Another Unfortunate Gun Bonded Warehouse (Tombstone Trading Post)

Rating - 100%
46   0   0
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
1,347
Likes
1,848
Location
Massachusetts
A great many of you know me both privately through many private transactions, shoots, and local meets. Others know me through my part-time FFL Pathfinder Armament that I've been operating at the mill in Littleton for a few years now. As stated I am part-time (therefore possessing a day job as well) and people around me know well that if I don't have something nor can I get it I will gladly make a recommendation to point you in the right direction.

It comes with a heavy heart that what I otherwise used to recommend as a decent Western/Central Massachusetts gun store for military surplus is part of the system that plagues gun owners in Massachusetts. Tombstone Trading Post in Brookfield, Massachusetts got involved in a police pickup that they had zero business nor right getting involved with. Now the events occurred recently, but I have allowed some time to pass to see if my thoughts on the matter evolved. After a conversations with other FFLs in our building I am making this post, but trying to remove any potential emotional biases out of it. You know who you are.

I had somebody who is both a customer and personal friend temporarily lose their LTC over domestic disputes. The situation itself ended up being a big nothing, but regardless he did lose his LTC and local police department confiscated all firearms involved. I will not be outing the department for obvious reasons. They did not immediately send his firearms to a bonded warehouse and actually stored them all for the duration of the case and the eventual reinstatement of his license. You read correctly that he did in fact get his license back in short enough order. The police department returned all of his firearms to him (including new production stripped lowers), but somehow came to the conclusion that a Glock 17 Gen 5 MOS and a completed Anderson needed to be transferred through a FFL. Naturally having done numerous police pickups (some of which are documented in this forum) I volunteer my time to my friend. The department on the other hand determined that the firearms would be transferred by Tombstone. Per conversations that were had with my customer and the chief of police it was confirmed that Tombstone confirmed they would transfer both firearms back to him.
Now the astute among us will already know that these firearms were registered to this individually lawfully and there was no need for an FFL at all. I already had voiced this concern, but was told they wanted a FFL and were choosing Tombstone against the owner's lawful request. Now the next parts happen very quickly.
They pick up both firearms from the department. Now part of police pickups is verifying all firearms and a minor inspection. This is the time in which if you do not plan on actually transferring back to the original owner you would think you would mention so? Or if you viewed the firearm as unlawful. Well, they pick up both guns and proceed to transfer my customer his own Glock (that again is already registered to him and doesn't need a FFL at all) to the tune of over $120. But as bad as that is, that's not why we're here. They refused to transfer the AR15 back to him on grounds that it was noncompliant due to being able to accept a detachable magazine and possessing a "flash hider." In quotations because the "flash hider" is pictured below and is in fact a Strike Industries compensated muzzle brake. Now I will admit as far as the identification of the flash hider, that is hearsay from the firearm owner to me.
I will not tell you what to do with your FFL, but if you didn't intend on transferring the firearm back to the original owner based upon this faulty criteria, perhaps you should not have accepted the firearm in the first place? You already illegally transferred a fully assembled glock 17 and used the dealer MIRCS portal to register it to him a second time. So clearly concern of the law isn't entirely warranted. I can only come to the conclusion your hopes were that the owner would surrender the rifle to you or sell it and you collect your consignment commission. Still though, our encounter has not concluded. My customer calls me stating that they won't transfer it back to him. I immediately call over as his requesting FFL for FFL transfer and they won't speak to me until he calls them back and gives expressed permission that they can speak to me as if they are under violation of HIPAA as a medical professional (something I might know a thing or two about). I call them back and the owner explains to me that my customer is correct and he will not transfer the firearm. I ask him why not? He explains himself. I ask why he even got involved at this point in the first place based on that information. Tells me that my beef is with the local PD.

Well, you are right that I do take issue with how the police department handled this, but you are the self created obstacle at this point. "I would like to pick up X's AR15 as soon as possible. I can make it out there as early as tomorrow" I was informed that they only do those types of transfers by appointment and on specific days of the week and the earliest day was 4 days (Friday to Tuesday) from that point. I asked if my customer was being charged for storage on days that he couldn't pick them up by their rules and to no surprise. He was being charged for this completely nebulous and unavailable time. Now we are finally getting into what sent me over the edge. This is already bad in my opinion, but last thing you do is start making up rules for other FFLs within your own state. He would require the license to carry of a fully-licensed FFL in his home state. I won't lie that I responded negatively to this because it isn't by required by law nor is it reasonable given dealing FFL to FFL. Instead of going through all this extra hassle I request that the firearms be shipped to my FFL to avoid this unnecessary invasion of expectation. He refused to ship a firearm to another fully licensed FFL because "Now I don't know that you have a LTC" as if that matters. Again honestly, I, a rare instance, let my anger get the best of me. He then gives me the ultimatum that he doesn't have to transfer them to me at all and for the sake of my friend, I shut up for the moment.
We finally set on Tuesday. I arrive at 11am and figures, he doesn't accept cards on these transactions because he doesn't know that I won't reverse the charges. You have multiple signed documents that I'm accepting the firearm and the charges and you're concerned with me reversing charges? Again, for the sake of the customer I pay cash and leave.

Could I have handled this better? Yes, I'll admit I was an a**h*** upon hearing the ridiculous requirements towards another dealer. Massachusetts is already a difficult enough state to live in and situations like these only make it harder. I really hope the couple hundred dollars you made was worth it. I otherwise wish you the best, and will let everybody decide for themselves. I will say consider yourself lucky that there wasn't a lawyer involved. Apologies for the rambling, it was a lot to process and it was weeks in the making. Let this be a continued lesson about gun bonded warehouses and they are not friends of the 2nd amendment community.

Edit to add for newcomers to this thread: Apparently from documented posts in this thread (with proof) they also charge percentage of firearms on personal transfers that is allegedly remanded to the state. This is described as estimated tax value when once again that is not required by law and the owner is making it up as he goes.

Flash Hider.jpg
 
Last edited:
Rating - 100%
46   0   0
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
1,347
Likes
1,848
Location
Massachusetts
Glad to see someone with morals and not afraid to call someone out. This will end in GunParlorcide.
It didn't have to end this way. There were multiple points to not get involved, involved to the level they did or just politely transfer the gun to somebody else and say "My bad to that one"
 
Rating - 100%
46   0   0
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
1,347
Likes
1,848
Location
Massachusetts
Didnt known it at the time and was also under a time crunch as I would have gone elsewhere but I met a NES member there for a sale. They charged a percentage of the value of the gun plus a transfer fee.

They are dead to me.
Wait. They charged you a percentage of a private sale transfer? Or was this consignment?
 

Mtn_Guy

NES Member
Rating - 100%
68   0   0
Joined
Oct 1, 2016
Messages
3,091
Likes
8,518
Location
a little bit east of Worcester, MA
Thats appears to be a Strike Industries King Comp pictured… I believe technically it is considered a compensated flash hider… I agree with OP that it is bogus, and shouldn’t have hindered the transfer but it’s a lesson to some if you are ambiguous, it’s probably gonna count against you in Massachusetts unfortunately. I actually had one of those on a rifle once (sold it)… functioned primarily as a comp and did little to mitigate flash, but it all comes down to how a product is marketed.

I had a Noveske Flaming Pig flash hider on a factory Noveske that I had to swap out for a Herra Arms linear comp. The two were functionally identical, but the website for Noveske called it a flash hider and Herra Arms called it a Comp… I know, I know - I pandered because of the optics all to comply with a BS law, but when you’re talking about a $3K rifle, you don’t want to mess with a subjective CLEO or FFL.

if you are at liberty to share, which 2A Atty did your friend use? I can take a guess, but it’s always good to validate assumptions.

Hopefully all starts to improve for your buddy.
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Jan 13, 2021
Messages
2,424
Likes
7,082
Location
People's Republic of Massachusetts
Damn shame people be throwing away a perfectly good Yelp profile like that.

 
Rating - 100%
46   0   0
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
1,347
Likes
1,848
Location
Massachusetts
Thats appears to be a Strike Industries King Comp pictured… I believe technically it is considered a compensated flash hider… I agree with OP that it is bogus, and shouldn’t have hindered the transfer but it’s a lesson to some if you are ambiguous, it’s probably gonna count against you in Massachusetts unfortunately. I actually had one of those on a rifle once (sold it)… functioned primarily as a comp and did little to mitigate flash, but it all comes down to how a product is marketed.

I had a Noveske Flaming Pig flash hider on a factory Noveske that I had to swap out for a Herra Arms linear comp. The two were functionally identical, but the website for Noveske called it a flash hider and Herra Arms called it a Comp… I know, I know - I pandered because of the optics all to comply with a BS law, but when you’re talking about a $3K rifle, you don’t want to mess with a subjective CLEO or FFL.

if you are at liberty to share, which 2A Atty did your friend use? I can take a guess, but it’s always good to validate assumptions.

Hopefully all starts to improve for your buddy.
It is marketed as a compensator/muzzle brake combo with zero literature indicating flash reduction. It also fails the ever talked about “pinky test”
Otherwise I do understand what you’re getting at.
I didn’t find out about it until I got the contact traces from the feds at which point he was actually already getting his license back. I honestly didn’t even think to ask who he used.
Luckily for him, he’s back on track for everything else.
 
Rating - 100%
46   0   0
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
1,347
Likes
1,848
Location
Massachusetts
If this was for a straight up transfer they're crooks, and that's beyond whatever went on with your story in the original post.
That may be. But that is their right to do so. The community will decide if it’s appropriate. I’m actually curious to his response if consignment or private. Edit: posted below that this was indeed a private sale. Holy shit to that.
 
Last edited:

pj150

NES Member
Rating - 99.4%
167   1   0
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
2,596
Likes
801
Location
Merrimack Valley
Wait. They charged you a percentage of a private sale transfer? Or was this consignment?
Yes. This was a private sale and a percentage of the gun value + transfer fee was imposed. Not consignment.

I'll try to dig up the receipt. I have it but just need to get it and snap a pic.
 
Last edited:

mousegunguy

NES Member
Rating - 100%
39   0   0
Joined
Feb 10, 2013
Messages
1,289
Likes
1,287
Location
the brookfields
Yes. This was a private sale and a percentage of the gun value + transfer fee was imposed. Not consignment.

I'll try to dig up the receipt. I have it but just need to get it and snap a pic.
Tombstone did the same to me on a private transfer years ago. They said I had to pay them the tax on the sale.
I’ve never been back and they’re just a few miles away from me.
 

not new guy

NES Member
Rating - 100%
81   0   0
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
31,693
Likes
42,707
Tombstone did the same to me on a private transfer years ago. They said I had to pay them the tax on the sale.
I’ve never been back and they’re just a few miles away from me.

So they're saying they're collecting it as a tax? I wonder if they're actually remitting that $ to the state...
 
Rating - 100%
46   0   0
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
1,347
Likes
1,848
Location
Massachusetts
Tombstone did the same to me on a private transfer years ago. They said I had to pay them the tax on the sale.
I’ve never been back and they’re just a few miles away from me.
This I have seen them do and frankly that’s none of their business either.
Why did you proceed?
I’m wondering this too, but I’ll wait for the picture to see what they charged for a fee in addition to the transfer fee.
 

mousegunguy

NES Member
Rating - 100%
39   0   0
Joined
Feb 10, 2013
Messages
1,289
Likes
1,287
Location
the brookfields
Why did you proceed?
If my memory serves me right the transfer had already been done before I was told I was responsible for the tax. I’d always done efa10s. It seemed kinda shady but the buyer was willing to split the transfer fee & $30 ‘tax’.
I felt stupid when I found out no other ffl does that. It was a $15 lesson on which store to avoid
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Jan 11, 2015
Messages
6,500
Likes
13,250
Location
Southwest NH
If my memory serves me right the transfer had already been done before I was told I was responsible for the tax. I’d always done efa10s. It seemed kinda shady but the buyer was willing to split the transfer fee & $30 ‘tax’.
I felt stupid when I found out no other ffl does that. It was a $15 lesson on which store to avoid

That's what I figured. He told you the fee AFTER you were already obligated. Scumbag move, from a seemingly scumbag dealer. But like you said, it was a cheap lesson.
 

Broc

NES Member
Rating - 100%
14   0   0
Joined
Sep 18, 2010
Messages
44,768
Likes
80,021
Wow ..

1. OP, you are a great friend.

2. F*ck those c*nts at Tombstone.

I wonder what would happen if your friend would have:

1. Asked them to see the rifle, then walk away with it. What will they do, say he stole his gun?

Or

2. Report the rifle as stolen.
 
Top Bottom