The Main Stream

May 20, 2014 11:44 AM by Bret Buganski

N4T Investigators: Tucson gun shop accused of bad deals

TUCSON- It was the gun purchase of one man's dreams, or he thought it would be. But it turned out to be an empty promise with a hefty bill.

"I've got several weapons but never owned a handgun, so pretty interesting," said Corey Barton.

For Barton, he had to have one gun in particular. The gun was a Smith & Wesson Governor, a firearm he almost didn't get.

"He'll be able to get it for me so I was pretty excited about that," said Barton, who tells News 4 Investigators he ordered it over the phone from Black Weapons Armory in Tucson. Barton paid more than $637 for the revolver by credit card and said he was promised by the dealer he'd have the gun for him.

"I did remember asking him at one point if it was going to be within six months, and he claimed he would be able to acquire it for me within that time frame," said Barton.

He said he called at least once a month asking if the gun was in, but every time the answer was no. Six months went by, and the gun was still not in. So Barton had enough and went to the store in person to get his money back. The gun he ordered was still not there.

"I found out he was going to penalize me," said Barton. The gun shop charged him $61 for a restocking fee for a gun he never acquired. Barton paid the fine reluctantly, but made a call to the Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona.

"We feel that no matter what the dispute is every business owes the consumer at least a response to the complaint," said Nick LaFleuer with BBB, who tells us Black Weapons Armory currently has an "F Rating." He said in the last two years, the shop also received several other complaints from consumers.

"They ordered something and it wasn't delivered in the time frame that they thought it was going to be ordered," said LaFleuer.

So News 4 Investigators called Black Weapons Armory. After weeks of leaving messages and playing phone tag, our interview was supposed to take place Friday. However, just as we were about to leave for the interview, the store called us and cancelled. But we paid the shop a visit on Monday.

Black Weapons Armory refused an on camera interview and kicked us out of the store, but after Black Weapons Armory said they didn't have time for an on camera interview, they told us off camera Barton's complaint is unfounded.

The store owner, Tom Rompel, tells News 4 Investigators the store gave Barton a copy of the receipt with the gun return policy on it. As far as an "F rating" from the BBB, the store said there are many unhappy customers who make false claims directed at them, and that some people whine about the high demand of the gun market. Barton says he was never given a receipt.

"One thing you want to get straight is you want to get in writing what is the time frame and when will it be delivered and what is your recourse if it's not delivered during that time frame," said LaFleuer giving advice to consumers about buying firearms in the future.

"I wanted the gun pretty bad so at that time I was pretty desperate," said Barton who ended up buying his desired gun from another dealer shortly after. He paid a small price in the process, and became more skeptical about buying firearms.

"Always learn that you have to earn trust," said Barton.

If you have something you'd like the News 4 Investigators to check out, email investigators@kvoa.com, or call the tip line at 520-955-4444.

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