Detroit News Reporter Nolan Finley Denied Shotgun Sale

Nolan Finley (courtesy businessleadersformichigan.com)

“I’ve had my eye on the nicely built 12-gauge over/under for some time, and when I spotted an ad among my Sunday circulars offering it for an irresistible price, I headed out to the store,” Detroit News writer Nolan Finley reveals. “On the same day of the Texas church massacre, I stopped by a local sporting goods shop intent on purchasing a new shotgun.” The store directed the scribe to their Form 4473 computer. Which caused Mr. Nolan to lose his sh*t . . .

I went through the questions, starting with name, address, etc., and moving toward the serious business: Have you ever been convicted of a crime? Under a restraining owner for domestic abuse? Been treated for mental illness?

After the salesperson hit the send button, I noticed I had misspelled my last name. So I had to start over. And over. And over. And over.

Five times I tried to fill out the form correctly, and each time I noticed a mistake and had to start again from the beginning. Nothing makes me lose my mind quicker than technology. I was fuming. Muttering under my breath. Stomping my foot. Grimacing. And yes, cussing.

The salesperson tried to help, but, as tends to happen when I blow my top, I curtly cut him off. On the final failure, I threw up my hands and stormed away, declaring, “I don’t want the &%$@ gun this badly.”

I reckon “I curtly cut him off” is a euphemism for swearing at the salesman. Anyway, Mr. Nolan claims he calmed down before returning to the gun counter to try again . . .

With some help, I managed to get the form right, and waited for the salesperson to take my credit card and deliver the shotgun.

Instead, he came back with the store manager, who eyed me with a worried look and asked why I had pitched such a fit earlier. I tried to explain my computer frustration, but she wasn’t moved.

“We don’t feel comfortable selling you a gun,” she informed me. “You were in such an agitated state, we just don’t want to take a chance.”

I was embarrassed, shocked, and, in truth, angry all over again. I left the store without the shotgun. On the way home, I was all tore up about this violation of my Second Amendment rights — until I heard the news out of Texas.

I realized the people at the store were right. They cared enough about who would be using the weapon they were selling to not place it in the hands of someone acting a little crazy.

Careful readers will note that the unnamed big box firearms retailer did not violate Mr. Finley’s Second Amendment rights. The Second Amendment prohibits the government from infringing on his right to keep and bear arms, not a private enterprise.

Regardless, brickbats for Mr. Finley for not being able to correctly complete a form that millions of under- and uneducated Americans finish without travail. But kudos to Mr. Finley for outing himself to demonstrate that gun sellers aren’t morally blind death merchants whose only concern is making a buck. Or not . . .

I can’t help wonder if Mr. Finley should have kept this episode to himself. The anti-gun side will use it as an example of an American who claims to be a “good guy with a gun” whose inability to control his emotions makes him a ticking time bomb.

Your thoughts?

comments

  1. avatar Blackspike2710 says:

    I’ve never heard of a digital 4473. Bet regardless, I’ve only ever had to redo one form. Five plus? Dude has issues.

    1. avatar Aaron says:

      Bass Pro. Only time I bought a gun at Bass Pro is the only time I filled out a digital 4473.

      1. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

        That’s right. I bought a .410 bore Mossberg as a gift a couple of years ago at Bass Pro and the 4473 was digital. I’m surprised that it isn’t more common. It saves time as the clerk doesn’t then have to interpret your writing and type it in himself.

        Someone mentioned another retailer who uses a tablet. That’s smart, too, because that saves times and utilizes an inexpensive platform that buyer are likely already familiar with.

        1. avatar Stinkeye says:

          “Someone mentioned another retailer who uses a tablet. That’s smart, too, because that saves times and utilizes an inexpensive platform that buyer are likely already familiar with.”

          You’ve never been in line behind an old Fudd trying to peck out his information on the iPad’s terrible on-screen keyboard, have you? It’s like watching a coyote try to do calculus. Using iPads for the 4473 is one of those things that is a better idea in theory than in practice.

        2. avatar Prudiikal says:

          Its also a gun registry. i refuse to buy a gun from anyplace that uses the electronic 4473. i will only do paper.

        3. avatar Chris Mallory says:

          “Its also a gun registry. i refuse to buy a gun from anyplace that uses the electronic 4473. i will only do paper.”

          The paper is still a registry, it just takes longer to look up.

        4. avatar cawpin says:

          Neither is a registry. They both leave the same paper trail.

        5. avatar Chris Mallory says:

          Paper trail = registry.

        6. avatar Brice says:

          ATF requires a hard copy…we choose not do utilize e form because we have to print it off anyway. Why waste costly ink and paper when I get can get the forms mailed to me free from ATF?

      2. avatar Mmmtacos says:

        First time I filled one out was at a Cabela’s back in 2012, it was quite a surprise.

        Also used it a couple of times at Adelbridge Firearms as far back as probably 2014, and they’re no franchise either.

        Why everyone doesn’t use it when possible I don’t know, maybe it’s a monthly cost they’d just as soon not undertake when they can get 4473 paper forms for free (presumably). Or they’re like one of our other gun stores here, Nagel’s, that still uses one of those old credit card imprinters (for records, as they tell me, because they still swipe your card through an electronic machine anyway).

        1. avatar BecauseWeSaySo says:

          My newest credit cards don’t have raised numbers for the imprint machines. All the numbers are on the back.

          Imprinters are going the way of the typewriter and the Dodo bird.

      3. avatar Lupinsea says:

        One of the local gun shops has a terminal over in the corner of the store. If you want to buy, they direct you to the terminal where you enter your data in a very easy to use digital form. When you’re done you head back up to the main counter where the store pulls it up and prints out the 4473. It’s a simple and easy system and lets them help other customers while you fill out the form.

        On the paper forms I get paranoid about making a typo so I just slow down, go through it line-by-line, making sure everything is filled out very legibly and accurately. Never had a problem. Mostly because I don’t want to get hung up because someone couldn’t read my chicken scratch.

    2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Cabela’s uses iPads to do the 4473.

      1. avatar Chadwick says:

        Yes and it was a little frustrating for me. I completed it correctly the first time, but I still dislike the whole 4473 process. I always feel like I’m going to check the wrong box or something. Honestly this and price savings are what drive me away dealers and to private sales.

    3. avatar Lawbob says:

      Cabelas uses e Form

      It just fills it out and store prints it. Puts a bar code on it for faster retrieval of information.

    4. avatar Chris Mallory says:

      Wal Marts have used them in the past. No clue if they still do. Rural King and Academy both use them. Gander Mtn used them. They cut out the phone call to the FeeBI. The background check is done electronically. Before I got my CDWL, paper 4473’s would always lead to a “further review”, the electronic checks did not throw up the flag. The electronic form is slower to fill out.

      1. avatar Lawbob says:

        Yes it is. And I don’t see how my ccw license helps expedite this at all anymore. When you are done w the form and hit submit, they might as well re check

        1. I kept hearing that a carry license expedites the process of a gun purchase.
          Bought two guns pre CCW and 5 since. On average, same wait with one outlier. Academy made me wait 45 minutes and that was with a CCW. I blame them, not the procedure.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Somehow, seems to be different by state. How, given a Fed form, Fed clearance, I can’t imagine. But with my LGS, 4473 is not “submitted” to anyone but my LGS, he writes my carry license # on the 4473 and files it in his book, that is the end of it. No wait for clearance, since it will never be coming, and the Feds get the 4473s when LGS goes out of business, I guess. Of course, they also get them when Congress changes the law, which should trigger the revolution, why wait?

        3. avatar UtahCCW says:

          State by state – in Utah, if you have a CCW, then the store has to call the state to confirm the CCW is still valid, and then no additional background is required.

        4. avatar Chadwick says:

          What utahccw said. This is a nice thing about having your concealed permit in Utah. I still dislike the process of filing out a 4473, but at least the call-in to check my permit is quick. I think the permit check has only taken maybe 1-5 minutes on average for me.

        5. avatar Chris Mallory says:

          Because in KY if you have a CDWL you hand it over to the FFL and they write the number down and no call is placed to the FeeBI.

        6. avatar BecauseWeSaySo says:

          In Washington having a CPL means you don’t have to wait for several days to get your pistola. I had to wait the first time and it seems like forever after seeing it and paying for it.

    5. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

      I’ve done it. Was nice and easy. I always get fumblefingers with a pen when filling out forms, the computer was nice to check boxes and type your name. With the added bonus of being able to fix mistakes without having to use whiteout or re-do the form.

      1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

        That would be useful for me. I always make at least one mistake.

        1. avatar Kenneth says:

          But I’ll bet one of them was NOT misspelling your own name….

        2. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

          Yeah, misspelling your name is a creepy one. It would cause doubts about your identity. I have dated the form 1966 before though.

    6. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      I continue to be surprised at the numbers of people who lack basic keyboarding skills. Hunt and peck typing is a sure-fire (pun) way to screw up on-line forms.

    7. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      Local Dicks’s Sporting Goods has digital touch screen.

    8. avatar PavePusher says:

      Meh. Some people just aren’t good at technology and, knowing the .gov, they made the form difficult on purpose.

      My 70+ year-old father would probably have another stroke doing on-line forms…..

      1. avatar No one of consequence says:

        Same form, same questions. Just a different way of inputting the info.

    9. avatar Stereodude says:

      FWIW, Cabela’s used to have you fill out the 4473 it on a computer. Now they have you fill it out on an iPad. Gander Mountain also used a computer for the 4473 before they closed up shop.

    10. avatar BradP says:

      My local AAFES uses a computer based 4473. You have to be dumber than a box of rocks to not be able to fill out either 4473 correctly.

  2. avatar Aaron says:

    My comment? What kind of a doofus can’t fill out the 4473??

    That guy is a reporter and filling out a form on a computer is “mission impossible” for him??

    1. avatar Lawbob says:

      Have you tried yet? It’s not as intuitive as you think.

      1. avatar Big Bill says:

        I’ve done it many times, and I haven’t made a mistake yet. Well, OK, I did once, the first time.
        Anyway, if you take your time, it’s not that hard at all.
        But, to get his last name wrong?

        1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

          Some of us are just plain klutzes. My head spins when I have to fill out forms..

      2. avatar pwrserge says:

        I’ve filled out at least two dozen 4473s and a half dozen NFA Form 1s and Form 4s over the years. Digital data entry makes your life quite a bit easier. I have nerve damage in my arm that makes fine motor control difficult, so my handwriting is atrocious.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          Also, with the digital versions that I have used if you do make a mistake you can undo it quickly and easily when you proof read the form. Not so with pen and paper.

          Embarrassingly enough I have made a mistake on a paper 4473. During the Xmas shopping season years back the LGS was PACKED and I somehow checked the wrong gender box. Too bad it was before Caitlyn Jenner or I could have cracked some decent jokes. Instead I fixed the error or initialed it after the dealer, who knew me well, gave me a solid two minutes of shit for the mistake.

        2. avatar ORCON says:

          Was that from the time you punched the car mirror?

    2. avatar Chris Mallory says:

      Hang around a gun counter for a few hours and watch how many forms have to be redone. A smart FFL will have the customer redo the form for any mistake rather than having the ATF think the customer is hiding something with multiple line outs.

      1. avatar Lawbob says:

        True. No erasures. Etc.

  3. avatar Code3Patriot says:

    FFLs deny sales to people based off of body language and behavior every day. They are totally within their right to do so.

    1. avatar Huntmaster says:

      And totally right to do so.

    2. avatar Gman says:

      Really? Are you sure? How is this any different from not baking a cake or making flowers for crazy people? The courts say that if you are a business of public accommodation then you must accommodate, without any discrimination, to all.

      1. avatar Defens says:

        Discrimination is a bias against a protected class. You can’t deny a sale to, say, a black person. But it is well within the right of a store to deny sale of a gun to an agitate person of any color, gender, etc. As a businessman, an FFL also must protect his or her business, so selling a gun to someone acting like a crackpot is a poor business decision.

        Bars suspend sale of drinks to obviously drunk people all the time. A car dealer isn’t likely to hand over the keys to someone stumbling around, obviously DWI. The 2A provides no protection against a business being intelligent.

      2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        My ATF inspector/examiner has told me, more than once, that I can deny a transfer to anyone based on any criteria I choose. I can not like the way they’re dressed, I can make judgements based on any factor I choose, and the ATF will never come at me for NOT transferring a gun to that individual.

        More FFL’s should make use of this power.

  4. avatar shotgun Sam says:

    Seems like Mr. Finley types with shotgun accuracy. I can see how that would be frustrating.

    1. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

      It’s also possible he can’t see the computer screen properly. He might need bifocals.

    2. avatar BecauseWeSaySo says:

      Maybe if he patterned his hands he would do better. If he is right about how the electronic form worked that would piss me off too. I despise sloppy/lazy interfaces – see most web sites.

  5. avatar paul says:

    Wait a second, it takes this guy 6 attempts to complete a form that any 2nd grader could fill out in 30 seconds or less? What is it that Mr Finley isn’t telling us? A few bones in the closet so to speak?

    1. avatar Lawbob says:

      Try filling it out on a pad.

      The point is that it rejected him due to misspelled last name. EForms do this whereas paper forms can’t.

  6. avatar Harm Uden says:

    I would have denied the ding bat the shotgun as well. Simply for being a simple bitch. I will posit that many of the anti-2nd journalists and other elitist media types have never attempted to purchase a firearm thus, having no clue how the process goes. I am rarely impressed by anyone with which is in print media or on any of the cable news entertainment channels.

    1. avatar Huntmaster says:

      Huh?

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        I believe he (rightly) means those in the ‘media’ have a vastly inflated view of themselves as being ‘superior’ to anyone else in their little world.

        That assclown reporter’s attitude was dripping with contempt for the ‘little people’ he is forced to deal with in everyday life.

        If filling out a simple form is enough to drive that fuckwit into a rage he has zero business owning a gun. He is everything he accuses us of being.

        Kudos to the shop for denying the sale…

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          That reporter is a walking time bomb. He thought he was being ‘funny’ about describing the experience. What he actually did was expose that he has a very short fuse and has no business possessing a weapon.

          With any luck he will blow his top one day and beat his spouse or commit another felony. Then he will be *permanently* a prohibited person and never able to legally own a gun…

        2. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

          Well, there’s actually something he can do which is much more preferable to “beating his wife or committing a felony”. But that would require courage on his part, and just a single bullet.

        3. avatar LarryinTX says:

          One can at least hope he will, in the future, argue against his colleagues who insist you can buy a gun in moments with no checks, anywhere in America. God, I’m tired of hearing that from people who know absolutely nothing about the process.

        4. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

          He may be one of them and this may have been his “undercover experiment”.

  7. avatar former water walker says:

    I have filled out paper and electronic 4473’s. What a doofus. 5 times huh? And you genius commenters defending his hissy fit? Duh…

  8. avatar Mark says:

    Dude is a retarded cunt. Shouldn’t be able to own a sling shot either.

  9. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    The anti-gun side will use [Mr. Finley’s event] as an example of an American who claims to be a “good guy with a gun” whose inability to control his emotions makes him a ticking time bomb.

    Gun grabbers will portray their political opponents in an ugly light no matter what their opponents do — and that includes fabricating something if necessary.

    Personal opinion:
    It should be no surprise that Mr. Finley lost his cool while filling out a form: there is literally about a 95% probability that Mr. Finley, a journalist, is a Progressive — who demonstrate over-and-over their propensity to throw unwarranted temper-tantrums. It is the Progressive’s propensity to throw unwarranted temper-tantrums which drives them to project their character flaw onto firearm owners and therefore oppose firearm ownership. After all, it would not be a good idea for a bunch of people who throw temper-tantrums like toddlers to have firearms: they could maim or kill someone with one of those firearms during one of their inevitable temper-tantrums.

    1. avatar Defens says:

      This^! Note that even if he is/was marginally a gun type guy, his choice of purchase most likely puts him squarely in the FUDD camp. I find it interesting that he was buying an O/U shotgun, rather than an MSR. Fit in better with his story? Worked better for his tale of victimhood amongst his squishy, gun neutral friends? How many guns and what kind, does he already own – or was this story planned to go with a normal gun transfer, then he’d reveal that he was actually a prohibited person, and the system failed?

      I’d love to learn more about this story.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Plus, I did not note that he had claimed to be a “good guy with a gun”, anywhere in the article.

  10. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    I’m pretty jaded when it comes to members of the media and accounts of their firearms experience.

    What you read as him “for outing himself to demonstrate that gun sellers aren’t morally blind death merchants whose only concern is making a buck”, I read with suspicion. His whole article sounds forced and fabricated.

    For example, he facilely mentions that “things were moving along the same way they always have when I’ve bought a firearm.” Always, huh? And yet he can’t navigate a simple form? I know, I know, the counter partially occluded the keyboard, causing you to mistype (five times?!) Sounds like he’s never filled out the form or bought a gun before.

    He miscites form 4473 as asking whether the buyer has ever been treated for mental illness.
    That could include everyone and anyone who’s ever talked to a therapist once or called their company’s EAP hotline. The actual form asks the more specific, serious, and targeted questions of whether the buyer has ever been adjudicated a mental defective or been committed to a mental institution.

    Then there’s the closing line regarding his failed purchase, after expressing dismay that even the almighy USAF could screw up communicating data im the church shooting case: “Everyone involved in the process of moving guns into the hands of private owners should take the responsibility as seriously as they did.”

    He didn’t go further and get specific, but my take-away was that firearm background checks are the last line of defense. Even when the government fails, the checks are still valuable if an alert clerk goes with his gut and stops a sale. So let’s ratchet up the cracking down and extend the law to universal background checks.

  11. avatar Tim says:

    It’s Freudian. He can’t fill out the form correctly because he knows, in his own heart, that he is a dishonest man.

    1. avatar Gman says:

      Me thinks that progressive liberals are so afraid of anyone having a gun because they are so afraid of having one themselves. They don’t trust themselves so they project the rest of us are equally untrustworthy.

  12. avatar ColoradoKid says:

    You’d be surprised how many of my first-time customers have issues with the 4473. 100% of the time they don’t take the time to read. Biggest obstacle seems to be their address – they’ll list a P.O. Box instead of what is asked for (physical).

    Along the lines of refusing to sell a gun to a customer, don’t come into my shop with obvious anger issues and/or smelling like alcohol. You will be asked to leave every time.

  13. avatar MyPrettyAr15 says:

    When I was a newbie licensee I went to a gun show and decided to buy the evil scary black rifle, an AR. While there, the guy selling it was insistent that my spelling and printing was perfectly filled out for record keeping purposes (this was on paper not electronic). He said the ATF prefers the forms to be well filled out. In the end I filled out the form probably 6 or 8 times making minor errors while trying to use my best hand writing. I think the guy at the show was more exasperated than I was honestly. In the end I managed to whip out a perfectly composed form with perfectly legible handwriting.

    The life lesson I took away from that was to take my sweet time doing a 4473 and make sure it looks perfect. I never had a problem after that.

  14. avatar Illinois_Minion says:

    Applicant tries 5 times = strikes one through five
    Applicant looses his cool and takes it out on sales person = two strikes for being an idiot
    Sixth time is a charm = good for him
    I count seven strikes against him.
    Sales staff takes note of prior tantrum, shows just reason for not completing the deal and denies delivery = good for them.

    Applicant admits this failure = good on him for having fortitude to say so.

    So what’s stopping him from purchasing at another store? He’s not on a list is he?

  15. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

    The anti’s have already seized upon this. I have an “undercover” account (one in which I never post about guns so I can’t be “discovered”) at the sewer that is the Daily Kos, a filthy collection of Liberal Terrorists™. Yesterday they framed this as “even right wing gun nuts endorse gun control, via background checks”. Ugh….I hate those vermin.

  16. avatar rt66paul says:

    One of the problems here is that I could put in L.A. as a city, but L.A. County wasn’t acceptable, it had to be spelled out.
    It is hard enough to make out the forms, but us fumble fingered typists always make misteaks(see)

    1. avatar No one of consequence says:

      Thank ATF for that little requirement.

      On the last digital one I filled out, once I gave it the ZIP code it just gave me a drop-down liat for the city and the county. I’m not sure whether it had a option for “other – fill in” if mine weren’t listed (living in the boonies it’s a possibility).

  17. avatar DerryM says:

    The Gun Shop made the right decision. Maybe Nolan Finely’s time would be better spent attending “anger management” classes and learning to use technology more adroitly. If it was an iPad or tablet, you can get a stylus that greatly improves your typing on the touchscreen for a couple of dollars. Anyway “outing” himself as a technophobe with anger issues and actually admitting he recognized the Gun Shop did the right thing earns him a tiny smidgen of respect from me.

  18. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    No way will I do business with any company that uses easy to database electronic forms. Part of what makes the 2nd Amendment safe from Democrats is the sheer nightmare of what it would take to create a database of paper 4473 forms we all filled out every time we bought a gun. The first step in this is to have dealers voluntarily use eforms, then require them to, “so the dealers can easily look up the form when ATF calls for a trace.” Next they will be required. Eventually Congress will require them to be sent to ATF, and there is your handy dandy list of everything we own. That list will be fully sortable to produce lists to allow confiscation of anything the government deems too dangerous for you to own.

    Next combine that list with other government lists. Say your brother got caught as a super speeder, and the judge sees he has three ARs, since the has proved to have poor self control he is allowed to plead down to a small fine, if he turns them in. Baby steps is how the gun banners will try to do it, and computer databases are the essential tool required to make it happen!

    1. avatar Defens says:

      One word response – scanner.

    2. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

      Well, in practice, this “database” may already exist. Still, technically, it is against the law. And any overt attempt to creat a searchable database for the federal government is explicitly prohibited by law (which is how NICS was agreed on to pass, along with being “instant”) and would require brand new legislation to enact. Fwiw.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        TrueBornSonofLiberty,

        If fedzilla has the will and commitment to mandate confiscating firearms, repealing previous laws which prohibit federal registration databases is a trivial matter.

        1. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

          And so would killing those tyrants in their beds, surrounded by their loved ones, including their dogs, as they sleep. Confiscation = Civil War, without equivocation, regardless of legislation.

    3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Rusty Chains,

      I think your reasoning is sound. Having said that, I must point out that there are really robust document scanners available that seem to do a remarkable job reading human handwriting. I have to imagine that such scanners could easily digitize paper form 4473s.

      The only real question in my mind is, “How much of a barrier/cost is having to scan mountains of form 4473s?” If that is relatively trivial (and I suspect that it is), then having digital versions of form 4473s at the onset is not any kind of serious advantage for fedzilla. Remember, fedzilla could require FFLs to scan all of their form 4473s at their own expense which costs fedzilla nothing.

      1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

        There are mountains of forms out there and no matter how good the OCR is, the mechanical aspect of paper handling and the sheer number of people required to feed them and unjam the inevitable paper shredding jams would put most of the large dealers out of business. My favorite dealer sells thousands of guns every month, and they have been doing that for at least a couple of decades. They don’t have the people to do the job, and who would be liable for damaged and shredded forms?

        The tougher we keep the job, the better off the country remains!

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          “[Federal firearm licensees] don’t have the people to do the job …”

          That is a feature, not a bug. In the hostile environment that you described, fedzilla would be all too happy to mandate that federal firearm licensees scan their form 4473s at their own expense — as well as mandate that federal firearm licensees who fail to scan their form 4473s shut down for good.

          Note: that last scenario is a tripple-win for fedzilla because they would get to shut down a federal firearms licensee, that licensee would be required to turn over their bound book AND all of their form 4473s, and fedzilla would have to hire more employees (who will always vote for more and bigger government) to scan all of those form 4473s.

    4. avatar Shawn F. says:

      For your information, you do NOT send any information using an e-form 4473. It is a program on your computer, you fill it out, print it, and it closes. Viola, paper 4473 without chicken-scratching.

  19. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    I filled out a digital 4473 last December for a rifle in Kentucky. Last month in Tennessee I filled out the paper version for another rifle. It depends on the store owner as to which form they are using. I’m glad this guy was denied. He gets up set at filling out piece of paper and yells at store clerk???
    No gun for sir!!!!

  20. avatar raptor jesus says:

    I believe the technical term for this guy is “fucking moron.”

  21. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    A gun store is the only business where a customer can be wrong or impolite and denied a sale.

  22. avatar TommyJay says:

    In the People’s Republic of CA, I have always filled out paper forms (5 times, 3 diff. FFLs). I get the impression that these story owners operate like they are always one problem sale away from losing their store. I suspect they guard that paper like their life’s savings.

  23. avatar Joe R. says:

    Whole thing gets a BS flag. Sometimes people in the media just write about firearms for content, the other times they do it because they’re bored. My Bingo card was not full, but hit the round-robin on “hit send”.

    People that get paid to write for a living pump out a lot of bs, on purpose.

  24. avatar Alexander45 says:

    Only once have I had issues filling out that form and it was at a Cabela’s after a 16 hour shift, trying to remember which address was on the I’d I gave the guy.

  25. avatar Steve Clark says:

    Did he end with “The NRA surely would have tried to put this gun in my hands anyway.”

  26. avatar Grumpy says:

    The issue is not with electronic forms or making mistakes filling them out. I have screwed up my name (initial vs proper middle name), its a quick fix and possibly a thank you to the clerk if the spot the error before it submits. Who cares. Anything printed now days is most likely scanned and OCR at a big box store. They simply don’t want to store the paper and are required to save the info.

    The issues is the guy lost his temper and cussed out the sales clerk. I would have have asked him to leave the store then and there, would not sell him a candy bar. We don’t need to tolerate a-holes. Period.

  27. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “We don’t feel comfortable selling you a gun,” she informed me. “You were in such an agitated state, we just don’t want to take a chance.”

    And that is the right AND responsibility of EVERY FFL…

  28. avatar Sian says:

    I’m guessing he can’t buy any books either since that’s supposed to be harder than buying a gun in this country.

    HOW THE HELL DO YOU MISSPELL YOUR OWN LAST NAME?

    Only a journo could be so completely incompetent with the written medium.

    1. avatar WI Patriot says:

      “HOW THE HELL DO YOU MISSPELL YOUR OWN LAST NAME?”

      Intentionally, as to try and “fool” the system, what he didn’t reveal is that FFL’s are required to verify that personal information on the form 4473 be correct, and check DL’s for correctness, they’re the ones that caught the misspelling, not him…he was probably trying to do a piece on how easy it was to by a firearm proving false information, and that’s why it took so many tries, and when he wasn’t successful, he changed the piece into “I wanted this shotgun” piece…he’s a fraud and a phony, just like mark Kelly, who admittedly attempted a straw purchase of an AR15, but was denied by the FFL…

    2. avatar Chris Mallory says:

      It is called a “typo” and not catching it.

  29. avatar Kevin Somers says:

    You MUST fill out the 4473 CORRECTLY period!!! When the ATF agent checks the stores records if there are mistakes in the paperwork they can lose their license or be fined… Don’t be stupid nor expect somebody else to make excuses for YOUR inability to read and FOLLOW simple government instructions!!!!!!!!!!

  30. avatar UncleGrandfather says:

    I bet the guy got angry because he was doing a piece on how easy it was to buy a gun.

    1. avatar WI Patriot says:

      Quite possibly, only to find out that even an “educated journalist” can’t get it done…

  31. avatar No one of consequence says:

    A lot depends on the system implementation.

    Over the past year I’ve filled out 4473s on paper, and on two different electronic systems. The ATF keeps tweaking the form – to the great irritation of my favorite FFL (small Mom&Pop shop), which is what drove her to go to an electronic version. Good news, it updates and helps you by blanking some questions based on your responses. Bad news, it runs on iPad and the interface is mostly atrocious.

    The other e-system was at Calibers in Albuquerque. Much better interface, screen layout, etc. Easy to use and very helpful, good data review and easy to read.

    Both places will help a customer fill it out if said customer can bring himself to ask for help. Which is where our hero ran off the rails. Pride and all that…

  32. avatar i1uluz says:

    Wow, everyone is so focused on the digital version of a 4473, everyone missed this ” Under a restraining owner for domestic abuse? ”

    Restraining “owner”? I can’t wait to here what that is. (Yes I know HEAR would be proper)

  33. avatar BLAMMO says:

    … but I’m mad NOW!!

  34. avatar FedUp says:

    So, the store denied a sale to a customer with obvious mental/self control issues?

    And a Detroit News writer has mental health problems?

    What’s new about any of that?

  35. avatar Ironhead says:

    So let me get this straight.
    Guy is completely incompetent. Cant even spell his name right. After screwing up several times he cusses out the employee and stomps off.
    After recovering from his temper tantrum he goes back and is denied the sale by the manager?
    Good on the manager. Absolutely handled perfectly.
    So the short version is…. he acted like an @$$hole and got treated like one.

  36. avatar UncleGrandfather says:

    Maybe journalists should be required to fill out a form every time they publish something. Nothing special, just personal information and several questions, like whether they were ever convicted of shouting fire in a crowded theater.

  37. avatar don says:

    Believe me, it does happen. I went to buy a pistol at Vance’s Sporting Goods years ago and had to fill out the form and on the PC. Three times it took me because they didn’t like my penmanship and errors on the PC form. I almost told them I didn’t need it that much.

  38. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    From my experience with journalists and op-ed writers, they’re often not someone to whom I’d sell a firearm.

  39. avatar MLee says:

    You know, if you can’t fill out a form on a computer after multiple tries, I’m of the opinion you’re probably unsafe to handle a firearm or put a quarter in the condom machine. With that guys inherent ability for melt-downs, imagine him out duck hunting and his outboard engine won’t start or some other minor failure or difficulty? Besides, the whole thing sounds screwy in the first place. Really, in this day and age how can a news reporter NOT BE ABLE TO USE A COMPUTER? This isn’t the early 1950s Daily Planet with Clark Kent sitting an a manual typewriter banging away at the keys.

    Right or wrong, in my opinion, the guys an idiot.

  40. avatar GS650G says:

    I’m glad he was denied by the manager. I don’t want someone with a short fuse and cognitive issues surrounding a simple series of questions buying a double barrel shotgun.

  41. avatar Chris says:

    “Five times I tried to fill out the form correctly, and each time I noticed a mistake and had to start again from the beginning. Nothing makes me lose my mind quicker than technology.”

    Idiot. In what way was technology responsible for writing out the 4473 on a sheet of paper?

    There are a few places where you especially don’t want to want to be rude to the person waiting on you, buying a firearm is one of them. I wouldn’t have sold him the gun and by the third attempt would have thrown him the hell out for making a scene in my store. Come back when you get some manners, it wasn’t his fault you kept messing the form up. Actually, I would have banned him and sent his picture to the other shops in the area with a warning.

  42. avatar Mmmtacos says:

    I don’t see how you can fail to fill out a form five times. You misspelled your own name, no less. It’s a computer, it has backspace and delete keys. How hard is it to fill out a 4473 anyway? Name, address, SSN, etc. then yes, no, no, no, no…

    Why are you losing your cool, too? It’s a form, you made a mistake, don’t blame the computer, it didn’t change your name on you.

    Probably for the best this guy didn’t get his gun, yeesh.

  43. avatar Alfonso Alfredo Rodriguez says:

    If he reports the way he fills out forms, he is in deep feces. The man cannot fill out a form multiple times and then throws a fit, he should have just calm down, apologize and accept the clerks help(or maybe just fucking read). A private business do not have to sell him a gun if they think he has been rude and do not fill comfortable with him. So, TOUGH Shit. Have you not been a DICK and allowed the clerk to help you, you would be owner of that shotgun now. Next time pay attention to detail.

  44. avatar DaveL says:

    The next time you read a news article, one that involves several interrelated claims of fact about something not generally known, remember how many times it took this journalist to answer a few basic questions properly, including such things as his name, address, and date of birth.

  45. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

    I feel bad for the guy. Think of how hard it is for him to buy a book.

  46. avatar EJQ says:

    It’s a weird story. All reporters have used computers on the job for years, and do so with accuracy. Even Woodward and Bernstein entered their Watergate stories on a computer. If he hasn’t learned to proof, it seems he should re-take a high school journalism class.

  47. avatar DC says:

    MAKE SURE THIS GOES “VIRAL”ALSO so everyone knows it’s common business to turn down firearms sales for all types of reason and see it had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE!!! I’M SERIOUS THO PLEASE SHARE AND SHARE THIS ARTICLE!!!!

  48. avatar Jim Macklin says:

    A reporter who can’t use a keyboard? Was he drunk or on a drug high or low? The store did the right thing denying the sale.
    As far as gun registry? THEY already have your name and address unless you bought ALL your guns and ammo in a back alley and never bought a hunting license or registered a pickup truck.

  49. avatar Bruce Barber says:

    Kudos to the store. I am glad they won’t sell a firearm to someone flipping out because they can’t fill a form in correctly.
    If he doesn’t have anymore emotional control than that, I hope he doesn’t concealed carry on a regular basis.

  50. avatar Kitty says:

    So he’s a reporter, but he can’t fill out a simple form correctly? I would not have sold him the gun either. He has issues and needs help. I own lots of legally acquired guns; and I’m glad he didn’t get that shotgun.

  51. avatar Mark L. says:

    Digital 4473 only means electronic NICS approval instead of the salesman having to stand around waiting on the phone. 4473s don’t create a registry as they are retained by the dealer. The “registry” part, unless something has changed since last November, is that the FBI wasn’t destroying NICS approval records promptly, as required by the law that established the system. Typical of bureaucrats deciding they don’t have to follow the rules. Things like that is why we oppose adding any more gun control laws to those we already have. It’s never about the guns, it’s always about the control.

  52. avatar Joe says:

    I purchased a Henry Ar7 at Dicks Sporting goods and it was done with a touch screen and it was slow. The whole process took almost an hour and a half. The screens took for ever to load and the touch screen was inaccurate to point I had to correct so many mistakes. I’ll. never buy from dicks again. Pain in the ass

  53. avatar gunr says:

    You probably wont have to put up with any of this in the future. Every person will have a chip buried in their body someplace, and all the salesperson will need to do is run a wand over your bod, and instantly, all your personal info will be displayed on a screen, and stored somewhere in the shop keepers back room.
    It’s later than you think! Big brother is almost here.

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