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Americans used to be able to buy rifles through the mail, shipped straight to their door. From Sears. (Thank you, Lee Harvey Oswald.) Mike In Oregon’s longing for the good old days. And for good reason. He writes:

I live in Oregon and sold a Sig 716 [not shown] to a friend in California (Orange County). Because the firearm as assembled (standard magazine release) is not legal in California, I disassembled everything and recently shipped the parts (except the Lower Receiver) directly to my friend while we were awaiting some answers as to the legality of the Sig 716 Lower Receiver in California. I shipped the stripped Lower Receiver to his designated FFL on December 19 . . .

Upon receipt, the FFL told us that he could only receive firearms from out of state FFL’s and required a CFLC Firearms Shipment Approval Number.

I didn’t believe this to be true and did my own research. From the California DOJ web site CFLC FAQ #2 reads as follows:

I am not an FFL but I want to ship a firearm to a California FFL. Do I have to obtain a Firearms Shipment Approval number before shipping a firearm to California?

No. Only shipments from Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL) require a Firearms Shipment Approval number.

I brought this to the attention of the FFL…and he was enraged (that I called him on the law) and hung up.

I talked with him again later that evening. I read FAQ #2 (above) to him and asked what I was missing. He claimed he couldn’t accept the firearm because he’s licensed as a pawn broker. I didn’t see how that was relevant as he was being engaged as an FFL.

He further asserted I was running afoul of the California Business and Professions Code because I was an out of state resident and didn’t possess a business license. In the end I was told my arguments didn’t matter because he’s already called the DOJ (to CYA) and destroyed the firearm.

And let me say, I’m sugarcoating the tone of the conversation. I’ve never met anyone in the gun business that exuded this much assholery.

In any event, what do I do now? He’s refusing to send me the Lower Receiver or the pieces (if it’s actually been destroyed). He won’t send me anything in writing including an affidavit of destruction and hasn’t referenced his authority in law to destroy the firearm.

I recognize the costs of this firearm, if they are recoverable is a civil matter.

But here’s my biggest concern: he has my firearm (regardless of its condition/disposition) in his possession with a serial number registered in my name. At what point is this considered a stolen weapon? Any suggestions on how I should proceed are appreciated.



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    • I was totally agreeing with you until “Maybe have an aft agent meet you there.” (assuming you meant ATF) Thats never ever going to be your best option. The guy would then be lucky if the rest of his guns were not destroyed.

      • I’m not so sure I would go to kalifonia in person. With all the crap that pawn broker threw at him it may be better, to avoid an unwarranted arrest for some cockamamie reason, to engage a lawyer to rep you. If you are charged, even with a bogus charge, it may take considerable time and money to straighten your record out. And if they can conjure up a felony charge, you might loose your 2a rights for some time. Sorry for the paranoia but weirder crap has happened. In any event, best of luck.

        • First, any FFL holder can refuse to accept a firearm shipped from a non-licensee (person, vs FFL holder), for any reason or none at all. Federal law says they MAY accept a gun from a non-licensee, not that they MUST accept it. It is entirely up to the licensee.

          Second, if they choose NOT to accept it, then I’ve never seen/heard of destruction by the receiving FFL being a valid option. Usually, they will return it to the sender via another (local to the sender) FFL, hold it until something can be worked out between all parties, or (final option) turn it over to the ATF for disposition. I’d be interested in hearing if they or you can come up with any valid source for this type of action.

          Third, if you get the ATF involved, then you run the risk of arrest if anything you did was not within the law; sending a stripped receiver for a gun that (I assume) cannot be legally purchased in the state might fall within that category (if not a violation of Federal law, then almost certainly state law, and the Feds might work with state Law Enforcement to bring the perp (you) to “justice”). For any advice on those potential problems, I recommend you consult a lawyer (or maybe TWO lawyers; one from your state, representing your interests, and one knowledgeable in CA gun laws).

          Finally, this is another example of why I tell folks to always contact any FFL they intend to use to receive a gun, BEFORE shipping the gun, so potential problems of this type can be discovered and addressed before a gun/receiver crosses state lines and ends up in the possession of a person/business that may (A) – not want to get involved in a transfer of this type, and/or (B) – has their hands legally tied once they are in possession of something that may be illegal in their state or local jurisdiction. As said above, FFLs are NOT required to accept a gun from a private individual, and if they don’t wish to do so, then nothing you can say or do will “make” them accept it. You cannot and should not depend on what the buyer tells you, as they might not have described the transfer in enough detail for the FFL holder to make an informed decision. It’s up to YOU to make sure everyone is informed, notified, and okay with the transfer, or YOU may be left holding the empty-of-cash bag.

        • DJ9,

          One or two lawyers exceeds the cost of the lower receiver – that is why he sent this story to TTAG.

        • Yes, but one or two lawyers probably does NOT exceed the cost(s) of being in jail for several years, or paying a very expensive fine, both of which are possible if he doesn’t get this handled correctly.

        • Just an FYI, that stripped lower is perfectly legal in California. Sig 716 is not on the Roberti Roos list (manufacture and model bans) nor does it violate the features list of the AWB (centerfire with detachable mag with 1 feature: pistol grip, flash hider, and other named feature in the PC).

        • Slick, I think the answer to the legality question entirely depends on whether or not a lower removed from a previously assembled gun which is illegal to own/possess in California (as stated in his story, “Because the firearm as assembled (standard magazine release) is not legal in California,…”) is treated the same as a OLL “stripped lower” which is actually brand new and has never been assembled as part of a firearm, legal or illegal, and can be built into a legal configuration the first time it is assembled. Is there any case law on that subject yet, or any statutes which specifically address that type of situation? Or does he get to be the “test case”?

          None of this has anything to do with the FFL transfer troubles, but if an investigation into those troubles uncover any wrongdoing, such as possession of a complete yet disassembled firearm (he said he shipped the parts except for the receiver) that is not modified to meet CA standards/laws, then the owner/possessor has a large potential problem staring him in the face.

  1. Well aren’t all firearms transfers, not to mention firearms dealers, are under the jurisdiction of the ATF? Have you thought about contacting them? Pending on what the ATF advises, you then could contact the pawnshop and let him know that you contacted the ATF and reported your firearm as stolen by him. Might change his tune right quick.

  2. I’d suggest posting this on calguns. Many CA penal code experts and lawyers (though any advice is strictly non-legal).

    Crappy situation and FFL sounds like a richard.

  3. Your friend picked the FFL and it was received by them. At this point you should be paid and the fight should be between the person who bought it and the FFL.

  4. If the monetary transaction has taken place, your friend may be able to file a theft report. (Print out all relevant data).
    I would also call the guy back using a land line and record the conversation. (Legal in Oregon). For evidence.

    You may have to file the theft report, via phone, with the proper jurisdiction. (P.D., S.O.)

    • DO NOT RECORD ANY TELEPHONE CONVERSATION WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE PERSON AT THE OTHER END OF THE LINE!!! Failing to obtain consent is a felony under California law and I believe under Federal law as well.

        • I called someone a couple years ago after I bought a voice recorder. They told me it was illegal to record unless both parties consented. Did the law change, or was I misinformed?

        • I called someone a couple years ago after I bought a voice recorder. They told me it was illegal to record unless both parties consented. Did the law change, or was I misinformed?

          Depends on the state(s) of the parties.

          Federal law (18 USC 2511(2)(d)) only requires that one party give consent. Most states require the consent of only one party, but some require both parties’ consent.

          For example, if you were in California (an all-party consent state) and wanted to record the call, you’d need the consent of every party, no matter what state(s) they were in.

          If you were in Oregon (a one-party consent state), you could record without anyone else’s consent. Even if some parties were in all-party consent states (like CA).

          I’m in Colorado. I can record any telephone communication in which I’m either a sender or an intended receiver (CRS 18-9-303). I don’t need to get consent from, or even notify, any other party.

      • Federal law (18 USC 2511(2)(d)) says that only one party must consent. That’s easy – the party making the recording.

        California Penal Code 632 requires the consent of all parties. However, I’m not sure if / how a party in Oregon could be subjected to California law for actions he commits in Oregon. In Kearney v. Salomon Smith Barney Inc., 39 Cal. 4th 95 (2006), the CA Supreme Court said that CA law applies, even though another state might require only one-party consent. However, that case dealt with a company that did business in CA (thus subjecting them to CA laws). I’m not sure it would apply to an individual who is wholly outside the state.

      • WRONG… at least one party placing or receiving the call has knowledge… not a federal crime. as it originates in Oregon, CA Law does not have precedence.

    • The way FFLs work in a transfer I don’t think you could file criminal charges for theft. Sounds very much like a civil issue (small claims court).

  5. I would get on the phone with the local police or a lawyer and see what they have to say about it.

    You will probably have to file a civil lawsuit…

  6. You probably broke the law by importing an assault weapon into California (it is an assault weapon because it was not originally sold with a bullet button and even the legality if the bullet button is questionable depending on the county). I would drive there, get my gun back and give him his money back to prevent both you and your friend from being criminals according to CA.

    • A stripped lower receiver is not an “Assault weapon” under CA law. He sent the parts to his friends house. All the FFL got was a stripped lower, which could be sold and possessed under CA law.

      • He may have stripped it down, but since the receiver came from the manufacturer as a rifle it is still considered a rifle and not a “firearm” like a stripped lower that has never been assembled is.

    • Not True stripped lowers are sold every day in California, the bullet button is only required when the lower is mated to the upper complete in construction and not a featureless rifle. This would all change if the 716 in question was banned by name in California, which it is not.

    • That is not even close to accurate…

      For all intents and purposes, its a stripped lower. Even a completed lower could still be shipped without a bullet button as there are .22 uppers and rimfire is exempt from AWB.

      The sig 716 is not listed in Roberti Roos and is not an AW.

    • I live in CA and have bought a River Rock Arms Stripper Lower Receiver via Gun Broker back in 2013. Once I won the item I called the Gun Shop which was in IL and paid them with my credit card. After I gave the girl at the shop my Credit Card she then asked who my FFL was. I gave here his information at this point she said she also need his fax number.

      I asked her why? She explained to me that at this point they Fax my FFL with a request to send them back a copy of his FFL Documentation so they have proof that he is a valid FFL.

      They faxed him and he faxed back his information. I called them a few days later and they said they received his information and have already sent out my lower receiver to my FFL. A couple of days later I got a call from my FFL that my item had a arrived.

      After that I went to my FFL and started the DROS paid him $60.00 and $25.00 for the DROS. After 10days I was able to pick up the Lower Receiver.

      Couple of Other Things

      1. There are a Ton Of Gun Shops that Sell Stripper Lower Receivers here in CA.
      in order to get one you just have to pay and do your DROS.

      2. But it is important to remember that once the rifle is assembled it must have the Bullet button on it and can not be less then 30″ in length even with the stock fully collapsed.

      3. Just remember if you don’t have the Bullet Button on any semi automatic rife that has a pistol grip it is considered a Assault Rifle.

      It is really ridiculous with the Liberal politicians have done here. The Bullet Button really does nothing but causes a a major inconvenience for law abiding gun owners. Personally I think it makes a rifle less safe because you should not need a bullet to release a magazine. If someone is going cause mayhem believe me they will take it off anyway.

      For More Information about CA Gun Laws Go Here

  7. Call or email the sheriff of whatever county he’s in with all your info and ducks in a row, see if they’ll help , then BATF and since it involves interstate transfer the FBI maybe. Federal Marshall. Cal state Attorney General. Lots of agencies you can provoke to come talk to this ass on the taxpayers dime, rather than a long ugly expensive civil suit. I think technically it’s not stolen because you shipped it to him, albeit in good faith based on your friends direction. However he has failed completely in his duties as an FFL and as a business operating under license by whatever jursidiction he’s in. DO NOT under any circumstances pay a personal visit to this jerk, if he’s obscene and unprofessional on the phone, you don’t want to go there. Let people with badges do your talking for you. (This is probably one of the very rare times I would say this, LOL)

    • This is the best advice I’ve seen here so far. The lower was perfectly legal to ship to CA, therefore the FFL is in the wrong (used to live there, have bought/shipped/sold guns to/from there, and travel back frequently so I try to keep up on their firearms laws). Maybe one last chance to the FFL with all your evidence in order and what your next steps are going to be – Sheriff, ATF, FBI, etc – if he doesn’t just ship it back (the correct way for an FFL to deal with a firearm they refuse to transfer). Then, follow through.

      Different but similar situation: I had an auction winner on eBay reverse the charges with his credit card, and of course Paypal pulled their funds back. After I stopped receiving responses from the buyer, I filed the non-paying bidder report with eBay. I then informed him that my next step was to file a complaint with his local police department, a mail fraud report with his local Postmaster, as well as a federal fraud complaint with IC3. He paid.

      He may think you’ll go away, betting that you don’t really know CA law as well as he does. If you show him that you do and that you’re going to properly escalate things, you may not even have to go that far. But at least you have the law on your side if you do. No need to go in person and improperly escalate, and you probably don’t have to involve a lawyer.

  8. Although it is water under the bridge, the buyer should have checked with the dealer first before having you send the lower. Some do not understand the complexities –or more importantly the exemptions for the laws–that are applicable to interstate transactions. Obviously interstate transactions take place every day, and it is quite clear that the law requires only one FFL to complete the transaction, although it is true that many involve sales by an FFL with the firearm shipped to an FFL. Then again, I’ve read a blog story of a person who went through the same ordeal you did–and was even reported to the ATF (who initially got the law wrong also).

    And by the way, the only thing necessary to make the lower legal in California was to replace the mag release with a “bullet button.”

    The one thing this idiot did get right was that he could not return the lower to you directly. But he could have shipped it to an Oregon FFL of your choosing, where you would presumably have had to complete a 4473 to get it back. (This may be a California oddity, I don’t know, but it happens here with failed face to face transfers–itf the buyer is denied, the seller must do a 4473 to get the firearm back because the FFL cannot transfer a firearm without one–and at that point it is a transfer.

    However, I know of NO authority that allowed the FFL to destroy the lower, and his refusal to document the destruction makes it smell like he stole it instead. I would report him to the ATF as well as to the local police in his jurisdiction, and maybe the Orange County Sheriff as well.

    • Mark –

      If the FFL signed for the shipment, is that proof of the FFL’s possession?

      If so, by refusing to deliver to the CA buyer or return it to the shipper (or the shipper’s FFL) how is this not theft?

      I’m inclined to encourage him to file theft / larceny charges.


      “The unauthorized taking and removal of the Personal Property of another by an individual who intends to permanently deprive the owner of it; a crime against the right of possession.”

      He said he destroyed it. Sounds like permanent deprival to me…

      Or at least theft…


      “A criminal act in which property belonging to another is taken without that person’s consent.”

      What am I missing here?

      • What you are missing is that the person who owned the gun transferred it into the possession of the FFL. That’s sort of the point of FFLs. He may have done it with an expectation that the FFL would do X,Y, and Z but he still did it.

        • Then it’s larceny by false promise. If I offer to pay you $1 for an apple, you give me the apple, but I keep it and cough up $0.50, I’m still guilty of larceny.

  9. California such a pretty state, too bad there’s all these liberal lefties that just ruined that entire state. I feel very bad for the gun owners in California. But don’t worry guy Florida’s climate is very similar to California’s come on down to Florida and Texas. Will keep your gun safe here!

    • The nature of the dispute centers on the proper interpretation of FEDERAL law with respect to the interstate sale of firearms, and has nothing to do with California law.

        • “And the hurricanes, humidity and bugs big enough to need vehicle registrations.”

          And mosquitoes so big they need FAA ‘N’ numbers…

        • The skeeters travel in threes down there. two of them hold you down while the third draws out a couple of pints.

          And now they got pythons to go with the gators. What the phuck is wrong with that place?

  10. This dealer is obviously full of crap. He has no authority to destroy the firearm. #1 the firearm is legal. So if he does not want to receive it, then he should pay to ship it back. #2 as you stated it is perfectly legal for him to accept it from you without an CFLC number. If he chooses not to accept it unless it comes from a dealer with a CFLC number, ask him to return it to you on his dime.

    If none of this works, I would report a stolen firearm to the ATF. Then call the police agency with jurisdiction in that area and let them know you have a stolen firearm in the national database and you believe you know where it is currently located.

    As a dealer, it blows my mind that dealers are this crazy when dealing with customers. I would have already had your buddy’s DROS processed and be delivering it to him by now. Life is not this hard.

    Good luck.

    • places like this is why I tell people: “never get legal advice from a gun store.”

      There is a place in GA telling people that you can only give a gun as “a legitimate gift” to relatives…
      Read the instructions on the 4473 for 11a
      ATF Form 4473 (5300.9) Part I

      Revised April 2012

      “Question 11.a. Actual Transferee/Buyer: For purposes this form, you are the actual transferee/buyer if you are purchasing the firearm for yourself or otherwise acquiring the firearm for yourself (e.g , redeeming the firearm from pawn/retrieving it from consignment, firearm raffle winner). You are also the actual transferee/buyer if you are legitimately purchasing the firearm a gift for a third party. ACTUAL TRANSFEREE/BUYER EXAMPLES: Mr. Smith asks Mr. Jones to purchase a firearm for Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith gives Mr. Jones the money for the firearm. Mr. Jones is NOT THE ACTUAL TRANSFEREE/BUYER of the firearm and must answer “NO” to question 11.a. The licensee may not transfer the firearm to Mr. Jones. However, if Mr. Brown goes to buy a firearm with his own money to give to Mr. Black as a present, Mr. Brown is the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm and should answer “YES” to question I I .a. However, you may not transfer a firearm to any person you know or have reasonable cause to believe is prohibited under 18 U.S.C. 922(g),(n) or (x). Please note: EXCEPTION: If you are picking up a repaired firearm(s) for another person, you are not required to answer 11.a. and may proceed to question I l.b.”

      • The owner of Ten Percent Firearms (and most likely the author of the above comment) is a board member of the Calguns Foundation, and knows far more about California firearms laws then nearly everyone on this website, including you, Mr Byte_Stryke. I would trust anything he has to say about the law without exception.

        • I wouldn’t jump on Byte Stryke too hard. I think he is agreeing with me. Gun dealers can be a variety of either helpful information or complete FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt). Asking a gun dealer what the law is can be quite similar to asking a cop what the law is. You might not get an accurate answer.

          Ask people questions, but be prepared to look up the answers in the relevant code and regulations and confirm what the person is telling you. I will be more than happy to back up any of my statements with links to CA PC or regulations and I specialize in knowing CA law. Smokey Behr knows my reputation and I appreciate the support. Many of these other people might not know me and so they should confirm what I am saying before taking it as gospel.

          Happy shooting!

  11. I have no advice or knowledge of California law. What a jag. Wreck his business. Internet rev iews, ads or hey maybe put his name on TTAG. In my experience pawnbrokers are suspect from the get-go until proven honest. And I buy and sell for a living…

      • Don’t be touchy, he said “until proven honest”. For many, that status includes EVERYBODY, not just pawnbrokers. In fact, I’d bet you treat most of your customers just like that! Probably see a lot of burglars in that business, eh?

        • “Probably see a lot of burglars in that business, eh?”

          A lot less than you would think, eh?

          In the shops I worked at, well under one percent of the pawns gets flagged by the cops. Like a few tenths of one percent.

          Pawn brokers aren’t in the business of throwing away money. Buying potentially stolen goods and having those goods seized by law enforcement is like flushing your money down the crapper.

          Known thieves are routinely told to leave the shop and not return.

          Shops will also decline to buy from someone who’s story seems suspicious.

          An example, someone walks in with a nice Nikon but doesn’t look like the type who would usually have a big money Nikon. The pawn clerk asks if it’s their personal property. The clerk asks them to demonstrate a specific function, something that an owner would know how to do.

          They can’t demonstrate setting it manual or auto,shutter speed, etc. The wise pawnbroker declines to buy it. He doesn’t want the 200 bucks he paid for it turn into a 200 dollar loss when the cops seize it.

          The problem is the crooks will find others not known to be thieves to sell to the pawnshop. Straw-Sellers, so to speak.

          I once asked local LE when they came in to pick up the paperwork what it is that the are looking for in that stack of often 300+ pawn transactions a week.

          They told me they are looking for certain names and specific items. LE doesn’t have the manpower to pore over every pawn sheet and type in every serial number. If the thief’s straw-seller sells it in another county or state, the trail can go cold quick.

          A few times a year the cops send someone in the shop and try to sell without a valid ID.

          If the pawnshop is making good money they will run it straight above board. They would be stupid not to.

          On firearms, they always take that data. That can be a problem if the gun changed a lot of hands since it was stolen.

          Example. Tom works at a welding shop. He buys in good faith a gun from a fellow employee. Neither of two are prohibited. Used guns down here can easily change hands a number of times. Tom sells it to another non-prohibited person and that guy records the serial number for his insurance. Gun gets stolen. The insurance company runs the serial and what do you know…

          The gun was stolen 5 or 6 owners before Tom.

          I’ve done informal surveys of gun owners I know. A fair number of them never bother to record the serial number.

          There are a LOT of stolen guns out there. All it takes is 1 of the 5-6 or more previous owners to not record that number and gun trace goes cold. They can trace it to the selling FFL, but after it leaves the gun store who the hell knows where it went. Say the first owner sells it and a year later dies of cancer.

          You (should) get the idea…

        • Ever come across any little bottles of Radium touch-up paint in any of the antique grandfather clocks you have had over the years? They are usually in the clockwork.

      • This is to Geoff PR since you didn’t have a reply button. I am NOT a pawnbroker. I am an antique and art dealer. In my experience pawnbrokers ,auctioneers and yes antique dealers have to earn my trust and respect. Especially auctioneers. This is after more than 20 years in the business in and around Chicago. Was that very odd remark about radium paint meant for me? Oddly enough when I did in-home sales I dealt with a little old lady who had cancer from licking her paintbrush working in a watch and clock factory…

        • Yes, the Radium question was from me, it was because you are an antique dealer and may have had a grandfather clock or 2 or 4 go through your business was why I asked. I was advised those clocks sometime had a tiny bottle of that radioactive paint for touch-up purposes, usually it’s in the clockwork area.

          I am fully aware of the dangers of ingesting it. Radium loves calcium and when the ‘Radium Girls’ used their tongues to sharpen the point of their brush they ingested it. It went right to the calcium in their bones. Quite a few of them died rather ghastly deaths. Some of them had their jaws crumble on them. Many got cancer.

          I have had years of handling very toxic chemicals / compounds.I won’t be poisoning myself.

          After the paint is applied I will be sealing it to the outside air.

      • I refinished antique furniture for many years and used highly toxic strippers with methyl chloride ( because they worked)…not good for your health either. Never ran into radium in a clock case but damn near everything else BAD. And I have never had a long-case clock in 20 years. BTW the radium lady was in Ottawa,Illinois.

  12. I’m no lawyer but, this jackhole wasn’t the intended recipient of the firearm. If you didn’t break any laws in the shipment process and this turd took possession of your property then that’s theft. I would immediately file a police report and tell them where your gun was last seen. Then pursue the civil aspects.

    • An FFL is the intended recipient in terms of criminal law. Then, as a part of their business and an implied contract, they transfer possession to another non-FFL.

      I doubt criminal charges would stick, at least not theft.

  13. I refuse to ship, deal, sell or do ANYTHING REGARDING A FIREARM to anyone in California. Lost a couple of sales because of it, but I will not deal with stupidity. If you ship a firearm to California and something happens, it’s nobody’s fault but your own. I’m sorry California folks….but you’re on your own when it comes to firearms. Every year it gets more restrictive and idiotic for you all….we’ve done our part and elected a more conservative leadership….the ball is in your court now.

    • You do understand you are doing exactly what the anti-gunners want you to do right? You see we are completely outnumbered in California. All of the fruits and nuts move here and there is no possible way we can stop them in the legislature. In fact, part of the reason you live in Free America is because the bad people move out of your area and into ours.

      If it were as simple as if we would get more people out to vote we could turn this thing around, I wouldn’t criticize you. However, it is not that simple. We are outnumbered. Period. It isn’t going to change anytime soon and it is simply numbers. We don’t have enough.

      Yet, here is where you can make a difference. All of our anti-gun politicians want you to keep your guns. They know there are good people, living good lives, that want more guns in this state. So they pass confusing laws that confound Free Americans like yourself. They want you to respond with, “Screw that! I am not sending anything to California.”

      Congratulations, you are being controlled by our anti-gun legislators. You are doing exactly what they want you to do. I am not sure about the rest of the people reading this, but that wouldn’t sit well with me.

      So what I tell people is if you want to piss off an anti-gun liberal, sell a gun to California. If you want to show Diane Feinstein (she is Federal, so she doesn’t make these stupid laws, but she would like them to apply to you too!) who is boss, ship a gun to California.

      It honestly isn’t that hard to do business with Californians. Most of them are willing to work with you and help you do what you have to do.

      So if you want to piss off an anti-gun liberal, lawfully sell guns to good Americans stuck behind enemy lines that are here fighting the good fight. Or you can keep doing exactly what anti-gun politicians want, not completing lawful transactions because these same anti-gun politicians intimidated you or plain tricked you into complying with their wishes.

      In this case it has nothing to do with California law that the OP has this problem. It is simply a dumb FFL that doesn’t know what they are talking about trying to screw around with the shipper. That can happen no matter what state you are in.

      • So, move.

        If every law abiding gun owner or would-be gun owner moved OUT of California to a more hospitable state, it would hit those jackwagons in their tax-base. That’d get more attention than a thousand rallies or initiatives or legislative attempts.

        • I have no problems staying here and fighting. I don’t need you to send me guns, I own a gun shop and know the laws and order them myself. If you agree with the anti-gunners and want to restrict lawful sales to a state just because your policies are more restrictive than the State of California because it makes you feel good not to sell to fellow gun owners, then keep not sending guns to California. Again, all of the anti-gunners thank you for doing as they wish.

          Further, they don’t care about the tax base. If they cared about tax money, they wouldn’t pass these restrictive laws that reduce lawful sales and reduce sales tax revenue.

          There is no attention to get in California. Hear me when I tell you that we are outnumbered. They don’t care about us or our tax money. They do what they want and we cannot stop them except in the courts.

          You Free Americans have a choice. Piss off a liberal and make lawful sales to California or make a liberal happy and have more restrictive sales policies than the State of California.

          I made my choice, I opened a gun shop and I have been lawfully selling guns to Californians for nearly 10 years. I won’t do the bidding of the anti-gunners. Each of us has to make our own decisions.

        • Gotta love the bell around the cats neck solution. Just move. Because I don’t have a career, property, family, an entire life here and can just get up and move. Because getting to visit my kids isn’t hard enough already.

          Instead of cutting us off, how about we all stand together.

      • You make a great point, but when it’s my livelihood on the line, I will err on the side of caution. I don’t sell to NY, NJ, CA under any circumstances either and I scrutinize and limit sales to states like CT, IL and MD. I understand that sometimes you need to stand up for what’s right, but not when I could lose my whole business and destroy my life.

        • Your livelihood is not at stake. You just aren’t empowered with the right information to make these lawful sales. I would be more than happy to be a resource for you when determining what is legal or not legal to sell to California.

          Another easy approach is just have the FFL you are shipping to be your guide. If they say you can’t ship it there, then that is a good hint. No one from California is going to come after you for inadvertently sending something illegal into California, let alone for doing lawful sales once you are empowered with a little knowledge.

          If I were you, I would treat NY, NJ, and CA like CT, IL, and MD. You obviously know what is legal to sell or not sell to CT, IL, or MD, so apply that same concept to your NY, NJ, and CA sales. Or find a good advocate that knows what they are talking about to help you out. I am definitely up to date on CA laws and if you ever need assistance, never hesitate to shoot me an e-mail and ask.

          It is fine if you are unwilling to conduct lawful business with California. Your competitors will do that business and will have more sales. Look how many CA compliant products exist that once didn’t. Look how many Bullet Buttoned rifles are on the market now that were not there 5 years ago. There is money to be made in this state, you just have to decide if you want to take a few extra steps and empower yourself to do it.

          And I am not even asking you to take a stand, I am simply asking you to be a smart business person and make money. I am the one taking a stand in the state. I don’t expect you to take stands from Free America over my dismal conditions here.

          Yet you can and it isn’t even hard. Just keep sending lawful products into a state full of anti-rights politicians that don’t want you to.

          You can do it Free America! Flood California with your wares! Piss of a anti-gunner today!

        • Or stop being lazy and look up the law.

          How hard is it to use Google and find the relevant code in less than 5 minutes tops to figure it out? Surely you are not so busy that you can’t be bothered to look?

        • There is an organization that can help you do gun business in The Peoples Democratik Republik of Kaliforniastan. It is called Cal-FFL. With all of the stupid ass laws our utterly stupid legislature (yes Kevin DeLeon we are talking about you) passes, Kaliforniastan still has the second largest number of firearms owners in the US. It is a huge market and shops like Ten Percent (they are VERY well known here) does a great business here. It is too big of a market to ignore.

          Also, if he hasn’t already somewhere above, the OP needs to out the shops so we can not do business with them.

  14. As an FFL, I understand his concern. He can and will be jerked around by who knows who with a bureaucratic agenda. If the guy didn’t want to do it why send it?

    Report it to the ATF and CA DOJ as a stolen firearm. That should put a burner under him.

    He has to have proof he destroyed it, if not, the ATF and or the CA DOJ will think he stole it and will screw with him for a long time.

  15. If you have proof that he has accepted shipment, then you are to be paid and the fight is between the FFL and the intended purchaser. If you are not paid, then both the intended purchaser, but more specifically, the FFL, are 1) in possession of stolen goods, and 2) have voiced intention to destroy said property (goes without saying, they have thereby voiced refusal to return said property). I would get local LE involved ASAP.

  16. Um, if you know a friendly sheriff or deputy, ask if knows a friendly trooper; then have them ask this trooper to contact CA as a courtesy.

    The State Police are there for just such reasons as this.

    • LOL. No they are not. The California Highway Patrol is there to write traffic tickets. They would be the last jurisdiction I would appeal to in this matter.

      I would do as I suggested. Give the owner one more chance and let him know if the firearm is not send to an FFL of your choosing or DROSed to the original buyer, you will be reporting it stolen with the ATF and be reporting to the local authorities where you suspect the firearm is. You would rather have the buyer finishing paying this shop their transfer free for a lawful transaction, but if the dealer wants to incur further cost and hassle, that is their business decision.

      I had to help a guy on a very similar issue like this not too long ago. Same nonsense from another FFL claiming they were going to destroy the gun or turn it in to the ATF. Where do these business owners come from?

      • Ten Percent;
        Thank you for explaining to the folks here about our predicament of being outnumbered. I too believe that running to another state is a mistake. This is my home and I will take the same stand as you. If we evacuate, that will just let the liberals run more rampant than they are now. Then you better watch out “Free America”, because it won’t be long till the cancer reaches you. I choose to remain on the front lines here because, quite frankly, someone has to.

  17. +1 for 10 Percent Firearms of Taft CA. He knows his business and the complexities of CA law very well.

    I would report the firearm stolen to ATF, my local law enforcement (Oregon) and Orange County Sheriff’s Office, in that order.

    I would love to know who this FFL is so I can make sure I never do business with him. Please post on Calguns forum if you are able, either to get good advice and/or save the rest of us from a no good dirty down low thieving cheating FFL.

  18. ” He’s refusing to send me the Lower Receiver or the pieces (if it’s actually been destroyed). ”

    File a police report for theft with his local PD and with the ATF, see how quickly he gets moving when his FFL comes in to question.

  19. I would suggest going back in time and having your friend meet personally with a trusted FFL near him before sending a firearm there.

  20. Unless he returns the receiver, sends you the pieces, or completes the transfer, I’d report it stolen. If nothing more than to CYA.

  21. I know you want to help your buddy out, and you should. But it sounds like you followed the law and his instructions, so it’s his kitty. Enter the firearm in your records as sold to the pawn shop, and forget it.

    Your buddy is in the same town as this creep, which is a big help solving personal differences like this. He should go to his local SO and ask them to accompany him to this shop, or better still, go to the site, demand the firearm, and then call 911 when they don’t comply. An LEO has a way of making assholes see reason.

  22. If it looks like you won’t be getting your firearm back from the FFL, you need to contact a CA lawyer. Check out Chuck Michel or Jason Davis (at

  23. A terrible story, Mike. Basically, it sounds like the firearm was stolen and you should definitely file a report with the OCPD and get someone over there. Additionally, is there a reason you are not releasing the name of the FFL/pawn shop, it would really help so the rest of us boycott this business and don’t end up in the same situation. This story was posted on Calguns and all members try to pass along relevant info to make sure other members avoid such places.

    There are some excellent black rifle friendly shops in OC, namely OC Armory and Rifle Gear, that have top notch CS. Hopefully this imbecile sees the light & mails it off to one of those shops.

    I hope this all works out & keep us posted on what happens.

  24. Your friend should have traveled to your house and picked it up.
    What happens in the Golden State is his business and his problem.

  25. Report him to the ATF. Theft of a firearm is a federal felony. He’ll likely lose his FFL along with criminal charges.

  26. Mike, this is a great blog but like any complicated legal issue, especially gun law in CA, despite best intentions, by you in asking, and many knowledgeable readers resonding,, I’d just repeat some advice I’ve read in older forums:

    With great respect for sharing, is it possible you are doing yourself, or the other party a disservice discussing a business transactiin on a public forum that is national in perspective, , vs getting good gun law legal advise in CA specific law?

    You could be putting yourself on report, or impugning the other party, un-fairly, just because of tbe complexity of CA laws.

    Go to and ask who to call in your area. Shouselaw gives advice in forums there, Michele and Associates who write the book for new gun owner and are west coast NRA counsel, Kilmer who works for CGF, Koldny who dies a lot if seminars, etc.

    • I wonder where F.C.has been…

      His condescending, arrogant attitude and vicious, cruel sense of humor…

      And those are just a few of his better qualities.


  27. This is what happens when the FFL holder is an idiot. The reason he refuses has nothing to do with CA laws rather it has to do with each shop’s policy. The seller and buyer should have called the FFL first to see if they will receive a firearm from a private individual first before sending the gun off. I’ve worked with free state FFLs who refused shipment from me, a private individual, so this is not a CA problem.

  28. First error: a resident of another state attempting to sell anything involving a firearm (including magazines, bullets, parts, …) to any resident of California in a legal manner. It simply cannot be done.


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