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guns from pawn shops

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

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  1. Davek1977

    Davek1977 Member

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    I guess I don't understand the concern buying from a pawn shop vs buying a used gun from a "gun shop". Despite the name, both are subject to following the same laws when it comes to gun sales. Buying a stolen firearm is a risk....typically a minute one, but a risk all the same, when purchasing a used firearm anywhere. However, the risks incurred from buying from a pawn shop are no greater than buying from any other ffl holder.
     
  2. wideym

    wideym Member

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    I work in a gunshop which is attached to a pawnshop. Anyone selling or pawning an item has to show a drivers licence from which we take the name, licence number, and address. That information plus the item and any serial number is forwarded to the local PD for a program called "leads online".

    Local detectives run the info against stolen items reported nation wide. We also hold the item for 10 days, just incase it was stolen and we don't re-sell it before it's reported to us.

    Reported stolen items will be returned to the owner, only if they pay us what we paid for the item, No more and no less. The original owner must get restitution from the criminal (usually they don't recieve a dime) to recoup their money.

    Since working at the gunshop, we have had two stolen guns turn up, an XD and a bolt action rifle, so far only the owner of the XD has picked up his gun.

    Having the serial numbers of your guns along with a good discription of accesories (case, scope, holster, ect..) is always a good idea. On several occasions we have had people claim that a gun on the rack was stolen from them (usually by a relative) but never have a police report or are willing to file one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
  3. 2261

    2261 Member

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    Confiscated weapons

    There are plenty of pawn shop/gun-shops that purchase bulk confiscated firearms from many Police Agencies. Used to be a regular thing done by most but the last few decades it has become more politically incorrect and many PD's have ceased the practice.

    I shop at one in Georgia that routinely buys up used issue weapons as well as confiscated weapons (there is a process to clear the serial #) for resale when they order new side arms for the agencies in question.

    Not a big deal.
     
  4. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Wow, that would be just like gun shops do with used guns too.

    As for "knowing there is a real good chance it was stolen from somewhere," that is about 98-99% wrong. Except maybe in Oklahoma, most state pawn laws are very restrictive. Everything gets checked by the cops, especially guns. Pawn shops turn out to be very poor places to knowingly sell stolen items. As a result and unless the pawnbroker is intentionally breaking the law, extremely little of what a pawn shop even takes in is stolen or otherwise reported lost.

    The OP's assessment is based on historical predjudice (which does have some real basis) that is about 50 years out of date in much if not most of the country.
     
  5. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Member

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    Whenever I get a chuck on cash the first thing I do is look at all the pawn shops. Prices are always marked high but cash talks very loud in these places.
     
  6. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    I have bought pawn shop guns, at least one I can think of, from a shop that is also a range and gun store. No worries there. Prices are usually too high, but the buyer needs to know that dealers have to be willing to negotiate do varying degrees. Never pay the ticket price for a used gun; it's at least 20% over what the seller really thinks he can get. Why prove him wrong by being the uninformed buyer he hoped for?

    I have little interest in a gun with, shall we say, aftermarket etchings. If I really wanted the gun in spite of the markings, I would darn sure make sure the seller thinks otherwise.

    As to this point, I know the OP went on to say the person he looked up lives a town away, etc., but come on. Names aren't protected by any sort of copyright law, and it's a bit of a stretch to make this link with no proof.

    I know from digging into why I get delayed when buying a firearm that there is a registered sex offender with the same first and last name I have living in the next city. If the OP was thinking about doing a deal with me, and he did his Whoogle search, he might find that guy and with no further research decide the deal's off. That would be unfortunate.
     
  7. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    When in doubt............keep looking.
     
  8. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    The local gun dealer told me about a memeber of the local gun club who has a federal fugitive arrest record--mistaken identity on a traffic stop, but same first and last name. Google your name and see what shows up.

    Anyway,
    Locally pawnshops are required to report ser. nos. of pawned guns to the police at the end of the day; overnight, they are run against the NCIC (federal database on stolen goods). (I have been present at the local gunshop when the owner called in used gun numbers to the police for an NCIC check, so I am under the impression used guns are checked at regular FFLs also.)

    Since the 1968 Gun Control Act, pawnshops have to have a federal license to deal in firearms and if anything are treated with more suspicion than regular gunshops.

    So what exactly are pawn shops "getting away with"?

    My preference for buying used guns from a gunshop rather than a pawnshop is based solely on the fact that the local gun dealer takes his used guns to the local gun club and testfires them at the range. He's a military vet, long time hunter, farmer and competitive shooter and knows guns. When my son was looking at a used 336C, the dealer closed the shop, we went to the range, and he let my son testfire the gun himself before buying. Pawn shops usually don't know guns and sell used guns as-is. There may be exceptions, but I have not seen them.

    Now I do know from 1970s anecdotes that there were (maybe still are) some unscrupulous pawnshops that sell questionable guns under the counter. They get caught around here and put out of business.
     
  9. Analogkid

    Analogkid Member

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    Even with everything gun shops do to try and make sure the gun is not stolen sometimes it is anyway.

    I purchased a nice little pocket revolver from a pawn shop in Southern Mo while visiting some family.
    I had it about 10 months and then got a call from the sherriffs office of that town stating the gun was stolen and I needed to return it or drop it off at the Local police Dept. I told them I would call them back. A friend in the Pawn industry told me to return the firearm to the Pawn shop to be reimbursed.
    This was after a trigger job, handmade grips and a custom IWB had been made for the gun. I knew I wouldn't get that back but I wanted to be reimbursed for a gun I purchased legally and went through a bgc for.

    I called the pawn broker and he acted like he had been trying to reach me all day. Which just wasn't the case. If I returned the gun to the Sheriff I would have never got reimbursed. I told him I wanted to bring the gun in for a refund and he hesitated and then said ok. Unbeknownst to him I was less than 5 minutes away. I ended up trading the gun even for a lever rifle so we were both happy.

    The reason we found out it was stolen was just a shame. A elderly man with the onset of dementia had a small collection of nice handguns in a safe in his house. His daughters cared for him while his youngest Son came into the house while they were gone and stole from them.
    After it was determined that the father needed to have more care than the Sisters could give him they moved him to a retirement home and prepared the house for sale. When they opened the safe it was cleaned out. The son had went around to every pawnshop in a 75 mile radius and sold his fathers guns to support a drug habit. It was 10 months after he sold them that the sisters reported them stolen.

    Such a shame..
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  10. Fotno

    Fotno Member

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    The last three firearms I've bought, came from a Gun/Pawn shop. All three were brand new firearms, but I would have no hesitation buying used from these gentlemen. They have a reputation in our community of reporting suspicious items, and supporting local law enforcement. In fact, the friend who first told me about the place is a retired police officer.
     
  11. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    Pawn shop operators go out of their way to make sure their merchandise isn't hot. The above-mentioned example is the only time or place I have ever heard of where a pawn shop isn't liable for stolen merchandise. If they buy it, and it turns out to be stolen, they eat it. Every time something is stolen, the first thing the police do is go look at the pawn shops. They know they have to go over and above to keep everything straight, or they won't stay in business very long.

    I tell my students, if they need a first gun, go to a pawn shop and look for a used G-19 or J-frame.
     
  12. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    I can't say that this is true at all. At the very best, about all that they do above and beyond dealing with the customer and following the law is to do a title search on items with titles and maybe check online listings that are for stolen firearms. Unless things have changed recently, most police departments don't have online public hot sheets that can be searched to verify that a given item isn't reportd lost or stolen. So a guy brings in a tv, box of tools, guitar, saddle, silver service set, or a gold diamond cluster ring, there isn't much the pawnbroker is going to be able to do to make sure the merchandise isn't stolen. They don't even ask the customers, LOL, not that the customer would be honest if s/he knew the item was stolen.

    There just isn't a lot that pawnbrokers can do other than try to assess the status of most items based on markings such and the DL or name of somebody other than the customer. Beyond that, there is the completely unreliable attempts at assessing item status based on customer behavior, but oddly enough, nervous sorts of customers aren't typically nervous because they are pawning something stolen, but because of being a neophyte and never having been where they are and doing what they are doing, maybe in a part of town where they would prefer not to be, and dealing with people they make think could be unsavory.

    Most would like to be able to do more, but have no resources or capabilities to do it.
     
  13. Bubbles

    Bubbles Member

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    That varies by state. Some states require the pawnbroker to turn the item over to the rightful owner if it was stolen. Other states require the owner to purchase it out of pawn.
     
  14. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    The sad thing about discussion forums on the Internet is the large amount of misinformation posted on them.

    The good thing about discussion forums on the Internet is the wide variety of occupations of members usuallys corrects the misinformation.

    My daughter works in a pawn shop. They require photo I.D. on all times pawned and hold them for 30 days. The local police make regular visits to check for stolen items. My daughter says they regulary refuse to make loans on people they consider suspicous. She says they have developed a strong sense of someone who is undesirable such as drug users who are trying to support a drug habit.

    Consider this policy against your LGS who places a price sticker on a used gun that comes into the shop and placed in the display case as soon as the customer walks out the door.

    One items that is commonly pawned is tools. There is no usually no way to determine who the rightful owner is because they are not marked. Whose fault is that?

    The complaint that pawn shops buy low is senseless whining. Everyone has the same access to Internet websites such as ebay, Craigslist and Gunbroker. Want to get the most money for your item advertise it yourself. If it is too much trouble to snap a few pictures, post the item, box it up and drive to the Post Office, UPS or Fed-ex hub then suck up and quit whining.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  15. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

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    Just out of curiosity, how exactly does this system work? Is this common in the pawn shops in your area? I know pawn laws vary from state to state.

    Once you find out that you are in possession of the stolen property, could the owner simply not file a police report and have to police come take possession of the stolen property? I realize you said it has only happened twice, but if it is common practice in your area have you heard stories of the rightful owner refusing to pay to get their property out of pawn?
     
  16. evalero2

    evalero2 Member

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    Unless you're planning on going out and shooting someone with it, what does it matter? Are you planning on having the police check into the firearms you own? I'd buy it, buy a new stock so it doesn't have someone elses name on it, and call it a day.

    It's probably not stolen, and if it is then the person who it was stolen from hasn't reported it/didn't know its serial number because the pawn shop would have found out when they recieved it. So, yeah- it COULD be stolen- but if it is, no one knows and no one cares. (just like anything else you buy from a pawn shop)

    Its not as if the cops are going to run a ballistics test on the BB's lying out in the skeet range that you fired and find some way to link you to a murder. Guns are legal, owning a gun you purchased(be it from a Gun Store, Private Seller, or Pawn Shop) without any knowledge of it being stolen is legal.

    Perpetuating the image of gun ownership as being full of red tape or that there are all sorts of 'legal' problems with gun ownership is a huge problem right now.

    Its the reason why everyone assumes that silencers, special ammunition types, fully automatic weapons, high-cap magazines, open carry etc are illegal.

    You want a gun? Buy it. Want a silencer? Pay the fee to your local sheriffs office and buy it. As long as YOU aren't doing anything illegal, let the dealers assume the risk of stolen firearms.
     
  17. sarge83

    sarge83 Member

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    I have bought lots of pawn shop guns only had a minor issue once and the manager worked it out asap.
     
  18. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    Understand that if a gun (or anything else) in your possession is identified as having been stolen, it will be taken from you. You will not be compensated for it. You can not own stolen property. It never belongs to you. It continues to belong to the rightful owner.
     
  19. Ehtereon11B

    Ehtereon11B internet infantryman

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    Most pawn shops (if not all) in Alabama that deal in firearms are registered FFL dealers. As such buying/selling stolen firearms would be a very bad idea for them
     
  20. JTHunter

    JTHunter Member

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    In this area of Illinois, very few pawnshops deal with firearms - too much paperwork.
    That being said, I just bought a 4" blued Ruger GP100 in .357 that turns out to be about 1 year old (mfd. 2011) for a total of over $100 less than a brand new one. I did NOT get either a box or a manual but I've already downloaded and printed parts of the PDF from Ruger's website.

    Now I have to sight it in. :D Fun time!
     
  21. smalls

    smalls Member

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    All are FFL's, throughout the entire US, it's federal law.

    I was also under the impression that pawn brokers had to run the serial number against a stolen database. In fact, I think they are the only ones with access to thus database. Police can only use it if the gun is part of an investigation.

    Obviously this doesn't help if the gun isn't reported stolen yet, like in analogkid's story.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  22. Davek1977

    Davek1977 Member

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    Smalls, I do believe you are mistaken about there being a "stolen gun database" on accessible to pawnbrokers. In my research, I've seen companies that maintain such databses and charge for their use, but no central database controlled by any govt agency that archieves stolen gun info
     
  23. smalls

    smalls Member

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    I couldn't think of the acronym.

    It's NCIC, or National Crime Information Center. It's accessible to LE, and Pawnbrokers. Difference is, LE need to have a reason to use it. Pawnbrokers can check any gun that comes through their doors.

    Those companies you see are user submitted, and useless.
     
  24. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    It's not. Pawnshops have to do background checks just like a gun store.


    So what? It's not against the law to own a gun, or sell a gun that USED to belong to a felon.

    Probably not. I don't want my own name scratched into the reciever of any of my guns, much less someone else's.
     
  25. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    That would be an initialism, not an acronym. NCIC is not accessible to pawnbrokers other than NICS.
    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
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