A shop wouldn't sell me a pistol


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White Horseradish
August 12, 2004, 03:50 PM
This is an interesting situation. I can understand the shop for being confused, but I am rather disappointed and I think they made the wrong decision.


A couple of weeks ago I found a place here that had some Bulgarian Makarovs for sale. $149 looked like a pretty good price. Now, at that point in time I was not a US citizen yet. I've had the interview and had the letter scheduling the swearing in ceremony for the 11th of this month(that's yesterday). I would have waited until after the ceremony, but I was pretty sure the Maks would be sold out by then. I was not worried about the NICS, since I have purchased long guns before and did not have any problems.

I got a state purchase permit from the local PD and went down to the shop. The NICS check came back delayed. So I waited. Three days later (This is already Tuesday, the 10th.) the shop calls me and tells me the NICS came back OK. I go down there again, wait around some more. I get as far as putting cash on the table, but this person (some type of manager?) comes out of the back room and tells me they would not sell to me because I am not a citizen. I told her I would be a citizen by the same time next day, but that had little effect. The salesperson was much nicer and told me to come back and see her directly as soon as I had the citizenship paperwork.

So, today (the 12th) I go down there yet again. I bring my certificate of naturalization. They tell me that now they want to run another NICS check on me. However, there has been a slight change in my name in the course of naturalization. So, they tell me they won't run a NICS check until I change my drivers license to the new spelling. They also want me to get the purchase permit reissued.

I'm sure you all know how fast a name change on a drivers license goes. I am sure that what I want will not be available by the time I'm done, and that is the most annoying part.

What I don't understand is why would these guys not sell to me in the first place. The law includes legal permanent residents. The state is OK with me - they gave me the permit. The feds are OK with me - the NICS check came back clean. What's the hangup? If this is a company policy, why wouldn't they tell me they don't sell to non-citizens right away? Why would they want to run another check on me once I brought my citizenship papers?

I'm sure most of this is motivated by excessive desire to CYA, but what it amounts to is really crappy customer service. I wasted time and gas running back and forth to these guys and I did not have to. I still want to buy a cheap Makarov, but right now I feel like I don't ever want to be a customer of that particular company.

So, do you think I am justified in being annoyed with these guys?

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Indy7373
August 12, 2004, 04:04 PM
I would be. **&(* Beauracrats.

By the way, where you from originally?

TooTaxed
August 12, 2004, 04:05 PM
I think you are justified. The shop should quote specific regulations why they do not complete the sale. What is the city and state?

To hold a pistol aside and avoid their being sold out, yiou could probably talk them into your putting down a deposit contingent on your being to pass all requirements...or get your money refunded.

Preacherman
August 12, 2004, 04:08 PM
It's total BS. I'm not a citizen (yet - next year, I hope! :D ) and I've bought handguns for years. It's perfectly legal as long as you've got an INS-issued alien registration number. Either that shop needs to brush up on their knowledge of the law, or they need to be sued for harassment, discrimination, etc.

:fire:

madcowburger
August 12, 2004, 04:09 PM
Yes.

They remind me of Vichy and Quisling collaborators.

I'd take my business elsewhere, permanently.

MCB

sumpnz
August 12, 2004, 04:12 PM
To hold a pistol aside and avoid their being sold out, yiou could probably talk them into your putting down a deposit contingent on your being to pass all requirements...or get your money refunded. If you still want to give them your money this is the way to go. Otherwise, Maks ain't exactly rare so it should be easy enough to find another, especially at the gun shows.

StopTheGrays
August 12, 2004, 04:17 PM
Question
If you were not a US citizen at the time, were you a resident alien? If so, I thought you are able to purchase firearms using your RA ID number.



If you thought they were jerks (sounds like failure to communicate-between sales clerk and manager) you might want to get your B-Mak this way. Find another store that does cheap transfers of handguns ($20-$40). Ask them to send a signed copy of their FFL to AIM Surplus or another site that the public can buy retail from. Once the FFL is sent and you call and confirm that it is on file order the B-Mak and have it sent to the store you want it tranfered thru. If it has to sit there a few more days than normal while you get your situation sorted out, it should not be a big deal. We had a Sig on hold for 3 months waiting for an deny appeal to go thru--which it finally did. The dealer you were working with should not be put out much by holding the item longer than normal.

That is just one possible solution but it might avoid the circle j*rk the first place is putting you thru.

White Horseradish
August 12, 2004, 04:27 PM
If you were not a US citizen at the time, were you a resident alien? If so, I thought you are able to purchase firearms using your RA ID number.

The law says yes. That's how I got the permit and the NICS check.

This is in Minnesota. I live in Minneapolis and this place is in Fridley.

rick_reno
August 12, 2004, 05:02 PM
Either they're trying to avoid any problems down the road or they just don't want to sell you a gun. They're not required to sell you a gun, just like you're not required to buy one there. I'd go elsewhere - after you get your various pieces of identification to all have the same name on them.

gazpacho
August 12, 2004, 05:13 PM
The name change didn't help you. One of the things they are probably worrying about is when they get audited by the BATF. That slight name change thing is gonna send up a big flag. The name on your pistol permit and the NICS won't 100% match the name on your firearm purchase paperwork. The BATF could get really pissy about that and suspend their FFL until they get everything cleared up. Now if the investigator isn't pro-2nd Amendment, he could take his own sweet time, plus he has to deal with other gub'mint agencies, any of which could drag its heels if it knows it's involved with a firearms investigation. The delay could put the dealer out of business.

Now the dealer probably made his mistake when the first NICS came through, but at this point there isn't a whole lot he can do. He can live without the $20 he would have made on the deal, but he can't live without the BATF nor his neighbors.

Matt G
August 12, 2004, 05:20 PM
Shame. Sounds like they weren't attempting to mess you over; they were just being over-cautious.


Let's remember, friends, that the B.A.T.F. has been passing regulations for years and years that have the force of law! In these post 9/11/01 times, all kinds of little regs are getting changed in federal regulatory agencies. Violate one of those ATF regs, even accidentally, and you could be looking at a felony. Sure, it's the gunshop's job to know the many rules, but that's kind of an unusual circumstance. No, it's not unusual for you, because you know have to live with your own status. But most sales at gun shops are straight-forward sales to regular citizens, and they don't get to review that part of the ATF regs very often. I don't blame 'em for being reallllly cautious.

But it sux that you lost your rights because of unnecessary red tape over the possibily of a non-existant restriction. :(

TallPine
August 12, 2004, 05:59 PM
Violate one of those ATF regs, even accidentally, and you could be looking at a felony.
Yeah, but isn't it nice that all this BS keeps guns out of the hands of felons ...:rolleyes:

rock jock
August 12, 2004, 06:00 PM
Folks, before you go off on the gunshop, remember that FFLs have been hammered in the media for all manner of supposed violations, which are in fact, perfectly legal. The gunshop owner is probably thinking to himself "this guy is probably legit, but its not worth a $30 profit to get in hot water down the road. Blame the liberal press for dealers being so paranoid.

Kharn
August 12, 2004, 06:30 PM
White Horseradish:
I'm sorry to hear of your plight, but one of the few times the ATF is on the side of the gun dealer is on refused transfers: They instruct dealers to not transfer or sell a gun if they have any doubts at all about the situation. An individual cannot even sue an FFL for discrimination due to a refused sale, as the go-ahead is solely the FFL's decision.

Hopefully the DMV wont take too long and you'll have the mak in hand soon.

Kharn

White Horseradish
August 12, 2004, 06:47 PM
By the way, where you from originally?

Russia.


I'm sure I can find a place online that will sell me one. Aim Surplus looks good. I know a guy with an FFL in town. However, that will make a $150 Makarov a $190 Makarov. I picked this place precisely because it was cheap and local.

I am a lot more upset about these guys making me go there three times before saying no. I have better things to do than to sit around their office.

goalie
August 12, 2004, 06:50 PM
This is in Minnesota. I live in Minneapolis and this place is in Fridley.

May I ask what the name of the place is?

Sheslinger
August 12, 2004, 06:59 PM
I am from USSR as well and bought handguns before I became a citizen. I simply had to put my Alien Number on the yellow form - there is a question to list it after you say No to being a citizen. They never asked for the actual card.

deej
August 12, 2004, 07:03 PM
Don't be so sure that your other FFL will have any more success than the gunshop. As has been stated above, ATF will come down HARD on any FFL that doesn't have all the ducks properly aligned before transferring a firearm. Don't blame the FFL for wanting everything to be in order before executing the transfer.

Maybe you can put a deposit down on the Mak and ask them to hold it until all your paperwork is squared away.

El Rojo
August 12, 2004, 07:39 PM
I would recommend going and talking to them and telling them your frustration and how you feel wronged. If they treat you like crap, inform them that you will be taking your business elsewhere. If they are apologetic and try to work with you, then so be it. Ask them if you can pay them now to keep it on hold and get it as soon as your stuff is in order. I would not recommend talking about lawsuits and what not, you have no case. Just handle this in simple capitalistic fashion. If they do your right, do business with them. If they don't, go somewhere else.

White Horseradish
August 12, 2004, 07:39 PM
May I ask what the name of the place is?
FAC

Don't be so sure that your other FFL will have any more success than the gunshop. As has been stated above, ATF will come down HARD on any FFL that doesn't have all the ducks properly aligned before transferring a firearm. Don't blame the FFL for wanting everything to be in order before executing the transfer.
I I don't blame them for wanting everything to be in order. I blame them for two things - refusing service despite everything being in order and stringing me along. As a matter of fact, I don't even blame the salesperson. She was extremely nice throughout the whole thing.


I'm thinking of writing a letter to the management there. I'm not quite sure what to say, though.

Don Gwinn
August 12, 2004, 08:28 PM
I wouldn't be happy with them either. I do understand that they want to follow the law, but they should have been able to clear that up with a couple of phone calls.

The only thought I would offer in their defense is that there are times when you can ask what the law is, follow that advice and STILL get gigged by The Authorities in the gun business. Witness the guy who checked to make sure BATF didn't consider his .50-cal kit guns to be functioning firearms, but was then prosecuted for selling functioning firearms. Or the people who were assured by Illinois Attorney General investigators that it was legal to ship guns directly to out-of-state buyers with no FFL involved as long as you broke the gun down to parts--and were then charged with felonies for following that advice.

But no, I wouldn't give them your business. You should be able to find more Maks at that price. Or, you could get a C&R and get a CZ52 instead. Buy it from one of the mail-order places and have it shipped directly to you, and it's a much hipper firearm than the Makarov.

Standing Wolf
August 12, 2004, 08:50 PM
You need a better class gun shop.

burbanite
August 12, 2004, 09:23 PM
You are correct, they were wrong in the first instance.

You do not have to be a citizen just a legal resident, they should have sold you the gun at the time your NICS check came back OK. I presume there was no further contact from BATF if it took three days, the time limit just ran out, am I correct? The reason they put a delay on us foreigners is so they can have the INS run a check, they then, in turn, have to respond to the BATF, often the three day limit runs out in the meantime.

Point is that unless the BATF DENY your application then you are good to go regardless of the fact the gun store decided to change the law. I would have a serious word with the owner, if they can mess this up then who knows what else they are doing wrong.

I have purchased several guns within a short period of time and occasionally my FFL will tell the person doing the check that I had just been OK'd recently and give them the reference number from a prior transaction so they didn't have to contact INS, often they accept that if it was within a couple of weeks.

burbanite
August 12, 2004, 09:37 PM
Whoops..

Treylis
August 12, 2004, 11:57 PM
Now if the investigator isn't pro-2nd Amendment, he could take his own sweet time, plus he has to deal with other gub'mint agencies, any of which could drag its heels if it knows it's involved with a firearms investigation.

Assuming that a BATFE investigator is pro-2A is a baaaaaaaaad assumption to make. ;-P

Treylis
August 13, 2004, 12:00 AM
Oh, yeah, and why'd you change the spelling of your name? I've never really understood the motivations behind people who do that, and I've got one that I have to spell out to EVERYONE, plus non-Germans virtually almost mispronounce it. I just like my name, heh.

Ex-Doc
August 13, 2004, 01:17 PM
Dobre utra! or however you spell that.

Was your name change more of an alphabet issue?

Being from Russia gives you alot more patience for this stuff than I would have! I guess we need to get used to it....:rolleyes:

Inoxmark
August 13, 2004, 01:39 PM
Hello to fellow ex-USSRian!

Assuming you were legal resident with green card the gunshop should have completed the sale without your being a citizen, and they could have if they wanted to. I think they just were extra cautious, can't really blame them for that.

Unfortunately your situation is complicated by the name change, and until you have changed your DL, etc to all have identical spelling it's best not to attempt to purchase another firearm. It will just go much smoother.

White Horseradish
August 13, 2004, 02:16 PM
Oh, yeah, and why'd you change the spelling of your name? I've never really understood the motivations behind people who do that, and I've got one that I have to spell out to EVERYONE, plus non-Germans virtually almost mispronounce it. I just like my name, heh.
Historical and family reasons.

Dobre utra! or however you spell that.
You're close. "Dobroye utro". Funny, I actually saw your post in the morning...

Being from Russia gives you alot more patience for this stuff than I would have! I guess we need to get used to it...
Maybe. I'm really a very patient man. Until I am seriously POed, that is.

Assuming you were legal resident with green card the gunshop should have completed the sale without your being a citizen, and they could have if they wanted to. I think they just were extra cautious, can't really blame them for that.
I wouldn't be nearly as annoyed as I am if they told me that this was their policy up front. I would still think it's a stupid policy, but I realize they are a private company and can refuse to do business with anyone they want. I also don't understand why they would want to run another check on me after I brought the certificate to show them. I'm still the same person.


Hmm. There are more ex-USSRians around here than I thought... Spiffy.


I am still thinking of writing a letter to the manager. The policy is totally unwritten. It does not apper in their printed catalog, it's not on the Order Policies page (http://www.gunsnstuff.net/html/order_policies.html) of their website, it is not displayed in their shop and it is not on the order form you fill out at the shop. Also, I think it is not in the instructions the salespeople have, since the salesperson was following a step-by step sheet when filling out paperwork. I'm sure she would have told me about it had she known.

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