Attorney General's Firearms Division Serves Search Warrant on Gun Stores Suspected of Scheme to Defraud Consumers

Tuesday, February 27, 2001
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

(ORANGE COUNTY) – Agents from Attorney General Bill Lockyer's Firearms Division and Division of Law Enforcement today served search warrants upon two separate southern California business locations of B & B Sales pursuant to an ongoing investigation into allegations that the stores defrauded consumers by forcing them to pay unnecessary fees for private party firearms transfers in violation of state law.

The search warrants were served at two separate locations today at 14522 Goldenwest Street in Westminster and 12521-3 Oxnard Street in North Hollywood. The two stores are the second and third largest firearm retail outlets in California.

Under California law, all firearms sales must be conducted through a properly licensed gun dealer. In the case of a private party transfer involving two individuals who are not licensed gun dealers, the seller and purchaser of a firearm must conduct the transfer through a licensed gun dealer. The gun dealer is responsible for conducting the required background check on the purchaser and, if cleared, deliver the firearm to the purchaser within 10 days. B & B Sales is alleged to have overcharged customers an estimated $25 over the legal limit for the private party transfer fee and a special "storage fee" caused by a requirement that firearms be held at the store for 12 days instead of ten.

The investigation into B & B Sales was initiated as a result of public complaints received by the Attorney General's Firearms Division. Agents verified the alleged overcharging practice by acting as purchasers at each location. The agents were overcharged for each transaction they conducted at the stores. Attorneys from the Firearms Division advised the owner of B & B Sales, Robert Kahn, and his attorney that the practice was illegal and they should cease from overcharging and adding extra storage fees. Because B & B Sales has failed to stop the practice, today's search warrants were issued.

If proven and convicted, each alleged violation carries the potential for civil and criminal penalties.

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