Letters for June 2, 2016

Gun show odyssey

I attended my first gun show in Reno Saturday at the convention center. The Wild West still lives. Aside from the $8 parking fee and the $12 entrance fee, it is safer and thriftier to buy from a local firearms dealer.

I did buy a hand gun. It was a Ruger 380 LCP lightweight with a price tag of $229. Problems began. The salesman obtained a boxed firearm from under the counter. He then took me to a table. Another salesman asked for my driver’s license. He filled out a sales ticket. As he talked to me, a sales lady nearby began speaking to me at the same time.

The salesman slid the sales ticket toward me, instructing me to sign, which I did. All the while, the saleswoman continued attempting to sell me accessories. The salesman placed my driver’s license over the center of the sales ticket thereby obscuring part of the writing.

I paid $304.31 in cash, including tax and transfer fee. The salesman then escorted me several booths away to another table while he carried the boxed firearm, my driver’s license and the sales ticket. He turned the items over to yet another person whom I later learned was a Transfer dealer.

I filled out a transfer form. The Transfer dealer made a quick background check. She then signed her part of the transfer form, stapled her business card and another paper called an “OK to Release” tag to the sales ticket. She returned my driver’s license and handed me the boxed handgun and sales ticket.

I exited the gun show perplexed. It was Sunday morning when I realized I was charged $249, not $229 as advertised. The sales ticket did not state the name, or the address, or the email address, or the telephone number of the selling dealer!

I contacted the Transfer dealer protesting that I was charged the wrong amount. She said she was just the Transfer dealer and could do nothing about the sale. I asked for the name of the Selling dealer. I Googled his name to discover he was a dealer in Arizona.

I suspected, but cannot prove, that the overcharge was a bait-and-switch ploy. To recap, I had been herded from the display case to a table, spoken to by two people at the same time which distracted and confused me while the sales ticket was slid before me for my signature. Then I was taken to yet another table several booths away for more paperwork. I was not handed the sales ticket until all the paperwork was done.

On Monday, I noticed on the sales ticket a faint hand stamp stating:

All sales are final

Used Firearms sold as is

$50.00 restocking fee

Warranty thru Manufacturer

I question the legality of hand stamping “All sales are final” followed by the “$50.00 restocking fee.” Which is it? All sales are final or a restocking fee?

After citing Nevada fraud and abuse statutes, the Transfer dealer, the Selling dealer and I were on a conference call. The Seller said the reason the gun was $249 was because it was on sale. I told the dealer if that was his answer, then the discussion was over. He suddenly added that I could return the gun for full refund, which I did. (All sales are final?)

People attend gun shows expecting to get a bargain. I checked two local stores and discovered that exact gun sold for $229. A buyer should ask himself if it is possible for an out-of-state dealer to travel from Prescott, Phoenix or Tucson to Reno, pay for transportation, food and lodging, pay a hundred-dollar booth fee and pay a fee to the Transfer dealer, and yet sell guns cheaper than Scheels or Bizarre Guns. It is not possible unless they are dumping inventory or pushing seconds, or perhaps doing bait-and-switch cons. Customers also dish out $20 in parking and entrance fees before they even enter the show. It’s a lose-lose situation for buyers.

Regarding the Transfer dealer, their shop was [a] front for enabling out of state sellers and individuals to dump guns in Nevada. That practice should be eliminated!

Washoe County Gun Shows need oversight. An out of state dealer should not be able to come into our state and set up a booth unless they have a license or permit to do business in Nevada. Gun show dealers should be required to display their name, address and contact information on all paperwork.

Gun dealers should be required to reveal any known defect in a firearm. Even automobile dealers are required to reveal known vehicle defects. Should they be allowed to sell a defective firearm that might blow up in a user’s face? Should they be allowed to conceal their identity and location? Absolutely not. Washoe County Gun Shows lack rational regulations.

Charles Barnum



Re “School grants case nears high court” (News, May 26):

In an article about Nevada’s new program that pays parents to take children out of public schools, we said that the Reno Gazette-Journal reported that “about 80 percent of the people who have applied for the grants under the new Nevada program have median incomes greater than the average median income.” The RGJ actually reported that the “vast majority of applicants—80 percent—live in neighborhoods where median household incomes outpace the state median of $51,000.”