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BATFE and Retaining Records

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by BurmKiller, Dec 20, 2006.

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Do you believe the Government maintains a Gun Registration?

Poll closed Mar 20, 2007.
  1. Absolutely. Both on a Federal and State Level everywhere.

    97 vote(s)
    78.2%
  2. Probably not on a Federal level, but I think my State does.

    13 vote(s)
    10.5%
  3. Hit and Miss...a few rogue locals may do it on a State or local level.

    14 vote(s)
    11.3%
  4. No. They abide by the law and would never do such a thing.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
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  1. BurmKiller

    BurmKiller Member

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    Thoughts and experiences with the Government obtaining and maintaining records of gun ownership? Do you think they do it? Have proof beyond just a general feeling? :cuss: I do. Here is a little background and my story. Feel free to add your own:

    First, the BATFE is not *supposed* to maintain any records of gun ownership, such as a registration. Each FFL transfer must be recorded by the FFL and assigned a number. The number and FFL are all that is *supposed* to be maintained. The law governing NICS is quite clear. It states that NICS "shall (A) assign a unique identification number to [each firearm] transfer, (B) provide the [federal firearms dealer] with the number, and (C) destroy all records of the [NICS] with respect to the call [other than the identifying number and the date the number was assigned] and all records of the [NICS] relating to the [gun purchaser] or the [gun] transfer." Now, granted, the BATFE can request a copy of the Form 4473 that is completed when a transfer is made pretty much without cause. That alone should require a search warrant. I am not entirely opposed to a secure mechanism by which, under court order and with just cause, the purchaser of a particular gun could be determined. Certainly do not leave this up to the BATFE's discretion.

    The way this is supposed to work is that you fill out the 4473, FFL calls it in, within 24 hours the BATFE is supposed to destroy all records of the transaction except with the data above - which is clearly not enough to identify an individual without obtaining the FFL's paperwork.

    (See Guns and Ammo article Here)

    OK, now my story as to why I believe this is not being followed. I purchased a used firearm from an individual in another state, a 6mm Donaldson Wasp chambered handgun - an odd wildcat. Since it was out of state, there was a completely legal and proper FFL transfer involved. I completed my form, my FFL called it in, was given a control number, I left with gun in hand. All happy, all legal, all as it was supposed to be. A month later I was back in my FFL's store and he told me a little story... A few days earlier (3 weeks after the FFL transfer) a BATFE agent had called him regarding this transfer. The BATFE had my name, address, SSN, full details, everything. The BATFE asked what the gun was - since an EABCO BF 6MM Donaldson Wasp did not match anything in their database. (Agents words according to my FFL) The agent also noted that I had transfered several unusual guns. My FFL explained that I shoot in IHMSA and have several unusual competition pistols. Everything was cleared up, no further questions. Neither I nor my FFL was ever contacted again.

    OK...this brings up some VERY serious concerns.

    1) My full set of information was on file (No, before you ask, I have no criminal history what so ever) in regards to this particular transaction 3 weeks after the transfer.

    2) There was record, by my identity, of previous transfers.

    3) There is apparently a field within the database that contains gun make/model/chambering. If you read the regulations again, other then date and control number, no other information is legal to retain.

    Honestly, this scares the h*** out of me. I immediately sent in my lapsed renewal for my concealed carry permit (so that no paperwork is required when I perform a transfer or purchase.) Beyond that I do not know of other steps to take, other then F2F purchases.

    Just my $0.02.
     
  2. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    If there isn't some sort of Federal de facto or back door gun registration, how did they figure out where Malvo and Mohammed's rifle came from?
     
  3. the naked prophet

    the naked prophet Member

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    They went door to door checking on everyone who owned a similar rifle. Of course, they don't need a list to do that :rolleyes:
     
  4. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

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    Why couldn't they just call Bushmaster to find what dealer that serial number went to? That would be after recovering the rifle already.
     
  5. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    Unless they have changed the 4473 and the call in procedure in this regard, the only gun information transfered via the NICS call is "long gun" or "handgun".
     
  6. Bubbles

    Bubbles Member

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    Easy. Bushmaster is required by law to keep track of who it sells its firearms to (primarily distributors). Distributors are required by law to track firearms it buys and sells. Same with dealers. So, the BATFE could take the Bushmaster AR15, call Bushmaster with the serial number, and track the gun from manufacturer to distributor to dealer to initial purchaser. Only intra-state non-dealer transfers have no Federal reporting requirement (some states do have registries, but that's a separate issue).

    Five words: National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record

    What is that? Just a little government database that holds data about transfers of firearms that fall under the Gun Control Act of 1934.
     
  7. BurmKiller

    BurmKiller Member

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    TallPine - Dont have a form in front of me, but the initial call was trigger specifically on the caliber of the handgun. Perhaps completed as part of the SLED (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division) form.
     
  8. BurmKiller

    BurmKiller Member

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    Bubbles - Please correct me if I am wrong, which is entirely possible, but it was my limited understanding that the 1934 law, NFA, only applied to NFA (Title II) weapns - full auto, silencers, AOW's, etc. and controlled importation and manufacture of these firearms as well as charging for a tax stamp on the purchase of such items. This law is still in effect today, as the NFA tax must still be paid in states where private ownership of such firearms is legal (as with me in SC).

    Is there something I am missing?

    http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/usr/wbardwel/public/nfalist/nfa_faq.txt
     
  9. DirksterG30

    DirksterG30 Member

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    While I can't say for sure that the BATFE has some sort of registration in-house, their access to all the 4473's sure sounds like a form of registration to me.

    The Pennsylvania State Police maintain a "handgun sales database" ( http://www.psp.state.pa.us/psp/cwp/view.asp?A=11&Q=98332 ), even though this is in violation of the PA Code:

    § 6111.4. Registration of firearms.
    Notwithstanding any section of this chapter to the contrary, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to allow any government or law enforcement agency or any agent thereof to create, maintain or operate any registry of firearm ownership within this Commonwealth. For the purposes of this section only, the term "firearm" shall include any weapon that is designed to or may readily be converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive or the frame or receiver of any such weapon.


    This has been brought before the courts, and the courts ruled in favor of the State Police, and against the state code.:banghead:
     
  10. Blackfork

    Blackfork Member

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    .02

    A close friend of mine was talking to a Secret Service guard outside the Houston Republican Convention. The SS guy was able to pull up my friends CCL on his blackberry, using only his name. The blackberry had full ID, including SS#, address, phone, DL#, pretty much anything he wanted. Government is government. They will mission creep or misuse any and all information and power they can get.
     
  11. PILMAN

    PILMAN Member

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    All I know is that in Florida when I bought my handgun it was a 3 day wait, and when I was purchasing it, they had me fill out some form which included your name, address, race, and asking if you had commited crimes or were mentally ill. They called in to a number which they reported the information via phone and 3 days later I bought my gun. I believe that is the form held for 20 years by the gun store. I'm pretty sure the government has information, I mean if their doing wiretaps what is going to stop them from having a database on gun owners? The government wants to regulate and have control of these things. My guess is they probably have information through a database with the owners name and the type of gun they own. More than likely the gun owners for certain weapons are color coded or something.
     
  12. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    So how is that not back door registration? :scrutiny:
     
  13. Caimlas

    Caimlas Member

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    A 4473 is sent to the BATFE after every firearm is sold, is it not? Sounds like they've got the records to me, as required by law.

    Then they've got a record of every firearm, likely within 2 sales of the current owner. I imagine that, at most, a non-gangsta firearm goes through 3 owners before finding its way back to a gun shop... But, for the most cases, they just remain with the original owner.

    It doesn't matter if it's exacting or not; they've got a 50% certainty that you've got the gun, and if not, they'll probably be able to coax it out of that owner to turn in the person he sold it to.
     
  14. pharmer

    pharmer Member

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    BATFE let slip that during the mass surrender of FFL's in the '90's, they had computerised 40 MILLION entries (mostly 4473's) at their Falling Waters VA facility. I know I gave them a stack along with my bound book. And since I know most folks I sold to the info is still accurate in 90 % of the entries. Joe
     
  15. PILMAN

    PILMAN Member

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    Yes but if the 4473 is kept on file by gunshop and it can be requested by the ATF, then what's the point of even having gun registration if they already have records or a gun firearms license? Makes little sense to me. All these forms are confusing.
     
  16. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    I was unaware that this was some kind of secret.:uhoh:

    Yes, ATFE does maintain a large central registration list at their facility in West Virginia. ATFE Directors have admitted to this on national television.

    The information comes in via various sources: background checks, bound books of Class 1 FFLs when they retire their licenses, pro-gun memberships lists, warrant cards (Glock, Smith, Taurus, etc.), criminal investigations (after the fact), and ATFE probing operations, e.g. Forward Tace, into politically sensitive firearms (data mining on handguns, .50s, "military-style" weapons), info also comes from other federal agencies including the FBI's "Office of Planning and Research" when they put the pysch profiles together of gun owners for likely resistance to future gun control measures including the coming confiscations.

    The information is incomplete, however, they are not concerned about the exact number of guns as they are identifying gun owners.
     
  17. BurmKiller

    BurmKiller Member

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    I can understand an FFL having the paperwork. Say a gun is recovered at a crime scene. Feds *** GET A WARRANT *** and call the manufacturer, who says it went to Distributor X, calls them, went to FFL X, FFL says it went to buyer X. We all know to get a bill of sale. So there is an acceptable legal channel. It should not be a reversible channel though. In other words, I should not be a Fed who can, for any reason, pop up Joe Smith in Anytown, IW and see all the guns he has bought. Well, in a fully relational database they could do a search on any field - How many AR-15's are in Columbia, SC? How many guns does Joe Smith own? Where is a particular 1911? How many Mac-10's are in zip code 90210? Anything, without any checks and balances. Can they? I believe so. Should they? No, I do not think so.
     
  18. PILMAN

    PILMAN Member

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    According to the BradyCampaign website (yeah an anti website I know) it states the following for the state of Florida

    RECORD KEEPING
    May police maintain gun sale records? No

    State law generally forbids police from keeping any record of gun sales. Police must destroy records on gun sales witin 48 hours and are prohibited from maintaining gun sale records that could be used for gun tracing and criminal investigations. The state has no way of knowing whether people who bought guns in the past have become criminals and are no longer allowed to possess firearms. The lack of gun sale records also makes it very difficult to identify and prosecute gun traffickers or gang members that buy guns in bulk and resell them on the street. However, there is a minor exception to the above law. Police are authorized to keep records of firearms that have been pawned at pawn shops. These limited records aid law enforcement in recovering stolen property and tracking down criminals.

    REGISTRATION
    Are all guns registered with law enforcement? No

    Florida - No state requirement that gun owners register their firearms. Police do not know how many guns are in the state or where they are. The lack of registration data makes it more difficult for police to trace guns used in crime, identify illegal gun traffickers or hold gun owners accountable for their weapons. There is no state system to automatically identify and disarm felons and other prohibited people who bought guns legally in the past, but later committed a crime or otherwise became ineligible to keep possession of their firearms.

    SECONDARY SALES
    Are background checks required on 'private' gun sales? Partial

    No state requirement that criminal background checks be done on people buying firearms at gun shows, swap meets, or through newspaper or internet advertisements. Criminal background checks are only required if the buyer goes to a federally-licensed gun store. However, under FL law, counties may opt to require background checks on gun buyers at gun shows and flea markets. Aside from those counties which have opted to regulate gun shows, all "private" sales between individuals are not subject to the background check.




    I don't know how legitimate that is.
     
  19. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    BermKiller, the government is forbidden by statute from maintaining such databases, but remember the law means very little to the federal government, power means a great deal.
     
  20. MikeK

    MikeK Member

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    I don't know about the other states, but Maryland has kept records of handgun sales since the 70's at least. They do not get destroyed.

    During the Malvo/Mohammod shooting spree I was talking to the owner of a local gun shop that sells a lot of AR's. He said the BATFE was in there on a daily basis going through his 4473's.
     
  21. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    Thats the salient point here. It doesn't matter that they don't know the exact make, model and serial number of every gun you own and have complete records of whether you've sold gun X and to whom it was sold, all they really want to know is if you're going to be armed so they can kick your door in when the mass confiscation starts.


    None of this is about preventing crime, investigating crime or making "the streets" safer, its all ground work for the coming confiscation.
     
  22. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    They know when you are sleeping, they know when you're awake, they know if you've be bad or good...

    :)

    Merry Christmas!

    John
     
  23. earplug

    earplug Member

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    Tracking firearms and owners

    I bought a pistol from a dealer in CO 1978. I moved to GA. and sold the pistol to a individual 1982. They sold it to someone else and the firearm was involved in a shooting.
    I was tracked down while stationed in Germany in 1985-6 and asked about the pistol and what happened to it.
    What was the cost to us citizen tax payers for this investagation and why the tracking?
     
  24. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    As far as Colorado goes, yes, they keep records. CBI doesn't know specifics about the firearm (or how many were bought at one time in the case of long guns), just that a 4473 went through and if it was a handgun or long gun.

    Of course, it would only take a small amount of time for them to track it to the original purchaser by going from manufacturer to distributor to dealer, and then looking through dealer records.

    If a firearm is sold privately after the initial 4473 or if it was bought private party, there is no reliable way to track it. Some people keep records of private transactions, but the state does not require it.
     
  25. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Fella's;

    I don't think the poll has the right question in it. The correct answer IMHO is:
    The Feds absolutely do keep records, your state may not.

    Just remember FTF, no bill of sale, and keep your eyes & ears open with your big mouth shut. The more guns that can be removed from the system, the better.

    But then, I live in Montana & am still able to think for myself.

    :evil: 900F
     
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