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Old May 18, 2020, 10:16 PM   #1
Atticus Thraxx
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Ethics in firearms purchases

How far do you push it? We all, presumably anyway, like to think of ourselves as honest and ethical people. But people being people, the actual definition of an utterly and completely fair firearms transaction is as hard to hit as a teacup at 1000 yards. At night. And I will admit right here and now I've pushed it right to and arguably over the line. Especially back in the day when things weren't so tight. I mean I can talk the talk and 99% of the time, walk the walk. But it also occurs to me if someone came to me with something I really wanted, I mean been looking for years, would I still have that mercenary mindset in the heat of the moment? Or would I say "Hey kid, I think I can direct you to some experts to talk to first before I make an offer."?
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Old May 18, 2020, 10:24 PM   #2
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Flip the coin; how much sizzle would you take over steak?

If I sell a firearm it's for logistical reasons: dropping an ammo type, etc. I never keep a firearm that's a failure waiting to happen. I've sold one sketchy rifle and i cut the receiver in half and sold it for parts.

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Old May 18, 2020, 11:05 PM   #3
Dean C
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After reading the OP, I couldn't understand what you are talking about. Please explain in simple statements.
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Old May 18, 2020, 11:29 PM   #4
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He's asking how many of us would take a deal that we knew was too good of a deal.

For example, about 6 years ago, I had a twenty-something guy come in with his grandfather's Colt 1908 380 staff officer's pistol still in the box, still in preservative paper, with 2 magazines, the paymaster's draw chit and the bring-home papers and just wanted to trade it for a Glock 19. The pistol was easily worth $2,000-$3,000 in that condition with papers, the Glosk was maybe $500. I didn't have the money to buy it even though I had been looking for one for a long time. I told him what the pistol was worth and that he should put it on Gunbroker. He seemed disappointed to not be able to just get what he wanted for it, but I just couldn't do it.

About 3 years ago, I bouight a Model 12 Special Field (vent rib and checkered) from an older gentleman. He asked for $400 for it. I bought it, I had been looking for a 20 gauge pump for a while. I got what I wanted, he got what he wanted. No qualms. Was it worth more? Yes, but not a lot, and he was perfectly happy as was I.
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Old May 19, 2020, 12:56 AM   #5
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I think there are a couple different things involved in the ethics of gun buying/selling. One is the value of the gun involved vs asking price, and the other is the condition of the gun.

can't tell you the number of people I've known who's response to some gun problem is to sell the gun (and not inform the buyer of the problem).

That, I find unethical. I also consider it unethical to take advantage of the "grieving widow" or needy family who doesn't have any clue the real value of what they are selling. I have, on occasion even paid more than market value to help out a needy family.

But, there is also the situation where the seller is happy to take less than market value to get cash (or another gun) NOW....

and then, of course there is also the possibility that a super low asking price means the gun is stolen...

My Dad had a cousin pass away, and his widow "sold" him a one season old Win 94 .32 Special, for $20. She wouldn't take more, because he was family. That isn't unethical, (and he did a lot of other things for her to give her more than just the $20) but that was all the cash she would take from him.

I've sold guns that weren't reliably functional. At low price and always telling the buyer all the issues they have.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old May 19, 2020, 01:59 AM   #6
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Ultimately,what is at stake is how I feel about the guy I see in the mirror.
I won't take advantage of someone when I feel I'm in a position of trust.
If I were to see (fat chance!!) a nice L C Smith double marked $ 100 by the seller at a garage sale,, I think I'd just hold out a $ 100 bill without saying much/

Once it was home,I'd call in the SN to see if it was hot.

f you offer me $2000 for my Ruger SBH,its yours,if you have cash.(And I can sell you a firearm)

But if a person told me " Mom and I got our power cut off,I need $ 300 real bad,and all I have is Grandpa's old gun"...I might slap the ATM around till it coughs $300,hand it to them,and tell them "You keep that gun of your Grandpas.Go get your lights back on. Do me right when things get better for you." Without ever expecting to see the $300 again.

In each case,I'm OK
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Old May 19, 2020, 02:35 AM   #7
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If there is a question hidden in the opening post, it's very well concealed because I don't have a clue what's being asked. There's a VERY old saying that "The right price is what a willing seller will accept from a willing buyer." I don't see any ethical dilemma in paying someone what they're willing to take for an item, whether it's a firearm, a boat, a car, or a house. As long as you don't lie, where's the question?
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Old May 19, 2020, 03:54 AM   #8
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Translation - -

I have a chance to buy an expensive gun & the seller has asked me to put a price on it.
Should I make them a realistic offer - or - should I low ball them, knowing they will accept my word as absolute true value & sell it to me?

My answer to this hypothetical is - how much value to you put on your ability to look at yourself in the mirror?
(knowing all the while that - simply by virtue of the fact the OP has posted this sort of roundabout question - the answer is obvious.)(anyone wanting to "steal the deal" would just go ahead & do it & not think twice - then brag about it later)
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Old May 19, 2020, 06:35 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca View Post
If there is a question hidden in the opening post, it's very well concealed because I don't have a clue what's being asked.
^^^ I gotta agree. I also wonder if the OP is really asking about ethics or morals, since they do differ.
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Old May 19, 2020, 08:46 AM   #10
Atticus Thraxx
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I could have been clearer, I'm not a professional writer. Scorch pretty much nailed it. Look, I just wanted to get a conversation going and get a feel of where other people are at on the matter. No hidden agendas. Geez.
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Old May 19, 2020, 10:18 AM   #11
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Had a customer bring in a really well cared for remington 33 bolt .22 family heirloom that the grandchild wanted drilled and scoped for squirrel hunting. I did a bit of research, found the historical value that it was the first remingtom bolt action .22 model. Being in such good condition, i told the customer what its unseeming value was and that it was a good specimen. I said i could do it, but id hate to damage a fine example of firearm history. Had it been well worn, ida more likely done it, but it was too nice a specimen to alter.
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Old May 19, 2020, 05:44 PM   #12
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Here is an ethical issue that I have wondered about. Say I want to sell a gun that I know has a significant problem. If I sell it on gunbroker or the like, I would definitely describe the problem, even though I know it would significantly lower the price. But what if I ship it to a big auction house? I would definitely tell the auction house exactly what is wrong with the gun; however, based on my experience, the auction house would almost certainly gloss over my description of the problem when they write their description of the gun. Because of that the gun will likely sell for more than I could get on gunbroker, and if the buyer is not happy, he/she cannot come after me. Is it unethical of me to ship such a gun to a big auction house, provided I tell them exactly what is wrong?
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Old May 19, 2020, 06:42 PM   #13
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I've gotten a few deals that some might question. A Winchester 94-22 XTR in a gun shop that was priced about $200 less than true value. They are supposed to know what they are doing. They priced it, not me. From the looks of the gun it had been sitting on a shelf gathering dust for years so apparently a lot of people passed it over, presumably at a higher price.

I've bought a couple of guns from guys who needed rent money right now. I paid under value, but not so low that I'd consider it unethical. I gave both guys more than they would have gotten in a pawn shop. Everyone went home happy.
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

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Old May 19, 2020, 06:48 PM   #14
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It's his firearm to sell and price !!!

After reading the OP, I couldn't understand what you are talking about. Please explain in simple statements.
I too agree but reading between the lines, he is asking about our "Code of Ethics" on buying and selling Firearms. We all have our own personal code of ethics that is influence by many factors and there are times that it can get complicated. ……..

The OP, has a specific question or situation, in mind and feel free to ask.

I have a chance to buy an expensive gun & the seller has asked me to put a price on it.
"Generally" in my code works the other way around; It's his firearm to so it's his price to set. Then we can negotiate from there. folks should do "some" homework before selling and when possible, buying.

I also do informal appraisals on firearms to assist some folks. like widows. It's sad but some widows just want them out of the house. I help them find buyers and give them an asking range. ….

And so it goes;
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