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Seller doesn't want to disclose serial #.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by mikecu, Jun 7, 2009.

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  1. mikecu

    mikecu Member

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    I had a seller respond to a WTB post that I made.

    I asked the seller for the serial # of the firearm, so that I can call the manufacturer to check for updates since the production of his, recalls, date of manufacture, etc.

    I also said that I wanted to check the serial # on the FDLE web site.

    http://pas.fdle.state.fl.us/pas/item/displayGunSearch.a


    The seller is telling me that he bought it new from a dealer and does not want to disclose the serial # prior to purchase.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    Many people are uncomfortable revealing the complete serial number of their firearms, based upon privacy concerns. You can ask for all but the last three numbers, and revealing that does seem to be convention.
     
  3. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    First, I think you're entirely reasonable to want to verify that the gun is not, or at least has not been reported, stolen. And while he claims to have bought the gun new from a dealer, you could reasonably ask for verification of that. Either way, he would necessarily have to reveal the complete SN to you.

    In business, it is often reasonable and necessary to disclose information that you would otherwise want to keep confidential. If I want a loan or credit, I will probably have to disclose my SSN and other private financial information. If I want to buy life insurance, I may need to disclose my medical history. If I want to sell someone a gun, I should reasonably expect to have to disclose the complete serial number.

    It's completely up to you of course. You need to decide how much you're willing to trust the seller. Personally, I wouldn't do business with him. Your request is reasonable. You should be entitled to perform your due diligence, and the seller should expect you to want to do so.
     
  4. Burrhead51

    Burrhead51 Member

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    If I was interested in a firearm for sale on the net I'd be careful also. What you could do is to make an offer and stipulate that the sale is hinging on you receiving the full serial number for you to do your own check before finalizing the purchase.
     
  5. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    I would not disclose the serial number to a potential buyer either. If that is a problem for that buyer, that is fine, there are lots of buyers out there, so who cares?
     
  6. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Nope-

    this is customary; not too reveal a firearms COMPLETE S/N~! :eek:

    I don't do it either, for fear of security concerns. ;)
     
  7. Superpsy

    Superpsy Member

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    same here. rbernie's suggestion is usually what I do.
     
  8. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Member

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    I'm also in that camp. It is a very common practice to either obscure or only reveal a partial serial number. If you look at any published letters to the staff of any gun magazine, the last few digits of any gun are X'd out. Many photos online of people's personal collection are obscured.
     
  9. deadin

    deadin Member

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    There's also a lot of sellers out there that aren't quite so paranoid.:p

    You also could offer to use an escrow service.
     
  10. NotSoFast

    NotSoFast Member

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    Maybe you could negotiate a deal. Maybe he could take it to a legit. dealer that he trusts and that you know is legitimate and have them verify it, then send you the results. Then look up that dealer's phone number and call them back to double check. That way you get it verified and he doesn't disclose it to you.

    If it isn't a legitimate FFL, you should be able to tell just by the way they answer the phone. And if he doesn't want to do that, find another seller.
     
  11. Odd1

    Odd1 Member

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    What security concerns exactly?

    I mean someone has a serial number of a firearm, they report it stolen, then all of a sudden you are a criminal?

    I mean if this was to happen, the firearm could be traced from the FFL holder to you (if you were the first person to buy it).

    Or you may have a reciept. Or they may need those things to prove it was thier weapon first.



    Either way, not really sure what can happen that is all that bad and could not be cleared up even if some one did have a diabolical intention.

    If I am ignorant please enlighten me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2009
  12. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    You're probably right. But if you never get the full serial number, there's no way for you to START to make mischief, now is there? :)
     
  13. ScotZ

    ScotZ Member

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    I have many many guns in my safe that were my fathers. No reciept, no transfer record. Why would I want someone else to have those serial numbers? I guess I am "old school".
     
  14. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    That's completely different. One isn't selling the gun.

    Be that as it may, if a buyer wants the full serial number to do proper due diligence and to specifically identify the gun he's buying (redacting the last three digits only identifies the gun as one of 999), I congratulate him on his prudence. (Just as if I were buying a used car I'd insist on having the VIN so that I could establish the car's history through one of the available data bases.) And if the buyer forgoes buying a gun because the seller declines to provide the complete serial number, I'd congratulate the buyer on his prudence.

    If the seller doesn't want to disclose the serial number and finds a buyer who is willing to buy the gun without that information in advance, more power to him. That's what the free market is all about.
     
  15. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Security Concerns

    All a dishonest person would have to do, it find a "local youcal FFL" (also very
    dishonest. and needing too make a fast buck); to backdate an invoice (prior
    to your stolen report), and say that he had said firearm stolen from him~! :eek:
     
  16. nofishbob

    nofishbob Member

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    I have heard both sides of the "keep your serial numbers secret" debate, and it seems like something that MAY cause a problem, but what are the odds?

    Does anyone know of a documented case where somebody attempted fraud on a stranger using the serial number on a firearm?

    It would seem that the downside of forging documents by an FFL, filling out a false police report, etc, would make this scam really unattractive.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
  17. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    I personally have no qualms about revealing a serial number although I have never felt compelled to request it, either. After buying roughly 500 guns in my life only one turned out to be hot and that one came from a storefront FFL.

    This discussion sort of evolved into a #43.

    Hiding serial numbers in photos?

    43. 1. Privacy. Some folks just don't like giving out anything. 2. Paranoia. The old saw about someone reporting your gun as theirs will require filing a false police report which is felony. The cops take a very dim view of people doing this so you may expect to be prosecuted. I do not personally know of it ever happening and certainly not actually working. 3. Paranoia II. Some people try to conceal the fact that they own guns in case the government ever comes to confiscate them all. Good luck on that. I never had a problem caused by revealing serial numbers and neither have others I have spoken with who do it routinely. If you are uncomfortable doing so then don't. But it's highly unlikely that anything would ever come from doing it.
     
  18. harmonic

    harmonic member

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    The whole idea of hiding the serial number is supposed to prevent someone from reporting your gun as stolen, so we hide all but the last three digits.

    But when the subject comes up, nobody can ever quote a source where such a thing has ever happened. Much ado about nothing.

    I notice, however, that a lot of dealers over on gunbroker don't worry about it.

    http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=130510170

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Ruggles

    Ruggles member

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    I also see no reason to worry about posting the serial number. As it has been said the records of who purchased the firearms are easily obtainable. Of all the stories posted on gun forums I never remember one that started

    "So this scumbag got my serial number off of my picture post and he......"

    Seems to me I would have read about at least 1 incident. Just my .02.
     
  20. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    So buy from one of the non-paranoid sellers.

    If its my gun, the terms of sale are up to me.
     
  21. ants

    ants Member

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    Each person sets his own threshold. Each person sets his own rules.

    You set yours, he set his. If the two of you don't see eye to eye, walk away from each other.
     
  22. Gunfighter123

    Gunfighter123 Member

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    I will not disclose a full serial number to ANYONE over the internet.

    If I sell a firearm on ANY of the Net gunboards , there is a straight line back to me if it should turn up stolen etc. ----- either thru my local FFL holder or in the case of longarms , thru the US post office where I have shipped the firearm from.

    To those that say " well,i've nothing to hide" ------- I say the same thing I'd say to any Police Agency asking if they can have the right to search my home or automobile -- "SURE , if I can come over to your house first and search your wifes underware drawer"
     
  23. mongo4567

    mongo4567 Member

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    I would view the request for a serial number as very out of the ordinary. While I'm not particularly paranoid, I would view the request as strange/suspicious. I have found that once any transaction starts heading towards something unusual it only gets worse later.
     
  24. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    G123- That's your choice and you obviously feel very strongly about it. You'll get no kick from me.

    I just realized after giving it lots of thought (I never do ANYTHING without thinking about it first) that I really couldn't see any harm that could come from making a serial number on a gun that I legally own public. Like someone noted, nobody seems able to find anyone who has actually experienced any grief from revealing a serial number.

    If anyone cares to bother, a magnifying glass will enable you to read the serials on these. Doesn't really worry me.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2009
  25. sernv99

    sernv99 Member

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    Revealing a SN doesn't open you up to any "security concerns".


    All a dishonest person would have to do, it find a "local youcal FFL" (also very
    dishonest. and needing too make a fast buck); to backdate an invoice (prior
    to your stolen report), and say that he had said firearm stolen from him


    ATF makes a bing stink about a FFL not dotting his "i" and crossing his "t" in his/her log book, so forging a fake invoice and having to log it in their book and committing a fraud like the scenario you described is not ever likely to happen.

    I would suggest the OP take his money elsewhere and make sure to tell the buyer he lost a sale.
     
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