A while back, I wrote about my experiences attempting to sell my homemade extracts at the farmers market in a post called Expanding My Empire. I now have another experience to share on my dealings with the feds, just as pleasant.
I”ve never been a person that has really had a problem with the feds, but honestly I think it’s because I never really had to deal with them. I deal with them in my personal life as you hear about on this site, as well as in my professional life, which I keep off of this blog. Most times, I just do what they say as I shake my head and ask why, but occasionally I get annoyed enough to write about my trials. This is one of those time.
As many long time readers (thank you!) know, I’ve been trying to buy a rifle for a while now. I asked santa for one for the last 2 Christmases but santa kept saying no. Dissapointed, but not totally deterred, I went to a black friday event in 2011 (at a normal time) to buy a rifle. I had a very old drivers license, and since I knew I was going to move soon, I had not bothered updating the address. They wouldnt even let me fill out the forms if my address didnt match. I took note of that, left disappointed. Of course, that was all my fault (though most kids in college/post college dont get a real address until they buy a house, so this is a common problem). At that point, I decided to shelve the issue for the elk hunting season and deal with it next year. I had bigger fish to fry.
This black friday was my second try. I had looked over rifles, determined what I wanted to buy in terms of model, caliber, etc and then started scanning the black friday ads. Not many stores put firearms on sale during black friday, but I managed to find something that was a pretty good deal. It was a good quality make/model, the caliber I wanted and it came with a scope. It was only $279. I told the guy I wanted to buy it, and he called in my number to instant criminal check or whatever that is called. Of course, the system was overloaded and had completely shut down (which happens during high volume transaction times, like black friday). They told me to come back in the next day and they’d get everything take care of.
So I turn up the next day, go through the same procedure and then the guy says the background check came back with a “delay” status. Basically means that they needed to do further research and needed 3 business days to do it, making it so the transaction wouldnt be able to take place until I was back in wyoming. While I dont do much shopping in montana because it’s so far, it does have the added benefit of no sales tax, which has now added ~15 to my total cost.
Once I get back in wyoming, I go to a gun store and find the gun I want and they have to order it. After a week or so it comes in, and the price of the gun from this place is $350, which is about what I could have bought it for off the internet, plus a $15 transfer fee. So, I agree to the price, adding another $75 to my cost. Once the firearm is back at the store, I go through the background check again and then come back later to get my rifle.
Unfortunately, this rifle does not come with a scope, adding another cost on to my purchase. Though some scopes are cheap (like 25 bucks) you get what you pay for and it’s important to have something decent. I dont need something that costs 2k (yes, they exist, and are probably overkill). I went and looked at scopes, then went home and read some reviews online. I found one that will suit me for $100, so I went back to purchase it. My lucky day though, it was on sale 25% off! Major score, and better than nothing, but with the other one I wouldnt have had to pay at all.
On top of all of this, I also had to buy some scope mounts, which cost about $40 for the pair that I picked out that fit my rifle. I didnt know I needed to buy these (thought my rifle came with them) so that was another surprise!
So, because of the snafu in montana I had to pay sales tax (5%, or 18 dollars), for a scope (75 dollars) and more for the gun $350 vs $275, $75 dollars, and scope mounts for $40. This is a grand total of $208 bucks. I’ll either invoice the feds for this in april, or call the small amount of bartering I do every year a wash with them. What do you think?
Readers: Have you ever had a situation where dealing with the government has cost you money? What was going on, and how did you get around it?
I would like to also take a moment to express my deep sorrow for the victims of last weeks shooting in newton. I dont even have the words to describe how awful I think that was.