Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lancaster Arms Investigated By Various Law Enforcement Agencies

On a few different Internet message boards, I've seen several people ask, "When is someone going to investigate Lancaster Arms???" Well, in fact a few different law enforcement agencies have recently investigated Lancaster. The following is the "official" response from the Goodyear Police Department Criminal Investigations Division. Any bold or otherwise highlighted parts below represent my own added emphasis:


"The following is the official response letter to consumers who have had pending business transactions (prior to 01/2011) with Lancaster Arms LLC, located in Goodyear, AZ .Lancaster Arms was investigated by the Goodyear P.D. Criminal Investigations Division in January of 2011, specifically regarding Arizona Revised Statues 13-2108 (Criminal Fraud schemes or practices). Goodyear P.D. could assert jurisdiction on this matter as a law enforcement agency and under state statutory authority which notes local law enforcement agencies are empowered to investigate criminal matters and then make the appropriate decisions, as to verify or collaterally identify whether any criminal act has occurred or not. If a criminal act has occurred then the practice of this agency would be to send the investigative findings to either the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for felony charges to be issued, or the City of Goodyear Prosecutors Office for misdemeanor criminal charges to be filed. The results of this investigation were as follows: (that) No criminal act knowingly occurred regarding, repairing, purchasing or other services provided to consumers, prior to January, 2011. If purchases were made after January 2011, this may be a criminal act. At present this department has not received any complaints regarding business transactions with Lancaster Arms after January, 2011.

In June of 2011, the Goodyear Police Department was made aware that the Arizona Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Fraud and Complaints’ also conducted their own inquiry into the business dealings of Lancaster Arms. The Attorney General’s Office has determined, thus far, that Lancaster Arms and its ownership have had non-intentional poor business dealings with some of their consumers, as a result of some non-criminal business dealings which reduced the ability of Lancaster Arms to fulfill some of their past orders. It should also be noted the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms has also completed a recent inspection of Lancaster Arms regarding federal law, Federal Firearms Dealer Licensing Acts, and federal fraud acts concerning firearms and have concluded that no criminal violations have been committed by Lancaster Arms.

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Fraud continually monitors complaints regarding Lancaster Arms. You may choose to lodge your complaint with that office by going to their web site at www.AZAG.GOV and then following instructions to register a complaint under this division. It will be determined by the AZ Attorney General’s Office if Lancaster Arms would still be conducting on-line business after January, 2011, and if those acts are civil or criminal consumer-business fraud. At this point their office does not find any deliberate criminal or civil fraud regarding Lancaster Arms, but you are more than welcome to state your complaint in writing over the aforementioned manner.

Recovery of funds lost through poor business transactions ( if under $5,000.00) can be made through the local Justice Court which has civil jurisdiction on civil monetary recovery suits. The jurisdiction for the geographical area of Goodyear is the Estrella Mountain Justice Court and a claim can be made through them. You may reach this court, through the website at: www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov then follow the link to Justice Courts and small claims.The U.S Department of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms website is www.ATF.GOV

At present this will conclude the Goodyear Police Department’s response and inquiry into Lancaster Arms incidents regarding business transactions with consumers prior to 01/2011. Transactions made after 01/2011 can be directed to the Goodyear Police Department. NOTE: This does not infer that if your transaction started prior to 01/2011 and is still pending with Lancaster Arms, that this is considered a new transaction because of reporting the issue. This is still considered to be a transaction occurring prior to 01/2011 and should be dealt with in the same manner as outlined in this response letter."


There you have it, folks. The authorities could not find any "intentional" or "deliberate" criminal behavior on the part of Lancaster Arms or it's owner, Chet Durda. They concluded that Lancaster did not "knowingly" commit any criminal acts.

To those of us who have followed Lancaster the past couple of years, these findings are a bit amusing. Over the last two years, this blog has documented several dozen incidents of Lancaster Arms telling people "Your rifle will ship tomorrow", "It will ship next week", "The check is in the mail", etc., etc., which I personally believe were quite intentional acts of deception on the part of Lancaster Arms and Chet Durda. Proving that such acts were "intentional" or "deliberate" is the key here. We're talking about a legal standard of proof that is quite high. In my own personal opinion, and in the opinion of many others, I think you'd have to have been born yesterday to believe that these acts (many of which I have documented extensively on this blog) were not "deliberate" or "intentional".

Still, all of this is actually good news. Because at this juncture, Lancaster Arms is very much on the radar of the Arizona Attorney General, the BATF, and the Goodyear Police Department. They are now aware that there have been "issues" with Lancaster Arms, and that these issues have been of such a nature that they felt various investigations, including a criminal investigation, were warranted. All I ever wanted was for Lancaster Arms to make good on its promises and commitments, and by these actions, Lancaster is now in a position were it has to make good on all of the orders it has received to-date. That is a good outcome.

As instructed above, if you are not satisfied with this resolution yourself, and/or if you ordered something from Lancaster and it has not been delivered to you on the timeline and in the manner promised, make your concerns known to the Arizona AG's office. It sounds as if they are now more proactively managing these issues which, again, is all I have ever wanted.

For those of you who are reading this blog for the first time, and are researching a potential purchase from Lancaster, take all of the above into careful consideration. And decide for yourself if, given the information above, you feel confident placing an order with Lancaster Arms. Speaking strictly for myself, I would never again do business with this company. I wouldn't even contemplate it for a second. I've simply seen too many people get burned by trusting Lancaster Arms. But if you're the type of person who believes that a leopard can change it's spots...by all means, order away!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Warning: Lancaster Arms Spiraling

OK, folks. At this point I am being inundated with messages and emails from people who ordered a rifle from Lancaster Arms in 2010 or early 2011 (or sent one back for repair), who still don’t have their rifle. (Keep in mind…most of these people were initially told by Chet Durda that their rifle would be shipped in 10 business days!) Such complaints have been fairly common over the last couple of years, but recently, the volume of those complaints seems to have increased substantially. In addition, complaints like this and like this are popping up on the Internet gun forums with increasing regularity. (Not like such complaints were exactly a rarity before.) It’s now getting to the point where anytime I see a new Internet forum post that has “Lancaster” in the title, I already know what the post is going to be about: someone complaining that Lancaster Arms took their money long ago, keeps giving them empty excuses and bogus promises (when that person can even reach someone at Lancaster), and won’t deliver a rifle. And of course the Better Business Bureau complaint log keeps growing, now with a mind-blowing 50 complaints filed against Lancaster.

In other words, whatever is going on at Lancaster Arms right now…it ain’t good.

Under NO circumstances should you send any money to Lancaster Arms unless and until you have received a VALID tracking number indicating that whatever you ordered is already in the hands of FedEx or UPS. Lancaster has recently been known to tell you to send money because your product is ready to ship…and then the product never ships. I have seen two different people complain about this practice.

It's also worth nothing that Lancaster has a list of “National Sales Dealers” on it’s website, who supposedly carry Lancaster’s products. But upon calling a few of these dealers, most of them claim they are no longer doing business with Lancaster due to “various problems”. It appears Lancaster should update that list. Then again, it appears Lancaster should be doing a lot of things they're not doing.

As always, caveat emptor.

P.S. Be sure to read the comments that posters have left on previous blog posts, too. It is in those comments that you really get a feel for just how many people have been having problems with Lancaster recently.


About Me

But quite willing to "help" Lancaster Arms fully understand why the way they run their business, is completely unacceptable.

Welcome to LancasterArmsSucks.blogspot.com

This site exist to help police a firearms manufacturer that has decided to run its business using questionable ethics. Too often, there is not enough complete, accurate information on the Internet about companies engaged in the manufature of firearms. It is my hope that this blog shall serve as a useful tool to help guide potential customers of Lancaster Arms to a fully-informed decision. As of the start date of this blog, many, many people feel as though Lancaster Arms does not run an honest business. We'll let the chips fall where they may...