How Traceable are handguns?


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Treefrog23
December 28, 2012, 06:44 PM
With all the clamor about Fienstien (D-CA et al), I would assume that any handgun bought in the past few years are recorded somewhere on a Federal register, accesable to the powers that be. Can someone tell me tell me if I am right? And if so, what confidence do we have that they can not be confiscated at will.
TF

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SharpsDressedMan
December 28, 2012, 07:10 PM
Over my 40 years of buying guins, I'd say I've bought over two hundred, and better than 180 I have no idea where they are now. Some, when I was young, I traded one to get another one. Then I bought and sold to make a profit, then some just went for various reasons. I did not keep a list, as there was/is no requirement to do so. If that changes, those earlier guns are anyones guess anyway. Im sure that is the way it is with MOST anybody that has sold a gun more than a year ago. Can you say MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS?

joeschmoe
December 28, 2012, 07:13 PM
With all the clamor about Fienstien (D-CA et al), I would assume that any handgun bought in the past few years are recorded somewherethe form 4473 you signed is kept on file at the gun store.
on a Federal registertechnically it is illegal for them to do that, but most of think they have anyway
, accesable to the powers that be. Can someone tell me tell me if I am right? And if so, what confidence do we have that they can not be confiscated at will.
TF

We can have confidence in the Supreme Court case Heller v DC, 200+ years of history, and the fact that "confiscated at will" may sound easier than it would be to actually achieve. Write your Congressman, but IMO it's not going to happen. They are trying to scare you into surrendering some rights now so they can take the rest later.

Texan Scott
December 28, 2012, 07:14 PM
When you buy a handgun, NICS gets told who you are and that it's a handgun. Their ok (really an "I don't see why not") is not kept on record (once approved).

The document that is kept, the 4473, is kept by the dealer. To confiscate guns from known owners, they'd have to get all those records from every single dealer and corner pawn shop, and process them. Of course, that only gets them as far as the original owner. In a free state like Texas, who could say how many times it might have changed hands without record?

Now maybe you see why antis want all sales documented via FFL... they can't take what they can't find, and can't look for what they don't know about.

2wheels
December 28, 2012, 07:31 PM
As noted, all FFL dealers keep records of what they've sold, but there is no all encompassing Federal registry.

The Feds do have at least some records from what I understand, but not everything, not even close. It's technically illegal for them to do so... But you know how the Feds are when it comes to bending/breaking their own rules, especially our buddies over at the ATF.

Of course, how many millions of guns in this country have changed hands without an FFL dealer being involved?

Just for me, I've gifted/sold at least 4 firearms, and bought/recieved at least 2 without an FFL dealer involved, all perfectly legally. Good luck finding those!

browningguy
December 28, 2012, 07:31 PM
NICS said, "All your 4473 are belong to us! You have no chance to survive make your time."

They are logging your IP even as you type in the forum. They already know what you have, and where you are going to hide them.

joeschmoe
December 28, 2012, 07:37 PM
Who said we're going to hide them?

Old Fuff
December 28, 2012, 07:54 PM
All of this record making started in 1968 when the 1968 Gun Control Act was passed. Previous to that only ordinary handguns were registered, and then only in a handful of states.

Federal registration has always been limited to those "firearms" covered in the 1934 National Firearms Act (meaning sawed-off rifles and shotguns, fully- automatic guns, etc.)

If you buy a ordinary revolver or pistol or any full-length shotgun or rifle where registration wasn't required by a state or city, the chances are it could never be traced to a present owner. Usually the BATF&E will not try to trace pre-1968 firearms.

VA27
December 28, 2012, 08:30 PM
Trace? If the cops HAVE the gun, and it's of post-1968 mfg, they can probably go from the factory to the jobber to the dealer to the original purchaser. If the original purchaser or someone involved in the case who knows the purchaser is in the suspect pool, they're on the right track. If the original purchaser is dead or can't remember where he sold it or it was stolen, they're pretty much at a dead end. If the original purchaser sold or traded it to a dealer then the hunt is on again, but all it takes is for one purchaser to be dead, have no memory/gun stolen to end the hunt.

If they DON'T have the gun, what's to trace? As far as I know, there is no national archive of fired bullets from each gun manufactured since 1968 that a bullet can be matched to. And if there was, wear and tear through firing and cleaning or a barrel change would make a positive match improbable.

In otherwords, for all practical purposes and discounting a miracle, 'tracing' is hollywood fiction.

gfpd707
December 28, 2012, 08:32 PM
Spend your time writting calling and emailing your elected officials instead of trying to predict possible future laws. One more rant everyone who is paying scalper prices for mags and guns. Take a percentage of the money you are spending and send it to the NRA.

The Lone Haranguer
December 28, 2012, 10:10 PM
There is registration in some states (e.g., CA, MD) and even in some counties (e.g., Clark, NV), but there isn't supposed to be registration at the federal level.

ApacheCoTodd
December 29, 2012, 03:49 PM
Are you more concerned about what guns a particular person may have or who it is that may have particular guns?

Two very different approaches (each with their own variables) to the issue of accountability of ownership.

Oft times impossible to determine.

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