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Discussion Starter #1
Is there a site or anything that can be used to look up serial numbers of guns to see if they are stolen? I know that you can take it to the local police station or really the local state police station but I was just wondering if there was a site you could use to do it yourself.
 

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Not all sales require or go through an FFL.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nope, like when I go to gun shows, people are just walking around with guns on them or a sign that they are selling guns. This would be considered as a private sale and sometimes its pretty sketchy considering some of them seem a little too cheap for what they are. So I was wondering if there was a site I could get on with my phone or whatever and check if its stolen or not. Also, in any private purchases that I would get around here if I found anything that I would like. You never want to just stroll into the local police station with a stolen gun. This would always result in the confiscation of the weapon and most likely charges.
 

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No there isn't; why? Short answer, because the feds want their database restricted to LEO access only. I have seen some local websites, but their information probably isn't as reliable or complete.

I actually called and emailed back and forth with my local police, state attorney general's office, and the batf office about this very issue not too long ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No there isn't; why? Short answer, because the feds want their database restricted to LEO access only. I have seen some local websites, but their information probably isn't as reliable or complete.

I actually called and emailed back and forth with my local police, state attorney general's office, and the batf office about this very issue not too long ago.
Thanks for the info. I guess I will just have to go through the local pd and have them check before I buy whatever it is that I see out there.
 

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Small town or rural LEOs will probably run a SN thru the NCIC database for you- IF they have the gun in hand.

Think about it for a minute- they get a hit- and have no gun........:eek:

Access to NCIC is restricted to law enforcement.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Small town or rural LEOs will probably run a SN thru the NCIC database for you- IF they have the gun in hand.

Think about it for a minute- they get a hit- and have no gun........:eek:

Access to NCIC is restricted to law enforcement.
Yeah, I really don't want to be caught walking into a police station with a stolen gun. I have a few friends in law enforcement so I may just give them a quick call before purchase to have them run it before I make the buy. Thanks for the info though.
 

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Just a thought- know who you buy from. If someone wants to sell me a gun, and is not willing to show me an ID of who he is and where he is from.....


RUN!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just a thought- know who you buy from. If someone wants to sell me a gun, and is not willing to show me an ID of who he is and where he is from.....


RUN!
Yes, I was taught that in private sales to take down id numbers along as the name, home address and dob of the person.
 

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we call in all used or second hand firearm serial numbers before taking in or pawning a firearm they run it for us through ncic while we are on the phone however it does get a little hinky when we have to tell the individual we can not return the firearm to them and that the authorities are on their way to speak with them. normally we are able to stall them until somone makes it here without having to tell them though
 

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Discussion Starter #12
lol, usually they know what is going on and what will most likely happen before they go into the store. They know that its stolen and that you might run the numbers. I am sure they would be suspicious if it started taking 15-30 mins.
 

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This may get garbled, but i will try to attach that last email from the batf dude that gave me permission to post his other email response to my question about a serial number check for stolen status:
RE: firearms purchase from an unlicensed individualTuesday, February 28, 2012 12:45 PMFrom: "FIPB Regulatory Email inquiries" <[email protected]>Add sender to ContactsTo: ORANGELLO This in response to your subsequent email regarding stolen firearms and you wish to share the information that was provided to you on your website and other websites.

Please share the following as well - An accurate determination of the full extent of all firearm thefts and losses in America is not possible. One of the leading factors is that there is no requirement that non-licensees report stolen firearms. A second is that among those non-licensees that want to report firearms thefts and losses, there is frequently an inability to accurately identify the firearms. Because of factors like these, there is no law enforcement database or statistical collection protocol that was designed to track, or which can accurately track, the numbers and types of firearms stolen outside of the regulated firearms industry.

Without accurate identification of these firearms, law enforcement officials face considerable obstacles in investigating these firearms thefts. In contrast, firearms that are under the control of federally licensed firearms importers, manufacturers, dealers, and collectors must be carefully inventoried and identified. In 1968, Congress established specific marking requirements for firearms, so that they could be identified and distinguished by law enforcement.

Specifically, firearms manufactured after 1968 must be identified by make, model, caliber, serial number, and other features that generally allow each individual firearm to be definitively identified and uniquely distinguished from all other firearms (more information on required markings is available in ATF Publication 5300.4, Federal Firearms Regulations Guide). Because the firearms industry utilizes and records these required markings, if they experience a theft or loss, it can be accurately reported to law enforcement and the firearms readily identified when recovered. Firearms taken in residential and industrial burglaries, stolen from shipments, and otherwise taken illegally or simply lost, frequently go unreported or cannot be fully documented because the firearms’ individual descriptions were not fully documented by their owners.

ATF has reintroduced ATF Publication 3312.8, Personal Firearms Record , to assist firearms owners and law enforcement in correctly documenting and identifying lost or stolen firearms. These pamphlets are available at no cost from the ATF Distribution Center (301-583-4696). Whenever a firearm is sold to a non-licensee, we recommend that the FFL provide the buyer with a copy of this publication. If a copy of the publication is not available, we recommend that the purchaser be encouraged to keep a record in some form, including a full description of the firearm, separate from the firearm’s storage location.

Please be aware that there may be State laws that pertain to gun shows in which you mention in your previous email. You may want to contact your State’s Attorney General Office to inquire about the laws and possible restrictions in your State gun shows / sales between private parties. A list of their offices is available online at www.naag.org.

We trust the foregoing has been responsive to your inquiry. Should you have additional questions, please contact your local ATF office. A listing of ATF office phone numbers can be found at: http://www.atf.gov/field.

Regards,

Firearms Industry Programs Branch, ATF

From: ORANGELLO
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2012 3:14 PM
To: FIPB Regulatory Email inquiries
Subject: RE: firearms purchase from an unlicensed individual

FIPB staff,
I must admit that i find your response somewhat disappointing. On the other hand, it should provide me with a mitigating circumstance should I ever be charged with mistakenly purchasing a firearm that has been reported as stolen, and for that I am certainly very grateful.

May I share your response in unedited form with members of the various firearms-related internet forums i am a member of?

Thanks for your time.

--- On Fri, 2/24/12, FIPB Regulatory Email inquiries <[email protected]> wrote:

From: FIPB Regulatory Email inquiries <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: firearms purchase from an unlicensed individual
To: ORANGELLO
Date: Friday, February 24, 2012, 5:46 AM

This is in response to your recent email to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). In your email you are concerned about purchasing firearms at a gun show. You want to know if you can found out before you purchase a firearm if it is stolen.

Firearm traces are only conducted upon request of a law enforcement agency in the course of a criminal investigation. If you have concerns in purchasing firearms from private individuals we suggest you purchase from a federal firearm licensee.

Should you have additional questions, please contact your local ATF office. A listing of ATF office phone numbers can be found at: http://www.atf.gov/field.

Regards,

Firearms Industry Programs Branch, ATF


From: ORANGELLO
Sent: Friday, December 16, 2011 3:30 PM
To: EPS Directorate
Cc: [email protected]
Subject: firearms purchase from an unlicensed individual

Officer/Agent:

I have a question regarding the purchase of a firearm from an unlicensed individual: How can a buyer be sure that a firearm offered for sale by an individual is not stolen? If I were to see a handgun that i wanted to buy at a local gunshow, how could i be certain it was not stolen? I was told by the local police department that i could bring the firearm in for investigation, but what if I want to know before I purchase the firearm? I doubt all sellers would be willing to go down to the police station with me; is there a way i could submit the firearm's serial number for verification online or via telephone?

I tried to find this information on the BATF website, but I found only references to traces by law enforcement agencies. My state's attorney general's office was unable to provide me with any guidance other than to inquire of the BATF, so I have CC'd them on this email.

Thank you for your time.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

******* NOTICE: This e-mail message and any attached files are intended solely for the use of the addressee(s) named above in connection with official business. This communication may contain Sensitive But Unclassified information that may be statutorily or otherwise prohibited from being released without appropriate approval. Any review, use, or dissemination of this e-mail message and any attached file(s) in any form outside of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives or the Department of Justice without express authorization is strictly prohibited.
(agent gave permission to publish)
 

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I can't find a copy of my inquiry to the state AG, but this was their response. I CC'd them on my batf emails. :p

Stolen Firearm InfoFriday, December 16, 2011 9:51 AMFrom: "KEITH MILSAP" <[email protected]>Add sender to ContactsTo: "'ORANGELLO

Hello,
I was the recipient of your email regarding, “how to find out if a firearm for sale by an individual is stolen?” I am referring you to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. This is one of the things they do daily. Therefore I would suggest you contact them for an accurate answer to your question. Their contact information is as follows:

· www.atf.gov

· (800)800-3855 Toll Free



Keith Milsap
Criminal Investigator
Mississippi Attorney General’s Office
Public Integrity Division
Post Office Box 220
Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: 601-359-4381
Fax: 601-359-4254
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Wow, it sucks that there is no way to really be sure if it is stolen or not rather than to be actually caught with one off guard. I do not want to be going to the range one day and be pulled over for something as simple as a tailight or something stupid and have to tell the officer there are guns in the car. He then runs the numbers and something comes back stolen, I get arrested or ticketed for multiple things and the firearm that I have now paid for is confiscated never to be returned to me </3 I just don't see why there is a publicly open site that people can use to check if a firearm is stolen or not. Oh well, guess I will just have to hope they aren't. Thanks for all the info though.
 

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Which is what your FFL is supposed to be doing when he calls

a serial# in for you to purchase?:confused:
Serial number is not called in on an NICS check. NICS only checks the eligibility of the buyer, not anything to do with the gun.
 

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What I do when buying or selling a gun is require that there be a bill of sale. If I'm buying I want to see ID. If I'm selling, it's only to a CWP holder.
 

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if buying from an individual, and the price was too good to be true, there could be something wrong and cause you problems later on.

i e only have done very few face to face gun sales and have only dealt with people i knew personally and knew there would be no problems. another way to protect yourself would be to go through an FFL dealer even when dealing with an individual. if they were hesitant, then i would be suspicious and walk away from the deal.
 

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This is something that has been a sticking point with me for a long time. There is no real way to determine the pedigree of any gun, with rare exception in some smaller municipalities where the local sheriff or LE wants to help in this way. Taking any pre owned gun in trade or by purchase, especially when it is done without any documentation as is permissable with long gun sales in my state, is a crap shoot to whether or not it is hot. I really could never understand why this is. I also don't buy the reasoning given that there is no real database of gun ownership, as it should be, and that many thefts don't get reported. There is already a database of stolen guns through the NCIC and several years ago they tightened up the use of the general crime database by LE. Every time an LEO makes an inquiry using it, they have to state the reason why and it gets documented. For example, there used to be a time that you could ask your friend, the cop, to run a plate off of a car sitting in front of your house for weeks to see who owns it. Now, it is a big deal for any LEO to make inquiries and they have banned what they consider to be frivilous use of the system. In other words, one has to have a really good reason to run something or someone in the system and be able to justify it. I guess the powers to be consider checking firearm serial numbers, as many conscientious gun dealers would like to be able to do, frivilous.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
^^
Thanks for the info. I was wondering if there would need to be a reason or explanation or a definite "ticket and confiscation" in case a gun came back stolen. I was going to ask him before he ran it but this let me know about that. :( thanks again.
 
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