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Posted: 9/25/2001 12:38:38 PM EDT
I am curious as to what you guys think of an FFL. I have never bought a gun from an FFL, I have only done transfers and bought accessories, supplies etc. Since my local FFLs don't have any of the ammo or rifles I like (FALs, ARs, AKs, Curio and relics) I only see them as place to get paperwork done, kind of like the Registry. I don't hold anything against them but they just don't have anything there. How am I supposed to buy from them if they don't want to stock anything? What do you guys think of?
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 12:43:29 PM EDT
I know three FFL's, two of them I buy from and one I have used for a transfer once since I don't know him as well.
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 12:47:24 PM EDT
I do all my FFL stuff through a pawn shop right around the corner. For no other reason than he is the closest. When I buy guns online, the last thing I want to do is drive all the way to my local gun shop. He is about 45 minutes away, pawn shop 2 minutes. I don't think I would ever buy a firearm from this pawn shop. Pretty high prices...very Christian establishment. You know how that goes...High and mighty Chrisitian Soldier types...
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 12:53:05 PM EDT
The only time I'll use an FFL is when my local gun shop doesn't have what I want. I always try to patronize the "full service" dealer.
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 12:58:04 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 1:04:22 PM EDT
I don't know any "kitchen table" FFL's, though there are some at the range I belong to. Almost all of my guns have been purchased, retail, from shops here in town. These guys are in business to make a living. I don't begrudge them that. I have three guns I simply transferred (for a fee) through local dealers. Two were C&R rifles and one was an XP-100 that I had to hunt all over the country for. I also buy all of my powder and much of my reloading stuff from my favorite local shop. I figure if I and others don't, they won't be around much longer. Yes, I have met some arrogant, superior, supercilious people in gun shops (often the proprietors themselves). And I have also found that many members of the shooting community are some of the stingiest tightwads to be found anywhere. Having customers who will sell you down the river for a nickel might be a contributing factor to the attitude noted in FFLs. Yes, I wish we were back in pre-'68 when you could mail-order firearms directly from the distributor and FFL's weren't required, but that's not the way it is anymore and it never will be again.
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 1:11:37 PM EDT
A gun shop. I just decide what I want and stop by to order it. When I ordered my Bushmaster lower, I asked if he could get it, he said yes, I gave him cash. He has never tried to rob me and I consider him a friend. Fred
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 1:16:12 PM EDT
Before '68, anyone could mail order guns without going through a dealer, pretty convenient for sure - particularly for those without easy access to well-stocked gun shops. In this age of internet ordering convenience, it's very frustrating to not be able to order firearms directly. It is 10 times worse when gun shops keep bankers hours, have disgustingly high prices ( Like $200 for an M-44 ), and don't carry many things you are interested in, or if they do have them it's too dang expensive. With that said, I am very, very grateful to the 'kitchen-table' FFL's that are willing to do transfers or order whatever you want for a modest charge or 10% of the items cost. True, it is not really any skin off their nose to receive a firearm, call in the NICS form, and fill out whatever state form is required _but_, they did spend an extraordinary amount of time to get that license (particularly here in MA, the state that is proud of eliminating scores of FFL's) and they have a right to run their business the way they wish.
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 1:21:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/25/2001 1:23:59 PM EDT by trickshot]
You are making a huge mistake here. An FFL is a government license, nothing more. A gun shop is a place where people go to buy guns. Don't get the two things confused. One is a business, part of the free market, a system whereby demands for good are met. The FFL on the other hand, is a scheme to regulate said business with the endgame goal of eliminating them. The whole premise rests on the notion that the government has the authority to regulate commerce. They do, whenever it involves interstate commerce. But FFLs, and all the gun laws surrounding them, are nothing but a huge fucking joke that just isn't funny anymore. Gun shops existed before FFLs. With any luck, they will still exist after them as well. Dealers went along for the ride thinking that it would bring them more business (that's what licensing schemes are meant to do). Unfortunately, when you invite the vampires into your home, they end up sucking your lifeblood from you. We don't need and have never needed the federal government meddling in commerce the way it does. That is the whole problem. It is the root of SteyrAUG's whole dilemma today. We should be able to pick up a copy of the SGN, order any gun we want, and have it delivered directly to our homes. There is no need for any of the other nonsense.
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 1:22:37 PM EDT
A FFL is some poor dumbass sonofabitch stupid enough to start a business thinking he can make money. He is just a way to get guns at dealer prices plus $25.00(Only if you HAVE TO PAY IT, damn bloodsuckers) without the hassle and expense of pulling a FFL license. Only a real idiot would do that.
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 1:31:34 PM EDT
Since most local shops around here have a 200% mark-up, I view them as a transfer broker. I'm not going to pay $150 for a Mosin Nagant, $200 for a Nagant revolver, $350 for a Colt stripped lower, $10 per box for Wolf 7.62x39 ammo, $40 for 30 round AR mags, $300 for a Colt Police Special revolver, etc.. I'm willing to pay a large premium to see before I buy, but I'm talking a 25% mark-up, not 200%! I think most gun shops could make more money if they decreased their mark-up and made it up in volume. That seems to be the solution in every other type of retail business.z
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 1:32:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/25/2001 1:33:46 PM EDT by trickshot]
Steyr, calm down. If you want to make money at it, think volume. How do you sell enough units of whatever in order to cut your overhead costs enough to make money? You've got to find a niche. It's not your fault that we live in an era where regulations stifle every possible avenue for making an honest living. Every entrepreneur has had many failures. You have to be dedicated enough to see it through. The shooting biz is a tough market these days. You need to be big or have access to very cheap goods that you can mark up 15% and that will still sell like hotcakes. You can't blame people for being bargain hunters. Instead, you have to provide them with honest value.
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 1:38:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By trickshot: Steyr, calm down. If you want to make money at it, think volume. How do you sell enough units of whatever in order to cut your overhead costs enough to make money? You've got to find a niche. It's not your fault that we live in an era where regulations stifle every possible avenue for making an honest living. Every entrepreneur has had many failures. You have to be dedicated enough to see it through. The shooting biz is a tough market these days. You need to be big or have access to very cheap goods that you can mark up 15% and that will still sell like hotcakes. You can't blame people for being bargain hunters. Instead, you have to provide them with honest value.
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I think 10% is fair and honest and they quible about that.
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 1:40:21 PM EDT
Looking at my FFL it says "01 - DEALER IN FIREARMS OTHER THAN DESTRUCTIVE DEVICES", that means a firearm dealer. Buy at wholesale sell at retail. Not a transfer broker who is here to take your nickle and let you buy at dealer prices. Again, Geoff what do YOU do for a living?
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 1:43:42 PM EDT
I live in the Houston area and there are only a few dealers who carry the guns that I'm interested. They all charge way too much too. So I use a local FFL to transfer. The difference between an FFL and a Gun Shop is: Gun Shop: somewhere you go to talk about your interests and get advice on a gun purchase, then they either sell you what they have or order it for you. You pay extra for the expertise and hopefully end up with something you will be happy with for years. If there is a problem, you just take it back to them for repairs/replacement. FFL: somewhere you go when you know exactly what you want and how to use it. All you need is an intermediary. You pay nothing extra and you get nothing extra, just paperwork and a transfer. If you have problems with the gun then you send it to the factory. I know that there are gazillions of exceptions to the above descriptions but that is the generic difference to me.
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 2:03:16 PM EDT
For me, an FFL is a transfer broker. I deal with gunshow vendors (the high volume guys), or retail sporting goods stores. I don't particularly like paying money to a guy who is so clever that he buys from the same gunshow vendors that I buy from and then adds 10-25%. I subscribe to the "Ayn Rand" economic theory-survival of the fittest.
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 2:11:24 PM EDT
I try to patronize my local gun shop as much as I can. If my current "need" can be satisfied with what they have in inventory, I buy from them. I also use a small time FFL to handle the out of state firearms purchases that I make. He only charges a very nominal fee for the transfers. I also buy ammo from him, even when I know I can get a better price off the net.
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 2:25:38 PM EDT
My best friend has an FFL. When He got it I paid for half the cost. We are friends I don't charge him for favors and neither does he. I don't buy from anyone else. Otherwise I see FFL's as legitmate business men who are entitled to make a living just like anyone else.
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 2:55:24 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 7:02:07 PM EDT
I'd KILL to pay 10%. I'd never buy anything off the 'net again. no joke. I mean, I really like the guys who run the stores around here, and I go with them whenever possible, but the last two guns I wanted (and still haven't got) were: '69 romainian trainer: ~$50 online. local gun shop price: $129 CETME: ~$400 online. local gun shop price: $750!! You know, just to avoid the hassles, I'd be willing to go as far as 15%, 25% or more, if you had like a variety to choose from, so I could pick out the cream of the crop. About the only two I'm willing to deal with in this area is Four Seasons [url]www.fsguns.com[/url]and CCG [url]http://www.collectorsguns.com[/url] and as nice as those guys are, they ain't cheap.
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 7:47:47 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 8:58:29 PM EDT
iNuhBaDNayburhood, read this post [url]http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?id=55042[/url] and you will understand EVERYTHING including why GeoffM24 started this topic. And just so you know my FFL is my [b]*SOLE SOURCE OF INCOME*![/b] I am no longer working with the agency. Furthermore I invested a good deal of money to start THIS business.
Link Posted: 9/25/2001 9:15:13 PM EDT
I will be applying for an FFL as soon as I am 21. I buy enough guns to more than pay for the costs of the lisence. Until then, I will buy from a gunshop if the item is reasonably priced. For example I would pay $169 online for a Hi-Point 9mm Carbine, then I would pay $20 for shipping, then I would have to pay the FFL $20, that makes the total $209, while the FFL charges $200. I tend towards gunshows though because I can get firearms at internet rates w/o FFL transfer charges. For example I picked a Hi-Point 9mm Carbine up over the weekend for $169 at a Gunshow. Cheaper guns should be purchased from gunshops if you cannot get to a gunshow. More expensive guns should be done as FFL Transfers. For example if I wanted an AR-15, I sure as hell wouldn't buy it at a gunshop. I can just get a stripped lower for around $100 and transfer that via an FFL, then order a parts kit for $450 and build an AR-15 for $600 that I would pay $1000 for in a gunshop. As for overpriced gunshops they'll always be around and they will nevr get my business. I will never pay $200 for an M-44 like some previously described. I would get it on the internet and do it as an FLL transfer. So, in short my answer is both Gunshop and FFL.
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 12:35:24 AM EDT
I think of them first as someone who's gone through a lots of BS and red tape in order to put themselves out front in the business. First of all, we have to assume they did this in the hopes of getting some return on what they stock and do. So I think of them as a dealer primarily. Not as a pencil-pusher. You can get a student to write on forms. Oh, you want them filled in correctly? Now we're talking some expertise. For those who carry a stock of arms, you want them to be knowledegable about what's available and what they carry, also about shooting in general. I think this where most people start. If you want something different, you arrange it with them ahead of time, not drop it on them half-done. This is a basic matter of respect. So if you start off as a jerky boy, don't be surprised if you get some unexpected reactions.
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 5:13:22 AM EDT
Jon3 - sadly, FSGuns *is* cheap for a MA gun shop. I also deal with FatCat Sports down in E. Bridgewater, guy who runs the place always seems genuinely happy to have your business and his prices aren't too out of whack. You could also talk to Richard Feinberg [url]www.weareguns.com[/url] he's done transfers and ordering in the past for very modest fees.
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 5:27:04 AM EDT
I have tried to buy guns through local shops here (Knoxville/Oak Ridge, TN. I just cannot afford to. The only dealer that carries AR-15s locally (this was last year) asks between $1,100 (plain-jane) to $1,500 (loaded w/goodies) for a BUSHY! This is what I paid with his markup (before tax, transfer, and background check) for the M1A that I posted about! Colt, ASA, and Oly were higher, and he did NOT have what I wanted anyway. In his defense, they are very knowledgeable and friendly, and I do purchase all of my accessories there because of this. The other shop (in Oak Ridge) is a sporting goods store, but the "gentleman" that runs the gun counter (and manages/owns the shop)is not very good with customer service, especially when it comes to military-based weaponry. Conclusion: in order not to be raped like this, I am forced to purchase at gun shows just to pay close to an MSRP price, much less a better deal... Don Out
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 5:31:47 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SteyrAUG: Looking at my FFL it says "01 - DEALER IN FIREARMS OTHER THAN DESTRUCTIVE DEVICES", that means a firearm dealer. Buy at wholesale sell at retail. Not a transfer broker who is here to take your nickle and let you buy at dealer prices. Again, Geoff what do YOU do for a living?
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I sell just like you do. And my margins are MUCH smaller then 10%, but I deal in volume.
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 5:32:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2001 7:05:47 AM EDT by Waldo]
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 5:35:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Jon3: I'd KILL to pay 10%. I'd never buy anything off the 'net again. no joke. I mean, I really like the guys who run the stores around here, and I go with them whenever possible, but the last two guns I wanted (and still haven't got) were: '69 romainian trainer: ~$50 online. local gun shop price: $129 CETME: ~$400 online. local gun shop price: $750!! You know, just to avoid the hassles, I'd be willing to go as far as 15%, 25% or more, if you had like a variety to choose from, so I could pick out the cream of the crop. About the only two I'm willing to deal with in this area is Four Seasons [url]www.fsguns.com[/url]and CCG [url]http://www.collectorsguns.com[/url] and as nice as those guys are, they ain't cheap.
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I have also yet to see 10% www.fsguns.com are nice guys but I though $650 for a used Glock 19 was a bit steep, you?
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 5:40:21 AM EDT
everyone just imagine this: profit margins shrink to unworkable levels. angry people (who can't afford to pay bills, but keep buying guns) demand this and expect that, thinking that FFLs exist just to do them favors. legislation continues to run wild and further squeezes FFLs into a corner. WHAT IF THEY ALL WENT AWAY, ALL AT ONCE? then where would we all be?
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 5:44:53 AM EDT
Originally Posted By fattym4: everyone just imagine this: profit margins shrink to unworkable levels. angry people (who can't afford to pay bills, but keep buying guns) demand this and expect that, thinking that FFLs exist just to do them favors. legislation continues to run wild and further squeezes FFLs into a corner. WHAT IF THEY ALL WENT AWAY, ALL AT ONCE? then where would we all be?
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That is simple. If all the FFLs were forced out of business the demand would then grow and support higher prices for guns and transfers. You could make a killing being the only game in town. Prices are set by capitalism.
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 5:46:11 AM EDT
Question: what is a C&L license?
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 5:52:01 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 5:57:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2001 5:56:52 AM EDT by fattym4]
Originally Posted By GeoffM24: That is simple. If all the FFLs were forced out of business the demand would then grow and support higher prices for guns and transfers. You could make a killing being the only game in town. Prices are set by capitalism.
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no, what if they [red]ALL[/red] went away? prices are set by the market, but the FFLs have to [red]WANT[/red] to be there in the first place, what if they all decided that it wasn't worth it? also, you are speaking from the FFL's perspective, how will i, the customer, react when you, the last FFL, try to gouge us all with higher prices?
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 5:58:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:
Originally Posted By bushmaster_76: Question: what is a C&L license?
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Do you mean C&R license? (Curio & Relic)
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A C&L license is a Curio and Relics license. It allows you to buy firearms over 50 years old (with some restrictions.) So you can call up AIM and have a Turkish Mauser sent TO YOU DOOR for $40 + shipping. No transfer fees, asking permission, 20% etc. You ALSO get dealer catalogs and prices from places like Brownell's It is well worth the money especially if you like WWII rifles like, Garands, Enfields, Mosins, Mausers, CZ52s, old 1911s, some SKSs, etc.
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 6:00:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By fattym4:
Originally Posted By GeoffM24: That is simple. If all the FFLs were forced out of business the demand would then grow and support higher prices for guns and transfers. You could make a killing being the only game in town. Prices are set by capitalism.
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no, what if they [red]ALL[/red] went away? prices are set by the market, but the FFLs have to [red]WANT[/red] to be there in the first place, what if they all decided that it wasn't worth it? also, you are speaking from the FFL's perspective, how will i, the customer, react when you, the last FFL, try to gouge us all with higher prices?
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Easy you open your own shop charge less and still make a killing. Then some one else comes in and under cuts you until bingo you arrive at the right price.
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 6:06:33 AM EDT
no, no, no! my point is, if all FFLs went away because of bitching "i'm always right" customers, and the fegs don't allow anymore new FFLs, then we will all look stupid for [blue]not knowing or appreciating what we had[/blue]. i just don't want to be one of the guys on this thread who talk about the good 'ol days prior to '68! "boy son, i can remember when all you had to do was pay a SMALL transfer fee from an FFL and you went home with a gun!" "dad, what's a gun? what's an FFL?"
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 6:46:06 AM EDT
I have an FFL as a sideline ; while I can't afford to stock a lot, I try to stock what my regulars ask for. I will also order anything asked for in terms of accesories. I see that as my main strength over a big box type of operation.
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 6:52:57 AM EDT
Originally Posted By fattym4: no, no, no! my point is, if all FFLs went away because of bitching "i'm always right" customers, and the fegs don't allow anymore new FFLs, then we will all look stupid for [blue]not knowing or appreciating what we had[/blue]. i just don't want to be one of the guys on this thread who talk about the good 'ol days prior to '68! "boy son, i can remember when all you had to do was pay a SMALL transfer fee from an FFL and you went home with a gun!" "dad, what's a gun? what's an FFL?"
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Well that's a whole other argument. But it is possible to some degree. They would probably be replaced by a Federal office that transfers guns.
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 8:10:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 8:26:38 AM EDT
Originally Posted By GeoffM24: I sell just like you do. And my margins are MUCH smaller then 10%, but I deal in volume.
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Well whatever it is you sell, can I get one "at cost"? I'm sure I will only need one.
Link Posted: 9/26/2001 10:54:28 AM EDT
Amen to Geoff and trickshot.
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