The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > General Discussion Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old September 21, 2012, 06:19 PM   #1
9mm1033
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2005
Location: A big city with far too many cars and people.
Posts: 932
Is a gun actually in your name when purchased?

I thought when you purchased a gun at a gun store, when you leave that specific gun was registered in your name, street address, state, etc. Because during a visit to a LGS, I was told by two employees, when you buy a gun from them (LGS) a background check is required by law and it's recorded in their store files as they sold a firearm. But, your name is not actually connected to that specific gun you just bought.

Example:

A Glock 17 is sold to James J Jones, 1234 Main St., Anywhere, USA. But, gun store records/federal records do not indicate that specific Glock 17, serial #56789 being registered to a James J. Jones, just simply sold and left the store on Sept. 21, 2012. If that's true, how does LE trace a firearm used in crime back to an individual by running a trace on the gun serial number? If the serial number is traced to Big Bob's Gun Store, how can Big Bob tell LE who purchased the gun by name, address, etc? What am I missing?
__________________
No one reads or cares what is written in ones signature box. So I'm not writing anything worth reading or remembering.
9mm1033 is offline  
Old September 21, 2012, 06:39 PM   #2
Frank Ettin
Staff
 
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 6,837
A number of States actually register the gun (usually only if it's a handgun) to the buyer. Otherwise, there is no actual registration on a national level.

However, if you buy a gun from an FFL, you will fill out a form 4473. That form includes information on the identity of the buyer and on the gun, including type, make, model and serial number. The FFL is required to maintain that form on file, and make it available to the ATF upon request.
__________________
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
Frank Ettin is offline  
Old September 22, 2012, 03:09 AM   #3
ballardw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 19, 2008
Posts: 350
And you really don't want to get caught in a lie on the form!
__________________
-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
All data is flawed, some just less so.
ballardw is offline  
Old September 22, 2012, 07:21 AM   #4
Tom Servo
Staff
 
Join Date: September 27, 2008
Location: Foothills of the Appalachians
Posts: 10,518
Quote:
A Glock 17 is sold to James J Jones, 1234 Main St., Anywhere, USA. But, gun store records/federal records do not indicate that specific Glock 17, serial #56789 being registered to a James J. Jones, just simply sold and left the store on Sept. 21, 2012.
You may be confusing the information given during the NICS check with the information recorded on the 4473.

During the check, your personal information is verified, and the operator is told whether the purchase is for a handgun, rifle, or "other firearm." No make, model, or serial number is given.

However, the information is on the form, and that is retained in the dealer's records.
__________________
Sometimes it’s nice not to destroy the world for a change.
--Randall Munroe
Tom Servo is offline  
Old September 22, 2012, 01:10 PM   #5
jasmith85
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 6, 2012
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 365
Quote:
You may be confusing the information given during the NICS check with the information recorded on the 4473.

During the check, your personal information is verified, and the operator is told whether the purchase is for a handgun, rifle, or "other firearm." No make, model, or serial number is given.

However, the information is on the form, and that is retained in the dealer's records.
It may have been Wal-Mart only or maybe its a state thing but back when I worked at Wal-Mart the terminal we ran the information through actually did ask for the gun make and serial number as well as the customer's information.
jasmith85 is offline  
Old September 22, 2012, 01:13 PM   #6
MLeake
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: Outside KC, MO
Posts: 10,128
I would bet that was a WalMart stocking / inventory management issue.
MLeake is offline  
Old September 24, 2012, 04:04 PM   #7
Skans
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2008
Posts: 7,981
If you think that BATFE cannot track you down by the 4473, you're wrong....sort of. Here's the deal. This is how ATF found me! Some time around early '90's I received a notification saying I needed to register my USAS-12 because it had been reclassified as a Destructive Device. ATF can use the 4473's to contact (or have the dealer contact) purchasers. If the original owner no longer has the gun, they will just keep going down the line of purchasers. Now, if there was a private FTF sale, then the notification might stop at the last person to buy the gun from a dealer.
Skans is offline  
Old September 25, 2012, 07:15 PM   #8
stumper1300
Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2012
Posts: 51
Basically the feds can track the original purchaser of the gun by contacting the lgs and having them retrieve the info from the form. I wouldn't call it a registration as much as its more of a bill of sale.
stumper1300 is offline  
Old September 25, 2012, 10:06 PM   #9
Nickel Plated
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 17, 2010
Location: Brooklyn, NYC
Posts: 547
Quote:
A Glock 17 is sold to James J Jones, 1234 Main St., Anywhere, USA. But, gun store records/federal records do not indicate that specific Glock 17, serial #56789 being registered to a James J. Jones, just simply sold and left the store on Sept. 21, 2012. If that's true, how does LE trace a firearm used in crime back to an individual by running a trace on the gun serial number? If the serial number is traced to Big Bob's Gun Store, how can Big Bob tell LE who purchased the gun by name, address, etc? What am I missing?
When you fill out the 4473 at a shop. The gun's make and serial number is recorded on that. When the FFL calls it in to NICS he only really needs to tell them if it's a long gun, handgun, or other (bare recievers for example) simply because different rules apply to long guns vs. handguns. Beyond that FBI doesn't care whether it's a Glock or a S&W
Either way him calling it in is only to see wether you can buy the gun at the time. The info from that call is supposed to be deleted from NICS records after 72(?) hours.

However the 4473 which contains the model and serial # and specifically ties it to you stays at the shop for (I think) 20 years, after which the FFL can destroy it. Unless the shop closes in which case any 4473s that are less than 20yrs old are turned over to the ATF.

The way the cops find you if anything hoppens is this:

1) Find gun at crime scene, note the make, model, and serial #
2) Call up the manufacturer " Hey we got this Glock 17 here serial #56789, what can you tell us?"
3) Manufacturer digs through their records "Yeah we sent that one out to Guns R Us Distributing, call them"
4) Cops call the distributor "Got this Glock here, what can you tell us about it?"
5) Distributor checks their records "Sent it to Bubba Joe's gun shop in Middleofnowhere, TN, call them"
6) Cops call Bubba Joes gun shop "Hey got this Glock here, what can you tell us?"
7) Bubba Joe says "Yea sold it to Joe Shmoe living at this address call him"
8) Cops pay a visit to Joe Schmoe " Hey we got this Glock here and hear you were the original purchaser. Care to tell us how it ended up at a murder scene 2 states away?" at which point it's either:
-"Oh I sold it to so and so, talk to him" and the trail continues.
-"It was stolen, here's the police report. So catch the thief and talk to him"
-Or "YOU'LL NEVER GET ME ALIVE PIGS!!" mystery solved.

However there are many things that can break in this chain. If the manufacturer, distributor, or gun shop is out of business the LE is SOL. If the gun shop destroyed the 4473, the LE is SOL. If the owner sold the gun in a FTF transaction and didn't bother to keep records (because he doesn't have to) the LE is SOL. Among a plethora of other things that can break the trail.

So the 4473 and NICS check is not really a registration (or atleast not a good one) simply because it doesn't keep a complete record of everywhere that gun goes. This is ofcourse only federal. Some states have more strict systems that do (or try to) keep track of every step in the process.
But then, people who's guns tend to end up at crime scenes usually make it a point to avoid registering it.
Nickel Plated is offline  
Old September 27, 2012, 02:06 AM   #10
Redhawk5.5+P+
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2012
Location: NV
Posts: 743
#8

stumper1300

Quote:
Basically the feds can track the original purchaser of the gun by contacting the lgs and having them retrieve the info from the form. I wouldn't call it a registration as much as its more of a bill of sale.
Yes, this is what I understand, as long as the LGS keeps up with the FFL rules of keeping records. That's the FFLs obligation to keep a file of everything that come in and out of his FFL store. Right?

On a state or a county/city level you may be, by there laws, not federal, but local law to register your gun with them. As far as I know, if you don't, that doesn't and will lawfully by federal law not take your gun ownership away if you do not comply to there rules.

TBS, they can confiscate your gun and you need to get a good $$$$ lawyer to get it back, so don't mess!

It's sad but true, were you live, it dose make a huge difference.

Now, what was the question? Nap time-out.

Something about a 2nd (the) opinion.
Redhawk5.5+P+ is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08298 seconds with 7 queries