@Aguila- I definitely see your point, and agree to some extent. First off, however, if he decided to accept a firearm without knowing its history, then that was a risk he accepted, in my opinion. I was hoping to be able to resolve this without putting him at risk, but based on what the officer told me, I don't have any other way of finding out. I don't see any obligation to give him half of the price if HE accepted a stolen gun. With him driving an hour to meet me, I would probably at least offer him some money to pay for the drive down, say $50, but I should not be obligated to finance his gamble.
@Salmoneye- I am a little confused by that as well, but I have seen a lot of similar S&W serials, so I understand why the serial alone wouldn't do it. I assume they would look at descriptions of the stolen weapons, and see if there is a match. I am also assuming that, if I have a 5 digit serial number, their computer is going to pull up any 5+ serial that may include my serial (in case part of the serial is removed, etc).