Last month, I wrote about an unpleasant gun store experience, and my decision to boycott that gun store. That story now has a happy ending, thanks to a local FFL who has really impressed me:
Background on the unpleasant gun store experience
To briefly recap, I went in to B&B Shooting Supplies in Bettendorf, IA to try and purchase a Ruger 10/22. They didn’t have it in stock, and had no idea how long it would take to get the rifle. Knowing that it was available from an online gun store, I asked how much they would charge to perform the transfer. B&B refused to perform the transfer for any price, effectively preventing me from purchasing the rifle that I wanted, because they didn’t want to give business to an online gun store. I was rather shocked that B&B flat out refused to perform the transfer. I certainly understood their desire to sell me a gun themselves. I could have understand charging me $100 to transfer the $250 gun. In fact, I could even understand them refusing to perform the transfer if they had the rifle there for sale, or could get it at some definite time. But, when they don’t have the gun in stock, and can’t even estimate when they will get the gun in stock, it is a different story – especially since I was quite willing to pay a fee for the transfer. What really irritated me was that I had spent over $2,000 at B&B in the previous two months alone, buying a Rock River Arms AR-15, hundreds of rounds of .223 ammo, hundreds of rounds of .40S&W ammo, thousands of rounds of .22 LR ammo, magazines, targets, cleaning supplies, and other gun accessories. In my book, that sort of spending warrants decent customer service, rather than a conscious decision to treat a customer like nothing more than a walking wallet. So, I decided to boycott B&B and take my business elsewhere. More information on this situation, including B&B’s response to my letter that I sent them, my reply to that response, and background information on FFL transfers can be seen in this post and the comments below it.
The solution – a local FFL
Irritated by B&B’s actions, I decided to take my business elsewhere. I shifted my local gun/ammo purchases to Square Shooters, another gun store in the area. I also went to GunBroker.com’s FFL Holder search page and found a few local FFLs who would perform transfers, allowing me to buy guns from online gun stores. I found a couple FFLs that would do the transfer for $25.00, which I found to be reasonable. Then I found one FFL, M & M Pawnbrokers, who would perform the transfer for only $10. In addition to having the lowest price, the gentleman from M&M took the time to fully answer my questions by email (and demonstrated a grasp on the English language that was far better than any of the other FFLs). After discussing the details of the transfer, Brian from M&M and I ended up discussing gun and gun rights for a bit. I then bought a Browning BT-99 (a single shot break open shotgun for trapshooting) from an online gun store, and had it shipped to M&M so that they could perform the transfer. The shotgun was delivered around 1 PM by UPS, and I called an hour later to make sure they were ready to perform the transfer. Brian said that he had already gotten the paperwork ready, and that I could stop by on my way home from work. I got to M&M later that afternoon, and completed the transfer paperwork in about 2 minutes. Brian and I then spent the next 15 minutes shooting the breeze about guns and a local gun range at which he volunteers. He also printed off a map for me, and made sure I would be able to find the range. We got so sidetracked that we both forgot about the $10 transfer fee, and I drove off without paying the fee. I realized this after about 5 minutes, and of course immediately returned to M&M to pay the $10. Since this was my first time dealing with M&M, I was concerned that my failure to pay for the transfer might be thought of as an intentional attempt to rip them off. Luckily, my concerns were misplaced, and Brian didn’t seem to be concerned about it in the least. Having paid the fee, I then drove home, feeling quite happy that I had found a FFL to give my business to.
For anyone in the Quad Cities area that is looking for a local FFL who will perform transfers, I whole heartedly recommend M&M Pawnbrokers. Not only is there transfer fee the lowest I’ve seen, but Brian is a certified Armorer, a competitive shooter, a firearms instructor, and an all around gun enthusiast. He cares more about guns and gun owners than the money he makes from them, as my first experience dealing the M&M shows. That is a welcome change from my unpleasant experience with B&B, where making a few dollars was apparently more important than the satisfaction of a customer who had already spent thousands of dollars at the store.
M & M Pawnbrokers Inc
1230 N Harrison St, Davenport, IA
Phone: (563) 322-3589
Email (through GunBroker.com)
Note: Given my negative experience with B&B, and the glowing recommendation I just gave M&M, I want to make clear that I was in no way compensated/paid to write the above article.