The Thin Blue Label…A Tale of Confidential Information and a Glock Representative Demanding a Pennsylvania FFL Violate the Crimes Code

Trop Gun made a big splash on social media and forums on Thursday for their refusal to show Glock employees their 4473s for customers who had purchased guns through the Blue Label Program. In response to Trop’s refusal to show the Glock representative the 4473s, Glock terminated Trop from the Blue Label Program. You can read Trop’s response to having their Blue Label Program participation revoked here. For those who are unfamiliar, the Blue Label Program allows law enforcement, military, Glock Shooting Sports Foundation (GSSF) members and several other select individuals to purchase Glock pistols at a reduced price.

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The Blue Label Program imposes certain requirements on dealers when selling “blue label” guns. Those requirements include collecting a copy of the individuals credentials (photocopy of their ID), filling out a form that certifies the sales representative saw the credential if a photocopy cannot be made or collecting the GSSF coupon that GSSF members bring. Glock requires that these be attached to the 4473.

According to Trop, when the Glock representative came to do an audit of the “blue label” firearms that were sold, the representative demanded access to view records relating to “blue label” sales including access to the 4473s. Trop Gun wisely refused the representative’s request. After attempting to find a solution that would allow the Glock representative to be satisfied that the “blue label” sales were only made to qualified individuals and arriving at nothing that would satisfy the demands of the Glock representative, Trop Gun was terminated from the Blue Label Program.

While Trop Gun refused the Glock representative access to the 4473s based on their position of protecting their customer’s privacy, there appears to be a more pertinent reason to deny the Glock representative access. It’s a violation of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code for a Pennsylvania FFL to disclose information provided by the transferee in relation to the purchase of a firearm.

18 Pa.C.S. § 6111(i) of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code reads:

Confidentiality.–All information provided by the potential purchaser, transferee or applicant, including, but not limited to, the potential purchaser, transferee or applicant’s name or identity, furnished by a potential purchaser or transferee under this sectionshall be confidential and not subject to public disclosure. In addition to any other sanction or penalty imposed by this chapter, any person, licensed dealer, State or local governmental agency or department that violates this subsection shall be liable in civil damages in the amount of $1,000 per occurrence or three times the actual damages incurred as a result of the violation, whichever is greater, as well as reasonable attorney fees.

As Section 6111 pertains to the sale or transfer of firearms, the information provided by the transferee is confidential and not subject to public disclosure. This prohibition of disclosure would surely include the Glock representative who arrives at a Pennsylvania FFL to conduct an audit of “blue label” sales. Furthermore, any FFL who did provide the 4473s and/or Pennsylvania Record of Sale to a Glock representative would be in violation of Section 6111(i) and subject to civil penalties in the amount of $1,000 per occurrence or three times the actual damages incurred as a result of the violation, as well as reasonable attorney fees!

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Ostensibly, as the credentials Glock requires individuals to provide in order to purchase a “blue label” gun are being provided for the purchase of a firearm, there may be an argument that the disclosure of those credentials are in violation of Section 6111.

All FFLs in Pennsylvania who are Blue Label Program members should be aware of this issue. If a Glock representative requests information pertaining to an audit for “blue label” guns and the PA FFL provides them with any information furnished by the transferee, that FFL could be civilly liable under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code. Perhaps the next Pennsylvania FFL who is ordered to disclose their 4473s for a Glock “blue label” audit would be better suited in pointing out the request is asking them to violate the Pennsylvania Crimes Code. Maybe after reviewing this matter more closely, Glock will reconsider their termination of Trop’s Blue Label Program participation, as they were asking Trop Gun to potentially open themselves up to civil liability.

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11 Comments

Filed under Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law

11 responses to “The Thin Blue Label…A Tale of Confidential Information and a Glock Representative Demanding a Pennsylvania FFL Violate the Crimes Code

  1. Jack

    it appeared to me that that section only applied to PA-required info that couldn’t be disclosed. the info collected per 6111 is that for the Pennsylvania Record of Sale , which would appear to be separate from the federally-required 4473. as long as the PROS was not disclosed, not sure if 6111(I).

    I don’t see that the 4473 info is disclosed to the dealer to comply with 6111(d)

    6111(b) Duty of seller.–No licensed importer, licensed manufacturer or licensed dealer shall sell or deliver any firearm to another person, other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer or licensed collector, until the conditions of subsection (a) have been satisfied and until he has:
    (1) For purposes of a firearm as defined in section 6102 (relating to definitions), obtained a completed application/record of sale from the potential buyer or transferee to be filled out in triplicate, the original copy to be sent to the Pennsylvania State Police, postmarked via first class mail, within 14 days of the sale, one copy to be retained by the licensed importer, licensed manufacturer or licensed dealer for a period of 20 years and one copy to be provided to the purchaser or transferee. The form of this application/record of sale shall be no more than one page in length and shall be promulgated by the Pennsylvania State Police and provided by the licensed importer, licensed manufacturer or licensed dealer. The application/record of sale shall include the name, address, birthdate, gender, race, physical description and Social Security number of the purchaser or transferee, the date of the application and the caliber, length of barrel, make, model and manufacturer’s number of the firearm to be purchased or transferred. The application/record of sale shall also contain the following question:
    Are you the actual buyer of the firearm(s), as defined under 18 Pa.C.S. § 6102 (relating to definitions), listed on this application/record of sale? Warning: You are not the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person, unless you are legitimately acquiring the firearm as a gift for any of the following individuals who are legally eligible to own a firearm:
    (1) spouse;
    (2) parent;
    (3) child;
    (4) grandparent; or
    (5) grandchild.

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    • Jack-
      That is something that I looked at prior to posting this blog article. Looking at the sentence, it begins with “All information provided by the potential purchaser” and then continues “…furnished by a potential purchaser or transferee under this section…”

      I believe there is a legitimate argument that the later section is merely referring to the fact that the purchase is occurring pursuant to Section 6111 and not that it only applies to the forms mentioned in Section 6111. Which would mean that it applies to ALL information provided, including the 4473.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Like

  2. Ned Beatty

    Frankly, programs like this offend me, there should be no price difference between what a normal citizen pays, and what a badge positive person pays.

    What if Glock ran a program that discounted sales to white individuals, and not to other races?

    Part of the problem is, police are no longer “Of the public or people” if you read Sir Robert Peels 9 rules for policing.

    #7 To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

    And this is just not the case anymore, Joe Public, should pay no more for his weaponry, than John Cop.

    Congratulations to the dealer for upholding his principles, and for no longer supporting higher costs for citizen gun owners.

    Like

  3. Jason L

    Reading between the lines, it sounds like Trop Gun wasn’t sending their LE forms to distributors (read: got caught selling LE guns at a higher price and pocketing the profit) and Glock decided to audit them.

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  4. Ned Beatty

    Jason. Or, perhaps they were selling everyone discounted weapons?

    Bottom line, as a Glock dealer, your job is to sell guns isn’t it???

    Like

    • Jack

      yes, it is their job to sells guns, but that doesn’t mean that they can “steal” from Glock by improperly selling Blue Label guns that GLock sells to them for the express purpose of selling to LEOs and other First Responders.

      I’m not saying that TROP was doing that, but as terms of the Blue Label agreement, I assume that there is some sort of audit agreement (does that include looking at 4473s?) that Glock needs to make sure that they weren’t selling discounted guns to those that didn’t qualify for them. If a dealer knows that GLock can’t look at the items (4473 and/or bound book) that actually confirm that the firearm was transferd to the person who the FFL claimed they did, what keeps an FFL from improperly selling BLue Label Glocks to anybody (either at the blue label price or marked up to the standard Redl Label price and pocketing an extra $100 that really belonged to Glock).

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      • Jack,
        The Blue Label Program agreement does not mention Glock being able to view the 4473s. It only mentions that the credentials or GSSF coupon need to be attached to the 4473, which many dealers refuse to do as the 4473 is not Glock’s. Not to mention then they’d have to deal with ATF on that.

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  5. Matt

    This “Blue Label” program is a gesture of goodwill and support of LE depts and individuals who are appointed to protect and serve the public in the US. Glock obviously has the right to audit the FFL dealer to ensure compliance in their program. A dealer who refuses to comply with an audit seems to have skeletons who are afraid that the door is being opened. imo

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  6. Scott Ruby

    I have no dog in this fight but it seems like the BS meter is going off. Glock is a big company and works with gun shops all over the country. I doubt that they would ask any company to violate a state law.

    As a CPA, it seems that the gun store could have found a way to prove they were only selling Blue Label guns to qualified purchasers.

    Wondering out loud – it seems it would be very easy for a gun store that is not following the rules to make up a story making Glock look bad.

    It seems much more likely that the gun store was not following the program and got caught.

    PS, is the gun store or other Blue Label dealer a client of your firm?

    Like

    • According to PA law, they appear to have asked that Trop violate a state law by asking to see the 4473s. Had Trop shown the Glock representative the 4473s, there is the potential that civil liability would have attached for EACH occurrence or disclosure.

      Trop publicly stated in its press release that “We attempted to reconcile the situation while maintaining our customers’ privacy and made every effort to comply with reasonable requests to audit the Blue Label sales to maintain the integrity of the program. However, Glock insisted that access to the 4473s and only access to the 4473s would be a sufficient level of compliance.”

      They did attempt to find an amicable solution that did not require the breach of their customers’ privacy.

      Yes, Trop is a client of our law firm. http://www.firearmsindustryconsultinggroup.com/our_clients

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