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Old January 29, 2014, 10:52 AM   #1
MtnMike1
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Purchase from Private Seller using FFL

Beginning this process for the first time. I buying a Sig that is suppose to be NIB from out of state. I have no reason to doubt the seller but then I never met him. At one point does the money change hands? Does my FFL have a chance to inspect the gun before payment? If not, what do you guys suggest for security?
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Old January 29, 2014, 10:58 AM   #2
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It's fairly painless

A lot of issues/questions here. I will start by how it "normally" goes.
You obtain a copy of your local FFL holder. It has to be signed and dated. Most FFL dealers to this regularly. You send payment to the seller along with that copy, from your FFL. The seller ships the gun to your FFL and when he receives it, you go in and do a transfer. Depending on your relationship, with your FFL, he may not charge you or very little for that transfer. The large chain stores can rape you on this one. ....

Now, as far as any inspections or days allowing such, you will have to work this out with your seller and even though you are not out of line for asking, he is not obligated to do so. You need to work with him with mutual respect ..

Oh yes, you need to check your State's laws ....

Be Safe !!!
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Last edited by Pahoo; January 29, 2014 at 11:05 AM.
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Old January 29, 2014, 11:09 AM   #3
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Based on some real world incidents I know about, you haven't got much. The seller won't ship the gun until you pay for it (like any other on-line transaction) and once you do that you are SOOL if things go wrong.

Your FFL can inspect the goods for damages in shipping but should not, and probably will not, go beyond that. He is a transfer point; he is not responsible for the goods being as advertised or for making sure that you get what you paid for, nor does he have any responsibility for negotiating with the seller on your behalf.

In theory, if the goods are not correct or as advertised, you can return them and demand a refund. If the seller is honest, he will return your money, including the S&H costs you paid. If he ignores you or flat tells you to go jump in the lake, there is little realistically you can do. You can sue him in his state, which will most likely cost much more than the value of the goods. You can report him to the Better Business Bureau (he won't care because few buyers even check BBB records), you can report him to the authorities in his state, but small claims rarely get attention. One thing that will get you nowhere, is complaining to BATFE. They will respond with a polite letter, but they don't take customer complaints and they can and will do nothing.

Your best hope is to try and deal with a recognized business, not an individual, that has a good track record. Another thing you can do if you are stung is to publicize the case, but stick strictly to provable facts; if you stray into name-calling or baseless charges, he can sue you for libel in your state and it could well stick.

Jim
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Old January 29, 2014, 11:49 AM   #4
laytonj1
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Was this purchase thru one of the auction sites such as Gunbroker or a private sale thru Armslist or a forum?
One you can verify the feedback of the seller. The other, all you have is their word.

Jim
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Old January 29, 2014, 12:00 PM   #5
Rob62
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I want to echo the comments about the seller. 99% of people are honest. However that other 1% can be a real pain. Before sending any funds anywhere make absolutely sure the deal is legitimate.

If they are on an auction site with lots of positive feedback that would help alleviate my fears some. Also get a physical address for them and a phone number. Be sure to call them and talk about exactly what you are getting to get a "feel" for the seller. If they have no feedback, and or no long term Internet (forum) presence that you can detect I would not have done the deal.

Lastly if everything to go south, be sure to have copies of all correspondence to turn over to authorities.

Regards,

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Old January 29, 2014, 12:14 PM   #6
MtnMike1
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As stated earlier this is all new to me. I had INCORRECTLY assumed my FFL would hold the gun acting as a middle man until I paid the cash. Since that is not the case I'm not willing to send $800 plus out of state to someone I've never met. The ad is not on gun broker so there is no history. It's most likely legit but it is too much cash to take the risk. Is it legal for me to meet a seller at his FFL in Georgia and make the transaction there using my NC CC?
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Old January 29, 2014, 12:19 PM   #7
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All that have answered your question make very good points. I have bought most of my firearms on line, gunbroker or forums. They have all gone well. I have stuck to one action, FFL to FFL. I usually do not pay until my FFL confirms the sending FFL has the item as described. Costs more on either side, but than it is the FFLs license that is on the line not just some guy. They have to take it into their inventory before this can ship it. You are more certain to receive what you bought if you do this.
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Old January 29, 2014, 12:20 PM   #8
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No. The transfer has to take place through an FFL in your state.
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Old January 29, 2014, 12:25 PM   #9
MtnMike1
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So Robk, if I understand you correctly ... his FFL collects the item, confirms to my FFL he has the item as described, I then send the money to the seller. Once he receives the money he has his FFL send the gun to my FFL. Is that correct?
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Old January 29, 2014, 12:28 PM   #10
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Tom - Spot on since we are talking about a handgun.

However as a note, which I am sure you know, if we were talking about a long gun then that transaction could be done physically at an out of state FFL.

Rob
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Old January 29, 2014, 04:06 PM   #11
Pahoo
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Your FFL, is there to assist you

Quote:
I had INCORRECTLY assumed my FFL would hold the gun acting as a middle man until I paid the cash.
In fact, your FFL cannot keep "your" firearm, for any length of time. If he does, he has to enter it in his "book" once it's in his book, the rules change. Again, I don't know how good your relationship is with your FFL but he should only charge you for the transfer fee, if that. For instance, I work with two FFLs; one charges me $10.00 and the other rarely charges me. I had a third dealer but he always wanted to charge me tax on top of $25.00 transfer. ....

Good luck and;
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Old January 29, 2014, 05:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
As stated earlier this is all new to me. I had INCORRECTLY assumed my FFL would hold the gun acting as a middle man until I paid the cash. Since that is not the case I'm not willing to send $800 plus out of state to someone I've never met. The ad is not on gun broker so there is no history. It's most likely legit but it is too much cash to take the risk. Is it legal for me to meet a seller at his FFL in Georgia and make the transaction there using my NC CC?
As others have already confirmed, the receiving FFL in your state is not acting as your agent or as an escrow agent. He is only running the background check and processing the paperwork to transfer the firearm to you.

The customary terms for remote sales include a 3-day (from date of receipt at your FFL) inspection period, but that has to be agreed upon in advance between buyer and seller. That means you have to be able to get to your FFL within three days of when HE receives the package so YOU can inspect YOUR purchase. The three-day inspection period normally does NOT allow you to shoot the gun.

If you inspect it and decide you don't want it, you lose the cost of shipping in both directions (unless something else has been previously agreed between you and the seller).

If you choose to buy a gun in this way, the safest way to do it is to send a US Postal Service money order. If the seller pulls any shenanigans, you can then report him to the Postal Service for mail fraud and let the postal inspectors go chew on his tail.
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Old January 29, 2014, 05:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Is it legal for me to meet a seller at his FFL in Georgia and make the transaction there using my NC CC?
No - handgun purchases must go through an FFL in your state of residence. But, if you're prepared to travel to Georgia, one possible option might be to meet the buyer, inspect the gun, then (assuming you decide to go ahead with the purchase) stay with him while he packages it up and hands it over to whoever he's using to send it to your FFL. Once the package leaves his hands I would think you're pretty well protected.
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Old January 29, 2014, 07:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
In fact, your FFL cannot keep "your" firearm, for any length of time. If he does, he has to enter it in his "book" once it's in his book, the rules change. Again, I don't know how good your relationship is with your FFL but he should only charge you for the transfer fee, if that. For instance, I work with two FFLs; one charges me $10.00 and the other rarely charges me. I had a third dealer but he always wanted to charge me tax on top of $25.00 transfer. ....
He has to enter it in his book anyway.

Quote:
Is it legal for me to meet a seller at his FFL in Georgia and make the transaction there using my NC CC?
As others have said, you can look at it and pay the money, but can't take possession. He can have his FFL send it to your FFL.
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Old February 1, 2014, 10:47 AM   #15
treg
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To start, I have made many happy purchases via on-line auctions. People have been honest and items as described or better. Feedback, questions, pics and prompt payment w/ FFl info seem to be the key.

I believe there is a process where you could go to his FFL, purchase the gun, and have it sent to your FFL for transfer in your state. Contact both FFL's for confirmation before proceeding!

There would have to be substantial savings on the OTD price of the gun in order to offset fees and logistics when compared to a simple purchase from your LGS.

With the slim margin on new gun sales this would raise a flag for me. Anyone else?
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Old February 1, 2014, 03:40 PM   #16
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I know many people who have had good luck buying from auctions, and I personally know four different FFLs who sell through auction sites, and all four are stand-up guys. That said, the one and only firearm I bought through an auction site was not a happy experience. The firearm was a semi-auto handgun, it was not as represented in the ad, and it took me a considerable amount of time and effort to diagnose the issues and get it running reliably.
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Old February 2, 2014, 07:21 AM   #17
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If you were willing to meet the seller at his FFL out of state, you could then inspect the gun. If it meets your approval, you could then have his FFL ship the gun to your FFL and do the transfer there.
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Old February 2, 2014, 01:35 PM   #18
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There's always an element of risk involved when ordering over the internet. That said, there's a lot of honest folks out there as well. I personally recommend that people check out the Seller's feedback, but since you are not dealing with an auction site like Gunbroker this doesn't apply.

My advice would be unless it's a firearm you simply can't do without or a stellar deal, just go through your local shop or find a reputable FFL and put your mind at ease.
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Old February 2, 2014, 05:01 PM   #19
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Get pics of the gun ask as many questions as you can think of. Just get a good feel for the seller. Thousands of the transactions take place a day from the online auction sites. I have bought many guns online and had them sent to my FFL never had a problem. Using the auction sites is better than private as the auction site can get involved if there are issues.
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Old February 3, 2014, 02:47 AM   #20
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Have purchased over 20 guns on line and been burned only once.

Note that although you can turn someone in to USPS for fraud if you use the PO for MO or even just because you mailed a check through a verifiable method like priority or express the PO makes no attempt to get your money back but may prosecute for that fraud. Ie DID that year's ago and the guy went to jail but I was out $400 on non-gun related purchase.
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Old February 3, 2014, 09:31 AM   #21
MtnMike1
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Thanks for the help guys. I decided to buy new from an online retailer. Just a few dollars more but a lot more confidence.
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Old February 4, 2014, 03:48 PM   #22
wgsigs
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I apologize for the hijack, but this thread and the responses raised a few questions for me, even though I have had several internet purchases.

First, someone mentioned the FFL entering the gun in his book. Is this a requirement when he first receives the gun, or when he completes the transfer? Is there a grace period like 48hrs or 72hrs if it is related to the receipt of the gun? Can the local FFL "refuse" the gun (not complete the transfer) and send it back within the grace period (if there is one), especially if the buyer decides the gun is not up to his expectations (not shipping damage) after a visual inspection at the FFL and assuming he has reached an agreement with the seller? I am assuming the buyer will have to pay the costs for the return shipment.
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Old February 4, 2014, 03:59 PM   #23
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Quote:
First, someone mentioned the FFL entering the gun in his book. Is this a requirement when he first receives the gun, or when he completes the transfer? Is there a grace period like 48hrs or 72hrs if it is related to the receipt of the gun? Can the local FFL "refuse" the gun (not complete the transfer) and send it back within the grace period (if there is one), especially if the buyer decides the gun is not up to his expectations (not shipping damage) after a visual inspection at the FFL and assuming he has reached an agreement with the seller? I am assuming the buyer will have to pay the costs for the return shipment.
He can refuse the shipment without opening the package, and send it back that way

Otherwise, it MUST be logged in to his A&D book

Basically, if a firearm is on his premises without the owner, and NOT tagged/marked as his personal property (not for sale), it's supposed to be logged into the book

The sellers FFL has logged it "out" to him, so he MUST log it as coming in

There is no "grace period" for the dealer, but there's nothing to stop you from making arrangements with the seller for an inspection period, although it would be nearly impossible to really do anything other than LOOK at the gun without doing a transfer.

A dealer couldn't let you take it out of the store without completing all the paperwork and BG checks
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Old February 4, 2014, 05:55 PM   #24
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In addition to what Snyper wrote, in the interest of being thorough...
Quote:
Originally Posted by wgsigs
First, someone mentioned the FFL entering the gun in his book. Is this a requirement when he first receives the gun, or when he completes the transfer? Is there a grace period like 48hrs or 72hrs if it is related to the receipt of the gun?
There is a grace period for recording acquisitions and dispositions. It's spelled out in 27 CFR § 478.125(d) and summarized in the ATF FAQ:

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/lice...-required.html

Quote:
Q: How much time does a dealer have to record acquisitions and dispositions of firearms in his or her “bound book?”

A: Generally, licensees have to enter the acquisition or purchase of a firearm by the close of the next business day after the acquisition or purchase and shall record sales or other dispositions within 7 days.

However, if commercial records containing the required information are available for inspection and are separate from other commercial documents, dealers have 7 days from the time of receipt to record the receipt in the “bound book.”

If a disposition is made before the acquisition has been entered in the “bound book, the acquisition entry must be made at the same time as the disposition entry.
[27 CFR 478.125]
However, Snyper is correct that any and every firearm formally received by the dealer MUST be recorded in the bound book. The grace period only affects when the record must be made- not if.

[Mandatory disclaimer: I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV. This is not legal advice. Caveat emptor.]
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Old February 4, 2014, 07:26 PM   #25
wgsigs
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Thank you Snyper and carguychris. I was curious because of a couple of experiences I had.

In the first, the FFL I was using "threatened" (the seller) to send the gun back because there was no kind of identification from the non-FFL seller with the gun. I believe the seller faxed a copy of his driver's license. I didn't know if it was just this FFL's policy to CYA, or some legal requirement. He also mentioned to me that he had a limited amount to do the transfer or he would have to send the gun back. I think he mentioned something about entering or not entering the gun in his book.

In the second situation, the FFL was also a gunsmith and told be there were problems with the gun and not to "accept" it. While I negotiated the return with the seller, the FFL held on to the gun at his store and sent it back after we had reached an agreement (a day or two after he got it). I didn't know when or if the gun was entered into his book.

In the first case, the gun was eventually transferred to me. In the second the gun wasn't.

Hopefully I didn't get anybody in trouble, but was wondering if these FFLs were using standard operating procedures.
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