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Thread: Big 5 refused to sell rifle to my wife

  1. #1
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    Big 5 refused to sell rifle to my wife

    My wife entered one of your stores yesterday, Nov. 10, 2008, to purchase a rifle that had been advertised on sale. After waiting ten minutes for an employee to end his casual conversation at the gun counter, the employee finally addressed my wife. He asked her for identification and if said rifle would be a gift. When she replied that it was a gift for her husband, he told her that she couldn’t purchase a rifle from Big 5, and that I would have to come down to the store myself and fill out the paperwork.
    Not only did she feel discriminated against because she was a woman (we know that this question wouldn’t have been asked of a man), but she felt extremely frustrated that Big 5 has seen fit to extend federal law by preventing legal and lawful purchases of firearms.
    I contacted the store manager and asked if this had not been some misunderstanding about straw purchases. The manager confirmed that my wife had heard correctly and that purchases for other than the buyer are against company policy.
    I have purchased numerous products and many firearms from Big 5 in the past. NEVER have I been asked if my purchases were gifts. This is a ridiculous policy that prevents nothing and can be circumvented by merely stating that any purchase is personal.
    I have also decided to take my business elsewhere, where the laws of the United States are respected and followed, and not added to. I will also be posting this to several online firearms forums for thousands to learn about Big 5 company policy.
    A former customer,

  2. #2
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    Man. Thats not cool. I am glad you let them know how you felt and that you wont go back. I hope you still get the rifle though!

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    Buy him a gift card for the value of the gun is the only thing I can suggest. Maybe their policy is more stringent than State or Federal law.
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    I'm trying to help change store policy. Please drop them a line about how ridiculous this policy is.

    http://www.big5sportinggoods.com/contact_us.html

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    Dick's Sporting Goods (god, what an appropriate name) refuses to sell pistol-caliber ammo without seeing a NYS pistol permit. Doesn't matter if it's for a carbine, they won't do it. Two cop buddies of mine went in to get a couple boxes of practice ammo for a range day, and were refused sales because "a badge is not a pistol permit".

  6. #6
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    Dick's Sporting Goods (god, what an appropriate name) refuses to sell pistol-caliber ammo without seeing a NYS pistol permit. Doesn't matter if it's for a carbine, they won't do it. Two cop buddies of mine went in to get a couple boxes of practice ammo for a range day, and were refused sales because "a badge is not a pistol permit".

    just wow.... They are a bunch of uh... sporting goods stores aren't they?!
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  7. #7
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    Two cop buddies of mine went in to get a couple boxes of practice ammo for a range day, and were refused sales because "a badge is not a pistol permit".
    While I don't agree with the policy, I'm glad to see applied uniformly with no special privilege or titles to agents of the State.

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  8. #8
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    Got to agree with Wally. I like seeing a cop told no, when we would have been as well.
    Lets give Tennessee the best gun laws in the country!
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    Hmmm, I believe, while it may also be store policy, it is against the law to make a "straw purchase", which is what that would have technically been. I've seen this happen in a couple of stores over the years and the result was the same. Once the person stated the gun was for someone else, the store refused to sell it to them.
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  10. #10
    with all the stings being run i don't blame em.

    saw a cop refused a sale of wine till he went to car for regular id. to his credit he didn't seem at all bothered

  11. #11
    deleted
    Last edited by cassandrasdaddy; November 11th, 2008 at 08:41 PM. Reason: dupe

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    Hmmm, I believe, while it may also be store policy, it is against the law to make a "straw purchase", which is what that would have technically been.
    I have to disagree. It's a gift: you own it until it's received, and at any time until then have the right to decide to keep it for yourself with no one having any legal right against you for doing so. She may have been buying it for her husband to have, but it rests with her until that time. Even if she intends to go right out to the car and hand it to him, it's still not a straw purchase in such a case so long as he could legally have done the same.

    When a problem occurs is if the husband is legally prohibited from buying the gun himself. If that were to happen, regardless of whether she gave him the gun right away or sold it to him in twenty years, she'd still have broken the law.

    As for Dick's, they're overpriced and have a weak selection, but other than that I've been fine with them. While I don't like the ban on selling pistol-caliber ammo without a permit, at least they're consistent and, as far as I can tell, within their rights. Big 5 seems to be engaging in as-applied discrimination of a protected class (women), even if their rule is facially neutral.

    Of course, IANAL.
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    I'm with Wally!

    Good to see ny screw the cops at least a little bit. They sure bend the rest of their "citizens" over
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    Question 12a on Form 4473.

    Following link included for reference:

    http://www.atf.gov/forms/4473/

    Store clerk was doing their job.

    Store or Dept. Manager is an idiot for giving you the "company policy" line. Only answer is "Sorry, but it is the law."

    Suggest wife do the same that mine does ... either put on lay-away or buy gift card. Most stores (Big 5 ... I don't know) will work with someone when they know it is a gift item, especially if it's a limited quantity or time sale item.

    As for jaw boning clerks ... momma just gets in their face.
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    I have bought over 15 NIB guns. I never bought a used gun or anywhere but at a gun store. I am NOT knocking anything else! Thank you. I have never been asked this question about it being a gift... the guns that I bought were for myself and one was for 'us' to share/use although it was more for my late husband than for me. I did use it and 'I owned it'. That special shared gun was a Christmas present for 'us' although he used it more than me. All of my guns were bought NIB by me. My late husband bought his own NIB guns too. He bought a couple from a friend - private sale - legal.

    I have NEVER been anywhere as a 'female' where they asked me if it was a GIFT when I bought a GUN! Geesh.

    My late husband went with me a couple of times in the beginning when I first started to buy my own guns and not only use HIS gun or guns. This was back in 1998. (I was 47.5 years old at the time when I bought my OWN FIRST GUN. I had a gun of his that was 'mine' to use. He gave it to me many years before. It was my gun and/or our gun. He had a couple of others in the house.) I looked, tried various guns in my hand, took notes, had my books and Gun Digest with me when I went to my LOCAL gun store back east. The men there were the owner's sons. I had my FAVORITE salesman and would wait for him - one of the two sons. Sometimes his wife would wait on me if he was busy or hold something special for me because he mentioned it to her. GREAT people and great gun shop! They were NEVER ever condescending to me. In fact, my late husband told the one man - I am tagging along with my wife - she is the BUYER! Ask her! Ha! Boy, did I ask QUESTIONS!!! I bought MANY guns from that local store in my former state. My late husband only owned 5 or less guns in his entire life. He had his favorites and was far more into sailing and power boating. I was the GUNNIE and GUN BUYER not him.

    Catherine
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    Montana
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK103K
    Hmmm, I believe, while it may also be store policy, it is against the law to make a "straw purchase", which is what that would have technically been. I've seen this happen in a couple of stores over the years and the result was the same. Once the person stated the gun was for someone else, the store refused to sell it to them.
    Buying a firearm to give as a gift is legal, and is not a straw purchase. The store can have whatever policy they choose to enforce, but the law does not regard buying a gun for purposes of gift-giving as a straw purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by Contenderman
    Question 12a on Form 4473.
    "12.a. Are you the actual buyer of the firearm ...?"

    In the case of a person buying a gun to subsequently give away as a gift, the honest answer to question 12.a is "Yes."

    If you buy a set of Legos for your nephew's birthday gift, are you the purchaser of the Legos, or are you engaging in a straw Legos purchase on behalf of your nephew? Use your common sense.

  17. #17
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    Why even tell them it's a gift? Fill out the paperwork in her name and buy the gun. What she does with it later is her problem. If she gives it to hubby and the State requires paperwork for "transfer", go do it. The Feds don't care as long as the giftee can legally receive it. (i.e. same State residence, no felonies or DV convictions, etc.) Most State feel the same, especially for long guns.

  18. #18
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    Straw purchase? Do you want to cite the federal reg. that precludes buying a firearm as a gift?
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  19. #19
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    As stated above, this is not an example of a straw purchase. She would be the actual Buyer of the gun. A gift is not a straw purchase. They would have a right to stop the sale if they knew the receiver would not otherwise be allowed to own the firearm.

  20. #20
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    There are times I should just sit in the corner and keep my dumb mouth (fingers) shut. This is one of my finer "Senior" moments.

    Seeing the responses subsequent to my post I went and asked momma exactly what she has been told when she gets me firearms gifts ... she says that the three places she has bought from, each, in their own way, asked her if I would come in and do the paperwork. They did not cite any regulation or law.

    I handle 4473's and have done so for quite a while. I've even challenged a couple purchases because it didn't seem like the buyer knew what they were doing, etc., etc. (another thread topic), but I've never asked anyone if they were buying the gun as a gift. Duh!!!

    Rather than go to the shop and actually look at a form instructions page(s), I decided to go on-line and guess what ... I was TOTALLY wrong ... gifts are OK. While the example form is a few versions behind, the notice is valid. See, Notice 1 in the following link:

    http://www.atf.gov/forms/4473/page03.htm

    Apologies to all ...

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    Last edited by contenderman; November 11th, 2008 at 09:53 PM. Reason: correct ommission
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  21. #21
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    I must agree that this IS NOT a straw purchase. Big5 can have any policy they want and it is within their right to have a higher standard than called for by law. It's also OK for us to not spend any money with Big5.
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  22. #22
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    Contenderman bothered to post the ATF form but didn't bother to read it?

    On page 3 it clearly states "You are also the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm as a legitimate gift for a third party."

    http://www.atf.gov/forms/4473/page03.htm

    See Notice 1.

  23. #23
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    Off the back of a 4473:
    IMPORTANT NOTICES

    1. For purposes of this form, you are the actual buyer if you are purchasing the firearm for yourself or otherwise acquiring the firearm for yourself (for example, redeeming the firearm from pawn/retrieving it from consignment). You are also the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm as a legitimate gift for a third party.
    Lots of misinformation floating around this thread.

  24. #24
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    LOL! Mad and I posted the same thing at the same time.

  25. #25
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    I can tell you it is store policy, not Federal law, as has been correctly pointed out here.
    I think this comes from a video ATF sent around where a guy wants to buy a gun for his wife as a gift. The ATF cautions about this and suggests giving a gift certificate and letting the actual recipient fill out the 4473.
    Never mind that maybe the "actual recipient" is in fact the straw purchaser. There is no end to it.
    But I would bet some lawyer type in corporate saw the film and made that policy. Film is called "Dont Lie For The Other Guy".

    I sure don't want ATF dictating what my store policies ought to be beyond the actual legal requirements.

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