My last internet trade!


February 20, 2003, 03:50 PM
I have been buying firearms over the internet off and on for about 4 years. With each passing year it seems to be increasingly difficult to the point I think I'm going to have to quit looking.

First road block was 2 years ago, only local gun shop (pop. 3500) raised rates from $20.00 for a transfer to $85.

So I go to major metropolitan area with more gunshops. Its a 45 minute one way drive but I can save over $50.00 on the transfer fee. (Some gunshops there also have unreasonable rates for transfers)

Now only remaining gunshop within an hours drive informs me that they thought the shipper was an FFL holder (he wasn't) and he must fax his drivers license to them so they can "book" the gun in. This is new to me. This dealer has received 2 other guns shipped in from individuals for me and never said a thing.

I called another gunshop in town to check with them again and they said their fee is $100 and they will not accept firearms from individuals.

I have seen threads on this from others that report $20 fees and no problems. Why is this local such a pain in the butt?

Here is the reasoning I got from the stores I checked with:

Store 1 (local): ATF requires forms to be kept for 20 years. "We must recoup our costs of storage and maintenance. " In talking with the manager on the side; he commented that the store had just gone through an ATF audit and that "pressure" was being put on them to stop internet sales.

Store 2 (Metro): Gave same story as Store 1. ALso sited that it was against store policy to accept guns shipped from individuals. No explanation for the policy was offered.

Store 3(Metro) Gave me a story last time that ATF was going to require sales tax be collected on any firearm sent in from a dealer. This has not materialized but stated that ATF thought guns from dealers were "Dealer to Dealer" transfers and so tax must be collected. Now they are balking at guns from individuals also.

Anybody have any suggestions of a honest gundealer that wouldn't mind pushing the paper for me at a reasonable fee in this area? Has anyone else incountered any problems of this nature?

The hassle + the shipping + exorbitant fees = no deals on the internet.

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February 20, 2003, 04:08 PM
Just a thought maybe get your FFL. You could just do transfers for people. Don't really know how feasable it is but just an Idea that might be worth looking into.

Mike Irwin
February 20, 2003, 04:13 PM
The auction sites often have lists of FFL dealers who will do transfers for you.

I believe there is also a similiar list on the Shotgun News website.

Recouping storage costs is absolute and complete BS, as far as I'm concerned.

February 20, 2003, 04:16 PM
FFLs are being hassled more and more by the government and regulated more and more by the government. Plus people are looking to sue FFLs for completely legal gun sales, etc. Your just feeling the brunt of it in your wallet.

February 20, 2003, 04:16 PM
Don't go to gunstores. Use Guns America, GunBroker, Auction Arms, or 'Net FFL guides to find FFL holders willing to do transfers.

These can be 'smiths, pawn shops, or individuals out of their basement.

Anyone else have good sources to find FFLs who will do transfers?

Never pay tax (unless services are taxable) or a percentage of the gun's cost.

February 20, 2003, 04:24 PM
I wonder if this is a way of discouraging what these FFL's see as "competition" to their business? Now, if you do a lot of business with your local dealer, you should point this out and let him know that you bring in more money than a simple transfer "costs" him.

However, if you do not do much business with him, and he is a small dealer, than maybe the fee makes sense to him.

I'm not trying to justify $85, just exploring the other side of the equation.

February 20, 2003, 04:30 PM
It is his way of fighting the competition. His reasoning is after you pay shipping and the extortion fees you are right back up to where you could just buy the gun from him.

Hey at least he didn't BS me, gotta respect him for that.


February 20, 2003, 04:31 PM
I have been buying guns on the net for a little over a year now and my dealer only charges $5.00. He has been good to deal with but the last gun I won at Gunbroker threw me into a mild panic. My FFL dealer told me the same thing about the ATF audit and he can no longer accept guns from individuals. I didn't know this before I bid so I was kind of screwed.

I had to talk to the seller and he seemed to understand but I felt like a jerk for bidding on something that I couldn't buy. The other dealer around me charge $20 and up but I don't know if they will accept guns from idividuals either.

I will continue to buy guns off the net as long as people around here charge these crazy prices. Even with FFL transfer fee and shipping, I still save between $50 and $200 on a gun. If it isn't at least $50, then I just buy locally.

Someone had a good point when they said for you to get your own FFL license. If they are charging $85 for a transfer, you could charge $20 and make some money. I just wound not want people comming to my house like that.

February 20, 2003, 04:35 PM
$85?!? $100?!?

Where the heck are you shopping, Brother? I gotta stay out of Bosque, looks like...and I though I was get the blunt end when I got quoted $25!!!


Dang. Up here in DFW, there are a ton of places that'll do it for $15-$25...maybe you could work out an arrangement with one of them to accept the gun, and hold it until you can come to pick it up. Then, when you've got enough of them to make the trip "worthwhile," you can swing up, and get them all.

Just a thought...of course, that WOULD give you a reason to buy more guns...


February 20, 2003, 04:47 PM
$80-100 for a transfer is a PURE F&*(ING RIPOFF. All the guy has to do is sign for the package, let YOU fill out the paperwork, then make a phonecall. :what:

He does probably 5 minutes worth of actual work and wants you to pay THAT much for it? F that. The MOST I've paid was $30, but the little store downtown that charges $20, but won't send his FFL to an individual. Not much of a bother, he's a nice guy.

Now, if your receiving FFL doesn't want to send a copy of his FFL to an individual, THAT I can understand. If he wants to send it to another FFL, or store, then fine, the seller can verify it there, then ship. It's a hassle, but if I were an FFL, I wouldn't want a copy of it to end up in the wrong places.

February 20, 2003, 05:05 PM
You are being taken advantage of. I have been selling on the net for several years. I also do transfers too for $20 or for free if the gun is bought from my shop.

Some try to add "tax" onto a sale they didn't do. When I send a rifle for transfer I sometimes include a invoice marked paid for $5.

The lists on Gunbroker & Auctionarms are good places to look.

February 20, 2003, 05:08 PM
I've also noticed a descrepancy between the $15-25 fees people around here always claim and real fees in my area. I've seen some local FFLs advertised on Gunbroker and Auction Arms in the $20-25 range but most haven't gotten back to me when I've tried to contact them (or they had bad phone numbers on the site, or they changed their prices, or they no longer do transfers, or they only transfer certain types of guns, or...). Also, many are basement operations with impossible hours (assuming the hrs posted on the site) even had they got back to me and the auction site info about them was current.

Many local dealers have told me they simply don't do transfers, and those that do are expensive. I've been quoted as much as $75. At a dealer I do a lot of business with (I've bought several handguns from them in the past 2-2 1/2 yrs and they know I refered my best friend to them who bought two rather expensive guns from them in the past 8 months or so) the best I got was $40 on used guns (he won't transfer new guns anymore after having several dealers send him guns w/out shell casings even after the buyer was promised the guns had the casing- w/out them the guns aren't MD legal).

One possible reason,
Here is the reasoning I got from the stores I checked with:

Store 1 (local): ATF requires forms to be kept for 20 years. "We must recoup our costs of storage and maintenance. " In talking with the manager on the side; he commented that the store had just gone through an ATF audit and that "pressure" was being put on them to stop internet sales.
I've heard the exact same thing. Both from FFLs and from people on the internet who were told it from their FFLs.

Apparently the ATF is "cracking down" on internet transfers and trying to bully FFLs into raising their fees (apparently they are concerned that the fees are "too low") or even into stopping the transfers altogether.

February 20, 2003, 05:14 PM
I'd suggest either getting your own FFL or making friends with someone who already has there's. I'm so glad my stepdad has an FFL, he does my transfers for free. :D

February 20, 2003, 05:20 PM
I pay a dealer $20 to do a transfer. However, the dealer isn't the friend of mine who owns a gun shop.

The shop owner explained his reason to me for charging $50. He has to have a paid employee help unload the UPS truck, log in the firearm both in writing and on the computer, call in the Instant Check, then ring up the Instant Check charge when the customer picks up the gun. And, usually, the customer will spend a lot of time chatting with the employee, but generally doesn't buy anything else (at least at that time). So he's either making next to nothing, or actually losing money, depending upon how much time is involved.

I can respect that, and that's why I go to the guy who works out of his home. For him the $20 is worth it.

SoDFW Jason
February 20, 2003, 05:29 PM

My brother deals with a pawn broker in Waxahachie that will do it for $20. That's probably not much more than an hour away depending on where you are in Bosque Counrty. PM me and I'll get you the name if you want it.

Brian Maffei
February 20, 2003, 05:32 PM
Called around to some local shops....a few wanted 20% of the value of the gun. On a $600 gun, that's $120 to transfer:cuss: . Plus shipping, plus DROS fee, plus 7.5% sales tax....:banghead:. Cali ain't right.

February 20, 2003, 05:37 PM
we discussed this 2 weeks ago. various members who post here also work in or own their own gunshops. they all stated reasons for paying more than $25 per transfer as helping to combat overhead, not just for the transfer, but for everyday business.

we all seem to agree that its the local guys who need our help, right? so many of us will go to the shop that has prices a little more than we know we could pay elsewhere but we give him the business, whether its firearms, ammo, or accessories.
overhead i can deal with. but i already have a ffl that does my transfers for $10 so i dont have to worry. without that however, i'd pay the local guy $25-30 per transfer as long as they have a decent attitude about it.

the one dealer mentioned whose mission it is to stamp out competition, thats just a whiny crying baby whos stomping around saying "Its not fair! If my customers dont want to buy from me, then they'll buy from NO ONE! waaa waaa waaa, gaa gaa goo wants his pacifier."

yeah, i went there.

February 20, 2003, 05:53 PM
My dealer still does pretty good on prices for a transfer. $25.00 on anything he does not normally carry in his shop. If he does carry it we can negotiate on a fair price.

My last couple of purchases have been private in state transfers. No paperwork! :D

Good Shooting

February 20, 2003, 10:22 PM
Sporting Arms in Lewisville, TX does transfers for $15. They WILL accept guns from individuals but do require their drivers license to book in the gun.
Tom & Becky Harris

St. Gunner
February 20, 2003, 10:45 PM
BATF is really stepping up their harrasment of dealers, local dealer here just about went to jail over an error the BATF made during a compliance check. They didn't know what a serial number looked like and wrote down a stocking number instead. Made a difference in the number of guns on the log and the ones in the store cause they where to lazy to open a box and check the serial number.

I just bought a gun from my local dealer, my dad has an FFL, could have ordered from him and saved right at $75, but it is our job to support these guys trying to make a buck in a business that the BATF is more and more against and tries harder and harder to shut down. It's the reason you won't find my name on any 4473 at the local Walmart or other sporting goods store. I spent a couple hours in the shop the other day and listened to countless calls from yahoos wanting info on guns they where planning on buying from someone else. So the dealer spends countless hours answering questions, then makes $20 on a transfer.

I rarely buy anything online, by the time you pay shipping and a transfer fee, you should have just bought it at the dealer. Also most dealers are able to offer a certain amount of help on problems arising from a purchase.

The part about sales tax I have heard from several places here, that they have to collect the sales tax for the value of the gun. What is happening is BATF is turning your local dealer into the tax office for not collecting it. The tried to shut my dad down a couple years ago by calling the zoning board and getting him for running a business out of his home. You need to remember one thing, BATF has one goal they are working towards and it isn't the safety of the general public, it is forcing dealers out of business.

So why exactly should a dealer bring more of their wrath down on his head, when you contributed nothing to his business sucess?

six 4 sure
February 20, 2003, 11:05 PM
Man that sucks. I've only made one purchase off the internet and had it sent to the FFL whom I've done most of my business. He only charged $20. I understand dealers wanting you to buy from them, but they don't always have what you want. My one purchase was a US Property marked 1911 made in 1917. Those don't come through the store very often. What you're buying might make a difference.

I pretty sure it's complete BS that an FFL can't accept a gun from an individual. Check the BATF web site on shipping laws.

Several have suggested getting your FFL. I've heard this is becoming harder to do. I've heard the ATF isn't issuing new FFL's unless you have a shop of some type. The days of dealing out of your house/basement are going away.

Personally I would have thought it was a quick way for a dealer to make $20. But I guess I'm wrong.

Good luck


February 21, 2003, 12:13 AM
On Gunbroker they have lists of FFLs

the list for Texas is a mile long ... there has to be somebody close by.

As for the BATF hassling FFLs over sales tax, *** does a federal agency have to do with the collection of state and local sales tax??!! :scrutiny:

February 21, 2003, 12:26 PM
The FFL's listed on, or Gunsamerica are quite long for Texas. Have you seen the size of this state? I have called/emailed all within an hours drive (one way). Most did not answer/respond.

I have a friend that has an FFL that has offered to do transfers for me for $15.00. The problem with that is he lives 4 hours away.
Might just need to do all my trades in late summer, I know I'll be seeing him opening weekend of Dove season.

Otherwise, I'm done with internet deals. (and I always had so much fun looking)

To address others about local dealers needing to make money. I purchase almost all my ammo from my local dealer. He has sold me numerous guns. He is very competitive on new guns. But if I stumble across a good deal on a used gun I have no options now.

February 21, 2003, 01:14 PM
It is his way of fighting the competition. His reasoning is after you pay shipping and the extortion fees you are right back up to where you could just buy the gun from him.

Hey at least he didn't BS me, gotta respect him for that.

At least that's an honest reason, but wouldn't have helped me. The last two transfers I did were for guns LONG out of production.

There's one shop around here that charges $50 / $1000 value of the gun, so if you have a $1001 handgun/rifle/shotgun they'll charge you $100 for the paperwork. The shop I've been going through charges $35.

Good luck finding somone reasonable.

February 21, 2003, 01:28 PM
Why does any FFL have to know the value of the gun?

I mean, who will tell them?

If I bought a P7, I tell them I paid $200 for it and let it at that.

February 21, 2003, 01:38 PM
Why do they have to know? I'd say they don't, but this particular shop asks and I'm sure if you tried to tell them that you paid $200 for a Freedom Arms they would refuse to do the transfer, or charge the $100 anway.

February 24, 2003, 01:34 PM
The plot thickens:

Now the dealer who has the gun in his possession will not do the transfer unless he has a copy of the sellers drivers license. The dealer also told me he will not accept any guns sent from individuals. (mimics other dealer in town) Only guns sent to him from another dealer will be accepted.

I can only hope my seller is open minded enough to send a copy of his license ....(I'm not sure I would, but I think I would help the buyer out.)

Internet trades are now officially over for me. Unless I can meet the seller face to face to complete the transaction.


February 24, 2003, 02:23 PM
Do they have to keep orginal records? Would it be possible to periodically scan records and burn a CD/DVD, then store in an insured facility?


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