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How soon is too soon to sell a new gun?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by wristtwister, Apr 15, 2008.

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  1. wristtwister

    wristtwister Member

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    I was reading a thread somewhere last week where someone bought a gun and then resold it at a profit and got busted by the BATF for "conducting gun sales without a license". Now, that makes me wonder what constitutes "going into the gun business". I have lots of guns, but haven't sold them off... just traded them with dealers, etc. but it's a bit unnerving to think that just because I buy a gun and then sell it for a profit that I'm going to get slammed by the BATF. I know that we can go to a gun show and sell them as "private sales" here in South Carolina, but this is dysfunctional.

    I read the indictment of this fellow, and he really didn't do anything extrordinary, other than buy a gun and sell it within a couple of weeks. I've bought guns that I thought sucked, and traded them off through dealers... but I'd hate to think that if I sold one to somebody that I'd end up in jail for it. What's considered a "reasonable time" for keeping a gun you think sucks pond water before selling it off? ... and if you sell it, do you have to take a loss just because it isn't going through a gun dealer?

    This is not only puzzling, but really upsetting to anyone who wants to dispose of their gun collection without losing their butt to fees or being forced to take a loss just to steer them through dealers. Anybody got any experience or advice on this? Just curious...
     
  2. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    I've bought & sold through newspaper ads, gun shows, pawnshops, etc.,;never thought I was breaking the law...
    Why is profit the key word in your post?:confused:
     
  3. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    There is no fixed number of days. You can buy a gun at a gun show and turn around and sell it five minutes later, making a profit, and still be legal. The catch is how many times you do this over a given period of time. Again, there is no fixed number of transactions. If ATF determines through their arcane rules that you have sold too many guns for profit in a given time frame, they charge you with dealing in firearms without a license.
     
  4. Fat Boy

    Fat Boy Member

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    you mean some people actually MAKE MONEY on buying and reselling guns???
     
  5. Moonclip

    Moonclip Member

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    I've sold guns w/o even having shot them! However I am leery of BATF and state rules on this and try to space out sales when upgrading or something to avoid looking like I'm in the business. This is a very grey area I wish the BATF would clarify.

    If the BATF thinks I'm supporting myself and in the business by selling off a gun here and there I'd love to know how they survive on a few 1000 dollars a year:)
     
  6. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    :scrutiny:

    :D No kidding! I've yet to. The absolute worst thing you can do is sell them to gun dealers. You will get half or a third of its worth that way. (Don't ask me how I know.;))

    So if - hypothetically:uhoh:- I were to sell the guns in my accumulation and got more than I paid for some of them, I would be making a profit and subject to these rules? :confused:

    Indeed.

    In any event, it is most improbable that the OP could get in trouble for just one sale like this.
     
  7. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    You could sell your entire 500 firearm collection at a gunshow over the weekend and be fine. Then again, if you had bought those 500 guns the week before, ATF might want to discuss it with you.

    Selling a few guns here and there isn't going to get you in trouble. Buying 10 guns every month and selling them the next might get you a visit from ATF to discuss the matter.
     
  8. Moonclip

    Moonclip Member

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    I've seen 70-100 or more guns put on sale at one time. Usually when someone dies and the widow eventually sells off the collection. I wonder what the BATF take is on such a large one time sale.

    I have considered selling off a huge piece of my extensive collection and starting over again only with almost all high end guns, ie. 1 Wilson instead of Colt's Norincos and RIA's. A SIG P210 instead of 3-5 Rugers.

    I fear BATF wouldn't like this.
     
  9. makarovnik

    makarovnik Member

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    I think you need a five day "cooling of period". Unless you can make a lot of money on the sale. After all money is what makes the world go 'round, right?
     
  10. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    Okay, I'll bite. So if we buy each gun everytime through an FFL and it goes through a NICS check and the NICS checks are not "kept on file"...and as I understand it they're not supposed to be.....then how does the BATF know when and how often we're buying and selling?

    (other than if we buy more than one gun from the same dealer within a week, which I understand triggers a different set of paperwork).
     
  11. wristtwister

    wristtwister Member

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    Profiting off gun sales

    I agree that selling guns through a dealer is asking to lose money, but I can usually get a reasonable "trade" on a gun that may or might not lose or gain money. I usually buy guns and clean them up before I try to trade them, so if I got popped by the BATF, my first defense would be "I made the gun worth more by fixing things that were wrong with it".

    You'd be surprised what a little cold blue and gun oil can do for guns that have been sitting around in a drawer rusting. A little work with replacing springs, pins, etc. to get them working better, and you can take a $100 gun and turn it into a good looking $100 gun...:D Seriously, I like to get "guns with problems" and fix them... so they ARE worth more once I'm finished with them... but again, most of the time, I either keep them or trade with a dealer.

    The thread that I referred to, was specifically pointed at the sale of the gun "for profit"... which I found confusing, since unless you're selling them to felons or on the street in volume, you should be able to sell your own personal property at a profit without getting hammered as "running a firearms business". If you're selling 10 or 15 a month, that's different... but it really would be more settling if the BATF would clearly define what they consider "being in business" as far as guns sales go.

    If I suddenly got into financial trouble and decided to sell my guns to finance medical bills or something like that, why should I have to fear being imprisoned for selling guns without a federal firearms license or being taken to the cleaners by selling them off to gun dealers who will give me maybe 25 to 30 percent of what they're worth? The:cuss: government does as much as they can to make having guns uncomfortable for citizens anyway, so why do they have to create the added threat that "if you have guns and you get rid of them, we'll put you in jail"? It makes no sense... going either way.

    We used to have a law in South Carolina that you could only buy one firearm per month... so if you came into an inheritance and wanted to spend it at the gun store, it would take months to get the transactions done. I think a lawsuit for restraint of trade caused the state to change the law, but it's crazy things like that which keep citizens off balance as to how to handle firearms ownership and transactions. I know in some states, a "transaction" where you trade a gun with someone else is treated like a cash sale, and has to go through the paperwork with a gun dealer involved, and in North Carolina, you have to get a permit before you can go buy a handgun... so it's crazy trying to keep up with what you can and can't do.

    Maybe keeping the law abiding citizens off balance is what the BATF wants... who the hell knows? I know they can keep you confused.

    WT
     
  12. Joe the Redneck

    Joe the Redneck Member

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    Well, the ATF was looking at this guy for a reason, so there may be other issues. Unless they did just pick his name out of a hat.

    Eitherway, that what lawyers are for. Not you best friend, your only friend.
     
  13. FunYet

    FunYet Member

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    At some of the local gun shows they say you can't buy a gun at the show and turn around and sell it at the show. They (the show organizers) claim this is considered trafficking. I have no idea if that's accurate but I've seen people tossed out for doing it. Up till then, I wasn't aware of the rule/law.
     
  14. Kor

    Kor Member

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    http://www.atf.gov/pub/fire-explo_pub/2005/p53004/18usc_chap44.pdf

    Occasionally selling stuff out of your own personal collection is OK - however, if ATF agents happen to notice that you have a "Private Sale" table at a gun show every time one is held in your home state, and that the guns on your table are always changing, you may have a problem...
     
  15. wristtwister

    wristtwister Member

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    That seems pretty clear to me, but it makes me wonder about how active you can actually be in repairing firearms, trading, and "enhancing your collection" before it pokes up the red flag to the BATF and get you a trip to the courthouse.

    "such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms;"... clearly doesn't say anything about "profit"... just sales, exchanges, or purchases... so it makes me wonder if, as we all suspect, that something else must have been going on with the guy they indicted.

    Thanks for the information. It makes me feel a lot more comfortable about selling off some guns to buy some better ones.

    P.S. I was on the Beretta website the other night and they had a notation that when Ryan Newman won the race in Texas, they gave him a $65,000 shotgun. That's worth more than my whole gun collection... there just isn't any justice in this world...

    WT
     
  16. velobard

    velobard Member

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    OK, if you sell a few guns in private, FTF transactions outside of a gun show with no paperwork, how is the BATF going to even know? I don't plan on making a habit of this, but I I buy a gun from one friend and sell to another once in awhile, where does the boogeyman even come into play?
     
  17. Kman

    Kman Member

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    The problem is that the law isn't stated to clearly indicate an amount of time that must pass before reselling a firearm. It is left to the judge to decide if you are "dealing for profit" or just "upgrading", however if it has gotten to that point you had better have deep pockets.
     
  18. wristtwister

    wristtwister Member

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    I was laughing about this today... I've got two guns going back to the factory to be fixed, and one to be rebuilt... at that rate, I won't be able to keep them long enough to execute a sale...:D We've got a gun show in a week, and I'm having to pick up parts from one of the dealers to fix yet another gun... so between guns being broken, needing reworking, and missing parts... I just have to worry that the BATF doesn't go after people for having too many "loose parts".

    WT
     
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