Sticky Some info when buying guns on the internet

Help Support Ruger Forum:

Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Messages
4,538
Location
Lemont, PA, USA 16851
From reading and responding to various posts, both here and on other forums, about people having problems when buying/selling guns on line or on a forum here is some info I have put together that may (or may not ) help people. I will preface it with the fact that I have been an FFL since 1989 and am also allowed by the BATFE to buy, sell, and transfer suppressors, short barreled rifles and shotguns and machine guns (full auto weapons).

I know there are those that will say "Pfffft, I already knew that." That's great but some people may glean a little something new.

BATFE regulations state that a FFL who receives a firearm MUST enter it into their records by the close of the next business day after receipt of the firearm. The firearm DOES NOT have to be accompanied with a copy of a FFL, it can be entered into the record with a mailing/street address.

BATFE regulations state that when a FFL disposes (sells, transfers or even destroys (and yes this does happen on occasion)) a firearm, they MUST update the records within 7 days of the disposal.

When you are buying a firearm on line, it helps A LOT (and to me is common courtesy) if you notify the FFL who you are going to use to do the transfer, that a firearm is inbound. That way he is expecting it. Tell him what you are buying and who you are buying it from - actually the more info the better. I have been "surprised" a good many times by getting packages I didn't even know were coming for customers.

When buying a firearm on line, tell the seller what FFL you will be using to do the transfer and make sure the seller has your contact information so they can make sure it is on the paperwork the receiving FFL gets.

Typically, what I have seen is that either the buyer will ask his FFL to send a copy of their FFL to the seller (and provide the sellers info), or the seller will contact the buyers FFL to have them send it (if the buyer gave the seller his FFL's contact info). This is why it is necessary to provide as much info as possible to both parties. Guess what, no matter what some will say, it does not always happen and that can cause things to go awry, sometimes very badly.

If you are shipping a firearm you are selling to a FFL and you are not an FFL, make sure you put a note in the box giving the buyers name and contact info and your name and contact info in case there is a problem. It also helps to put the firearm make, model, serial number on the note. Put that info where it can be found easily. I have had tiny notes stuffed in with the packing material that was very difficult to find and have had firearms shipped to me with nothing in the package telling me anything (tough to figure out who it goes to at times). If something were to happen and someone, somewhere has to open the box, they will be able to contact someone about it. I have had it happen twice with packages coming to me with shipping labels that were obliterated, defaced, missing and the shipper was able to finish the shipping because there was a note inside the box with the buyers, sellers and my name and contact info.

If you are shipping a firearm that you sold, insure it and send it with signature required. It's extra protection for both you and the buyer and doesn't cost that much and typically the buyer pays for it as part of the shipping or you and the buyer split the cost. Personally, I do not ship a firearm (for a customer or one I sold) without insurance and signature required. I just build it into the cost I charge someone to pack and ship a firearm for them.

Next, if a firearm doesn't, for whatever reason, get delivered to your FFL:
You or your FFL cannot start an insurance claim because it was never received. The shipper (FFL or person who shipped it) is the only person who can start a claim. At a minimum the shipping FFL should notify their local police and the BATFE should be notified with a missing/stolen report (ATF Form 3310.6, Interstate Firearms Shipment Theft/Loss Report). This reporting is not required by law but it is recommend as a best practice by the BATFE. The receiving FFL probably should also notify their local police to keep them in the loop.

If a firearm is damaged in shipment:
If the damage is noted by the FFL and the firearm has not been transferred to the buyer, the FFL should initiate the claim, after talking to you - hopefully your FFL knows to examine all boxes being delivered and will take pictures of the damaged package or make sure the delivery person notes the damages.

If the FFL gets so many packages that they can't examine them before the delivery person leaves, they should take pictures of the damaged package and report it to the delivery company as soon as possible.

If the firearm is being transferred to you and you see the damage before signing for the firearm, this needs to be brought to the FFLs attention and figure out who is going to do what before leaving the FFLs place of business.

If the firearm has been transferred to you and you don't see the damage until you get it home, take pictures and contact the FFL immediately and let them know and see if they still have the delivery package (and packing material). If they still have it that will be a help when you make a claim. Talk to the seller and let them know what is going on and if they shipped with insurance. You will probably have to contact the shipping company yourself to determine what the next steps are needed.

There are probably things I missed so feel free to add to it. If it answers questions people have and helps make things easier then we accomplished something.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
11,793
Location
Kentucky
Thanks, Ron. Excellent information. I do have one point I'd like clarified.

As far as I know, a non-FFL person cannot "ship" a firearm" via the USPS, but must use another route such as UPS or FEDEX. Is this correct? Are there details we should be aware of?
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Messages
4,538
Location
Lemont, PA, USA 16851
Ale-8(1) said:
Thanks, Ron. Excellent information. I do have one point I'd like clarified.

As far as I know, a non-FFL person cannot "ship" a firearm" via the USPS, but must use another route such as UPS or FEDEX. Is this correct? Are there details we should be aware of?

A non-FFL can ship a long gun via USPS, just not a handgun. In this case the bad part is "firearm" has been defined as ANY thing that will expel a projectile by the force of an explosive" and it has also been defined to exclude long arms.

Even the BATFE defines "firearm/firearms" differently throughout the regulations. Sometimes meaning the above and sometmes meaning just handguns, SBRs and SBSs. Then, even the states will use the term in different ways in their statutes. Extremely confusing and there is probably no chance in you know where that ONE all encompassing definition could be made for the feds AND the states to use.

But for shipping, a non-FFL shipping a handgun is limited to "commercial carriers", typically UPS and FedEx, but FedEx is changing their rules to only allow FFLs to ship any firearm (first definition). So later this year a non-FFL won't be able to use FedEx to ship any fiream, long or short. But the question was raised, but not answered yet, is what about a firearm going back to a company where the company issues a FedEx shipping label. The argument is that the company is an FFL so the person should be able to drop it off, but FedEx hasn't addressed this yet, as far as I know.
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Messages
4,538
Location
Lemont, PA, USA 16851
hittman said:
Ron do you know if FedEx still allows 03 C&R FFLs to ship?

Doesn't look like it:

Fxn6fEKh.jpg


And I have no idea what the "Field Sales and above" means but I'll ask some big FFL's (Like the owner of Joe Bob Outfitters) to see what he says.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2007
Messages
1,961
Location
Connecticut
"If you are shipping a firearm that you sold, insure it and send it with signature required. It's extra protection for both you and the buyer and doesn't cost that much and typically the buyer pays for it as part of the shipping or you and the buyer split the cost. Personally, I do not ship a firearm (for a customer or one I sold) without insurance and signature required. I just build it into the cost I charge someone to pack and ship a firearm for them."

any usps shipment insured for over 500 is automatically signature required with no extra charges
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Messages
4,538
Location
Lemont, PA, USA 16851
golferboy426 said:
"If you are shipping a firearm that you sold, insure it and send it with signature required. It's extra protection for both you and the buyer and doesn't cost that much and typically the buyer pays for it as part of the shipping or you and the buyer split the cost. Personally, I do not ship a firearm (for a customer or one I sold) without insurance and signature required. I just build it into the cost I charge someone to pack and ship a firearm for them."

any usps shipment insured for over 500 is automatically signature required with no extra charges

That's a good point for people to know thanks for adding it to the knowledge base.

I also recommend, if shipping something with less that $500 insurance, pay the extra $3.00 or so and get the signature required.

OR, fill out and send the Return Receipt Card (again about $3.00) this forces the person accepting the delivery to sign it and you then have physical evidence that someone at the delivery address accepted it. Personally, when I send any important paperwork going to the BATFE or NFA Division, I use the Return Receipt to prove someone there received it.

(Now, yes, someone at the PO or the delivery address could steal it, scribble a name and send it back, but again you have physical evidence to present to the authorities in an investigation if something detriment happens).
 

daka

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 6, 2011
Messages
70
Location
Now Ft Lauderdale...Ex NY
Another problem is when buying a gun from a private citizen how do you protect yourself...the buyer...from a scam?
Is there a way to insure that the buyer and seller are protected?
 
  • Like
Reactions: K3N
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
11,793
Location
Kentucky
Another problem is when buying a gun from a private citizen how do you protect yourself...the buyer...from a scam?
Is there a way to insure that the buyer and seller are protected?

From the posted Classified rules:

5) Sell and buy at your own risk...There have been several reports of a scam artist wanting to send payments a-la Nigerian email scam. Use common sense and follow up with your buyer and seller. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. We suggest strongly that if you do sell anything of value or transact a firearm that you contact the person directly before you proceed.

That means you are responsible for satisfying yourself you are dealing with a reputable individual. Having telephone conversations and/or "conversations" (PM's) with your contact are essential. Have the agreement firmly established to YOUR satisfaction before "pulling the trigger" on a deal. Rugerforum is in no way responsible for transactions. It's unfortunate, but that's the way it is these days.
 

GunnyGene

Hawkeye
Joined
Nov 23, 2013
Messages
9,702
Location
Monroe County, MS
There's also an exception to the FFL rule for bequests to out of State destinations, but I don't know the specifics of it.

Another exception is provided for transfers of firearms to nonresidents to carry out a lawful bequest or acquisition by intestate succession. This exception would authorize the transfer of a firearm to a nonresident who inherits a firearm under the will of a decedent.
 

montana outfitters

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 18, 2012
Messages
383
Location
Montana
thank you very much for clearing most of the murkey water regarding trying to be legitimate and not getting caught in some of the traps laid by the socialist government .................
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Messages
4,538
Location
Lemont, PA, USA 16851
By BATFE regulations, If you are named in someones will to receive a firearm from the deceased, the estate executor can ship that firearm to you direct, no FFL transfer is needed. That said, if the bequest is for an NFA item (Suppressor, Short Barreled Rifle (SBR), Short Barreled Shotgun (SBS) or a full automatic weapon (machine gun)) a BATFE Form 5 must be accomplished by the executor to do the transfer. This is a no fee form (no new tax stamp required).

Again, the biggest caveat is that no matter what the BATFE says, your state may have additional restrictions on the the transfers of firearms; bequests or not.
 

GunnyGene

Hawkeye
Joined
Nov 23, 2013
Messages
9,702
Location
Monroe County, MS
By BATFE regulations, If you are named in someones will to receive a firearm from the deceased, the estate executor can ship that firearm to you direct, no FFL transfer is needed. That said, if the bequest is for an NFA item (Suppressor, Short Barreled Rifle (SBR), Short Barreled Shotgun (SBS) or a full automatic weapon (machine gun)) a BATFE Form 5 must be accomplished by the executor to do the transfer. This is a no fee form (no new tax stamp required).

Again, the biggest caveat is that no matter what the BATFE says, your state may have additional restrictions on the the transfers of firearms; bequests or not.
That's what I thought. Thanks for verifiying. I plan on putting my 2 daughters in my will for what ever is left over if I don't sell everything off before I croak, and both are out of State residents. I do wonder about the UPS/USPS (or other shipper) rules in this regard tho. I'm sure they would have some kind of paperwork required to cover themselves.
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Messages
4,538
Location
Lemont, PA, USA 16851
With the recent scam here, need to add some stuff for buyers.

If someone is selling something you want, this is what I do if I don't know the seller:

1. Run a Google search on the name/address to see what might pop up.
2. Contact the seller and tell them you would like to see a picture of what you are buying with a hand scribed note with todays date on it/beside it or a picture of the gun(s) with his drivers license (DL number redacted (blacked out). A legitimate seller will do this, especially on high dollar sales. If no response - guess what
3. You can also Google the picture shown and see if it was taken from another site. This has been done in the past and I know that others have done this but I am not sure exactly how to down load it to do this - need some help from the computer gurus to explain how to do.
4. Call the seller if a phone number is available - see what happens and ask a lot of questions that they should know or be able to quickly get from the firearm (even a simple question like "Where is the serial number located". A scammer won't know.
5. If the price is too good (too low for what the gun is) then probably a scam. A legit gun seller should have done his homework and knows the value of what he is selling.
6. If money is sent and nothing shipped, contact the sellers local PD, Sheriff, DA, etc. Also contact the FBI and BATFE - this is interstate fraud dealing with firearms. If the FBI and BATFE decline to do anything, contact your US Senator and US Representative and tell them to ask why the FBI and BATFE aren't doing their jobs. Don't accept them saying the money lost doesn't justify them investigating or giving the scammer a call.
7. If the USPS was used to send money/money order, get the USPS involved, this is mail fraud, a federal offense.

Anyone reading this, if you have more ideas, etc. to help prevent a scam, post them, this is not a locked post the more info we can get out to people the better.
 
Last edited:

mikeAZ

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 16, 2022
Messages
133
Location
Apache Junction, AZ
MY local FFL and probably others, require a copy of the sender's drivers license to be included with the firearm and to whom its for..... I suppose they could send a fake package anyhow?.. I recently went through a "scam" attempt on a different web site. You would have to say these people can be ingenious at times. Also, this "scammer" had a very low post count and had just joined the forum. The forum moderator was able to see his (?) posts were not from the State were he supposedly lived and had no real content (Yada, yada input). The caveat, " lf it's to be true" pricewise.... may be the 1st. warning?.. Goggle can be your friend for some info. Nobody wants to be "had"..Proceed with caution..Most of the contacts were by email, BUT I'd imagine these "people" have those throw a way cell phones. (I am seeking a Super GP100 started the "scam", the very low price was an enticement). SAME post is on this site BUT was not where the scam originated.
 

Latest posts

Top