Buying a firearm (and the headache that can ensue)

Discussion in 'Firearms, Shooting, Optics, & Outdoor Gear' started by AZ~ThunderDan, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. AZ~ThunderDan

    AZ~ThunderDan Site Administrator Staff Member Super Mod Mod Premium Member

    I thought I'd share some facts I discovered while trying to purchase a new shotgun prior to the early dove season last year.

    Current federal firearm laws requires that in order to purchase a firearm, you must first provide a valid picture ID, complete with a "physical" address. The next procedure is passing the background check which is initiated by the retailer. If both of these criteria are met, you are now the proud owner of a new firearm.

    Last year, while shopping at the Wal-Mart in Flagstaff, AZ., I decided on a whim that I'd buy me a new shotgun. After all, the one I currently owned was old and the return spring was getting weak. After deciding on the shotgun I wanted, I informed the clerk I wished to purchase it. Asking me for my ID, I produced my Arizona state-issued drivers license and handed it to him. The clerk immediately handed me back my license and said, "I'm sorry, Sir, I can't sell you the shotgun."

    Taken back by his announcement, I thought for a moment that perhaps he didn't like my picture? I inquired as to why and he informed me that he needed an ID with a "physical" address "on" it. Well, it turns out my license has my PO Box as my address. No big deal, I thought, as my wife was with me. I'll simply go find her in the store and have her purchase the shotgun for me. Nope, her drivers license had our PO Box listed as her address as well. No problem, right, she's a federal employee who works as a postal carrier and she had her Postal ID with her. Turns out it's a valid photo ID all right, but, there's no "physical" address on it either. Now, keep in mind that in order to work for the the USPS, one must go through an extensive back-ground check and finger printing. Well, "sorry lady", that still doesn't work when it comes to purchasing a firearm.

    Frustrated more at myself than the clerk, we left without buying a shotgun. We then drove across the street to a Big 5 Sports store and I explained my dillema to the clerk there. The clerk said "That's not a problem, Sir, just go down to the nearest MVD office (a short drive away) and obtain a "19 month" driving record. This will have your physical address listed and it's tied to your name, date of birth and current drivers license." I told the clerk thanks for clarifying the matter.

    Off we went to MVD. I waited in line (the norm at MVD) and finally got my drivers record. A whooping $4 later and I was out the door and headed back to Wal-Mart.

    I showed the same clerk at Wal-Mart my newly acquired "drivers record" and my drivers license. Nervously and confused, he called a manager for assitance (actually 2 managers showed up) and they both arrived at the counter at the same time. After huddling up and whispering between themselves, a manager turned to me and said, "I'm sorry, Sir, we can't accept this. Our store policy requires that a picture ID must also contain the physical address 'on' it."

    Needless to say, I left Wal-Mart disgruntled and felt like I was some sort of terrorist or something. Once we arrived back in Winslow, I thought to myself, what the heck, I'll pop in at the Wal-Mart here and see what their store policy is? Once inside, I asked the clerk to sell me the same shotgun I had chosen in Flagstaff.

    "May I see a picture ID" asked the clerk? I promptly gave her my drivers license and the notarized driving record document. Within minutes, I had my gun and was cheerfully escorted out the door! (Perhaps now they thought I was "legal" terrorist?) LOL.

    I have since acquired my CCW permit. Keep in mind, a CCW is not a picture ID, however, if you show it and your current drivers license (PO Box address or not), you can purchase a firearm with no problems. The moral of the story is simple. Store policies are not always the same and are discretional from store to store.

    If any of you wish to purchase a firearm, I suggest that you make absolute sure that you have the ID issue resolved first. It may save you from wanting to punch a gun-fearing liberal politician... and, a clerk at Wal-Mart!

    And the thunder rolls...

  2. I went through a similar rigamarole with Sportsman's Warehouse - 3 x 80-mile round trips - all regarding proof of 3 month's at my current residence. I ended up talking to an Area Manager who planned to implement my suggestion that SW should have a list of what is acceptable.

  3. Now, u see why I own bows!!
    Actually, the best thing you could probably do is, buy used from a private individual.
  4. Last firearm I bought the whole transaction amounted to the following transaction.

    You the guy who called about the 45-70?
    Yup. Could I see it?
    Sure, here.
    Will ya take $200?
    No, couldn't do that.
    Will ya meat me half way, I'll give ya $225.
    OK, here. I've got a few shells left in this box you can have too. Don't need 'em now.
    Here ya go.


    I don't shop at Walmart unless I absolutely have to.
  5. SG777

    SG777 Guest

    Last year I moved to Queen Creek (Pinal) and went to buy a few new guns...found out from the store owner that you need a DL with current address, he also said a voter registration card and a picture DL would work...

    Moved to Sierra Vista in Jan, 2007 and have bought another 5-6 guns this year witht eh same DL (wrong address) and my voters reg. card...this last gun, the woman on phone gave a clerk all my info before he gave it to her...I guess I have bought a few guns...:)
  6. The first time i bought a firearm in AZ i had a PO and was told to bring in an eletric bill or some utility bill with the physical address that had my name on it along with my ID
  7. try being a california resident and in the military... its a NIGHTMARE to buy firearms if they dont accept a military ID, im sure you have all seen that big sign that says they can't sell firearms to a california resident, thats a pain in the butt if there ever was one...
  8. AZ~ThunderDan

    AZ~ThunderDan Site Administrator Staff Member Super Mod Mod Premium Member

    Say what? Wal-Mart stores located in California won't sell you a gun because you're military and currently reside in California? Can I buy a gun in a California Wal-Mart store because I reside in Arizona, with the required documentation?

    Oh, and :welcome: to the forum twg901. Hope to see you here often.
  9. Friz95

    Friz95 Guest

    I was in a Wal-Mart the other day and they had a sign above the gun case that said they could not sell a firearm to you if you were a resident of California.
    I didn't really think about it until I read this post. Wonder what the reason is for
    Cali residents only.
  10. its some state law in california to prevent people from going outside the state buying firearms and then coming back...

    im stationed in arizona that is the problem i have, i have a heck of a time getting firearms because i may be a california citizen but because i am stationed here i am a arizona resident... for some reason that doesn't make a ton of sense to people it usually takes me an entire day or two to finally convince them that they can sell me a firearm, it's rediculous...