? about buying a gun at a gunshow.


February 28, 2009, 02:32 PM
I know a lot of the deals at a gun show are from guys privately selling guns. Now my question is I know in private sales a lot of times people will call and have the police to check the serial number to make sure it isn't stolen. Do you do this if you buy something at a gun show? Or do you just buy it right then and there and hope it's not stolen? The reason I ask is I don't see too many people wanting to wait around for that. I've never bought any guns at a show but the ones I've seen be bought it was basically just telling everyone about it then exchanging cash for the gun. What do you do in situations like this? I'm not planning to buy one but you never know if a deal might come up.

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February 28, 2009, 02:40 PM
No, people rarely if ever call to check the serial number of a firearm. The police are not exactly inclined or set up to check serial numbers for citizens.

The odds of a gun at a gun show being stolen are very very remote and here's why:

1. Gun shows are high profile with lots of eyes watching. NOT the place a person will take stolen property.

2. Gun shows are indoor with security. Not inviting at all to people selling stolen guns. Leaving a gun show quickly is not really an option for a thief.

February 28, 2009, 03:20 PM
I know in private sales a lot of times people will call and have the police to check the serial number to make sure it isn't stolen.

They must be calling different police than I've called. I was told that I had to buy the gun then bring it in before they would run the number...

February 28, 2009, 03:23 PM
It depends on the state where you live for the legality of the transfer.

In Texas, where I live, there are little restrictions on the purchase/trade between two individuals.

I will not purchase a firearm from someone I feel uncomfortable with. (So no purchases from gang bangers, or if the deal is too good to be true, etc.)

On one occasion I had a LEO friend run the serial number of the gun, I had purchased. Never again, if it had come back stolen, it would have been turned in for my monetary loss. If I don't feel comfortable with the seller, it's not worth it to me. Plus I don't like having my collection that public. I have never had the serial number checked on a long arm, and only have had my CCW weapons serial number checked during a traffic stop. The CCW pistols I carry are all "store bought" with me having filled out the 4473 on them.

If you find a deal, and feel like the seller is honest, make the trade.

February 28, 2009, 04:03 PM
That's basically how it works here. As long as it's a private sale I just hand him cash and he hands me the gun or vise versa if I'm the seller. I'm just worried if I do buy a pistol or something and it ends up being stolen and I ever get in a traffic stop or similar to have it checked that I'm going to be in trouble.

Sav .250
February 28, 2009, 05:06 PM
Buyer Beware.

February 28, 2009, 06:42 PM
do you guys think it's unresonable to try to find a decent .22 revolver or any .22 pistol for that matter for $50-100? by decent I mean no crap like Jennings or anything like that. I don't want something fancy but something decent that ammo is cheap for so that it doesn't break the bank to go target shooting.

February 28, 2009, 07:45 PM
Decent, for $50-$100? Not gonna happen. You might be able to find an older H&R for around $100 or so, but I really think you're going to have trouble finding much of even decent quality at the price you're hoping to pay.

February 28, 2009, 08:21 PM
You will need to spend 150+ on any used pistol that worth having. IMO

February 28, 2009, 09:26 PM
Write up a bill of sale if you want.. other than that i dont call and i wont deal with anyone who does if i am selling, unless it has been previously arranged. My reasoning is if you are paranoid, feel free to take the sale through an FFL and pay all the fees (transfer on both sides at least)

February 28, 2009, 10:04 PM
I agree with Acera. If you exercise common sense and good judgment, you're likely ok.

I've bought and sold a variety of firearms at shows and never had a problem. Keep your radar on, and you'll be ok.

February 28, 2009, 10:51 PM
Have bought numerous firearms at gun shows without paperwork without a problem. Try it in the afternoon on the last day of the show. Sellers don't want to carry the stuff back home and I have found them more willing to deal. If it is something I am going to resell, after purchase I take it in and have it checked, If there is something wrong with it you will have to forfeit it. But at least you wont be involved in selling stolen goods etc.
Semper Paratus

March 1, 2009, 12:18 AM
Only a portion of the dealers are non FFL folks. I know in Denver for example they do not allow private sales inside the gun show so the dealers have to be FFL holders.

I would just play it by ear and follow your instincts. You won't find much of anything for $50-$100. You may be better off going to pawn shops and looking. Give it a try. You may find you enjoy yourself and you start attending shows.

March 1, 2009, 01:21 AM
Ok thanks guys. I know I wont find anything much for $50-100 from a dealer or even a vendor if they aren't a dealer however, I'm hoping to just luck up on someone selling one privately that needs money. I went to one a few weeks ago and saw a nice 38 special. I can't remember if it was S&W or a Ruger but it was nice looking. I mean in nice shape and the guy wanted $150 for it. There were several others like this. I saw a 25 get sold for $50 that the guy said he had bought for $150 a year ago. One of the people with me said he saw a .357 go for $100 and he was just a second too late as the guy he told about it bought it. He was telling me that was a $3-400 gun at least. Then there was another guy selling 3 nice guns cheap he said and when someone asked him why he explained he had lost his job and needed money for his family. They weren't quite as cheap as the others but they were about half of what they normally go for.

I wasn't looking for anything special at that show and the one I saw I would have bought the guy had his money out before I could get the words I'll take it out of my mouth. The same thing happened to my buddy with that .357.

Since times are tough around here it seems like guys are trying to sell stuff to make ends meet. That's why I was hoping I could run across someone selling a .22 that just needed money.

There was a nice one for $150 at the last gun show but it was a semi auto. I normally like them but I kind of want a revolver. The guy I was with had one just like it and said he would have given him $100 for it but not $150. He didn't even offer $100 so I'm not sure if he would have taken it or not.

I'm hoping to just find a private seller with one not a dealer as the vendors half the time seem to have higher prices than if I go to a gun store.

22-rimfire. They allow private sellers here so it's lots of guys just walking around with guns with forsale signs on them or telling guys about what they have and that it's forsale.

Are there any certain ones I should look for?

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