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Old March 7, 2009, 08:14 PM   #1
azredhawk44
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Cabelas: Back door voluntary gun registration?

I went to Cabela's today... the store in Glendale, AZ. I went to get some titegroup for my reloading bench, but I saw a Marlin 795 sitting in the rack and I've been wanting a new one for awhile to replace my aging, long in the tooth and abused Marlin autoloader.

I had cash in my pocket, I was ready to buy: I whipped out my CCW permit and driver's license, told the clerk I'd take it, and he produced a 4473.

He told me to write my phone number across the top of it. There's no field to do so. ATF is very picky about forms in recent years... those of you not familiar, just look up Red's Trading Post in Idaho as an example.

Anyways, I started writing and then a thought hit me: WHY am I writing this down?

I asked the clerk, and he told me:

Cabelas voluntarily faxes all of their 4473 forms to the FBI.

I told the clerk that I would not be purchasing the gun, I put my money away and my license/permit. I reached out for the 4473 that had my phone number on the top, intending to take it with me. Clerk told me I couldn't have it "because it was a government form." Whatever. I told him I want my phone number off the form, so he tore off the corner that had it and I took that with me.

I took my 2 pounds of powder to the register and paid for it. Came home, did some research.

Here's my thinking: Unless deliberately empowered to do something, Government is prohibited from acting. Since no gun registration is in place and the FBI is certainly not tasked with either tracing firearms or collecting firearms data, it is a violation of their mission to be accepting this information.

Congress specifically empowered the Attorney General (as one of the nation's top federal law enforcement officers and overseer of the FBI and ATF) to obtain access to 4473's only by the means described in USC Title 18, Section 923(g)(1)(A) through (g)(1)(D). None of those methods allow for a federal agency to accept en masse the entire contents of an active FFL's 4473 library.

I've called the store director, Tom Forsyth (623-872-6700), and left a message. I told him I wanted to know:
1. if what this clerk told me was true;
2. the fax number used to send these forms;
3. the location of the FBI office that accepts these forms;
4. the name of the special agent in charge of that division of the FBI.

It is my intention to contact my AZ State Senator and look into adding to Arizona ARS statutes, to prohibit FFL dealers from voluntarily creating a federal agency gun registry.

While it's completely possible that this clerk was a total bone-head and didn't know what he was talking about... I find it very odd that Cabelas wants my phone number in the upper left corner of 4473 forms.

Does anyone else know of FFL's who want this extra info?

Does anyone else know of active FFL's who are sending their 4473's off-site to the ATF or FBI?

Can anyone else confirm this experience at a Cabelas or other large chain FFL?

ETA: It is my intent to contact the SAIC of this FBI branch and initiate an FOIA request detailing the earliest dates of 4473 copies, the storage media type on which they are archived (paper or electronic), if they have been integrated into any searchable system, and an approximate count of 4473's currently populating these archives, grouped by FFL license number.

Last edited by azredhawk44; March 7, 2009 at 08:32 PM.
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Old March 7, 2009, 08:28 PM   #2
rwilson452
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None of the Gun dealers local to me do this sort of thing and if they did they wouldn't be selling guns longer than it took people to find out. at least anyone local wouldn't buy there anymore.
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Old March 7, 2009, 08:36 PM   #3
vranasaurus
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The only time I have ever put my phone# on a 4473 is when I get delayed so that the dealer can contact me when I get approved.
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Old March 7, 2009, 08:39 PM   #4
2kflhr
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I do believe I would have left without purchasing anything.
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Old March 7, 2009, 08:50 PM   #5
ar15chase
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I agree. Buy your guns somewere else. I wouldnt take that crap. But the bottom line is, the government can find out what you have anyhow, if you bought it legally. If it ever comes to a point were you have to register you guns, they will know when and were you bought them. If you dont want anyone to know what you have, get it out of the want ads. Dont call me paranoid but I think gun registration is the 1st step in taking away the 2nd amendment. I now boycott Cabelas.
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Old March 7, 2009, 09:08 PM   #6
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AR15chase
You seem like you are falling into the trap of the anti gunners.....In most states there is no prohibition of legal private transfers. In VA for examplw I ahve an AR I want to sell and you want to buy I can sell it to you provided you are a VA resident. I am not, as a private party non FFL holder, obligated to verify anything more than your citizenship or residency. I am not obligated to do anything more I am not obligated to maintain records. No legal issues there
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Old March 7, 2009, 09:38 PM   #7
A/C Guy
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Cabella's puts the phone number there because they sell so many guns that people go shopping while waiting for their 4473 to be called in turn. I have bought a few guns there, and before I had my CCW, sometimes the wait was over an hour for them to call it in and for me to get through that one and only gun check out.

They probably fax all the forms to corporate for inventory control as well as fulfilling the storage requirement of the forms.
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Old March 7, 2009, 10:36 PM   #8
gc70
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If the FBI had a 'voluntary' 4473 submission program, they would have had to inform dealers and someone would have mentioned it.
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Old March 7, 2009, 10:57 PM   #9
Al Norris
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They probably fax all the forms to corporate for inventory control as well as fulfilling the storage requirement of the forms.
A/C Guy, I believe that to be incorrect.
Quote:
CFR 27, 478.50 Locations covered by license.

The license covers the class of business or the activity specified in the license at the address specified therein. A separate license must be obtained for each location at which a firearms or ammunition business or activity requiring a license under this part is conducted except: [The exceptions don't apply for this discussion.]
Now that we have established that each and every location must have its own FFL, we can move on to CFR 27, 478.129(e)
Quote:
The records prepared by licensed dealers and licensed collectors under the Act of the sale or other disposition of firearms and the corresponding record of receipt of such firearms shall be retained through December 15, 1988, after which records of transactions over 20 years of age may be discarded.
CFR 27, 478.127 covers what happens to the 4473's if the business is sold and the new owner wishes to continue the FFL. Generally, if the forms are less than 20 years old, they are retained by the new owner. If the Business is dissolved, the forms are forwarded to the ATF Out-of-Business Records Center.

Further, since all information contained on Form 4473 (Firearms Transactions) fall under the Department of the Treasury (Individual Tax Information is protected under law, all 4473's are considered tax information), disclosure of this information to anyone outside the Treasury is unlawful. That includes disclosure to the FBI, without a warrant.

If Cabelas is doing what was reported, they are breaking the law.
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Old March 7, 2009, 11:05 PM   #10
Ginger
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Maybe he was going to do a reverse directory search and steal it back from you
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Old March 8, 2009, 12:32 AM   #11
azredhawk44
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Cabella's puts the phone number there because they sell so many guns that people go shopping while waiting for their 4473 to be called in turn.
Does Cabela's not just fill the form and give a pass for folks with a CCW?

I had my DL and CCW on the counter right in front of the guy... no reason to call NICS or make me walk around for an hour. Cash-n-carry operation in Arizona under those circumstances.
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Old March 8, 2009, 04:05 AM   #12
steveno
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when I worked at Cabela's we put the phone # on the 4473 as contact information in case there was any problems that might show up. for at least that 2 year period I don't remember it ever being used. Cabela's doesn't fax the 4473 to the atf. all of the 4473 information is entered into their computer version of the log book which is approved by the atf.
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Old March 8, 2009, 06:19 AM   #13
chibiker
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I wouldn't even see the need for your phone number if they are doing what the say. Phone number? What difference does it make, they already have all the info one would ever require to find out who you are. What am I missing here?
For what it's worth, here in Illinois there is a 24 hour wait on longarms and a 72 hour wait on handguns. You never walk in, pay, get checked and walk out with your purchase....well unless you are an FFL yourself. I have put my phone number on every 4433 since I can remember. The last two times, the dealer called me to say he didn't have a chance to call it in so add one more day till pickup, and the other time to find out the sellers info as he didn't have all their info when he was doing a transfer for me. So yeah, never thought twice about having my phone number on the form.
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Old March 8, 2009, 08:57 AM   #14
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FBI

If the employee is correct, this is scary. Please keep us updated.
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Old March 8, 2009, 09:30 AM   #15
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There is no such program in place with either the FBI or ATF that I know of.

In fact, I imagine that the ATF would get pretty annoyed if a large-scale dealer suddenly started flooding them with faxes.

From a filing standpoint, that would be a nightmare for the dealer, since you have to separate the pages of the form to fax individually.

I think the clerk is just misinformed.
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Old March 15, 2009, 02:15 PM   #16
azredhawk44
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I got a call from one of the general managers at the Cabelas store here in town... I must confess that I've pulled a brain fart on his name, but it was about 1/2 an hour ago.

He confirmed that it was absolute smoke being blown by one of his staff. He was very interested in the particular clerk's name, which I also confess to not making a note of in my frustration from the initial encounter. I'm bad with names. :-)

Cabelas does NOT fax their 4473's to the FBI. The purpose of the phone number is in the case of errors on the form, or in the event of a 3-day hold order from NICS. He is going to educate his folks exactly in regards to workflow of 4473's as well as agencies that have lawful access to the forms.
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Old March 15, 2009, 03:05 PM   #17
BobH
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This Practice Might Be More Common Than We Think

I recently bought a handgun from a local sporting goods store - not Cabela's but a chain store - and the clerk wanted my telephone number. I told him that I use a cell phone exclusively and did not give out the number. He told me that they only used it to call to let the customer know the results of the bg check. I told him that I'd check back in a few days or a few hours. Had he insisted, I would have told him he lost the sale.

I then went to Sam's to get some stuff and returned to the store about 2 hours later. Paid for and picked up the handgun and left the store.

Because so many retailers now maintain automated data files AND because the laws are such that the data - once given to them is theirs to do with as the please as long as its use is not 'illegal' - I have started to refuse to give them information unless it's required to complete a transaction (e.g. credit card info). I don't want my phone number or address or any other data sold to a third party to be used as they choose. I find it incredible that credit bureaus and lenders are trying to put the onus on consumers to guard their information to prevent identity theft when they sell and resell the data with impunity. It is the cavalier fashion in which they use but fail to guard data that creates the environment in which identify abuses occur.

If delivery to my residence is part of the deal, I give my address but otherwise I won't. If an email addy is required, I give them a hotmail or gmail addy that I never use. This is especially problematic for online purchases. The software used to take your order information frequently has a mandatory field for your phone number. I never give anything but 999-999-9999. I was amazed to find that 99.8% of them accept that without quibble. Those sites that edit for the number don't get my business. I have occasionally found vendors who claim that FedEx or UPS requires a phone number. I tell them to find a different means to ship it or lose the sale.

I consider the right to privacy to be as important as those stated in the first 10 amendments (Bill of Rights). I wish we had overt protection for the right to privacy stated in the Constitution and protected by vigilance on the part of the ACLU and SCOTUS. Apparently many do not share my concern about personal privacy - indeed many seek notoriety or willingly engage in activities that make them and their lives public property.

I wish that all consumers would rise up and protest the slipshod seller practices that have created another criminal industry. Be aware of the potential for abuse. Refuse to participate. Make a point with persons of authority (managers instead of clerks) and let your opposition be known. Do you still give your SSN to just anyone who asks for it?
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Old March 15, 2009, 03:12 PM   #18
Wildalaska
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Quote:
I recently bought a handgun from a local sporting goods store - not Cabela's but a chain store - and the clerk wanted my telephone number. I told him that I use a cell phone exclusively and did not give out the number. He told me that they only used it to call to let the customer know the results of the bg check. I told him that I'd check back in a few days or a few hours. Had he insisted, I would have told him he lost the sale.
LOL I must say that we have names, adress and phone numbers for every person who has bought a gun, or phone ordered, or had a repair done by us...over 14,000 names since 2005 and still growing.

Our data is protected by firewalls up the ying yang. I have a hot key too.

I need that info to do business effciently. If someone doesnt want to give it, well, they can do business elsewhere.

Guns are a business, not a tricorn hat statement

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Old March 15, 2009, 03:24 PM   #19
BobH
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LOL I must say that we have names, adress and phone numbers for every person who has bought a gun, or phone ordered, or had a repair done by us...over 14,000 names since 2005 and still growing.
You and I won't be doing any business. And my hats are more of the Stetson variety than tricorn. My point is that your desire to do business does not trump my right to privacy if I insist upon it. It is not my role in life to make it easier for you to profit from my trade. In fact, your profit is, IMO, justification for constraining your trade to my desire for privacy.
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Old March 15, 2009, 03:43 PM   #20
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It is not my role in life to make it easier for you to profit from my trade.
really? So when i take your credit card order over the phone and your card is declined, I shouldnt call you? or your shipment delayed by an earthquke or PO screw up I shouldnt call? or when you are delayed at a BGC, I should just wait for you to call me? And your repair is ready, just wait till you show up..or use ESP?

I give my name, adress and phone number to the dry cleaners and the car wrenchers too, I must be a sheep.


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Old March 15, 2009, 04:59 PM   #21
BobH
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Missing the Point

or choosing to ignore it.

If I tell you that I don't want to give you that information, you have no right to it. By telling you that I don't want to give it to you, I assume responsibility for any necessary contact between us.

And, "NO!" I repeat, we won't be doing any business together. You don't seem to understand the concept I'm describing, why would I trust you to protect any information I gave you? If you depended on people like me to make a living, you'd starve from your own refusal to understand their wishes.
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Old March 15, 2009, 07:49 PM   #22
chibiker
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Phone number, give it, don't give it, I couldn't care less. Personally I would give out my phone number all day long, heck, even print it on my shirt for everyone to see if I didn't have to give out my address to anyone. I don't wanna pick up the phone, I don't, period. I don't have the option of preventing someone from showing up at my doorstep.

Which brings me back to my question from earlier... I will ask more nice, lol.

Could somebody please tell me why a phone number would make or break a hunt for you? Maybe you all just get to put your name on an 4433 or whatever else you fill out? Bob, yup sir, that's right just Bob, here's your form, run the check please.
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Old March 15, 2009, 08:49 PM   #23
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why would I trust you to protect any information I gave you?
If you knew Ken, you would trust him.

If the rooskis invaded and went to his shop (or the silly scenario of your choice) he would fight them by the light of a 4473s bonfire wielding two Nagant revolvers, wearing a Budyenny helmet with a colander facemask, a dress and high-heels, screaming "Sniff my thong, vile swine!".

Nobody would want any part of that action, and your info would be smoke in the Alaskan sky. Torture wouldn't work either, the aliens have been trying to get information from him for years, but he likes the probing. Never gives up anything no matter the gauge of the Zorg keisterscrambler they use. Stalwart lad.

Otherwise the biggest problem you would have would be killer deals on guns nobody else can get.

Kenny knows where I live and I feel relatively safe.
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Old March 15, 2009, 09:40 PM   #24
wildboarZ
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Does Cabela's not just fill the form and give a pass for folks with a CCW?

I had my DL and CCW on the counter right in front of the guy... no reason to call NICS or make me walk around for an hour. Cash-n-carry operation in Arizona under those circumstances.
According to this they should:

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/bradylaw/permit_chart.htm
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Old March 15, 2009, 10:03 PM   #25
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I wonder how bobh expects people to run a buisness, i guess when your used to buying guns in a dark alley from a hooded salesmen who wipes the gun down before handling it to you, the idea of the salesmen actually knowing your name may indeed seem odd.
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