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Old August 22, 2014, 12:29 AM   #1
xssv
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Interesting potential problem with a FFL.

So what would happen if you buy a handgun from someone who never put it in their name and then had it shipped to your FFL. Does the FFL have to contact the feds? Or can they just take your info and treat it like you bought it from the previous previous owner?
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Old August 22, 2014, 07:24 AM   #2
2ndsojourn
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I'm not sure I totally understand your question but I'll give it a shot.

The answer depends on what state you're in and the law(s) of that state. Many states don't restrict private transfers without a FFL so you can buy and sell privately without a problem (assuming neither of you are a prohibited person).

If you're in a restrictive state where transfers must go through a FFL, then the seller needs to accompany you to the FFL so the transfer can be legally recorded. If the 'not so legal' transfer has already taken place, you may have a problem.
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Old August 22, 2014, 07:25 AM   #3
Tom Servo
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If an FFL took possession of it, they have to keep records of it. That includes the identity of the person who sent it to them.

Not all states have gun registration, so the gun may never have been "in someone's name." Nonetheless, the involvement of the FFL leaves a traceable paper trail.

When you pick the gun up from the FFL, they'll transfer it to you, and the records will indicate that.
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Old August 22, 2014, 08:23 AM   #4
carguychris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xssv
So what would happen if you buy a handgun from someone who never put it in their name and then had it shipped to your FFL. Does the FFL have to contact the feds?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo
If an FFL took possession of it, they have to keep records of it. That includes the identity of the person who sent it to them... Not all states have gun registration, so the gun may never have been "in someone's name."
A few things to add, in conjunction with what Tom correctly wrote...
  • Many FFL's will refuse delivery of a firearm from an unknown sender. The primary reason is the inability to properly record the tranferor's identity in their logbook in accordance with federal law. (I understand that there are ways around this, but most FFL's don't want to deal with the hassle, particularly when an impatient buyer is calling them every day wanting to know when he/she can take delivery of the gun.) Another reason is that they don't want to be stuck holding the bag if the firearm turns out to be stolen or illegally modified (e.g. serial number obscured).
  • When one buys a gun at a dealer, the Form 4473 and the NICS phone call do NOT register the gun with the Feds, at least not formally- tinfoil hat assertions to the contrary notwithstanding. The Form 4473 is normally retained by the dealer, and the precise identity and serial number of the firearm is not discussed during the phone call; only the general type of firearm is divulged, i.e. handgun, rifle, shotgun, or "Other" (e.g. AR lower).
  • If the transferor did not register the firearm with his/her state of residence in accordance with state law, the FFL is under no obligation to report this to the feds; they would not care, as it's a matter of state law, and they have no dog in that fight. OTOH the FFL may have an obligation to report it to state authorities if he/she is located in the same state as the transferor and local laws require it.
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Last edited by carguychris; August 22, 2014 at 11:30 AM. Reason: info added
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Old August 22, 2014, 05:14 PM   #5
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xssv
So what would happen if you buy a handgun from someone who never put it in their name and then had it shipped to your FFL. Does the FFL have to contact the feds? Or can they just take your info and treat it like you bought it from the previous previous owner?
Let's start at the beginning. Only a very few states actually maintain registries of firearms, so for the majority of states there is simply no such thing as "put in their name." What state(s) are we talking about here? What state are you in, and what state is the seller in?

What makes you think the seller never "put the gun" in his name? What makes you think he is required to do so? And, if he is, how do you know that he didn't do so?

As Sgt. Joe Friday used to say, "Just the facts, Sir, just the facts."
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