View Full Version : How do we educate those who should know?

02-24-2012, 12:39 PM
Yesterday, I went to my local Mom & Pop gunsmith / shop. I wanted to have him cut an SKS barrel and thread it for a muzzle brake... This is a good guy - former Marine, in business forever, happy to bore you with tales of how he worked with Gene Stoner and Cadillac Gauge...

He is so horribly mis-informed about gun laws, and terrified of the DOJ & ATF, that I am really wondering how he stays in business!! I even had him pull out the 2000 DOJ "handbook" and showed him the applicable sections...no use. Here is a sample of what I heard:

[me] Can you cut and thread this barrel 1/2-28 for me?
[him] Threaded barrels are illegal in California.
[me] Um, on pistols...but not on long guns.
[him] It makes it an assault weapon.
[me] Uh...I bet there are threads under the muzzle brakes of all those M1A's on the shelf over there...
[him] That's different, you can't reattach a front sight after mounting a silencer
[me] ???????


[him] You can't do anything on this SKS...
[me] I understand 922r compliance - I'll make sure the parts count is OK
[him] Nope. Its an assault weapon because you can change out that fixed magazine with a detachable one in about 3 minutes.
[me] ?????????


[him] You are really taking a risk with building on an 80% upper. ATF told us they are thinking that they can get people for manufaturing a firearm without a license, and then get them for evading the Federal Excise Tax.
[me] well, it can get sticky if you want to sell them, but to build for your own use is legal and not subject to tax.
[him] No. Because you have build two - and send one to the ATF to get your serial numbers
[me] ????????

So, I know that the easy answer is "just go elsewhere"... But there isn't much elsewhere to go some times. It would also seem to serve our cause best by educating rather than just walking away - a FFL / Gunsmith who spreads FUD is really a blow to our community...they are supposed to be one of us.

Is it possible that the DOJ is actually telling FFLs / Smiths that they can't do these things? If so, wouldn't that be interfering in the conduct of commerce by falsely representing the laws?

Aside from the fact that I now have to go hunt for another smith to do my SKS, I would really like to take on the challenge of removing this source of FUD from our community - by way of gentle and polite education.

Your thoughts and especially success stories in this regard are appreciated.

02-24-2012, 12:55 PM
We can try to educate via here and having Bright Calgunners try to spread the word.

But sometimes Enlightened Capitalism is the best thing.

02-24-2012, 12:56 PM
I stopped trying when I realized the anti politicos and bureaucrats got what they wanted thru the back door - - i.e., so confusing and complicated that many FFLs in effect threw the towel in and refuse to budge from incorrect rigidity. Politicians and bureaucrats should fear the people but we passed that bend in the road some years ago.

02-24-2012, 2:15 PM
If someone is not willing to educate themselves with the regard to the laws that regulate their own business then I don't think there is much you can do from the outside. I'd be afraid to do business with anyone who is so careless as to not stay up on the laws that regulate the very products/services they sell. Who knows what else they are screwing up. My opinion

02-24-2012, 7:14 PM
The problem is (or part of it) people think that if the law doesn't say something is allowed, then it must be illegal! What kind of domesticated lap dogs for our government have we become if the people fail to see that everything not specifically deemed illegal in legislation is, indeed, legal?!?!

Is there any way we could compile a FAQ for the FFL community and cite references for them? They have businesses to run, and hence less time to read this forum (every thread, every day) than I do. I would be a community service...

02-24-2012, 7:36 PM
One thing that you have to understand, some people are just not intelligent. Some are also ignorant, opinionated and unwilling to learn.

And some people are all of the above.

All you can do is try to educate them but sadly ignorant, opinionated people tend to stay that way.

02-25-2012, 11:49 AM
Fjold... I understand what you are saying, but in this case we have an intelligent, patriotic guy who has made his entire life (from 18) in the care and maintenance of firearms.

Now, I have to admit that he may be old enough to simply have "checked out". But most gunsmiths aren't exactly spring chickens...

Basically, I see someone who has been so intimidated and browbeaten by the anti-gun DOJ / ATF that he is simply overwhelmed. What should be a source of strength and positive influence in the gun community has been turned into a source of FUD... inadvertently furthering the anti-rights agenda.

I really want to do something to help this guy get educated and feel like there is a whole community of people working to advance our rights and make the government agencies follow the law...

02-25-2012, 12:33 PM
Consider it from the business standpoint. There is so much regulation and so much gray area that each FFL decides where the proverbial do-not-cross line is. While the reasoning behind it might look like FUD, the guy could have just said "I don't want to provide that service". Don't read too much into explanations.

Open carry was completely legal, yet open carriers ended up proned and detained. It is still legal to open carry rifles, but I doubt many would carry an unloaded EBR to their workplace just because it's legal and there is no policy against it. Similarly, a business decided where their comfort zone is and how much they are willing to risk. And the risk there is.

02-25-2012, 12:40 PM
The problem is not the FFL, its with your laws.

The main reason out of state firearm dealers don't like to sell to California isn't because they hate money. It is because any mistake on the part of the dealer in terms of sending or selling a gun with the wrong part , feature, component ,or magazine can literally cost the livelihood and freedom of the seller. No single firearm transaction is worth the loss of business and freedom to a dealer when the Feds come crashing down like a bad hangover because of a t that was not crossed or an I that was not dotted.

Its not helpful when your own law enforcement and DOJ agencies either give inaccurate information or refuse to provide info at all.For someone who feels they are one sale away from getting locked up , the only way to avoid the pokey 100% is to stay far away from the fringes of the law.It comes across as "ignorance" to those of us here who know the law, but to the guy at the gun counter youre just another guy off the street. He doesn't know you from Adam, for all that poor gun counter dealer knows you work for the California DOJ and are trying to entrap him into doing something illegal. Law Enforcement can and often does "secretly shop" FFLs looking for ways to entrap gun dealers.

02-25-2012, 2:57 PM
For explanations of law that correct them, just bring in a copy of the law, or show examples of other dealers selling the legal items online WITH a copy of the law as well.

For the pistol barrel threading thing, I've explained (as politely as possible) that it's just an assault weapon issue, which means it only applies to semi-autos with detachable mags. If your gun doesn't have both, then it isn't restricted.