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View Full Version : ATF raid La Mesa Collectibles


taloft
03-11-2006, 4:28 PM
I went by La Mesa Collectibles to have a Single Action Colt looked at today. Apparently, the ATF came in on Friday, 10Th of March, and pulled the inventory. They took the Bound Book and all firearms except the C&R stuff. I asked the owner what happened. He thinks the ATF transposed a serial number on their list when they did the yearly audit. Since they can't match up the Bound Book with the number on their list, they pulled his Class 01 and all his inventory until they can clear it up.

He is looking at $25,000.00 he has to pay out to customers that hadn't picked up their firearms yet. In addition to that, he will have to pay $10,000.00 to put everything back into his name. Also, every gun that is not on the Safe list is going to be forfeit, since he can't transfer it back into his name. This is a considerable part of his inventory since he buys collection pieces outright.

This is a well established store, the owner is methodical. I believe his guns will match his book in the end. By the time that happens, he will be out $35,000.00 plus the cost of the Non safe listed firearms, and legal fees. Basically, they ruined an honest man's business with a clerical error. He can still do repairs and sell ammo but, that is it.
At least he hasn't lost his sense of humor. When I walked in the door today he smiled and asked me if I'd come to purchase a B.B. gun. I've also heard more reports from local shops of DOJ writing down DROS info. I'm also hearing reports of the DOJ leaning on shops in regards to the lower issue.

Charliegone
03-11-2006, 4:34 PM
ATF thugs..always f-n up peoples lives..Gosh I wish the repubs in the Senate and House would just get rid of them!:mad:

Can'thavenuthingood
03-11-2006, 4:56 PM
Is there a reason they could not just lock the place down and conduct a wall to wall audit or inventory? It would seem to be the way anyone in a Leadership or Professional position would handle it. Checking for compliance does not mean shut it all down. Even if suspected of something, you don't nuke the place.

This was a plan to put the place out of business.

Vick

Stanze
03-11-2006, 5:35 PM
That's weird they'd do that for just one firearm.:confused:

Where's this place located in La Mesa?

CALI-gula
03-11-2006, 5:39 PM
That seems a bit harsh for a one-gun serial number transposition; it would seem that they would follow up on that one incident if indeed that incident has been identified as an error, and then audit books or numbers on site. There must have been something else more serious or in addition. I say that because I have seen less done by ATF or the CA DOJ for worse cases. One that comes to mind was the shop "Belleau Wood" in Duarte, CA. I will not get into the details of background here, but the issue could be seen as worse than the above - nothing was confiscated, and things remained in the store for display; they just couldn't sell any firearms at the time while waiting for their license paperwork to be approved by the state - there was an FFL transfer issue from one partner of the store to another, and the new owner (partner) had some trouble with garnering the license.

Another incident I know of for another store revolved around firearm legality issues - no confiscation or shutdowns ocurred, and that was CA DOJ investigating. They simply stated "You can't sell these no more" and the reply was "OK, we won't" and they removed them from the rack. Smiles all around and store remained in business.

But if the DOJ can grab a bunch of lowers due to a safe not being large enough, then I suppose ATF can do anything they choose. :confused:

.

cjp85
03-11-2006, 6:05 PM
Wow, that really sucks. I've bought 2 pistols from there with nothing but great service. They're one of the few shops that has a decent setup at the Del Mar gunshows too. This really pisses me off, is there anything we can do to help him get things going right again? I'd hate to see his place go under because of the ATF (*******s Taking Firearms). What a shame.

cjp85
03-11-2006, 6:07 PM
That's weird they'd do that for just one firearm.:confused:

Where's this place located in La Mesa?
It's near the Trolly station on Fletcher Pkwy. Over near CompUSA and Costco and all that.

taloft
03-11-2006, 6:13 PM
It's located right off of Jackson Dr. It is right next to the Southern Cal. Gun Shop. PM me if you need better directions. I find it interesting that they left all of the C&R rifles on the walls. He did say that they were supposed to return Monday to finish, "Tearing the place apart." It looked like they did a pretty thorough job of ransacking the place the first time. It seemed a bit excessive to me as well.
In defense of the ATF, this is what he told me had happened. For all I know one of his flunkey's failed to perform some paperwork correctly. There could be other violations. The shop was wall to wall firearms. If you are a Cowboy Action Shooter, this place was made for you. Same for collectors of antiques.

As I was standing there today, some guy came in to pick up his brand new sig 220. The owner had to refund his money. This was after the 10 day wait.:mad: I almost bought a 686 S&W there last week, Glad I didn't.

Gunsrruss
03-11-2006, 6:38 PM
I don't like to see this either, but this boy has had a hard time with the ATF before. If you look at his shop you can see why. His backroom is the same way. I left a rifle there for him to rebarrel. Not only did he lose the new barrel I gave him he lost the crews to hold it together. After 4 months I told him to go into his back room and bring me all the pieces he had. I took what was left of my rifle and went home. I told him not to expect me to recommend his business. He blamed it all on the ATF. He said they were climbing up his butt. Well, I can see why. All I can say is that it couldn't have happened to a better man. I know I must sound discruntled and I am. If you run a sloppy place then you do sloppy record keeping. You guys who bought from him should be lucky they don't come and see you.

xenophobe
03-11-2006, 6:47 PM
Sorry, the ATF does not pull a license for a serial number transposition, or a dozen, or even more. ATF does recognize the difference between bad/incomplete record keeping and some kind of not-quite-legal conduct. There had to be some kind of serious violation, and pulling of a license generally only happens after an investigation has already been completed.

Regardless, I hope he gets things squared away.

taloft
03-11-2006, 7:32 PM
I don't like to see this either, but this boy has had a hard time with the ATF before. If you look at his shop you can see why. His backroom is the same way. I left a rifle there for him to rebarrel. Not only did he lose the new barrel I gave him he lost the crews to hold it together. After 4 months I told him to go into his back room and bring me all the pieces he had. I took what was left of my rifle and went home. I told him not to expect me to recommend his business. He blamed it all on the ATF. He said they were climbing up his butt. Well, I can see why. All I can say is that it couldn't have happened to a better man. I know I must sound discruntled and I am. If you run a sloppy place then you do sloppy record keeping. You guys who bought from him should be lucky they don't come and see you.

Wow! that sucks. I've never heard anything negative about this shop before. It has all been positive, until now. I went there because he had the parts I needed in stock, and was recommended. If the back rooms were anything like the front, I can see what you mean. Sorry about your rifle. I would be disgruntled too. What is the opposite of disgruntled? Gruntled?;) I was pretty happy about my service but, he had to do it with me standing right there.

I agree with Xenophobe, there must be something more going on. I just didn't want to pry. I do hope he gets it taken care of. His prices were pretty good. I just won't leave any rifles in their care.:p :D

s u b k 0 r
03-11-2006, 8:42 PM
I was in an indoor range/gun retailer in San Diego on friday and they were also being audited (I'm assuming it was BATF... he was checking serials on rentals and generally walking about the place like he owned it) .. At the time I was wondering if it was DOJ auditing..

artherd
03-11-2006, 10:34 PM
That seems awfully harsh for a sn transposition, even if it was something as serious as an MG used to assinate a pope or somesuch.

Regardless, he needs representation IMMEDIATELY.

I recommend Chuck Michel out of LA, he is one of the best 2nd ammendment advocates in the state.:
Los Angeles Office
180 East Ocean Boulevard
Suite 200
Long Beach, California 90802-4079
Telephone: (562) 216-4444
Facsimile: (562) 216-4445



I went by La Mesa Collectibles to have a Single Action Colt looked at today. Apparently, the ATF came in on Friday, 10Th of March, and pulled the inventory. They took the Bound Book and all firearms except the C&R stuff. I asked the owner what happened. He thinks the ATF transposed a serial number on their list when they did the yearly audit. Since they can't match up the Bound Book with the number on their list, they pulled his Class 01 and all his inventory until they can clear it up.

He is looking at $25,000.00 he has to pay out to customers that hadn't picked up their firearms yet. In addition to that, he will have to pay $10,000.00 to put everything back into his name. Also, every gun that is not on the Safe list is going to be forfeit, since he can't transfer it back into his name. This is a considerable part of his inventory since he buys collection pieces outright.

This is a well established store, the owner is methodical. I believe his guns will match his book in the end. By the time that happens, he will be out $35,000.00 plus the cost of the Non safe listed firearms, and legal fees. Basically, they ruined an honest man's business with a clerical error. He can still do repairs and sell ammo but, that is it.
At least he hasn't lost his sense of humor. When I walked in the door today he smiled and asked me if I'd come to purchase a B.B. gun. I've also heard more reports from local shops of DOJ writing down DROS info. I'm also hearing reports of the DOJ leaning on shops in regards to the lower issue.