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Old November 21, 2012, 09:24 AM   #1
leadchucker
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Paper Trail (or lack thereof). What's it worth?

Situation one: You buy a used gun at the LGS, you fill out the 4473, the record of the transaction goes in the FFL's bound book. Now there is a traceable record that you have that gun.

Situation two: You buy the same used gun off a table at a gun show, you pay your money, you walk away with the gun. Other than what the guy who sold it to you might remember, there is no record that you have that gun.

Which would you prefer? And if you don't mind saying, why? Would you pay a slight bit more for one or the other? Would you expect any difference in price between the two sales? Lets disregard sales tax and NICS charges for the sake of this discussion.

Last edited by leadchucker; November 21, 2012 at 02:38 PM.
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Old November 21, 2012, 09:40 AM   #2
Crow Hunter
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I could care less either way.

If it comes to the point that they are seizing bound books and going house to house looking for guns, I won't be there.
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Old November 21, 2012, 09:41 AM   #3
22-rimfire
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I have no problem with the 4473. I do document if the form was completed for the sale or purchase in my records, but that is as far as it goes.

No, I would not pay extra for a face to face sale. In fact, it is the opposite. The price is based on our negotiations and has nothing to do with papers or not.
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Old November 21, 2012, 10:09 AM   #4
evilleprichaun
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for the most part i dont care who its from ive gotten mine both ways, however the only time i might prefer one over the other is if your buying a HD gun or a carry gun, i like to get them from a ffl dealer , it just might look better to a jurry or people who want more strict gun laws, it looks better to say yea i just went to bass pro and got this shotgun and filled out the forms vs. yea some guy down the street sold it to me. regardless if its legal or not theyre gana look for any reason to say youre a trigger happy crazy
also i dont think i would pay more for either method
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Old November 21, 2012, 10:23 AM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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I can't imagine buying a gun without getting a receipt. Why would I not want one and what kind of seller wouldn't offer one?
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Old November 21, 2012, 11:12 AM   #6
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Some people put a lot of stock in "unregistered" () weapons. I.E. one's that they bought used without a background check and are selling under the same parameters.

4473 is not registration, it's a background check.

I have weapons that I purchased and filled out paperwork for. I have a few that I did not. I don't value them any differently.
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Old November 21, 2012, 11:55 AM   #7
Don P
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The only thing I see that could be problematic is, what's your recourse if the gun off the table is "hot/stolen"??????
The only way I buy without paper is from some one I know well enough to trust.
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Old November 21, 2012, 12:10 PM   #8
Metal god
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Quote:
4473 is not registration, it's a background check.
I'm in CA but I assume the 4473 is federal back ground . If it's the same paper work we do here in CA also known as DROS . The store can't start the background check till it has a serial # for the gun . I'm not sure if that at the same time registers the firearm or not . There is for sure paper work at the state and I believe the federal level showing the exact gun I bought . For the most part I don't reaaly care if the gun is known to the state to be mine .
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Old November 21, 2012, 12:20 PM   #9
Don P
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Quote:
I'm in CA but I assume the 4473 is federal back ground
the 4473 is the paperwork that has to be filled out when purchasing a firearm from a FFL dealer.
Here at www.atf.gov will answer all you thoughts and questions as to what the 4473 form is.
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Old November 21, 2012, 12:28 PM   #10
sigcurious
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Metalgod, You're filling out two separate sets of paperwork. A 4473 and the DROS(the one you put your thumbprint on). They just hand it all to you at the same time usually.
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Old November 21, 2012, 01:45 PM   #11
Tom Servo
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4473 is not registration, it's a background check.
It's often not even that. The primary purpose of a 4473 is for an FFL to show he's staying in compliance with the law. As a record-keeping scheme, it's full of potential holes.

Would I want a receipt to show who I got a gun from? Yes, but that's about it.
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Old November 21, 2012, 02:37 PM   #12
scottd913
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i get a receipt even if it is hand written,and in Texas theres no finger print at least as far as i remember! and no it don't matter.
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Old November 21, 2012, 06:56 PM   #13
Walter
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Times have changed since I started buying guns. In the 1970s in North Texas, there were two major gun shows a year. One in Dallas, and one in Ft. Worth.
No dealers were allowed to sell at gun shows. http://civilliberty.about.com/od/gun.../Gun-Shows.htm

When a gun was bought or sold, there was no Federal form to fill out, and very few, if any, people asked for receipts. It was, for the most part, cash only, no questions asked. I don't know if that way was better or worse, but that's the way it was.

Seems like "good" deals were a little more common back then, but maybe that's just "good old days" syndrome. Of course new guns were almost unseen at gun shows, because there were no licensed dealers there selling or buying.

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Old November 21, 2012, 09:18 PM   #14
PH/CIB
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If I were a Fed, and the Govt. was planning through law change or martial law to take everyone's guns away,,,besides getting the paperwork from the FFL dealers, that is from the FFL Dealers who did not have a fire or their records stolen, I would monitor Gun Forums on the Internet such as this one and through technology maybe the IP Address I would know who probably owned firearms and where they lived.

I suppose to be really safe, one would have to have all their firearms not registered, never talk to anyone or let anyone know you owned firearms, forget about concealed carry at least legally, and never shoot your firearms unless you own a lot of land where no one would hear the gunshots a suppressor would be great for this but obviously not a possibility legally, join every anti gun group you can and become a vocal advocate of gun control,,,in other words a smoke screen the exact opposite of what you really are.

Call me crazy but I prefer paperwork on all my firearms coming and going to make sure they are legal when I buy them and to make sure if they are used illegally after I sell them that the paper trail does not end with me.
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Old November 22, 2012, 03:17 PM   #15
TheNatureBoy
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When I purchase a firearm I prefer all things be done legally and by the book. If I understand the last question, no I would not pay more for the transaction to be done legally and don't expect any differenced what so ever in the price.
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Old November 22, 2012, 03:19 PM   #16
tomrkba
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It only matters if you have never purchased a firearm from an FFL. If you have purchased one, then they know you have at least one gun.

We know they are violating Federal law and are retaining records past 90 days when some north east police chief stated he had called the feds to track down a handgun that had been out of production for a few years.

The better path is to get involved with the firearms lobby and do more than pay membership dues. They need help at the grassroots level. Go out of your way to train young shooters, take them hunting, and coach them in competition. You know the drill.

Quote:
When I purchase a firearm I prefer all things be done legally and by the book. If I understand the last question, no I would not pay more for the transaction to be done legally and don't expect any differenced what so ever in the price.
The acquiring, use and disposal of property is a right in most states. In my state, I can buy and sell guns as I see fit and need no paperwork to do so. This is liberty and how the system should be. Citizens of other states may not be so lucky.

Last edited by tomrkba; November 22, 2012 at 03:25 PM.
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Old November 22, 2012, 06:53 PM   #17
Fishing_Cabin
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We know they are violating Federal law and are retaining records past 90 days when some north east police chief stated he had called the feds to track down a handgun that had been out of production for a few years.

Umm... 90 days? The 4473 is required to be kept for 20 years by the FFL if the transfer is completed, less otherwise, or forwarded in to the ATF storehouse in WV for the remainder of the time if the FFL goes out of business before 20 years since the sale.

Since it is a requirement of federal law, how is it a violation of federal law by your standards?

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/brady-law.html

Quote:
Q: Do FFLs have to keep a copy of ATF Form 4473 if the transaction is denied or for some other reason is not completed?
FFLs must keep a copy of each ATF Form 4473 for which a NICS check has been initiated, regardless of whether the transfer of the firearm was made. If the transfer is not made, the FFL must keep the Form 4473 for 5 years after the date of the NICS inquiry. If the transfer is made, the FFL must keep the Form 4473 for 20 years after the date of the sale or disposition. Forms 4473 with respect to a transfer that did not take place must be separately maintained.

[27 CFR 478.129(b)]
Always love to learn new info, but the 90 days is a new one on me....
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Old November 22, 2012, 06:59 PM   #18
Tom Servo
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Always love to learn new info, but the 90 days is a new one on me.
Me too. There's been a gun shop at the physical location of mine for almost 30 years. The old ownership is long gone, but I'll still get the occasional trace request for something from years ago.

Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers still have to retain records for tracing purposes. The 90-day thing might be a reference to persistent NICS data, but that gets purged within 24 hours of resolution.
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Old November 22, 2012, 07:18 PM   #19
22-rimfire
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...persistent NICS data, but that gets purged within 24 hours of resolution.
Correction...."supposed" to be purged...

The 4473 is a signed and witnessed affidavit stating you are who you say you are and you meet the pre-conditions for the purchase of a firearm. Lying is punishable by law.
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Old November 22, 2012, 08:29 PM   #20
Tom Servo
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Correction...."supposed" to be purged.
If you've got proof otherwise, a lot of people would like to see it.

As it is, that was always a concern, but the system's been around almost 20 years. There have been no credible allegations that anything inappropriate is being done with the data.
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Old November 23, 2012, 08:01 AM   #21
Hal
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You can purge data from an active database.
That doesn't mean the data is purged from any of the backups that are done of the database.
Matter of fact, since purging data from a backup defeats the purpose of doing a backup, then it's very plausible to believe every entry ever made in NICS is still able to be retrieved - provided the right backups of the data are available.
Which is a catch 22..
The "right" backups would be 100% consistent with best practices.

FWIW - I spent from 1993 until August of last year when I retired as a network engineer and database administrator.
The latter ten years of my career were mostly devoted to database administration./database retrieval.
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Old November 23, 2012, 08:48 AM   #22
johnbt
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"I can't imagine buying a gun without getting a receipt. Why would I not want one and what kind of seller wouldn't offer one?"

Speaking of private sales, I've never heard of a receipt being used by any of my friends or relatives during the past 50 or 60 years. (I'm 62.)
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Old November 23, 2012, 09:20 AM   #23
Webleymkv
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Lets stop and think about a few things for a moment. If you listen to what the dealer says when he/she calls in the NICS check, the only information that they give about the firearm itself is whether its a long gun or handgun, that's it. The identifying information such as make, model, caliber, and serial number is only recorded on the 4473 which, as has been pointed out, is retained by the dealer until 20 years has passed or he/she no longer has an FFL, whichever comes first.

Now, on the extremely remote chance that there is somehow a Feinstein "turn them all in Mr. and Mrs. America" total ban (the chances of which are almost nill in light of Heller and McDonald), the only way that the gov't has to know exactly what guns you have is to track down all of the 4473's you've filled out. That would be an extremely difficult task to do for even one person if said person had bought multiple guns from multiple FFL's (I myself have bought guns from at least 8 FFL's that I can think of right off the top of my head) and, if the person has been buying guns for over 20 years not all of those 4473's may even still be in existence. Also, because private-party sales are legal in most states, there is no guarantee that the person will still have all, or even any, of the guns listed on the 4473's.

Now, as difficult as using 4473's as a registration for one person would be, it would be just about impossible for the millions of Americans who've filled them out. The more likely way that some sort of nightmare confiscation scheme would be executed would be to simply show up and search the home of everyone who's ever had a NICS check run or, more likely, just go house-to-house and search everyone's home whether they're known to own a gun or not.

Of course, if we should ever get to the point that the jack-booted thugs are knocking down doors to take away the guns (which as I said before is extremely unlikely), we probably have bigger problems than whether or not our names are in a database somewhere.
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Old November 23, 2012, 09:41 AM   #24
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal
You can purge data from an active database.
That doesn't mean the data is purged from any of the backups that are done of the database.
Matter of fact, since purging data from a backup defeats the purpose of doing a backup, then it's very plausible to believe every entry ever made in NICS is still able to be retrieved - provided the right backups of the data are available.
Which is a catch 22..
The "right" backups would be 100% consistent with best practices.

FWIW - I spent from 1993 until August of last year when I retired as a network engineer and database administrator.
The latter ten years of my career were mostly devoted to database administration./database retrieval.
The assumption being that you would bother backing up a database that's supposed to be erased every 24 hours.

Maybe they do, but where's the evidence?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnbt
Speaking of private sales, I've never heard of a receipt being used by any of my friends or relatives during the past 50 or 60 years. (I'm 62.)
Interesting. If I were buying from close friends or family, I wouldn't be too concerned about a receipt but from perfect strangers? No thanks. There's no reason to NOT get a receipt, there's plausible reasons TO get one and there's NO plausible reason to deny one.

I consider it a legitimacy check. I'm not asking for ID or notarized paperwork or proof of ownership or anything silly. I want a piece of paper that says "Brian Pfleuger bought Ruger MkII Serial XYZ123 from John Doe on Nov. 21st, 2012. Signed by John Doe and Brian Pfleuger"

Denying that request would be highly suspicious.
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Old November 23, 2012, 09:50 AM   #25
mitchntx
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For states that allow private sales, I really can't see any benefit to a Bill of Sale.

A BoS requires corroboration otherwise its just a piece of paper with scribbling. If the second party is a criminal, that's not a lot to rely on.

Another point is if I sign a BoS and the transaction is legit ... who cares?

If I give a BoS to a criminal, then I've given a bad man my name and other personal information along with knowledge that I have disposable income and at least one gun.

No thanks. I've passed on reasonable deals because a BoS was required.
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