Gun Pictures and Serial Numbers


February 17, 2004, 11:38 PM
I sent a gun picture to a buddy recently who commented on needing to edit the pic to hide the serial number.

I've seen mention of that in threads here as well, but never understood the real reason.

Now, just so you understand, I'm one of those guys who puts every piece of junk mail or anything else that might be collected out of my trash into the shredder! But, the reason for that is clearly to prevent identity theft.

On some level I understand not wanting people to know the serial numbers to my guns, but I can't come up with a way they could really use one to do me any harm.

If somebody wanted to fake a serial number he could just make one up, or visit a gun store and look at a few while he's there, right?

So, please help me understand the real issue here.


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February 18, 2004, 12:05 AM
Most people here, myself included, feel that allowing anyone who looks at these pages is a security problem. If someone were so inclined, they could scour the pictures on the forum and generate a decent list of the firearms owned by THR members. Serial numbers would be even more specific.
If this person had a lot of time on their hands and a lot of money, say, working for the federal government, they could probably find out who members are, where they live, what guns they own, how many, and many other things that most of us do not want the government to know.
We'll just say that privacy is another freedom important to us, and the less anyone knows the less we can get screwed. The ATF already tries its best to record serial numbers which is in effect illegal registration, why make it that much easier?
It may sound paranoid but no one wants to take chances. So, if you were to post a thread asking people to list and show their collections, you may not get the response you're expecting.

I probably could have made this explanation shorter. Sorry.

So, would you like to list your firearms, serial numbers, and where they are stored? Latitude and longitude would also be helpful.:D

Alan Fud
February 18, 2004, 12:19 AM
I always edit out the serial number when posting a photo. Simple to do even with just regular paintbrush that comes standard. Also when I first started moderating at another gun board many moons ago, one of the bits of direction that I was given was to edit out any serial numbers that members may post.

Never gave it much thought as to "why" but it just seemed like a good idea.

February 18, 2004, 03:33 AM
I don't worry about it myself. Tin foil fell out of my hat long ago, and I haven't bothered replacing it.

February 18, 2004, 03:45 AM
Hey Chicken!!

My tin foil is pretty thin but ... it is what ... ?? ''precautionary'' I guess. I am also a ''shredder man'' ... and with S/N's just feel it is not perhaps best to display whole deal. Just remove one or two digits perhaps ..... a ''privacy'' thing if you like.

I daresay not really necessary .... but - rest more easy!

Instead of ''M27-2 S/N XXXXXXXXX ..... it's just ''a ....... M27 - Generic!!

Ala Dan
February 18, 2004, 06:27 AM
Greeting's All-

Well for me, after many years in law enforcement I'm
some what of a "secretive type person" anyway. I
figure, the less anybody knows about my personal
life; the better off I am, weapons included! That is
the way a lot of THR members feel; as you can see
by the posting of serial numbers (such as DDG1XXX)
when they are searching for a born on date for a
particular weapon.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

February 18, 2004, 09:55 AM
There's a very practical reason as well. Some low-life might see the gun, note the make, model and serial number, concoct a fake bill of sale for the gun, then go to the police and say "I bought this gun from X on such-and-such a date - here's the bill of sale to prove it - and it was stolen from me. Now it's turned up on this Web site, and I want my gun back!" This could take years to sort out...

February 18, 2004, 10:42 AM
Ouch! OK, Preacherman gets the prize so far! ;)

That sounds like a tangible reason for concern that I can take to heart.

I knew you folks would find a way to raise my level of paranoia! :p

Why didn't the voices tell me this? :D


February 18, 2004, 10:56 AM
I'm not sure of the exact reason but whenever someone is referencing a gun in (NRA)The American Rifleman magazine they always XXX out the last string of serial number digits.

Carlos Cabeza
February 18, 2004, 10:57 AM
Just because your paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you !:D

Roadkill Coyote
February 18, 2004, 11:33 AM
Does privacy need a reason, particularly on in a civil rights oriented forum?

February 18, 2004, 01:02 PM
Does privacy need a reason, particularly on in a civil rights oriented forum? Well, Yes.

I prefer to do things becuase I do understand what the reason is.

Don't you prefer to make informed decisions? :confused:


February 18, 2004, 02:19 PM
If you have your purchase receipts and/proof that it's your gun it isn't an issue. Not to mention that the FFL has a record of the purchase as well.

No need to worry. You get in BAD trouble if you falsify such documents.

Lord Bodak
February 18, 2004, 05:25 PM
I'm sure falsifying those documents would be a major offense, and in the long run if you have your paperwork you'll win. But I'm also pretty sure that it won't be fixed overnight and they won't hesitate to confiscate the gun as "evidence" until it's sorted out.

Is it really worth it even when you know you'll win in the long run?

Kodiak AK
February 18, 2004, 05:41 PM
That exact same thing happened to me with a guitar I sold online . It took a few weeks for the police to confirm that I did indeed buy the guitar from the store I had a receipt from . I personaly don't like dealing with stuff like that so I always edit out the SN of anything I post for just that reason.

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