Frequently Asked Questions
Questions regarding firearms transfers
Questions regarding services and policies
General Questions regarding firearms
Questions regarding me
You may want to get a beverage and some popcorn for this response. It’s a long one but it is absolutely necessary. Ignorance is not an excuse for non-compliance.
There are two types of regular (non-ClassIII) transfers: INBOUND and OUTBOUND.
Inbound transfers refer to local transferees, that is, if a local Michigan resident buys a gun from an auction or from an out-of-state seller, I receive the firearm and transfer it to the local buyer. The process for inbound transfers is simple but I have to spell it out in gory detail for those who may have had bad information. The local buyer provides me with the contact information of the seller. I contact the seller and send a signed copy of my 01 FFL by either 1) e-mail, 2) fax, or 3) hardcopy by mail. The ATF allows e-mail/electronic copies of FFLs now. That is the most legible and fastest way to send it. After the seller receives my signed 01 FFL copy, he or she should verify it on the ATF’s website: FFL EZ-Check . It’s easy to do and the seller should do it and print out a copy for his records. Next, the seller will ship the item to me at the address listed on the signed 01 FFL copy (it should match what’s on the ATF’s FFL class=SpellE>eZ-Check).
It is the seller’s responsibility to adhere to the shipping policies of the shipping carriers. Non-licensees, other than law enforcement for legitimate law enforcement purposes, CAN NOT ship handguns by the post office; they can only ship long guns by the post office. They have to declare it as such and should ship it by registered mail. For non-licensees, they can ship handguns by class=SpellE>FedEX and UPS with their overnight service only. For UPS, the Next Day Air-Saver is allowed. Again, the seller should check with the carrier on what’s permissible and what isn’t.
The shipper/seller must also put a signature requirement on the package if shipped by means other than USPS. This is not a request. It’s a Federal Firearms Regulations requirement under Title 27 473.31(d):
(d) No common or contract carrier shall knowingly deliver in interstate or foreign commerce any firearm without obtaining written acknowledgement of receipt from the recipient of the package or other container in which there is a firearm: Provided, That this paragraph shall not apply with respect to the return of a firearm to a passenger who places firearms in the carrier’s custody for the duration of the trip.
Also, with the shipment, the seller needs to provide a signed copy of his/her driver’s license or 01 FFL (dealers already know this). Again, this is not a request. It’s a Federal Firearms Regulations requirement under Title 27 478.125(e). The Federal Regulations guide in PDF format is readily available from the ATF’s
website. We dealers must also send a signed copy of our licenses when we ship guns, so I have no idea why some think it’s unreasonable to send a signed copy of a driver’s license or government-issued photo ID that lists your address.
If the seller is unwilling to comply with these requirements, then he or she needs to find someone else to handle the transfer for his/her buyer. I will NOT handle the transfer. It’s not negotiable and it’s not up for debate. I will bend my policies on prices of my firearms and transfer fees but not on federal regulationsnor other companies’ policies.
For those contemplating on getting cute about agreeing to comply and then not, I will personally deliver the firearm to the ATF and the buyer and seller can sort it out with the ATF. This is not a joke.
Once I receive the firearm and the supporting documentation, I contact the local buyer to pick it up. Before he or she can take possession of it, he or she has to complete the ATF 4473, provide a valid Michigan driver’s license, have a valid CCW/CPL or pistol purchase permit for handguns, and pass the NICS background check. The local buyer then pays the transfer fee and takes possession of the firearm.
Outbound transfers are a lot easier and will be less wordy. For outbound transfers, I need a signed copy of the buyer’s dealer’s 01 FFL by e-mail, mail, or by fax. Fax copies are generally crappy but as long as I can read and verify the license, I will accept it. Once the local seller has received the payment or gives me the okay to ship, he or she stops by with the firearm. I ship handguns by USPS and longguns by UPS. For non-licensees, FedEX and UPS will accept long
guns for shipment and they will ship it by ground transportation. It’s cheaper than the post office and the seller does not need to have me involved. Of course, I will gladly answer any and all questions even if I do not handle the transfer. Of course, the seller has to adhere to all laws and policies (see the lecture on Inbound transfers). Because of non-compliance by non-licensees, some dealers refuse to accept firearms from non-licensees.
I ship handguns by the USPS Priority Mail Service, with the Registered Mail Service, Signature Delivery Confirmation, and fully insured. For a handgun costing $1000 or less, it’s about $30. Registered mail is that IS THE MOST SECURE way to send stuff by the post office. The downside to registered mail is that delivery times are unpredictable.
After the package is accepted by the post office, I will scan and e-mail the info to the receiving FFL, buyer, and seller.
Again, I don’t care how others do it, I do it as required by the regulations and recommended by the post office. Some may find it unacceptable but that’s fine with me. If the customer wants me to ship via other means I will accommodate but that’s usually quite expensive for handguns.
Thank God we live in a country where we have choices. I’m not the only FFL in the area and everyone has several choices. I can recommend a nearby FFL.
$25 per non-Class III firearm for inbound or outbound. Usually I provide a discount if there are multiple firearms. Class III (NFA transfers) are $75 and are a lot more involved.
The procedure is the same for those areas in which NFA (National Firearms Act) items are legal. In Michigan, Silencers, Machine Guns (Pre May 1986), Destructive Devicesand Any Other Weapons (AOW) are legal.
The ATF F 5320.4 (Form 4) and ATF F 5330.20 — Certification of Compliance with 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(5)(B) require completion. Two completed copies of the Form 4, one copy of the Certification of Compliance, and a check for $200 made out to the BATFE need to be sent regardless of which legal entity is designated as the transferee.
Method 1: Transfer of the NFA item to an individual. This method will require the individual to obtain approval from the Chief Law Enforcement Officer, County Sherrif, District Attorney, etc. The method will also require a set of FBI fingerprints on the approved forms (FBI FD-258LE) to be taken by your law enforcement agency. Your transfer dealer can provide those. The electronic fingerprints will not be accepted. Lastly, a set of passport photos are required as well. All of this is explained on the Form 4’s instructions. Once the Form 4 is approved, the transferee can pick up the item from the dealer after he or she completes the ATF Form 4473. Yes, 4473 requires completion. The 4473 allows an exemption to the NICS background check with this method since the goverment already checked out the individual.
Method 2: Transfer of the NFA item to a Corporation (Full Corporation or Limited Liabilibility Corporation (LLC)). This method does not require Chief Law Enforcement Officer sign-off, finger prints, and passport photos. Once the Form 4 is approved, the transferee can pick up the item from the dealer after he or she completes the ATF Form 4473. Depending on the state laws, a background check (NICS or equivalent) may be required. In Michigan, the CPL will suffice as an alternative. Note: the LLC or the Corporation has to be active for the transfer to remain valid. If the LLC or Inc dissolves, the item has to be transferred to another entity or individual.
Method 3: Transfer of the NFA item to an NFA Trust. It’s imporpant to generate the trust correctly and update it accordingly. That is, go see a lawyer to obtain one and instructions on how to maintain it. You can do it yourself but if it’s done incorrectly, well, there will harsh consequences. This method also does not require Chief Law Enforcement Officer sign-off, finger prints, and passport photos. Once the Form 4 is approved, the transferee can pick up the item from the dealer after he or she completes the ATF Form 4473. Depending on the state laws, a background check (NICS or equivalent) may be required. In Michigan, the CPL will suffice as an alternative.
$75 per NFA firearm.
I will only ship to other federally licensed dealers (like 01, 02, and 07 FFL). For Curios & Relics items, I can ship to the C&R holder (03 FFL). So if you are a licensee, the answer is yes. Otherwise, NO.
It’s easy to check with the ATF’s FFL EZ-Check system. When I buy firearms, I send the seller a copy of my signed license (by fax, e-mail, or mail). I do the same when I sell/transfer to other dealers. All dealers are required to verify the license. I request the non-dealers to verify it on the ATF’s website: FFL EZ-Check . It’s easy and there’s no excuse for not doing it. You can also call the ATF toll-free at 1-877-560-2435. There are scammers out there, so please verify before you ship any firearm to anyone. It’s easy enough nowadays to forge documents but the ATF does provide you the means to check. So check! Lecture over.
Yes. But the really hard stuff, I leave to more experienced gunsmiths. I can work on SIG Sauer/ SIGArms fairly well. Other firearms, I don’t have a lot of experience. So I will refer you, if you like, to other gunsmiths.
The business is in my name. That’s why my name appears on the website (not because of some ego thing,although I do have a disproportionately large ego). I repair a lot of other things. In the past, I used to/sometimes still build and service computers, electronic appliances, etc. as a hobby. My name wasn’t available as an address so I chose Patel’s Repair. In hindsight, I should have chosen something else. Hindsight is always 20/20 with me.
Yes. I sell guns on class=SpellE>Gunbroker as 7.62fan. You can view my feedback ratings on that site as well.
Yes, I DO take credit cards over the phone as well as at my place of business now that I have a credit card service. However, I do not take PayPal. PayPal has lots of restrictions on firearms and firearms-related materials. It is against PayPal’s terms of service to use this industry.
The customer has three days to inspect the item after it’s been received by his or her local dealer. If not satisfied because the product isn’t as advertised, he or she can have it shipped back to me for a full refund. The customer pays for the return shipping. So, if Jane bought a SIG off of me for $500 and returns it, I will send her a check for $500. I will attempt to answer all of the customer’s questions and provide more detailed pictures. I don’t use stock photographs; one can always go to the manufacturer’s website to gawk at the stock photos. I photograph every firearm I sell and I try to post the photos.
This is a tough question. I recommend that one buys a reliable, safe, affordable and accurate firearm that’s easy to use, maintain, and enjoyable to shoot. Collectors will disagree with some of my points but firearms are designed for use whether it’s target practice, duty weapon, personal defense, etc. SIG Sauer/ SIGArms makes damn fine ones as do other manufacturers. One should find one that meets the above criteria in one’s price range. Not everyone (including me) can
afford top-of-line fully tricked-out firearms like the SAKO TRG-42 in .338 Lapua or the Ed Brown Executive Elite. Fortunately, we live in a country where we have lots of choices. SIG’s CPO guns are great values! The internet also offers a lot of information and reviews of almost every make and model. One has to do the research and try the item out before one buys it. For locals, I have several demo guns for those interested in going to a gun range and trying them out. Ergonomics plays a key role in how well you like the gun and how well you shoot it. But if you’re going to buy it just to gawk at it, buy whatever suits your fancy!
Is that an existential question? If it is, I have no idea. Seriously, I’m an electrical engineer working for an automotive OEM in the Metro Detroit area . Since I work in compliance/testing, firearms regulations, paperwork, and red-tape is routine. I’ve always liked firearms not because of a desire to shoot people but because it’s an amazing amalgam of different disciplines: aerodynamics, thermodynamics, chemistry, metallurgy, kinematics, and very little electronics.
I’m no longer as lazy as I once was. I’ve changed the site from Drupal to WordPress and it should work out better. Please let me know if it doesn’t.
Who told you about my monkey!!?? It should be fixed by now. I haven’t tested it on all version of Internet Explorer but it works well for the 8, 9, and mobile applications now.
I follow former First Lady Nancy Reagan’s advice: “Just say no! So no, I don’t. Seriously, there are too many dealers out there who lack a sense of humor and some just lack sense. Please don’t misunderstand, they are plenty of awesome dealers, but in this business, one can get too silly about stuff that isn’t serious. I comply with all the laws as I’m sure they do but it’s not illegal to be a smart-ass. I strive to make people more comfortable with their purchases and humor helps — especially with first-time buyers. Some get REALLY stressed out over the purchase of the first firearm and the ATF Form 4473 isn’t the friendliest form to complete either. So I try to relieve it with a bit of comic relief. Yeah, I know, I shouldn’t quit my day job but I did.