@MLeake: Perhaps I should have been more clear, since a lot of people are really getting the wrong idea. If this guy is selling a stolen weapon, I don't think he knows it is stolen. he got it in a trade, and with it being as old as it is, there is no way for me to know its history. I am asking this to determine my level of risk. Further, I think you got it backwards- if I ask for a lower price, it is because I would be the one bringing it to the police to have it checked out. I would be incurring the additional risk of having the gun confiscated after paying for it.
Buying used anything- firearms, houses, cars, whatever- includes a certain degree of risk. I knew this going in. I am, like any responsible consumer, trying to mitigate my risk as much as possible. I don't want to perpetuate a stolen gun going from person to person. If I purchase this weapon without having it checked out first, I am assuming responsibility for it- if it turns out that it was stolen 40 years ago, and has been traded and sold 5 times since, I am still out my money for this firearm. When the officer told me that there was a possibility that the weapon might be stolen, and that only a gun in hand inspection would determine its legitimacy, I became concerned. I am not worried that the seller is a con, but a victim of a con.
I would ask, MLeake, that you be a little more careful in your assertions. If I just wanted to screw a guy or buy a stolen weapon, why would I post on a forum to discuss the legality of it?