Do we need to keep a complete receipt when we buy a gun?


June 30, 2007, 02:09 PM
I bought a pistol from a gun show on March 2007. the owner just gave to me a receipt which comes from the credit card machine, the receipt only shows the gun dealerís name, address and total sale price , doesnítí show gunís model and serial number. I believe that is enough at that time. But now, I have a little bit worry because if sometime later , in case my gun is found it is a suspected gun, How can I identify myself I bought it from this dealer.? I am living in Virginia, I know some people who buy a gun without any paper work.( in state transfer) But I want to make clear this question, should I ask that dealer to give me a new receipt? ( he is in other VAís city) I think even I ask , he maybe deny me because he probable doesnít keep each sold gunís record.
I just want to know what is other people's idea , I want protect myself but I don't want to do a thing which other people think it is unnecessary.

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June 30, 2007, 02:12 PM
Not sure how it works in VA, but in CA I keep a receipt and a copy of my DROS. Just for what you're concerned about-if gun gets lost/stolen and for personal records.

June 30, 2007, 02:17 PM
Keep all paper work.

June 30, 2007, 02:17 PM
I think even I ask , he maybe deny me because he probable doesn’t keep each sold gun’s record.

the dealer will have a record that he sold that gun to you, both in his bound book and on the 4473.

As for the receipt, I don't think it is necessary at all. You can probably hand write the model and serial number on the receipt if you want, or just not worry about it, but if it bothers you you can call the dealer and they might print up another receipt.

June 30, 2007, 02:20 PM
Legally, i dunno.

But a good idea for every gun you buy or sell.

With wording like:
Joe Blow, the legal owner of described weapon (with Ser. #'s) transfers ownership of said weapon to Sally Schmuck for monies tendered. This sale is "As Is", without warranties written or implied.

When selling, add in:
Sally Scmuck atests that she is legally allowed to own such weapon in her state of residence.

June 30, 2007, 02:22 PM
The credit card processing company doesn't need to know the serial #, make and model of your firearm so it doesn't show on their receipt. I'm sure if you want, you can get the seller to give you a handwritten receipt with all that info on it for your records. I've never had anyone question when I asked for a written receipt.

June 30, 2007, 02:35 PM
Here is my standard procedure (I also live in VA)

I always create a folder on my computer into which I...
-scan the receipt
-write up a brief text file that describes the firearm, condition, who purchased from, etc.
-Two or three good digital photos of the overall firearm (with me holding it) and closeups of the serial number(s).

I've also recently started using the "gunsafe" software to track a lot of info about my firearms.

Oh and keep a backup of the file someplace like on a CD-ROM or something.

June 30, 2007, 02:44 PM
Receipts? Assuming I get one, I keep it until the ink fades or I lose it.

I do keep a list or two of the serial numbers.


June 30, 2007, 03:35 PM
If the .gov comes knocking I know nothing.

June 30, 2007, 03:42 PM
I also keep photos, descriptions, serials, purchase dates and any other useful info about the gun on the HD. With triple redundancy backups of course.

June 30, 2007, 05:27 PM
but you should make copies

June 30, 2007, 07:05 PM
Three words: Remember New Orleans.

June 30, 2007, 07:11 PM
No -the feds made you fill out all that paper work and wait for a background check. They must have all the information they ever would need. Otherwise, they are scamming the tax payers every time they cash their paychecks.

June 30, 2007, 08:54 PM
I keep an Excel spreadsheet with the following information:
- Manufacturer
- Model
- Caliber
- Type of firearm (semi-auto pistol/rifle, lever-action, pump-action, silencer, machinegun, etc.)
- Serial Number
- Date Purchased
- Where Purchased
- Date Sold
- Buyer
- Any distinguishing characteristics
- Photographs (kept in a folder with the Excel spreadsheet)

This is backed up to (very handy, and free!) every time there's a change. This is useful in case my computer crashes, is stolen, or there's some sort of catastrophic event (fire, most likely) that destroys my apartment and the guns.

While not a receipt, it helps me keep records of my guns, who I sold them to, and so forth. It's also very handy if (heaven forbid) the guns end up getting stolen, as I have ample information to supply to the police.

June 30, 2007, 09:35 PM
Well aside from the fact that firearms bought today will be registered with the Government... proof of ownership really is not the primary issue. The reason to keep your reciept is that most (at least all the ones I have worked with) require you to send it with the firearm if anything needs to be serviced under warranty. I had to send my Kel-Tec in for minor service not too long ago and they did require it. So my recommendation is to just keep them :D

June 30, 2007, 09:44 PM
If the law wants to research your gun to be sure it is the one on the receipt, they have the c/c receipt and the dealer's address. If they want to find out if you actually did buy it, they can just call or go to the dealer and get the info from the 4473 (your info, the gun's info, the NICS approval, etc.). It should show the same date as that on your receipt. If they have any questions if you bought anything else on that day from that dealer, they can just peruse through his files.

June 30, 2007, 09:45 PM
Ditto on using Excel for storing data , but I don't keep info on FTF deals ....remember Illinios and what Mayor Daley wants to do with data from the rest of the state .

June 30, 2007, 09:51 PM
I would keep complete records of all firearms I have purchased and the one that I have sold (traded in to a dealer} including dates and price paid.

This info can cover you in any circumstance from Theft (Ins Claim and Police Reports) to it somehow being traced back to you if a gun you used to own were used in a crime and you get hit with the 4473 trace data from the original sale.

CYA is the MO.

June 30, 2007, 09:56 PM
I have only one question, I think form 4473 should have gun's model and serial #, but how long does the dealer keep that record?

June 30, 2007, 09:59 PM
efang...I believe they are required to keep them forever....if the shop closes they are given to batf......

June 30, 2007, 10:12 PM
I think my receipt is OK even there is no model and serial # on there because I can only buy one gun between one month, so, I couldn't buy another gun from that dealer at same day or same month. But keeping a spreadsheet and picture is good idea, I will do that.

July 1, 2007, 02:40 AM
Thye are required to keep 4473 for 25 years or turn them over to the new owner if the business is sold , if the busisnes closes before the 25 year time limit they are required to be sent to the BATF .

July 1, 2007, 11:18 PM
I do. I feel that if they get stolen, I need something to prove that they are mine, etc. I trash them when I sell them as it's usually to a close friend, or through an FFL for consignment. That's where the paper trail stops for me. :)

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