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Need advice on meeting someone "half way" for a FTF deal

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Anna's Dad, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. Anna's Dad

    Anna's Dad Well-Known Member

    I have an opportunity to buy a gun that I've been looking for, from someone who is a couple hours away from me. I don't know him, he just responded to an ad.

    He offered to meet me half way which I think is great. My question is where do we meet? When I meet locally, I pick a gun range. Well lit, busy, no one freaks out when they see a gun.

    He wants to meet near an interstate exit to avoid driving miles off the beaten path (which seems reasonable) so I don't think a range is an option.

    What do you think about meeting in some other public place like a shopping center parking lot. Would you be concerned either about safety or someone passing by possibly seeing a gun and freaking out?

    I'd appreciate advice, especially from others who have done something similar.
  2. rklessdriver

    rklessdriver Well-Known Member

    I've used parking lots before. Wal-Marts, K-Marts, Kroger, Food Lion's, Even a County fair ground parking lot next to the National Guard Armory... To me it's just not that big of a deal. Your not doing anything illegal. He has ligitimate legal goods to sell and you want to buy it. Just try to be accomodating to one another and pick somewhere your both comfortable with.

    As long as your not playing sniper, sighting the weapon at everything in the parking lot, most other people won't even know what's going on. That's the good thing about most Americans these days, we are blatently self absorbed.
  3. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Great idea.


    Find a range or gunshop between the two of you and meet there. Tell him that it is best for the safety of each of you. In an area where there are plenty of witnesses neither you or he are likely to face a hijacking/robber and at a place where guns are common you're not likely to have the cops called by a well meaning third party.

    If he isn't willing to do that, don't go.
  4. mbpautz762

    mbpautz762 Well-Known Member

    really, anywhere that's well lit will do. I'm assuming this isn't across state lines. anyway, I met someone face to face in the parking lot of a sporting goods store before. they seem to work very well. any gun store of course will work, but really any large parking lot that's lit well will be ok as long as you're not brandishing or waving anythng around.
  5. Spyvie

    Spyvie Well-Known Member

    I bought an SKS FTF from a THR member, we agreed to meet half way in a Taco Bell parking lot. When he arrived in broad daylight , he casually stepped out of his truck with the uncased rifle in hand. We proceeded to examine the gun, with him working the action and removing the bolt to show me how clean it was. It looked good to me, I paid the man, put the rifle in the trunk of my car and drove away no problem.

    All of this happened right in front of TB customers and passing traffic in a suburban Denver area neighborhood.
  6. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    Before the divorce, I just used to have my wife cover me from the car with her piece when making a deal. If you can, I would take a ride along, I've done transactions in McDonald's and Wal Mart parking lots just off the interstate before. Funny how Wal Mart always come up, isn't it!

    CRDNLPLT Active Member

    I met at a Hooters last FTF I did.
  8. Gunfighter123

    Gunfighter123 Well-Known Member

    A gun or major sporting good/fishing store is my first choice.

    But then again -- CRDNLPLT has a very good idea !!!!!!!!!!!
  9. ny32182

    ny32182 Well-Known Member

    Are you expecting this to go down like some tactical espionage action out of Miami Vice or something? I don't see the big deal. What "safety concern" exists? You aren't doing anything illegal. I'd have no problem with meeting in the back of a Walmart parking lot.

    I wouldn't be waving the gun around for all to see, but that is simply because others in the parking lot may then be inclined to make a "man with a gun" 911 call.

    The bonus to the Walmart parking lot is that if your wife needs to provide sniper coverage, she can do it from the Walmart roof.:rolleyes:
  10. alaskanativeson

    alaskanativeson Well-Known Member


    I understand the desire for convenience. I have very little trust in the public at large these days though, and any transaction regarding a firearm has the potential to be a setup. Large amounts of money invloved, weapons being exchanged, there's just too much liability. If it's done in a very public place where there is plenty of other activity I'd be less concerned, but near an exit of an interstate? That just has "News Headlines" written all over it to me.
  11. Anna's Dad

    Anna's Dad Well-Known Member

    Hooters does have great customer service. Maybe I'll look for one!

    ny32182: No, not at all. Just don't know the seller from Adam. It does concern me a little meeting someone I don't know in a parking lot who knows I'll be carrying a decent amount of cash. I'm not concerned about going to jail. I'm cocnerned about my safety and any hassle from (as hso put it) a well-meaning third party.

    I have found that there are Wal-Marts, Home Depots, etc. near the interstate. I think I'll go with one of those. It will be daylight and I would expect those places would be pretty well traveled.

    Thanks much for the suggestions.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  12. WOPR

    WOPR Member

    i've done multiple FTF transactions here in FL, and all have gone smoothly - none at a gun range.

    your thinking is spot on, preferring a range, but as you've found out, its just not always feasible. Just pick somewhere well lit and populated, and don't wave it around. those before me are right that no one will be looking twice at two people talking in a parking lot.

    if its a handgun, I ask the owner if they mind if I inspect it from the privacy of mine/their vehicle, that way no passers by are the wiser. and if its the seller themselves that worry, well, bring a friend, or two.

    also, its highly unlikely that any gun store is interested in the legal liabilities of having third parties transfer weapons on/in their store/premises. I would not suggest attempting to conduct your business inside of someone else's.
  13. ny32182

    ny32182 Well-Known Member

    Would you be asking these same questions about meeting someone to buy a TV or sofa?
  14. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Well-Known Member

    Now that gave me a chuckle!

    I agree with others. If everything is above board and LEGAL, do it anywhere, just don't be aiming the gun all over the place and sweeping thousands of people with it at the rock concert parking lot.:eek:
  15. expvideo

    expvideo Well-Known Member


    Heed our advice, do NOT meet this guy at a freeway exit. If a range is completely out of the question, at least find a well lit and public area like a supermarket parking lot.

    Pack. Don't think about it, just pack. If you're not licensed to conceal, then open carry. Do NOT go to this meeting unarmed.

    It's probably not a setup for a robbery. But it is very possible that it is. People get robbed like this all... the... time. Really. Just be cautious and enjoy your paperwork-free transaction.

    eta, if it is at all possible, bring someone with you that also is packing. Make sure that if the other person brings a friend, that they aren't trying to box you in. Also be sure that you and your friend aren't boxing the other person in. Be polite and friendly, and everything will go great. But be prepared in case it doesn't.
  16. Anna's Dad

    Anna's Dad Well-Known Member

    ny32182: Yes, if it was someone that I was not familar with, significant money was involved and the meeting place was unfamiliar to me I would ask the exact same questions.
  17. Anna's Dad

    Anna's Dad Well-Known Member

    expvideo: I always carry which reduces my concern but certainly doesn't eliminate it!

    Thank you, though, for the suggestion.
  18. ny32182

    ny32182 Well-Known Member

    AD, It sounds like you are being reasonable about it; I'm just chuckling at some of the other replies here.

    For the record, if you think you are going to get robbed, you should probably not be considering the sale in the first place.

    If I were driving an hour+ to sell or buy a gun, and the guy didn't want to meet near the freeway, he wouldn't have to worry about it since I wouldn't be going anyway. I'd simply find a less paranoid individual to deal with.
  19. expvideo

    expvideo Well-Known Member

    I added this to my post:
    Just don't want you to miss this part because it's important.
  20. 35Rem

    35Rem Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a good place to meet in the middle.

    I would make sure it's a busy place. Why not at a police station/sherrif's office parking lot?

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