Private party rifle sale - stolen property?


September 12, 2004, 06:53 PM
In Arizona, you can purchase a rifle from an individual without any paperwork. How do you know the rifle is not stolen?

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September 12, 2004, 07:24 PM
This will sound tacky and I don't mean it to so apologies up front. In Oklahoma (and I presume Arizona) you can sell your own television, dog, rifle, pistol, etc. to another private party without papers. It's one of the privileges of living in a free country. With that privilege comes risk. Caveat emptor. If you have a question as to whether or not a firearm you're thinking about buying is stolen, I presume most any law enforcement officer would run a quick NCIC check on it by serial number. Takes less than a minute if NCIC is up. But even then, a lot of people don't record serial numbers. I think (and may be wrong) that most states have a similar law permitting private firearms sales in that manner. The bottom line is that you don't know if something's stolen when you buy from an individual. I'll accept the risk over additional government controls.

September 12, 2004, 09:56 PM
One way to protect yourself is to know your seller, or at least know his profile.

If he is selling it out of the trunk of a 1968 Olds 88 with the rear seat littered with beer cans, hasn't shaved in 6 weeks, and keeps taking furtive glances in every direction, then it might just be stolen.

If he is an upstanding member of the community and invites you into his living room while he writes you a receipt, it probably isn't.

September 12, 2004, 10:03 PM
The primary rule in buying ANYTHING via private party sale is, as Toucan Sam used to say, to follow your nose. If the deal smells too good to be true - it probably is. if the deal smells fishy - it probably is. If the deal doesn't smell funny - it probably isn't.

And I think that Murphster's point is well taken - if we ourselves treat gun sales as anything different than the sale of a refrigerator or any other durable good item, we invite others to do the same to us.

September 12, 2004, 10:03 PM
Longarms . shotties ... same here.

Indeed ... you have to have some way of judging seller ... local guy, someone with position etc .... but certainly, a need to have a ''nose''as well.

As was said ..''caveat emptor'' ... always.

September 12, 2004, 10:14 PM
I have bought and sold privately in Arizona for years - do the Jiminy Crickett thing - let you conscience be your guide! Yes, local LE will be happy to run numbers if your are suspicous. You will lose the gun and moeny, but AZ is good about reurning stolen guns to rightful owners, too.
Like the learned fellow above said about unshaven furtive types selling from trunks, and people willing to sign a reciept with DL info....make your choice.

Steve Smith
September 13, 2004, 01:39 AM
As stated, you COULD run the numbers though your local LE and see if the gun has ever been reported stolen. That said, I have no intention of ever reporting a private sale S/N as that defeats the purpose. Gut instinct and integrity is what keeps us all free...NOT running to the JBTs every time we feel weak in the knees.

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