So, what do you think?

This is a discussion on So, what do you think? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I wanted to get a general idea from folks about a consignment matter. I placed a gun on consignment 3 months ago. The shop sold ...

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Thread: So, what do you think?

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    Question So, what do you think?

    I wanted to get a general idea from folks about a consignment matter.

    I placed a gun on consignment 3 months ago. The shop sold the gun, the new owner took it home, used it, and decided they did not like it, so they returned it to the shop. The shop has a 30 day return policy on used guns.

    Now here is my quandary. I don't believe I legally own that firearm anymore. The firearm was sold and there is state and federal paperwork on the sale, with the new owner's name. Yet the shop insists I am still the legal owner of the firearm and is refusing to pay until someone else purchases the firearm.

    I've had a lot of dealings with the shop over the years, and I would prefer not to burn any bridges, but I'm not sure the shop owner is dealing fairly or ethically in this instance.

    Please share your thoughts, I'd like to know if I'm mistaken, or being unreasonable in this matter. Any shop owners out there as well, what is your take on this?

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    Member Array reyno2ac's Avatar
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    I'd take a look at the paperwork you signed when you put the gun on consignment. You did get paperwork didn't you?
    Guns don't kill people, people kill people...and chimps do, if they have a gun

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    Loose on the paperwork

    Quote Originally Posted by reyno2ac View Post
    I'd take a look at the paperwork you signed when you put the gun on consignment. You did get paperwork didn't you?
    Yes, but no terms on the paperwork. The shop is pretty casual, just a yellow receipt with my name, address, date, the serial number, description, and consignment amount. More than casual I'd say pretty loose with the paperwork. I've often wondered if some used guns don't flow thru without any paperwork, but that is a question for another day.

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    Hm.

    You have no paperwork defining what the rules were, so by default you were playing by their rules. Their rules appear to be:
    • If it is in the display case, it's for sale (= customer walks out as the new owner);
    • If the customer changes his or her mind, it can be returned (= the prior owner will take ownership back)
    • Since you left your gun in their display case under their rules, it sounds to me like it's still your gun even though it visited someone else's house for a few days.

    Lesson? Ought to get stuff in writing. Or at least ask what the rules are and play elsewhere if you don't like them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paymeister View Post
    Hm.

    You have no paperwork defining what the rules were, so by default you were playing by their rules. Their rules appear to be:
    If it is in our display case, it's for sale (= you walk out as the new owner)
    If you change your mind, you can bring it back (= we'll take ownership back)
    Since you left your gun in their display case under their rules, it sounds to me like it's still your gun even though it visited someone else's house for a few days.

    Of course, all the paperwork was done properly so it would NOT be considered your gun if a crime was committed with it during it's visit, but the return policy suggests that ownership reverts to the prior owner if the customer backs out of the deal - in this case, you.

    Lesson? Ought to get stuff in writing. Or at least ask what the rules are and play elsewhere if you don't like them.
    Agreed.

    I wouldn't go burning any bridges, as long as you don't NEED the money. I would however, be having a talk with the owner of the store to make sure things are crystal clear from here on out.

    Personally, I wouldn't be happy having my gun be "sold" then returned...
    Guns don't kill people, people kill people...and chimps do, if they have a gun

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    I would find a Pro 2nd Amendment attorney and get his/her take on the situation and see what/if any laws apply to the situation, and also who is liable.
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    Here....

    1. YOU put the gun on consignment in THEIR shop.
    2. They a have return policies.
    3. Gun came back to YOU.

    Don't hit me .... another matter of taking "personal resonsibility" instead of laying it on the next guy. The gun dealer is really just a middle man here. (makin' $)
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctr View Post
    I wanted to get a general idea from folks about a consignment matter.

    I placed a gun on consignment 3 months ago. The shop sold the gun, the new owner took it home, used it, and decided they did not like it, so they returned it to the shop. The shop has a 30 day return policy on used guns.

    Now here is my quandary. I don't believe I legally own that firearm anymore. The firearm was sold and there is state and federal paperwork on the sale, with the new owner's name. Yet the shop insists I am still the legal owner of the firearm and is refusing to pay until someone else purchases the firearm.

    I've had a lot of dealings with the shop over the years, and I would prefer not to burn any bridges, but I'm not sure the shop owner is dealing fairly or ethically in this instance.

    Please share your thoughts, I'd like to know if I'm mistaken, or being unreasonable in this matter. Any shop owners out there as well, what is your take on this?
    I have never bought or sold anything on consignment but here is how I think is is supposed to work.

    1. You bring the gun in and sign a consignment agreement. The agreement says that the shop will act as your broker and will pay you for the sale minus their fee, a percentage of the sale. The store has a return policy that you may or may not have been aware of. The shop owner FFL is holding the gun for you bu probably does not log it in to his Bound Book. (for ATF audits) In effect, you are I think more or less loaning him the gun.
    2. You retain ownership until the gun is sold.
    3. The gun was sold (transfered). The consignment shop FFL had the purchaser fill out ATF Form 4473. Their was a background check that came back with the response "proceed." The new owner got a bill of sale with the serial number on it and walks out with his gun.
    4. For whatever reason, the buyer brings the gun back.
    5. At the end of the day, the Shop owner FFL files the paperwork and records the transaction in what is known as a Bound Book. ATF requires each transaction to be recored in numerical order. The Disposition is recorded, sold to, serial no. date, etc. for this transaction.
    6. The shop owner FFL takes the gun back but now must log this in to his Bound book as an Acquisition, record the serial number, date, etc.
    7. Now the store owner has possession of the gun if he recorded it in his Bound Book as he should by law.
    8. Now the gun is in the Shop Owners possession but you still have a consignment agreement.
    9. Now you wait for him to sell the gun to another buyer.

    If the Store owner is honest my guess is that you will be paid when the gun is sold.

    If he is not, this would be a good one for Judge Judy (Small Claims).
    I doubt that it would come to that. Just don't loose your consignment agreement.
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    Member Array Carry4MyFam's Avatar
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    Why would you even dig into this deeper? Just go pick up your gun and either deal with someone else or sell it yourself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctr View Post
    I wanted to get a general idea from folks about a consignment matter.

    Please share your thoughts, I'd like to know if I'm mistaken, or being unreasonable in this matter.
    Have you spoken to ATF concerning the legal aspect of the transfer (4473)? Is it legal for you to be the owner again after the 4473 was filled out by another person?

    I can understand a business having a return policy on their used gun inventory but it is very strange to me that the return policy would pertain to consignment guns without the owners specific knowledge and consent.

    Also, a 30 day return period seems to be an awfull long time to borrow a gun to plink around with.


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    Quote Originally Posted by P7fanatic View Post
    Have you spoken to ATF concerning the legal aspect of the transfer (4473)? Is it legal for you to be the owner again after the 4473 was filled out by another person?

    I can understand a business having a return policy on their used gun inventory but it is very strange to me that the return policy would pertain to consignment guns without the owners specific knowledge and consent.

    Also, a 30 day return period seems to be an awfull long time to borrow a gun to plink around with.


    There are two sides to BATFE (ATF) The side that licenses dealers and conducts random audits is called Industry Operations. The other side deals with the BG's on the streets. Most dealers are not intentionally BG's.

    The Store owner by federal law was required to log the gun into his Bound Book as an Acquisition. If he didn't and then tried to sell the gun again, there would be a missing record. ATF auditors can be very harsh on dealers who don't keep good records in exact numerical order. All transactions either acquisitions or dispositions have to be recorded. The Store owner broke no law.
    If the original owner wants the gun back, yes, he must go through the paper work as if purchasing the gun, and fill out ATF-4473 in order for the dealer to transfer it back to him. No money needs to exchange hands. Then the Dealer once again goes back to his Bound book and records the transaction once again indicating the disposition.
    BTY, the store owner FFL, must keep the record for 20 years or until he goes out of business and surrenders all records to BATFE.
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    Thanks for the input guys, especially the ATF process.

    I want to make it clear I'm not getting a lawyer, going to court. That seems like hitting a fly with a hammer, and as I said, I'm not looking to burn bridges. If I have to wait till the shop sells it again, so be it. I simply want to understand if I am still the legal owner of the firearm. Am I still responsible for that firearm. Sounds like the answer would depend on who the BATF considers to be the legal owner.
    Last edited by ctr; April 18th, 2010 at 10:35 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ctr View Post
    Thanks for the input guys, especially the ATF process.

    I want to make it clear I'm not getting a lawyer, going to court. That seems like hitting a fly with a hammer, and as I said, I'm not looking to burn bridges. If I have to wait till the shop sells it again, so be it. I simply want to understand if I am still the legal owner of the firearm. Am I still responsible for that firearm. Sounds like the answer would depend on who the BATF considers to be the legal owner.
    I'm sure the dealer is reputable. I think I would stop by the dealer though and ask to see the gun. After all, the buyer did apparently use it. You should be able to inspect the gun for any possible damage. Hopefully the dealer will have the gun on a rack or in a case with a for sale sign on it.
    By federal law, the dealer had 24 hours after the close of the business day that gun was returned to record the return as an acquisition since it was being returned to his inventory. Now he has possession of the firearm. In the event that it was lost or stolen, the dealer, not you, would be required to call and report the incident to ATF and then follow up with a written letter. If this sounds like he owns gun it is because he now has possession of it according to ATF. You still have your agreement paperwork for the consignment. Just so there is no misunderstanding and to keep everything on the up and up, you might talk to the owner. You might tell him you would feel more comfortable if the gun was transfered back to you. He might balk because it means more paperwork for him. He could also say Okay, but I'm going to have to charge you the same fee that I normally charge any customer for a transfer. The fee could be $30-$50.

    You may want to fore go the transfer. In that case you can continue to be a trusting sole, wait for the gun to sell and hope he pays you.

    Myself, I like business transactions to be in writing. You might be okay with a hand shake. If you do go the hand shake route, I wouldn't hurt to take someone with you just in case you later need a witness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carry4MyFam View Post
    Why would you even dig into this deeper? Just go pick up your gun and either deal with someone else or sell it yourself.
    +1 Especially here in VA. Get your gun back, put it up on VAGuntrader at reasonable price with pics and description and be done with it. I've had lots of good luck both buying and selling.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

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    Quote Originally Posted by CRags99 View Post
    I would find a Pro 2nd Amendment attorney and get his/her take on the situation and see what/if any laws apply to the situation, and also who is liable.
    So what if your attorney has a different take on it? What are you going to do about it? You still have the gun and the loss in value would be less than the attorney (unless you find a freebie). As an attorney my advice to you is not to invest good money after after bad. Save it for an upgrade or a new addition to your firearm collection.
    Live every day so that you can, with a clear conscience, look all men in their eyes and tell them to go to hell.

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