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View Full Version : Convincing out-of-state FFLs to play the stupid CHFL game - Need Statistics


gunn
08-01-2008, 2:53 PM
Hi:
I'm trying to do by part by convincing out of state FFLs to continue doing business with us folk in CA.

Hypothesis: I've heard anecdotally that "California is one of the biggest markets in the US for firearms" but do we have any statistics to back this up?

Q: Does anyone have any statistics on gun sales state-by-state? Even indirect info like NCIS checks state-by-state would be useful.

While we all agree that this law sucks, this would help bolster our case with all the little mom-and-pop FFLs one encounters on gunbroker.com and other places...

Here's what I've found so far:

Stats from CA on the # of purchases (via DROS statistics)
- http://ag.ca.gov/newsalerts/release.php?id=589&year=2005&month=3
- Says sales are at an all time low (not exactly supporting my hypothesis)
- 315K/yr down from 615K in 1993
- This covers new/used legit sales. While the majority of the transactions are within CA, volume helps bolster the argument that it's worth the hassle of registration.
- Problem: I have nothing from other states to compare this to.

Stats on Gun Ownership
- This is indirect but the postulate here is that more gun owners => more gun purchases => more gun purchases via out of state
- http://www.swivel.com/data_sets/show/1003599
- Cross referenced to the Population per state yields approx gun owners per state
- http://www.swivel.com/data_sets/show/1007757
- % of gun owners came from a survey published in the washington post in 2001; as a survey, this number is likely underreported (I probably would do the same if some stranger called me up asking what was in my house)
- I used the estimated population data from the same year as the survey (2001)
- The results are as expected: Texas (my original home) is #1 followed by CA, PA, and Florida.
- Having never lived on the east coast, I was surprised that PA beat Florida but anecdotally, I do remember visiting the equivalent to CalGuns for PA when doing random google searches for random topics. It kind of makes sense now that I'm aware of it.

State % own Total Pop: 7/1/01 Total Est Gun Owners
Texas 35.9 21,357,926 7,667,495
California 21.3 34,550,466 7,359,249
Penn 34.7 12,295,929 4,266,687
Florida 24.5 16,354,728 4,006,908
Michigan 38.4 10,003,243 3,841,245

Now, can anyone deliver more accurate statistics than this?
-g

Librarian
08-01-2008, 6:34 PM
No, you've got about the best there are.

Just to match years, the BATF publishes gun production data yearly; 2006 is available, but for 2004 (assuming all were sold in the US)

728,511 pistols + 294,099 revolvers (total = 1,022,650, CA 145,335, 14.2%)
1,325,138 rifles + 731,769 shotguns (total = 2,056,907, CA 169,730, 8.25%)

ETA: Just as a check: in 2004, the US had 220,343,552 residents 18 years old or older, California had 26,324,984 in that age group. who were at least old enough to purchase some gun, about 12% of the US 18+ population.

California Department of Corrections (http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Reports_Research/Offender_Information_Services_Branch/Annual/CalPrisArchive.html) indicates ~391,000 in penal institutions (~164K) or on parole in 2004; all of these were 18+. About 6K more were Federal prisoners - current populations at At-water, Dublin, LA, Lompoc, San Diego and Terminal Island are a bit over 1K each - some unknown number of others who were in city/county jails or who had been convicted of felonies but were not actively being supervised all would reduce that age-eligible population.

Call it around 25 million California adults with no criminal firearms disabilities or restraining orders as the potential firearms buyers market.

freakshow10mm
08-03-2008, 11:32 PM
Lower MI is different from the UP. It's commonly estimated that 80% of households in the UP have at least one firearm.

gunn
08-04-2008, 7:28 AM
Librarian:
I saw the BATFE production figures. The only problem i can see with your method is that you are comparing TOTAL US production to total CA DROSes (or is there another figure for 2004 CA sales?).

CA DROSes would include new & used firearm transactions.
Total US production also include arms for export but doesn't include imported firearms available for sale.

-g

WokMaster1
08-04-2008, 8:48 AM
Good move. With the stats, add the steps for an out of state dealer to be CHFL certified & step by step to complete a transaction ( a flow chart would be ideal) & sticky it here on Calguns, Calguns Foundation & also on CalNRA site. It would also add credibility in convincing the dealers on the fence to move forward as these site are highly credible & trusted. Maybe even have the NRA website link that info to us.

All the naysayers are purely fed by FUD. The ones who are already certified should be listed on there, a Hall of Fame sorta.:D

freakshow10mm
08-04-2008, 11:03 AM
For me I went to the site to register. I entered my company name, address, and FFL number. 3 seconds later it said my FFL was verified and I would be emailed a password. Then I logged in. I think it took about 3 minutes to register including a bathroom break.

Here's what you need and where you go to register:
You will need the following information from your valid Federal Firearms License (FFL):

* Name of Business/individual/corporation
* FFL expiration date or date from the Letter of Continuing Authorization (LOA) [LOA information]
* Physical address
* Business e-mail address
* Telephone number
* Facsimile number (if applicable)
* Name of a contact person (The contact person's name appears on the Firearms Shipment Approval letter generated by CFLC)

https://webapps.doj.ca.gov/cflc/addEnrolee.do?dispatch=enrollmentGuidelines

Then the CA dealer gives me their special 5 digit CL number. I enter that plus quantity of handguns and longguns in shipment, and then make up an invoice shipping number. In a few seconds it will verify if the receiving dealer in registered and if so it will generate an authorization letter. Print it, pack it, ship it.

Note: I haven't shipped any guns to CA yet, but this is how it goes down, from what I've read on the CA DOJ site.

Pvt. Cowboy
08-04-2008, 11:38 AM
I think the points you may be missing are these:

1. While California is indeed a huge firearms market, that doesn't mean that California is any particular out of state seller's largest market. A simple mom and pop gun shop in Waco TX that maybe sells one gun to California per year (if at all) isn't going to be willing to jump through Sacramento's flaming hoops just to make a measly profit on a used firearm transaction and even less so on the sale of a new firearm. Any red tape in their way will cause them to simply say 'Nah, forget it' as more and more are now doing.

2. Everyone here understands that California's secondary level of FFL registration that's redundant to the Federal ATF standard is designed to prevent the flow of guns into California. If they get too many out of state FFLs registered to do business in CA, they'll simply add a fee which will shut down any chance of an out of state FFL wanting to do business in CA -- even if you beg them and swear you'll pay the fee and a premium.

3. Seeing the outcome of NYC mayor Bloomberg using the unlimited resources of that city to crush small time dealers several states away by ordering them into court before a liberal judge in Manhattan, many out of state dealers are loathe to do business with California because they're sure that Sacramento's bizarre FFL registration website is some sort of legal trap to be sprung upon them later.

For these reasons, Californian sales just aren't worth the trouble or effort for the increasing majority of out of state FFL holders. If not right this moment, surely in the near future. Sure, there will some dealers willing to do business with California, but they can for all practical purposes be regarded as blockade runners --- with blockade runner's prices to match. All of this is exactly as Sacramento intended: Fewer guns, fewer bullets, and fewer dealers willing to keep up the trade.

Librarian
08-04-2008, 12:48 PM
Librarian:
I saw the BATFE production figures. The only problem i can see with your method is that you are comparing TOTAL US production to total CA DROSes (or is there another figure for 2004 CA sales?).

CA DROSes would include new & used firearm transactions.
Total US production also include arms for export but doesn't include imported firearms available for sale.

-g
True, I think. All we have is what DOJ publishes - I haven't seen better.

There's no particular reason to suppose that only 2004 production was sold in CA in 2004, either.

Back-of-the-envelope is about as good as we're going to get, I suppose.

Freakshow10mm, thanks for the process narration; I think that's more likely to convince out of state FFLs than market arguments (those should influence manufacturers - including you - and I think the bigger ones already get it).

I got into a messy thread over at another site where many posters couldn't understand that refusing to sell into CA is exactly what our Fine Legislators had hoped would be the case. They correctly said they could run their businesses to suit themselves, not the CA legislature, not recognizing that refusal to comply with the overt requirement did in fact comply with the intent.

freakshow10mm
08-04-2008, 8:48 PM
I think the points you may be missing are these:

1. While California is indeed a huge firearms market, that doesn't mean that California is any particular out of state seller's largest market. A simple mom and pop gun shop in Waco TX that maybe sells one gun to California per year (if at all) isn't going to be willing to jump through Sacramento's flaming hoops just to make a measly profit on a used firearm transaction and even less so on the sale of a new firearm. Any red tape in their way will cause them to simply say 'Nah, forget it' as more and more are now doing.
I'm a one man company. The CA process is a hassle in that it takes more time to ship. Guess what? That's called customer service. A customer wants a gun, you do everything possible to legally see that through to the end. Period. If someone doesn't want to ship to a CA FFL for you, that's just fine with me. I'd be more than happy to ship a gun to California. :D

2. Everyone here understands that California's secondary level of FFL registration that's redundant to the Federal ATF standard is designed to prevent the flow of guns into California. If they get too many out of state FFLs registered to do business in CA, they'll simply add a fee which will shut down any chance of an out of state FFL wanting to do business in CA -- even if you beg them and swear you'll pay the fee and a premium.
Doing this will bring a lawsuit against the state for trying to regulate interstate commerce. The Feds don't like it when you mess with their jurisdiction.

3. Seeing the outcome of NYC mayor Bloomberg using the unlimited resources of that city to crush small time dealers several states away by ordering them into court before a liberal judge in Manhattan, many out of state dealers are loathe to do business with California because they're sure that Sacramento's bizarre FFL registration website is some sort of legal trap to be sprung upon them later.
What Sacramento FFL registration? Haven't heard of that yet. Link to it please so I can check it out and do my part to register.

For these reasons, Californian sales just aren't worth the trouble or effort for the increasing majority of out of state FFL holders. If not right this moment, surely in the near future. Sure, there will some dealers willing to do business with California, but they can for all practical purposes be regarded as blockade runners --- with blockade runner's prices to match. All of this is exactly as Sacramento intended: Fewer guns, fewer bullets, and fewer dealers willing to keep up the trade.
Not trying to put a plug in for myself, but my gun prices don't change just because the gun is going to California. The customer in CA and FL pay the same cost for the gun, plus actual shipping charges to their FFL. I use USPS for all shipping, due to the cost savings. There is no "California fee". You pay what you see, plus maybe $15-16 shipping tops on handguns.

freakshow10mm
08-04-2008, 8:54 PM
Freakshow10mm, thanks for the process narration; I think that's more likely to convince out of state FFLs than market arguments (those should influence manufacturers - including you - and I think the bigger ones already get it).

I try. Thanks for noticing my efforts.

I seriously don't understand what the big deal is with shipping to CA. Like I said, I haven't had the pleasure of doing so yet, but reading on the DOJ site it's something my 22 month old son can do.

With all the buzz about how terrible the CA process is, my wife and I laughed at how easy it is to get registered. I seriously think it took maybe 2 minutes to register. I spoke with another FFL that ships to CA a lot and he said it's maybe 5 minutes extra work. :rolleyes:

motorhead
08-04-2008, 9:28 PM
anecdotal evidence suggests out of state ffl's are not exactly jumping on board for this one. one in particular has added an additional $50 fee.

Librarian
08-04-2008, 9:31 PM
What Sacramento FFL registration? Haven't heard of that yet. Link to it please so I can check it out and do my part to register. "Sacramento" == state capitol, so seat of government.

'Oh no, did you hear what Sacramento (Lansing) is up to now?'

You've got it covered.

freakshow10mm
08-04-2008, 10:28 PM
Oh, OK. I knew it was the capitol, I just thought there was additional stuff I had to do to ship to Sacramento. I was poised to do it.

Here in the UP, we call the governor (Jennifer Granholm) Aunt Jenny or that dumb Canadian *female dog*.