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Old September 30, 2012, 08:44 PM   #1
SamNavy
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My FFL did something new... why?

ALL, AS THIS THREAD CONTINUES TO GROW, IT'S CLEAR THAT PEOPLE POSTING IN IT ARE SIMPLY READING MY FIRST POST AND HITTING REPLY. ALL OF MY QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED, AND I HAVE A PLAN FOR FUTURE PURCHASES ACCORDINGLY. THANKS AGAIN FOR THE PARTICIPATION
-------------------------------------------------------------

I've received several guns in the past few years from different FFL's and dealers. My experience in actually taking possession of the gun has been very similar until yesterday.

I gave him my name and said I was here to pick up my rifle. He went behind the wall for a minute and came back with the paperwork. After I'd filled it out and the check was complete and I'd paid, he then brought the rifle out to me. It was good and I took it home.

This is completely different than any other time I've received a gun.

Every other time, prior to any paperwork, the FFL would bring the gun out, still in the shipping paper, and allow me to open it in front of him and inspect it. Then we'd do the paperwork.

What happened to me yesterday did not sit well and I am curious? Why would he take the responsibility and liability of opening the gun prior to my arrival or outside my presence? How do I verify the gun he gave me is actually mine if I don't see the mailing label on the packaging?

If I've already filled out the paperwork, had the check done, paid him, THEN see my gun and find it damaged, what then? I've always been told that you thoroughly inspect the gun prior to accepting it from your FFL to check for shipping damage or missing parts... but he essentially had me do exactly the opposite.

What is the standard for this transaction? Does the ATF have official guidance? I'm not sure if this is a big deal or not... it was such a departure from what I've experienced prior that I feel compelled to ask.

Thanks!

Last edited by SamNavy; October 1, 2012 at 06:57 PM.
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Old September 30, 2012, 09:34 PM   #2
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Whether it's a gun my dealer has special ordered for me OR a gun I've bought from an out-of-state seller and had shipped to my FFL, he ALWAYS lets me inspect the gun before we begin the paperwork.
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Old September 30, 2012, 09:43 PM   #3
comn-cents
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Did you ask to see it first?
So he did something different so what!

Silliest thread I've ever read.
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Old September 30, 2012, 10:46 PM   #4
SamNavy
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Clearly I did not ask to see it first. Nothing registered to me as being "wrong" until he brought it out and I saw that it was already open. I'VE ALWAYS opened them myself in the past. I assume there's a good reason OTHER FFL's had me open the box myself... that way if there was something wrong/missing, it would be immediately clear that it was a factory or shipping error and not due to his actions.

A shipping refusal is way more preferable for both of us if I open the box and there's something immediately wrong. Him opening the box in the back room makes no sense to me, and introduces numerous potentially bad variables with zero benefit that I can see.
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Old September 30, 2012, 10:54 PM   #5
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I got gas last week and the attendant ask for me to pay first.
When I got gas this week he let me pay after. What is happening?
So what!

Ask to see it if it is going to ruin your world!
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Old September 30, 2012, 10:59 PM   #6
5.56RifleGuy
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How long was it there? He is supposed to log the gun into the books, and you have to verify the serial number on the gun itself.

When I worked in a gun shop we had to open stuff to find a number to contact the person half the time.
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Old September 30, 2012, 11:09 PM   #7
Remington74
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As long as you got the correct gun complete with all the goodies that were supposed to come with it....no harm/no foul.

If something was missing or the gun was damaged (scratched, dented wood or whatever) then it would be a different story.

If you did not bring his attention to any damage or whatever before you left his store, then it gets messy.
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Old October 1, 2012, 01:52 AM   #8
MarkDozier
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The OP is right. He has a right to inspect the firearm before he pays for it. Anything else is unacceptable.
However this time has was passive and now expects us wipe away his doubts.

Simple solution is adopt one set of rules for the situation(s) and follow them without exception. IF merchants don't like it they can refer your business elsewhere.
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Old October 1, 2012, 08:18 AM   #9
guncrank
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I open every box I get before or after the customer get there.
Usually before.
I do that to get the serial number. If the customer calls and I gave yet not opened the then fine, but if they do not get there I open it anyway.

And I put the gun back. If there is damage that is noted and the buyer notified.

Legally the buyer is not the owner until the 4473/NICS check is done.

Never had a complaint about it.
If the buyer asks to open the box OK by me but I must book the gun by the end of the buisness day and to do that I look at the gun itself.
Not the end label or other paper work.
Could have wrong box or a different box or a mistake made in writting down number.
That has happened both times.
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Old October 1, 2012, 08:20 AM   #10
drail
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Let the buyer beware.
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Old October 1, 2012, 09:56 AM   #11
SamNavy
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Hypothetical:
Let's say that 2 days ago when I picked up my gun, after all the paperwork and paying my fee, he brings it out and it's the wrong model (I ordered chrome and they sent me parkerized or something). What's the next step? Legally I own it right, it's "mine"? Is the FFL going to help me return it? Will the dealer take it back from me, or does it have to come back through the FFL? He's already entered all my info in his logbook and given me a receipt. Can the FFL "erase" the transaction so we can send it back to the dealer through him?

I understand that some of you think I'm being diffult and that's fine... but I enjoy being an informed consumer. Considering the amount of firearms trade regulation, I'm surprised that there isn't a set-in-stone standardization for shipping and transfer. It's certainly clear even by the few FFL's who've chimed in on this thread and via my personal experience that there is considerable variation. Some leave it on a shelf untouched until the buyer arrives... others open it themselves to verify numbers prior to the customers arrival.

I've watched several "unboxing" videos on Youtube where the person cuts the tape and opens the box in their living room for the first time, indicating his dealer/FFL never checked/verified the serial numbers on the gun itself.

Unless the ATF mandates someting like "a dealer shall immediately upon receipt of a package containing a firearm, open the package and visually inspect the serial number to ensure... blah blah blah...", I just can't come to a reason why an FFL would want to open the box before the customer got there. I understand taking the wrapping off perhaps to find an invoice inside, but I can't see any reason to opening the manufacturers box itself unless the ATF mandates it. I think that should be done by the customer.

MarkD and Guncrank, thanks for your comments.

Last edited by Tom Servo; October 1, 2012 at 12:34 PM. Reason: Removed "being a bitch."
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Old October 1, 2012, 09:59 AM   #12
Nathan
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No, that is WRONG on 2 counts. . .

A dealer should NEVER open a private sale transfer gun unless they want to be solely responsible for any reduction in condition from NIB. This is seriously in poor taste, and if buyer and seller cannot resolve the issue of condition, the dealer is the only other person who handles the gun.

A firearm should ALWAYS be viewed before the transfer. The dealer may hold your money while you look at it, but the transfer is a matter of permanent record. What if this were a new Glock, but you inspected it after the transfer and found it damaged? Most dealers won't transfer it back, especially if they aren't selling it.
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Old October 1, 2012, 11:41 AM   #13
dogtown tom
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Quote:
SamNavy ....What is the standard for this transaction?
There is no standard. Each dealer can process transfers how he wants as long as he is compliant with Federal law & ATF regulations.

Understand that the dealer is REQUIRED to record the aquisition by close of business the next day.........if your gun arrives on Monday, the dealer MUST open the box and record the serial number. etc by close of business on Tuesday. He is certainly within his rights to open it immediately.






Quote:
Does the ATF have official guidance? I'm not sure if this is a big deal or not... it was such a departure from what I've experienced prior that I feel compelled to ask.
ATF regulations clearly state that the dealer must record the aquisition by close of business the next day (there is an exception).






Quote:
Aguila Blanca Whether it's a gun my dealer has special ordered for me OR a gun I've bought from an out-of-state seller and had shipped to my FFL, he ALWAYS lets me inspect the gun before we begin the paperwork.
As do I.
I prefer to wait until my customer arrives to open the box in front of them. If the outside of the box does not indicate who the shipment is for....then i have to open it to see what it is and who its for.






Quote:
comn-cents Did you ask to see it first?
So he did something different so what!

Silliest thread I've ever read.
It a good question and far from silly.







Quote:
DLiller ...When I worked in a gun shop we had to open stuff to find a number to contact the person half the time.
Ditto.







Quote:
guncrank ...Legally the buyer is not the owner until the 4473/NICS check is done.
Not true.
Ownership is completely different than possession. The buyer DOES own the firearm....he paid for it. The dealer is only trasferring possession, not ownership via a 4473/NICS. If the customer bought the firearm from an online store or auction, they own it. They cannot take possession until they complete a 4473 and successfully pass NICS. if they are denied by NICS they continue to own the firearm but annot take possession.






Quote:
SamNavy I've watched several "unboxing" videos on Youtube where the person cuts the tape and opens the box in their living room for the first time, indicating his dealer/FFL never checked/verified the serial numbers on the gun itself.
For a factory sealed box it isn't necessary or required to actually hold the gun in my hands to verify the serial number. do you think the distributor opened the box as soon as he received it from the manufacturer? Nope. Do you think the first dealer opened that factory sealed box from the distributor? Maybe. If i receive a firearm I ALWAYS open the box....and in the last year I've had two factory new guns in the wrong box. The previous dealer had opened the box to verify serial numbers and accidently switched boxes.






Quote:
Unless the ATF mandates someting like "a dealer shall immediately upon receipt of a package containing a firearm, open the package and visually inspect the serial number to ensure... blah blah blah...", I just can't come to a reason why an FFL would want to open the box before the customer got there. I understand taking the wrapping off perhaps to find an invoice inside, but I can't see any reason to opening the manufacturers box itself unless the ATF mandates it. I think that should be done by the customer.
ATF DOES MANDATE a time period. See 478.125(e) http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text....0.1.2.3.8.1.6

The best reason to open the box is to verify that the gun in the box is in the CORRECT box.

If you are that terrified that your dealer will swap out parts, swap guns, test fire, molest or fondle your guns.......just find a new dealer. You obviously dont trust the one you are using.






Quote:
Nathan No, that is WRONG on 2 counts. . .

A dealer should NEVER open a private sale transfer gun unless they want to be solely responsible for any reduction in condition from NIB. This is seriously in poor taste....
Horsehockey.
Federal law and ATF regulations REQUIRE that the dealer open the box and record the transaction by close of business the next day.

Any dealer who does otherwise is in violation........how long have YOU been licensed?
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Old October 1, 2012, 12:05 PM   #14
taz1
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I could care less if the ffl opens the package, actually it would be a boon to me as his part of the paperwork would be complete.

But it would be a cold day in hades before I did MY paperwork before I inspected the gun.

If there is a problem with the gun then he can deal with it as I wouldn't accept it.
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Old October 1, 2012, 12:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
I've watched several "unboxing" videos on Youtube where the person cuts the tape and opens the box in their living room for the first time, indicating his dealer/FFL never checked/verified the serial numbers on the gun itself.
Either that, or the dealer resealed it, as we do. Dogtown Tom is correct on every count. The gun has to be entered into the books, and there's no way I'm doing so without physically verifying the make, model, and serial number. I get dozens of guns in every day, and the check-in process is part of a workflow. I'd need a pressing reason to disrupt that.

Of course the customer can inspect it prior to doing the 4473, but I can't set mystery guns aside and leave them sitting around unaccounted for. That's a good way to fail a compliance audit.
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Old October 1, 2012, 12:43 PM   #16
DPris
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I disagree that the dealer should NEVER open the box prior to the customer arriving to pick it up. I think that's idiotic.

There are log-in requirements, the gun can't sit there indefinitely un-logged & sealed waiting for a customer to come in & do the paperwork.

It may be a week or two after I get in to my dealer's after notification a gun's in, and he needs to log it.
I get many guns in each year this way, they are ALWAYS opened & logged before I get there.

As far as just going by the box without opening to confirm the serial goes, mistakes are made in packaging.
I've gotten a serial inside that did NOT match the box before.

In the OP's case, he can ask to inspect before filling out the paperwork, but he didn't. It's unrealistic to get indignant over the box being opened prior to his arrival.
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Old October 1, 2012, 01:12 PM   #17
SamNavy
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THIS IS WHERE I EXPLAIN THAT ALL OF MY QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED.
----------------------------------------------

Thanks guys very much, this is a great discussion and one of the reasons I frequent TFL. All of my questions have been answered.

I'll make it clear that "trust" of my FFL wasn't an issue. I know how difficult it is sometimes to convey emotion (or lack of it) over the intenet, and by no means am/was I mistrustful of my FFL, nor is this the only FFL I use. I am neither indignant, mistrustful, or now skeptical that there was anything amiss. There is a legal requirement of "next business day" that I was not aware of, which in the end, is the driving force behind this whole thread.

I think the "emotion" that I may have conveyed via my choice of words was simply the disappointment that a child would feel if Mom and Dad made their kids sit and watch while they opened all the presents and handed them to them on Christmas... kinda removes the magic from the equation. This was my first gun of this type (a year in the works) and the whole process was just a bit deflated when I saw the already open box. I know everybody can appreciate this!

The legal aspect of the FFL needing to open the box and verify numbers prior to closing the next business day makes everything very clear. In thinking back, every gun I've ever picked up was same-day, and this gun arrived Wed but I was out of town until I picked it up Sat... so it sat for 4 days, necessitating him to open it himself Thurs night.

I learned a great deal here and am now a much more informed consumer and can pass along this infomation in the future. Thanks for all the input! In the future, I will be to ask the FFL his specific routine, and make sure I'm there the day it arrives so I can have my little pleasure of opening the box myself. Thanks again to all.

Last edited by SamNavy; October 1, 2012 at 06:58 PM.
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Old October 1, 2012, 01:27 PM   #18
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Couldn't you just ask him about the change in method?
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Old October 1, 2012, 01:44 PM   #19
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Quote:
Couldn't you just ask him about the change in method?
Or simply say, "I'd like to see the gun before we do the paperwork."

There is no reason for him not to let you see it first.

Don't sweat the small stuff my friend,,,
But if you order through his store again be aware of this.

Aarond

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Old October 1, 2012, 02:24 PM   #20
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Go to a different gun store. I would...that is unheard of.
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Old October 1, 2012, 02:38 PM   #21
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Quote:
Master Blaster 2 Go to a different gun store. I would...that is unheard of.
Didn't read a thing above did ya?
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Old October 1, 2012, 02:46 PM   #22
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My FFL never opens my firearms sent to him untill I get there..does yours...but i get 3 or 4 a month so.
Why are you being an AH dogtown?

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Old October 1, 2012, 03:21 PM   #23
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Quote:
What happened to me yesterday did not sit well and I am curious? Why would he take the responsibility and liability of opening the gun prior to my arrival or outside my presence? How do I verify the gun he gave me is actually mine if I don't see the mailing label on the packaging?
the easiest thing to do would be to get the serial# from the seller of the gun prior to him shipping it to you. that's what I did and when my rifle arrived I matched up the serial# to the gun and everything was fine.

I personally have no problem with an FFL opening my package and inspecting the gun. It is arriving at his store and he has to verify that everything in the box is legal.
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Old October 1, 2012, 03:42 PM   #24
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As others have said, the FFL is legally obligated to register the gun in his bound book. No responsible dealer would skirt that based on the presumption that the transferee has some sort of innate right to open out first whenever he gets there. If your FFL skips the entry requirements, our make me wonder what other points of law he might be skirting with his business.

If you don't trust the FFL you have selected to do the transfer, to open the package and treat your property with the same respect he treats his stock, why are you doing business with him?
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Old October 1, 2012, 04:42 PM   #25
DPris
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In my case, even if I'm able to make it in the same day the dealer gets the gun in & notifies me, I don't step out the front door to go pick it up UNLESS & UNTIL he also notifies me that it's logged in. That means he's opened the box (because he's very careful about regs & confirming numbers) & already gotten his part of the paperwork done before I get there.

Cuts down on the time I have to spend during the pickup transaction.
I couldn't care less about being the first to open the box, it's not like it's never been touched by human hands before.
I WANT it opened before I get there.

And I have no reason to distrust him for doing it.
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