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Old November 19, 2012, 06:43 AM   #1
BrittB
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Checking serial numbers before buying

Is there a way to check serial numbers on firearms before you buy them from private parties? I would hate to spend a lot of money to find out later that I purchased a stolen weapon. By the way, I live in Oregon.
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Old November 19, 2012, 09:59 AM   #2
barstoolguru
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you can take the number to a gun shop and they can do it or try this site

http://www.stolenweapon.com/Stolen-G...artsearch.html
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Old November 19, 2012, 11:03 AM   #3
dogtown tom
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Quote:
BrittB Is there a way to check serial numbers on firearms before you buy them from private parties? I would hate to spend a lot of money to find out later that I purchased a stolen weapon. By the way, I live in Oregon.
No. Access to the Federal NCIC database is limited to law enforcement officers on official business only. Any unauthorized use (ie your cop friend doing you a favor0 will cause the officer to lose his NCIC access.


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barstoolguru you can take the number to a gun shop and they can do it
Nonsense. Gun dealers do not have access to the NCIC.....only LEO.

Next to worthless.
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Old November 19, 2012, 11:08 AM   #4
Sparks1957
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you can take the number to a gun shop and they can do it
Nonsense. Ask the seller for a bill of sale.

Last edited by Sparks1957; November 19, 2012 at 07:15 PM.
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Old November 19, 2012, 07:07 PM   #5
Bud Helms
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Let's not get personal with the comments.
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Old November 19, 2012, 07:12 PM   #6
BrittB
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Bill of sale sounds like a good way to go. Purchase cost lost is still cheaper than a lawyer!
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Old November 19, 2012, 07:20 PM   #7
Kevin Rohrer
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Is there a way to check serial numbers on firearms before you buy them from private parties?
Write down the serial number and take it into your local police department/sheriff's office. Have an officer/deputy check the number, with the understanding that if it turns out to be stolen, they are going to impound the gun to be returned to the owner. There is no ethics violation on the police's part if done in this manner.
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Old November 19, 2012, 07:43 PM   #8
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Nothing wrong with asking a cop friend to run a number for you. The catch is that if the gun comes back stolen, he had better be able to produce the gun. You will have to actually have the gun before they will do this. Running the number for a gun that they do not physically have in hand could cause problems for them if it does come back as stolen.

I've done this a few times with guns purchased FTF. You will lose the gun, but I'd not want it anyway. Better to lose a little money than have to explain things to a judge later. Having the name and address of the person you purchased it from will help you get your money back as well as proving you did not steal it.
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Old November 19, 2012, 08:23 PM   #9
barstoolguru
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Nonsense. Ask the seller for a bill of sale.
if you buy a gun and it is stolen, you lose the gun and the cash because you most likely you not going to get your money back unless you can prove the party selling you the gun knows it stolen

Quote:
Nonsense. Gun dealers do not have access to the NCIC.....only LEO.
When I sold mine at a gun shop they ran the number BEFORE we made a transaction and I believe pawn shops can do it to

Now I am reading that even the NCIC check is not guaranteed + the cops have to have the gun in their hands in case in comes up stolen

Last edited by barstoolguru; November 19, 2012 at 08:46 PM.
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Old November 19, 2012, 10:06 PM   #10
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Again, retail stores (or wholesale for that matter) do NOT have access to NCIC. That's the only listing worth 2 cents as far as determining if a gun is stolen. There are several databases out there promoted as good places to check numbers, but the fact is, they all require the owners to voluntarily list the numbers of any stolen guns. If the owner doesn't happen to list with that particular database, it doesn't show up.

The only worthwhile thing to do is ask the seller to go with you to the local PD and ask them to run the number. If they have time, they MIGHT do this for you. If they get a hit, the seller will lose the gun, but you won't be out your money. Personally, I don't think very many sellers would do this, but it's up to you.

I do recall a recent article on stolen guns stated that something like 10% of the firearms stolen had been recovered and returned within 5 years. Not very good odds.
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Old November 19, 2012, 10:19 PM   #11
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In NC, retail stores do not have access to DCI (and NCIC) information. The only way for a FFL to have a firearm checked is to meet with an officer, firearm in hand, and ask for the serial number, etc to be checked against the database. If a hit comes back positive the firearm is held till things are straightened out.

While I can understand the fear some folks have about buying a stolen firearm and loosing their money, I would hope that they would equally want a stolen firearm returned to its rightful owner.
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Old November 20, 2012, 03:12 PM   #12
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I know that in Tennessee stores can check to see if a gun is stolen. Back in the summer I tried to purchase a trade in Colt Commander at a store in Nashville and when he ran the check it came back stolen and he had to call the police on it. I also specifically remember him saying that he checked it when he took the trade in and that it came back clear at that time. When he ran the check he used a computer unlike stores like Walmart which use a small terminal so there may be a difference when it comes to the method used but I can verify from personal experience that some stores can check here in Tennessee.
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Old November 20, 2012, 03:26 PM   #13
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I just got off with the gun store and they said they don't have access to the NCIC records BUT what they do is run every serial number though the police dept. before doing a transaction on used guns to make sure they don't come up hot
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Old November 21, 2012, 01:20 PM   #14
Edward429451
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You're still better off getting a bill of sale, even with checking on it. What if the gun was stolen in another jurisdiction, or not reported stolen right away?

CYA.....
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Old November 21, 2012, 01:47 PM   #15
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Bill of sale will just go to show that it wasn't you who was responsible for the theft. You're still out the money and the gun, though the paper trail might help lead them to the right guy.

You could always ask local police of sheriff to check it for you. If for whatever reason you truly think that it could be hot, I'd pass altogether.
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Old November 21, 2012, 01:49 PM   #16
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If you make no effort and get caught with it you lose everything (sold as is, buyer beware). If you at least check and get a receipt and it comes up stolen you have a better chance of recovering your funds in small claims court because there was an effort to make sure the gun is legal
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Old November 23, 2012, 02:47 PM   #17
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In a word - no.

I've purchased firearms from individuals before via gun classifieds like ArmsList. The only way to check a number, according to my local police, is to bring the gun in and they'll check the number for you if you have any concerns. If it turns up hot then you loose it.

Sounds pretty stupid if you ask me.

However. When I purchase or sell a firearm I insist on seeing a valid ID and provide bills of sale with ser# etc.

I figure if a guys willing for show me his ID and sign the BoS then he's probably on the up and up. There are no guarantees though.
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Old November 23, 2012, 05:59 PM   #18
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A bill of sale is worth the paper its printed on.

Anyone who sells you a stolen gun probably doesn't mind signing a BOS with a fake name and fake ID.

The idea that a bill of sale somehow immunizes you from receiving stolen property is laughable.
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