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Old August 28, 2012, 12:59 PM   #1
Mercenary
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Should You Register Your Handguns?

I recently purchased a handgun from a LEO and it was a private sale. Should I go to my LGS to have the gun registered in my name? I do plan on carring the gun.

I ask this because not too long ago, I was given a handgun and was going to trade it to a guy for a rifle. The guy called in the SN on the pistol and it came back stolen so the police had to confiscate the weapon. Everything got worked out and my name was cleared but now I'm SOL as it relates to the gun.

What do you all think?
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Old August 28, 2012, 01:02 PM   #2
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Last I heard there is no registration in NC. Stolen guns do pop up from time to time. There is no way I would "register" a gun unless I was required by law to do so.
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Old August 28, 2012, 01:08 PM   #3
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Agreed.

Just make sure you get good ID from the seller. If anything looks fishy, no matter how good the deal, take a walk.

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Old August 28, 2012, 02:15 PM   #4
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So if God forbid I had to use it and they run the SN and find it registered to a LEO and not me, I should be ok in that aspect? Or would there be repercussions for the gun not being in my name?
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Old August 28, 2012, 02:26 PM   #5
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Would your large gun store (lgs) 'register' it? They didn't sell it to you... just asking 'cause I'm unclear as to why you would take it to them.
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Old August 28, 2012, 02:30 PM   #6
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Are you sure you have to register guns where you live? They may not even have a registration process.
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Old August 28, 2012, 02:44 PM   #7
marine6680
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There are only a few places that require "registration" those tend to be very anti-gun areas.

As long as you have a bill of sale from the person you bought it from, you are fine.

The bill of sale is key. If you are careful about who and how you purchase, you shouldn't have to worry about a "stolen" gun getting into your possession, but the BOS will save your rear should it happen. Their may be the occasional A** hat that would sell a gun and not give a bill of sale, then report it stolen, as a bit of a scam to keep the gun and the money. Not much sense to do that in an area without mandatory registration though.
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Old August 28, 2012, 02:44 PM   #8
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The process varies state to state. Actual "registration" is not allowed. Here in Michigan, their workaround is a "permit to purchase". If you live in a state that does not require any interaction from your local government in regards to a private handgun purchase, just print up a good bill of sale and be sure to note the serial number and the seller's ID. I even go a step further and note the seller's drivers license number on the bill of sale. If anything arises later, you'll have proof of whom the pistol was purchased from as well as the date.

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Old August 28, 2012, 03:10 PM   #9
481
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Um, what guns?
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Old August 28, 2012, 03:15 PM   #10
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The less the gov't knows about your guns the better.

Guns kill people after all. Some day your gov't might try to save you from your evil guns.
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Old August 28, 2012, 03:18 PM   #11
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There is no such thing as gun registration in North Carolina (the exception being military bases, for which see the Provost Marshall for their regulations if it applies to you). he has to keep a copy of your purchase paperwork though. In NC, the burden of proof concerning a sale (even private) is on the seller.

if said gun were used in a crime or stolen, they can trace it to a gunshop which will retain the original sale paperwork, linking it to the original owner. He would then have to produce documentation (your handgun/crossbow purchase permit from the County Sheriff's Office or copy of your North Carolina CCP) showing that he conducted a legal private sale of the gun. As far as you're concerned though, you don't need any documentation.

*EDIT*
The other way to do this in NC is to go to a licensed firearms dealer, where he will transfer the gun to them, and they will transfer it to you and retain the paperwork. Usually they'll charge $10-$15 for this (you pay him whatever you agreed on), but in the end, he won't have to keep track of the paperwork.

This applies to handguns and crossbows. There isn't any state paperwork required for the transfer of long guns (within federal tax stamp limits) or shotguns.

Last edited by insomni; August 28, 2012 at 03:43 PM.
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Old August 28, 2012, 03:41 PM   #12
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Mercenary,

You're aware that filling out the DOJ Form 4473 when buying a gun at a dealer does NOT officially* register it, right?

If you're aware of this, good for you- no offense intended. I ask this because many "how do I register my gun" threads are rooted in misunderstandings about the nature and purpose of the Form 4473. It is nominally intended for FFL record-keeping, NOT for any type of official registration.*

*YMMV depending on the tightness of your tinfoil hat.
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Old August 28, 2012, 03:58 PM   #13
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Not unless it is required by law,,,

Not unless it is required by law.

That's not a tin-foil hat type of statement at all,,,
I simply can't see any advantage to me as owner to registering a gun.

I have pictures of them showing the serial number to prove ownership,,,
I also have (except for a few family heirlooms) the purchase receipt or bill of sale.

Registering them for proof of ownership is simply not necessary,,,
And in some states where they do not require it,,,
They have no mechanism to register it.

Can anyone tell me a benefit to registering a handgun if it is not required?

Aarond

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Old August 28, 2012, 04:05 PM   #14
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Play by the rules of your particular state. But a bill of sale is sufficient to prove that private sale gun is now legally yours.

Guns get sold and resold and resold no telling how many times. There's no way to track the times a particular gun changes hands over the course of its lifetime.
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Old August 28, 2012, 05:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
The other way to do this in NC is to go to a licensed firearms dealer, where he will transfer the gun to them, and they will transfer it to you and retain the paperwork.
Thanks insomni, that answered my question.
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Old August 28, 2012, 05:59 PM   #16
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Get a receipt.

I never purchase anything from anybody w/o a receipt, if for nothing else than insurance purposes.

And when I sell somebody something, I give them a signed receipt, and they give ME one showing they received it, with their signature.
  • It has the s/n on it whether I am selling or buying.

You can buy a really nice book of receipts with a carbon backer (for the other guy) for less than $7 at an office supply store.

Never had a problem!
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Old August 28, 2012, 06:09 PM   #17
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Should You Register Your Handguns?

Sure,

All my guns are sighted in.

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Old August 28, 2012, 07:27 PM   #18
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There is no reason to register your gun in my opinion. If it isn't required by law, I'd get a receipt from the seller if it makes you feel better and stop there.
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Old August 28, 2012, 07:41 PM   #19
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I'm a retired LEO. I likely bought and sold a couple of hundreds of guns over the years. One buyer wanted a Bill of Sale which I gave him. I've checked every gun I ever owned and none were REPORTED stolen. Now, I worked hundreds of burglaries and thefts. I've listed guns as being stolen hundreds of times. My guess is that for every 15 to 20 guns stolen one had a serial number recorded by the person making the report. Very few stolen guns are recovered and returned to the legal owner. I record mine just in case. Have I ever bought a stolen gun? Could be but it wasn't reported stolen.
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Old August 28, 2012, 07:43 PM   #20
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Yeah go to your LGS at least 45 min before close so they have enough time to laught their butts off and take your ffl transfer fee. Bring ear muffs, after the first 10 min it'll be pretty annoying.

If you're worried about stolen guns I'm sure local PD can run the SN.
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Old August 28, 2012, 09:26 PM   #21
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Not sure about NC but where I live, private transactions do not require a bill of sale. The seller is obligated to not sell to someone not legally allowed to own a gun, but that generally entails seeing some ID that proves they are residents of the same state and that they are over the age of 21.

If later you are in a legitimate self defense situation, I doubt they will ask how you acquired your weapon unless it does turn out to have been reported stolen.

I don't think there is any sort of procedure to "register" a gun. If you ask the police to run a serial number to check if it's stolen, be prepared to surrender the weapon to them if it is and give them a detailed report about how it came into your possession.

Last edited by JC57; August 28, 2012 at 10:51 PM.
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Old August 28, 2012, 10:31 PM   #22
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I've called serial numbers in to the local law enforcement agency before buying a used gun from someone I didn't know. Haven't had any turn up as stolen, but I guess they'd be interested in knowing where it was if it did turn out to be on the list. I've done this before buying, so if it showed on the NCIC list, it wasn't money out of my pocket.

I really didn't want to find out the hard way halfway across the country some time while travelling if it was on the list, and have a lot of explaining to do. Canadian border crossings would have been interesting with a stolen gun (though that would be long guns).
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Old August 28, 2012, 10:41 PM   #23
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Pretty sure you couldn't register it if you wanted to. It is only done in a very few places and to the best of my knowledge NC is not one of those places. Just have a bill of sale signed by the person you bought it from.
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Old August 28, 2012, 10:45 PM   #24
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Don't be intimidated by the myth of gun "registration" If it isn't required in your state then there is nothing you need to do.

Quote:
Should I go to my LGS to have the gun registered in my name?
I think that you, like many, are confusing the Form 4473 that is filled out when you purchase a firearm from a FFL dealer with registration.

You might want to contact the LEO you bought it from and get him to sign a bill of sale of some sort. Just a hand written one listing the ser. number, make, etc. might be helpful if you are ever asked to prove ownership.
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Old August 28, 2012, 11:15 PM   #25
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In my neck of the cornfield, the city of Omaha requires registration unless you have a CCW permit. Everywhere else in Nebraska does not require you to register.
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