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Gun Bill of Sale Vs. Gun Transfer

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Darth-Vang, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    I think we are confusing two different things: legal title to a firearm versus physical possession of said firearm. The federal Form 4473 relates to a transfer of physical possession, as do the NFA Forms 3, 4, 5, etc. You could "buy" a gun -- even a registered machine gun -- by paying the money and receiving a bill of sale from the seller. That would establish your legal title. No federal paperwork of any kind would be necessary -- and you could be a prohibited person, even a convicted felon -- as long as possession remained in the hands of the seller (who would henceforth become the "bailee"). Governmental regulation of guns exclusively concerns physical possession, not beneficial ownership. Al Capone could legally "own" a machine gun, as long he didn't have it under his physical control.
     
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  2. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    As a buyer or seller, I ALWAYS write a receipt/transfer and execute it in multiple originals. As a seller, I much prefer to go through an FFL, just so that a background check is done on the person buying it. IF I don't do an FFL transfer, I get ALL of the buyers information. That way when the cops come knocking, I can produce the transfer of ownership document with the buyer's information.

    As a buyer, I always get a receipt. That way if the gun turns up stolen, I can let the police know who got it from.

    In Louisiana, a firearm is treated like any other movable. Just like selling a pen to a guy on the street. He gives you money, you give him/her the gun. All of the paperwork is just CYA. The more you CYA, the better.
     
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  3. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    There’s always someone out there that thinks they know a lot about things they know very little about.
    This is what happens to unclaimed guns and criminal’s guns.
    It makes me almost cry when I go to Evidence and smell the burnt metal from the chop saw.
    6133592D-A87D-4C0C-BAA9-3DFDE1CA0BF4.jpeg D9255F71-1DF8-4CD5-BF8C-A02D3998400A.jpeg

    Now if the firearm is used in a capital crime it has to be kept forever.
     
  4. Heir Kommt Die Sonne

    Heir Kommt Die Sonne Member

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    Yep. Once I was conversing with a well-known auction company about consigning a firearm I had. I guess I sounded desperate to 'get rid of it' (I was actually just bored and more wanted to explore my options) but the lady told me 'You can always take it to the police station and they'll take it off you'. I winced at that statement.
     
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  5. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    When I sell to a private party, I require ID. The bill of sale will include pertinent info from the ID, a statement that they are legally eligible to purchase a firearm, and requires a signature from the buyer that they received the described item at said time and date.

    One copy for them, one copy for me. If I'm the last registered buyer from an FFL, I definitely want proof I no longer own it. As far as I'm concerned, every sale from an FFL is registered.
     
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  6. Darth-Vang

    Darth-Vang Member

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    Those are my thoughts exactly. I feel that it is much safer to leave some paper trails just in case...
     
  7. Darth-Vang

    Darth-Vang Member

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    Are there any reasons as to why they would keep a gun that was used in a capital crime? For scientific reasons?
     
  8. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    For all the huff and puff on gun forums about "muh Second Amendment rights", "There shouldn't be an FBI NICS" or "ATF is a rogue agency"........yet in this thread we see several members asking something of a buyer that IS NOT REQUIRED BY FEDERAL LAW (or most states). Now, if your state has a law requiring a background check or a bill of sale, etc on a private party transaction...thats your fault for continuing to live there.

    As nonlicensees, you have FREEDOM under federal law to buy/sell/trade firearms with residents of your own state that you have no reason to believe are otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm. No documentation needed. No background check required. Enjoy that freedom.

    Things to be aware of:
    1. A "bill of sale" may give the buyer some degree of comfort, believing it proves "ownership".....it doesn't. Someone sells a stolen gun and provides the unsuspecting buyer a BoS.....it's still a stolen gun. It's a record of a transaction, a receipt of sale. Unlike WalMart, there ain't nobody gonna check your receipt at the door.;)

    2. A bill of sale signed by the buyer that the seller keeps? What the heck does that prove?

    3. Leery of the seller being a nonresident or a prohibited person? Then maybe you shouldn't be selling face to face to begin with.

    4. Scared of buying a stolen gun? Then NEVER buy any used firearm. There is no way for a dealer to verify the used firearms he sells. New, straight from the factory? Yes. But not used guns.

    5. Law enforcement will not care one bit about your homemade bill of sale and what you think it might prove.

    6. As a buyer, If you are stopped, the officer runs the serial#, it comes back stolen....you ain't getting the gun back. You may be arrested or detained during the investigation and your bill of sale will not help until trial.

    7. As a seller, the bill of sale proves what? That you sold a gun to someone. Okay. Suppose that buyer then went and committed a murder five minutes later and during the investigation the gun is recovered and traced to you. You show the officer a bill of sale signed by the buyer....how does that "protect" you? It doesn't. If LE wants to arrest or detain you during the investigation that bill of sale can't stop that.

    8."A 4473 registers the gun to the buyer". No it doesn't, it never has. There is no "gun registration" federally or in the majority of states. The Form 4473 is a Firearm Transaction Record between a licensed gun dealer and the buyer....says so right at the top of the form. If you live in Free America you can sell/gift/trade that gun ten minutes after leaving the gun store AND THE GOVERNMENT ISN"T REQUIRED TO KNOW. Now, make a regular habit of that and you'll likely be violating other laws that prohibit engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license and you wind up like these numbskulls: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/cou...firearms-at-area-gun-shows-without-a-license/ which leads to....

    9. Engaging in the business. The repetitive buying and selling of fireams. Wanna get on ATF's radar? Then print up business cards, make a habit of buying and selling guns, giving out bill of sales, receipts, or other document with your name on it and that looks a lot like business documentation. The nonlicensee that used to have the table across from me at Dallas Market Hall had better signage than me....and no FFL. While the three guys above were charged with violations of federal law, ATF can make your life difficult without the US Attorneys Office actually filing charges.

    10. Identity theft and worse. This is the best reason to never let a stranger see, much less record the information on your drivers license. Most folks selling a gun are decent, law abiding people....but their kids might not be and there are plenty of scum selling stolen guns on Armslist, Craigslist, gun shows or the street. So the seller demands to see your drivers license so he can write down your info? You willingly provide your home address and birth date, your DL#....all valuable to someone who can use your ID for their criminal purposes. OOOOOOHHHH.....the best part? It gives the seller YOUR HOME ADDRESS....you know, where you likely have other guns. While the seller may be honest, that doesn't mean his brother, his kids or anyone else that see that bill of sale is just as honest and upstanding. Again, how does the bill of sale protect or "cover your backside"?


    Paranoia. We don't need any more paranoia. Enjoy the freedom we have now.
     
  9. Darth-Vang

    Darth-Vang Member

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    I’m going to assume this happened to you before.
     
  10. George P

    George P Member

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    You don't need paper copies, use your smart phone and take a pic
     
  11. Heir Kommt Die Sonne

    Heir Kommt Die Sonne Member

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    Depending on the cop, they still may demand physical evidence. I mean, I don't see screenshots of your car registration being a thing. (Unless it already is?)

    I'm talking about really stubborn anti-gun Cops that will not leave you alone unless you give in to their demands for "paperwork and registration" as if your guns have the same exact paper trail as cars do. Yes it's a shame we have people out there like this, enforcing the law, and try to speak about something they know nothing about and are only so vocal about it because they downright discriminate the hobby altogether. But it's always good to be prepared.
     
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  12. George P

    George P Member

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    I don't have to worry about that here in Florida; nor should you in Texas. My local LGS (open only on the weekend) is owned by a Big city police Capt. I made sure to stop is and make friends with him.

    As to paper or not; I work election and we allow someone to have a photo of their ID on their smartphone as a valid ID
     
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  13. George P

    George P Member

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    And how many documented cases have you been involved with where the cops "came knocking" A lot of that is pure internet rumor mongering BS. If they come knocking, you say you sold it to some guy who showed me his valid ID, and "No, officer.I didn't catch his name".............
     
  14. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    It actually happened to me. Three years ago. I had a smith 15-22. As I said, I prefer to sell or trade firearms through an FFL. In this case, I wanted to get rid of the rifle and there was an amp at a pawn shop that my son wanted, so I traded the rifle toward the amp. 18 months after the transaction, the police showed up at my door asking of the whereabouts of the firearm and my whereabouts on a certain day. I told them I traded it at a pawn shop and that if it happened during the day, I was likely in court and if at night, I was likely at home and may or may not have had company. They asked for a receipt. I happen to keep that sort of stuff, so I was able to produce it. It turned out that the rifle was stolen from the pawn shop and later used in a robbery, but the pawn shop was able to verify that I traded the rifle in sometime before.

    Now, I can only imagine what may have happened if I didn't have the receipt or if I could only tell them that "I sold it to a guy." I've seen MANY cases where a person was arrested because they were the registered owner of a firearm that was used in the commission of a crime.

    As for "documented cases," I can think of at least ten off of the top of my head, wherein I represented someone that was arrested because they were the registered owner of a firearm and could not account for it's whereabouts.

    Like I said, CYA.
     
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  15. Darth-Vang

    Darth-Vang Member

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    I highly doubt that strangers would get your address and then as soon as they get your information, hatch a plan to steal from you...but as far as I know, it is usually the people that you bring to your house(friends or mutual friends, and I dare say family members too) that is more than likely to burglarize your house. Cause who knows you and your household better? That’s right the people that is close to you. They KNOW you well, they KNOW your schedule. And they KNOW what you have in your house. They know where the living room is at, bathroom, basement(if you have one), your favorite food, your habit, what you like(depends how strong your bond is with the dude/gal). Meanwhile, the stranger doesn’t know what’s inside your house, your habits, how many people are in your house, what beer is in your fridge, etc...heck the stranger doesn’t even know if you draw your pistol on the left hip or right hip! Your friends and family do. They. Know. It. All. And according to statistics, it is usually someone you know that burglarizes your home.(sadly but true and makes alot of sense)
     
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  16. George P

    George P Member

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    I do not live where my guns are "registered" to me or anyone else.
     
  17. denton

    denton Member

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    AlexanderA and dogtown tom have described the situation as I understand it. Their comments are right on point. If the police ask about a firearm you have sold to someone, George P's response to the officer seems right to me: I sold it a couple of years ago to a guy that looked to be in his 40s. I did verify that he was a resident of this state, but I didn't catch the name or address.

    Federal law requires that you not transfer a firearm to someone you have reason to believe is a prohibited person, for an in-state transfer. It does not require you to keep any records or to verify identity. Doing those things doesn't really buy you much/any protection.

    I haven't sold many firearms. But when I do sell a firearm face to face, I ask to see a Driver License, to make sure the buyer is a state resident. I don't write down the information. Cash goes one way, the firearm goes the other, and two strangers stay strangers. I've never had a buyer that seemed dodgy, but if I ever get one that I'm not really comfortable with, the deal won't happen.
     
  18. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    Well, in the States, we have to do a form 4473. They don't just throw those away after the background check.
     
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  19. Heir Kommt Die Sonne

    Heir Kommt Die Sonne Member

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    Which they are required to keep unto for a minium of 10 years I think.
    The purpose is to make the trail of the gun traceable to that shop, then to the buyer. Don't know about your definition of 'registration', but in technical usage, it's more of a 'last known buyer' sort of deal.
    All I ask is you to realize there is a difference between actual registration and simply being last known purchaser. Registration is where there's a roster that literally allows them to search a serial number, or name vice versa and what that person owns comes directly up on record. Expect for a few states (California and New York), such a roster doesn't exist nationwide. And we better hope it doesn't happen either. So make sure you don't say the word 'registered' too much or even more people will think it's already the law and won't bat an eye twice when they actually are passing a nationwide or statewide gun registration bill.
     
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  20. George P

    George P Member

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    And you falling right into the hands of those who want gun registration so it can lead to later confiscation. Do you do the same thing when you sell a chainsaw, baseball bat, old tools like hammers and pipe wrenches - all of which are used more often to kill someone? Do not fall into this false sense of security that a paper trail is going to CYA. REREAD Dogtown's post; it is full of facts, not emotional feel good claptrap.
     
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  21. Darth-Vang

    Darth-Vang Member

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    I did and he made my point. However the weapons you mention aren’t as efficient(quickly and at a distance) at killing compared to a firearm and it is irrelevant. Here’s a far fetched theory possible but not impossible: You meetup with a guy to buy a gun. He requests your ID. You count the cash and you hand him the cash, he hands you the gun. And as the seller goes home. He calls the cop that his gun was stolen. Now that gun is “marked” stolen. And the seller was the “last known” person who bought the gun. You’re screwed. Lost your money and your gun. “Win-win” for seller. Far fetched though. And the bill of sale wouldn’t cover you?
     
  22. George P

    George P Member

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    One can make up all the "what-ifs" scenarios one wants to, no matter how far fetched and ridiculous they appear to be. All the seller would have to do is ID the guy who sold him the gun (that he then reported stolen); seems like he would be going to jail for falsely reporting a crime, and on and on. Stop trying to make it easier for them to take away your rights with their "death by a thousand cuts" routines of a little here and a little there. Never had these issues before 1968 when you could buy guns through the mail and have them shipped to your house...............now, thanks to the leftists, fear and panic makes everyone think a piece of paper is going to cover their rear ends.
     
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  23. Darth-Vang

    Darth-Vang Member

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    Right...but I bet you have insurance for your car(s), or anything of value should any of the “what ifs” happen...............this is contradictory...and no I didn’t say to make it “easier” for anyone to take the rights away. It’d be a he says she says. Plus you can’t prove that you gave him this X amount...since it’s cash...and if the government really wanted to take away your rights to bear arms you wouldn’t see it coming. Sure they can regulate it but what can you do if the majority votes against what you believe in? What do you do? Again I highly doubt they’ll just confiscate it. I’m sure there are eyes and ears everywhere. It’s a republic. It’s the folks that voted for that GCA.(yes your generations voted for that) All people have to do is vote if they want to repeal the 2nd amendment. And if the majority wants to get rid of guns from this country, what are YOU going to about it? It will not end in a civil war but in a vote...
     
  24. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    Huh?
    I didn't say anything happened to me......maybe because I handed off the $$$ and they handed me the gun or vice versa.

    Now that I'm a licensed dealer gun transactions become a bit more complicated.
     
  25. boom boom
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    boom boom Moderator Staff Member

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    Heck, they should contract with you upon retirement to act as their local gunbuster decommissioning specialist--selling the parts, even excluding barrels and receivers, would recoup a pretty penny for the PD.
     
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