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Shipping To An FFL Dealer

Discussion in 'Legal' started by IJ-70, Apr 26, 2008.

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  1. IJ-70

    IJ-70 member

    Hi, I recently won an online auction on a pistol and have lined up an FFL dealer/gunshop in my state (WA State) When I went to get the signed FFL copy, I asked if they open the package which will be addressed to "me" C/O the FFL Dealer and they said that they have to open "My Package" and log it right away, he was adamant about it being a Federal Law, the guy said everybody does it. Is that true? I don't like that idea.

    I want to be physically present when my package is opened. As I don't want any funny business, and I really want to make sure that the seller packed everything, and packed it correctly. Am I being unreasonable? What is the protocol? Is what this FFL Dealer told me true? What is this law?

    Thank You
  2. kolob10

    kolob10 Well-Known Member


    Your FFL is doing what is required of him. He must log the gun in his log book.
    I believe they must log in on the same day received. Any FFL's out there to verify?
  3. IJ-70

    IJ-70 member

    Yeah but it's not like I'm 200 miles away from him in another part of the state, and I would pick it up 2 days later than it arrives. I live 5 minutes away, why can't he wait for me to come over, and we open it together?
  4. Neener Neener

    Neener Neener Well-Known Member

    Why are you posting this in 2 sections?
  5. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Well-Known Member

    Double-post, apparently.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2008
  6. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Well-Known Member

    Because it's more important to be sure you're in compliance with Federal law than making sure your clients are there for every package you recieve?

    I'm honestly sort of confused about this whole thing - if you're really that worried that your dealer would monkey around with your gun, why are you using him? It's not really in his best interest to steal anything from or vandalize your shipment in any way, ya know? Think of it this way - let's say that he recieves your gun, and calls you up to come down so he can open it and log it in. You're at work, or shopping, or out with friends and can't come down right that instant. He puts the package aside, and in the meantime he gets slammed with business, or an employee moves the package, and it gets forgotten about temporarily. If an ATF agent decided to pay him a visit, and he hadn't logged it in, he could conceiveably be in serious trouble. If you haven't heard of Red's Trading Post, you should look it up sometime. They're raking those folks over the coals and trying to shut them down because of what amounts to *typos* on forms. If you think the ATF wouldn't do anything about an un-logged firearm, you're mistaken. Your dealer is following the rules. He's got a hell of a lot more to lose if he doesn't, than you do if your gun is damaged or was sold to you in a different condition than you expected.
  7. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    Yes, I'm afraid you are. It is not your gun until the dealer transfers it to you. He is responsible for making sure all the legalities are observed, including receiving the proper paperwork from the person who shipped it.
  8. woof

    woof Well-Known Member

    I think the buyer should be able to track the package almost to the hour of arrival. I don't think it is asking too much for the FFL to wait for you to open it. My FFL does this. I would look for another FFL willing to acomodate you on that, many will I'm sure. Soppose an FFL dealer opens your gun and passes it around a crowded shop and it gets a mark on it. Do you think they will admit it? They'll say it was there, the sender will deny it was there. It's yours and you should open it.
  9. slr777

    slr777 Member

    Uh dont buy anymore auction guns and stop freaking out? NO serious where at in Wa and who did you use?
    I am in Puyallup and been looking at Gunbroker a lot am thinking of purchase.
  10. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Well-Known Member

    And why, pray tell, would a dealer do this? And why would you trust a dealer who would do this?
  11. dejr2000

    dejr2000 Well-Known Member

    I am an FFL and when you get multiple guns in at the same time it could get a little hectic and confusing to sort it all out if waiting to open until buyer arrived. You have to put them in log book and verify serial numbers and log where each piece came from. What if multiple buyers show up the same time? Do they all want to wait for all this behind the scenes paperwork. If you don't like the process find another FFL. I open all of mine because I put them in the safe immediately after they are logged and I don't have room in there for a bunch of nasty shipping boxes. My .02
  12. IJ-70

    IJ-70 member

    "If you don't like the process find another FFL."

    He said it was "A Law" that ALL FFL DEALERS OPEN PACKAGES, so how can I find another dealer, if they all do it? Look, I'm getting conflicting answers here, some say that their FFL's wait, others say that the FFL must log it immediately, why don't I trust them, don't buy anymore guns, etc....


    I don't think I am being unreasonable, and just like Woof said,

    "Soppose an FFL dealer opens your gun and passes it around a crowded shop and it gets a mark on it. Do you think they will admit it? They'll say it was there, the sender will deny it was there. It's yours and you should open it."

    I agree Woof....
  13. IJ-70

    IJ-70 member

    BTW, there's also a law about opening other peoples mail, and packages. The package is addressed to "ME" in care of my FFL. So yes it is "Mine"

    And how would the BATF know that there is a handgun in the package/box if they (Gunshop) don't open it? Not everbody always opens their boxes/packages up right away.

    This is RIDICULOUS.
  14. 2TransAms

    2TransAms Well-Known Member

    I have bought and sold a few guns online,and the packages have always been addressed to the FFL holder/gunstore, with all pertinent paperwork inside saying who exactly the gun is for. Essentially (and legally),even though you have already paid me it is my gun that I sent to your FFL,then it's yours after you do the 4473.

    Edit to add: Although they do have to open it (or someone does,at some point,and I don't know how long they can wait to log it in) there's no reason you can't be there. On the other hand, I think you're being a little paranoid. If you really think they'll ding it up then find another FFL to use.
  15. Telperion

    Telperion Well-Known Member

    See CFR 478.125 (e): "...The purchase or other acquisition of a firearm shall, except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section (not applicable here), be recorded not later than the close of the next business day following the date of such purchase or acquisition ..."
  16. 2TransAms

    2TransAms Well-Known Member

    There we go. Thanks,Telperion!
  17. Shootcraps

    Shootcraps Well-Known Member

    AFAIK, it is not federal law that they have to open and log it the second they receive it. So he's wrong on that point. They may prefer to do it that way, and it's their business so that's fine. But it's not the law.

    I would ask them nicely, "Hey, I would really like to be here when you open it. If you call me I can come right down.". If they object to that and you're still worried about it, then your only choice is to find another dealer.
  18. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Well-Known Member

    I think this is the real meat of your argument, and unfortunately, you're 100% wrong about it. The package may be addressed to you, but it is not legally yours until your dealer logs it into his bound book, and you fill out the necessary forms and get through whatever waiting period your state may have.

    So it's not like he's withholding property from you. It's not your property until all of those things have been done. If it were your property, why do you need to go through a dealer to have it transferred to you in the first place? Whether he will let you be there when he opens it is secondary.
  19. divemedic

    divemedic Well-Known Member

    Honestly, complying with the ATF can be aggravating and tricky. It isn't your license and butt on the line with this matter, it is the dealer's. For what he is charging for the transfer, (I am sure it isn't more than $50) it isn't worth the risk.

    Since you are that worried, I am betting that you aren't a regular customer. If I were the FFL in question, and a buyer made that big of a deal out of it, I would just turn down the $50 or so and tell you to find another FFL. It just isn't worth the hassle.
  20. Kman

    Kman Well-Known Member

    This is interesting, cause my dealer never opens the packages {guns} I have sent to him for transfer. All I do is fill out the form, and state if it's a long gun or hand gun, he calls it in, I get the green light and away I go.
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