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View Full Version : Need help with gun purchase, going bad


RPC
05-06-2006, 9:39 AM
Hello CalGuns -

I've got a problem and I could use some advice. I bought an HK 45 Compact online from a private seller and sent a cashiers check to the seller. The seller took 2.5 weeks to send the pistol to my FFL and my FFL did receive it. Not a big deal, it sounded like the seller had a lot going on.

My FFL wants a copy of the seller's ID (Driver's License, Military, etc.) for his records as to the origin of the gun. I guess officially, my FFL is not required to have that documentation but I understand why he wants it. He runs his business and has a right to take measures to protect himself.

This is my 9th internet firearm purchase. All the others sellers have sent their FFL or other documentation to show who they are. After my FFL received the handgun I requested that the seller fax his ID. He said he was moving and unable to do it until May 1st, which was a week into the future at the time. I responded that he fax it ASAP.

On April, 30th I sent him a reminder. On May 1st he said he would fax it the next day. That was the last I have heard from him. My emails have not been returned and his phone states it does not accept incoming calls.

So here is where I'm screwed... I paid for the item, he shipped the item, my FFL wants to know where it came from (to make sure the seller actually exists and that the piston was not stolen), and the seller does not seem willing to send a photo ID via fax or email to solve all these problems. I can't finish the transaction because my FFL does not know where the handgun came from, I can't send it back to the seller because he has moved and I would never get my money back. And I don't want to send it back. I bought the gun and I want it. I just can't believe the guy won't send a fax to get everything cleared up. It makes me think that he is doing something shady. I don't think my FFL or I am asking for too much.

What can be done to fix this? Any advice?

RPC

taloft
05-06-2006, 9:54 AM
If you made the purchase on one of the firearm auction sites, you might try reaching the seller that way. If not, you might try reaching that person through the site on which the gun was originally shown/offered. This is why I don't like using a cashiers check. There is no real remedy once the check is cashed. As far as it being stolen, your FFL should be able to run a check on it. Good luck in any event.

Brass Balls
05-06-2006, 9:56 AM
I don't think your FFL is being unreasonable, however running the DROS on the gun should determine if it has been stolen etc. I'd put a call into the DOJ and ask them about it. The DOJ catches a lot of flack on this board, but I've always had good experiences when calling them for information. Even when the person with the info wasn't currently available they've been timely about returning calls. Good luck.

blacklisted
05-06-2006, 10:10 AM
Your FFL can also ask the local police to run the serial #.

Mssr. Eleganté
05-06-2006, 11:10 AM
You could use Photoshop to make up a fake drivers' license from the seller's state with all of the sellers info on it and a random head shot from the internet and then fax it to your dealer. For more realism you could have a friend from out of state fax it so the phone number wouldn't give you away as having faxed it from your town.

Who posted that? It certainly wasn't me! That would be wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong!

JamesY
05-06-2006, 1:26 PM
You could use Photoshop to make up a fake drivers' license from the seller's state with all of the sellers info on it and a random head shot from the internet and then fax it to your dealer. For more realism you could have a friend from out of state fax it so the phone number wouldn't give you away as having faxed it from your town.
Or, if you know anyone with MyFax, they can upload files (e.g. driver's license) from their computer and fax it electronically to the shop.


:confused:

harley66
05-06-2006, 2:08 PM
how did your FFL recieve the gun??? if it came to him, then he knows where it came from... any pd can run the numbers and be done with it

EBWhite
05-06-2006, 2:14 PM
The seller is not required to give that information and your FFL is not being reasonable. If he wont do the transfer have him send it to a more friendly ffl or return to the seller so it can be reshipped to another FFL. If i was selling the gun, i would not give my DL to your FFL for privacy reasons.

adamsreeftank
05-06-2006, 2:32 PM
If you paid for the gun and completed the DROS, it belongs to you. If the dealer won't give it to you after the 10 days are up, I think he is your problem. I would consider contacting the authorities if he refuses to hand it over.

dwtt
05-06-2006, 2:37 PM
My FFL wants a copy of the seller's ID (Driver's License, Military, etc.) for his records as to the origin of the gun. I guess officially, my FFL is not required to have that documentation but I understand why he wants it. He runs his business and has a right to take measures to protect himself.
You might ask your ffl if he's willing to send it to another nearby FFL to do the DROS if he doesn't want to do the DROS. If your FFL is worried about the gun being stolen, he can call the local police or the BATF. The BATF can find out if the gun has been reported stolen.

xenophobe
05-06-2006, 3:31 PM
The seller is not required to give that information and your FFL is not being reasonable. If he wont do the transfer have him send it to a more friendly ffl or return to the seller so it can be reshipped to another FFL. If i was selling the gun, i would not give my DL to your FFL for privacy reasons.

That is correct. I would contact your bank and tell them to cancel the Certified check. Yes, it can be done. Might be a big hassle though, but I'd give that a shot first.

jmlivingston
05-06-2006, 3:32 PM
The FFL is required to log it into his bound book, which includes documenting the source of the firearm. His request for a copy of the senders DL is quite legitimate. Was the sender the previous owner or was it shipped through an FFL?

John

BigMac
05-06-2006, 4:53 PM
The seller is not required to give that information and your FFL is not being reasonable. If he wont do the transfer have him send it to a more friendly ffl or return to the seller so it can be reshipped to another FFL. If i was selling the gun, i would not give my DL to your FFL for privacy reasons.


I want a copy of the ID to log from too... it's not unreasonable to have posative confirmation of whom this this came from. If it came from an FFL... then the FFL that shipped it should have looked at the ID of the seller... That should be a posative confirmation.. If the private party sent it he should have included a copy of his ID.

I wont log your gun into my books EBWhite without seeing your ID.. doesn't your dealer want to see your ID.. If you want to keep your ID a secret you probably shouldn't sell your guns.

Doesn't seem unreasonable at all.

RPC
05-06-2006, 6:54 PM
I appreciate all of your individual time and advice.

To follow up on some of the questions asked in various threads, the seller was the owner of the gun and was not an FFL. He shipped the gun to my FFL with no ID inside. I feel that it is reasonable for the FFL to want a copy of the seller's ID. From the FFL's point of view, he gets a handgun in the mail with a note inside that says "Give this to Bill (me)". I'd like a little more info too.

I will see if my FFL will play ball and do a check at the local PD, or contact the DOJ and go from there. I have found the DOJ to be very helpful in the past. If he is not interested, I'll see if he would pass it on to another FFL in the area. Before there was any problem the seller stated that he was moving, that was part of the delay when he sent it. I do not have his new address and seem no longer able to contact him.

Regarding the "evil" suggestions, I have thought about that and how I could make it work. I happen to be pretty good at PS. But the thing is, I am a law abiding citizen which means my gun purchases are 100 times more difficult than my criminal counterparts. Further proof that the guns laws make it a pain in the *** for people like me and my FFL, who wants to make sure all is legit. If we were criminals we would not care and this would not be a problem. This is why gun laws are useless, criminals are already breaking the laws so they are not concerned with breaking a couple more.

Anyway, I appreciate all your responses and my ears are still open.

RPC (Bill)

Hunter
05-07-2006, 9:33 AM
................. If he is not interested, I'll see if he would pass it on to another FFL in the area. ...............

If your FFL dealer is not accepting this due to not having any documentation of where the gun came from (and I agree with him), then I don't see him sending it to another dealer. Why? Well the other FFL dealer will have to show that he recieved the pistol from your FFL dealer and that is what he would have to legally enter into his bound book. For another FFL dealer to accept this pistol and log it as coming from "Joe Blow out of state" would be a crime in itself as he didn't receive it from the original seller. So your dealer is back in the same spot with determining what to enter into his bound book as the receiver of the pistol from the private party.

Your only hope is the seller is just being lazy and he comes thru for you or else; 1)return the pistol (which I understand is not likely at this point); or 2) get your current FFL dealer to come up with another way to satisfy his legal requirement to "identify" the seller for his bound book. Maybe CA-DOJ will give some guidance here as other have suggested.

This transaction is exactly why a lot of us run into FFL dealers that will ONLY accept shipped firearms from another FFL. I have gone down this road and many years ago started too always request photo ID from the seller to supply to my FFL dealer doing the recieving/transfer for me.

Hunter
05-07-2006, 9:39 AM
The seller is not required to give that information and your FFL is not being reasonable. If he wont do the transfer have him send it to a more friendly ffl or return to the seller so it can be reshipped to another FFL. If i was selling the gun, i would not give my DL to your FFL for privacy reasons.

The seller is required to provide positive identification to the dealer doing the transfer. The FFL must log your name, address, ect into his bound book as the seller of the firearm. No way around it if the FFL is following the law.

Omega13device
05-07-2006, 2:07 PM
The seller is required to provide positive identification to the dealer doing the transfer. The FFL must log your name, address, ect into his bound book as the seller of the firearm. No way around it if the FFL is following the law.

If all that is required is the name and address of the seller, then your problem is solved. Obviously you had his correct name and address because otherwise he wouldn't have been able to receive or cash the check. Done deal. The fact that he has moved since then is irrelevant. You have his correct info as of the purchase date. It's not your problem whether he moves (or to where) after that. I have bought several guns from individuals through my FFL...what difference does it make if the sellers have moved since then? No one has an obligation to keep track of that info.

Hunter
05-07-2006, 6:54 PM
If all that is required is the name and address of the seller, then your problem is solved. ......

If the transfer from seller to FFL was face to face, then you are correct. Because in that case, the FFL dealer would have confirmed that the seller's photo ID matched the seller and then used that ID address for his records. Now if the seller then moved, so be it as you clearly stated. But this situation is differerent in that the seller NEVER POSITIVELY identified himself to the FFL dealer. I assume all that was provided was a address but no confirmation if it was legit or not. Otherwords the seller could have provided ANY NAME and ANY ADDRESS to the CA FFL. So asking the seller for a photo copy of his ID is what the FFL needs to have any chance of proving he took resonable measure to identifying the seller. Now the seller could send in someone else's ID and no one on the receiving end would know. But that is going beyond what the FFL dealer can resonably be required to confirm. So what ever ID sent in is taken in good faith by most FFL dealers.

islandchanel
05-07-2006, 8:18 PM
Ok so no matter what i guess there is a risk.

Mark in Eureka
05-08-2006, 8:19 PM
I just wonder what the dealer is doing about the weapon. He only has about three days to enter all arrivals in his bound book. If he is waiting for information before entry, then he probly is already in a "paper" violation for not recording within a timely manner. However, once on his books, I do not know how he can release it without having the required information.

This seems like a catch 22 situation for the dealer. He does not know where it came from, so he can not send it back . Because he does not know where it came from he can not release it. He might need to get a ruling from BAT-F.

If it was me, I would try and cancle the bank check, and let the seller sort it out. Otherwise he has no reason to get further involved.

Let him worry about proving he is the owner of that weapon and try to get back, instead of you trying to identify the seller so you can complete the paperwork on the weapon you thought you bought.

EBWhite
05-08-2006, 9:43 PM
The seller is required to provide positive identification to the dealer doing the transfer. The FFL must log your name, address, ect into his bound book as the seller of the firearm. No way around it if the FFL is following the law.

The free states you do not even need to use and FFL to sell a firearm private party. No need for the seller to provide any ID to the seller

As for these out of state transfers, all that is needed is a name and location of where it came from-----the ID is only required on the buying side.....

The seller is not being unreasonable, for an out of state guy who is not used to having to give all this info in a private transfer, he shouldnt be required to do this for the sake of california.

SouthbySouthwest
05-09-2006, 2:44 PM
...... he shouldnt be required to do this for the sake of california.

But that is the price of doing business with someone in CA!

As it has been point out prior to this post, ALL FFL dealers are required to show exactly where they receive a firearm from. Regardless if they are a CA FFL or any of the other 49 state FFLs. As you pointed out, most non-CA FFL do not have to do PPT and so their bound books mostly reflect firearms received from other FFL dealers (which they have a copy of their FFL on file). Here in CA we must us the FFLs for our PPT and as such, FFLs are required to identify the seller in all cases. Now, they don't have to put a person driver license number in their book, but they must have resonable insurance that the person selling the gun is who they say they are. That is why CA FFLs check your DL as the seller when you do a PPT.

RPC
05-09-2006, 8:59 PM
Now you all know how I've been feeling the past few days trying to figure out what to do to make this legally work. All reasons and excuses aside, the seller emailed me a scan of his license (which is much better than a fax) and the firearm has been DROS'ed. Assuming all is well, I'll pick it up in 10 days.

Like I said, I have never had a problem before. At the same time I have never had a seller not send an ID or FFL with the firearm. And at the same time I have never had a less responsive seller.

Lesson learned.

I appreciate all of the feedback and advice I have gotten here and I'm very glad that my FFL was willing to work with me as best he could.