Let’s say you’ve got some extra guns when what you really need is some extra cash. And you might need that money for something every bit as important as guns, like chemotherapy to treat your cancer. You might be tempted to take them to a local gun shop to sell them on consignment. Do not ever do this. And not because ‘you should never ever ever sell a gun’ like some guys believe . . .
VANCOUVER, Wash. – A Vancouver man battling cancer made a tough decision to sell part of his gun collection to help pay bills.
Now, Andrew Hammond is without either. He took eight of his 10 guns to C&C Consignment in Vancouver in hopes of making $2,000 through consignment sale, which gives you the money after your items are sold in store.
On Friday, Hammond returned to the store to collect the money after hearing his guns had been sold. But C&C was locked.
Hammond said he needed that money to help pay bills after undergoing years of cancer treatment. He estimated he could pay for a month of medical expenses with the money.
“I went through some pretty tough chemo,” he said.
The guns that he gave to C&C were family heirlooms – gifts from his father, who had just passed away. His father and grandfather owned the gun collection, which had been passed down in the family for more than 100 years.
For Hammond, losing both his guns and money is an emotional as well as financial drain.
“They’ve managed to just really depress me,” he said. “Take some wind out of my sails.”
We stopped by C&C on Monday afternoon and found a crew hauling away boxes from the store. The person at the store declined comment.
The store gave us a flier that stated that although C&C is closing, they have “every intention of settling all accounts with customers.”
“We have been working on a loan, which has been approved and we are now awaiting final funding of the loan,” the flier read.
First of all, unless you’re selling rusty single-shot shotguns, selling eight guns for only $2000 is a terrible exercise in ‘buy high, sell low’ economics. Second, a seller has no legal recourse when a consignment shop or pawnbroker goes under. Mr. Hammond is, in legal terms, ‘shit out of luck.’
When you take a gun to a retailer to sell it on consignment it becomes part of their inventory. Businesses have creditors, and creditors like to have collateral before they lend money to small businesses with extravagantly high failure rates like specialty retail stores. Before 1st Multinational Savings Bank will lend Joe FFL a dime, they will require him to grant them a security interest in all of his inventory, whether existing at the time of the loan or acquired after the loan is funded.
Your guns become Joe FFL’s inventory, and then they become 1st Multinational’s collateral for Joe’s debt. When Joe becomes insolvent and declares bankruptcy, 1st Multinational claims their security interest in Joe’s inventory. They get clean title to your guns, Joe leaves town in the dead of night, and you’re left in possession of a worthless consignment receipt and an unsecured debt which you have no chance of collecting.
Don’t ever consign your guns. If you can wait for a good price, sell them online to the highest bidder (and run the transfer through an FFL to cover your ass). If you must sell quickly (because, say, you need money to pay for chemotherapy) you won’t get a good selling price. You might only make fifty cents on the dollar, but it’s better to lose 50% of your proceeds than 100% of your guns with nothing to show for it.
I was personally familiar with C&C Consignment and they had a terrible reputation among local shooters. They were unfriendly, overpriced and uninformed. I personally heard them giving completely reckless advice to first-time gun buyers. C&C Consignment were despicable clowns and I’m delighted they’re gone, but bankruptcy doesn’t just happen to ‘bad’ gun stores like them. It can happen to any gun store.
The same thing that happened to Andrew Hammond happened to a good friend of mine fifteen years ago. He placed several rifles on consignment, including a Remington-contract Mosin-Nagant made for the Tsar’s armies, before they stopped being the Tsar’s armies. He took them to a gun store that had been in business for decades, and he lost every single one.
Now you know.