Is this gun stolen?


May 19, 2003, 03:09 PM
I have a pistol that I purchased from someone about 10 years ago. I am thinking about selling it, but because I got a really good deal on it, I'm beginning to wonder if it was stolen.

Do you guys have any good ideas on how to check it? I could get a hold of the police, but I don't want to get in trouble if it turns out to be (along with the fact I would be out the money I paid for it).


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Baba Louie
May 19, 2003, 03:33 PM

Go ahead and go to the police and do a check.

Think of it this way; if one of your guns was stolen, wouldn't you love getting it back in 10 years by some caring soul?

I know you'd be out the money, but that was money spent 10 years ago, you've (hopefully) enjoyed its use during that time and chances are slim that it was hot... but you didn't do the dirty deed and in fact are being a good boy scout by at least checking.


May 19, 2003, 03:46 PM
Baba Louie-

I will probably end up doing this- and I agree with you- I just wondered if there was any other ways.

May 19, 2003, 03:49 PM (

But they have been "reorganizing" for a couple of years now.

May 19, 2003, 04:33 PM
I would say that if it was stolen, most likely the original owner didn't have his serial wrote down.
In the event that they were, it would still be the right thing to do.
Call the cops or find one that is the friend of a friend or something and have them do a check.

I knew a guy years ago that got this el cheapo pistol and was wondering the same thing. I instructed him to call the cops from a payphone and tell them he thinking about buying this gun and wanted to make sure everything was legit.
He did, and yes, it was stolen.

Long story , short. He got rid of it and I guess some other poor soul got stuck with a stolen property charge.

I personally would find out some how, and be happy if I was able to get it back home to it's rightful owner.

(If it was my 686, I'd be crying)

May 19, 2003, 04:51 PM
I agree. Buy it and then check it with the police.
If it is stolen, you reference the seller, who references his seller, etc
With a little luck a crime gets solved
with some more a lucky gun owner gets his lost gun back,
and with lots of luck, it won't be stolen and you will have gotten a bargin :)

Standing Wolf
May 19, 2003, 05:06 PM
If it sounds too good to be true, it's probably too good to be true.

Matt G
May 19, 2003, 05:58 PM
Call the cops. Have them check the SN. If you came to them, and asked, they certainly wouldn't have much a case against you, would they? Please know, that possessing a stolen firearm without such a defense is grounds to be arrested and charged with Theft Of A Firearm in the jurisdiction I work in. If I, as a street cop, were approached by a citizen with such a concern, I would listen to the story, ask to see the gun, and call in the SN. Sure, if it gets a hit, I'd take it. I'd then file a report with that citizen as the reporting party, NOT as the "suspect." If it came back clear, I'd ask for Dispatch to put the clear return in my box, and I'd give the printout to the citizen at the next opportunity, for proof of his good-faith attempt to check on the gun.

I bought a P-11 VERY cheap once, from a friend who had gotten it even cheaper from a guy he knew at work. He later found out that that guy had been accused of a burglary, and paged me "911" to alert me of this. I was on a road trip to the Kerrville Folk Festival at the time, but I ran up a credit card making long distance calls to my county S.O. dispatch, having them run the SN of the pistol (I had it with me at the time), not 5 minutes later. It came back clear. I've had that gun for 4 or 5 years, now, and periodically still run it. If I get a hit, I'll contact the agency who entered it, and immediately turn it over to them. So I lose my $125? So what? It's the Right Thing to do, and it's about the only LEGAL thing to do.

This one does not really require much thought. [shrug]

May 19, 2003, 06:15 PM
Most police departments won't run a check for an individual over the phone. Just put the (unloaded!) gun in a hard case and take it in. If it is stolen just be prepared to hang around for a while to answer some questions.

May 19, 2003, 06:36 PM

I am having a cop buddy of mine run the SN tomorrow at work. Hopefully, It will be OK. I'll let you know.

Thanks for all the replies!

May 19, 2003, 06:39 PM
Good luck.

May 19, 2003, 06:48 PM
I did the same thing. I have a LEO buddy that comes by the store every once in a while. I had bought a pistol off a friend and had it with me. I didn't know the gun's history so I asked him and he called it in. Came back not registered to an owner but not wanted either.

May 19, 2003, 07:14 PM
Some time back had a call to a local store in response to a "hit" on a gun. When I got there, a buddy of mine was trying to trade a shotgun that he had got in another trade from a guy, about a year before. Turns out the sg was stolen. My buddy lost the gun, and whatever he had in it. He told me he was going to call me when he got it, but I was on vacation, and he soon forgot about it.
I think he went and paid the guy a visit.:evil:
I sent the report in on the guy who had traded it to him, a known thief, but I do not believe the CA did anything with it, big surprise.

May 19, 2003, 08:58 PM
This is a question I've been wondering about for a while now. Thanks for posting it!

What got me to wondering about it was buying/selling at gunshows. It's legal to buy/sell directly with another resident of the state, but how do you know.

Those of you whom buy from individuals at the gun show, do you collect a name and number from the seller? Is that common?

May 21, 2003, 10:17 AM
Well, my police friend brought the pistol back to me today...

It's Clean!!:D

Thanks for all the replies, guys!

Double Maduro
May 21, 2003, 03:06 PM
I was going to a gun show a couple of months ago and was thinking of buying a hand gun. Concerned that I may buy a hot gun I called the police and asked if there was a way I could call them with the serial number and find out if the gun was stolen before I bought it and they said they had no way of checking.

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