Have you ever backed out of selling someone a gun, "just because", of a feeling.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by george burns, Jul 28, 2017.

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  1. SHOOT1SAM

    SHOOT1SAM Member

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    AND... as I posted: "...until the money & rifle changed hands, it was still the Seller's property to decide what to do with. Hence the old saying: "Different strokes for different folks". So, by this logic, if you're asking me to sell you a gun, and you're intimating in your conversation that Ol' Jed is gonna get what's comin' to him for mess'n around with Betty Lou...it's none of my business?? Yes, that's an extreme example, however, if I have a very nice rifle, and I get the feeling from you that in 3, 4 days tops, that rifle is gonna become a bubba'd POS...until you have handed me the money and I have handed you the rifle...it's still MY, private property, and I still have the final say, whether you are going to receive it - you can offer me 15 times what I'm asking for it - that, in NO WAY, obligates me to accept it...for any reason.


    Back in the day, around 1993(?) maybe...a guy calling up on the (landline) telephone and stating he'd like to come take a look at the rifle...that ain't no "lawful agreement". Even if it somehow...was...a lawful agreement...it would have been the Seller's word against the (rejected) buyer's word. Oh, and by that time...I would have been establishing my long & loving relationship with Norma!

    Sam
     
  2. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    From where did you get that idea?

    That would be true, unless you had mad a lawful offer, and it had been lawfully accepted.

    That's a fact.

    But it is has nothing whatever to do with whether property and payment have been exchanged.

    This extends far beyond transactions having to do with firearms.
     
  3. SHOOT1SAM

    SHOOT1SAM Member

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    Kleanbore...from where could you not? We're not talking about "legal contracts"; we are talking about a guy who called up on the phone, said he'd like to take a look at the the rifle, offered the asking price, and was denied the sale, by the owner of the personal property. I'm starting to get the feeling that you are an attorney...so be it. It would be a small claims court case, at most, and here in Idaho...once the judge finished laughing, he'd find for the defendant, i.e., the owner of the personal property.

    And as Moderator on this site, you know, we are ONLY referring to, as we are only allowed to, transactions having to do with...firearms.

    Sam
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  4. Poper

    Poper Member

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    Sounds a lot like a drug deal gone bad.
     
  5. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, there is a very distinct difference between an inquiry about a prospective sale and a lawful agreement to sell.

    My point was that, if an agreement has been reached, the fact that neither money nor property has yet been exchanged does not provide the seller with the right to decide to change the agreement unilaterally,
     
  6. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

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    It's not only an extreme example it's a ridiculous one.

    I'm not even sure how to respond to this. If you want to do business like this fine, I suspect you won't do much business before word of your reputation gets out and people stop doing business with you.

    Threads like this reenforce my theory that in general if you scratch a gun owner you'll find a authoritarian.

    I get the concept of not wanting to sell to a criminal (hence using an FFL) but if I'm selling a gun to an otherwise lawful owner I'm letting it go and once it goes I have no further control over it.

    Pro tip: If you're that worried some lesser being is going to "bubba" your gun don't sell it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  7. Wisco

    Wisco member

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    Say I show up to buy a nice gun. We agree on a price. I hand you the money. You take the money. I say I can't wait to get this mint condition, unfired, really nice rifle to my workshop to chop the barrel and improve the stock with a wood file...

    Then what? You think you're within your rights to not make the sale because the transaction wasn't completed by you handing me the rifle?
     
  8. Ryanxia

    Ryanxia Member

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    Sure have. Trust your gut.
     
  9. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    The one instance I have had that is germane to this thread went something like this: Back about 10 years ago, I bought a Springfield Armory GI model 1911 at a gun show. While I was walking around and browsing, one rather skeevy-looking character came up to me and asked if I wanted to sell it. It struck me as very odd that he wanted to buy my pistol when there were, quite literally, hundreds of identical pistols for sale by FFLs, all in the same building. I told him "no, thank you," and we went about our day.
     
  10. 5whiskey

    5whiskey Member

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    My point was that, if an agreement has been reached, the fact that neither money nor property has yet been exchanged does not provide the seller with the right to decide to change the agreement unilaterally...

    By that logic, I could sue MidwayUSA when my backordered order is cancelled because it is permanently out of stock. Even if real estate deals, with binding contracts in place, fall through there is usually no recourse other than keeping the earnest money deposited (seller recourse) or demanding all moneys paid back (buyer recourse). Certainly you can enter a contract (even informal, over the phone or by email), and that contract may be TECHNICALLY legal. Practically, its unenforceable.


    Back to the OP's question I have never personally had a deal like this, however I usually do try to speak with the person over the phone for a few minutes to get a feeling. The last gun I sold (fairly recently), the guy wouldn't talk to me via phone call, only by text or email. This bothered me a little, so I asked him his name and looked him up on FB. His page was public, and it appeared that he was a normal guy, goes to a normal church, with a normal job, and a normal family. After seeing the boorish lack of (overt, at least) extremism or criminality on his FB page, I decided to go through with it. I met him, did the deal (after seeing CCH permit) and everything is fine. He was really a nice guy. He was young, I guess just raised on text messages whereas I don't like them.
     
  11. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    That and any expectation that that you nay have of recovery would depend upon, among other things, the terms of the transaction.

    Could be, depending, again, upon the terms, but it may be a lot more complicated than that.

    It is not a good idea to enter into a contract and to not perform your end of the deal.
     
  12. SHOOT1SAM

    SHOOT1SAM Member

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    Glad to see that you got it. :cool: I might even be worried that greater being was going to do that.

    I'm finished with this thread; to those who disagree with what I've stated, we'll just have to agree to disagree; or not.

    Sam
     
  13. grampajack

    grampajack AR Junkie

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    Of course, although I can't put my finger on exactly what about him made me think he wasn't on the level, though it may have been the fact that his IP was in Nigeria. One can never know for sure in such cases.
     
  14. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    No, but sometimes it's better to breach the contract than to perform. If I remember my Contracts class (no promises), it's called an "efficient breach." Even if some legally enforceable agreement were reached for the sale of one of my firearms, I would consider it more efficient to: (a) risk a lawsuit for this alleged breach (which will undoubtedly wind up in Small Claims Court, given my meager collection of guns); rather than (b) risk selling to someone who is, or gives me reason to believe that he is, either a prohibited person or unstable.
     
  15. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, good put. It may prove better to pay damages (or provide other consideration) rather than to continue under the terms of a contract.

    It is not a preferred situation, but the option is there, such as it may be. I remember being tangentially involved in such a case. It was not penny-ante stuff--millions of dollars were involved, and a company's reputation was at stake.

    What I think is a more common occurrence is a decision to not pursue enforcement or seek damages in the event of a breach by the other party. That has happened to us twice this year.
     
  16. 5whiskey

    5whiskey Member

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    This was my point. A verbal agreement to sell or purchase one firearm through phone, email, or text message, with no formal contract in place, is likely to go nowhere but small claims court. If you have reasonable articulable facts to show why you believed it was not a good idea to follow through with the agreement, you will likely be Ok. Even if you were found to be in the wrong, the obvious judgement would be to complete the transaction as originally agreed (possibly plus legal fees of the plaintiff).

    The likelihood of this scenario, having to go to court for "breach of contract" because someone responded to an Armslist or Gunbroker ad and with having no formal written agreement in place, is so infinitely small that it's almost an irrational fear. Because...

     
  17. Klint Beastwood

    Klint Beastwood member

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    As long as you are straight within the law and all transaction is legit on your side, the way i see it, whatever another man does is his business and his decisions and faults to make. As long as me and mine are good to go.
    Leave me alone and there aint no problems.
     
  18. aarondhgraham

    aarondhgraham Member

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    With me, it's never come up.

    But, I was in a pawn shop one time when the owner told a man,,,
    "I'm afraid I won't be selling you a gun today."

    Needless to say the man wasn't happy,,,
    But he did fit every visible stereotype of a crazy person.

    The whole drama only took about 3-4 minutes,,,
    Owner told the man to leave after he started cursing him out,,,
    I never saw the owner use a cell phone but a cop showed up very quickly.

    I didn't ask but he must have had a hidden panic button somewhere.

    Aarond

    .
     
  19. TomJ
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    TomJ Contributing Member

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    Law school was a while ago for me, but illegality is a defense to a breech of contract. A contract for an illegal activity is not enforceable. It may be a stretch, but if you have good reason to believe the buyer will use the gun for an illegal purpose, I don't know that a judge would rule against you. Courts also consider the uniqueness of the item in question. If you're selling a common gun at the market price and the buyer could easily purchase the same gun at the same price from someone else, I don't know that you have much to worry about. If you have a unique gun, such as an antique or otherwise hard to come by gun, the agreement, if valid, may be more likely to be enforced.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  20. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    That's not a bad hunch, 5whiskey, but TomJ hit on something that's been percolating in my head for a few days. If you decline a sale and the (attempted) buyer successfully sues, the judgment won't likely be to complete the transaction. If you're selling a common firearm, a judgment is far more likely to be an award of damages, in an amount to compensate the buyer/plaintiff/victim. It's only if it's a really unique gun that a court will likely order a sale.
     
  21. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    No, I’ve never backed out on the sale of a gun, but there is one time I wish I would have. I’ve told this story I don’t know how many times, but at a gunshow about 20 years back, my wife (with my permission) sold a Taurus .44 Special that was registered to me. She’d spotted a Sig p239 like she’d been looking for on a dealer’s table, so she asked me if it was alright if she traded in my Taurus .44 Special on it. Because I’d taken that .44 Special to the show for the sole purpose of trading it in, or selling outright, I told my wife, “Sure, that’s why I brought it.”

    Anyway, as she was standing there haggling with the dealer, neither of us noticed the short, fat guy listening in. But when the dealer came up with his “final offer,” Mr. Fatty spoke up and asked to take a look at my .44 Special. So, Mrs. .308 Norma handed it to him, he looked it over and offered her $20.00 (I think) more than whatever the dealer’s “final offer” had been.

    Mr. Fatty then pulled a roll of cash out of his pocket, peeled off whatever amount he offered, and walked away with the gun. My wife turned around and gave that same cash and a check for the remaining balance to the dealer. After the paperwork, she walked away with her new Sig p239.

    Everybody was happy (I thought) until about 6 months later when the phone rang early one morning. It was the FBI, and they wanted to know if I’d sold a Taurus .44 Special that was used in a fouled bank robbery in LA! They assured me I wasn’t in any trouble, but they wanted to know the circumstances of the sale, and they sent a Special Agent out to the house to find out.

    He was nice enough. We even had coffee as he showed me some pictures of a gun that looked like the Taurus .44 Special I’d had, and asked me to identify it. I told him the same thing – it “looked” like the one I’d had, but seeing as how I couldn’t read the serial number in the pictures, I couldn’t be sure. And I also told him the same story I relayed above – my wife sold my Taurus .44 Special to a short, fat guy at a gunshow. The FBI guy left, and in 20 years, we’ve never heard another word about it.

    However, since that morning 20 years ago, neither my wife nor I have sold a gun to anyone we don’t personally know, unless our friend, an FFL dealer, does the transfer. I’m sorry if some of you folks here disagree with that policy, but if I can avoid it, I'm not going to have coffee with an FBI Special Agent ever again.:)
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
    TomJ and danez71 like this.
  22. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    We can never control what happens when a gun which we sold to a reasonable, polite (etc) guy/gal #1, is sold again to somebody else #2 , and somebody #2 sells it to guy #3.

    Not our problem. Thanks so much to Armslist for about ten gun deals FTF, exercising our Second Amendment rights.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  23. double bogey

    double bogey Member

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    Reasonable belief they may be a prohibited person. That would be a reason I would back out of a deal. I have refused to sell a gun I took to a gun show once for this reason. I traded it to a dealer while there. It was a stainless 1911.
     
  24. CharlieSW

    CharlieSW Member

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    One or two of the local suburban Police stations in Central Kansas have designated "transaction spaces" in their parking lots -- I think this is a novel approach to providing peace of mind about private party firearm sales.
     
  25. Berger.Fan222

    Berger.Fan222 Member

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    If a questionable party to whom you are uncomfortable selling a gun knows where to serve the papers for a lawsuit, you have already erred. May I suggest you keep the details needed to sue you private from unknown parties when discussing deals via internet.
     
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