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Old March 29, 2012, 03:44 PM   #1
BarryLee
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Face to Face Sale & NICS

I have a friend who is selling a gun to an acquaintance of a co-worker. He wants to assure that the individual can legally own a gun, so he would like to have a NICS check run before he makes the transaction.

So, can a local gun shop run a NICS check on the person he is selling the gun to? I had heard they can only do this if the FFL holder is actual selling the gun.

If they cannot run the NICS for him could he transfer the gun to the LGS who would run the NICS and then transfer it to the buyer?
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Old March 29, 2012, 04:46 PM   #2
Crazy88Fingers
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Your friend would be better off calling a local gun shop and asking them.

If I'm not mistaken the gun shop will transfer the gun to their books, then transfer it to the buyer. But I might have just made that up. Expect to pay a small fee.
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Old March 29, 2012, 04:53 PM   #3
Fishing_Cabin
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Your friend will have to drop the firearm off at a friendly local FFL and let the FFL log it in, then the FFL can transfer to the co-worker. The friend and co-worker can go together if its ok with the FFL.

Only the FFL may run a NICS check on a potential buyer. The FFL must record, and keep a record of the NICS check, and there is space on the 4473 to note the NICS number, response, etc.

A private individual can not run a NICS check, and the FFL can not legally run a NICS check for a firearm he is not transferring/selling.
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Old March 29, 2012, 06:04 PM   #4
BarryLee
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Hey, thanks for the information. He did call earlier and got a part time employee that said he had no idea. However, he told him that a NICS check was $10.00 and a transfer was $40.00. He is supposed to call back tomorrow and speak with the owner and I think he was just curious what the law actually allowed/required.
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Old March 29, 2012, 06:19 PM   #5
Fishing_Cabin
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BarryLee,

If you would like to forward the following link to your friend it may help him to better understand how NICS works.

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nic.../nics-overview

As always, Have A Jolly Good Day!
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Old March 29, 2012, 09:29 PM   #6
Tom Servo
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Quote:
If I'm not mistaken the gun shop will transfer the gun to their books, then transfer it to the buyer. But I might have just made that up. Expect to pay a small fee.
I do that all the time. The FFL can't just run a check: it has to be done for the purposes of a transfer. But, the situation you're describing qualifies.
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Old March 29, 2012, 09:51 PM   #7
Fishing_Cabin
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Tom,

You are correct. I may not have been absolutely clear earlier.

Have a chipper day!
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Old March 30, 2012, 11:56 AM   #8
hermannr
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What ever happened to honesty and charity? Is there some reason your friend does not trust the co-worker? Is there some particular reason you might suspect he is a not telling you the truth?

If your state's laws alow Face To Face, and you know the person is a resident of your state (for handguns anyway), why not ask the guy? Have you every been convicted of a felony, do you have a Domestic violence conviction, restraining order, or have you ever been involuntarilly committed to a MH?

The co-worker answers "no", you sell them the firearm...your duty has been completed. To request a federal check says you don't trust the persons word, a waste of everyone's time and money...and at least for me, I would not look on that kindly.

Most of the firearms I own I obtained before there ever was a "FFL". What an insult to question the purchasers integrity like that.
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Old March 30, 2012, 12:45 PM   #9
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I'd skip the FFL involvement as well, if it's otherwise legal to do so. If you're concerned, it might not be a bad idea to have the buyer sign a bill of sale. That way, if the gun is ever used for nefarious purposes and a trace comes back to you, you can at least say "Nope, I sold it on this date to this person - here's the paperwork."
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Old March 30, 2012, 12:59 PM   #10
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If the buyer has a concealed carry license, pistol purchase permit, FOID card, or other government-issued firearms license/permit you can feel pretty safe about his background since all states that I'm aware of do a background check before issuance of such a permit/license.

Of course, depending on the state, absence of such a permit/license does not necessarily mean that the buyer cannot legally purchase a handgun. Per federal law, your friend is only prohibited from selling the gun to someone he has reason to believe could not legally posess it and thus has no legal duty to have a background check run on the buyer, though state and local law may vary. If, however, your friend simply doesn't know the buyer that well and would feel more comfortable knowing that the buyer had passed a background check, there's nothing wrong with that either. As has been pointed out, most FFL's will transfer the gun for a small fee.
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Old March 30, 2012, 08:12 PM   #11
BarryLee
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Quote:
Is there some reason your friend does not trust the co-worker?
Yes, I did not include all the details, but figured someone might ask. My buddy posted the gun on a bulletin board at his office and one of his co-workers has a friend that wants to buy the gun. My buddy has never met the friend and when they talked on the phone the guy agreed very quickly to pay full asking price for a used gun. He expected the guy to barter a little and was willing to come off as much as $75 to $100.

So, this guy he does not know agreed to basically pay new gun price for a used gun, so he is wondering why. Now, maybe the guy just doesn’t know any better or maybe there is some reason he cannot buy a new gun. Either way he is considering the check along with a bill of sale.
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Old March 30, 2012, 11:12 PM   #12
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BarryLee, I hope you realize that the law does not require a private seller (where face-to-face sales are allowed) to know beyond any doubt that the buyer is not a prohibited person. The law requires only that the seller NOT know (or have reason to believe) that the buyer IS a prohibited person.

That said, in the unlikely circumstance that I might be selling a firearm, if the buyer didn't have a carry permit or FOID I would pay the $50 or whatever to have an FFL handle the transfer just for my own peace of mind.
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Old March 31, 2012, 05:07 PM   #13
orangello
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No offense, but the FFL would be a deal breaker for me. I can pass the NCIS check and have bought many firearms from FFL's over the years. If i make an offer on a firearm as a private purchase, part of the price offered is the value to me of not having to sign a form or otherwise link myself to this firearm. I personally believe the form is an unconstitutional impairment of my 2nd amendment recognized right to bear arms. I realize some of you will consider me ignorant or backwards for this opinion; i won't hod that against you.

There is a VZ-58 rifle that i am considering purchasing from an individual. His price is a bit higher than i would pay at a FFL/shop. If i decide to buy it, it will be with the understanding that he will swap firearm for cash, no warranty expected and no bill of sale required. If he wants to go through an FFL, that would knock the price down maybe $100 + the cost of the FFL transfer.

I should mention that my best shooting buddy is good friends with the potential seller and that the potential seller knows of other firearms i have purchased new at a FFL.
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Old March 31, 2012, 05:28 PM   #14
Aguila Blanca
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Originally Posted by Orangello
No offense, but the FFL would be a deal breaker for me.
I agree completely. I have no intention of breaking any laws, but I also see nothing to be gained by creating a paper trail where the law does not require one.
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Old April 1, 2012, 03:01 PM   #15
Webleymkv
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Were I the buyer, I personally wouldn't have a problem with going through an FFL so long as it did not add a substantial cost to the purchase. The NICS check does not provide the gov't with any information about the gun being purchased beyond whether it's a handgun or long gun. Since I've bought handguns and long guns from FFL's before, the gov't already knows everything that they might learn from another NICS check on me.

Personally, I will not do a FTF sale with someone I don't know very, very well unless the buyer has an Indiana LTCH or, if I lived in another state, a carry license, purchase permit, FOID, or other such license/permit from that state. Because of this, it would be somewhat hippocritical of me to expect someone else to do a FTF sale with me unless I met the same criteria.

Likewise, I'm rather hesitant to buy a gun in a FTF transaction unless I know the seller rather well. The reason for this is because on several occasions I've been offered guns that I knew, or at least suspected, were illegally modified or stolen. In this case as well, the small fee that an FFL might charge is well worth the peace of mind that it brings me knowing that I've got a paper trail showing I'm on the up and up.
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Old April 1, 2012, 06:09 PM   #16
BarryLee
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UPDATE:

Ok, so my buddy called the potential buyer yesterday and discussed the possibility of doing a formal transfer through a FFL holder. The guy said that although he understood the motivation he would prefer not to go through a formal transfer process and declined to buy the gun.

So, interesting not sure if the buyer just didn’t want the hassle or if maybe there was a reason for concern.
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Old April 1, 2012, 06:28 PM   #17
cslinger
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If I were to guess guy was probably legit and legal but didn't want to have his purchase on the books so to speak. A great deal of folks who buy used / face to face do so to stay off big daddy government's various lists etc. even though they could legally buy / pass a NICS check.
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Old April 1, 2012, 09:15 PM   #18
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While I do understand the whole "staying off the books" aspect, a part of me wonders what the potential buyer has to fear?

I for one would not let such a small thing be an issue. Perhaps I am missing my tin foil hat today.
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Old April 2, 2012, 12:04 PM   #19
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Quote:
what the potential buyer has to fear?
Being in another federal (and/or state) data base as one of those evil gun owners.
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Old April 2, 2012, 04:03 PM   #20
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brickeyee
Quote:
what the potential buyer has to fear?
Being in another federal (and/or state) data base as one of those evil gun owners.
^^^ Precisely.
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Old April 2, 2012, 04:49 PM   #21
Fishing_Cabin
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Being in another federal (and/or state) data base as one of those evil gun owners.
This is a non-issue to myself. I am sure I am not alone either, or else many FFL dealers would be out of business. To each their own.
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Old April 3, 2012, 11:30 AM   #22
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Just curiosity, but someone had mentioned running the sale through an FFL just in case the firearm had been illegally altered or was stolen; how would running the transaction through an FFL help that other than providing the authorities with an alternate suspect should the problem with the firearm be discovered by the authorities?

I mean, the FFL is only running a background check on the buyer, not the firearm, right? It is my understanding (after some really bland emails to/from the state AG and the batf) that only a LEO can run the firearm's numbers to see if it is stolen. The agent at batf recommended buying through an FFL in his email.

So, would the FFL simply document that the firearm was transferred, without inspection, from the buyer to the seller? Wouldn't a signed bill of sale do the same, as far as preventing purchase of a stolen/modified firearm? It seems to me the only thing the FFL check does is cost money, document a transfer, and insure that the buyer is not federally unfit to purchase a firearm at a FFL (and give some buyers an excuse to pass).

Each to his/her/its own.
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Old April 3, 2012, 04:04 PM   #23
brickeyee
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I am sure I am not alone either, or else many FFL dealers would be out of business.
You chose to get an FFL.

There are a hell of a lot more gun owners than FFLs.

I choose to keep my firearm 'signature' as limited as possible.

I am in data bases for every agency that granted me a TS/SCI clearance.
Since the day I turned 18.

They have enough on me without my allowing them to capture more.
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Old April 3, 2012, 06:13 PM   #24
dogtown tom
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orangello ..... how would running the transaction through an FFL help that other than providing the authorities with an alternate suspect should the problem with the firearm be discovered by the authorities? I mean, the FFL is only running a background check on the buyer, not the firearm, right? It is my understanding (after some really bland emails to/from the state AG and the batf) that only a LEO can run the firearm's numbers to see if it is stolen.
FFL's can only run a background check on the buyer. We do not have access to the NCIC to check if a gun was stolen. Access to NCIC is limited to LEO on official business.

Quote:
The agent at batf recommended buying through an FFL in his email.
Of course he would. ATF would love for every gun transaction to come under their regulation.

Quote:
So, would the FFL simply document that the firearm was transferred, without inspection, from the buyer to the seller?
It would insulate the seller from responsibility. The dealer would have the buyer complete a 4473 and NICS.


Quote:
Wouldn't a signed bill of sale do the same, as far as preventing purchase of a stolen/modified firearm?
Nope. A bill of sale is worth the paper its printed on and who knows if the seller uses fake ID.

Quote:
It seems to me the only thing the FFL check does is cost money, document a transfer, and insure that the buyer is not federally unfit to purchase a firearm at a FFL (and give some buyers an excuse to pass).
For some sellers thats exactly why they want to run the sale through a dealer. Thats their option....but they should make this clear when they list the item for sale.
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Old April 3, 2012, 06:31 PM   #25
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I am a legal gun owner and have my CCW . But if I was going to buy from a private person and not a LGS or pawn shop I would not want to do a FFL (seeing how in Oklahoma it is not required) unless that type of weapon required it. Does it make me shady? I say no. And if you don't trust the person you are selling it to then maybe you should not be selling it at all. Why give more to the gubermint than what they already have?
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