I just had one of the most stunning experiences dealing with ignorance
I have just had one of the most ridiculous experiences of my life and it happened in a gun shop. The following conversations are paraphrased.
This afternoon after I finished my exam, I went out searching for a Remington 870 Wingmaster Magnum in the St. Pete area, visiting shop after shop looking for the right gun. I had no success.
It was then that I entered a shop here that looks from the outside to be nothing more than a hole in the wall. Boy was I wrong. I'm not going to name the shop here, but those familiar with the area can probably figure it out and if you PM me, I'll tell you.
Anyway, so I walk in expecting that its going to have very little and wander into a vault-like back room to be stunned. In this room are more Title II weapons than I have ever seen for sale in my life, at least 30 of them, possibly closer to 50 or more. And I'm not talking suppressors; I'm talking machine guns. Original HKs, Colts, Mac10s, Uzis, etc. They also had a mini gun, a browning .50, a few grenade launchers, a barrett .50, and an original Thompson sourced from the FBI. This place was insane. I literally gawked in awe for a few minutes, particularly at an MP5N that was for sale. Pictures are located below for some insight.
In any case, I get talking to the woman behind the counter and ask if all this stuff is real and she says yes, that all the stuff with red tags are Title II (she said class III) and most are for sale.
Now, for a while now I've been looking for a RDIAS (Registered Drop In Auto Sear). So I asked if they had one and she said they didn't. I then asked if they had a Lightning Link and she said that she wasn't sure but would get someone who did know, who turned out to the owner of the guns and presumably the shop.
So this gentleman comes in and I introduce myself. I tell him that I'm looking for a drop in auto sear. He gives me a puzzled look and says "you're not going to find a sear that isn't mated to a gun. And its highly unlikely you're going to find a lightning link. You're better off buying the complete registered rifle."
I said "I'm really just looking for the sear; they're what's desirable at the moment, since you can swap them in and out of different lowers." He said "You're wrong. You can't do that. The sear is mated to the gun. When you fill out the form 4, you have to include both serial numbers. And once its in, you can't remove it. What kind of idiot told you that?"
I said "I'm pretty sure that's the point of these. You either source a lower with that is milled to accept the sear or you modify it to accept it. You then have to put the sear in and 'time' it with shims to make it run properly. The ATF considers the sear to be the machine gun, so its not an issue of what lower you put it in to and you can swap it into multiple lowers."
He then got very abrasive. "That's wrong. What kind of idiot told you that? Where are you getting your information. The sear is mated to the weapon. You can't swap it out. And you don't have to time it. There are no shims. Only an idiot would believe that."
At this point, I knew something was up. Clearly, there was a disconnect between what we were both thinking. He thought I was talking about the auto sear that comes from the factory and is an integral part of a factory registered receiver. I asked him if he had one to show me and he said that he had like 10. So he grabs a colt rifle off the wall and breaks it down to confirm my suspicions, that he is talking about the factory sear which is just a disconnector.
I calmly explained that that was not what I was talking about, whipped out the phone, and showed him this picture of a DIAS.
"What the hell is that piece of junk?" is essentially what he said. "I've never seen that before. It's a knockoff piece of junk."
At this point, I started to be bemused. For a man that purported to be quite the expert on Title II firearms, he clearly hadn't a clue. Seriously, it was laughable. He was so full of himself, so ignorant and arrogant and convinced of his own superior knowledge that he refused to acknowledge the truth. He had his head so far up his 4ss he couldn't pull it out and refused to try.
There's more to the conversation that I'm leaving out, but just know he truthfully does not know about rdias's and categorically refuses to acknowledge their value. He treated me like a child and as though I really was an idiot who didn't know what I was talking about. I wish I had some of you guys there to back me up.
I then casually asked how much the colt he showed me was and was told $25000, which I also secretly laughed at. I graciously thanked him for his time and left. Its stunning to me how people can think they know everything, belittle others, and really not have the slightest clue. Its even more stunning to know that he has that collection of weapons and is so ignorant, uneducated, and i guess well-off financially. If you read this sir, you are clueless and arrogant; you really should know what you're talking about before belittling others who know more than you do. And I've only been into this stuff for 3 years.
Everything you see with a red tag is a transferable title II firearm.
Title II weapons are either AOWs or Class III weapons for the most part, so it's not surprising that she called them Class III. Relative to Class III weapons (complete), RDIASs are about as common as a mint 1963 Ferrari with 0 miles on it so I'm not completely surprised by his lack of knowledge regarding them. The vast majority of the firearms community refers to regulated weapons and parts based on the "class" they fall in from what I've seen. Almost every firearm forum I'm on has a Class III section and none have a Title II section.
If you had bought and sold hundreds of Class III weapons and never a RDIAS you would probably consider yourself pretty knowledgeable on them, even if you didn't know about every individual Class III item available. I'm just trying to give some perspective. Finding a RDIAS for sale these days (especially at a reasonable price) is rarer than a broke fat kid finding a gorgeous chick willing to sleep with him.
I'd be willing to bet that most of those machine guns, if not post samples, were bought a long long time ago when the prices were much much cheaper. Back in the 70's my father had a chance to buy a thompson m1a1 from MGM for next to nothing and I know of several people who own uber expensive machine guns that they bought when they were in there early 20's but now they have a hard time setting back $500 for a pistol.
The higher than usual prices clearly show those are just there to be looked at, he has no real want or need to sell those machine guns.
I'd just about bet theres a good deal of post samples in there, IF that minigun is transferable they run over $200k and up. Parts kits and garwood 80% recievers are much cheaper if you catch my drift.
Funny thing about a DIAS, a coworker has one....his mother bought his father one before they got married in the 80's out of some mag. There 100% clueless that it was illegal, nor do they care.
I'm carefully searching for a DIAS...when i find a steel one for a reasonable price (not necessarily an amazing price, just not a grossly inflated one) that is in good shape and doesn't look like its going to self-destruct, I'm going to grab it. i really am wary of a RLL and I'd consider a RR, but I'd definitely prefer the dias if I had to just have one.
The really unfortunate thing is that I've been looking for a shop like this that has access to this type of inventory. I had hoped it was a place I could do business and that he could track one of them down, but after the way he treated me i don't think i'd spend a dime there despite the MP5N there that i love.
Theres always stories out there like that, the truth is hardly ever as good as it sounds. Reality they were probably unregistered and he dodged a bullet.
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