|DATE:||March 16, 2018|
|TO:||USF & NRA Member and Friends|
|FROM:||Marion P. Hammer
|USF Executive Director
|NRA Past President
FDLE “Help Line” is Not Much Help
As previously reported, the passing of the Florida gun control bill was so orchestrated by Republicans that as soon as Governor Scott signed the bill into law, FDLE quickly shut down the background check system for hours to update the system to accommodate the new gun control provisions. They did this with no prior notice to dealers.
Although FDLE had enough advance notice to make modifications to their software to accommodate the changes in the law, they apparently didn’t train their customer service representatives to actually help dealers who call in for clarification.
There have been a significant number of complaints from dealers. In addition, a common complaint from those who have called the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Help Line is they are not getting much help. The most common complaint is that they are being told that employees at customer service were not attorneys and that it is up to individual FFL’s to interpret the law as it pertains to date of purchase and/or transfer, or to consult their own attorney for clarification on questions pertaining to the new law.
It does seem, however, that FDLE can arbitrarily make their own rules and give clarification if they choose.
It appears that FDLE has already decided that a person under 21 who has a firearm in pawn shop has 30-90 days to reclaim their firearm before losing it. (the time frame depends on which FDLE employee you talk to). But FDLE is apparently not willing to give the same consideration to a person under 21 who owns a rifle or shotgun and has it in a gun shop to sell on consignment.
Financial Losses for those Under 21
The gun bill was rammed through the Legislature and signed by the Governor at incredible speed and in their zeal, they made almost all of the bill take effect the day it was signed into law. That has caused considerable damage to innocent people.
Before the law took effect, if a young adult under 21 had a rifle or shotgun:
1. On lay-away, they now cannot have their firearm and have probably lost any monies already paid since lay-away plans generally specify no refunds, no returns and no exchanges.
2. On special order and it was already purchased and paid for in full but hasn’t arrived, they now cannot have the firearm when it arrives. FDLE will effectively nullify the purchase and will deny possession.
And since it was a special order, they may not be able to return it and get their money back. If the seller does agree to take it back, there may be a significant re-stocking fee and the local dealer will require them to pay shipping to send it back.
3. Purchased online, paid for in full and shipped to a local dealer, they now cannot have the firearm when it arrives. FDLE will effectively nullify the purchase and will deny possession. If the seller agrees to take it back there may be a significant re-stocking fee and the dealer will require them to pay shipping to send it back.
4. In a pawn shop, FDLE will allow them either 30 days or 90 days to get it back or they lose it. (time frame depends on which FDLE employee you talk to).
The following questions remain unanswered:
For a gun on consignment that doesn’t sell, how do they get it back? FDLE would not answer that question. In fact, FDLE said to call ATF but ATF said it’s a state law so it’s up to FDLE.
For a gun in a gun shop for repairs, will they be able to get it back? FDLE has apparently not decided how they will handle that.
The bottom line is a person under 21 is being prohibited from receiving a firearm they ALREADY own if it has to be transferred to them through a dealer. FDLE will deny a transfer to anyone under 21 years of age.
This report is based on reports to us from dealers who have tried to get information from FDLE, from attorneys, and from young adults who have had their Second Amendment rights denied.
Please be advised, that unlike the other gun control sections of the law, the section that bans bump stocks does not take effect until October 1, 2018.