December 21, 2011, 06:08 PM
I've read multiple posts regarding this question, as well as searched Florida gun laws, but can't seem to find a satisfactory answer. Hoping that someone here might be able to help.
Recently, my father and husband went to a local gun show (to browse BTW, hah). At any rate, they saw a 1911 for a good price and decided to get it. Now this was my husbands first gun show/first purchase. My father has been in it for decades. So my husband purchased the handgun for cash from an elderly gentleman who asked to see his FL drivers license...but NOTHING was written down. No receipt, nothing.
Was this legal? How does my husband prove ownership? For instance, couldn't this guy just turn around and report the weapon as stolen, my husband gets pulled over for a traffic violation, and gets arrested because the gun comes back as stolen?
I would really appreciate any info.
December 21, 2011, 06:19 PM
Yes it was legal.
Private transactions only require that the seller have no knowledge that the buyer is prohibited from owning firearms (a felony criminal record for example), and that the buyer is a resident of the same state as the seller. From what you've posted, it sounds like it all went according to the law.
Writing a bill of sale is more than what is actually required. Some buyers/sellers feel the need for it, but not everyone does.
As far as the scenario of the seller reporting it stolen, your husband certainly has a witness to the transaction. The seller could get into huge trouble for a false report like that. Other members here might have more to add to this portion of your post.
Welcome to THR by the way!!
December 21, 2011, 06:19 PM
While a "private sale" at a gun show between a private seller and buyer is legal if the buyer is a Florida resident and over the age of 21. It would have been a good idea to have asked the seller for a bill of sale and ascertained his true identity. It may still be possible to find the seller's identity because gunshows keep a record of who rents their tables. As far as checking if the gun is stolen, I know of no "National stolen gun registry". If you have a friend in the Pawn business, they usually have a list of guns stolen and reported to police in your area.
December 21, 2011, 06:27 PM
...my husband gets pulled over for a traffic violation, and gets arrested because the gun comes back as stolen?
I should have mentioned, your husband wouldn't have broken any laws by unknowingly purchasing a stolen gun. He didn't steel it. For all we know, the old man could have been selling a stolen gun to begin with. If the gun is stolen, IF/WHEN the numbers are run (rarely happens, and I mean rarely) and it 'comes back stolen', it could be confiscated and the authorities would want to speak to the seller, but your husband wouldn't be in trouble. The seller could be, if he knew he was selling a stolen gun.
Also, when/if he or you ever get pulled over for a traffic violation, there would be no reason to give the officer permission to search through your things. Here are a few good videos to check out on that subject...
I'm going to ask a moderator to move this thread to Legal (http://www.thehighroad.org/forumdisplay.php?f=4), so keep an eye on it. It might end up there where it would get more focused attention.
December 21, 2011, 07:06 PM
OK. Well thank you for the prompt replies and the information. You are certainly more clear and concise than any of the 790. Statute "legalese". I realize the scenario I mentioned about the traffic violation may have been a bit overboard, but I was just trying to think up a quick example.
Like I said, my dad has been doing this for decades and he was completely unconcerned and stated that everything was above-board and ok. I was just wondering. I know that the laws are written to protect gun owners from harrassment and predjudice....it just seems so counterintuitive not to have a receipt or bill of sale.
Thanks again to all who replied. :)