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Are my guns really registered, or just me?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by moredes, Jul 30, 2005.

  1. moredes

    moredes Well-Known Member

    I bought a gun through a private internet sale and filled out the usual paperwork for it at the store. My FFL holder says just in passing, "ya know, there's no record that this gun ever changed hands unless they come check here".


    My FFL says the only information given is that my ID has been confirmed and that I bought a handgun. Not what kind of handgun nor where it came from.

    My questions are:

    1) Is there anyplace aside from the "bound book" that lists the gun I just bought?

    2) Does the seller's FFL know who it was sold to, or does he just have a listing of my FFL dealer?

    3) If the gun isn't being tracked, what's the point? All BATF has is my identity, and the fact that now, I might have one more gun than I did the day before....but they don't know that for fact because they're not tracking what guns I've traded off, right?? I mean, only the FFL dealers that I've used, actually know what guns I've traded off; the BATF doesn't have a clue?? In my state, I've been told I can trade with another resident without paperwork; surely not a wise move, but since it's (supposedly) possible, how can the BATF possibly track my handguns?

    I'm about as befuddled as I could hope to be.
  2. lee n. field

    lee n. field Well-Known Member

    You live in a civilized state.

    No records beyond the dealers book. When he goes out of business ATF gets them.
  3. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    If you paid with a credit card, then there is a record of the purchase with the CC company.

    But the feds are prohibited by law from creating a direct registration scheme.
  4. CAnnoneer

    CAnnoneer Well-Known Member

    So, if I buy a gun and it gets stolen then recovered by the PD, how will the PD track it back to return it to me?
  5. Alex45ACP

    Alex45ACP Well-Known Member

    Give them the serial number I guess.

    I think NICS is nothing more than a backdoor registration.
  6. CAnnoneer

    CAnnoneer Well-Known Member

    Then there must be a nation-wide system keeping track of stolen firearms descriptions and serial numbers?
  7. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    If the cops recover the gun at the scene of a crime, they'll contact BATFE with the make and serial number. From there they'll contact the manufacturer, who will know which FFL they sent the gun to. Basically it just becomes a matter of following the paper trail.

    The manufacturer will have a record of which gun dealers they sold firearms to.
  8. chopinbloc

    chopinbloc Well-Known Member

    i thought dealers were supposed to destroy the yellow forms after a period of time.
  9. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Yeah, and felons are prohibited by law from having guns, too.

    Dealers are permitted to destroy 4473s after twenty years. Heaven only knows how many actually do.
  10. SouthpawShootr

    SouthpawShootr Well-Known Member

    I remember an FFL friend of mine telling me that if the FFL turns in his license, the yellow forms are sent to the ATF where they are supposedly warehoused (yeah, I bet - probably entered into a computer database somewhere). If they are compiling a database from turned in paperwork, I've probably got a few that they know about.
  11. waterhouse

    waterhouse Well-Known Member

    I'm an FFL. Your name and address appear in both the bound book and on form 4473, right next to the make, model, caliber, and serial number of the firearm you purchased.

    The purpose is NOT to track your handguns or any of your firearm purchases. At least for now, they aren't trying to make a gun registry. As has been mentioned, the purpose of the records is so that if a gun is found at a crime they contact Glock (or whoever) and ask where that gun was originally sent to. Then they call that dealer and ask who he sold it to, and so on down the line.

    As far as NICS checks, not only do they not know what kind of gun you bought, but it is illegal for them to keep a record of your purchase. The NICS hard drive is wiped clean of every "Proceed" order within 24 hours (at least according to law and the ATF. Whether the gov't follows the law is up for debate, depending on which way your tin foil hat sits on your head.)

    It is true that when I shut down the business I will have to send the ATF all of my 4473s that are less than 20 years old along with my bound book. What they do with them I'm not sure, but if someone is typing them into a database I'd hate to be that guy.
  12. Flyboy

    Flyboy Well-Known Member

    Call me a paranoid whackjob, but if memory serves, the law has always been that the records were to be destroyed, but that the ATF under Clinton completely disregarded that law. Given its well-known and oft-publicized history of such blatant disregard for the law, I don't think it's to tinfoi-hattish to believe that F-troop is at it again.

    If the three-strikes laws were applied to government, all of THR combined wouldn't have enough guns or ammo to supply the necessary firing squad.
  13. moredes

    moredes Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Waterhouse.

    For a while there, I thought CAnnoneer's thread hijack was complete. :rolleyes:
  14. Marshall

    Marshall Well-Known Member

    Then my question would be, when buying another firearm, how do they know you have just bought a gun 3 days ago, 2 weeks or 1 month ago?
  15. Kurush

    Kurush Well-Known Member

    They already admitted to keeping a list of "terrorist watch list" people who did a NICS check. Is there actually a penalty for keeping a record or is it just a statutory suggestion?
  16. waterhouse

    waterhouse Well-Known Member

    On a Federal level I don't think that they do know. If you buy 2 handguns FROM ME in a 5 day period it is my responsibility as an FFL to have a record of this and to report that 2 handguns were purchased in a 5 day period. (As an ammendment to my previous post, here is a third place your name and address appear next to the make, model, serial number, and caliber: if you buy two handguns in a 5 day period, I have to send paperwork which states this to both the ATF and the local CLEO. Again, I'm not sure what they do with this information.)

    If you buy one from me, and tomorrow you buy another handgun from another dealer in Austin, neither of us knows what you did so there is no paperwork.

    This is how it works on the federal level. If you live in a state that keeps records of your purchases because you are only allowed to buy one gun a month or something, that has nothing to do with the ATF, but with your state firearms laws.
  17. waterhouse

    waterhouse Well-Known Member

    They are only required to delete the "proceed" listings. I don't know much about terrorist watch lists, but if this leads to being denied the purchase then they can keep the records.

    I don't know about the penalties for keeping a record either, only that the ATF announced that "the courts" had decided that it was illegal to keep personal records, so they deleted the previous days checks every morning.
  18. Alex45ACP

    Alex45ACP Well-Known Member

    I don't buy it, and there's nothing "tin foil hat" about it. It's been demonstrated over and over and over again that governments can not be trusted with that information.
  19. Marshall

    Marshall Well-Known Member

    I'm willing to bet, figurately speaking, that some agency has me on record for the last 5 guns I bought, (I just picked a number),whether it be the FBI, ATF, etc. :scrutiny:
  20. waterhouse

    waterhouse Well-Known Member

    All I can say for sure is that the FBI, ATF, etc. do not know which gun you purchase when you purchase a gun. They don't know the make or model or serial number or anything.

    It is possible that they are breaking the law and keeping a record of the fact that you bought a gun, but there isn't even a place on the NICS check to enter what gun you purchased. There is only a checkbox for handgun, long gun, or both. In fact, thre isn't even a way to report if you buy multiple long guns. If you came in and bought 20 shotguns, the gov't would see one NICS transaction and I would check "long gun."

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