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View Full Version : What Happens When Your Mail Order Prohibited Item ?


Whoa Nellie
05-07-2010, 11:51 AM
Okay I just ordered a 10rd magazine for my Ruger Mini-30 from Midway USA. I am in California. When I was in the process of placing the order there was the standard warning note that I should check with my local laws to be sure this item was legal where I live.

My question is what would happen if I ordered an item that wasnt legal ? Would the Midway USA software allow the purchase ? Would they ship the item if it did allow the purchase ? Are there safe guards built into their software to avoid these things ? Wouldnt they be legally culpable just as I would if they did take an order or ship and item that wasnt legal ?

SP1200
05-07-2010, 12:03 PM
Who knows. I have a friend who ordered rebuild AK mag kits from FTF INDUSTRIES, and they were shipped to him complete! Right to his door step.

Sinixstar
05-07-2010, 12:05 PM
It depends on the site. Some systems are more limiting in that they will not allow certain things to be shipped to certain zipcodes.

Others simply put the warning up to hopefully limit their legal liability - and put all of the responsibility on your shoulders.

It all varies from vendor to vendor, and often times depends on what exactly you're trying to buy.

Nicky D
05-07-2010, 1:39 PM
Cheaper Than Dirt has a lil box where you put in your zip code to determine if it is legal to ship something to you. Some other places just wont ship anything to Cali, to be "safe"

Mstrty
05-07-2010, 1:59 PM
Who knows. I have a friend who ordered rebuild AK mag kits from FTF INDUSTRIES, and they were shipped to him complete! Right to his door step.

:thumbsup: Yes that was your outside voice :eek:

stix213
05-07-2010, 2:19 PM
You are asking questions about an online store's internal inventory and internal legal controls, which undoubtedly work completely different from site to site. If you order something and it isn't legal here, you CAN get in trouble if you get caught (which most likely wouldn't happen, but still don't break the law on purpose) and its possible the seller could get in trouble also... which is why normally they wouldn't sell you something banned here.

stix213
05-07-2010, 2:25 PM
Who knows. I have a friend who ordered rebuild AK mag kits from FTF INDUSTRIES, and they were shipped to him complete! Right to his door step.

I'm actually pretty certain your "friend" now legally owns those high caps. He didn't do any of the things in the law that were illegal and now has high caps in his lap. Even the "imports into the state" part I believe he didn't do since he didn't even order high cap mags in the first place, he ordered rebuild kits but the seller shipped the wrong thing. (I'm not a lawyer and this is not real legal advise by the way, but I believe FTF Industries is the one who broke the law here and your friend now owns some high caps on the up and up)

12020:
(a) Any person in this state who does any of the following is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or in the state prison:
...
(2) Commencing January 1, 2000, manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives, or lends, any large-capacity magazine.

Cali-Shooter
05-07-2010, 2:29 PM
Cheaper Than Dirt has a lil box where you put in your zip code to determine if it is legal to ship something to you. Some other places just wont ship anything to Cali, to be "safe"

Ah yes, "safe," as if all of us want to be "safe" all the time. "Safe" from real, or perceived threats, that only a narrow minded liberal nanny-censorship luving politician and their freedom-relinquishing supporters sees as a threat?
end of /rant
I agree with you though Nicky D, that definition of "safe" is mainly just to cover their own asses by complying with laws so that they can continue their business. I view CTD as "moderate," albeit somewhat skewed towards "misinformed, FUD spreading idiots who refuse to do business with CA citizens" since they don't allowed purchases of legitimate CA legal items such as folding stocks. Despite these, they are the best place to buy Wolf 7.62x39 SP 154 Gr. You can't beat $5.13 for a box of 20...

Flopper
05-07-2010, 3:15 PM
I'm actually pretty certain your "friend" now legally owns those high caps. He didn't do any of the things in the law that were illegal and now has high caps in his lap. Even the "imports into the state" part I believe he didn't do since he didn't even order high cap mags in the first place, he ordered rebuild kits but the seller shipped the wrong thing. (I'm not a lawyer and this is not real legal advise by the way, but I believe FTF Industries is the one who broke the law here and your friend now owns some high caps on the up and up)

12020:
(a) Any person in this state who does any of the following is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or in the state prison:
...
(2) Commencing January 1, 2000, manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives, or lends, any large-capacity magazine.

Uh, the friend imported it.

FTF exported it.

Of course he didn't intentionally import it so he might be able to defend what happened, but then again I have no idea how intent plays into prosecution of the high cap mag ban.

stix213
05-07-2010, 3:30 PM
Uh, the friend imported it.

FTF exported it.

Of course he didn't intentionally import it so he might be able to defend what happened, but then again I have no idea how intent plays into prosecution of the high cap mag ban.

So following this logic, if I own a shop in Nevada, you order a box of .22LR ammo from me, and instead I ship you a full auto M16, you are guilty of importing it? Its not what you ordered.

loather
05-07-2010, 3:53 PM
So following this logic, if I own a shop in Nevada, you order a box of .22LR ammo from me, and instead I ship you a full auto M16, you are guilty of importing it? Its not what you ordered.

I'd be guilty of possessing it as soon as I opened the box, regardless of if it's what I ordered or not. That's strict liability for you!

GrizzlyGuy
05-07-2010, 3:53 PM
I'm actually pretty certain your "friend" now legally owns those high caps. He didn't do any of the things in the law that were illegal and now has high caps in his lap. Even the "imports into the state" part I believe he didn't do since he didn't even order high cap mags in the first place, he ordered rebuild kits but the seller shipped the wrong thing. (I'm not a lawyer and this is not real legal advise by the way, but I believe FTF Industries is the one who broke the law here and your friend now owns some high caps on the up and up)

In that situation it's possible that no crime was committed. In CA, there needs to be intent or criminal negligence (20 PC (http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/20.html) through 26 PC (http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/26.html)). The buyer didn't intend to order a high-cap mag, and the seller may have accidentally shipped the wrong thing. No intent or negligence=no crime.

Nose Nuggets
05-07-2010, 4:32 PM
Most places call me first to confirm LEO or AW status. Then i tell them i need the components to rebuild existing mags and ill pay an extra buck a mag to tear them down before shipping. if they are going to ship they usually waive my suggested $1 surcharge and do it for free, or tell me they have been advised by legal representation not to ship at all to CA and i move on.

Robidouxs
05-07-2010, 4:33 PM
In that situation it's possible that no crime was committed. In CA, there needs to be intent or criminal negligence (20 PC (http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/20.html) through 26 PC (http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/26.html)). The buyer didn't intend to order a high-cap mag, and the seller may have accidentally shipped the wrong thing. No intent or negligence=no crime.

This sounds similar in the case where an FFL gives a hi-cap magazine to you inadvertently. Imagine this, you buy ten (10) magazines advertised to be blocked at 10/30 from the FFL. When you get to the range to try out your new magazines you load the first nine (9) magazines with ten rounds, the limit the magazine can take. When you go to load the 10th and last magazine you find that it keeps taking ammunition past 10 rounds, filling to full capacity, 30 rounds.

Since there is no conspiracy on the end of the purchaser, the individual in possession of the hi-capacity magazine, to willfully and knowingly break the law the transaction is deemed legal beyond reasonable doubt. The only party in trouble in this case would be the FFL.

dfletcher
05-07-2010, 4:52 PM
Okay I just ordered a 10rd magazine for my Ruger Mini-30 from Midway USA. I am in California. When I was in the process of placing the order there was the standard warning note that I should check with my local laws to be sure this item was legal where I live.

My question is what would happen if I ordered an item that wasnt legal ? Would the Midway USA software allow the purchase ? Would they ship the item if it did allow the purchase ? Are there safe guards built into their software to avoid these things ? Wouldnt they be legally culpable just as I would if they did take an order or ship and item that wasnt legal ?

With Midway, if you try to buy something that is prohibited by their software a quick "no can do" type sign pops up for a millisecond - you might even miss it flashing, I think it happens when you go from Step 2 to Step 3 paying on line. If you're trying to buy something obviously not OK in CA you kind of expect it and watch for it, but if you're buying something you figure is OK - like empty brass cases for reloading - and you're not on the lookout, it can be annoying as hell because you can't quite figure out what's wrong.

Some other programs let you actually complete the sale, then bounce out a "we can't ship this and took it out of your cart" message to your e-mail address.

Flopper
05-07-2010, 6:48 PM
So following this logic, if I own a shop in Nevada, you order a box of .22LR ammo from me, and instead I ship you a full auto M16, you are guilty of importing it? Its not what you ordered.

Guilty?? Hell NO!

Would you be 1. investigated, 2. charged, and 3. prosecuted if you unintentionally received an M16? In CA 1. hell yes, 2. probably, and 3. possibly.

Sorry for the confusion, but the main point of my post was to point out that BY DEFINITIOBN the friend had IMported the mags and that FTF had EXported them.

Whoa Nellie
05-07-2010, 7:17 PM
I believe the law defines "importation" as having had material actions involved in physically moving the item.

That is a big difference between "causing" the items to be imported by someone else.

I work in the clothing industry and we import clothing from various countries. When I place an order for jeans from Vietnam I am causing them to be imported but I had no actions in actually moving the items into America.

Lone_Gunman
05-07-2010, 8:09 PM
I'd be guilty of possessing it as soon as I opened the box, regardless of if it's what I ordered or not. That's strict liability for you!

True but... posession of hi-cap mags is not illegal. (http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/FAQ#Is_possession_of_a_large_capacity_magazine_ill egal.3F)

SP1200
05-07-2010, 9:04 PM
I'd be guilty of possessing it as soon as I opened the box, regardless of if it's what I ordered or not. That's strict liability for you!

^ That's what I told him. He resealed the box and sen tit back.
I guess he could have taken them apart, but honestly we thought it might be a set up. lol.

Texas Boy
05-08-2010, 1:50 AM
This sounds similar in the case where an FFL gives a hi-cap magazine to you inadvertently. Imagine this, you buy ten (10) magazines advertised to be blocked at 10/30 from the FFL. When you get to the range to try out your new magazines you load the first nine (9) magazines with ten rounds, the limit the magazine can take. When you go to load the 10th and last magazine you find that it keeps taking ammunition past 10 rounds, filling to full capacity, 30 rounds.

Since there is no conspiracy on the end of the purchaser, the individual in possession of the hi-capacity magazine, to willfully and knowingly break the law the transaction is deemed legal beyond reasonable doubt. The only party in trouble in this case would be the FFL.

But would you have a duty to return the improper item? I know under CA law if you find an item, you have a duty to try and locate the rightful owner (this was publicized in the now infamous "found" next gen iPhone that was "sold" to a tech blog site).

Bottom line - I can accept that you committed no crime in receiving the item since you didn't intend to receive it, and in this case possession is not a crime (not so with the machine gun however). But KEEPING the item could be a crime of a different sort (as in the iPhone case). Any legal types who can enlighten here?

Zhukov
05-08-2010, 1:54 AM
As was said - If you ordered a ten round magazine and you received a thirty, you can't be found guilty of possessing it since that isn't a crime.

And since you ordered and thought you were importing a ten round magazine, I doubt you would be found guilty or even brought up on charges of importing because you had no criminal intent or knowledge that this would happen nor authorized it.

Whether a DA would feel the need to try an make an example out of you to make himself look good, well...that's a different story.

Scratch705
05-08-2010, 2:01 AM
But would you have a duty to return the improper item? I know under CA law if you find an item, you have a duty to try and locate the rightful owner (this was publicized in the now infamous "found" next gen iPhone that was "sold" to a tech blog site).

Bottom line - I can accept that you committed no crime in receiving the item since you didn't intend to receive it, and in this case possession is not a crime (not so with the machine gun however). But KEEPING the item could be a crime of a different sort (as in the iPhone case). Any legal types who can enlighten here?

the iphone deal and hi-cap mags are different animals.

the iphone is considered industry secret and is protected under trademark/copyright laws and probably also industrial espionage laws since it is an item that is a prototype, and has not been released to the public.

an hi-cap mag isn't exactly trade secrets, and is common goods outside of CA. plus with the iphone case, Apple is claiming that it was stolen, not "found" and thus is considered grand larceny (aka theft). if a store sent you hi-caps even when you order 10 rounders, it isn't theft in the legal sense since you paid for an item, and it was the store that sent you the wrong item. now, morally you of course should contact the store to get it corrected.

loather
05-08-2010, 9:33 AM
True but... posession of hi-cap mags is not illegal. (http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/FAQ#Is_possession_of_a_large_capacity_magazine_ill egal.3F)

Keep in mind that I was responding to someone who said a fully-auto M16 was in the box instead of a box of .22LR ammo (or something equally as ridiculous). I have several legally-owned and possessed high-capacity magazines. :)

loather
05-08-2010, 9:35 AM
^ That's what I told him. He resealed the box and sen tit back.
I guess he could have taken them apart, but honestly we thought it might be a set up. lol.

It's certainly the safest thing to do.

ETA: Although mere possession of the magazines may not be illegal, it's certainly a very grey area in this situation and I would not want to take the chance.

RideIcon
05-08-2010, 11:37 PM
I'm actually pretty certain your "friend" now legally owns those high caps.

Yep, he did not willfully import high cap magazines, but now legally possess them! just one of MANY MANY ways to come into legal possession of them