Thursday, November 08, 2012

Are you sure about that?

When did it become a sin to utter the words "I don't know"? And when did it become the accepted thing to pull random facts out of your fourth point of contact to make up for the fact that one simply does not know?

Case in point:

OldNFO and AEPilotJim are up visiting and decompressing. Being, well, us this has involved a bit of trawling through a gun store or two.

One of the afore-mentioned gun stores would be the big Academy Sports in the near-by Big City.

At this Academy, OldNFO spotted a rifle that tickled his fancy, at a price that was more than fair, so he decided that he should have this rifle and so informs the sales-drone.

Now, OldNFO is not a resident of Texas. He currently makes his abode on one of the coasts, but this makes no never-mind as the rifle that he fancied was, matter-of-fact, a rifle, and as such, only requires a NICS check.

Not so, sayeth the sales-drone. He can only sell rifles to residents of Texas, or residents of States that touch Texas.

There is some blinking, then I gently opine, "That's an odd company policy."

He achieves That Special Supercilious Look, and proclaims: "Nope! That's Federal Law!"

No. It is not.

Per Title 18, US Code, section 922(a)(3), (5); 922 (b)(3); and 27 CFR 478.29 and 478.30, and even going so far as to quote the ATF website FAQ:

"A person may only acquire a firearm within the person’s own State, except that he or she may purchase or otherwise acquire a rifle or shotgun, in person, at a licensee’s premises in any State, provided the sale complies with State laws applicable in the State of sale and the State where the purchaser resides. A person may borrow or rent a firearm in any State for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes."

Highlighting is mine.  Note, do, the words:  "In",  "Any",  and "State" and how all three of those words are right next to each other in the same sentence.


OldNFO and AEPilotJim look at each other, and sensing an opportunity to educate and maybe enlighten one who doesn't seem to have all the facts at his fingertips, offer the gentle rebuttal that it is not, in fact, against Federal Law.

This, of course, causes the sales-drone to dig in his heels, puff out his chest and give that little eyebrow arch that hints:  "Desist, law-breakers."

Bloody damnation.

I'm going to assume that somebody must have provided this drone (probably with the same smug look he rendered unto us) with the false and incorrect information regarding fictitious Federal Laws, because I would hate to imagine that this young man has simply decided all on his ownsome that since he has a job selling guns, he needs to pull bull[redacted] [redacted] out of his [redacted] just so he can feel superior to his customers.

Still, one would like to imagine that he would have enough pride in his job that he would take the time and effort to improve himself by LOOKING UP THE [REDACTED] LAW FOR HIMSELF.

The relevant law is on the Internet.  Took me all of 0.17 seconds to find it on Google.  It's even in books, and those books are generally free to read in libraries both public and those belonging to universities.

I would note, in case said sale-drone ever stumbles past this blog, that the books are "free to read" in libraries, the books are not "free to eat".

If Academy Sports wants to have stupid rules about whom they may sell guns to, that's their business.  As a private company, if they decide tomorrow that they will only sell guns to left-handed pygmies wearing fuchsia tutus, that is their business.

Giving their employees false information regarding Federal Laws and how those laws pertain to Constitutional Rights is not.  Hiring employees who lie to, and condescend to, customers regarding Federal laws and how those laws pertain to Constitutional Rights is not.

Academy Sports lost the chance to make $500.  And in the coming economy, that piddling little five hundred dollars may not be peanuts much longer.

More importantly, they have lost all of my future business, all of the future business of OldNFO, and I will quite happily tell anyone and everyone I come into contact with that Academy Sports are rat-bastards who should feel the full weight of economic Darwinism, and any money would be better spent somewhere else.

Grr.

LawDog

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why didn't you just buy the gun, and then give it to your friend in exchange for the price of the gun? I assume there's no law against doing that? Is it just you didn't want to give the store the money?

Old NFO said...

Much nicer said than I was going to... So I'll just say SCREWEM, AND their horses...

agirlandhergun said...

Give'em hell Old NFO.

doubletrouble said...

"...tell anyone and everyone I come into contact with..."

Seems to me that might be quite a few folks, there.

KCSteve said...

Why didn't you just buy the gun, and then give it to your friend in exchange for the price of the gun? I assume there's no law against doing that? Is it just you didn't want to give the store the money?

Actually that's quite against the law - it's a straw purchase. You can give a gun as a gift, no problem, but if they pay you back you're both felons.

I work at the Cabela's in Kansas City and we're a bit better informed. We know that there are only six states we can't sell long guns to (and actually we can sell to Illinois residents if they're willing to jump through hoops and wait 24 hours).

If OldNFO is from California then I couldn't have sold him a gun anyway since we have to follow the laws of both states and CA doesn't want him having one.

(Ok, once again, we could sell him the gun but the transfer has to go through a CA dealer and we've been told there are way too many hoops to be able to get through.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the name of the place. I just sent a polite nasty mail. Sorry...just had to. I don't like idiots fucking with us five percenters.

leaperman

Anonymous said...

I live in Kalifornikanium, and I am still not used to some things.
You need TWO valid forms of ID just to get a fishing license....but?
GRRRRRRRR....
Fucking morons

leaperman

Gopher said...

Me thinks in the next four years that purchase may be a bit of a problem for more and more of us. I shudder to think of what may actually be hiding in that Obama Health Care bill.

SPEMack said...

So in reading your blog Dog, and Old NFO's, and Ambluance Drivers, and Jim's, I feel that all you old coots do is arrange visits with one another to go gun shopping and watch the idiot box.

toadold said...

Give it another two years and you'd be able to get that rifle in exchange for a couple of bottles of whiskey or perhaps big slab of bacon from what I'm seeing in the market reports.

Philip said...

Sounds very familiar to me. Round about 12 years ago, I worked for Dick's Sporting Goods. There were a number of things which were implied to me as The Law, but which I now know were just store policies. The "adjoining state" thing was one of them. Another was the "requirement" that applicants do stupid stuff like spell out state names instead of abbreviating and so forth.

I was round about 20 years old and didn't know any better, and I'm sure I inadvertantly misled a lot of people. It's not really surprising given the big-box "warm body" method of hiring. I eventually educated myself and repented of my evil ways, but lots of the people they hire to pretend to know about guns really know nothing. Lots of them are also that horrible species that doesn't even know how little they know. (we all know how dangerous they are...)

Most likely the kid in that store was just parroting what he'd been told.

CarlS said...

Anyone ever think about calling up the corporate PR flacks?

Just think of the possibilities for a little blac ... extor ... education!

I can see the headlines now! "Big Box Store sells firearms based on faulty interpretations of federal law. Emplyees are not trained to standards and as such, the store's FFL should be withdrawn."

NavyChief said...

As Mark Twain (methinks) said:
"The problem with most people ain't their ignorance; it's that they know so much that just ain't so."

Gaffer said...

LawDog I'm glad to see you have recovered from your health issue enough to comment on an ignorant sales type. But don't let him impact on your outlook...after all every body needs an occasional dose of realism!

Jennifer said...

Awe Geez. And I kinda like my local Academy. Quite the big head on that one. Not only misinformed but terrible at customer service. Most gun dealers have printouts of the law right there handy.

Jennifer said...

Here is the online contact form to voice any concerns.
http://www.academy.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ContactUs_10151_10051_-1

zeeke42 said...

How old was the sales drone? Prior to 1986, that in fact was federal law. Several states copied it prior to the 1986 change and haven't updated their laws since. NSSF has a chart detailing said states here: http://www.nssf.org/factsheets/PDF/ContiguousStateRestrict.pdf

Geodkyt said...

Philip:

The "adjoining state" was the old law. The new law replaced "adjoining" with "any".

However, when I was a gun pimp (while "adjoining state" was still the law), we didn't (as a matter of store policy) sell to anyone but VA residents, simply because we could not be sure that the adjoining states hadn't changed their law without us being aware. The law provides no "safe harbor" for an FFL who doesn't comply with some provision of the other state's law that he is not familiar with -- so an innocent mistake is an interstate federal violation that can cost him fines, jail time, and/or loss of business.

But, that doesn;t mean the LAW is the source of teh prohibition -- it would still be store policy, to avoid inadvertently committing a malum prohibitum felony through overlooking some obscure line in another state's code that was buried as a rider in a bill on school bus markings the day before.

Shrimp said...

"I'd like to speak to the store manager, please, right now. Thank you."

Repeat as needed until desired effect is achieved.

Teke said...

Academy is an intersting beast. It's leadership tends to not like Guns so much as money. In TX guns and hunting supplies = big money so try sell it.

These are the same people that sell me a 22 with ammo. I hand them my chl for paperwork but they have to walk me out the door with my goods before they can hand it to me. While they are aware I have a permit to carry and am most likely armed.

I actually laughed and told the sales guy who was decent but "following policy", can't blame him for wanting to stay employed, that the ironic thing is my sidearm would be much more useful if I had bad intentions.

Scott_S said...

Glad to see the dog is back.

Diamond Mair said...

JUST for S & G's, I called Academy's {laughingly called} Customer Service 1-888-922-2336; I requested the eMail address of the Customer Service head, the phone person responded that SHE could assist - fine. When I told her of y'all's experience, she informed that ACADEMY'S POLICY is to only sell to states bordering - I told HER that she needs to send a global message to ALL employees/stores, that asserting company policy as Federal law is WRONG - she wanted to know the specific store to address the issue to, I told HER that it doesn't matter which store, if her personnel are lying ............... she "couldn't do anything" - told her there were AT LEAST 4 people who would NOT be trading with Academy again .....................

Semper Fi'
DM

Diamond Mair said...

Thanks to Jennifer, just shot this off to them:
I tried calling your {laughably named} Customer Service number; maybe eMail will get to the correct person. I suggest you read this: http://thelawdogfiles.blogspot.com/2012/11/are-you-sure-about-that.html

I attempted to tell the phone person I spoke with that a 'global message' needs to be sent to ALL Academy associates/stores - she couldn't be bothered. As I told her, I daresay you've lost quite a few MORE customers than the gentlemen involved in this particular instance.

Have fun in the Øbamaconomy!


Semper Fi'
DM

Anonymous said...

"The law provides no "safe harbor" for an FFL who doesn't comply with some provision of the other state's law that he is not familiar with -- so an innocent mistake is an interstate federal violation that can cost him fines, jail time, and/or loss of business."

Hence the point of all those laws and why we are all felons. Much easier to control us.

Diamond Mair said...

Reply from Academy:
ContactUsWebForm@academy.com

2:21 PM (30 minutes ago)

to me
Thank you for contacting Academy Sports + Outdoors and for your feed back. The blog will be reviewed. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions or feedback.

Sincerely,
C.Small
Administrative Support Associate
Corporate Customer Service
Academy Sports + Outdoors
customerservice@academy.com
1-888-922-2336


Don't be surprised, LawDog, if they contact YOU ;-)

Semper Fi'
DM

robert martin said...

i would think that unless you get something proper from Dah Head Office Folks this is a full bore Rodinon situation.


I suppose that it would be improper to use your badge wallet to smack the Shop Dude in a Gibbs Smack. But dropping the Law Enforcement Officer hammer on the dude would not be polite.

Da Curly Wolf said...

Shoot LD. like Anonymous at the top said why didn't you just buy the gun for NFO and give it to him...or [guessing that you might have had it on you] whip out the badge and beat the little bastard over the head with it?

Philip said...

Shoot LD. like Anonymous at the top said why didn't you just buy the gun for NFO and give it to him

I'm going to guess that LD would prefer to avoid committing a felony. Such as, for example, participating in a straw purchase as you describe.

Scott said...

"I bought a nice rifle, gave it to my friend for an early christmas present.

He bought me a nice scope (of about the same value) and gave it to me as an early christmas present."

But I will choose to do no business with Academy. Ever.

Wombat said...

Glad you're back posting, LawDog. Sigh..customer service does seem to be going the way of scriveners. Condescension is never called for and should be surgically removed from all those involved with dealing with the public. I've never heard of that outfit, but I will not do business with any group of microcephalic twits who can't/won't distinguish between law and policy.

Anonymous said...

@Phillip

You are asked to spell out everything because its a BATFE regulation. When semi-occasionally the 4473s are audited by Der GewehrPolizei, each failure to comply is tallied. Enough "dings" and your friendly gunstore becomes a friendly no gun store until further notice. Most FFLs see license suspensions and revocations as "bad". We're sorry y'all have to spell things out, but just like a trip to the johnnie, nothing's finished until the paperwork is dealt with.


LawDog,

When dealing with chainstores, gun or otherwise, one rule never changes:

When You Pay Peanuts, You Get Monkeys.*

*(Public Domain. Fair use allowed. May contain peanuts.)

Usually when treated thusly, I find it profitable to request the minion's supervisor. On subsequent visits, I also bring bananas - the actual kind - and give them to store help to distract them while I shop.

Should Acadummy peruse the number of persons who visit this blog, I should not find surprising some weak attempt by them to kiss up.
In that eventuality, I heartily recommend you direct them to the YouTube legendary viral video, and catchy tune "United Breaks Guitars".
A few words regarding The Legend Of Jim Zumbo, as only you could do justice to it, might also be in order.

These intarwebs are phenomenal, because only here in cyberspace can you get Fortune 500 companies to urinate on their own heads, for no discernable return on investment.

Glad to se your sense of humor is intact, and you aren't doing anything to get your blood pressure up.

Best Regards,
-Aesop

Miguel said...

I think it is some sort of corporate culture that makes bog box stores give false information, namely "we don't want to spend monies in properly training our firearms sales associates."

A couple of years or so and after Dick's opened a store nearby, I decided to pay them a visit, see what were they offering and maybe buy some ammo. They had a decent selection of long guns but no handguns which I found strange.
I asked the Pro-Active challenged hipster behind the counter why handguns were not available and with a straight face he told me: "It is against Florida law."
I called BS and proceed to ask him about their FFL, 4473 and I got a "pfffft" for answer.
I left and never been back. If they have idiots behind the counter like that, I am afraid of what kind of screw ups they can get me in with the Feds because they are not smart enough to squeeze a pimple much less keep important records straight.

Skip said...

I bought a CZ P-07 recently at a local shop. Ten days later I get it home and find it came with two 16 round mags. Cool! Trouble is, in this state, 10 round max.
Hope they don't get in trouble someday.

Ms. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ms. said...

it's a straw purchase. You can give a gun as a gift, no problem, but if they pay you back you're both felons
Bologna.
It's a straw purchase if the person to whom you subsequently sell it isn't legally allowed to have firearms/ammo, and you know that, & you go ahead anyway.

But if my friend sees a G18 at the local gun show, & knows I've wanted one, so buys it with the intent to give or sell it to me, s/he is still the purchaser & owner (until it comes within my sight, then it's MINE)... and neither of us is a criminal.

Ms. said...

OK, perhaps I shouldn't have used a G18 as an example, 'cause then we're getting into paperwork for having an automatic.
How about a G30 or 36?

Anonymous said...

Wow, you sure expect a lot from the Walmart of Sporting Goods 8.00 an hour employees.
Right or wrong, all you had to do is ask for the Manager, rather than mind wrestling with a fence post.