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guns from pawn shops

Discussion in 'Legal' started by thomis, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. thomis

    thomis Well-Known Member

    I've always wondered how pawn shops get away with it. How it's legal to sell a gun to any member of the public, not knowing where the gun came from, and knowing there is a real good chance it was stolen from somewhere.

    I am looking at a shotgun at the local pawn shop that has a man's name scratched into the receiver. I almost walked out with it but I decided to go home and do a little research. So I googled the man's name. Turns out he's a convicted felon (bank robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and more). You might say, aw it's coincidental but not hardly. The convicted felon is from a city adjacent to the city I live in, where the pawn ship is. I'm just curious, it may be perfectly legal....would you buy it?
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Pawn shops that buy stolen goods will rather quickly find themselves in trouble with the law.

    And their Federal Firearms License would be revoked if they were found guilty of buying or selling stolen goods.

    I wouldn't buy a gun with someones name scratched in it, regardless of who's name it was.

  3. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Well-Known Member

    If I wanted it, yes, I'd buy it. Law enforcement agencies frequently have "pawn shop details" that check with the shops on a monthly basis. Shops that take these kinds of things in are frequently required to hold them until the PSD has checked them, and firearms are usually at the top of the list. The chances of buying a "hot" gun from a reputable, well-established pawnbroker are slim.
    Beyond that, they can sell to anyone a gun shop can, and in the same manner. Perhaps that gun you looked at was acquired before the man whose name graces it became a prohibited person..?
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
  4. joed

    joed Well-Known Member

    I've bought guns from pawn shops and never had a problem. You still fill out a form and send it in to the Feds. If a gun was stolen I'd bet it would be found fairly quickly.

    Why wouldn't you buy that shotgun. Did you ever think he had to get rid of it because of his record so pawned it. And can you say that shotgun was really his?

    I buy from pawn shops as long as the price is good. Couple years ago I got a Python for $450.
  5. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    Or it was acquired by the pawn shop after he became a prohibited person. There is no law against felons selling their guns - that's one way to legally dispose of them when they do become prohibited.

    I've bought at least one rifle from a pawn shop. Most of the time they are priced too high.

    How is that any different than buying a gun from a stranger that posts it for sale on gunbroker or right here on THR? There is no more chance of it being stolen because it goes through a pawn shop.
  6. Godsgunman

    Godsgunman Well-Known Member

    I deal with a pawn shop on a regular basis and mine will hold the gun for 2 weeks when "joe schmoe" walks in wanting to sell a gun so they can run the serial number and check any history if there is any to be found and keep an extensive log. I don't know if every pawn shop does this so I would ask yours if they do. I have no qualm with buying any firearm from my pawnshop because of their practice. Its safe for them and safe for me. If they were to happen to sell a "bad" firearm it would fall on them, not you since you have no way or responsibility of doing the background stuff when dealing with a FFL. Their responsibility to make sure they are selling legal firearms. Just my opinion though so take it for what its worth, .02?
  7. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    My local pawn shop also runs the serial #'s against the local PD to see if it's stolen.

    Since an FFL has to have photo ID and full contact information on the "books" when a gun is brought in, pawn shops are actually a very GOOD way to A) bust the person who stole the gun and B) get stolen guns returned to their proper owners.

    I have no reservations whatsoever about buying a gun in a pawn shop.

    I have MANY reservations about buying a gun on gun broker.

    Doesn't take much to put up an auction with fake pictures and collect one or more cashier's checks. Some guns, particularly exotics and rares, can bring in big bucks - you bet your bottom dollar there are crooks who know and exploit this.
  8. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Also - worth noting - I have a friend (who at the time was president of the local range) who had a gun CONFISCATED from him.

    He bought the gun on gunbroker.

    He had it transferred through a local FFL, did the 4473.

    He took possession of it.

    Three WEEKS later he got a visit from a sheriff's deputy demanding the firearm. It turns out it was stolen.

    The original owner had been scanning gunbroker listings and saw HIS firearm with HIS serial # on the auction, and notified the ATF, who contacted the local PD's involved and got the weapon returned to him.

    My friend did NOT get reimbursed for his $400+ purchase. He was out the money. I would imagine that if they caught the person who stole the gun, that he MIGHT eventually get some court ordered restitution but it's highly unlikely, and he's not holding his breath.
  9. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member

    Not in Oklahoma. The pawnshop lobby here has more pull than a D6 dozer. Years ago the OK legislature passed the pawnshop act after a multi millionaire pawn broker went to prison for receiving stolen property. The purpose of the pawnshop act is to protect pawnbrokers from charges of receiving stolen property. :mad:

    If you find your stolen stuff in a pawnshop the only legal way to get it back is to buy it.
  10. henschman

    henschman Well-Known Member

    I don't think it is reasonable to assume that a gun is stolen unless you have some specific knowledge that would indicate this. Just being at a pawn shop or being sold by a private seller does not even come close to this.

    Also, having a gun that was once owned by a convicted felon (who engraved his name on it) is no problem for you the buyer. Hell, that's probably why he pawned it -- because he picked up a felony and legally had to get rid of it, or needed it to pay his lawyer or court costs or something. What worries you about this situation? If the guy stole the gun, he probably wouldn't put his name on it.

    I once bought a Glock 17 and a Taurus .25 in a private sale, which turned out to be stolen. As usually happens in this situation, I did not get my money back from the guy I bought them from. I was planning on selling them at the next gun show -- I wish I would have, so I wouldn't have been the one who had to take the loss when the ATF took them back. Oh well, I suppose that is just part of the cost of doing business if you buy and sell a lot of guns.

    Doing anonymous cash deals is the best way to mitigate this risk. Unfortunately in my case, the guy I bought the guns from knew my name and phone number because he was an acquaintance.
  11. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    Not a requirement in Federal law. 27 CFR 478.125(e):

    There is no requirement for the FFL to verify the name and address of the person from whom the firearm was received, nor for the FFL to see or obtain a copy of any photo ID when receiving a firearm. I can sell a firearm to an FFL simply by saying I am John Smith and live at 123 Main Street and the FFL writes that information down. State law may have further requirements for pawn shops and/or firearms transactions.
  12. 45_auto

    45_auto Well-Known Member

    Pawn shops have to do a NICS check, just like a real gun shop (they are a real gun shop, to deal in firearms they musty have an FFL).

    The pawn shop owner is required to record the person's identification of EVERYTHING he takes in, not just guns. So he knows exactly who it came from.

    The police here run the numbers of every pawned gun and many other commonly stolen items through the NCIC database. If the item was stolen, they have the info from the guy's ID that pawned it to go pick him up.

    Buying a gun from a pawn shop is one of the most secure ways I could imagine to buy a gun.

    Do you at a minimum remove the grips from every used handgun before you buy it, and the stock and fore-end from every used rifle and shotgun? Sometimes you'll find a name scratched somewhere it can't be seen without some major disassembly. I've seen them scratched on the frame under the rebound slide on an S&W revolver, and under the butt plate on a Winchester 94, as well as the more typical places under the stocks and grips.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
  13. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Yup, should have qualified that statement as "in Illinois".

    For every firearms transaction we have to keep a copy of the seller's FOID information on file for 10 years.

    (430 ILCS 65/3) (from Ch. 38, par. 83-3)
    (b) Any person within this State who transfers or causes to be transferred any firearm, stun gun, or taser shall keep a record of such transfer for a period of 10 years from the date of transfer. Such record shall contain the date of the transfer; the description, serial number or other information identifying the firearm, stun gun, or taser if no serial number is available; and, if the transfer was completed within this State, the transferee's Firearm Owner's Identification Card number. On or after January 1, 2006, the record shall contain the date of application for transfer of the firearm. On demand of a peace officer such transferor shall produce for inspection such record of transfer. If the transfer or sale took place at a gun show, the record shall include the unique identification number. Failure to record the unique identification number is a petty offense.

  14. hermannr

    hermannr Well-Known Member

    Our local pawn shop is Dave's Gun and Pawn...look at the name...yep, it is a gun shop first, pawn shop second. Very good place to do business.

    Yes, I have purchased several guns from that pawn shop, and have standing orders in for guns I am looking for and the price range I am willing to pay. He does a lot of consignment selling and the last 4 guns I have purchased came through him at very good prices.

    BTW: It is my understanding that, at least here in WA, if a pawn shop unintentially receives stolen goods, the goods are returned to the owner, and the pawn shop is out whatever they paid for the item. If the police have reason to believe the receipt may not be unintentional, it is possible to procecute, but I think that would be only to a shop that has been found with a lot of stolen property over time (showing a pattern of taking anything, no questions asked)
  15. armoredman

    armoredman Well-Known Member

    I worked at two gunshops in Tucson, AZ. One time it was discovered that a firearm that had been taken in was stolen. A detective came by and recovered the firearm plus the information from the shop owner on who had sold it. the shop was out the money, with only the option of suing the fraudulent seller - but that trail went back many years and owners, and the original thief had sold it many years prior. I am told the original owner was overjoyed - it was in excellent condition.
    At both gun shops I worked at it was quite normal to request a photo ID from anyone selling a firearm, for the bound book.
    The pawn shop I deal with is an excellent FFL, and very professional about it - I don't worry about guns I get from that location.
  16. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Well-Known Member

    You are speaking from an erroneous assumption if you think pawn shops operate loosely with no ATF oversight.
  17. content

    content Well-Known Member

    Hello friends and neighbors // Know your stuff when buying from a pawn shop.

    Other than that they are a great place to find unusual guns and usually willing to accept reasonable offers of cold hard cash.

    As far as I know they follow every ATF rule, we always fill out the 4473 a few even note my eye color for some reason.
    Some take your license before you handle a gun so it won't get stolen from them.

    When I've asked pawn shop owners what they make the most money on, normally guns come before gold.
    I doubt they would do anything to damage their ability to make money.

    I seem to remember one of the local guns shops getting a few semiautos from the local PD that had been used in crimes(not the guns fault) but they were missing the mags.
    Could this be the case in your area?

    ...Name on gun... Unless it was something rare or something I'd been searching for I'd pass reguardless of the persons record.
  18. armoredman

    armoredman Well-Known Member

    In Arizona crime guns have to be offered for sale instead of being destroyed. Just like Forrest Gump said, "You never know what you're going to get." :)
  19. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    HUH? WHAT form is sent in? There isn't one, and the call does not mention anything about the gun or serial number
  20. bikemutt

    bikemutt Well-Known Member

    The pawnshops I deal with here in western WA all have to hold merchandise 30 days before they can sell it, presumably there is some way this helps law enforcement discover the fencing of stolen property.

    In certain cities in WA it goes one step further; the seller (person pawning) has to agree to a thumbprint on a local PD form, who knows if they actually run the print. I had to do this when I traded a shotgun in Lynnwood, WA. I wasn't amused but them's the rules; the shop had the only new Browning model in the US that I wanted.

    I like pawnshops, visited three of them today, sad to say no old Smiths worth buying that I don't already own :(

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