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Posted: 8/25/2004 3:36:05 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/28/2004 10:14:40 AM EST by DK-Prof]
Note - this is NOT a cop-bashing thread, but more of a bureaucracy or adminstrator-bashing thread - it just happens to have taken place at the county police.


So I went to the St. Louis county police headquarters to get my fingerprints taken for my ATF Form 1 application (for an SBR). After I get done with the fingerprints, I figure that since I need the CLEO signature, I might as well go up to his office and drop off the forms there (or even get the signature if he happens to be in his office). For my FFL I just mailed it in, but I figured I might as well save a stamp.

I go up to the police chiefs office, and ask his secretary if I can drop off the forms. She looks at them, and says "oh yeah, firearms stuff. We sign those, but we get them from the records room. So you need to go down to the records room and give them the forms". To which I reply "So you want me to go downstairs and give them to the records room, just so that they can send them upstairs to this office again? You can't take them from me now?" She said no (and added that people often tried to drop them off, and she always sends them down to the records room), and I figured that the records people probably need to make their own copies or something, so it didn't seem like a big deal - and I headed back downstairs.

When I get to the records room, I handed the lady the two forms and tell her that they are firearms forms (I used the same term as the cheif's secreatry) and that they need to send them up to the chief's office to get the signatures. She has NO IDEA what I'm talking about, and looks at the forms as if they are written in Egyptian hieroglyphs or something. I explained to her that they were applications to the ATF, but that I needed the chief's signature before I could send them, and that the chief's secretary told me to give them to the records room.

She still has no idea what to do with them, so she wanders off to find someone who does. A few minutes later, her co-worker comes up, and confidently tells me "yeah, we'll take this, but all we do with it is file it" Now I'm getting a little confused and worried, and so I ask "what do you mean, you 'file it'?" and she replied "We keep it here, in a file" Now my head is starting to hurt, and I try to correct her - and say "you can keep a copy if you like, and you probably need to, but I need the forms back, after the chief has signed them" In a condescending bureaucratic tone, she replies "No, we just file them". I then have to explain again that these forms are applications that I need to send to the ATF, and not to sit around in their file drawer, and that I need them back after the chief signs them.

She finally realizes that she has NO IDEA what she's talking about, and both of them wander off to find a lieutenant who might have a clue. After a while, they come back and after I explain the forms AGAIN(and point out that the chief's secretary said that they get these all the time) they finally decided on the solution. The one woman told the first woman "Fine, just sign the forms and give them back to him"

Luckily, before my head exploded, the first woman said "I'm not signing on this line that says 'Signature of chief law enforcement officer' because I aint the chief of police" - and I added that I need the signature of the chief, and the chief's secretary told me that they are supposed to send the forms up to the chief's office for signatures.

They FINALLY seemed to understand the point, and took down my address so that they could mail the forms back to me - but I have a feeling that I better give them a call tomorrow and make sure that they are really getting the signature and sending it back to me. I think there's still a good chance I may NEVER see those forms agian


Sheesh - next time I'll just mail it like I did last time. Having to explain it something like five times was pretty irritating when you expect that they actually would know what to do.

Link Posted: 8/25/2004 3:40:42 PM EST
Union.

SGtar15
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 3:43:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 3:43:43 PM EST by kpel308]
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 3:43:52 PM EST

Originally Posted By sgtar15:
Union.




Maybe - I'm not sure.


I guess it particularly disturbed me, because I imagine they have records of a lot of important stuff - like sex offenders, etc - and the thought of these nincompoops being in charge of important documents or records was frightening.

Link Posted: 8/25/2004 3:45:09 PM EST

Originally Posted By kpel308:
BTW: Don't expect Col. Lee to get back to you any time soon!



Is he not a gun-friendly as Battelle was? When I sent my FFL to Battelle for a signature, it came back in a week or something.

Should I not be holding my breath?
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 3:46:06 PM EST
you are screwed!
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 3:46:31 PM EST
If you work in an organization that has to actually turn a profit, you don't have to deal with this.

Or, put another way, you can't get away with it. You still have to deal with it in every OTHER aspect of life, but YOU can't get away with it.

<----'bout ready for a guvmnit job.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 3:49:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By kpel308:
BTW: Don't expect Col. Lee to get back to you any time soon!



Is he not a gun-friendly as Battelle was? When I sent my FFL to Battelle for a signature, it came back in a week or something.

Should I not be holding my breath?



FFL....signature?

The CLEO doesn't have to sign off on an FFL. All you have to do is deliver a copy of the application to the CLEO in your city or county.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 3:50:15 PM EST
The CLEO here will sign them while you wait! He's in it for the votes!

Balming
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 3:53:43 PM EST
Sorry to hear you had such a problem, DK-P; I assume this is your first NFA weapon? Hopefully you can get better service next time. When I call my sheriff to arrange for an appointment to get a sign-off, the receptionist never has the slightest clue what I'm talking about, despite the fact there are numerous NFA owners in my county and the sheriff signs forms routinely (and even some of the deputies are 'gun guys' and into NFA weapons also). In fact, the last time I called to ask them to mail my forms to me, I got transfered from the sheriff's office to the gun dept., from the gun dept. to the DA's office, from the DA's office to the prothonotary. At that point, I just hung up and called the sheriff's office back, asked to speak to the sheriff and got right through.

So what kind of SBR?
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 3:57:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By TylerSchreck:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By kpel308:
BTW: Don't expect Col. Lee to get back to you any time soon!



Is he not a gun-friendly as Battelle was? When I sent my FFL to Battelle for a signature, it came back in a week or something.

Should I not be holding my breath?



FFL....signature?

The CLEO doesn't have to sign off on an FFL. All you have to do is deliver a copy of the application to the CLEO in your city or county.



I THOUGHT I had to send something and got something back - but it's been about 5 years - so maybe I remember wrong. Maybe I just sent the copy, and they sent back a confirmation or something. My bad.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 4:01:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By shaggy:
Sorry to hear you had such a problem, DK-P; I assume this is your first NFA weapon? Hopefully you can get better service next time. When I call my sheriff to arrange for an appointment to get a sign-off, the receptionist never has the slightest clue what I'm talking about, despite the fact there are numerous NFA owners in my county and the sheriff signs forms routinely (and even some of the deputies are 'gun guys' and into NFA weapons also). In fact, the last time I called to ask them to mail my forms to me, I got transfered from the sheriff's office to the gun dept., from the gun dept. to the DA's office, from the DA's office to the prothonotary. At that point, I just hung up and called the sheriff's office back, asked to speak to the sheriff and got right through.

So what kind of SBR?



Yup - my first one. I'm going for an 10.5 or 11.5 barrel on an AR in 5.56mm.

Ultimately, I was HOPING that the chief would have been in the office and I could have hassled him for a signature right then and there - but I didn't want to be insistent or make an ass of myself (that's what I have ar15.com for ).


I figure the best thing to do is to call the chief's office in a few days and ask the secretary to check that the forms have made it up there. I'll definitely ask to speak to the chief, but st. louis county has a lot of police, so he may be to busy to talk to a pushy gun-owner
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 4:06:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 4:07:37 PM EST by 95thFoot]

Originally Posted By arowneragain:
If you work in an organization that has to actually turn a profit, you don't have to deal with this.

Or, put another way, you can't get away with it. You still have to deal with it in every OTHER aspect of life, but YOU can't get away with it.

<----'bout ready for a guvmnit job.



Reminds me of a line from "Ghostbusters", changed a bit....

Ray (Dan Aykroyd): "Personally, I liked the university workin' fer the county. They gave us money and facilities. We didn't have to produce anything! You've never been out of college government. You don't know what it's like out there. I've worked in the private sector. They expect results."


Link Posted: 8/25/2004 4:12:23 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 4:16:38 PM EST

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:Yup - my first one. I'm going for an 10.5 or 11.5 barrel on an AR in 5.56mm.


Very nice. And welcome to the addiction. Don't forget you can also use it as an SBR in 9mm also. Of course, with a cool little 9mm SBR, you'll have to get a supressor to hang off the end. And if you've got a 9mm supressor, you may as well get a 5.56 one also...

(Did I mention getting NFA weapons can become very habit forming?)

Although I've got several MG's and two supressors, I'm about to do my first SBR also - a krink in 7.62x39.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 4:23:00 PM EST
DK-Prof

Every time I ever handed any papers to .gov for any reason
I always thought to myself...I'm screwed, because they always acted
like this was a first. But luckily they some how managed to do it right.

Mabey they are just f#$king with us

GM
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 4:28:20 PM EST

Originally Posted By goodmedicine:
DK-Prof

Every time I ever handed any papers to .gov for any reason
I always thought to myself...I'm screwed, because they always acted
like this was a first. But luckily they some how managed to do it right.

Mabey they are just f#$king with us

GM



Never attribute anything bad done by government immediately to malice. Often it can be best explained away as pure stupidity.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 4:31:48 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 8:17:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By arowneragain:
If you work in an organization that has to actually turn a profit, you don't have to deal with this....


My experiences with the phone company, among others, suggests otherwise.

There are idiots everywhere!!
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 8:21:20 PM EST
It took me 30 min to get to the Sheriff to get a signoff for my FA. They just didnt know what to do.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 8:33:01 PM EST
You mean you were at the Sheriff's office AND the sec. wouldn't let you leave it??? WTF...........
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 8:43:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 8:52:52 PM EST by DK-Prof]

Originally Posted By Kaliburz:
You mean you were at the Sheriff's office AND the sec. wouldn't let you leave it??? WTF...........



Yup - standing in the chief of police's office, trying to give the forms to his secretary, and she tells me to go down to the records room and give it to them - so that they can send it up to his office



Link Posted: 8/25/2004 8:51:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 8:53:13 PM EST by RDak]
When I had a FFL DK, all I had to do was give the police a copy of my application and I put the name of the Chief on the application I sent to ATF. All ATF wanted to know was that I let the police know I was applying/renewing my FFL. So placing your application into their files was all they had to do in the Records Section. The Chief's secretary appears to have been the one that didn't know what she was talking about. (Maybe the rules have changed but that's all I ever had to do.)
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 8:53:28 PM EST
RDak - I think that might be it.


I'm starting to wonder if ALL of this confusion may have been caused by the fact that they are used to people giving them COPIES of their FFLs, but not as used to getting requests for signatures on Form 1's. I guess if most "firearms forms" they get are simply the FFL copies, then all they do with those IS in fact to file them, and nothing else. So maybe when they saw an ATF document, they just assumed that it was something to be filed - and perhaps thought that I was the one who was confused, insisting that I needed a signature.

I guess I better call them tomorrow and try to explain it again, just to make sure that they do understand what to do with it. Of course, NOW I'm worried that perhaps the chief of police doesn't sign off on Form 1's - and maybe that's why they're not used to seeing them, because maybe everyone but me has already figure out that there's no point in trying to get a signature?

Link Posted: 8/25/2004 8:53:36 PM EST
I guess im lucky where I live ,I called the sheriff and asked about sbring an ar and he said yea I will sign off on a form 1 to sbr an ar what length barrel are you going to go with a 14 or 101/2 those are his exact words and I told him not sure yet just calling to ask he said to make it easier when I call to set up an oppoint ment to give the secritary my name and S.S. number so when I come in for the appointment he will already check my background and I will just need my finger prints taken and he will sign while i do that.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 8:53:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
... she tells me to go down to the records room and give it to them - so that they can send it up to his office


Actually, well run places will sometimes do things like that so documents are logged in and out of a central location and don’t get lost or forgotten.

At first, I thought that was the case here - but apparently not!!
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 8:56:44 PM EST

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
I guess it particularly disturbed me, because I imagine they have records of a lot of important stuff - like sex offenders, etc - and the thought of these nincompoops being in charge of important documents or records was frightening.



Yep, just remember this experience. In particular, when you get your F1 approved, store the original in a Very Safe Place, and carry only copies. The NFA registry is probably still FUBAR, and you need evidence that you're not a felon.

It's pretty damned scary that a mere piece of paper can make you a felon, isn't it? Here, I thought felonies were about hurting people, not owning stuff.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 8:58:12 PM EST
The forms are going to end up on a guy's desk in the basement while he says "I believe you have my stapler!"
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 3:51:22 AM EST

Originally Posted By SNorman:
The forms are going to end up on a guy's desk in the basement while he says "I believe you have my stapler!"




Link Posted: 8/26/2004 4:25:38 AM EST

Originally Posted By fizassist:
In particular, when you get your F1 approved, store the original in a Very Safe Place, and carry only copies. The NFA registry is probably still FUBAR, and you need evidence that you're not a felon.


Yeah, what he said. I keep all of my original forms at the bank, in a deposit box. I also keep them in a ziplock plastic bag. This does two things. If you also keep a gun in the box, the oils can get to the paper and make a mess. There is also some story about a bank that got flooded and a lot of people's paperwork in the vault got wet. Something to think about.

Of course, make multiple copies of your paperwork, and keep one with you whenever you have the gun out. Some people keep a set in whatever case they use to haul their gun around in. I keep a full set in my range bag. With an AR-15 SBR, you could keep one in the pistol grip or the buttstock.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 4:37:23 AM EST
Why didn't you just ask the woman in the records dept to call the cheifs secretary to clarify things?

Link Posted: 8/26/2004 4:39:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By sgtar15:
Union.

SGtar15



Sounds more like a patronage position or nepotism.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 4:45:12 AM EST
I suggest that you either:

1. Set up a face to face meeting with the CLEO
or
2. Mail the forms directly to him with a cover letter that you need his signature and MUST have the forms back.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 5:27:41 AM EST
Did you leave feeling kinda strange ? I think what happened is you had some sort of foreplay. I supspect you are getting screwed by the records chicks right know.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 5:43:41 AM EST
Might I recommend the incorporation method..?

Mike
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 5:55:22 AM EST
Sorry you had such a disturbing time. Hope it all turns out OK.

A couple of years ago when I sold one of my .45s to my brother back there in Affton he really had NO idea what he exactly had to do to get a permit and a female STLCO LEO just about walked him through the process as well as the building where he had to do it.

I was impressed, as I've mentioned before that back when I lived in MO the St. Louis county LEOs were pretty much known to have a chip on their shoulders about the size of the Nimitz and weren't very friendly at all. (this was up to 1989)
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 7:45:58 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/26/2004 7:54:30 AM EST by DK-Prof]
DAMN it - I just got off the phone with both the chief's secretary and the supervisor of the records room, and they DO now understand that it is a Form 1 and that I want the chief's signature and to have the forms returned to me.

However - they said that under the old chief, NO Form 1's were ever signed. And they were not sure if the new guy (he's only been chief for a month or two) intends to sign any forms. That's probably why the people in the records room were confused - because if people know that they won't sign a Form 1, I'm guessing that nobody bothers to send a Form 1.

I got a little confused, because they were saying that the old chief's reluctance to sign it was that it says "I have no information indicating that the maker will use the firearm or device described on this application for other than lawful purposes. I have no information that Possession of the Firearm described in Item 4 on the Front of this Form would place the maker in Violation of State or Local Law" on the form, and he didn't want to sign off on that - because he doesn't KNOW for sure if it is for lawful purposes. HELLO??? The ATF and FBI will run the background checks, and since I already have an FFL, I'm obvsiouly not a criminal. Refusing to sign because he doesn't know if I MIGHT do something bad with it is like saying nobody should get a driver's license, because you cannot KNOW that they won't break the speed limit. What a tool - I'm glad he's no longer the chief, but now I'm getting a little worried that the new guy will just continue to do things the way they have been done in the past.

I wonder if I should try to set up a meeting with the new chief and try to explain to him that if I intended to do something UNLAWFUL, I problably wouldn't apply to the ATF for permission to do so.

Link Posted: 8/26/2004 7:50:18 AM EST
Hey, if you can make a reasoned argument, maybe you can make a change for the better.
I say go for it.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 8:02:08 AM EST
DK-Prof,

Don't let 'em get you down. Always remember, you are in the driver's seat, not them. Assuming they won't sign, I would either try to arrange another meeting, or start writing a polite, but firm letter. Explain that while you are dissappointed they will not voluntarily sign, you only asked as a courtesy to them and their refusal is in no way a bar to your future ownership of NFA weaponry. Alternate avenues are available through which you can legally acquire any NFA weapons legal in your state without ANY notice or approval by the local CLEO. By signing off, they would get the benefit of knowing what NFA weapons you would be in possession of, but since they cannot see clear to sign your forms, you can explain you will simply acquire your weapons through a corporate purchase. A corporate purchase will completely circumvent the signoff and fingerprint requirements so there will no way for them to know what you might buy, make, or otherwise acquire in the future. Absent a warrant, BATF will not divulge such information to them, so through their refusal they are not preventing you from obtaining anything, they are only surrenduring their opportunity to know what NFA weapons you may have within their jurisdiction.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 8:18:13 AM EST
At least they don't sound like they're anti-gun or against private ownership of Class III firearms. To me it appears that it's part ignorance of the law and part fear of any liabiliyor responsibility if you were to mis-use it.
IOW, it's something they'd just simply rather not get involved with.

As long as the cheif isn't anti-gun and is more concerned with covering his ass, then you probably have a chance on getting the sign-off if you just go and talk to him.


Link Posted: 8/26/2004 9:51:46 AM EST

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
I got a little confused, because they were saying that the old chief's reluctance to sign it was that it says "I have no information indicating that the maker will use the firearm or device described on this application for other than lawful purposes. I have no information that Possession of the Firearm described in Item 4 on the Front of this Form would place the maker in Violation of State or Local Law" on the form, and he didn't want to sign off on that - because he doesn't KNOW for sure if it is for lawful purposes. HELLO??? The ATF and FBI will run the background checks, and since I already have an FFL, I'm obvsiouly not a criminal. Refusing to sign because he doesn't know if I MIGHT do something bad with it is like saying nobody should get a driver's license, because you cannot KNOW that they won't break the speed limit. What a tool - I'm glad he's no longer the chief, but now I'm getting a little worried that the new guy will just continue to do things the way they have been done in the past.



Yep. It's dumb. They're just certifying that they don't know you're bad, not that they know you're good. It's funny how difficult that is to understand for some people.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 4:04:02 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 4:18:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By kpel308:
St. Louis is a liberal shithole, Claus. You should know that by now! Like I said, don't hold your breath.




hehe - maybe the only moron at the County Police headquarters yesterday was me!!!


Well, I'm still going to cross my fingers - maybe this new guy will be a mench about it. I'll defintiely try to call tomorrow and see if it's possible to set up a meeting with him, or at least talk to him on the phone.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 4:31:01 PM EST

Originally Posted By sgtar15:
Union.

SGtar15



Bet not, sounds more like AA.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 10:40:00 PM EST
Perhaps it's time for you to form a corp?
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 10:14:07 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/28/2004 10:24:17 AM EST by DK-Prof]
YESSSSSSS !!!!


I just got my Form 1 back from the Country Police office, and a nice lieutenant signed it (on behalf of the chief, which Form 1 allows for). MAN that was fast - I only dropped them off 3 days ago!


Woo-hoo. I've got my fingerprint cards, I've got my citizenship forms, I've got my $200 check, I put my pictures on Form 1.


It's in the mail MONDAY MORNING !!

... and then the unbearable waiting starts !!
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 10:27:20 AM EST
Woo Hoo! Excellent! Next, someone needs to see if they can get a MG signoff in St. Louis County.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 10:31:40 AM EST

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
YESSSSSSS !!!!


I just got my Form 1 back from the Country Police office, and a nice lieutenant signed it (on behalf of the chief, which Form 1 allows for). MAN that was fast - I only dropped them off 3 days ago!


Woo-hoo. I've got my fingerprint cards, I've got my citizenship forms, I've got my $200 check, I put my pictures on Form 1.


It's in the mail MONDAY MORNING !!

... and then the unbearable waiting starts !!




I really need to talk to your mail carrier.........
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 10:47:32 AM EST

Originally Posted By 1shott:

I really need to talk to your mail carrier.........




hey - maybe I can get a custom-made .30-06 short-barreled-upper for my AR.


... you know, just to use some of all that Garand ammo I've got!
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 11:00:00 AM EST

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By 1shott:

I really need to talk to your mail carrier.........




hey - maybe I can get a custom-made .30-06 short-barreled-upper for my AR.


... you know, just to use some of all that Garand ammo I've got!




SWEET, BUT remember, who has the GARAND.......
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 11:11:59 AM EST
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