gun for one of my kids, I go in and either just buy the thing, or tell the owner what I'm looking for and why. It's never a problem - "I'm buying my kid a .22." "Ok, which one do you want?"

Rail Driver
August 31, 2011, 12:17 AM
I think the only reason things went the way they did is the son was trying to pull a fast one on mom instead of explaining the truth, that she CAN in fact, legally buy a gun for him as a gift, or maybe he didn't know that she could and he was trying to get her to skirt the law. She seemed to be under the impression that what they were doing was or may have been illegal, and so was reticent. The clerk picked up on that and denied the sale as is his right, though in THIS case it probably wasn't legally necessary.

The clerk did what he thought was right with the information he had at the time. He probably didn't KNOW or couldn't prove that they were mother and son, and may in fact not actually know the laws regarding legal firearms transfers. I've met several FFL license holders that aren't 100% up to speed on all the regulations, and on everything they can and can't legally do. (Edit to add: Also, clerks at a gun store may not have the same training and/or knowledge regarding regulations that the person who holds the FFL has. Not every person working in a gun shop has an FFL)

I think the kid should grow up a bit (as in maturity) before he thinks about buying a gun.

Maple_City_Woodsman
August 31, 2011, 01:31 AM
From a moral footing, buying something with the intent to gift it at a later time is very different than trying to deceive someone.

CajunBass
August 31, 2011, 06:18 AM
Rather she could or couldn't buy the gun for her kid, I see no more reason to be "proud" of the shop, than I do to be "proud" of the 7-11 clerk who didn't sell beer and smokes to an underage kid. In both cases they are just doing their job. Frankly, I would expect them to do no less.

Sam1911
August 31, 2011, 08:19 AM
He probably didn't KNOW or couldn't prove that they were mother and son

That doesn't matter. You can buy a gun to give to anyone. It would be perfectly legal to buy a gun and turn around and give it, as a gift, to someone standing right beside you in the store. (As long as you don't know or have reason to know that they are a prohibited person and your state laws allow.)

It might look suspicious, and your LGS clerk might not like it much, but that is technically legal.

What isn't legal is one person giving someone else their money and having that person go into the store and buy a gun for them.

So, mom and son walk into the store and mom says, "I want to buy that gun as a gift for my son." That's fine.

Mom and son walk into the store and son says, "Mom, here's $500, buy me that one over there..." -- that's not cool.

But they didn't know that, and the clerk saw what he saw and denied the sale -- which is always his right to do.

dhancock
August 31, 2011, 09:40 AM
The window between 18 and 20 has always been the "awkward age". Old enough to fight and die for his/her country; too young to buy alcohol or purchase a handgun. But not too young to own a handgun or (in a few states) to carry concealed.

18-year-olds are considered adults for most purposes -- why not make the age to purchase consistent with the age to possess?

VP
September 1, 2011, 12:59 AM
.... the 7-11 clerk who didn't sell beer and smokes to an underage kid.....

Funny story. In my younger days (~10 years ago) I was a Manager at a Winn-Dixie (anybody remember these?) and I was approached by a rather attractive female when I was working behind the customer service counter and the girl asked for "Marlboro Lights, in a box". She said it like a pro so I scanned the item, then asked for her ID. She showed it and she was about 15 days away from being 18. I kindly told her she couldn't purchase them.

About 30 seconds later I had a badge flashed at me, and the State Police had been using that girl all night long to purchase cigarettes. I was the first out of about 10 places that didn't sell them to her. Another manager told me later that they would have because it was "close enough". Saved us from the wrath of corporate, and a hefty fine!

Back on topic.....

I think the guy did the right thing. The mother could have purchased it for him legally as a gift perhaps, however, the clerk had no proof that it was indeed her son. And quiet frankly, to me it sounds like some kid that was probably spoiled and begged his mom for a gun and she caved in. Just my overly cynical opinion.

Sam1911
September 1, 2011, 07:58 AM
the clerk had no proof that it was indeed her sonAgain, that doesn't matter. Re-read post 10.

cougar1717
September 1, 2011, 05:37 PM
Just to clarify for some of these rabbit trails...

1) The salesman is not the FFL holder at this LGS, the owner is.
2)The salesman is working on commission, so there is an incentive to make the sale to anyone who is legally able to buy.
3) As a bystander, I have no proof that these two people were related at all. Their relative ages and the way they treated each other, suggested a mother and son relationship. I was busy looking at a S&W 686 but it was a little too beat up for the asking price. This was just some additional gunshop entertainment.
4) Their relationship didn't matter because the son was trying to get mom to fill out the paperwork, when it was pretty obvious the cash was coming out of his pocket. Strike it up to ignorance, but the son didn't know how the system works (or maybe he did). He did decide to throw an "it's not fair" fit - red faced, loud talking, etc. directed at the salesman. Which leads me to...
5) Pure speculation, but they probably went down the highway to the Big Box outdoor store, given mom the money, told her which one to buy, she filled the form, dropped the cash, and said happy birthday son. Totally legal.

But, it's a true story, told from the perspective of one who was witness to it.

VP
September 1, 2011, 07:17 PM
Again, that doesn't matter. Re-read post 10.

Read all of post #12.


I think the guy did the right thing.

Sam1911
September 1, 2011, 07:24 PM
I seem to have read post 12 several times now. The part that was on-topic was this:

I think the guy did the right thing. The mother could have purchased it for him legally as a gift perhaps, however, the clerk had no proof that it was indeed her son. And quiet frankly, to me it sounds like some kid that was probably spoiled and begged his mom for a gun and she caved in. Just my overly cynical opinion.

1) The relationship between the woman and young man makes no legal difference to this question.

2) That the kid was spoiled and begged and she caved in would not be relevant, either. If he whined and cried big puddles on the kitchen floor for a year straight and she finally gave in -- as long as the gun was a gift it would be a perfectly legal transfer.

3) He brings his cash and gets mom to fill out the paperwork on the gun HE's buying in her name? That's not cool. So, yes, I agree, the clerk did the right thing.

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