The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > General Discussion Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old January 18, 2014, 10:05 PM   #1
5whiskey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 23, 2005
Location: US
Posts: 1,561
Would you refuse to sell a gun to someone you think is shady?

I know the question is a no-brainer. Were it a FTF, probably no one would sell a gun if they get a hinky feeling but here me out...

Today, as I was coming out of the gun show and walking through the parking lot, I see the strangest thing. I see a very young looking kid walking through the parking lot in wrinkled pleated kakhi pants, a plain (very cheap) white polo shirt that you can almost see through, unkempt hair and facial appearance, plain white Reebok tennis shoes, and a black duster trench coat half buttoned up. This kid couldn't have been older than 18, walking toward the gun show looking like that.

I'm with my neighbor, who was a cop for 20+ years. I point the kid out to him and he agrees 1000%. We actually turn around to see if the kid was going in the gun show. He does... we both agree that we would under no circumstance ever sell this kid a gun in a FTF transaction unless he would talk to us long enough to assuage our initial fears, but both believe that has a very slim chance of happening. Then I thought about what I would do if I was a dealer. It's one thing if we arrange a FTF transaction on Armslist and this kid shows up... I straight up say "yeah sorry kid." If I was a dealer though, I'm wondering what I would do.

Now, I usually agree with the old saying "don't judge a book by it's cover" but this is a touch different. I've only sold three guns in private dealings. One way to a neighbor, the other was to a CCW permit holder who I meet on TFL and conversed and went to the range with first, and the other guy bought a gun that I posted on gunbroker (we met FTF because he was near me) and I talked to for a pretty good bit and got a good vibe from. I'm pretty sure I would deny this guy with no questions asked on a FTF transaction, but I think it would be a little harder denying someone when you have a business open to the public. What would you do?
5whiskey is offline  
Old January 18, 2014, 10:15 PM   #2
TennJed
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 26, 2010
Posts: 1,523
Was his outfit a felony? When you start denying constitutional rights based on appearance and gut feeling, your rights are in danger
TennJed is offline  
Old January 18, 2014, 10:19 PM   #3
Dragline45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 30, 2010
Posts: 2,485
Quote:
Was his outfit a felony? When you start denying constitutional rights based on appearance and gut feeling, your rights are in danger
Peoples gut feelings and instincts have kept them alive for hundreds of years. I could care less what the constitution says when my well being is at stake. If I got a bad feeling about someone I was about to sell a gun to, I flat out wouldn't.

The kid who shot up Newtown got turned away from a firing range because he gave the owner or employee in charge there a bad vibe, apparently he was correct.
Dragline45 is offline  
Old January 18, 2014, 10:19 PM   #4
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 6,433
An FFL has to have the buyer fill out a 4473, for starters. Obviously, the buyer can lie -- but that's his problem, not the FFL's problem.

Are we talking about an FFL selling at a gun show, or at his shop? What state are you in? Doesn't the FFL have to get a background check run before he can make the sale?
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old January 18, 2014, 10:24 PM   #5
DannyB1954
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2013
Location: Pahrump Nv USA
Posts: 415
If he was a doctor, and didn't like the way you looked, could he refuse to treat you?

I give my cast outs to a local gun shop to sell under consignment. They have the facilities to do the proper background checks, and I don't get a call months later that the gun I sold somebody broke.
DannyB1954 is offline  
Old January 18, 2014, 10:26 PM   #6
Dragline45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 30, 2010
Posts: 2,485
Quote:
If he was a doctor, and didn't like the way you looked, could he refuse to treat you?
The treatment I get from a doctor cant be turned around and used to harm people. Also yeah, a doctor can refuse to take you as a patient. In my state it's tough to find a good primary care physician as alot of them are booked full with patients and cant take on anymore, I cant just walk into their office and demand they take me as a patient.
Dragline45 is offline  
Old January 18, 2014, 10:44 PM   #7
5whiskey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 23, 2005
Location: US
Posts: 1,561
Quote:
Was his outfit a felony? When you start denying constitutional rights based on appearance and gut feeling, your rights are in danger
But when did me (a private party) choosing to deny a sale to someone infringe on any constitutional rights? The last time I checked (and this is being misinterpreted daily, but that doesn't make it "constitutional") a private person can choose to do business as he sees fit.

Quote:
If he was a doctor, and didn't like the way you looked, could he refuse to treat you?
There's the hippocratic oath thing. You know, you have to save a life. Not sell them an instrument to take another person's life. Never seen any professional oath that says "though shalt sell a firearm to whomever asks."

Quote:
An FFL has to have the buyer fill out a 4473, for starters. Obviously, the buyer can lie -- but that's his problem, not the FFL's problem.

Are we talking about an FFL selling at a gun show, or at his shop? What state are you in? Doesn't the FFL have to get a background check run before he can make the sale?
I'm in NC. Background checks are required unless you have your CCW. If you do have it, then the background check has already been completed. None-the-less, I know from experience that there are tons of killers in their late teens and early 20's that haven't been convicted yet. Do I think the government should dictate their fate before they're convicted? No. Am I going to aid them in their misdeeds if I believe there's a good chance of it happening? No again.
5whiskey is offline  
Old January 18, 2014, 10:47 PM   #8
zxcvbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,194
Quote:
Was his outfit a felony? When you start denying constitutional rights based on appearance and gut feeling, your rights are in danger
He has a right to buy a gun, but he doesn't have a right to buy it from me. But if he's got a permit to purchase a handgun (it's a Minnesota thing) or a carry permit, the sheriff has already checked him out and I'd sell.
__________________
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
zxcvbob is offline  
Old January 18, 2014, 10:59 PM   #9
colbad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 3, 2012
Posts: 315
It is my experience that many try to justify or convince themselves that it is ok to do the deal even though they know in their heart it is wrong. You hear all the time various versions of "his outfit is not a felony" "I don't know for sure he is a criminal" or I am not an FFL so I don't have the same obligations.

All are just excuses to circumvent doing the right thing on "technicalities" and put the money in their pockets. Just like the guy at the gun show with the sign that says "private sale, cash only, no paperwork required"....who do you really think he is targeting for sales? Its people who make excuses like this that fuel the knee jerk politicians to pass more stupid gun laws.
colbad is offline  
Old January 18, 2014, 11:00 PM   #10
Knight cadet
Member
 
Join Date: January 15, 2014
Location: The Gunshine State
Posts: 70
We have the right to refuse to make a transaction to any person for any reason. I'm young, very fit, extremely clean cut and squeaky clean looking. If I were to go into a bad neighborhood and try to buy drugs, few street dealers would make the sale to me because I look like a cop.

If the sort of person who could make that purchase without setting off the dealer's radar tried to buy a gun from one of us, we'd be taking a big risk making that sale.

You can be as idealistic and "everyone's equal, don't be judgmental" as you want, but instincts about who you can and can't are triggered by subtle cues. If you aren't paying attention to those cues your situational awareness is severely hindered.
Knight cadet is offline  
Old January 18, 2014, 11:17 PM   #11
BDM 9MM
Member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2011
Location: Grand Junction, Co.
Posts: 64
Gun transfer

I quit selling rifles and pistols FTF about eight years ago. I use a local pawn shop. He charges me 10% if I place the item in his shop plus an additional$12.00 to do the background check and transfer paperwork. He charges me $20.00, for the background check and transfer paperwork if I have a sale done not through a "in his shop" sale. My peace of mind over a sale to an person unknown to me is well worth the cost. Dan
__________________
Dan Bromley
NRA Instructor
NM Game & Fish Instructor
BDM 9MM is offline  
Old January 18, 2014, 11:27 PM   #12
TennJed
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 26, 2010
Posts: 1,523
Quote:
Originally Posted by colbad View Post
It is my experience that many try to justify or convince themselves that it is ok to do the deal even though they know in their heart it is wrong. You hear all the time various versions of "his outfit is not a felony" "I don't know for sure he is a criminal" or I am not an FFL so I don't have the same obligations.





All are just excuses to circumvent doing the right thing on "technicalities" and put the money in their pockets. Just like the guy at the gun show with the sign that says "private sale, cash only, no paperwork required"....who do you really think he is targeting for sales? Its people who make excuses like this that fuel the knee jerk politicians to pass more stupid gun laws.





I assumed the op was talking about FFLs. His last sentence was directed at FFLs and the person in question was going into a gunshow, where most sellers are FFLs.



I agree an individual should go on gut instinct. I think once you cross a line into an FFL you need to honor his rights. (I don't think a business owner should be forced to, but I think they should).
TennJed is offline  
Old January 18, 2014, 11:30 PM   #13
olddav
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 21, 2008
Location: Lower Alabama
Posts: 430
I won't work for someone who I have a funny felling about, I sure wont sell a gun to someone I have a funny felling about or don't like the way they look or anything else.
__________________
Never beat your head against the wall with out a helmet
olddav is offline  
Old January 18, 2014, 11:41 PM   #14
5whiskey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 23, 2005
Location: US
Posts: 1,561
Quote:
I assumed the op was talking about FFLs. His last sentence was directed at FFLs and the person in question was going into a gunshow, where most sellers are FFLs.


I agree an individual should go on gut instinct. I think once you cross a line into an FFL you need to honor his rights. (I don't think a business owner should be forced to, but I think they should).
I am gearing this toward FFLs. If I were an FFL I would've had a hard time selling to the guy even if he would've checked out clean. There are some "clean" (ie, not convicted of a felony or have been mentally involuntary committed) 19-year-olds who may have some more nefarious intentions with a gun purchase.
5whiskey is offline  
Old January 19, 2014, 12:07 AM   #15
Tom Servo
Staff
 
Join Date: September 27, 2008
Location: Foothills of the Appalachians
Posts: 10,360
Quote:
He has a right to buy a gun, but he doesn't have a right to buy it from me.
Agreed. I've had to testify in a murder trial that involved a private sale. Person A sold the gun to Person B. Person B used it to kill a romantic rival shortly after.

Person A didn't technically do anything illegal because Person B wasn't a prohibited person at the time of the transaction. However, Person B did make several very suspicious comments, which Person A attributed to simple eccentricity.

Person A wasn't very bright, and he's very fortunate the prosecutor wanted Person B too much to make too much of an issue of it.

In a professional capacity, sorry, but self-preservation is a consideration. I don't want to be in Person A's shoes. If something feels off, I'm going to stop the sale. Right to refuse service and all that.
__________________
Sometimes it’s nice not to destroy the world for a change.
--Randall Munroe
Tom Servo is offline  
Old January 19, 2014, 12:46 AM   #16
Hal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 1998
Location: Ohio USA
Posts: 7,435
I actually had this conversation with a LGS owner.
He told me that the BATFE was behind him 100% when it came to his "gut feeling" about refusing to sell a gun to someone.
I'm not sure exactly what he meant by that though.

He did go on to say he had a lot of latitude.
Hal is offline  
Old January 19, 2014, 01:02 AM   #17
dakota.potts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 25, 2013
Location: Saint Augustine, Florida
Posts: 1,179
I'm 18 years old with unkempt facial hair and often wear t-shirts of metal bands and ripped jeans with old converse that I've had for years because I love them.

I think you were absolutely right to say you would refuse the sale if you got a bad feeling, but I also wonder what you're basing your bad feelings off of.

Trust your gut instinct. I'm sure there are things about the person's demeanor or actions that are too small to describe over text, but from what you've given us to work with I don't see a whole lot there. Could be a teenager living on their own and now they want a rifle because mom and dad wouldn't let them have one in the house. Could be lots of things.
__________________
For firearms news and discussion from a fellow TFL member, visit shootersreportblog.wordpress.com. If you have a suggestion or would like to comment or contribute, I welcome private messages!

The Shooter's Report is also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theshootersreport
dakota.potts is offline  
Old January 19, 2014, 04:13 AM   #18
Wreck-n-Crew
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2013
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,378
Having spent enough time living in the ghetto I can tell you that it does help to spot some signs that someone may be a bit shady. Talking to a person and observing their behavior and how they answer questions I devise gives me a lot of insight as to who the person is. I am no expert, but what tools I have work well most of the time. However they don't work quickly as I would like sometimes and if I just met them, I pay extra attention, then go with my gut.

That being said I would not sell a gun to anyone I thought was shady or showed signs of recklessness. Two reasons off the top of my head as to why I wouldn't are that I would not want to be one who is contributing to crime and two I don't want it on my conscious.
__________________
If you ever have to use a firearm, you don't get to pick the scenario!
Wreck-n-Crew is offline  
Old January 19, 2014, 06:06 AM   #19
Garycw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 27, 2011
Location: Ohio-Kentucky - florida
Posts: 1,171
In a word ..NO. I was once selling a gun in armslist and began getting a bad feeling about a buyer. The more repeated emails I got him the stranger it became. He was also a Smart A--. After determining the guy was really shady and a nut case ,I won't get into all the particulars. I simply told him it was sold.
Garycw is offline  
Old January 19, 2014, 08:22 AM   #20
Kreyzhorse
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 12, 2006
Location: NKY
Posts: 11,482
In a private sale, it's your gun and you can sell it to whomever you want.

If you don't feel right, don't sell it.

A FFL isn't likely to deny a sale based on appearance alone.
__________________
"He who laughs last, laughs dead." Homer Simpson
Kreyzhorse is offline  
Old January 19, 2014, 09:02 AM   #21
donato
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 3, 2008
Location: AL
Posts: 170
Quote:
In a private sale, it's your gun and you can sell it to whomever you want.
I don't think that thought is exactly correct:
Quote:
Q: To whom may an unlicensed person transfer firearms under the GCA?

A person may sell a firearm to an unlicensed resident of his State, if he does not know or have reasonable cause to believe the person is prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms under Federal law. A person may loan or rent a firearm to a resident of any State for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes, if he does not know or have reasonable cause to believe the person is prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms under Federal law. A person may sell or transfer a firearm to a licensee in any State. However, a firearm other than a curio or relic may not be transferred interstate to a licensed collector.

[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(3) and (5), 922(d), 27 CFR 478.29 and 478.30]


I agree that the appearance of the person should not be grounds for not selling; but, should absolutely be cause for a more detailed look at the individual.
donato is offline  
Old January 19, 2014, 11:04 AM   #22
buck460XVR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2006
Posts: 2,082
Having a conversation about the sale with a potential buyer would have more to determine how "shady" they were than how they dressed. Having any doubts as to whether the buyer was legit or not would cancel any sale from me.
buck460XVR is offline  
Old January 19, 2014, 11:18 AM   #23
5whiskey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 23, 2005
Location: US
Posts: 1,561
Quote:
I agree that the appearance of the person should not be grounds for not selling; but, should absolutely be cause for a more detailed look at the individual.
I guess that's where I've kicked this around to. If the person I saw happened to walk into a LGS that I owned (hypothetically), I wouldn't necessarily deny the sale right away. I would definitely engage the guy in conversation and feel him out before I sold him a gun, and yes that's based off of his very odd dress. If the guy tried to avoid engaging me in conversation, or I get a sense that he's a little "off" after talking to him, then he gets told to hit the road. I guess that's how I would handle it.

As to the shock at me jumping to conclusions over appearance/dress... I still don't like to completely judge a book by it's cover but more often than not the cover offers a sneak-peek at the inside. We have to take that at face value. Gang members are usually suspected to be so by their dress, and can often can be quickly confirmed by seeing the right tattoo... and this is without even talking to the guy. I'm not talking about a teenager with a scruffy beard wearing ripped jeans and rock/punk band shirts. That doesn't set off any alarm bells in my head. I'm talking about the disheveled "business casual" appearance, as if trying to dress up but not capable of putting it together, quiet demeanor, won't look you in the eye, wearing white Reeboks and a black trench coat.

Last edited by 5whiskey; January 19, 2014 at 11:23 AM.
5whiskey is offline  
Old January 19, 2014, 11:35 AM   #24
HiBC
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2006
Posts: 3,663
I live in Colorado,so,for now it is a moot point.After Nov 2014,we'll see...

I notice every time a whack job murders people they look to "Where did he get the gun?"

I do not want to be in the supply chain.

Quite a while back,a friend called and asked if I still had a n extra PA-63.He wanted it for his nephew.Sorry.No way was I going to be involved in that.

Narrowing it down to your assessment of that young man...old clothes,thin clothes...does not matter to me.Black duster....?Hmmm.Brings Columbine to mind.Just my problem?Well,a young man who wears a black duster to a gun show ,IMO,is excersizing poor judgement.
HiBC is offline  
Old January 19, 2014, 11:47 AM   #25
DannyB1954
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2013
Location: Pahrump Nv USA
Posts: 415
You know from my experience, con men do not look like con men. They always appear to be quite honest. Serial killers do not look like serial killers, (that is why their victims trusted them).
If someone looks squeeky clean, they still could be a bad guy. and vice versa. That is why I sell my stuff through the LGS. Yes they make money from it, but they also do me a large service.
DannyB1954 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:39 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13552 seconds with 7 queries