Cabela's screwed up--should I worry?


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Montbars
August 22, 2013, 06:16 PM
So I sent my bolt action 30-06 to a gunsmith for some work, and had it shipped back to Cabela's because I needed an intermediary with an FFL license. When I went to pick up the rifle (which I have owned for 5 years) they ran a background check and made me fill out a 4473 through their computer. They printed out everything, had me sign it, and everything checked out. I paid, they walked me to the door with the rifle, complimented me on it, and told me good luck with my hunting season.
4 hours later I get a call from the manager saying I missed a question on the form and needed to return immediately to answer it. I said absolutely not, its an hour drive, I don't have the time--you guys should have not given me the firearm if a question was missed. Now the manager is saying we are both in violation of a federal law. I called two police precincts and they believe that Cabela's is in the hot water, not me--should I be worried? Its not like I bought the rifle, I've owned it for years. He offered me 50 bucks on a gift card if I came back. What do you guys think?

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Walkalong
August 22, 2013, 06:22 PM
As much as it's a PIA, I would go sign the form, use the gift certificate to buy something I needed, and let it go. The poor guy who messed up is stressing much worse than you are.

jmr40
August 22, 2013, 06:27 PM
Stuff happens. I once bought a gun and the dealer switched 2 numbers in the SN on the 4473. He noticed it a day or 2 later when he checked his inventory and the numbers didn't match. He called me and asked for the actual # on the firearm. He wasn't sure if he had messed up on his inventory, or the 4473. Luckily it was close enough to easily fix the problem.

I'd find a way to get back to Cabelas. It is their screw up, not yours. But if you look at the big picture things like this make it harder, and more expensive for all of us in the long run. I'd tell them I'd make it back at my convience, within a reasonable time. I might push for more than $50 in gift cards though.

H.m.B
August 22, 2013, 06:39 PM
Second the suggestion to go back and at least get a gift card for your inconvenience. I had an issue with Gander Mountain when they failed to record my drivers license number when I bought my SR1911. They called me and wanted me to come back. They settled for me giving them my number over the phone. They didn't offer me any gift card for my inconvenience! :(

BoilerUP
August 22, 2013, 06:40 PM
Why did it need to go through an FFL?

You own the rifle - its yours - why the need for a 4473 and transfer? You should have been able to ship to your home...

BSA1
August 22, 2013, 07:18 PM
Is a visit from the BATF worth being a hard head?

Black Knight
August 22, 2013, 07:21 PM
Depending on your vehicle that could be 1/4 to 1/2 tank of gas or more. Tell him if he ups it to $100 you'll see him tomorrow. Also the gunsmith should have had an FFL in order to do the work so he should have been able to ship it back directly to you. About 10 years ago I sent a Colt Python back to Colt for some work and they were able to ship it directly to my home.

Jackal
August 22, 2013, 08:51 PM
I would say include the $50 gift card along with the forms and mail them to me. Heck, Cabela's owes you the money just for having to go through their stupidly complex purchase process.

Go here, take a number n wait.
Go here, talk to him.
Go here n fill stuff out on a computer.
Go over here and have a guy hand you the form.
Go over here and wait to have another guy check the forms.
Pay
Wait for person to walk you to the door.

I hate buying from them, will only do it if I cannot find a rifle anywhere else.

Ohio Gun Guy
August 22, 2013, 09:11 PM
If you screwed up, would you want them to help you fix it?

I bet, Yes...

Rustler
August 22, 2013, 09:22 PM
Why should you have to inconvenience yourself - have them send someone to your house...

Sergei Mosin
August 22, 2013, 09:41 PM
The Cabela's employee (or employees) who made the mistake will be fired if it doesn't get corrected. They may get fired anyway. The big box FFLs don't play when it comes to that sort of thing. That's why it's such a pain to deal with the paperwork there - those guys put their jobs on the line every time they sign off on a transfer. I had a disagreement with them over a paperwork issue a while back, and while they were clearly incorrect, I finally decided it wasn't worth the heartburn for either of us and did it their way.

I don't know enough to say if you've done anything to put yourself in legal trouble, but I'd be inclined to help them out. Just seems the neighborly thing to do.

Ohio Gun Guy
August 22, 2013, 09:50 PM
Think about where you work, and if you made a mistake.

What if the customer / co-worker refused to do something to help you out. Not a good place to be.

If the gas cost is a hardship, ask about a card or something, but by all means help get it resolved. You'll also get to stop wondering if youre in legal limbo too.... Win Win!

SharpsDressedMan
August 22, 2013, 09:55 PM
Call Cabelas and have them bring the form out to you for revision when it is convenient for you to meet with them at your house.

351 WINCHESTER
August 22, 2013, 09:58 PM
You sent your gun to a gunsmith. You don't need to fill out a 4473. You could have mailed your rifle yourself and received it back in the mail. It's still your gun and was not transferred to another party.

DPris
August 22, 2013, 10:01 PM
You are BOTH liable. It is every bit as much YOUR error as it is theirs, YOU filled out the paper.
ATF does audit those forms, and if they run across yours it won't be just Cabela's they'll be talking to.
Denis

btg3
August 22, 2013, 10:04 PM
They can deliver or Fedex the forms and include a return envelope.

An hour drive for $50 isn't going to happen.

alias
August 22, 2013, 10:12 PM
A few years ago I bought two of the last 5 JM stamped Marlin .45 Colts a retail chain had in stock. Both on the same 4473, and everything looked good when I picked them up. A couple days later I get a call from the manager, he did something wrong and could I come back in and sign something. 45 miles each way, but I drive that far for work anyway, so I just stayed in town a couple extra hours (I work nights, so I had to wait for them to open) the next day they were open and cleared up the problem. If it was me I'd want someone to help me out. Not expect them to, but I'd sure want them to. It was worth the shot at good karma down the road for me. Your mileage may vary.

Montbars
August 22, 2013, 10:15 PM
Here is more info:

I did not fill out a form, I filled it out on their computer. You click a box and then it takes you to the next screen, so I'm sure I didn't miss a question. The problem is not that I'm not going because I'm inconvenienced, I'm leaving for a wedding in the morning and there was absolutely no chance I could get back to Cabelas today. I told this to the clerk and said I will come by tuesday, which is the very soonest I can make it.
From what I've heard from all of you it sounds important--but I still don't get why I can't do this somewhere else instead of driving 1 hour each way to Cabela's--why can't they fax me the form? Also, do you guys really think the guy helping me will get fired? He was a nice guy and if there was anything I could say to stop that from happening I would. If you have any suggestions on how to save a man's job let me know.

BoilerUP
August 22, 2013, 10:23 PM
Call Cabelas and talk to the general manager:

"This was my rifle that I already owned, shipped back from a gunsmith that performed work on it, so in fact no transfer actually took place."

Easy peazy.

Outlaw Man
August 22, 2013, 10:31 PM
What are you guys thinking of driving to Cabela's in? A deuce and a half? $50 for an hour trip each way means if you got even 11 MPG, you're coming out ahead. It's an honest mistake, it seems, and they're treating you pretty fair to try to correct it.

I totally understand if you're going out of town and can't make it. If they're OK with you coming back later, and still give you the card, I'd do it. It's hard to make lasting relationships in a big box store, but this would be a good chance.

medalguy
August 22, 2013, 10:34 PM
Meh. You're not in any legal difficulty but do the right thing. Go back to the store, fix the mistake, and use the gift card to buy something for yourself. Heck, maybe they have some small pistol primers. It's worth a chance.

Sam1911
August 22, 2013, 11:29 PM
I told this to the clerk and said I will come by tuesday, which is the very soonest I can make it. That seems very reasonable of you and I'm sure that will be perfectly acceptable.

From what I've heard from all of you it sounds important--but I still don't get why I can't do this somewhere else instead of driving 1 hour each way to Cabela's--why can't they fax me the form?An FFL cannot do offical business just anywhere. A licensed gun dealer has to do sales & other transfers at his/her place of business or at a gun show. I've no idea if that extends all the way to correcting paperwork errors, but they may certainly feel that it does and I wouldn't have grounds to argue with them.

Also, do you guys really think the guy helping me will get fired? He was a nice guy and if there was anything I could say to stop that from happening I would. If you have any suggestions on how to save a man's job let me know.I don't think he'll get fired. Do what you can to help them out and all will be fine, I'm sure. A gift card is a nice touch. Heck, that's almost a box of primers and a can of powder! ('Round here anyway.) So sure, I'd be going.

Agsalaska
August 22, 2013, 11:48 PM
He could absolutely be fired for it.

With all respect, I read threads like this and I wonder what perspective some of you have. Cabelas is an ally. They made a mistake that has them in a bad position with a group that is, shall we say, not an ally. Even though it was not your mistake you have the ability to help them out of the mess they created. Yet you are, for some reason, questioning whether or not you should do that for someone is on the side of the second amendment. Forgive me for reading your OP and questioning your allegiance. But with the opportunity to help an ally being questioned, whos side are you on?

If you read that and get pissed at me, ask yourself why you are questioning whether or not you should help them with the mess they got themselves in.

Queen_of_Thunder
August 22, 2013, 11:51 PM
You know that paragraph above where you sign. When you sign you attest that your answers are true and THE FORM IS COMPLETE. You didn't answer a question and now your butt is in the sling. You best get yourself to Cabelas and answer that question if you wish to stay out of jail.

Agsalaska
August 22, 2013, 11:56 PM
You know that paragraph above where you sign. When you sign you attest that your answers are true and THE FORM IS COMPLETE. You didn't answer a question and now your butt is in the sling. You best get yourself to Cabelas and answer that question if you wish to stay out of jail.
This is absolutely possible. I have seen the ATF go after people. It doesnt matter if they should or should not be able too. The question that must be answered is 'do you have the resources to ask that question.' Or you just go take care of it.

But even if you were in the clear, why would you hang Cabelas, an ally, out to dry when you have the opportunity to help them? Because it wasnt your fault? Really?

Prince Yamato
August 23, 2013, 12:00 AM
You need to fill it out correctly or you are in violation of federal law. They can get in trouble for accepting an incorrect form, but you refusing to correct the form is bad news for you too. It's a federal form that must be completed each time a firearm is transferred from a dealer to an unlicensed individual. Regardless of the fact that you own the rifle, it went through a dealer, where it was assigned a new log number. When it gets transferred to you, it does not count as the same transaction as when you purchased it (that has a different log number).

You need to have a correctly filled out 4473 for this new transfer from the dealer to you. Don't screw around with a 4473. It's not a mere inconvenience that you can dismiss. You don't have to fill it out pretty, but it must be accurate.

fallout mike
August 23, 2013, 12:05 AM
Just go fix the mistake. You can spend $50 while you are there.

arizona98tj
August 23, 2013, 12:09 AM
I'd like to hear the reasoning behind getting a 3rd party (Cabela's) involved in the repair of your firearm. Why did your gunsmith have to send it to Cabela's?

NavyLCDR
August 23, 2013, 12:54 AM
There is no legal requirement for the form 4473 or NICS background check when returning a firearm to the original owner after repair or customization (even for a replacement firearm if it is replaced by the manufacturer).

NavyLCDR
August 23, 2013, 02:14 AM
There is no legal requirement for the form 4473 or NICS background check when returning a firearm to the original owner after repair or customization (even for a replacement firearm if it is replaced by the manufacturer).

27 CFR 478.124:

478.124 Firearms transaction record.
(a) A licensed importer, licensed manufacturer,
or licensed dealer shall not sell or
otherwise dispose, temporarily or permanently,
of any firearm to any person, other
than another licensee, unless the licensee
records the transaction on a firearms
transaction record, Form 4473: Provided,
That a firearms transaction record, Form
4473, shall not be required to record the
disposition made of a firearm delivered to
a licensee for the sole purpose of repair or
customizing when such firearm or a replacement
firearm is returned to the person
from whom received.

Case in point. I purchased a Taurus Millinium Pro as a gift for my ex-wife at a sporting goods store. The gun was defective. Took the gun back to the place of purchase because they would send it back to Taurus for warranty repair for free. When the gun was returned to them by Taurus we went and picked it up, no form 4473, no NICS check, no additional Washington State Pistol Transfer Form (which is required in WA state for handgun purhcases from FFLS).

DPris
August 23, 2013, 02:30 AM
Apples & oranges.

If Cabela's shipped the gun elsewhere for repair, as an FFL holder, the gun had to ship back to Cabela's, and Cabela's then had to do the 4473 transfer.

If OP had shipped the gun himself directly to a repair facility, barring state or LOCAL (not federal) ordinances that prohibited it the gun could have been returned directly to him at home.

The 4473 had to be done because OP got an FFL-holder involved as the shipper.
The gun was shipped by Cabela's & had to be returned to Cabela's.
Cabela's had to log it in when OP dropped it off, had to log it out when it shipped, had to log it back in when it was returned, and had to do the 4473 as part of signing it out of their log book.

If Cabela's had done the work in-house, no 4473 would have been required.

Navy, your sporting goods store screwed up, they should have had you fill out the 4473 IF they shipped the gun as an FFL holder AND the gun was returned to them.
Denis

NavyLCDR
August 23, 2013, 06:30 AM
Apples & oranges.

If Cabela's shipped the gun elsewhere for repair, as an FFL holder, the gun had to ship back to Cabela's, and Cabela's then had to do the 4473 transfer.

If OP had shipped the gun himself directly to a repair facility, barring state or LOCAL (not federal) ordinances that prohibited it the gun could have been returned directly to him at home.

The 4473 had to be done because OP got an FFL-holder involved as the shipper.
The gun was shipped by Cabela's & had to be returned to Cabela's.
Cabela's had to log it in when OP dropped it off, had to log it out when it shipped, had to log it back in when it was returned, and had to do the 4473 as part of signing it out of their log book.

If Cabela's had done the work in-house, no 4473 would have been required.

Navy, your sporting goods store screwed up, they should have had you fill out the 4473 IF they shipped the gun as an FFL holder AND the gun was returned to them.
Denis

We'll have to see what the ATF says about it. I'm pretty sure that a nationwide retail chain such as Sportsman's Warehouse would fail conservatively to ensure compliance with Federal regulations and would not have a company wide standard practice of violating them. Email sent:

ATF,

I purchased a handgun from a large nationwide chain retail store in Washington state. The handgun was defective and the store offered to return the firearm for free to the manufacturer for warranty repairs. Is the store required to perform a form 4473 and NICS background check to return the firearm (or a replacement) to me, the original owner, after the manufacturer returns the firearm to them? Or does this transaction fall under the exemption in 27 CFR 478.124, “Form 4473, shall not be required to record the disposition made of a firearm delivered to a licensee for the sole purpose of repair or customizing when such firearm or a replacement
firearm is returned to the person from whom received?”

Thank you for your time and assistance,
Very Respectfully,
John ....

hAkron
August 23, 2013, 06:44 AM
I had a paperwork error one time. They sent the form to my house in the mail with the instruction to correct it and send it back.

Jackal
August 23, 2013, 10:31 AM
I had this happen once to me with Sportsmans Warehouse. They called me the next day saying that the rifle I purchased didnt have the paperwork completed ( I put "WA" in the state category, they require it be written out as "Washington"). I told them no way I was driving 50 miles each way to write out the word Washington. They mailed it to me, along with a 20% off voucher, I fixed/initialed it and sent it back with the included stamp. I was willing to help, just not out of pocket/2hr drive time/fuel/wear n tear.

What are you guys thinking of driving to Cabela's in? A deuce and a half?

Yes, my main mode of transportation is a truck that gets about 13mpg. Not everyone drives a gas sipping puddle jumper. I'm not one of those to go out and spend $10k on a little car to "save" money on fuel.:banghead:

ngnrd
August 23, 2013, 11:16 AM
Correcting a 4473 isn't rocket surgery, folks. THIS (http://www.atf.gov/files/press/releases/2012/10/100312-open-letter-to-all-federal-firearms-licensees.pdf) is what the ATF says about it. But the most important thing is the following...

"Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should any changes or additions be made to the original Form 4473 after the transfer of the firearm has occurred." (http://www.atf.gov/files/press/releases/2012/10/100312-open-letter-to-all-federal-firearms-licensees.pdf)

1) Make a COPY of the original.
2) Make any corrections on the COPY.
3) Initial and date the corrections.
4) Attach the corrected COPY to the original.

So, in this case, just have them mail you a COPY of the 4473. Then, you make the corrections and mail it back. Simple, easy.

NavyLCDR
August 23, 2013, 11:28 AM
This is the reply I got from the ATF:

Thank you for your recent inquiry to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). This is in response to your email in which you asked if an ATF F 4473 would be required when you pick up a firearm that was sent back to the manufacturer for repair, or replacement, when you pick it up.
There is no ATF F 4473 required as long as the replacement receiver is of the same kind and type, meaning the replacement receiver must be from the same manufacturer and be of the same model. If the new receiver is a different manufacturer or different model, an ATF F 4473 and NICS is required.

If a gunsmith returns the firearm to the same person who from whom it was received, no ATF F 4473 is required.

We trust this correspondence has been responsive to your inquiry. Should you have any further questions, please contact your local ATF Industry Operations Office. A list of ATF Office telephone numbers can be found at Should you have additional questions, please contact your local ATF office. A listing of ATF office phone numbers can be found at: http://www.atf.gov/contact/field.html.

Regards,
Firearms Industry Programs Branch, ATF

jmr40
August 23, 2013, 12:12 PM
I'm not one of those to go out and spend $10k on a little car to "save" money on fuel.

You might want to rethink that logic. If you drive 20,000 mi/year you'll save $3500/year if you were driving a car that got 35 MPG vs 13 MPG at todays fuel costs.

Not only that, but you save wear and tear on a truck that costs MUCH more to replace, buy tires for etc. I drive a $10K Honda all I can, the $30K truck gets driven when I need a truck.

DPris
August 23, 2013, 12:37 PM
Navy,
That response is only partially correct, it's incomplete.

By "person", in that context, they're talking about an individual everyday non-FFL holder.
Anytime an FFL-holding business entity takes in a gun, it has to be logged in. Once logged in, it has to be logged out. That log-out (with gun physically leaving the FFL premises) can be a transfer to another FFL (in which case no 4473) or to a non-FFL (which DOES require a 4473).


You'll note your response says "If a gunsmith returns the gun...", which in your case is not what happened.
In your case, you did not get a gun back directly from a gunsmith or repair facility.

If ATF does a full premises inspection & finds one or more guns that are not logged in, major problem.
If ATF does a paperwork inspection & finds a gun logged in, but not out, and it's not on the premises, a major problem.
Licenses have been revoked for such discrepancies.

If ATF finds a gun logged in, but not on premises, and logged out to a private non-FFL individual, with no 4473 on file, problem.
That includes going back to its owner, in a NON-REPAIR NON-PREMISES CONTEXT.

Guns left for consignment sales at an FFL-holder have been deemed to fall under this rule, 4473 required, when returned to their owners if they didn't sell.

When an FFL takes in a gun, for purposes OTHER THAN DIRECT IN-HOUSE ON-PREMISES REPAIRS, that holder is strictly limited in the number of ways the gun can be processed & strictly regulated on the paperwork.

NGN,
I happened to walk in on an inspection one day at my longstanding gunsmith's.
Just inside the door I heard him telling somebody at the counter that I was a regular customer, turned out to be an ATF agent & they were going through 4473s.
One tiny abbreviation I did slipped by the dealer months earlier on a 4473 I filled out, and the agent was taking exception to it.

Fortunately, for my dealer AND me, the timing was perfect, and I corrected that abbreviation at the suggestion of the agent, on the original form, right in front of him, initialed it, and the potential issue for both my dealer & I went away.

I fill out probably an average of 20 or so 4473s a year, my dealer typically inspects each & every 4473 anybody fills out in that shop carefully, and on that one form one brief moment of inattention on my part resulted in one tiny abbreviation that slipped by the dealer's attention, but did not escape the ATF agent's attention.

The ATF guy there was affable, not overbearing or nasty in his attitude, but they DO check for tiny details on those forms, and the situation could have escalated.
Making a correction on the original form does not seem to be an issue, if initialed.
Denis

Arkansas Paul
August 23, 2013, 12:45 PM
I had something very similar happen to me a few years ago at Gander Mountain but it was on a purchase.
The guy calls me the next day and I tell him that I can stop by but it may be a few days since I was over an hour away. They sent me the form in a stamped envelope and I completed the missed question and mailed it back. End of story.

Also, it isn't entirely their fault. YOU missed a question. True they didn't catch it, but the blame is to be shared. You pay for your mistake by driving back to the store, they pay for their part of it by giving you $50 worth of merchandise for free. Sounds reasonable enough to me.

goon
August 23, 2013, 12:47 PM
Cabelas is an ally, but also a business.
If a Cabelas manager called you up and asked you to pick up his dry cleaning, would you go do it because Cabelas is an ally?
They made a mistake so they should do something to make up for the inconvenience that it's now going to cause the customer. I think that's completely reasonable.

SilentStalker
August 23, 2013, 01:00 PM
Something about this doesn't make any sense. You already own the firearm so why are you doing another 4473? The only time that is done is when ownership is transferred. You already own the gun. You should have been able to ship it directly to the gunsmith doing the work and then had it shipped right back to your house. There is no need for the 4473. Both parties are in error. And technically, unless there is more to this story I don't know, neither of you have violated any federal law. Call them and tell them to rip up the paperwork and go on your way. They might want to get someone that knows what they are doing when dealing with such things. Unless, I am wrong somewhere this is how its always worked for me. Good luck.

I can also tell you that the two times we shipped my wife's handgun back to the manufacturer going through the dealer it was purchased at we never had to complete another 4473. And I actually had a currently working ATF employee with me both times this was shipped. I would think that between the ATF being with me and the dealer doing these things everyday one of them would have said this is wrong. Nothing ever came of it, we have the pistol back, ATF has checked over their records many times since then and dealer is still in biz. So, I can only assume this was correct. Just because a dealer ships a gun does not mean they have to take ownership of it. If that was the case then we would have to have anyone that came in contact with it become the owner of it, that includes UPS. That wouldn't make any sense either.

DPris
August 23, 2013, 01:25 PM
Sil,
ATF has a very different definition of what constitutes a "transfer" than you & I do.
Physical possession, regardless of whether it involves a change of ownership or not, can be (and is) a "transfer" in their eyes in certain circumstances.

When a "transfer" occurs, by their definition, if it falls within their rules it has to be done a certain way.
When an FFL is involved, same.

If OP had shipped the gun directly to a repair facility (which also includes its maker for repair OR replacement), it could have been returned directly to his front door, IF there are no state laws that prohibit such things where he lives.
I've done that numerous times, including a direct-to-front-door replacement of one defective pistol by a new one.

The problem could have been avoided to begin with by avoiding FFL involvement, if that were possible where OP lives.
If it wasn't possible, then once FFL involvement began certain things kicked into place.

I routinely nowdays ship guns to pro photographers, who either ship them back to me when the photos are done, or return them directly to their makers.
I ship to an FFL at the other end, since ATF considers the process a "transfer" not falling within the repair facility exemption & the guns cross state lines. Even though it's only temporary possession, it's still a "transfer" by their interpretation.

At the other end, the photog fills out a 4473 when he picks up the gun from his local FFL. When he's done, on a gun that comes back to me, he ships to MY FFL, who then has to have me do a 4473 to get MY gun back.
Possession, not actual ownership, determines in this situation.

Conversely, I've shipped many guns directly to repair or customization facilities myself without FFL involvement as an intermediary, and gotten them delivered to my front door.

Telling Cabela's to rip up the paperwork is EXTREMELY bad advice.
Denis

ATF has tightened up on definitions & regs in the past two years.

SilentStalker
August 23, 2013, 01:36 PM
^^^Ok, I kind of get this but at the same time by this logic then UPS should have to fill out a 4473 for it since they will be in possession of it until it gets where it is going. And thats a lot of staff I imagine that it comes in contact with. This whole possession thing seems to loosely defined to me in this case because in my mind if whoever is receiving it has to do a form 4473 for it even if it is in their possession for a few hours then UPS should be required to do the same. I mean after all the biggest chance of something happening to said weapon would be in the hands of UPS anyways IMO. And maybe there is some kind of shippers paperwork that I am unaware of. I will have to ask around.

Hanzo581
August 23, 2013, 01:37 PM
Didn't read the whole thread but I'd go back to complete the form and pick up my $50 gift card. As to who is at fault, they are.

SilentStalker
August 23, 2013, 01:40 PM
I sent a text to one of my ATF buddies asking him about this. I will let you guys know what I find out but to my knowledge unless transfer of ownership takes place then there is no need for the 4473. if it had to be done every time someone took possession of a rifle or whatever then what about all of those times you or anyone else let someone borrow a rifle? I personally do not do this but I know people that have and do.

DPris
August 23, 2013, 01:49 PM
Sil,
ATF realizes that if a shipper had to either have an FFL or fill out a 4473 to move hundreds of thousands of guns coast to coast every year, the world would grind to a halt.
They know that's not feasible.

I can't give you specific reasons behind what they base their rules, definitions, interpretations, and enforcement on, I'm just telling you what applies in CERTAIN circumstances.

ATF regards things very differently from the way you & I do, and when I ship MY gun outa state to a photographer who may only have it for a couple weeks before returning it to me, that's a "transfer" to them & at that point the gun's plugged into their system of regulations and enforcement. Even if he returns it the same day, it's a "transfer".
Actual ownership of the gun did not change HERE, but ATF regards it as a change of status that falls within their domain, with everything that follows.

State lines & FFL involvement create scenarios that often don't make any sense to you & me.
Denis

skimbell
August 23, 2013, 01:55 PM
This is the reply I got from the ATF:

Thank you for your recent inquiry to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). This is in response to your email in which you asked if an ATF F 4473 would be required when you pick up a firearm that was sent back to the manufacturer for repair, or replacement, when you pick it up.
There is no ATF F 4473 required as long as the replacement receiver is of the same kind and type, meaning the replacement receiver must be from the same manufacturer and be of the same model. If the new receiver is a different manufacturer or different model, an ATF F 4473 and NICS is required.

If a gunsmith returns the firearm to the same person who from whom it was received, no ATF F 4473 is required.

We trust this correspondence has been responsive to your inquiry. Should you have any further questions, please contact your local ATF Industry Operations Office. A list of ATF Office telephone numbers can be found at Should you have additional questions, please contact your local ATF office. A listing of ATF office phone numbers can be found at: http://www.atf.gov/contact/field.html.

Regards,
Firearms Industry Programs Branch, ATF
+1.

I've read the whole thread and I still can't figure out why the 4473 was involved.

DPris
August 23, 2013, 02:00 PM
I've explained that.
Go back & re-read.

The gun went through an FFL, it did not go to a gunsmith direct & was not returned direct to its owner by a gunsmith.
You have to look at each line & word, believe me- ATF does.
The key words are "gunsmith" and "person".
No gunsmith, and ATF does not regard an FFL as a "person".
Denis

SSN Vet
August 23, 2013, 02:27 PM
I can't see why you smith didn't return the rifle to you via. USPS directly to your house.

Long guns can ship USPS not troubles.... just insure it.

paramedic70002
August 23, 2013, 02:35 PM
Sooo.... one box on an otherwise completed form is blank. Can't the manager mark the form for you? Before you tell me that the actual purchaser must fill out the form, what if the official purchaser is legally blind/crippled in the hands/can't read?

Arkansas Paul
August 23, 2013, 02:43 PM
As to who is at fault, they are.

So the person who actually screwed up bears no responsibility and the person who didn't notice it bears all of it?
Responsibility should be shared. And I felt this way in my own situation, which was very similar. It was part my fault and part theirs. I'd lay dollars to doughnuts that this isn't the first time the OP has filled out a 4473 form.

DPris
August 23, 2013, 02:43 PM
SSN,
Have you not been reading the entire thread?
Denis

idaho270
August 23, 2013, 02:46 PM
So I sent my bolt action 30-06 to a gunsmith for some work, and had it shipped back to Cabela's because I needed an intermediary with an FFL license. When I went to pick up the rifle (which I have owned for 5 years) they ran a background check and made me fill out a 4473 through their computer

I am pretty sure others have addressed this.
Why would you need an FFL for a gunsmith repair??
UPS will send gun to gunsmith with out any paperwork just insurance.
I also sent a ruger single six back to ruger for repair, they sent me a shipping label and all i had to do was send it through UPS. It came back with no problem

SilentStalker
August 23, 2013, 02:49 PM
Nope. I was wrong. I contacted my ATF buddy and he said that if the dealer ships it then he must log it and you must do a form. It doesn't make much sense to me since nobody is taking ownership of it but as someone else stated it is when someone takes possession of it as well. So, I guess anyone that has let anyone borrow a gun for a hunt, or shooting clays or whatever is in violation? I mean cause technically that person would be in possession of it. In any case, this could have all been avoided if the OP had just sent it for repairs himself. No form would be needed, no money would need to change hands and it could have been shipped to and from his house. Wow.

DPris
August 23, 2013, 04:14 PM
Sil,
Look at it this way-

It's not just anybody borrowing a gun, you're way over-simplifying it while at the same time making it more complicated than it is.

ATF's presumption is that, WITHIN CERTAIN PARAMETERS, there's an actual "transfer" being made, whether or not that's the reality.
Those parameters are limited in scope, and clearly defined (mostly, anyway).

This does not apply to shipping companies, since ATF can see quite clearly there is NO "transfer" by their definition, and the shipping company is not the "end destination".
It does not (as yet) apply to you letting your buddy shoot your gun at the range (except possibly in Colorado, under their new STATE law).

It is not mere possession under any & all circumstances that determines a "transfer".
ATF has decided that transactions between FFLs must be logged, and made a presumption that if a gun passes through the hands of an FFL-holder IN A NON-REPAIR CONTEXT, it's more likely to involve a "transaction" than not.
That's further affected by crossing state lines.

Gunsmiths have FFLs, too. They have to log guns in & out.
If a gun comes to them from another FFL, it has to be logged out & go back to that FFL.
If it comes in direct from an owner without FFL involvement, it still has to be logged in & out, but ATF regs allow the gunsmith to return to the OWNER direct, without any 4473 or FFL participation at the owner's end.

Rather than requiring each shipper to provide certification in triplicate that there IS no actual transfer of ownership involved, on EVERY shipping event, ATF just establishes a broad policy to cover the big picture, as opposed to scrutinizing each & every shipping event individually.
Trust me- you don't want that.

The current system has its flaws, but it could be far worse.


Idaho,
You don't need an FFL to ship a gun to a gunsmith directly, or to return a gun to its maker. UNLESS local law requires an FFL to handle everything both ways, which I believe is the case in California. Could be wrong on California.

Denis

Grassman
August 23, 2013, 04:42 PM
This has happened to me, but on a new purchase. Had to go back to the store and check one box.

DPris
August 23, 2013, 05:08 PM
Montbars,
Where are you located?
Denis

chrisTx
August 23, 2013, 05:49 PM
My dealer reviews the form, because the last time I filled one out, I messed up a question and had to do it all over again. He said he messed one up once and they just told him not to do it again. I would imagine if it's habitual for a dealer to turn in faulty paperwork, they'd lose their license. You don't have to beat up on the store because a mistake was made. It happens.

DPris
August 23, 2013, 05:59 PM
One or two here & there, they can tolerate.
But, if they get the idea there's a trend becoming apparent, you do not want to be part of the attention-getting smackdown. :)
Denis

dogtown tom
August 23, 2013, 06:28 PM
Jackal .... I would say include the $50 gift card along with the forms and mail them to me.
Dealer cannot let the 4473 leave his premises.



Rustler....Why should you have to inconvenience yourself - have them send someone to your house...

SharpsDressedMan ....Call Cabelas and have them bring the form out to you for revision when it is convenient for you to meet with them at your house.

btg3 They can deliver or Fedex the forms and include a return envelope.

Doing the above is a violation of Federal law. Licensed dealers can only conduct business at their licensed premises or a gun show.




351 WINCHESTER ...You sent your gun to a gunsmith. You don't need to fill out a 4473.
No law prohibits a dealer from requiring a 4473 or NICS on a gun returned for gunsmithing. Some big box stores make it a practice on all transactions.



DPris If Cabela's shipped the gun elsewhere for repair, as an FFL holder, the gun had to ship back to Cabela's, and Cabela's then had to do the 4473 transfer.
The OP could have Cabelas ship it to the manufacturer for repair, the manufacturer returns it to Cabelas who COULD log it out to the OP without a 4473 by noting in their bound book that the firearm was returned to the customer after being repaired.



ngnrd .....Correcting a 4473 isn't rocket surgery, folks. THIS is what the ATF says about it. But the most important thing is the following...
"Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should any changes or additions be made to the original Form 4473 after the transfer of the firearm has occurred."
This.
(and its been covered in several previous threads on THR.



DPris .....By "person", in that context, they're talking about an individual everyday non-FFL holder.
Anytime an FFL-holding business entity takes in a gun, it has to be logged in. Once logged in, it has to be logged out. That log-out (with gun physically leaving the FFL premises) can be a transfer to another FFL (in which case no 4473) or to a non-FFL (which DOES require a 4473).
NavyLCDR response wasn't incomplete..........it's spot on.
Every entry in a dealers bound book does not need a 4473.......and ATF clearly says firearms that were returned for gunsmithing do not require a 4473/NICS.


DPris .....The problem could have been avoided to begin with by avoiding FFL involvement, if that were possible where OP lives.
If it wasn't possible, then once FFL involvement began certain things kicked into place.
FFL involvement has nothing to do with it. Cabelas could have transferred the firearm back to the OP without a 4473 because Federal law specifically allows such. Cabelas seems to have a policy that requires a 4473 for ALL transactions.

DPris
August 23, 2013, 06:43 PM
Tom,
Cabela's could not log out a return to owner without a 4473 because THEY were not the facility that repaired it. Once they shipped it on, different ballgame.

Guns returned from gunsmithing do not need a 4473 IF returned TO THE NON-FFL-HOLDING OWNER/SHIPPER DIRECT FROM THE GUNSMITH.
You use an FFL as an intermediary, you fill out the 4473 when the gun comes back.

I said quite clearly above that not every log-in entry done by an FFL requires a 4473.


Cabela's could not have released the gun on return without a 4473, because ATF regs DO NOT allow that, in the circumstances listed.

You are not following the layout here.
Denis

dogtown tom
August 23, 2013, 07:17 PM
DPris Tom,
Cabela's could not log out a return to owner without a 4473 because THEY were not the facility that repaired it. Once they shipped it on, different ballgame.
Nothing in ATF regulations mention anything about a "facility".

If a person brings a firearm to a dealer for repair:
Dealer logs it into his books as an aquisition for repair.
Dealer can work on it himself or send it to another.....if he sends it to another licensee he notes that in his book as a disposition.

When firearm is returned to the dealer, he again logs it as an aquisition and then notifies his customer that his firearm is ready.

When the dealer hands it to the customer he notes disposition in his book as "repaired firearm returned to (customers name and address).



You use an FFL as an intermediary, you fill out the 4473 when the gun comes back.
Not true.
When I first began firearm transfers I did exactly that until my IOI pointed out it was NOT required.

More than one manufacturer even does this:
Customer brings his Taurus Clunker 2000 for me to mail back to Taurus. They repair the firearm and then returned it directly to the customer.:rolleyes:

DPris
August 23, 2013, 07:32 PM
Tom,
This has been explained in detail, and ATF HAS tightened up the past couple years.
If you want to create your own regs & interpret theirs any way you want, it's your life & your problem.
Denis

dogtown tom
August 23, 2013, 07:43 PM
DPris Tom,
This has been explained in detail, and ATF HAS tightened up the past couple years.
Then please post the source of that detailed explanation.




If you want to create your own regs & interpret theirs any way you want, it's your life & your problem.
Oh please.:rolleyes:
I haven't created any of my own regs and the only interpretation I've had is straight from my IOI at my first compliance inspection.

DPris
August 23, 2013, 07:45 PM
Gotten way beyond pointless.
Sil got the same answer as what I've said here when he contacted his ATF acquaintance.
Done.
Denis

WALKERs210
August 23, 2013, 07:48 PM
deleted

larryh1108
August 23, 2013, 09:04 PM
We also have to remember (and it has been mentioned) that some states and some companies require different ways of handling this.

When I returned a handgun to Kimber, Kimber told me that if I sent it to them directly (with their pre-paid label) that they could send it directly back to me. They told me if I sent it to them thru a FFL dealer that they had to return it to the FFL dealer since that's who they received it from.

When I sent a pistol to Ruger they told me the same thing but I was living in a different state. The factory can return it directly to the customer if that customer sent it directly to them (returned adult signature required).

I've also had to fill out a form 4473 to take back a pistol on consignment that did not sell.

I believe that if you lend a buddy a rifle who lives in the same state you (and he) should be protected from tranfer violations due to the "gun show loophole" but if your buddy lived in a different state and came to yours to hunt and you lent him a rifle and you were not with him, I would not wish to go thru that mess. If you were with him, you can claim he was holding it while you tied your shoes.

So, every state and every business has their own rules, above and beyond the federal rules, when talking transfers. No one answer covers all states.

PavePusher
August 23, 2013, 09:25 PM
Sigh. This entire thread is Exhibit A for why the entire BATFE should be abolished, along with all of its rules and regs.

When all the intelligent people here can't figure this stuff out in 3 pages of discussion, and the BATFE can't even answer coherently and completely, it's time for torches and pitchforks.

NMPOPS
August 23, 2013, 09:26 PM
If you screwed up, would you want them to help you fix it?

I bet, Yes...

Agreed

Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk 2

NavyLCDR
August 23, 2013, 10:04 PM
DPris,

Just because you claim the Form 4473 is necessary does not make it true. Sportsman's Warehouse hasn't had a problem. Dogtown tom hasn't had a problem. The ATF says it is not requried. We've both presented our sides and evidence for our claims... it's up to the individual FFL to decide what they are going to require, and up to the customer to decide what they are willing to put up with. Customers need to ask up front, though, what the requirements are going to be, and if they don't like them, go to another store/FFL. Maybe what the FFL is requiring is the law...maybe it is just their CYA conservatism. But just because one particular FFL claims it is required by law does not make it true.

dogtown tom
August 24, 2013, 10:28 AM
PavePusher Sigh. This entire thread is Exhibit A for why the entire BATFE should be abolished, along with all of its rules and regs.

When all the intelligent people here can't figure this stuff out in 3 pages of discussion, and the BATFE can't even answer coherently and completely, it's time for torches and pitchforks.
ATF didn't invent the NFA of 1934 or the Gun Control Act of 1968.

OUR elected Congressmen did. ;)

Rob G
August 24, 2013, 11:22 AM
When all the intelligent people here can't figure this stuff out in 3 pages of discussion

Actually dogtown tom pretty much settled it in one posting, as did NavyLCDR back on page 1 I believe it was. This is also not the first time this issue has been discussed here and the answer hasn't changed any since the last time. The fact that some people can't admit when they're wrong is the only reason this has become so confusing.

OP: It sounds as though you're being really reasonable about the whole thing and I think Cabela's should be happy that you are. Ultimately I side with the "4473 not required" crowd as this has been my experience as well. But if they're going to insist on one then it should be properly filled out and as has been noted the proper way to correct an error is to return to the place of business and make the correction on a copy of the orginial form, then properly dating and intialing the change.

ExTank
August 24, 2013, 12:14 PM
Is Cabela's just doing a "CYA" thing with the paperwork?

Being as I work for a large company that also deals with government regulations (though much less onerous than the BATF!), I can understand that top-down CYA paperwork requirements are NOT the choice of the "guy in the field" dealing face-to-face with the customer.

TennJed
August 24, 2013, 12:22 PM
I can't believe there is 3 pages on this. No offense to anyone, but it shows how selfish society has become. It shouldn't even be a question. Correct the mistake. Be a decent human being. How often have you made a mistake at you job? So what if it cost a few bucks in gas and wear and tear? That is the cost of being a decent person.

Everybody here drives their car to do unimportant things. Do you cry "gas, wear and tear"? No. If it is self-serving it is ok. It amazes me the mentality of entitlement and selfishness that has taken over this country. Everything has to be about ME. People think they deserve something for doing the right thing.

TennJed
August 24, 2013, 01:02 PM
...The High Road!!!

I apologize if I didn't come across as high road, I just feel strongly in helping someone out when an honest mistake is made. Doesn't matter if it is government regulation or store policy. Doesn't matter if we agree with the policy or regulation. The employee that is effected did not make the rules. If Bloomberg or Feinstein asked you to comeback I can understand not doing it. If average Joe trying to make a living makes a mistake, help them out. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Deanimator
August 24, 2013, 06:43 PM
Doesn't matter if it is government regulation or store policy.
It ABSOLUTELY matters whether it's government regulation or store policy.

I obey the law.

I don't give a flying Biden about "store policy". If they violate their OWN policy, that's THEIR problem.

Ridgerunner665
August 24, 2013, 06:51 PM
You should go back and finish the form...they offered compensation, no reason to say no.

PavePusher
August 24, 2013, 07:34 PM
ATF didn't invent the NFA of 1934 or the Gun Control Act of 1968.

OUR elected Congressmen did. ;)
D'oh, True! But doesn't make my conclusion any less accurate... ;)

230RN
August 24, 2013, 07:50 PM
Just a side note...

Two new Cabelas stores opened up here in CO, with the usual advertising blitz whenever a big retail outfit goes "live." You know, Press Releases presented as if they were actual news, etc.

I was very pleased to note that on TV they're actually advertising a particular defensive handgun right there on on-the-air TV! (Ruger .380.) Who'd'a thunk it!

I sure hope that's a breakthrough in advertising.

Terry, 230RN

TennJed
August 24, 2013, 08:48 PM
It ABSOLUTELY matters whether it's government regulation or store policy.

I obey the law.

I don't give a flying Biden about "store policy". If they violate their OWN policy, that's THEIR problem.

And attitudes like that helps how? Pretty selfish considering the person who will suffer did not make the policy. The person who suffers is a guy trying to make a living earning a little over minimum wage. He made a mistake. Some people only care about themselves and would not go to any lengths to help another person. It is a shame too. Growing up a small southern town I was taught to put others above myself.

KTXdm9
August 25, 2013, 03:05 PM
If the shoe was on the other foot, I'd want someone to help me. FWIW, I don't think the OP ever said he wasn't going back, just that he couldn't right away due to other commitments.

wally
August 26, 2013, 11:57 AM
I get a call from the manager saying I missed a question on the form and needed to return immediately to answer it.

If things got ugly between Cabela's and the BATFE, you've answered questions under penalty of perjury as attested to by your signature on the back of the form. The question you failed to answer could be considered a lie by omission, especially if you refuse to correct it.

I'd go back and fix it.

Bubbles
August 26, 2013, 03:21 PM
If a person brings a firearm to a dealer for repair:
Dealer logs it into his books as an aquisition for repair.
Dealer can work on it himself or send it to another.....if he sends it to another licensee he notes that in his book as a disposition.

When firearm is returned to the dealer, he again logs it as an aquisition and then notifies his customer that his firearm is ready.

When the dealer hands it to the customer he notes disposition in his book as "repaired firearm returned to (customers name and address).
This is correct. When we've had to send firearms in for gunsmithing out to another gunsmith (because there are some things we can't do), the gun can come back and be returned to the customer with no 4473. We've had three compliance inspections in the last five years and the IOI was fine with this.

As for the OP, had the gunsmith shipped the rifle directly back to him there wouldn't have been a problem. Because the gunsmith shipped the rifle to an FFL who wasn't involved in the repair process, a 4473 was required.

NavyLCDR
August 27, 2013, 12:43 AM
This is correct. When we've had to send firearms in for gunsmithing out to another gunsmith (because there are some things we can't do), the gun can come back and be returned to the customer with no 4473. We've had three compliance inspections in the last five years and the IOI was fine with this.

As for the OP, had the gunsmith shipped the rifle directly back to him there wouldn't have been a problem. Because the gunsmith shipped the rifle to an FFL who wasn't involved in the repair process, a 4473 was required.

Oh... I see something that I didn't see before....

So I sent my bolt action 30-06 to a gunsmith for some work, and had it shipped back to Cabela's because I needed an intermediary with an FFL license.

That was the initial screw up. Not sure what state this occurred in, but the rifle should have been returned directly back to the OP since he, apparently, shipped it directly to the gunsmith to start with. That does change things.

1. Like in my situation...if he took the rifle to Cabela's for no other reason than shipping it in for repair or customization, and the rifle was returned to Cabela's and then returned to the original owner from which Cabela's received the rifle from the first time, no form 4473 would be required because that exception for the form 4473 contained in Federal regulations (quoted in post #30) applies to dealers equally as gunsmiths.

2. The OP's situation DOES require Cabela's to do the form 4473 because they are not returning the rifle to the original owner that THEY received it from. I didn't see that until now.

In this case, unless there is something screwy in Montbar's state laws, he created this fiasco by having the rifle returned to Cabela's in the first place when it should have been just returned to him directly and he should do whatever it takes to go back and correct the mistake.

dogtown tom
August 27, 2013, 09:26 AM
NavyLCDR .....In this case, unless there is something screwy in Montbar's state laws, he created this fiasco by having the rifle returned to Cabela's in the first place when it should have been just returned to him directly and he should do whatever it takes to go back and correct the mistake.
It may not have been the OP's choice...............some manufacturers and gunsmiths refuse to ship ANY firearm directly back to the customer, preferring to ship only to a licensed dealer.

Federal law allows direct return for "gunsmithing", but does not require it.

Gaffer
August 27, 2013, 11:42 AM
When I worked at a gun shop a gun kept overnight for repair or scope mounting required another 4473 to be made out. That is the law per the ATF. You can argue all day but they hold the cards it seems. I have mailed guns to manufactures and they were returned w/o the need of 4473's.

I'd drive the hour to Cabela's and take the gift certificate and say it was a lesson learned. This gun thing is going to get a lot more complicated as time goes on. Just be glad you got the gun back, many don't.

Queen_of_Thunder
August 27, 2013, 12:02 PM
Here is more info:

I did not fill out a form, I filled it out on their computer. You click a box and then it takes you to the next screen, so I'm sure I didn't miss a question. The problem is not that I'm not going because I'm inconvenienced, I'm leaving for a wedding in the morning and there was absolutely no chance I could get back to Cabelas today. I told this to the clerk and said I will come by tuesday, which is the very soonest I can make it.
From what I've heard from all of you it sounds important--but I still don't get why I can't do this somewhere else instead of driving 1 hour each way to Cabela's--why can't they fax me the form? Also, do you guys really think the guy helping me will get fired? He was a nice guy and if there was anything I could say to stop that from happening I would. If you have any suggestions on how to save a man's job let me know.
What is it worth to you to you to stay out of jail.

BSA1
August 27, 2013, 04:06 PM
Agreed. I am still trying to figure out why the O.P. and some of the other hard heads are willing to give the BAFT agents a reason to visit them at their home.

NavyLCDR
August 29, 2013, 03:59 AM
When I worked at a gun shop a gun kept overnight for repair or scope mounting required another 4473 to be made out. That is the law per the ATF.

That might have been the law as the individual ATF agent told you (who would be incorrect), but that is not what the ATF as an organization says is the law.

ExTank
August 29, 2013, 06:01 PM
A week and no word back from the OP. Ominous???

BoilerUP
August 30, 2013, 07:33 AM
A week and no word back from the OP. Ominous???

I seriously doubt he's in a hoosgow somewhere.

ExTank
August 30, 2013, 05:52 PM
Eric Holder could have him in Gitmo, waterboarding him.

Black Butte
August 30, 2013, 11:07 PM
TennJed +1

JoeDorn
August 30, 2013, 11:33 PM
"What are you guys thinking of driving to Cabela's in? A deuce and a half? $50 for an hour trip each way means if you got even 11 MPG, you're coming out ahead. It's an honest mistake, it seems, and they're treating you pretty fair to try to correct it."

How many times have you walked into a Cabela's and left without a purchase?

FWIW, I did one time and even had a totally clean Cabela's card at the time... I was on a mission that day...:cool:

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