Face to Face Firearms Purchase

d31tc

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Curious to know what others think. Both my point of view and seller's point of view.

There is a firearm listed on a site for sale - with the seller requesting face to face sales only that is not in the state that I live. My idea is that I contact an FFL local to seller and send funds to the FFL for the cost of the firearm, plus shipping costs, plus an agreed to transfer fee. The seller would then be able to complete a face to face transaction with the FFL and receive payment in the full amount of their asking price and be on their way. The FFL would then ship the firearm to my FFL for the final transfer in my state. Win - win, right?

The seller, in this case, appears not to be interested in this type of transaction.

In my view, the seller has no risk. They've transferred the firearm legally to an FFL. What could cover your butt more than selling to an FFL as opposed to the potential risk of a FTF sale to a prohibited buyer. So why would a seller be reluctant to sell this way? A couple reasons I can think of. One, the firearm is illegally obtained or owned, or both. Two, the seller doesn't want a record of sale in their name, for whatever reason. Three, too much perceived hassle (although, not sure what hassle there would be to go to a brick and mortar store with regular hours vs trying to meet some unknown person FTF).

What am I missing? What are your thoughts?
 
I don't know what motivates the seller.
But if the gun is very desirable and priced to where you and he can jump through some hoops, it seems a solution would be for you to meet him AT A DEALER in his state and go from there with it on the Bound Book. Face to face.
 
In my opinion it sounds like the seller is trying to avoid paying an FFL transfer fee, that is assuming face to face sales don't require an FFL in his state. Have you contacted him? He might agree to sell to you if you are willing to pay the FFL fee on his end.
 
When I see "face to face" it doesn't mean seller to ffl, it means seller to buyer. It sounds like you really want the gun but can't be there face to face so you got cute. Saying the firearm is illegal, that the seller doesn't want a record or lazy is tantamount to throwing a fit after parents tell you "no."
 
I would love to be able to meet at a dealer in their state, but, although the gun is listed at a good price, the distance is too far and, therefore, definitely not cost effective.

When I see "face to face" it doesn't mean seller to ffl, it means seller to buyer. It sounds like you really want the gun but can't be there face to face so you got cute. Saying the firearm is illegal, that the seller doesn't want a record or lazy is tantamount to throwing a fit after parents tell you "no."
No, not throwing a fit. Just trying to understand the reasons. If it works out, great. If not, I move on. If it’s legal to transfer FTF and they don’t want a paper trail, that’s a reason, and to them justifiable. I’m OK with that. And to be clear, I’m not throwing a tantrum for being accused of throwing a tantrum ;).

Also, not trying to be “cute”. My wife will tell you that ship has sailed (ETA: or more accurate, that ship was never in port). Maybe it was an option for sale that the seller hadn’t thought of; it’s worked for me in the past and the seller was happy.

In my opinion it sounds like the seller is trying to avoid paying an FFL transfer fee, that is assuming face to face sales don't require an FFL in his state. Have you contacted him? He might agree to sell to you if you are willing to pay the FFL fee on his end.
Good point.
 
When an FFL receives a firearm, do they have to record where it was obtained, i.e. documenting the person or entity it is received from?

When I see FTF, I usually see it as the seller not wanting to deal with the cost and hassles of shipping, not that they are being "lazy". The cost of shipping usually skims off money from the asking price. If they are shipping out of state, it's always going to touch an FFL and the fees that they need to charge to stay in business.
 
Across state lines, FFL. Period.

I used to operate under the belief that it was only for handguns, but I'm looking now, I can't see any distinction between handguns and long guns. If I encounter someone who is deliberately TRYING to get around the rules like this, I'm going to start wondering if it's some kind of setup.
 
Across state lines, FFL. Period.

I used to operate under the belief that it was only for handguns, but I'm looking now, I can't see any distinction between handguns and long guns. If I encounter someone who is deliberately TRYING to get around the rules like this, I'm going to start wondering if it's some kind of setup.
Trust me, I am NOT trying to "get around the rules", or laws, in regard to interstate sales and transfers. The firearm would touch TWO FFL's. One in their state, and my receiving FFL. How can this be perceived as TRYING to get around the rules (laws)?

Maybe I misinterpreted what you were saying and what you are saying is that the seller is trying to get around some rules by selling FTF and I should wonder if that is some type of setup?

The only rule I'm trying to negotiate is the seller's rule, and what they perceive as "FTF", which is the seller's rule.

If I decide to sell another gun, I can only wish someone would offer to pay all transfer fees and shipping costs through an FFL in addition to my asking price.
 
Let him stew. If he doesn't get a face to face sale, he will be more agreeable to going through a dealer.
The offer is out there, however, I will follow up to make it clear that I would cover transfer fees. His price is a good price, so I'm surprised it's still available. If it was on a more specific forum in regard to the firearm they are trying to sell, it would be gone already.

Based on my life expectancy, I have a few more years to find another deal, so I guess I could let him stew for a while, but then I might miss out on this gun, and I'll have to post AGAIN in the "Guns You Should Have Bought When You Had The Chance, And Now Regret Not Buying" thread :(.
 
The offer is out there, however, I will follow up to make it clear that I would cover transfer fees. His price is a good price, so I'm surprised it's still available. If it was on a more specific forum in regard to the firearm they are trying to sell, it would be gone already.

Based on my life expectancy, I have a few more years to find another deal, so I guess I could let him stew for a while, but then I might miss out on this gun, and I'll have to post AGAIN in the "Guns You Should Have Bought When You Had The Chance, And Now Regret Not Buying" thread :(.

That's all you can do. But don't be shocked if the transfer fee is incredibly high. That may be why he's looking for an FtoF sale.
 
I don't THINK you have to go through the rigamarole described.
All he should have to do is take it to a dealer and pay him to send it to your dealer. You would then 4473 it there.
You would have to trust him to send the gun, he would have to trust you to send the money.
 
I don't THINK you have to go through the rigamarole described.
All he should have to do is take it to a dealer and pay him to send it to your dealer. You would then 4473 it there.
You would have to trust him to send the gun, he would have to trust you to send the money.
I agree with this. Usually the buyer is the one taking the risk as the item usually doesn't ship unless payment is received.

The idea of the seller walking into an FFL, handing them the gun, receiving full asking price in payment and leaving seems pretty straight forward; as close to FTF as it can be without it being FTF. I would be the one dealing with the FFL and arranging addresses and shipment and payments. For the seller, less rigamorole. For me, more rigamorole, but if the seller is willing, it would be worth it to me.

My main question(s), is I'm just curious what reasons there would be to not want to sell a gun this way if offered as an option.
 
A simple solution would be be for the th beuyer to pay all fees associated with the sale. If the seller is not OK with this then I would think something is sketchy with the firearm and forget about the purchase.
Maybe something sketchy with the firearm, maybe not. Most likely going the way of forgetting about the purchase.

I would think a seller would want documentation of a sale to make sure you aren't passing it on to a prohibited person, and if the firearm is used illegally in the future, it would be easy to clear yourself. All firearm sales that I've made (which is very few) have been transferred through an FFL as that is what I am most comfortable with.
 
I have only sold one firearm face to face in at least 30 years to a person I have known for years. Any other sales have been by consignment at my mom and pop gunshop.That protects both the buyer and I and the fee is low.
 
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Maybe something sketchy with the firearm, maybe not. Most likely going the way of forgetting about the purchase.

I would think a seller would want documentation of a sale to make sure you aren't passing it on to a prohibited person, and if the firearm is used illegally in the future, it would be easy to clear yourself. All firearm sales that I've made (which is very few) have been transferred through an FFL as that is what I am most comfortable with.

Did you find this gun listed on THR, GB, another forum? I'm suspecting you did considering that's how most people sell now a days. If that's the case, he's not really worried about paper trail. Stop overthinking this.
 
Did you find this gun listed on THR, GB, another forum? I'm suspecting you did considering that's how most people sell now a days. If that's the case, he's not really worried about paper trail. Stop overthinking this.
Another forum. Good point - if it's listed on a gun forum, it's pretty much documented forever. Yeah, not much else to really think about, so I'm pretty close to not thinking about it anymore.
 
Ok, the form of this, which is legal, federally, would be to agree to a purchase price between your selves. You contact an FFL local to you, and get their permission to receive your bought firearm. Seller than takes his firearm to the local FFL of his choice, and says "Please ship this to [your FFL]." He pays his FFL for that privilege (you will have agreed on how to handle that shipping expense in advance).
You then wait on USPS (or who ever the common carrier used is) to deliver to your FFL. You then pay the transfer fees and go home happy.

You need not have the seller "sell" the arm to his FFL to then sell to your FFL.

Now, you will want to have communicated the condition of the gun, shared photos by email (or Skype or the like) and have a reasonably good "feel" for the condition of the arm. And an agreement on the fairness of the price.

It's not a true face-to-face like meeting somebody from the next county over and just trading cash for the arm.
 
The idea of the seller walking into an FFL, handing them the gun, receiving full asking price in payment and leaving seems pretty straight forward; as close to FTF as it can be without it being FTF.

IF it was that easy then it would be simple, but basically he'll have to get his local FFL to ship to yours, and you'll have to get yours to agree to receive it and do the transfer to you. The payment situation will likely be independent of either FFL.

I know I don't have any FFL close that I would want to deal with like that if I was the seller.
There are 2 good FFL's local to me that I trust, but they only receive firearms for people. Neither goes into the hassle of shipping due to costs and dealing with the shipping companies.
Like the seller I prefer FTF as well, as there's more flexibility in scheduling and the parties can inspect the firearm. Too many hassles or problems that can arise from shipping.
Who's on the line if the shipping company loses it? Damages it? If you come back and say it's not as described?
 
IF it was that easy then it would be simple, but basically he'll have to get his local FFL to ship to yours, and you'll have to get yours to agree to receive it and do the transfer to you. The payment situation will likely be independent of either FFL.

I know I don't have any FFL close that I would want to deal with like that if I was the seller.
There are 2 good FFL's local to me that I trust, but they only receive firearms for people. Neither goes into the hassle of shipping due to costs and dealing with the shipping companies.
Like the seller I prefer FTF as well, as there's more flexibility in scheduling and the parties can inspect the firearm. Too many hassles or problems that can arise from shipping.
Who's on the line if the shipping company loses it? Damages it? If you come back and say it's not as described?
Good points. Good reasons to want to do FTF. Hadn’t thought of some of those.
 
When an FFL receives a firearm, do they have to record where it was obtained, i.e. documenting the person or entity it is received from?
Yes, the FFL has to get documentation from the person they received the firearm from. I think DL number (and name, address, etc) is a valid form of ID for their bound book.

I can think of a few reasons the seller wouldn’t want to do the deal. First he may not be able to easily get to a FFL. I know lots of dealers in my area like to work 9-5, which means if I want to go by there I would have to take time off work to do so.

Have you actually talked to a FFL local to him to see if they want to be an escrow service for this transaction? I don’t know many dealers who do that, but it would probably be a complication where the seller has to go in and spend time explaining “hey, I’m here for this weird type of deal that you’ve never done before…” and have to wait around while they find the person who actually knows/agreed to handle that deal, then he’s likely going to get a check rather than cash and have to deal with the deposit… and that doesn’t even get into potential issues of fraudulent funds (for either the FFL or the seller).

Plus this guy might not be that interested in getting rid of the gun. It could be one of those “if it sells for a price I like, cool - but I’m not going to bend over backwards to make a sale” situations.

He could also be talking to other potential buyers who are ok with just a normal face to face sale, and in that case why would he bother with something more complex that he already said he didn’t want to do?

I obviously don’t know the specifics of the deal you were working out with him, but if I was selling and someone negotiated me down from my starting price, I agreed, and then started adding steps and other things I would need to do (all for a lower dollar figure than I wanted to begin with) I wouldn’t see that in the best of light.

Overall, I’m not saying that these are massive hoops for someone selling a gun to jump through. I actually think you found a pretty good way to handle the sale. But just because the seller doesn’t want to go thorough all of the extra steps to get you the gun doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with the gun or that he was doing something illegal.
 
Lets pretend that there is no illegal shenanigans going on with the seller and the gun.
A simple reason that he doesn't want to use a FFL is most likely - he wants cash. FFL's just about always pay with a check.

Maybe he doesn't want a financial record of the sale of this gun and would rather sell it face to face to a local in his state for cash.
Cash talks BS walks. Lots of folks prefer cash.

Why is he refusing to sell to you? 1. You're not a local. 2. You're not offering him cash.

Furthermore, if he wanted to go to all the hassle of using a FFL, shipping, etc. he could list it himself on Gunbroker.
Which he didn't.
 
Sometimes people just don't want to deal with the perceived extra hassle regardless of if it actually is a hassle. At the end of the day it's his gun he's selling and he isn't interested. It is what it is.
Or the actual hassle and risk. If a gun shows up as represented, I guess I hadn’t thought of the idea of a buyer scamming and saying it’s not as represented or that it was damaged or that it wasn’t received. But there are those that would. All good reasons to want to do a FTF deal and not ship.
 
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