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View Full Version : Trying to buy handgun: DOJ tells seller it has to be FTF. WTF??


Dr. T
08-14-2006, 3:52 PM
So I'm trying to buy a handgun from a private party. He wanted to send it via FedEx to my FFL. My FFL said it really needs to go from FFL to FFL even though many purchases don't, and he (seller) might be liable for any problems.
Seller, understandably nervous, called DOJ, and was told that a sale that takes place by sending a handgun via his FFL to my FFL, and doing the DROS at my FFL, IS NOT LEGAL.
Seller can't find anything to the contrary on DOJ site, and so far neither can I.

Please help!! I need to move right away on this--and I already sent a money order. I'm sure he's a trustworthy guy, but criminy! Please tell me the DOJ is wrong, or most of our gun sales are 'illegal'.

ohsmily
08-14-2006, 4:21 PM
So I'm trying to buy a handgun from a private party. He wanted to send it via FedEx to my FFL. My FFL said it really needs to go from FFL to FFL even though many purchases don't, and he (seller) might be liable for any problems.
Seller, understandably nervous, called DOJ, and was told that a sale that takes place by sending a handgun via his FFL to my FFL, and doing the DROS at my FFL, IS NOT LEGAL.
Seller can't find anything to the contrary on DOJ site, and so far neither can I.

Please help!! I need to move right away on this--and I already sent a money order. I'm sure he's a trustworthy guy, but criminy! Please tell me the DOJ is wrong, or most of our gun sales are 'illegal'.

Ok, stop, slow down...We can't figure out what the issue is b/c you are all over the place.


First, what is the model of the handgun...are you familiar with the CA Approved Handgun list??? If it is not on the list, then you have to buy it private party (face to face) in order for it to be available to you here in CA.

Second, is this just an issue of your FFL refusing to accept a gun unless it was shipped by another FFL? If that is the only issue, then get another FFL. The seller does NOT have to have an FFL ship the gun. He can ship it himself. Some FFLs have a policy of not accepting a gun unless it was shipped from another dealer. Find another FFL if your FFL refuses to accept the gun from the private seller or convince the seller to have an FFL ship it for him.

P.S. when a gun is SHIPPED to your FFL by the seller, it is NOT called a PRIVATE PARTY TRANSFER/SALE. That is classified as a standard dealer/transfer sale.

CALI-gula
08-14-2006, 4:24 PM
I assume both parties are CA citiznes? If not, that's another issue of importation of SB15 banned items.

If the handgun in question is not on the SB15 DOJ "Safety Approved" list, then it would have to be either Private Party Transfer by both parties meeting at the FFL, or a consignment sale, where the property still belongs to the seller that came to that store, and you later buy it - the FFL is merely a custodian of the sale in both instances.

If it IS OK and on the SB15 list, there is no reason it can't be sent from one FFL to another FFL.

I have thought of ways SB15 banned handgun transfers could work between two separate FFLs but the DOJ doesn't like the idea. My idea? Why one FFL can't verify the ID and information of the seller, notorize a statement as such, and then send it on to another FFL to verify the buyer's info for completion of the DROS and 4473 is beyond me. Even faxing verified info from one FFL to the receiving FFL would seem plausibly acceptable by the DOJ. However, it seems that DOJ wants both parties' IDs verified by the same FFL, in person at some point.

It's a bummer, but as I have stated many times, SB15 was a bigger curse than many people cared to grasp while it was still a bill - and the opposition to it by CA citizens was apathetic, either because it was too technical at the time for them to congeal, or they felt it was too radical for the state to implement. Boy, were they kidding themselves!

.

rorschach
08-14-2006, 4:24 PM
Is the handgun in question on the approved list?? If so, it should be legit. If it's not on the approved list, and the seller is out of state, then you would be in violation.

Dr. T
08-14-2006, 6:28 PM
I was trying to simplify it, but instead I'll clarify it:
The handgun is a SIG 225. It is on the approved list, but the certification expires 8/21/06. Therefore some urgency in making the purchase; if the sale is not face-to-face but FFL-to-FFL, then it is a dealer transfer and the 30-day rule and need for handgun safety certification apply. Not a problem if done in time.
There are no other legal issues, only: can one sell a gun "over the internet" by having the seller send by an FFL, the buyer picks up the gun from his FFL and does the DROS. OR must the two parties actually meet face-to-face at an FFL to complete the transaction, and the DROS is initiated then by the FFL?
I have bought face-to-face in California; and through FFL-to-FFL or dealer-to-FFL from out of state; but have not had this issue come up. Since it must come up often, I'm curious that there is not more certainty on the issue.

Dr. T
08-14-2006, 6:31 PM
Well, now it's only a theoretical issue at the moment; we've called off the sale. However, I am still interested in any response that can quote the letter of the law, for future reference.

artherd
08-14-2006, 6:36 PM
Sales classified to DOJ as "PPT" must be face to face.

Sales classified to DOJ as "Dealer Sale" may be at arms length, FFL->Fedex->FFL->you.

To the customer, there is almost no noticeable difference (other than Dealer Sale is usually a ~$50 fee, and PPT may not legally exceed $35.)

bwiese
08-14-2006, 8:44 PM
The Sig P225 is an approved gun (for the time being).

This gun, for the time being, does not have to be handled as a 'PPT' (private party transfer) - thus face-to-face w/seller is not required.

An individual or another FFL - doesn't matter - may ship it to your FFL. You buy it and do the paperwork just like the dealer had it as a regular stocked item.

If your FFL does not want to accept an approved gun from an individual, that's his business. You can find another FFL dealer.

This deal does NOT require an FFL at each end, NOR does it require face to face PPT procedures

eldorado
08-15-2006, 11:42 AM
I am the dealer in question on Dr. T's post. There is so much lore out there concerning what one can and cannot do, that one becomes a bit paranoid (especially after sitting across your kitchen table for 8 hours with an ATF or DOJ agent)! In this case, I was wrong and apologize to Dr.T. I just got off the phone with DOJ and they informed me that a private party can in fact mail a cert list hand gun to a dealer as long as they don't use USPS. USPS can be used, but only dealer to dealer. I wasn't trying to be a Hard A**, just trying to obey the law as I understood it. Dr. T the next transfer is on me.
Bob Venkus
Forensic Studies Group

bwiese
08-15-2006, 11:58 AM
I am the dealer in question on Dr. T's post. ... I wasn't trying to be a Hard A**, just trying to obey the law as I understood it. Dr. T, the next transfer is on me.

Good man.

I just got off the phone with DOJ and they informed me

Don't always rely on what the DOJ says. Some of their phone folks are idiots and/or are cognitively challenged and cannot deal with complex interrelationships. If it sounds OK, they say yes, if it sounds 'dangerous' they say no. They run on approximate summaries of the law not the law itself. They are not attorneys, just desk clerks, and their statments have no legal force, and saying "the DOJ told me to..." won't get you out of trouble. (This is just like the bad info the ATF spews out on the phone.)

A few months ago, DOJ phone clerks told folks it was legal to remove/replace fixed mag from a Vulcan even with features like pistol grip, upper w/flash hider and telestock attached - "as long as they did it quickly". DoJ apparently has new authority to absolve momentary felonies ;)

Dr. T
08-15-2006, 8:22 PM
Many thanks to Bill and Bob for their helpful comments. At least we'll have one 225 in the family! The one that got away, though....

artherd
08-15-2006, 11:07 PM
A few months ago, DOJ phone clerks told folks it was legal to remove/replace fixed mag from a Vulcan even with features like pistol grip, upper w/flash hider and telestock attached - "as long as they did it quickly".


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