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"Big Brother" question about buying guns

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Anna's Dad, Mar 1, 2009.

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  1. Anna's Dad

    Anna's Dad Member

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    For years I've preferred buying guns from private individuals. Not only is it simpler (no paperwork except maybe a bill of sale), cheaper (no transfer fees or taxes and no shipping fees when done locally) but I always felt like it was done without the eyes of Big Brother watching. I have to say the latter was one of the most attractive aspects of the face-to-face purchase.

    Now I'm wondering if that concern was justified at all. I recently read an article which indicated that the Brady Campaign was trying to have NICS records retained indefinitely. I had just assumed this was always the case!

    I looked into a little further and it sounds like records are maintained for 60 days. Not very long at all really.

    Combine this with the fact that law enforcement isn't allowed to maintain records of firearms purchases (at least in my state) and it seems like an "on the record" purchase isn't really visible to the government at all.

    One thing I'm not sure about is how long dealers are required to maintain records of firearms purchases. I'm guessing this probably varies from state-to-state as well, but there are probably federal requirements as well. If anyone has info on this, I'd appreciate it.

    Of course then I got to thinking that many dealers, particularly larger ones, probably maintain computerized records of purchases well beyond federal or state requirements for marketing reasons. Just the existence of these records would allow the government access to that information should laws change in the future (which certainly seems possible given current makeup of the legislative, executive and to some extent, even the judicial branches).

    What do you all think about this? Appreciate any opinions but please disclose whether or not you're wearing a tinfoil hat while replying!

    Regards...
     
  2. testosterone

    testosterone Member

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    In connecticut, the dealer needs to maintain paperwork for 20 years, at least thats what my local guy tells me.

    The state gets copies of everything,I don't know what there retention policy is, no doubt it is digitized and kept for eternity+1.

    At a federal level, I don't think the fed tracks anything, except the bound book at the dealers which record everything in and out.

    I believe that the bound book is the only record the ATF has, there is no database they can look into to see what you have, pretty sure that is against the law actually.

    Great questions, not sure what the real truth is, no doubt someone will answer.
     
  3. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Member

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    The FFL has to keep his paperwork with all of the pertinent information for 20 years and turn in to BATFE what is left when he drops his license. Thus, there is a relatively "permanent" record.

    That 20 years is a rather recent change in the rules, I understand.

    Pops
     
  4. fastlanedude

    fastlanedude Member

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    who's keeping the records?

    I also am wondering about who is looking at the records of sale and how long they are held. I have sold a couple of weapons in the last 10 years to individuals. I originally bought them at a gun dealer. I bought 3 guns in the last year and wondered...If TSHTF, and guns were outlawed, (obviously unconstitutional and would likely result in the 2nd revolution) would the government have records to come door to door looking for the guns we bought?
     
  5. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    60 days, 20 years, 3 years, 3 days...

    I think you'd be naive to think that every gun you buy "on the grid" isn't forever recorded and linked to you...

    I also try to buy off the grid, but do like to support the gun industry by buying new now and again...
     
  6. Anna's Dad

    Anna's Dad Member

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    Really the whole motivator of my question was the thought of someone knocking on my door asking for the guns I had bought should guns be banned.

    I certainly hope that it never will, but I do believe it could happen in my lifetime. I don't want to be one of those people burying guns and ammo in the backyard, but it's a little scary.

    Of course a confiscation would be very much complicated by the fact that I could have sold them all privately (and have, in fact, sold many that way) and there would be no record.

    Still, that 20 years retention is a bit on the alarming side!

    Thanks for the feedback.
     
  7. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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  8. Javelin

    Javelin Member

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    This raises a good point. There are no laws really being followed to not collect the data of gun purchases. If I was not a black gun collector I would definitely be looking for FTF purchases but unfortunately all of mine are registered.

    Let me say that again (for the record)... LOL
     
  9. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Member

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    I've heard that records are only kept 60 days. President Clinton assured the American public no permanent records would be kept. He also told the American people he did not have sex with that woman. Your call.

    Selena
     
  10. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    Nope. It was on the books at least 25 years ago.

    FFL rules are Federal, as in Federal Firearms License.
     
  11. SyberShooter

    SyberShooter Member

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    They may say that they only keep the records for 60 days but remember - they are also required to back up their computer data nightly and data is put on archive tape weekly for long term backup and recovery purposes (required by law and policy) Depending on the classification of the data, it has a minimum period that they have to maintain it. So the working data may roll off in 60 days but the backup archives might last a long time.
    Also the agents can go into a dealer and copy their records 'looking for blah blah'. Also the dealers records have to be tuned over when they go out of business. So I wouln't count on the info not being there when they want it.

    keep buying FTF
     
  12. Ohio Gun Guy

    Ohio Gun Guy Member

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    I believe there have been posts about this and someone can post a link to a news article that is an example of the information being retained much longer.

    I have had some limited experience with the legal field (Not a layer, but I slept at holiday inn last night:rolleyes:), and a judge can order things preserved, files opened or sealed, etc. If they know about them, they will have them.

    :scrutiny:Count me as one that is skeptical that those records go away. Maybe the back-up copy is filed, or a digital copy exists, etc, etc. (I don't trust them!:scrutiny:)
     
  13. misANTHrope

    misANTHrope Member

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    Keep in mind that NICS transactions do not include any data specific to your purchase. NICS does not gather information about your purchase, only about you, save for asking if a transaction is for a handgun or long gun.

    So even if they kept those background check records indefinitely, there really wouldn't be much in the way of useful information. The only way to get purchase information including make, model, serial #, etc. is to go to the selling dealer and dig through tons of paperwork looking for your stuff.

    The information is out there pretty much indefinitely, but it is by no means efficient to get that information.
     
  14. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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  15. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    The information is there. In some states they have registration. Some palces call it registration, others something else, while some do not even mention it but still do it.

    In CA for example handguns are registered automaticly and put into a database, but they do not officialy "register". Anyone moving into the state must fill out a form that registers all handguns. The word "registration" however does not exist in the process.
    All firearms have a DROS (dealers record of sale) performed in the state, and those records then go to the CADOJ. That includes all the firearm information and the purchaser.

    Any state level registration will at various points in time if not continuously be accessable to the Federal Government. Meaning if a state level registration exists, then a federal one using that information likely exists as well.

    Under the FOPA it is illegal for the federal government to keep, maintain, or contribute in any way to the creation of firearm registration.
    They have acknowledged violating that in the past.
    The Feds have also tried to say keeping other illegal information in a private party's database is not a violation because it is not owned by the government. That however is still illegal because they contribute to the creation of it with information, meaning it would still be illegal registration by government.
    Such programs have existed under different disguises, like college studies and others.

    Some states require licenses or permits that have firearm information on them even if they do not officialy require "registration". That means the information is available to create and maintain a registry.

    Anytime a state level registry exists the federal government will have access to it and likely copy it for thier own records during the course of different investigations over the years. They may store it themselves unofficialy or in a private entity's database so they can use the invalid legal defense I mentioned above if necessary.
    Clearly if in violation of federal law they are not going to regularly and publicly announce how they are going about doing things, however sometimes they slip up.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  16. SciFiJim

    SciFiJim Member

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    The FFLs are now allowed to store the information electronically on a computer. My last two handgun purchases were processed this way. It would be very easy for the government to search the database that is created. Continue to do business FTF whenever possible.
     
  17. JWF III

    JWF III Member

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    Actually, not totally true.

    My favorite dealer, that I've been dealing with for nearly 20 years, moved just over a year ago. In talking with the manager, who I became good friends with, their FFL Liscense couldn't be transfered. Each location must have a seperate number. (Each Walmart has a different FFL Liscense.) But this particular shop had to cancel the liscense as if they were closing, and turn over the book(s). For the new location they then had to acquire a new liscense and a new book.

    So if a shop you go to moves, the books were turned over to the BATFE.

    Wyman
     
  18. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

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    Actually you'd have to be paranoid to believe that.
    NICS by law cannot keep those records. This does not apply to ATF on multiple sales btw and they do keep records on that.
    As for turning over the records, after 2 1/2 years in business as a small shop I have 1 1/2 bankers boxes of 4473s and 3 A&D books. Add the appropriate number for a shop in business 20 years with 3-4 employees and you get a sense of how much paper there is. Mining that data (most of which becomes obsolete within 6 months anyway) would take way too many man hours to yield any benefit at all. Consider how many guns you've bought and sold in your life already, and how many times you've moved.
     
  19. CU74

    CU74 Member

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    I stopped worrying about being on some government list a long time ago. I wouldn't be surprised to find my name on several.:neener: I'm making my own lists nowadays...:scrutiny:
     
  20. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    Someday when Hillary Clinton and Rosie O'Donnell come knocking on my front door, they'll demand that I hand over all the firearms on the list in their hand. The list will have come from NICS checks and will tell them how many long guns and handguns have been purchased along with their respective purchase dates and purchase locations. Cross referencing that list with the dealers' inventory records will tell them exactly what was purchased, when and where. Fortunately for them though, I came to my senses just days before they came knocking, and I threw all my guns in a lake, but I forget which one.:p
     
  21. woof

    woof Member

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    If the law says records cannot be kept past time x and they are kept they still can't be used as evidence against you. If you worry about that just report all the guns you have sold (or for that matter still have) as stolen.
     
  22. Dorkfish

    Dorkfish Member

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    The BATFE transfer forms are required to be retained by the FFL holder for at least 3-5 years. (think it's 5 in the code)
    That said, the NICS code states that the records are to be destroyed daily before beginning the next business day (for NICS, not your FFL holder).

    What you should note is this: The BATFE form for transfer has your NICS approval number on it as well as the sn of the firearm, so if they want to use the NICS approval to look up something in relation to that approval, the data must be retained somewhere. After all, it's been proven by the tech-ees that NO DATA is every fully erased from a hard drive.
     
  23. sernv99

    sernv99 Member

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    any common sense here or just more paranoia that feeds rising gun and ammo prices???

    ok , let me reiterate what you are trying to play out with your paranoid fears:

    so "the man" bans guns one day and fat-so Rosie and Hillary come knocking, collecting up all the guns from us gun owners. Ok, so that would put the gun ranges out of business except for ones that cater to LE, it would also make it impossible for you to buy ammo, even reloading components since there would be no market for it in the civie world, since guns are banned. Ok are you still with me?? Ok so, no gun ranges, no ammo, can't reload. Let's say you stocked up on X amount of rounds of ammo.

    so there you are with all of your guns and stocked up ammo....tell me how you are going to "enjoy" your guns? You can't go to a range because guns are banned and if you show your face at a gun range and you are not LE, well you will probably have LE all over you in 5 minutes. Also, going out in the woods and shooting for fun will ultimately catch the ear of someone and again, you will have LE come swooping in to nab ya, plus you will be wasting away precious ammo that you can't purchase anymore (since guns have been banned)...

    so my question to you is, are you "flying under the radar" in case "the man" bans guns, thus making it easy for you to hide your guns and you want some guns around to defend yourself in case of some "insurgency" arises within the U.S???
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  24. Formula4Fish

    Formula4Fish Member

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    Hey Woof, I hope that stolen part was a "tongue in cheek" joke. If you ever have a problem that involves you still having that gun, you're either guilty of possession of a stolen firearm or of filing a false theft report.

    About Big Brother: When I had an FFL, I dutifully filed all the 4473's in a binder and put them on the shelf. No one ever wanted to see them, and that shelf was where they resided as long as I held the license. I suspect if I still had the license they would still be collecting dust on the shelf.

    A couple years after I let my license expire I got a letter asking me to mail in the 4473's. I ignored it. Roughly 6 months later I got another letter just like the first one, so I put them in a big envelope and shipped them off.

    As inefficient as this government is, I suspect there's a good chance they just disappeared into a government black hole, never to be seen again :)

    Dick
     
  25. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    The concealed carry permit databases :uhoh: will be a good place to start when the government wants to confiscate our firearms.:scrutiny:
     
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