Who keeps record of serial numbers?


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Orion8472
May 15, 2012, 03:45 PM
If you purchased a gun at a LGS, I know that they have a record of the serial number and who has it. Does the ATF?

So, if a gun is used in a crime, how do they know where it was purchased IF they only okay the person [form 4473]?

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1948CJ2A
May 15, 2012, 03:49 PM
I asked this question to Cabelas (Allen, TX) when purchasing a rifle a few weeks ago. I was told they are required by law to keep the paperwork you fill out (ATF/Treasury Form) on file for 20 years. They do not send the paperwork anywhere unless the ATF or other law enforcement requests something specifically (ie: they're looking for a gun used in a crime).

I'm sure the FFL holders can give you more detailed info but that's what I was told.

Orion8472
May 15, 2012, 03:58 PM
I am under that same assumption. So my question is, how do those solving a crime know who a gun belongs to?

The reason why I ask is, . . . if I filled out the 4473 form, but sold the gun [later] privately, and it was used in a crime, how do they tie it back to me . . . what with the thousands of FFLs out there?

*Disclaimer - I wouldn't sell to someone if I knew them to be a criminal and would prefer to sell to someone with a CCW, . . . but if THEY sold it to another, I wouldn't have control over that.

mgkdrgn
May 15, 2012, 04:08 PM
I am under that same assumption. So my question is, how do those solving a crime know who a gun belongs to?

The reason why I ask is, . . . if I filled out the 4473 form, but sold the gun [later] privately, and it was used in a crime, how do they tie it back to me . . . what with the thousands of FFLs out there?

*Disclaimer - I wouldn't sell to someone if I knew them to be a criminal and would prefer to sell to someone with a CCW, . . . but if THEY sold it to another, I wouldn't have control over that.
Answer is ... they don't mostly.

All of that "gun is registered to a Tom Jones" stuff you see on TV is so much BS.

And yes ... I am an FFL.

waterhouse
May 15, 2012, 04:16 PM
if I filled out the 4473 form, but sold the gun [later] privately, and it was used in a crime, how do they tie it back to me

Glock makes a gun with serial number 1234. The ship it to a distributor, let's use Jerry's for an example, in the U.S. Glock logs 1234 out and Jerry's logs it in.

A dealer, let's call it Jim's Guns, orders a Glock from Jerry's. Jerry's ships Glock 1234, logs it out, and Jim's Guns logs it in.

You walk into Jim's and buy the gun, fill out the 4473, and Jim logs the gun out to you.

When the gun is found at a crime scene, they call Glock, who checks their records and then says "We sent it to Jerry's on this date." Jerry's says they sold it to Jim's.

Jim get a phone call from the ATF National Tracing Center, and Jim finds your 4473 in the file cabinet and reads off all of the info, or faxes copies of the 4473 in.

Now they have traced it from the manufacturer to you. It takes some phone calls and time, and there is no national database which contains your name and the gun serial number (or make or model or caliber for that matter), but it can be traced back to you.

ny32182
May 15, 2012, 04:17 PM
Based on what 1948 said, which I believe is correct, a recovered gun at a crime scene, etc, could be traced to the original point of sale based on the serial number:

Make->factory of orgin->distributor->FFL-> original 4473. After that, the paper trail is gone unless you are in a state with extra registration requirements. And even then, they would only be able to track it to its most recent law-abiding owner.

It isn't crime-solving information. It might be useful in putting the investigation closer to someone who committed a crime; giving them someone to talk to (original buyer says he sold it to Joe Blow, etc... police will want to take a look at Joe Blow) it is not actual evidence related to any specific crime.

Shadow 7D
May 15, 2012, 04:40 PM
It could be tracked, and here is the gist, they call the factory, factory says this range was shipped to this distributor.

The distributor says we shipped that gun to X FFL (and this is after having to search for a while for the record)

they go to the FFL, and the FFL says the 4473's for that time frame are in this file box have at it boys, and then they have to dig through a few thousand records.... BY HAND to find the FIRST legal owner, then they track that guy down and he says he gave it to his BIL, they track the BIL down and he says he sold it to his buddy, they track the buddy down.....

Oh, and there is NO computerized central database, that is SPECIFICALLY prohibited by law. If they want the database, they have to repeal the 1984 MG ban...

Centurian22
May 15, 2012, 05:28 PM
If making a private to private sale of a gun, is it advisable to draw up, have signed and keep a copy of a 'bill of sale' such as:
On this date, I joe blow, sold the colt such and such with serial number 12345 to, John black. Both parties sign and date.
???

1948CJ2A
May 15, 2012, 05:31 PM
Oh, and there is NO computerized central database, that is SPECIFICALLY prohibited by law. If they want the database, they have to repeal the 1984 MG ban...

Not to split hairs, but the legislation I think you are referring to was the FOPA (Firearms Owners Protection Act) that was signed into law May 19th 1986. It amended various elements of the preceding GCA (Gun Control Act) of 1968. The prohibition of registry (database) was part of it. Here's the section and language:

( Federal Law 18 U.S.C. 926 (2) (a)) being:

No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or disposition be established. Nothing in this section expands or restricts the Secretary's authority to inquire into the disposition of any firearm in the course of a criminal investigation.

Of course one thing to bear in mind is that all legislation is subject to interpretation by a judge or judges in a court of law. But this seems pretty straightforward.

1948CJ2A
May 15, 2012, 05:35 PM
If making a private to private sale of a gun, is it advisable to draw up, have signed and keep a copy of a 'bill of sale' such as:
On this date, I joe blow, sold the colt such and such with serial number 12345 to, John black. Both parties sign and date.
???

You can if you want but there's no law that I'm aware of that says it is required. It could end up dragging you into something you don't really want to be in the middle of... just my 2 cents.

mljdeckard
May 15, 2012, 05:35 PM
Yes, make a BOS, just big enough to cover your butt, put it in a safe place.

I think the biggest offender is Law & Order. For 20 some odd years they showed murder cases that were solved because they had registered guns. Real life was much different.

mljdeckard
May 15, 2012, 05:37 PM
No, there's no legal requirement to do so, but you aren't required to sell a gun to someone without it either. I like my guns clean too, but I have signed BOSs for friends whi like to keep a file of butt-covers, I don't have a problem with that.

CoRoMo
May 15, 2012, 05:38 PM
If making a private to private sale of a gun, is it advisable to draw up... a 'bill of sale'...
Depends on who you ask. Some say it is a must, others see no point in it.

If you bought or sold a gun FTF; that gun is someday used in a crime, recovered and traced to you; you would have to have been in the area with no alibi and somehow linked to the act with a suspicion that you committed the crime before you should worry about being convicted for a murder that you didn't commit.

Well before the cops cuff you on that one, you'd be giving them the name, number, address, description, whatever of the guy that bought it from you, whether you recorded it in writing or not.

1948CJ2A
May 15, 2012, 05:44 PM
Depends on who you ask. Some say it is a must, others see no point in it.

If you bought or sold a gun FTF; that gun is someday used in a crime, recovered and traced to you; you would have to have been in the area with no alibi and somehow linked to the act with a suspicion that you committed the crime before you should worry about being convicted for a murder that you didn't commit.

Well before the cops cuff you on that one, you'd be giving them the name, number, address, description, whatever of the guy that bought it from you, whether you recorded it in writing or not.

I'm more of a collector and less trader so I don't sell firearms nearly as often as I purchase them. In fact the only one's I have sold were guns I bought face-to-face prior so I knew I wouldn't be "looked at". I never have recorded a bill of sale as a seller nor filled one out as a buyer. Why should I give my personal information to a potentially total stranger (who is not a dealer in this hypothetical)? I don't mind temporarily showing my DL or CHL to someone but I don't want them recording any numbers or address information. I would potentially cancel a purchase if a non-FFL seller asked me to comply with his/her own BOS rules.

I reckon I'm a private guy living in an identity theft era.

walker944
May 15, 2012, 05:57 PM
The best chance that cops have in tracking the serial number is to the original purchaser. If a gun is found at a crime scene, then the cops can contact the manufacturer, whom can then tell them which FFL it was shipped to. At that point, depending on the amount of automation by the FFL, it might turn into a fairly slow searching process....depending on how long ago the FFL sold it. After the original purchaser acquires the gun, anything can happen, from a paper trail prospective.

jmr40
May 15, 2012, 06:11 PM
I've bought and sold numerous guns in FTF transactions and rarely bothered with a receipt. Occasionally private sellers at a gunshow give one, but that is about it.

As others said, If a gun is found at a crime LE calls the manufacturer. They follow the paper trail from the factory to distributer to the FFL to the original buyer. If they contact the original buyer and he no longer owns the gun then it could be a dead end for LE. If the original buyer sold or traded to a FFL then the paper trail starts over.

LE very often run into dead ends and can never prove who the gun belongs to. This is the biggest argument that gun control advocates make for registration and requiring a paper trail no matter who the gun is sold to. On the surface it sounds good and can have good points for gun owners. If you have a gun that you purchased FTF with no paper trail that is stolen and then recovered you may never get it back since there is no way for you to prove you actually owned the gun.

There is too great of a possibility for abuse in the future and I'll take my chances with no requirement for registration.

lemaymiami
May 15, 2012, 06:44 PM
I followed all the threads here, most were reasonable, none were off the mark.... with one exception. If you report a firearm stolen -you're the presumptive owner when it's recovered (if ever). Yes, a recovering agency can try to jerk you around for "proof of ownership" but that sort of stuff will fade away when you obtain a court order to retrieve your property (if any agency is dumb enough to force you to do that...). Firearms are high liability items for any officials that handle them so you frequently find more than a bit of bureaucratic B.S. involved.

Once again, in my experience (22 year cop and for three years in charge of my agency's Property Unit) the original reporter on a stolen gun case is presumed to be the owner unless there's information in the report to the contrary...

By the way the closest thing I know of to a national gun registry does exist - for guns that have been reported stolen.... A stolen message stays there long term until someone recovers it. At that point the recovering agency is supposed to notify the original reporting agency and they're supposed to notify the person that made the initial report. Where things go south is when something is recovered years later and the original complainant can't be located... but that's another problem entirely.

larryh1108
May 15, 2012, 07:24 PM
Illinois requires private party sales receipts to be kept a minimum of 10 years.

http://www.isp.state.il.us/docs/9-049.pdf

Warp
May 15, 2012, 07:38 PM
I'll add that I have sold multiple firearms, including multiple handguns, face to face. I have never recorded any information about the buyer and at this time I have absolutely no clue whatsoever who they are.

I've purchased that way as well.

1948CJ2A
May 15, 2012, 11:32 PM
Illinois requires private party sales receipts to be kept a minimum of 10 years.

Sorry Larry I should have been clearer. I meant there are no federal laws that I am aware of requiring receipts or other info on face-to-face transactions (excluding class 3 firearms).

marv
May 15, 2012, 11:43 PM
Some of my guns don't have a serial. Millions of guns made before 1960 something had no serial.

jmr40
May 16, 2012, 01:25 AM
Once again, in my experience (22 year cop and for three years in charge of my agency's Property Unit) the original reporter on a stolen gun case is presumed to be the owner unless there's information in the report to the contrary...



This depends a lot on where you live. I'd suspect that in most places you'd have little trouble, but in others you can probably kiss your gun good bye.

I said:

you may never get it back since there is no way for you to prove you actually owned the gun.



I've known of a couple of incidents where recovering the gun either did not happen, or was difficult because there was no receipt from a FTF sale. One person was able to get his gun back only because he had previously returned it to Remington for repair work and the LE agency accepted Remingtons documentation that he was the owner. I'm sure you could hire a lawyer and get your gun back after a time, but it would probably cost more than the gun cost you. Some anti-gun LE agencies know this and make it as difficult for you as possible.

In order to protect myself I have friends in LE run the SN's of guns I've purchased just in case I get one that has been reported stolen. I also take digital photos with a date stamp and keep records of my guns with descriptions and SN's on file. So far I've had no issues, but if something happens I do have some documentation

FROGO207
May 16, 2012, 07:42 AM
Yep I do. Too many items yet alone their serial numbers to remember in case of fire or theft for me.:) BTW kept in three separate secure locations.

alsaqr
May 16, 2012, 08:26 AM
The serial number and description of every gun i've owned in the past 40 years is in a database. The name of the person the gun was sold/traded to is there.

wolfe
May 16, 2012, 08:40 AM
How many people do you know that actually abide by those private to private transactions in Illinois?

CajunBass
May 16, 2012, 08:54 AM
I've done a number of face to face sales/purchases over the years. I've never bothered to ask for or offer a BOS. If someone wants one, or asks me to sign one, I don't mind. It's always a matter of "I Joe Blow sold my Colt Patterson S/N 1 to CajunBass on 2/30/99". No real personal date other than a name. Then a scribble or two that might or might not be signatures.

I figure a handwritten BOS is worth almost as much as the paper it's written on. I could write a BOS showing I sold a gun to Sara Brady if I wanted to.

Squeaky Wheel
May 16, 2012, 09:06 AM
Do the Feds ask for the firearm's serial number when the dealer calls in for NICS checks? If so, why?

CajunBass
May 16, 2012, 09:14 AM
Do the Feds ask for the firearm's serial number when the dealer calls in for NICS checks? If so, why?

No. All they're told is "handgun" or "longgun."

Havok7416
May 16, 2012, 09:29 AM
The serial number and description of every gun i've owned in the past 40 years is in a database. The name of the person the gun was sold/traded to is there.

+1 here except for the 40 years part (I'm not that old:D).

303tom
May 16, 2012, 09:32 AM
Even if I sell something off-book, (I) still keep a record of it................

abq87120
May 16, 2012, 09:44 AM
I've sold a gun as a private citizen to another in two separate transactions. I created a bill of sale that recorded the guns' information as well as both the buyer's driver's license info and mine. I'm 67 and will probably keep these records until I die, lol.

CountryUgly
May 16, 2012, 11:51 AM
I keep personal records for my use i.e; insurance or to cover my rear. I've done more than a few FTF some with a BOS some without. There was one instance that a BOS was useful. The chief said he needed some proof of ownership for me to get my gun back out of the evidence locker.

Orion8472
May 16, 2012, 11:58 AM
Well, I am taking two guns to the gunshow this weekend. One I filled out form 4473, and have printed out a [less than obtrusive] BOS for it. The other one I purchased FTF and will do so with it, provided they show their driver's license to make sure they are a resident of my state. If a CCW card, even better.

22-rimfire
May 16, 2012, 01:22 PM
The tracking is why some politicians want and states require transfers of all guns through a FFL dealer (or required reporting of a stolen gun) if there is no central data base. I doubt the information solves many crimes, but I suppose they could get lucky.

I do keep a record of the basic gun ID information for my own personal records including the serial number.

il.bill
May 16, 2012, 01:49 PM
How many people do you know that actually abide by those private to private transactions in Illinois?
I have a written record showing both seller's and buyer's name and FOID card number for every FTF firearm sale or purchase I make. As a resident of the State of Illinois, I am required to keep that information available for a number of years. Each Bill of Sale also shows the date the deal was made, as well as the date of actual delivery of the firearm, which must be 24 hours later for a long gun, and 72 hours later for a handgun.
If I break that law, I may lose my FOID card, and thus the 'right' to own / purchase firearms and ammo in Illinois (which, by the way, is also the only state in the union to currently have no provision for civilian concealed carry).

nofishbob
May 16, 2012, 07:18 PM
Maybe I am missing something about the reason people make and keep their bills of sale for private sales.

This is a self-made, non-legal document with no real way to verify its authenticity.

What is to stop anyone from just making a BOS years after the transaction?

I think it is worthwhile to keep records of your firearm's serial numbers for insurance/recovery purposes, but a BOS does not seem to be of much real value.

Bob

Warp
May 16, 2012, 07:21 PM
Maybe I am missing something about the reason people make and keep their bills of sale for private sales.

This is a self-made, non-legal document with no real way to verify its authenticity.

What is to stop anyone from just making a BOS years after the transaction?

I think it is worthwhile to keep records of your firearm's serial numbers for insurance/recovery purposes, but a BOS does not seem to be of much real value.

Bob

If you do it right you take their driver license/state photo ID/FOID card/carry license/whatever and you record the number as well as the name, address, etc. It is very unlikely that you would have the number otherwise. Besides, this isn't to be used as rock solid proof in a court of law, because you don't/won't need that. It is just in case somewhere down the line it is used in a crime or shows up somewhere. You can point them in the right direction. Maybe the person you sold it to then sold or gave it to somebody else, who then committed the crime, but they won't be able to find the perp unless you can point them to the next guy.

Although, like I said earlier, I've sold multiple firearms face to face and never recorded anything.

Centurian22
May 16, 2012, 07:40 PM
Wow, thank you to everyone sharing their input on the BOS question. Quite the spread of answers and this has shed light on angles I had not even thought of. I fear I may develop a double standard where I would want to do a BOS when selling but less willing to do one when buying without knowing the person or history of the gun. Fortunately, I don't expect to sell much and plan to purchase generally from LGS or online.

Shadow 7D
May 16, 2012, 07:48 PM
Maybe I am missing something about the reason people make and keep their bills of sale for private sales.

This is a self-made, non-legal document with no real way to verify its authenticity.

What is to stop anyone from just making a BOS years after the transaction?

I think it is worthwhile to keep records of your firearm's serial numbers for insurance/recovery purposes, but a BOS does not seem to be of much real value.

Bob
It is a VERY legal document, it may be easy to dispute it's veracity, but it IS a legal transfer of ownership. The less info the harder it is to track everything down.

Take a recipt, that IS A LEGAL BILL OF SALE
it doesn't say who bought it (but many do these days as stores track your spending habits)
all it says, is who sold it, where and for how much.
AND that is accepted by insurance (along with other proof generally) and the cops as you having owned said item.

so, nope sorry bud you got it ALL wrong.


A Notary Public in the US (they work drastically different other places)
ONLY verifies that the individuals signing are who they say they are.
this is not a legal requirement for a contract and many many contracts and other legal doc are signed, many many government documents and forms are signed with a single signature, or are counter hacked, possible even witnessed by a 3rd party.

Hell you can sign you taxes with an X (indicating that you are unable to read or write)
and have to 'people who know you' verify that you signed the doc.

I successfully sued a ex-roommate who screwed me over on a vehicle I bought from him using a just signed bill of sale
it stood up in bankruptcy court, so I'd say they are rather 'legal'

nofishbob
May 16, 2012, 07:56 PM
Shadow 7D, I thought we are talking about private sales, specifically in locations that do not require a formal BOS for these transactions, not receipts when purchased by a store.

I have nothing to hide, but if a seller asks to do anything more than LOOK at my ID/CHL I walk away.

Why make a pseudo-legal document when the Gov does not require one?

Like I said, I may just be uninformed.

Bob

otasan56
May 16, 2012, 08:03 PM
I definitely do. Which remind me, I have to update mine.

Shadow 7D
May 16, 2012, 08:23 PM
Why make a pseudo-legal document when the Gov does not require one?
If a person chooses to walk when recording such info, well, whatever dude, you will go on the list. So, NEVER buy from a C&R, as you WILL have to furnish all that info to sell or buy from them, my question is:
What do YOU have to fear?
you give more information in filling out a raffle ticket.

Oh, BTW, it's not 'pseudo', it is a legal document, if it was pseudo, why, they could simply state that NO transfer of ownership happened. It either IS or it ISN'T, and the person who decides that is the Judge, IAW all applicable rules and laws.

Just cause you may not, in your paranoid way, like it, doesn't change what it is, maybe you would accept it as binding if you were required to give a thumb print in blood???

Oh, and a BOS actually can protect you TOO, say officer Barney Fife pulls you over and in the process of trampling on your 4th amendment, decides to run your gun, and it comes up stolen. Now you are on the hook for receiving stolen property. And who did you get it from, "some dude..." OK, have fun with that.

tightgroup tiger
May 16, 2012, 08:29 PM
In North Carolina the buyer is supposed to get a purchase permit from the Sheriff even for a FTF transaction. That way the buyer has the backround check down before the purchase. There is no more red tape then that but I seriously doubt few if any do this for a private transaction.

They say it is to protect the seller from selling to a "prohibitted person" by accident. Sounds reasonable I guess.

If a particular firearm would be, traced back to me as the original purchaser, and I sold it to someone I didn't know and they had a prior felony against them and/or used it in a crime,
I could be arrested for selling a gun to a fellon or even aiding and abetting in the crime the buyer committed. Especially if he used the firearm in the crime.
I don't know what the odds of something like this happening but with my luck it would happen to me.

I keep full records of all my guns and gun transactions FTF and other wise as a but cover also.

The-Reaver
May 16, 2012, 08:30 PM
I keep a record of my own stuff. In fact I think its time I update it. =)

nofishbob
May 16, 2012, 08:37 PM
Shadow 7D, I can see that you feel strongly about this and have given these issues a lot of thought.

Before you disparage my views further, please lets just agree to disagree.

I always follow the law here in Texas, and I am comfortable with any risks I may incur.

Bob

HankB
May 16, 2012, 08:38 PM
Federal law requires FFL's to keep copies of their 4473's for 20 years, right?

So . . . any idea of how many FFL's shred them after the 20 years expire?

How about the "biggies" like Cabela's?

Pat M
May 16, 2012, 08:39 PM
Well, when NY passes the microstamping bill, the serial number will be right there on the ground at the crime scene. :rolleyes:

MICHAEL T
May 16, 2012, 10:28 PM
I bought a 1911 in 1969 in Ga while in Military . I sold it in 1974 in Co. to another GI who was getting out .

1975 had FBI at my apt. door , asking about pistol . I told them I had sold it . I did of course ask why . Seems it was used and recovered in a bank robbery in Seattle. A coast to coast 1911 . We went to base and I went thru sigh out log till I found his name . Don't remember name but lived in Mo.

Never heard any more about it. I have bought and sold many guns ovre the years That only one I was ever questioned about I buy sell and trade no paper kept or wanted.

wv109323
May 17, 2012, 02:16 AM
In my area there was a known type of firearm used in a crime. It was a Marlin .22 Mag rifle. The police went to all known FFL dealers in the surrounding area and searched their 4473 forms , looking for who bought that type rifle.

auditor
May 18, 2012, 11:29 PM
My son had his Glock M22 stolen from his truck. He reported it to Sheriff. He figured it was in Mexico. About a year later, the local PD called and asked if could prove the gun was his and if he wanted it back. He's still waiting to get it back from the local PD. Some red tape involved. Fortunately, he had the receipt from the dealer and had recorded the S/N. The local PD was able to find him via the stolen gun database. Word is the guy who stole it won't be seeing daylight for a while.

Elkins45
May 19, 2012, 10:12 AM
When I sell a gun to a private individual I ask to see his Kentucky driver's license. If it's a gun that I have filled out a 4473 on I will jot down the name in an Excel spreadsheet where I record all my serials. If there's no 4473 with my name on it I don't bother with recording the name but I still verify in-state residency.

There is one instance where the ATF does directly know that you own a gun. If the dealer you bought it from has gone out of business they were required to bundle up all their 4473 forms and send them to the ATF. THey are all probably sitting in some giant warehouse in Virginia somewhere. I have this mental image of the giant warehouse at the end of Raider's of the Lost Ark except filled with filing cabinets.

jj1962hemi
May 19, 2012, 10:32 AM
An angle you should all consider has to due with your CC permits. For instance, if you violate federal law (e.g. transfer a gun to an out-of-state buyer without an FFL doing the transfer), some states will probably revoke your permit. If you have a Utah permit, you must comply with all your state's laws to keep it active. An example would be not having a FOID card in Illinois, getting it revoked, or allowing it to expire. I think a C&R license might also be jeopardized here. A friend of mine wanted to transfer a gun to his dad, across state lines without an FFL involved (crazy that it's illegal), and all I could think about was losing his CC permit, among a series of other things. I can't imagine New York or Massachusetts not having some draconian penalties for not documenting a sale either.

It's the far-reaching implications of all these laws that can trip people up. As somebody said, in Illinois, keep good records or lose your "right" to own.

langenc
May 21, 2012, 12:37 AM
Ive notices Law & Order and CSI talking about "who is it registered to" or some such.

Ive been thinking they are just the 'softening up barrage' for registration. Most viewers and many shooters think all guns are registered cause they hear that so many times.
Here in MI we have handgun registration. I have referred to that in some postings from time to time. Every so often another poster will chew me out that we 'dont have handgun registration'...

We could be getting rid of it but many shooters are ignorant or it dont bother them/both.

larryh1108
May 21, 2012, 12:46 AM
New York state lists any handgun you own on your permit. Most of those shows are in NY. If they recover a handgun and it was registered it is easy to track down the owner. Otherwise I agree with you. TV shows makes it seem like every gun is registered in every state and that is not true.

Warp
May 21, 2012, 12:50 AM
Ive notices Law & Order and CSI talking about "who is it registered to" or some such.

Ive been thinking they are just the 'softening up barrage' for registration. Most viewers and many shooters think all guns are registered cause they hear that so many times.
Here in MI we have handgun registration. I have referred to that in some postings from time to time. Every so often another poster will chew me out that we 'dont have handgun registration'...

We could be getting rid of it but many shooters are ignorant or it dont bother them/both.

Don't worry, you are 100% correct. Michigan has handgun registration.

jhco50
May 21, 2012, 02:04 AM
I do for the simple reason I have decided which guns my kids get when I go to the big shooting range in the sky.

As far as registration, we don't have to register in my state and we have open carry. I had a run in with the night manager about a week ago and he explained I was carrying illegal because I didn't have registration papers. He gave me all kinds of really off the wall information on carrying and I left, wondering if he had even seen a firearm before. BTW, I wrote an email to Walmart and they have yet to respond. Guess they don't want my money either.

CapnMac
May 21, 2012, 03:26 AM
To me, BoS is the same whether you are buying cattle or a gun.
On one side of the transaction, you walk away with a bundle of cash; on the other you are in possession of property brand new to you.

With cattle, they are all in somebody else's brand, until you get them home and make them "yours." With a firearm, you get home, and show your buds, and they ooh and ahh, and your possession becomes known and notorious (meaning "of note," not with negative connotation).

It's a trust but verify thing, really.

And, you cannot do a one-sided BoS.

If you go to the store and buy a chainsaw, they give you a receipt. The store retains a copy of that. You cannot go and say, hey, you owe me a tablesaw, I got this receipt.

And, in these contentious times--having made too many sales over the last two years of involuntary safe-emptying--I would not want/did not want to be rolling down the road with 7 or 8, or 9 hundred dollars in cash, and not have a way to explain why I'm so flush.

But, I'm also old-fashioned in this, too.

Steve C
May 21, 2012, 04:45 AM
Like alsaqr, I keep all my guns on a spread sheet with serial number and description. The information is for me to submit to insurance in case of theft or fire or police to help in recovery. I also keep serial numbers of my electronics and other valuables over $200. I encrypt the file and store it inoff site data storage. On your PC is no help if it gets stolen too and paper can burn in a fire so having several copies helps maintain the record.

The mere fact that a person owns a gun used in a crime is just one of the bits of evidence that may be used in a criminal investigation and prosecution. Its seldom enough to convict anyone. Like Perry Mason says, "Means, motive and oportunity must be proven." The firearm can only provide the "means".

mgkdrgn
May 21, 2012, 06:18 PM
If you bought or sold a gun FTF; that gun is someday used in a crime, recovered and traced to you...

And how, exactly, would that happen, as a FTF sale isn't recorded anywhere?

Again ... way too much TV cop shows.

larryh1108
May 21, 2012, 06:48 PM
If you bought it new and it went thru an FFL they could surely trace it to you if you sold it F2F. If you didn't save any documents and didn't remember they guy's name who bought it, you would be put under a magnifying glass, have to answer about your whereabouts, etc. If your alibi checked out you'd probably be cleared but they can make your life pretty tense if they check out your alibi and it's your job or you were in a compromising situation, etc. Yeah, too many TV shows. I say you keep records to CYA down the road, Why not?

Viottato
May 21, 2012, 08:42 PM
The ATF can trace your firearm purchase to the first retail purchaser.

In Pennsylvania, they can trace any handgun to the current owner regardless of how many times it has changed hands.

Pennsylvania requires that all handgun purchasers go to a dealer for the transaction. After paperwork, background check, and a small fee, its all yours.

When you buy a handgun there is a form in addition to the ATF form. This form is how they keep a database of handgun purchases.

The government calls it a Record of Sale. The NRA calls it registration. Its been litagated a couple of times in recent history, but the database remains.

Warp
May 21, 2012, 09:47 PM
Yeah, Pennsylvania, much like Michigan and New York and other locations, has handgun registration.

gym
May 21, 2012, 10:01 PM
All guns I traded or sold, were to legal residents of the stae of FL, who showed ID. and said they were not prohibited from owning a handgun. Many gun shows, don't even require the seller who rents the table to be an FFL. I have bought and sold guns from independant sellers who rent a table at a gun show and sell their private collections. After they leave my hands, once I have confirmed they are residents of the state, "by seeing their ID", I would have no idea what they did or who they sold the gun to.
I have dealt with retired sherriffs, and ex leo's, who sell at shows, for years. You don't really have any control where your gun is going to end up.
I just keep serial of my current guns in case of another hurricane, theft or fire.

il.bill
May 23, 2012, 11:08 AM
As someone posted earlier, I have been exposed to angles and facets of firearm sales/purchase that I never before considered. Thanks to all who have contributed.

I never thought that I would say something like this, but I am actually feeling better about living in Illinois. The FOID card has been a fact of life since I was 15 years old in 1968. The lack of legal civilian concealed carry is not good. The 72 hour waiting period to transfer a handgun on even a FTF transaction is a hassle (though I do recognize the idea of it being a 'cooling off' period).

But...I had no idea that other states are in some ways even more restrictive. A FTF sale required to be processed through a FFL dealer? Making you contact the sheriff for a background check before selling to an individual? State registration of individual handguns? Restrictions on how many handguns you can purchase in a month?

I apologize about the length of this post, but my 59 year old eyes have been opened a little wider. The USA is an interesting country, with "state sovereignty" still meaning something, I guess.

If I did it correctly, attached to this post is a Word.doc file of the Firearm Bill of Sale I use buying or selling. I am not a lawyer, but it makes me feel better knowing I made a good faith attempt to stay within the law in Illinois.

jj1962hemi
May 24, 2012, 11:24 PM
Hey Bill,

Occupied Illinois and the Peoples Republic of Chicago do have good laws in terms of there being no registration. I'll grant you that. I heard on local radio that Illinois is two votes in the state legislature away from sending a bill to the governor for concealed carry. He'll veto it, but it's a good 1st step.

Keep up the good fight!

leadcounsel
May 26, 2012, 04:49 AM
If I sell a gun that I've filled out a 4473, I get a Bill of Sale with signature.

If I sell a gun I bought FTF off the books, then recording their name, state, and phone number after the fact is sufficient for my own records.

As far as tracing the guns, I think it's been well-explained from maker to distributor to end purchaser.

JTHunter
May 26, 2012, 04:33 PM
As another poster commented, it's a good idea to keep a record of the firearm for "insurance purposes".

I take multiple photos of my guns, particularly any special features/marks, and record the make, model, and any numbers found and their location(s) right with the picture (when printed on a Word document).

Make multiple copies - safe deposit box at a bank (or your own safe), at a relative's, and a couple of copies handy in your house.;)

joecil
May 26, 2012, 04:45 PM
I also keep records of every gun I own including serial numbers, date of purchase, who from, shot count with dates as well as multiple photos of each gun. I print them, as well as back up these records on several computer portable HD. Other than one used gun I have records of every round fired Brand, Type etc including my own reloads as well as how it worked or failed. My records also include all changes be it grips, magazines etc, as well as who they where bought from, when etc. I guess I just anal retentive when it comes to my guns.

Hanshi
May 26, 2012, 07:42 PM
I do but several of my guns came from a custom bp builder and don't have serial numbers.

Ignition Override
May 26, 2012, 08:11 PM
My first FTF was an SKS bought behind a McDonald's (spring '08).
The second was selling the Mini 14 in a Kroger front parking lot.

The latest was selling the Mini 30 between Sam's and Chinamart.
No records are kept by me or anybody else.

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