Gunsmith and un-papered firearms


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Ash
January 22, 2008, 11:33 AM
I have a few firearms that were given to me many years back (one back in the 1980's). Neither is "papered" in that I did not fill out any form to get them. I have many, many firearms bought from FFL's, so if the government were to track me down from the yellow-now-white forms, it would be no problem. However, I do like having a few that only I know about - that are unpapered so to speak. I plan nothing nefarious with them (one is a bolt action 410 and another is a bolt action 22), mind you, just like the idea of my 2nd Amendment Rights being well established with them.

However, I am thinking about having one refinished. They have no great value collector-wise and so refinishing will not harm value (a 410 Mossberg and a 22 Western Field). However, what documentation is a gunsmith required when servicing firearms? Does a refinishing job make them papered?

Ash

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dcon
January 22, 2008, 11:39 AM
I don't believe you have to have any paperwork when you take them in, but the gunsmith will have to log them in when you give them to him, which means you will have to fill out the white form when you go to pick them up making them now papered guns.

bill larry
January 22, 2008, 11:39 AM
You are experiencing paranoia about this!

The ATF knows everything they already need to know about you.

Ash
January 22, 2008, 11:44 AM
No, I am not paranoid. I have far more papered firearms than not, and don't really worry about that. No tin hats here. Just a legitimate question.

Ash

Wes Janson
January 22, 2008, 12:31 PM
The only paperwork involved will be in the gunsmith's A&D book, which will leave a clear record of the firearm and your information.

The thing is though, the whole idea that filling out a 4473 equals registration is stupid. Unless the gun store you buy from goes out of business, and turns over their paperwork to ATF, the only way they'd know what you have is if they deliberately set out to seize all of the 4473s from every business you've bought from.

Ash
January 22, 2008, 12:40 PM
"The only paperwork involved will be in the gunsmith's A&D book, which will leave a clear record of the firearm and your information."

Thanks for the info. Again, I am not WORRIED about paperwork. Most of what I have is. And no, this is not some back door hush-hush method of refinishing a throw-down piece. It is as I said, nothing more.

Ash

nalioth
January 22, 2008, 01:07 PM
In Texas at least, once you buy the gun originally and fill out the 4473, it's treated just like any other tool. You get tired of it, your buddy sees it at the range and offers you a good price for it, whatever. You can dispose of it as you see fit.

Just like a shovel or lawn mower.

I don't believe you have to have any paperwork when you take them in, but the gunsmith will have to log them in when you give them to him, which means you will have to fill out the white form when you go to pick them up making them now papered guns. You do not have to fill out a 4473 after having your gun repaired. Repair of your firearm is the only way guns can be sent directly to you (the unlicensed individual). The ffl holder has to log it in and out of his books is all.

Old Fuff
January 22, 2008, 01:22 PM
A gunsmith is required to log in their "bound book," any firearm they keep over 24 hours. However a #4473 form isn't required to be filled out after it's returned. I regard the #4473 form to be registration because if a dealer goes out of business they have to send the forms in. If the government decided to, they could also require that dealers send in current #4473 forms they have on hand filed away, or they could send in agents to either copy the forms or take the dealer's bound book. All we need is an anti-gun congress and a president who would sign the bill. The gun control movement knows full well that they can't get to their ultimate solution until effective registration is in place. That's why there is a big push to close the gun show loophole. Once they have that, requiring a paper trail on all firearms sales would soon follow.

Ash
January 22, 2008, 01:32 PM
Since many gun shops do go out of business, the info does indeed go to the government. What is done with the info, if it is processed or simply stuffed into another box (as in the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark) I cannot say.

Again, I'm not paranoid nor even worried. But as Mom (who isn't even much of a gun person) says, some things just aren't the government's business.

Ash

strat81
January 22, 2008, 01:39 PM
Worrier. ;)

Jim Watson
January 22, 2008, 01:52 PM
As said, the gunsmith must log any gun he keeps 24+ hours. You do not have to sign for it to get it back.

A gun purchased from a FFL is registered in his files on the 4473. If this is the first retail sale, there is a clear paper trail from the manufacturer to the distributor to the dealer. So while there is no central registry, the gun can definitely be traced by phone, fax, and internet. When Governor George Wallace was shot in 1972, just four years into GCA 1968 requirments, the gun was traced to the shooter, Arthur Bremer, in five hours.

A private sale in a jurisdiction which does not require individual registration breaks the BATF paper trail but anybody with any sense gets a bill of sale from a gun buyer. A few more phone calls or a visit from the feds would dig that out.

Plus, if you buy a gun from a dealer or in a jurisdiction that requires a background check on a private sale, the FBI knows you bought some sort of gun at a given location on a given date. The details are not specified except long gun versus handgun, but it would not be hard for them to put two and two together if they want to. If you think they are erasing the check record as the law specifies, I have a bridge you can buy and charge tolls for people going to Brooklyn.

Ash
January 22, 2008, 02:05 PM
Well, these were bought pre-1968.

Ash

cracked butt
January 22, 2008, 02:22 PM
You should consider that anything you put on a form 4473 to be on public record or at least have the potential to be. ATF only needs to scan the pages of a bound book when it is turned in or scan the pages during a 'compliance checkup' or audit. Dump the info into a database and using a little data mining, it would be really easy to determine who bought what, and what a person bought and from where in a moment's time.

If I'm not mistaken, Chicago has attempted to or has actually used such a sceme to identify gun owners.

Cosmoline
January 22, 2008, 02:34 PM
The transfer forms a dealer uses are not registration forms, and do not constitute "papers" in the sense you're using that term. Unless your state has some special law there is no requirement that firearms be registered and certainly no requirement that you have to have "zee papers" to have a gunsmith work on a firearm.

Ash
January 22, 2008, 03:45 PM
Oh, I know, there is no registration or anything. I once even had a C&R FFL, but let it lapse after 3 years. I have the reg books and can quote many sections, though I must admit I am getting rusty. All the same, the forms were filled out with serial number etc. These forms do go to the government when the business fails. I doubt Gander Mountain will go under, but companies do, at times, pass information to the government. Will they in this case? Probably not. And certainly the government isn't going to give a rats behind about a Western Field bolt action 22.

Sometimes it is on principle alone, I suppose.

Ash

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