ripped off by receiving FFL-options?

ripped off by receiving FFL-options?

This is a discussion on ripped off by receiving FFL-options? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Sorry to have my first post be a negative one,but I do not know where to get good advice re this problem. I contacted a ...

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Thread: ripped off by receiving FFL-options?

  1. #1
    New Member Array azleftie88's Avatar
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    Angry ripped off by receiving FFL-options?

    Sorry to have my first post be a negative one,but I do not know where to get good advice re this problem.
    I contacted a local FFL here in AZ early in April,and asked if he would be the receiving FFL for a handgun(FEG PA-63) my brother in AK was giving me. He agreed,and my brother transferred the gun to his local FFL in AK,who shipped it priority mail,insured for $200,to the FFL here,on April 21. I called the local FFL on April 28 to find out if he had the gun,and he said no. I went to his place of business on April 30,and he still denied having received the gun. I emailed my brother this weekend for details of the shipment and he emailed back the delivery confirmation notice which indicated it had been picked up at the local PO on April 24th,4 days after the local FFL denied having it. I called him last night and he said he would check his log and his safe in the AM (today) and call me. He seemed upset that I was pestering him about the whereabouts of the gun,and accused me of "making a big drama over a $100 gun">
    This AM he called me,said he did not have the gun,and because I p**ssed him off last night he would not help me find it,and not to ever contact him again.
    Without going into detail, I have reason to suspect that this individual has cognitive and psychiatric issues (I'm a doctor with experience in both areas)
    but I am also concerned re possible criminal diversion on the part of a FFL dealer,and I also want my gun.
    The USPS cannot help me,since the gun was shipped in a manner not requiring a signature (not very bright move by the AK FFL,but he told me on the phone he thought all insured packages required a signature).
    I have called,emailed and fax'd the local ATF office today,but have had no response (phone calls go to some sort of weird VoiceMail).
    I am wondering if
    a.anyone on this board has ever been ripped off by a receiving FFL
    b.any FFL's on this board have any idea how I can bring this incident to the attention of the ATF or other law enforcement.

    TIA for any responses,suggestions,ideas.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Shadowsbane's Avatar
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    Have a lawyer draw up papers. That will probably get him a bit more motivated.
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  3. #3
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    Wow, I'm really sorry to hear about your troubles with that FFL. I wish I knew what to do about it?

    Do you at least have the serial number to the weapon? If not, be sure and have your brother send it to you. That way if it turns up in his inventory, he's got no excuse. If it turns up he's already sold it, I'm not sure where you stand.

    I'm glad I can trust the FFL I use for transfers. He's an active duty USAF Chaplain. So far he's been good to his word. Plus he only charges a $5 transfer fee.

    Please, let us know how it turns out. We're anxious to find out.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Array Lewis128's Avatar
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    I thought FFL transfers always went via UPS/FED-EX.

    +1 getting a lawyer involved. Seems foolish for HIM to make such a big drama over a $100 gun.
    After all, HIS lively-hood is dependent on his FFL remaining in good standing.

  5. #5
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    Go to the magistrate in the county, city or town in which the FFL resides. Take your documentation (make copies for yourself) showing that the gun was delivered. Tell the magistrate what happened, and be prepared to show some evidence for the value of the gun. Chances are, that's grand larceny, and probably good for about twenty years in prison.

    You could also file suit against him for "conversion", which means he converted the property from yours to his. Get some kind of documentation from your brother, preferably notarized and under oath, showing that he had transferred title to you. That makes it legally your gun. The FFL is probably counting on the idea that the gun was never transferred to you, therefore brother would have to show up and file suit in order to have a claim. But that's wrong - all the FFL has to do is transfer possession, which has nothing to do with title. All he can say is that he never transferred possession to you; but it was still your gun. There's also an action for "improper bailment" - the FFL was a "bailee", one who is given custody of someone else's property for pay, and who thus owes the owner an absolute duty to protect the property and see that it be delivered properly. There's probably also a breach of fiduciary duty claim.

    And I would definitely send notice to the BATFE.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Array Devone6's Avatar
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    That is partially true Lewis128-
    US Mail: An unlicensed person can ship a rifle or shotgun by US Mail. Unlicensed persons cannot ship a handgun by US Mail (So a FFL could ship via the USPS, as they are "licensed" as I understand it). Ammunition cannot be shipped by US Mail.

    FedEx: FedEx will only ship firearms via their Priority Overnight service. Ammunition must be shipped as dangerous goods.

    UPS: UPS will accept handgun shipments by Next Day Air only. Rifles and shotguns can be shipped by UPS ground service. UPS will accept shipments of ammunition. Most other shippers will no longer accept firearm shipments. Airborne and Roadway have specifically prohibited firearm shipments.
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  7. #7
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    He says he didn't get it, I'd have brother/shipping FLL file an insurance claim.

    Let the carrier sort it out.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Array Shadowsbane's Avatar
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    Could file the firearm as lost/stolen. He would have one hell of a time selling it then.
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  9. #9
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Where you look depends on where it was "lost." Did it actually arrive at the destination and is there proof of that? Or not?

    If you have proof of the shipment and proof of its arrival/signature, then I'm sure that BATFE would be very interested in his reticence to assist in finding the gun he lost. Very interested indeed. I'm sure that'll provide all the motivation needed to resolve the situation. $100 isn't the issue. His viability as a legitimate FFL in the eyes of the BATFE is.

    Good luck.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Array jhh3rd's Avatar
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    Get the USPS involved if they were the carrier.

  11. #11
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    Seems to me the local police or sherriff would be interested in a lost or stolen gun. Get the serial number and all of the documents related to it and see if they can pay him a visit. Is he willing to risk his FFL over one gun? Contact a lawyer to draft a letter to him and copy the BATFE. See if your brother can have his transferring FFL contact him to track it down. They have a vested interest in the transfer going as planned as well.
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  12. #12
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    Some good advice and some marginal. File a local police report. They probably won't do anything at all but at least it will be reported as possibly stolen.

    Keep after ATF/BATF and if you don't get a response ask your Congress Critter to help you get a response.

    Consider the civil tort of illegal conversion, but since there is so little money involved you probably can't pursue that beyond small claims court. Still, a summons to appear in court and defend himself will cause him to move to find the item if he hasn't already passed it along to some gangster.

    The comment about the FFL lacking cognitive function and possibly having psychiatric issues is telling. He may be unable to do what he needs to do, and that might include showing up at court to answer an illegal conversion suit. Maybe you'll win a default judgment for the value. You won't collect, but you'll have the judgment to protect yourself and your brother should the gun end up being used in a crime. Other judges (and LE and DAs) must honor the judgment.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by azleftie88 View Post
    Sorry to have my first post be a negative one,but I do not know where to get good advice re this problem.
    First off, welcome from the East Valley.

    Next - per the other posts, file a claim with the shipper, which apparently is the USPS. The local Postal Inspector will likely take a great interest in any potential theft or malfeasance by a postal customer/consignee.

    The BATFE lack of interest is quizzical, especially in light of their hyper-active response to Cavalry Arms last year (simple statutory violations). You'd think with all the hype about guns this close to the border they'd be more interested.

    Lastly - would you be willing to disclose the name of this oddball dealer? A lot of us here on DC are in AZ, and we don't want to patronize a dealer who is less than on the up-and-up.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Where you look depends on where it was "lost." Did it actually arrive at the destination and is there proof of that? Or not?

    If you have proof of the shipment and proof of its arrival/signature, then I'm sure that BATFE would be very interested in his reticence to assist in finding the gun he lost. Very interested indeed. I'm sure that'll provide all the motivation needed to resolve the situation. $100 isn't the issue. His viability as a legitimate FFL in the eyes of the BATFE is.

    Good luck.
    Exactly...the BATFE loves to hassle people and take licenses...
    If they do it for incorrect paperwork, what do you think they will do for a lost gun?
    Last edited by RETSUPT99; May 5th, 2010 at 07:03 AM.
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  15. #15
    New Member Array azleftie88's Avatar
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    thanks for all the great responses!

    I am going to talk to the local postmaster today about this--since the gun was shipped priority mail,and since insurance <$200 does not require a signature, the initial response I got from the postal clerk is that the USPS has discharged its responsibility. The proof of delivery tracking shows it was delivered but no way to know to whom it was delivered,and the insurance is now void since it was only insured during USPS transit.
    I will keep trying to contact ATF,and my brother is going to file a stolen gun report.
    The AK FFL will provide a statement that he shipped the gun to the FFL here in AZ on the date specified on the delivery confirmation and insurance slips. I will give this + serial number to ATF if I can find a better way to contact them.
    The gun was delivered on the first day of a large 2 day gun show in AZ. In this state, guns can be sold private party to private party without any paperwork,and I suspect (but cannot prove) that such was the fate of my FEG.
    Anyway, I appreciate advice from many of you who clearly know more about gun law than I do,will post followup if there is any.
    FEG-less in AZ

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