Mailing guns and LGS attitudes

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Joined
Nov 5, 2007
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Dallas, TX
I had to mail a gun recently. I used to use one gun store, however they don’t do outbound transfers anymore.

So I emailed one store, somewhere halfway between here and Ft. Worth. Some little town, there are many.

No reply all day. In the meantime I called several other LGS’s. Most told me to mail it myself. However I know many FFL’s don’t want to receive guns from regular people, plus UPS charges a fortune. Finally, FedEx just won’t do it anymore.

So I found a store to mail the gun, $56 for everything. Not bad in my humble opinion.

Then the first store replied via email about an hour ago. (8pm) The guy said: “save the transfer fee and mail it yourself.” That was the whole email, nothing more, no name, no thanks for thinking of our store etc. nothing.

I replied and was probably a bit sarcastic, told him “thanks for the quick reply, I found another store. I’ll remember your attitude in the future.” His answer was full of cuss words, and not worth summarizing.

I don’t know who the business owner is, or how he stays in business with an attitude like that. It just amazes me in this day and age, with all the big box stores, that small business owners don’t do as much as they can to be the best they can be.
 

hittman

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Yeah, I feel your pain. And I was a small business owner in a small town too.

This winter I wanted a rubber-like cover for the key fob on my new Silverado. Simple $10 item. Nobody’s gonna get rich on this sale, I know. Went to the local mom and pop “lock and key” store that’s literally 3 blocks from my house.

Owner wasn’t in but his son and nephew were. They said no we don’t sell those, “can’t you get it on Amazon?”

Really, really disappointing on so many levels.
 

Pat-inCO

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Humm ..... I wonder what would happen if the "item" was disassembled and shipped in
multiple boxes, with a description of "precision machined parts"? NONE of the boxes
would be a gun, and thus, how could it be a problem?

Or is that an over simplification of the issue?
 

Far North Collector

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Mat-Valley Alaska
I had to mail a gun recently. I used to use one gun store, however they don’t do outbound transfers anymore.

So I emailed one store, somewhere halfway between here and Ft. Worth. Some little town, there are many.

No reply all day. In the meantime I called several other LGS’s. Most told me to mail it myself. However I know many FFL’s don’t want to receive guns from regular people, plus UPS charges a fortune. Finally, FedEx just won’t do it anymore.

So I found a store to mail the gun, $56 for everything. Not bad in my humble opinion.

Then the first store replied via email about an hour ago. (8pm) The guy said: “save the transfer fee and mail it yourself.” That was the whole email, nothing more, no name, no thanks for thinking of our store etc. nothing.

I replied and was probably a bit sarcastic, told him “thanks for the quick reply, I found another store. I’ll remember your attitude in the future.” His answer was full of cuss words, and not worth summarizing.

I don’t know who the business owner is, or how he stays in business with an attitude like that. It just amazes me in this day and age, with all the big box stores, that small business owners don’t do as much as they can to be the best they can be.
if a gun store will not receive gun from an individual with a copy of that shops FFL and copy of your ID inside the box. there morons! the FFL allows you and the gun shop owner to cross state lines. hence FFL. ask your self this question? that same FFL ONLY buy and receive guns from Other FFLs? that would only mean business between two FFLs. not a good idea for a brick and morter gun shop, pawn shop ect. if the receiveing FFL only receive from other FFL only. thus never buy a gun off the street, or forfeited in pawn? any person can sell there gun to LGS, pawn shops ect. The reviving LGS FFL allows you to ship your gun to him, with proof your the owner. its a simple process. FNC
 

GunnyGene

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Humm ..... I wonder what would happen if the "item" was disassembled and shipped in
multiple boxes, with a description of "precision machined parts"? NONE of the boxes
would be a gun, and thus, how could it be a problem?

Or is that an over simplification of the issue?

That would make it a potential "Ghost Gun" wouldn't it?🤣
 

Mobuck

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missouri
Humm ..... I wonder what would happen if the "item" was disassembled and shipped in
multiple boxes, with a description of "precision machined parts"? NONE of the boxes
would be a gun, and thus, how could it be a problem?

Or is that an over simplification of the issue?

That would make it a potential "Ghost Gun" wouldn't it?🤣

No, that would be a potential FELONY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Really, this is not something to play around with. USPS Postal Inspectors and BATFE agents can and will play the 'entrapment game'. Those 2 Federal agencies are not encumbered by the rules against 'entrapment' and will lure normally law abiding citizens into inescapable felony charges.
Regarding the 'attitude' of the LGS, that's his choice and probably not just yourself who's noticed. A while back, I was trying to sell a couple of Ruger handguns and checked with 2-3 FFL's who were listed as transfer dealers for GB website. All were very suspicious of my intentions and only one would even discuss the process. I used to handle quite a few FFL transfers and back then, the accepted rate was $20+ shipping cost. Hey, I had a low overhead operation and $20 was $20.
 

Jimbo357mag

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There used to be a small gun shop in my area that had a really small storefront and very few guns on display for sale. Seems the guy made his money doing special orders and transfers ($25) for his customers. His prices were low, about half what the other stores wanted ($50) or maybe what they didn't want.
 

Goldstar225

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That would make it a potential "Ghost Gun" wouldn't it?🤣

No, that would be a potential FELONY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Really, this is not something to play around with. USPS Postal Inspectors and BATFE agents can and will play the 'entrapment game'. Those 2 Federal agencies are not encumbered by the rules against 'entrapment' and will lure normally law abiding citizens into inescapable felony charges.
Regarding the 'attitude' of the LGS, that's his choice and probably not just yourself who's noticed. A while back, I was trying to sell a couple of Ruger handguns and checked with 2-3 FFL's who were listed as transfer dealers for GB website. All were very suspicious of my intentions and only one would even discuss the process. I used to handle quite a few FFL transfers and back then, the accepted rate was $20+ shipping cost. Hey, I had a low overhead operation and $20 was $20.
You're correct that it would be a felony for a citizen to mail the serialized receiver through the post office. Has been for a few decades. As far as entrapment, no it's not unless they entice a person to commit an offense that they were not predisposed to. Trying to play cute and shipping something in the mail as "precision machined parts" to knowingly circumvent established law doesn't qualify.
 

peachhead

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I'm sorry you had to deal with all this. These type of things are one of the reasons I went into business for myself. I really got tired of being treated like an idiot by gun store staff "experts" who frankly did not know near as much as they thought they did. It seems that customer service has pretty much gone out the window.
 

contender

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I guess I'm lucky in that I know a few GOOD local gun shops,, who can & will ship handguns for me if necessary. As noted,, "customer service" is the key phrase here.

And while it's legal for an individual to ship a handgun TO a FFL,, many FFL's don't like to receive a gun from an individual. Their business,, their choice. Plus,, there are not many shipping services that accept a handgun for shipping to them from an individual.
USPS has to have a FFL on file,, so no individual shipping there. FedEX from what we now see won't even accept a handgun for shipping. So, that leaves UPS,, which the fees are totally out of line in my opinion. They jacked up fees, demanding overnight shipping charges due to thefts of firearms BY THEIR OWN EMPLOYEES. Penalize the customers, not the thieves.
Paperwork for transferring a handgun isn't a huge deal. A gun comes in, you go to your log book, log it in. When it goes out,, you log it out. Total time to do this maybe 10-15 minutes.
But,, if you get in a shipment of 20 or more guns,, then the time it takes to sit down, log them each in, (remember,, always double check the guns serial number,, directly, so you get it correct in the log book,) then that can take a lot longer. And to log one out,, individually, about 5-10 minutes. But a business,, that has 20 or more sales a day,, that can take a big bite out of time. Time is wages & such.
It's a business, and each business has to figure out how to balance their time & (maybe) employees to where the log book is always properly handled.
A one man, small business that maybe does 10-20 transfers a week, is easier to manage than a bigger business that maybe does 50-100 a day.
And we ALL know that the BATF is easy going, allows paperwork mistakes, overlooks minor infractions, and is gun friendly. (Sarcasm inserted here.)

But it does boil down to the attitude of the business. If you treat each & every person as a valued customer,, then you'll be successful.
If you feel you can't be bothered by minor services (like a transfer) where you can easily charge $20 (or more) for something that takes 10-15 minutes for each transaction, then you will lose customers.

That's why a person NEEDS to develop a good working relationship with a couple of good gun shops. It lets the business owner see you as a valued customer. Go visit them. Buy something, even if it's a small item. Buy a gun occasionally. BRING in a friend or two. Refer others to them. In other words,, let the business owner see you as a "good customer" and he'll consider your needs much quicker.

And to answer the comment about disassembly & shipping "parts." All BUT the serialized part can be shipped like that. But a serial numbered part is considered THE FIREARM by the Feds. Big no-no to try that with the USPS.
 
Joined
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Being in a couple of types of business for a long time i can pretty much see all the sides of it. We now do only what we want knowing there's money and potential customers out there that we turn away. Depending on the customer we'll just tell them it's outside our "core" type of work, thanks, sorry we don't do that. Some other things just get the prices raised to the point I'm again happy doing it if you want to pay for it.
Just need to be careful how you tell customers to go away, it can usually be done gently.
Something to think about.....in a lot of retail customer service type of settings the employee needs to be generating about four to five times his total
hourly cost to the business to be making the company money. I don't have a clue to the total time involved with talking to the customer, paperwork,
packaging...etc to ship and receive guns. My gut feeling is they're not making any money even at $50-$60 per transaction, suspect maybe covering costs and trying to build some future customers.
 

Dan in MI

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How many gun dealers get a guy looking for a gun, spends time fondling checking out a few, then walking out saying "It's $2 cheaper on line." After a few dozen of those, helping guys shop on line doesn't seem like such a great idea.

Yes, thee is a need and profit to be made, but don't screw your local LGS over and over and then ask for help.
 
Joined
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Thanks for all the input. And no, I’m not trying to do something illegal.

It was just the store owner’s attitude. (I assume he is the owner…I really don’t know.)

And like I said, I found an LGS, close to me that ships handguns guns for a flat fee. I don’t know what percentage is their transfer fee, and honestly I don’t really care. All I know is they are about half the price of UPS (my only other option.)

But it’s over and done with. As Mobuck pointed out, I’m sure other people have noticed the LGS’s attitude.

Besides, I’m down at the beach today. So life is pretty good. :) It’s high tide and really windy, lots and lots of driftwood up on the beach.
 
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I am an FFL and I WILL accept a firearm shipped by a private party (using UPS if a handgun, or UPS or USPS if a long gun), I only ask that they send a copy of their DL with it (I tell them they can black out the DL # if they want). Many FFL's don't want to get a package from a private party because the are afraid that they will be held liable if the gun had been stolen or was illegal but that is NOT so. The receiving FFL will not be held liable (unless they already knew it was an illegal gun), the only thing that would happen is that the police or BATFE would confiscate the gun and the FFL would note that in his Acquisition/Disposition book.

I also ship a lot of firearms for people, I have a flat rate for the different types and the fee only goes up if they want/need a lot of insurance or want special services (return receipt, Certified Mail, etc.) on the item. Doing transfers for people who buy on the internet is, IMO, quick easy money even with every buyer undergoing a background check each time they pick a gun up from me (due to the inane PA gun laws). Now, that said, I'm not a stocking dealer, other than consignment firearms or personal firearms but I will always try to help a customer find something if they aren't quite sure of what they want.

My daughter summed it up very well. She said, "Why wouldn't a FFL want do a transfer or ship a gun for someone? That brings them in the door and the FFL then has a chance to sell them other things that they may - or may not know that they want/need, and those items have a much higher mark up than firearms"
 

Bob Wright

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Humm ..... I wonder what would happen if the "item" was disassembled and shipped in
multiple boxes, with a description of "precision machined parts"? NONE of the boxes
would be a gun, and thus, how could it be a problem?

Or is that an over simplification of the issue?
The part that bears the serial number is a firearm to the BATF.

Bob Wright
 

Far North Collector

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spot on
I am an FFL and I WILL accept a firearm shipped by a private party (using UPS if a handgun, or UPS or USPS if a long gun), I only ask that they send a copy of their DL with it (I tell them they can black out the DL # if they want). Many FFL's don't want to get a package from a private party because the are afraid that they will be held liable if the gun had been stolen or was illegal but that is NOT so. The receiving FFL will not be held liable (unless they already knew it was an illegal gun), the only thing that would happen is that the police or BATFE would confiscate the gun and the FFL would note that in his Acquisition/Disposition book.

I also ship a lot of firearms for people, I have a flat rate for the different types and the fee only goes up if they want/need a lot of insurance or want special services (return receipt, Certified Mail, etc.) on the item. Doing transfers for people who buy on the internet is, IMO, quick easy money even with every buyer undergoing a background check each time they pick a gun up from me (due to the inane PA gun laws). Now, that said, I'm not a stocking dealer, other than consignment firearms or personal firearms but I will always try to help a customer find something if they aren't quite sure of what they want.

My daughter summed it up very well. She said, "Why wouldn't a FFL want do a transfer or ship a gun for someone? That brings them in the door and the FFL then has a chance to sell them other things that they may - or may not know that they want/need, and those items have a much higher mark up than firearms"
, how can you have LGS if you don't buy and sell with customers walking in your shop? an FFL allows your shop across state lines from sellers. if the receiveing FFL don't except from private sellers, he,s shooting his gun shop in the foot. BUT its his shop, he can make that rule for his shop. but its a dumb one. FNC
 
Joined
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My daughter summed it up very well. She said, "Why wouldn't a FFL want do a transfer or ship a gun for someone? That brings them in the door and the FFL then has a chance to sell them other things that they may - or may not know that they want/need, and those items have a much higher mark up than firearms”
Ron: this is exactly what I was thinking when I was inside the LGS shipping the handgun.

I didn’t buy anything, only because they didn’t have what I was looking for, but will be back when the next shipment comes in, next week or the week after. So yes, they will have made more in sales than just the transfer fee.

And the guy with the poor attitude lost a lot in future sales.
 

RSIno1

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Southern California
Humm ..... I wonder what would happen if the "item" was disassembled and shipped in
multiple boxes, with a description of "precision machined parts"? NONE of the boxes
would be a gun, and thus, how could it be a problem?

Or is that an over simplification of the issue?
You'd be fine for everything but the receiver. In the eyes of the law that is the gun.
Shipping a "gun" doesn't quite cover it. If it's a rifle you can use the regular post office for about $35. For a handgun shipping companies have too many rules and it's cheapest and easiest to use https://www.shipmygun.com/go/ There is nothing in the law that prevents a private citizen from sending a gun to an FFL - but they don't have to accept from private party and may prefer FFL to FFL.
 

Mobuck

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"As far as entrapment, no it's not unless they entice a person to commit an offense that they were not predisposed to. Trying to play cute and shipping something in the mail as "precision machined parts" to knowingly circumvent established law doesn't qualify."
And how does the seller know if the buyer is just a guy who wants to buy a gun or a Federal agent trying to entice the seller to do something illegal?
 

Longcarbine

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I dont know where you guys are getting your info but I just shipped a gun via UPS from Mo. to Ok. with $600 worth of insurance for $19 and it got there in two days, I also just had a handgun delivered to my ffl today via FedEx. I think some one is blowing smoke up your ass and calling it a campfire.
 

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