Friday, July 21, 2023

Biden's Stance on Firearms Pushing Major Retailers Towards Excessive Gun Sale Limitations


Last week, Cecil Trimble, a 35-year-old manager in the food service industry, decided to take his fishing reel to the Bass Pro Shop in Tampa for a line replacement. As he waited, he meandered to the gun department where he found the SIG SAUER P365 XMACRO, an item he had been keen to acquire for several weeks.

The 9mm pistol was in high demand and Bass Pro Shop priced it at approximately $800. This didn't deter Trimble who informed the sales representative of his intent to purchase. He filled out a Form 4473 and presented his Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License, a document which made him exempt from any waiting period. Having previously bought several firearms from Bass Pro Shop, Trimble anticipated a quick transaction.

Sig Sauer P365X Macro

However, the shop attendant informed him, "The ATF has approved you, but we're rejecting the sale," Trimble shared with the Second Amendment Foundation's Investigative Journalism Project.

Incredulous, Trimble sought an explanation. He was informed that his brother-in-law had unsuccessfully attempted to purchase a firearm from the same shop a month prior due to a self-denial on Form 4473, likely due to misinterpreting a question. Although his brother-in-law had moved out from their shared residence years ago, he had neglected to update his address on his driver's license.


When Trimble inquired how this affected his purchase, he was told that Bass Pro's policy prevents the sale of firearms to individuals residing at the same address as someone who has had a purchase denied. "He hasn’t lived with me for years. I understand the concern about straw purchases, but his attempt was for a $200 revolver while mine is for an $800 9mm," Trimble expressed.

Although the firearms manager agreed with Trimble, he was unable to reach the compliance GM to resolve the matter. Now, Trimble and anyone else at his address are prohibited from purchasing firearms from Bass Pro.

Trimble argues his brother-in-law, a retired military personnel and Florida CWFL holder, is not a prohibited person. He speculates his brother-in-law misunderstood a question on Form 4473, but the staff remained resolute. "My concern is, if I moved into a residence previously occupied by someone who was denied, I couldn't prove I'm not involved in a straw purchase, and I'd be forever banned from purchasing from Bass Pro," says Trimble.

Bass Pro did not respond to numerous attempts to obtain their commentary on this story, whether from their corporate communications team or the Tampa facility's general manager, Jarron Ritchie.

Inquiries directed to Bass Pro's firearm compliance directors were redirected to their corporate communications team, who also did not respond.

A conversation with "Joe," a manager at the Tampa store, initially suggested ATF was responsible, but he later admitted, "We do maintain a data record on this." However, he declined to elaborate on their corporate background check policy. "At store level, I'm not permitted to discuss these matters," Joe expressed.

It's noteworthy that a gun retailer can deny a firearm transfer to anyone, and doesn't need a specific reason for the refusal.

The Biden-Harris administration's tough stance on gun dealers has led to a 500% increase in Federal Firearm License revocations since their inauguration. If a big-box gun store like Bass Pro lost its FFL, it would be disastrous for the store and its patrons, explaining their caution when transferring firearms.

However, Bass Pro's concern over straw purchases seems misplaced in this context. Typically, straw purchases occur within 72 hours of a denial, not a month later, and usually involve the same gun, not a $200 revolver followed by an $800 9mm.

The following day, Trimble found and purchased a P365 from a local gun store. The entire experience brought to mind another business fiasco. 

Recalling the Dick's Sporting Goods controversy, Trimble stated, "This could be a slippery slope similar to what happened with Dick's." He added, "They're not preventing straw purchases. I responded to that question on a federal form, which should be adequate. Bass Pro said they'd call me the next day. I'm still awaiting that call."

While Bass Pro is within its rights to establish its policies, they should also be prepared to clarify them when queried by the public. Even during its controversial period, Dick's managed to do this.

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