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Posted: 11/22/2008 2:34:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/22/2008 2:37:01 PM EDT by DavidC]
On 11/8 I bought a short-barrel shotgun from LH Arms of Northumberland, PA. All of my transfers are corporate, so I simply asked him to mail me the signed Form 4s and I would send it off to the ATF with my corp paperwork, 5330.20, and a check.

I don't receive the F4s until today.  It took them 10 days to mail me the paperwork (postmark is 11/18).  When it shows up, the F4s aren't signed.  there is a list of directions included which basically tell me to attach a check and my paperwork and mail it back to them

I call them and ask that they just send me a pair of signed F4s.  Their response is that they don't do it that way because they have to check all the paperwork to make sure that it is done correctly. I told them that wasn't necessary, plus it would add at least a week to the transfer, and possibly longer, given that it took then 10 days to simply mail the F4s to me. They were adamant about doing it "their way."

There is no reason for them to have copies of my incorporation papers or anything other than the F4, which I presume they would copy before actually giving me the gun.

And it wasn't an issue of them dealing with a noob and the process of getting fingerprints, et al. they were aware it was a corp transfer; their instruction sheet had everything crossed out except 'send us a check for the ATF."

I told them I just want my money back (I paid cash for the shotgun). For some reason,  they want the worthless f4s returned before they will refund my money.

Odd set of behaviors, and I would suggest not dealing with these people.  Dealers who make up their own rules are not a benefit to the community.
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 2:59:19 PM EDT
That's kind of stupid. I don't see the reason for what they are asking. Other then to be hard headed. It would seem to me the less work you would give them, the better.
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 3:03:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/22/2008 3:19:02 PM EDT by 444]
I have had that happen to me before a couple times.

When I knew about this up front (I asked who was doing the paperwork) I ended up not buying anything from that particular dealer for the sole reason that he wanted to do the paperwork and I didn't want him to. I didn't argue about it, I just bought from somebody else.
The dealer I now buy from is perfectly happy with me typing up the paperwork. He is interested in doing business and doesn't need his ego massaged by assuming a position of power by insisting on chickenshit stuff like you describe. I have done 19 transactions for NFA weapons from this guy so the money offsets his disappointment in not getting the thrill of lording over me.

Many (most ?) dealers gets a feeling of power from this kind of bullshit. They spend their life being bullied by their wife and have been wimps their whole life so when they get an FFL, they think this makes them somebody. This is their 15 minutes of fame.  The power trip these losers are on is incredible.


I just bought a couple suppressors from a dealer that I had never dealt with before, and I didn't ask about the paperwork. They pulled similar bullshit on me. Delayed my getting the paperwork by about a week. The paperwork takes about five minutes, but because they want that feeling of being in charge they delay the process by a week. Instead of immediately typing up the paperwork and handing me a copy, the dealer had to have a secretary in another location do it, then have me drive all the way back there to pick up the completed paperwork.
After I got the paperwork from them I realized that the FFL holder hadn't signed the form: he is out of the country. So, they want me to get the CLEO signature then return the paperwork to them for the FFL holders signature which no doubt will delay the whole process at least another week. If the FFL holder wasn't there to sign the paperwork, I could have done the paperwork at home (without his signature) and got it submitted for the CLEO signature a week earlier.
I also realized that they had screwed up in typing their FFL number and instead of just doing the form over again (take another five minutes) they just wrote the correct number over top of the incorrect number with a pen.
This is the kind of bullshit I try to avoid by doing the paperwork myself. That form is not only going to have to pass muster with the ATF, but I am going to have that form probably for the rest of my life. I want to take the time to do it right and not cross shit out or make corrections in pen.
This is a tactic that has been used by dealers on two of my forms including the first one I ever got: they made a mistake and just crossed it out with a pen.  
So, since it wasn't signed, I just took the five minutes to do the form again so it is printed out with the correct number and nothing written in pen. Not only is it the neat and professional way to do things, it removes any doubt that you altered the form after the fact.
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 3:03:14 PM EDT
The dealer does not sound like he knows how to handle NFA transfers.

I usually do all the paperwork, fingerprints, Citizenship, LEO signoffs, mailing the forms as this is above most knuckle draggers skills set that I have dealt with over the years.
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 3:58:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/22/2008 4:47:56 PM EDT by DavidC]
The really stupid thing is that I gave him a business card and had the information I wanted on the F4 Section 2a laid out on the back of it. he used that info to print out the F4 using the TitleII.com PDF maker, so there is absiolutely nothing that I could do wrong that he would be involved in.  The only possible errors would be my failure to include  the .20, corp paperwork, or the check.

I'm sure it'll be a pain to get my money back, too. Fortunately it's only $300.
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 5:21:21 PM EDT
IME, about 50% of the customers who insist on doing it themselves, screw it up. This then creates more, unnecessary work work for the FFL. So I can see why some might have this rule for how they handle the form processing. Of course, they should have told you this was a show-stopper before taking your money.

Link Posted: 11/22/2008 5:24:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
IME, about 50% of the customers who insist on doing it themselves, screw it up. This then creates more, unnecessary work work for the FFL. So I can see why some might have this rule for how they handle the form processing. Of course, they should have told you this was a show-stopper before taking your money.



There wan't anyting that I could do to screw it up in a way that would cause them more work.  Once they provided a completed (and accurate) F4 they were out of the loop until the transaction is approved.

An inflexible policy will cost them more business than a potential screw-up.
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 9:51:04 PM EDT
Let's say that I buy some item and do the paperwork and screw it up completely.

Who suffers for that ?
The dealer who already has my money ? Or me ?

Why should the dealer give a shit ?
Link Posted: 11/23/2008 4:55:59 AM EDT
I agree, they fill out and sign the front of both copies and send/hand them to me.

I  handle it from there - I'm in control of the paper work.

Like mentioned above - they have my money - if I screw things up, it's my fault.

If that's not the way they work it, then I don't deal with them.

Link Posted: 11/23/2008 5:31:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/23/2008 5:34:20 AM EDT by El-cid]
Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
IME, about 50% of the customers who insist on doing it themselves, screw it up. This then creates more, unnecessary work work for the FFL. So I can see why some might have this rule for how they handle the form processing. Of course, they should have told you this was a show-stopper before taking your money.


I would not pat the dealers on the back too much. I had the head of the NFA Trade & Collectors Association screw up my forms once on a transfer and they got kicked back. I have NEVER had paperwork that I completed returned in close to 10 years of collecting. I can tell you horror stories though from dealing with some of the BCR crowd though.

On my last SBR, I had the transfer dealer asking me for fingerprint cards because he ran out and did not know where to get more.

And a dealer told me this past week that I could not transfer stripped receivers anymore because the BATF had 'changed' things. Complete nonsense.
Link Posted: 11/23/2008 7:30:06 AM EDT


Originally Posted By 444:


Let's say that I buy some item and do the paperwork and screw it up completely.



Who suffers for that ?

The dealer who already has my money ? Or me ?



Why should the dealer give a shit ?
Bad paperwork comes back to the dealer for fixing. He either can fix it himself or has to contact the buyer for fixing.





 
Link Posted: 11/23/2008 7:32:29 AM EDT


Originally Posted By El-cid:



Originally Posted By RenegadeX:

IME, about 50% of the customers who insist on doing it themselves, screw it up. This then creates more, unnecessary work work for the FFL. So I can see why some might have this rule for how they handle the form processing. Of course, they should have told you this was a show-stopper before taking your money.





I would not pat the dealers on the back too much.

I am  not, I was just offering an explanation for why a dealer may do it like that.



There as many dumb dealers as their are dumb customers. Unfortunately, there is no known mechanism to hook the smart dealers up with the smart customers. Thus each assumes the other is an idiot, and you have what we see in this thread. Neither side trusting the other to do it right.





 
Link Posted: 11/23/2008 7:39:05 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
Originally Posted By 444:
Let's say that I buy some item and do the paperwork and screw it up completely.

Who suffers for that ?
The dealer who already has my money ? Or me ?

Why should the dealer give a shit ?
Bad paperwork comes back to the dealer for fixing. He either can fix it himself or has to contact the buyer for fixing.

 


Right, but my point is that I would be the guy that is waiting to take home my purchase: I would pay the price for my own mistake. The dealer really dosn't have a stake in the thing once he gets your money.

Link Posted: 11/23/2008 7:42:26 AM EDT


Originally Posted By 444:



Originally Posted By RenegadeX:


Originally Posted By 444:

Let's say that I buy some item and do the paperwork and screw it up completely.



Who suffers for that ?

The dealer who already has my money ? Or me ?



Why should the dealer give a shit ?
Bad paperwork comes back to the dealer for fixing. He either can fix it himself or has to contact the buyer for fixing.



 




Right, but my point is that I would be the guy that is waiting to take home my purchase: I would pay the price for my own mistake. The dealer really dosn't have a stake in the thing once he gets your money.



I imagine most dealers view time as money. So spending time fixing problems they think could have been avoided is time not spent on something profitable, like the next customer in line.





 
Link Posted: 11/23/2008 8:06:27 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 444:
Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
Originally Posted By 444:
Let's say that I buy some item and do the paperwork and screw it up completely.

Who suffers for that ?
The dealer who already has my money ? Or me ?

Why should the dealer give a shit ?
Bad paperwork comes back to the dealer for fixing. He either can fix it himself or has to contact the buyer for fixing.

 



Right, but my point is that I would be the guy that is waiting to take home my purchase: I would pay the price for my own mistake. The dealer really dosn't have a stake in the thing once he gets your money.



You may accept responsibility for your actions, but I'm guessing most of the people he deals with don't.   probably gets people bitching that it's been 2 months since buyer sent paperwork, or that it got kicked back by atf for clerical issues, etc.  Might figure if he's gonna get bitched at, he may as well be somewhat guilty and file t he paperwork.

Link Posted: 11/23/2008 2:07:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
Originally Posted By 444:
Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
Originally Posted By 444:
Let's say that I buy some item and do the paperwork and screw it up completely.

Who suffers for that ?
The dealer who already has my money ? Or me ?

Why should the dealer give a shit ?
Bad paperwork comes back to the dealer for fixing. He either can fix it himself or has to contact the buyer for fixing.

 


Right, but my point is that I would be the guy that is waiting to take home my purchase: I would pay the price for my own mistake. The dealer really dosn't have a stake in the thing once he gets your money.

I imagine most dealers view time as money. So spending time fixing problems they think could have been avoided is time not spent on something profitable, like the next customer in line.

 


We are beating a dead horse here, but if time is money then they should be happy to not have to do the paperwork (all five minutes of the time it takes to do it).
If they have to fix something on the paperwork, it would take no more time than them doing it in the first place. Not to mention the fact that if they have to start all over from ground zero, it will take about five minutes.

Link Posted: 11/23/2008 2:28:54 PM EDT
And let's not forget, that in this case the only paperwork the dealer would have had anything to do with would have been a correctly filled out F4.  No fingerprint cards, no photos, and a blank page 2 on the F4.
Link Posted: 11/24/2008 6:15:39 AM EDT
For my third transfer, my dealer gave me signed copies to mail myself. I don't blame Class 3 dealers for wanting the paperwork to come back to them to look over before they send it out. He said he had even had people forget to put their name on the fingerprint cards.
Link Posted: 11/25/2008 1:30:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/25/2008 1:32:13 PM EDT by stockshift]
Thanks for the heads-up, David.

People scratch their heads when I tell them that I drive 45 mins to 2+ hours to my preferred Class III gunsmith/vendor(s).  I live in Philadelphia and drive to Quakertown/Palmyra, respectively.

Even with gas prices being relatively high, it is worth the drive to work with dealers that do a decent job.

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