View Full Version : Warning about Solstace Arms gunsmithing in Kansas
November 18, 2002, 09:18 PM
In October 2000, I sent an RPK parts kit and a milled AK receiver to Solstice Arms in Harveyville, Kansas, to be assembled into a rifle. The owner/gunsmith, Gary Gucciano, assured me that it would be done in about six weeks. A couple month later, I paid him up front for the work to help speed things along. I still don't have my rifle. He claimed it was done in November 2001. All I have gotten from him is an unending string of empty, broken promises. Yes, he's been jerking me around for over two years now.
A couple months ago, I filed a complaint with the Kansas Attorney General's Office, Consumer Protection Division. It turns out that Solstice Arms has several similar complaints against it. They've given Mr. Gucciano until the 21st to comply and send the KAG's office proof that the work has been shipped. If he fails to meet this deadline, they will move forward against him with a lawsuit, and possibly a criminal complaint. They will also see if they can get his business license pulled.
Gary Gucciano is the poster known as Informer_SAI (this is info he himself has made public) over at AssaultWeb.net and AK-47.net, where he moderates the gunsmithing forums. I once posted a very diplomatically-worded question asking if anyone else had experienced shipping delays, and those threads were pulled within an hour. I was told that I was 'harrassing and defaming' Gary, and any further posts questioning his business in any way would result in my being banned permanently. That explains why I saw nothing but glowing reviews of his work on those forums, which led me to use his services.
I am posting this as a warning to anyone who is considering doing business with Mr. Gucciano. If you have already had problems with Solstice Arms, you can contact the KAG's Office, Consumer Division at:
State of Kansas - Attorney General's Office
Consumer Protection / Antitrust Division
120 SW 10th Ave.
Topeka, KS 66612-1597
attn: Special Agent Jerry Howland
If you want to file a complaint, you must fill out, print out & sign a complaint form from their website:
Then sign the form and mail or fax it into their office. If you can't print out this form, you can request they mail you a complaint package.
I hope this saves you from the extreme frustration and anger that this guy has caused me and others.
Solstice Arms website:
November 19, 2002, 05:47 PM
This is good info to know. I'm sorry you got screwed to get it though!:mad:
November 19, 2002, 11:14 PM
All I can do is relate a similar experience...
I had a 223 Bulgarian kit off for about a year with SAI. I almost contacted the Kansas AG, but decided to see if I could work out something for both myself AND SAI....
Gary had managed to get into quite a backlog... and, being a much better artist than scheduler, had gotten behind. So, we talked. I'm glad we did.
Having worked out an October date that worked for both of us, SAI delivered on time. And I still can't believe what I got - the rifle is flawless. This was the first time I had sent anything to SAI... others had told me it would take quite a while, but that I would be pleased with the end product. They were right :)
I believe SAI is currently in catch-up mode, and is taking in no NEW work until the entire backlog is complete. Not perfect, but certainly the best, and most practical, corse that can be taken. If one thinks about it, how did they GET that backlog? Through LOTS of business - which pretty much attests to their quality :)
November 20, 2002, 02:55 AM
You can call the Kansas AG's Office and find out the truth for yourself. Also, you might check out these threads:
It seems that some other people have had their own experiences with Mr. Gucciano, and that he's desperately trying to exercise some damage control.
November 20, 2002, 10:47 AM
I love it when a persons first post is always a glowing rebuttal of a complaint. Isn't too difficult to deduce the identity of the poster...
November 20, 2002, 09:37 PM
This trotsky character posted the same comments over at www.falfiles.com Looks like he is reviewing the sites and posting glowing comments about this Gary guy. He has only 2 posts over at falfiles.
November 20, 2002, 10:44 PM
Well, Gary Gucciano has posted my real name on the internet. To breach cusotmer confidentiality and destroy any anonimity I had on the net as a petty retaliation tactic is utterly despicable. Take a look at the thread in the Subguns.com Board Of Inquiry forum. The poster with the handle 'G2' is Gary. Look for his post, and my response.
Unbelievable !!! Gary & friends have posted my real name & street address on Subguns.com, with a threatening suggestion that people should "pay me a visit". What a way to use private Solstice Arms customer information! :rolleyes:
November 21, 2002, 08:12 PM
THIS is why things of this nature need to be verified BEFORE someone mindlessly believes them. It was requested that someone (an administrator, moderator, etc. of a different board) call the KAG themselves and find out what the truth actually was. Posts similar to this one are now being removed because .......
From anouther respected fourm......
"When scarcely veiled threats are made, outright lies are posted, and "a friend has..." type posts are put up, I think that says a lot about the validity of the thread and posters. I had several people ask me to look into the matter with the KAG. I did so and came to the conclusion that much information posted was misleading and inflammatory.
I've also deleted several posts supposedly by various people with complaints FROM THE SAME IP ADDRESS. Does that sound like something that should be left up? I think not. I'm tired of the bull**** from people posting half truths and out right false information. If you can't stand by your words, don't waste my time with stuff listed above."
That's 110% why its seriously unfortunate that people are allowed to post "half-truths" and get away with it. If there isn't real moderation, that has to reflex on the true validity of all things posted here.
November 21, 2002, 10:56 PM
Nice spin there, Gary. Here is what the Subguns admins actually said:
Removed SAI thread below. All Ctxt...
Posted By: BCR #226 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 11/21/02 12:51
I nuked the thread on SAI/ Gary Gucciani. Due to the volatile nature of the posts, I deemed it necessary to investigate the claims made. Many exaggerations and false statements came to light the more I checked on the matter. After consulting with another moderator, I made the decision to pull the thread. No one side is free of blame in this matter and more professional conduct would be appreciated in the future.
I would also refer everybody to the BOI posting rules that are posted by myself and other moderators on this board for your reference. Specifically the last paragraph:
"The Board of Inquiry is also a place to give notice of good/bad business transactions. Great attention from subguns.com is given to making certain that persons posting good/bad experiences about business/individuals post with their real names, e-mails and that they post a fair recount of the transaction. The mentioned party then has a chance to respond knowing exactly who they are talking to and perhaps work towards agreement with the poster."
Apparently, when the Subguns admins contacted Jerry Howland at the KAG's Office, he told them something different than what he told me. The night the I posted the original post at Subguns (same thing as the first post on this thread), I emailed the text of that post to Jerry Howland at the KAG's Office, asked him if he had any problem with it, and offered to make any corrections he saw fit. He did not get back to me.
The following things are absolute facts:
- Gary jerked me around for two years, after he quoted a six week timeframe for the job and I paid him $400 up front.
- When I pressed him, he became abusive and threatened to disassemble the gun and send back the pieces.
- Gary, on six different occasions in the last year, promised he would ship my gun (which he claimed was completed in December 2001) "in a few days".
- Since I've posted my story, many other people have come forward relating their very similar experiences. Due to my posting contact info for the KAG's Office, several new complaints against Solstice Arms are being filed, or will be filed in the very near future.
- Gary is in legal arbitration with the Kansas Attoreny General's Office due to multiple complaints against him filed with that office.
- Gary was way behind on his jobs with a number of out-of-state customers, yet he continued to accept new work right up until the point that his troubles with the KAG's Office began. He told me in one of his emails that he was working on a large order of several hundred rifles for a major distributor, an order he apparently took at the expense of smaller customers like me.
I have the original emails to prove my claims about Gary, and have offered to send them to Subguns admins so they may dissect the email headers and verify their authenticity. The part about the legal arbitration Gary admitted himself on the Subguns thread, and can be verified by calling the KAG's Office at the number in the first post on this thread.
Those are the facts, and Gary's spin can't change them.
Since the old thread at Subguns got pulled, here's a link to the new one:
And here's another person who had experiences similar to mine:
November 23, 2002, 10:46 PM
"And here's another person who had experiences similar to mine"
As you have provided a link to my original post, I am compelled to point out that the issue I originally had HAS been resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned (see http://subguns.biggerhammer.net/inquiry.cgi?read=23500). In fact, I received my rifle as promised, on time - and it is absolutely stunning.
In my case (which I recognize is MY case - not everyone elses), I discovered that positive communication was far better than "Internet Warfare" - and that both the buyer and seller had legitimate reasons for their behavior.
Having learned an important lesson (yes, I over reacted), I would urge all to remember that the vast majority of people in the world are NOT evil crooks out to steal our goods - They are people just like you, and me, that have things happen to them. The true measure of people facing a problem is how they correct the problem, and prevent its recurrance. I believe, based on measurable performance, that SAI is doing a very good job at this - and they are to be commended for correcting and eliminating past mistakes
November 24, 2002, 06:06 AM
Gary has been doing this to his customers for a while now, and only took steps to 'eliminate past mistakes' when compelled to do so by the Kansas Attorney General's Office. Whether that indicates any permanent changes in the way he does business remains to be seen.
The problems, as I see them, are this. First, Gary makes timeframe promises to new customers on jobs that he can't possibly keep, as he did with me. Second, he makes a large number of completion and delivery promises to his customers he never keeps. Third, he takes on large big-bux jobs from distributors and new smaller jobs when he's a year behind on his work. He only stopped this unethical practice temporarily after the KAG's Office was on his back. Fourth, when confronted by his upset customers, he loses his temper and becomes threatening and abusive. Fifth, he refuses to return parts or guns when his customers demand it.
So the whole ball of wax is that if he was honest with customers, kept his temper in check, always treated his customers with respect, returned customer property when they demanded it, didn't take big-money orders at the expense of his small out-of-state customers, drastically improved his customer communication and learned to schedule his time better, he'd be someone who everybody would be happy to deal with. There's no doubt the man is a very skilled craftsman. He's just a really bad businessman. I hope this experience wakes him up. An Attorney General and 'internet warfare' is what it took to create the possibility that such change in his attitude might happen.
December 19, 2002, 02:34 PM
To see the final resolution to this, check out this thread:
December 20, 2002, 12:14 AM
I like and admire your determination in the face of what you experienced. Whew!
Here I thought I'd had it rough in my dealings with EAA in getting them to provide proper warranty work on my Compact 10mm Witness. That was nothing!
Hats off and good luck in following this action to it's end!
December 20, 2002, 05:32 PM
Thanks, and I see by your handle your hold perserverance in high regard. :)
Here's some more agencies to contact for those who can't resolve problems with Solstice Arms:
You can file a mail fraud complaint with the US Postal Inspection Service. To take money for a service (like gunsmithing work) by US mail, and then fail to do that service in reasonable time, and then refuse to return the money and the customer's parts or gun is mail fraud. If you paid the business with a US Postal money order, even if the parts or gun weren't sent through the US mail, when they fail to provide the services paid for, that is mail fraud as well. If you want to file a mail fraud complaint, go to this website:
You can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau:
You can file a complaint the BATF Industry Operation Area Supervisor for the Kansas City area (I chose not to do this). They control Gary's firearms manufacturer's license, and he can't do business without that. According to their website, you can call them at (816)559-0700 or email them at email@example.com.
December 28, 2002, 02:21 AM
Here are some more links for help!
Federal Trade Commisions:
Use this form to submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection about a particular company or organization.
FBI Internet Fraud Complaint Center:
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