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Old December 30, 2013, 02:38 PM   #1
afcastellanos
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Firearm Storage

This is my first time posting on this forum. I just returned from a 6 month deployment overseas. While I was over there, a couple buddies of mine started talking about the firearms they owned and the crummy situation they were in with storing their firearms while deployed. This got me thinking that there could be a market for some type of business that does nothing but store firearms for not just military, but everyone.

For the past month that I have been home, I have been toying with this idea. I guess in a way, I am looking for opinions as to whether any of you see any merit to this idea. I know there would be a decent size market from the military side but what about everyone else? The idea isn't to take any firearms away from owners, just to store them if the need arises.

Please, let me know what your thoughts are.

Chris
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Old December 30, 2013, 03:38 PM   #2
2ndsojourn
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Well, this is just me but....

If I was still in the military, and had a sufficient number of guns to safeguard, I'd rent out a small storage unit at one of those public storage places and put a gun safe in it and store my guns there. Giving a trusted family member a key to the locker and the combination to the safe would probably be a good idea just in case.

But don't military bases have a secure gun storage facility for private firearms?
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Old December 30, 2013, 04:34 PM   #3
motorhead0922
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afcastellanos, I too have thought there might be a market for this gun storage service. You would probably have to be an FFL. There might be insurance issues. But, yes, I see a certain demand, both from military customers and also those who are unfortunate enough to have to spend some time in one of the anti-gun states of America.
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Old December 30, 2013, 04:47 PM   #4
oldgunsmith
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You would need an FFL to take possession of someone else's gun. Every time they leave the premises and leave it with you it has to be logged. If for any reason anyone other than the person who left it winds up retrieving it, you have to have them fill out a 4473 form the same as if you were selling it to them because that constitutes a legal transfer of possession.
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Old December 30, 2013, 05:02 PM   #5
afcastellanos
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I have spent some time looking into the idea. The FFL would be required but it actually helps out. According to the BATFE, a firearm can be shipped from owner to FFL and back without any 4473. My vision is more of the mail order type business. Basically, I ship the box to the customer with return label, it comes back to me for storage. When the customer wants it back, I ship it back and the requirement from the shipping company is adult ID/signature required.

As far as a storage unit, you have to read the fine print because most do not knowingly/willingly permit firearms. They become liable if you miss a payment or someone breaks into your storage unit and steals it. Most safe deposit boxes at a bank prohibit them as well because of the firearm aspect.

The base I am stationed at requires the commander's signature to store private firearms. Even then, it is completely at the discretion of the armory. My thought about this is military members are reimbursed for storage fees if their duty assignment prohibits them from taking them (i.e. Europe, Japan).

Just some of my thoughts.

Chris
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Old December 30, 2013, 06:58 PM   #6
carguychris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afcastellanos
According to the BATFE, a firearm can be shipped from owner to FFL and back without any 4473. My vision is more of the mail order type business. Basically, I ship the box to the customer with return label, it comes back to me for storage. When the customer wants it back, I ship it back and the requirement from the shipping company is adult ID/signature required.
I'm not sure you're understanding the 4473 shipment exception correctly. AFAIK the exception is narrow and only applies to customization or repair, per 27 CFR § 478.124.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 27 CFR § 478.124
(a) A licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer shall not sell or otherwise dispose, temporarily or permanently, of any firearm to any person, other than another licensee, unless the licensee records the transaction on a firearms transaction record, Form 4473: Provided, That a firearms transaction record, Form 4473, shall not be required to record the disposition made of a firearm delivered to a licensee for the sole purpose of repair or customizing when such firearm or a replacement firearm is returned to the person from whom received.
(emphasis mine)

It seems to me that storage- particularly storage for a fee, as part of a licensed dealer's business- does not fit within the definition of "repair or customizing".

Please note that a 4473 is required to return a pawned or consignment firearm to its owner; this is not a secret, ask any established FFL dealer. I don't see why a storage business would be any different. [Edit to add: It has been posited in past threads that pawning can be a viable option for short-term firearm storage, although picking up a handgun can get complicated if the owner moves out of state. It seems to me that this business plan is similar to pawning.]

Finally, unless (a) the firearm is an antique, (b) the firearm is a Curio or Relic and the recipient is a C&R licensee, or (c) the recipient is an exempt LEO or other government agent, a transfer involving a 4473 may only take place at the FFL's licensed premises, or at a gun show [27 CFR § 478.100].

(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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Last edited by carguychris; December 30, 2013 at 07:19 PM. Reason: reword, info added...
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Old December 30, 2013, 09:47 PM   #7
SVO
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Carter's Country, a gun & shooting supply chain of stores here in Houston, offers gun storage at their stores. To retrieve a stored fire arm from them, they require you to fill out a 4473.
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Old December 30, 2013, 10:09 PM   #8
SHE3PDOG
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I don't see much of a market in this at all. Most of my buddies that own guns don't live on base to begin with, so they just store their guns in their own homes. It seems like a lot of people who do live on base simply store their guns for free with one of their buddies that lives off base.

The armories all tend to have notorious horror stories about guns being used without permission and even parts being taken away, so I wouldn't store anything there.

The only way I could see this as being possible is if you set up shop next to Lejeune and waited for people to get sent to Cali/Hawaii/Japan where they probably can't have their guns. Even with that and other random cases where people would want something like that, I can't imagine it being profitable.
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Old December 31, 2013, 10:58 AM   #9
Armed_Chicagoan
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There's gun stores/ranges all around Chicago that offer this service, but the demand is generated by Chicago's "assault weapons" ban, in scare quotes because a 10/22 with a BX-25 mag is considered an assault weapon here. But it's not illegal for a Chicago resident to purchase or own such firearms, they just can't possess them in city limits so they store them in a facility outside Chicago.

Hopefully a few favorable court decisions will make this unnecessary in the future.
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Old December 31, 2013, 01:58 PM   #10
vito
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I know it has been a long time since I retired from active military service, but when I was in the Army the prohibition on keeping personal weapons on base only applied to enlisted soldiers living in a barracks setting. As an officer living in on-base housing there was only a registration requirement but I was able to keep the weapons in my quarters. It would really be a shame if in today's military even a soldier living in separate family housing was prohibited from keeping personally owned weapons in their home.
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Old December 31, 2013, 06:11 PM   #11
2ndsojourn
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^^^ vito, it is a shame. My son-inlaw just got out of the Army and was not allowed to have personal firearms kept in his on-base housing. It's one of the reasons he lived off base.
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Old January 3, 2014, 01:49 AM   #12
ballardw
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When I was stationed at Ft Hood soldiers living in barracks could own firearms. The catch was it had to be stored in the unit arms room. Which meant that you had to have a unit armorer available to pick it up and return it. If you don't have an armorer living in the barracks and available guess how well that worked.
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Old January 3, 2014, 11:36 AM   #13
Skans
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When I went to college, the school offered to store any firearms you might have, because you weren't permitted to keep them in the dorms. So, I attempted to comply and turned over my Remington 700 22-250 to the Campus PD for storage. When I went to check it out about a month later, I saw tiny speckles of rust covering the barrel, bolt handle and other parts of the gun. Boy was I disturbed by this! Needless to say, the gun never made it back to the Campus PD for storage - kept it inside a suit bag stored away in my dorm closet.

My point to this is - don't expect the government to take good care of your guns for you.
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Old January 3, 2014, 11:45 AM   #14
Slamfire
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Quote:
This is my first time posting on this forum. I just returned from a 6 month deployment overseas. While I was over there, a couple buddies of mine started talking about the firearms they owned and the crummy situation they were in with storing their firearms while deployed. This got me thinking that there could be a market for some type of business that does nothing but store firearms for not just military, but everyone.
Thank you for your service to our country.

The liability and security to store firearms has to be very high. I remember talking to Harry Beckwith in his store in Micanopy Florida the week thieves rammed the store front with a vehicle, gaining entrance to the store.Harry actually got into a real gunfight in one of these incidents, he lived next to the store.



Harry Beckwith, RIP.

I recall reading in a publication of a prop store in California which provides the movie industry with historic firearms. The article would not even mention the location of the place.

Wish I knew a good solution when you are deployed, family has to be the best, though not perfect, because we all have at least one worthless brother in the family.
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Old January 3, 2014, 12:58 PM   #15
Skans
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Great picture of Harry, but where's the Luger collection and the pear-handled 45 (IIRC, or was it a revolver?) strapped to his side?
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Old January 3, 2014, 09:11 PM   #16
Slamfire
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Quote:
Great picture of Harry, but where's the Luger collection and the pear-handled 45 (IIRC, or was it a revolver?) strapped to his side?
I purchased that NCO sword from Harry and asked him to pose for a picture. As he drew the sword he made a warlike sound, (sort of a Ah haa!) which you can see in his expression.

At the time of the picture, he had sold his Lugar collection. I remember shelves of pristine Lugars in the case behind him, but I am not knowledgeable about the P08. I am certain there were some real rare variations. Harry said that a Collector came in and made him an offer he could not refuse.
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