Originally Posted by 9mm1033
I've purchased two firearms from private owners exactly as you described. Here in Ohio, both being residents of the same state (I haven't a clue if it's legal in TN) we wrote out a receipt/bill of sale. Check a drivers license for ID verification (if they refuse, abort the sale) and write down name, address, drivers license number, date of sale, type of gun sold/bought, the serial number, etc. Both sign it and you save your copy as long as you own the gun....
That's all helpful for a variety of reasons, but it doesn't completely protect you if the gun you bought was previously reported stolen.
It will all help keep you from being implicated in the theft, but you will still lose the gun. You can't acquire ownership of stolen property.