Gun store agrees to give money back to consumers

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by Meredith Yeomans

azfamily.com

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 19 at 4:26 PM

PHOENIX -- A west Valley gun store has settled a lawsuit with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. Under the settlement, consumers will get an average of $1,400 from www.lancasterarms.com.

Stephen paid $800 to Lancaster Arms for a rifle he wanted to add to his gun collection. But he never received the rifle and claimed every time he called Chester Durda, owner of Lancaster Arms, all he got were excuses.

“Machine was broke, everyone here has the flu, the wood isn't finished with your rifle. It was a different excuse every time I called,” he said.

3 On Your Side got involved and Durda gave us several reasons for the delay. However, he assured us all his back orders would be filled.

But apparently that didn't happen fast enough, because in December the Arizona Attorney General's Office sued Lancaster Arms claiming the business 'did not provide weapons to dozens of consumers who, collectively, paid thousands of dollars in advance for weapons.'

“I gave this guy the benefit of the doubt time and time again thinking that he would come through on his word and do what he said he would do. But, apparently that was a mistake on my part,” Stephen said.

But Wednesday, 3 On Your Side learned the lawsuit has been settled and Lancaster Arms has agreed to pay back $67,000 to consumers for restitution. The money will be split among 48 consumers.

Lancaster Arms must also pay the AG’s Office $3,000 to cover the cost of filing the case. The first payment of $5,000 is due within 180 days.

The business has also agreed to comply with the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act.

Stephen is not part of the lawsuit because he was fortunate enough to have disputed the $800 with his credit card company and got his money returned that way.

However, for the dozens of consumers who weren't so lucky, they can rely on the settlement money for compensation.

3 On Your Side tried several times to contact the owner of Lancasters Arms, but our calls and emails were never returned.

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