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View Poll Results: Do You Require a Bill of Sale for Private Transactions?
Yes 37 52.86%
No 33 47.14%
Voters: 70. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 12, 2012, 02:38 AM   #1
HisDudeness
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Bill Of Sale For Private Sales/Trades?

Alright, this is something that has been nagging at me for quite a while and I thought I would get some input from you all. How does everyone feel about filling out a bill of sale when conducting private gun sales or trades? From what I gather our obligation when selling or trading firearms privately is to make sure that the other party is:

- Of age
- A resident of the same state
- Not a "known" felon or prohibited possessor

Now the first two are pretty easily solved with a state issued photo id. Number three can be tricky. I usually let a simple question and answer settle this. Now if Bernie Madoff showed up in the wally world parking lot that would be a different story.

What bothers me to no end is when I show up and the other party is pretending to be an amateur FFL of sorts with paperwork to be filled out. I've had someone go so far as to ask me to fill in my full address...

If a bill of sale is not required, why do some feel it necessary to fill out?

edit: I've added a poll for those of you who are into that kind of thing...
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Old December 12, 2012, 07:13 AM   #2
Kreyzhorse
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If a bill of sale is not required, why do some feel it necessary to fill out?
Some do it as a cya measure but I think that some do it because they believe it is required to do so.

Personally, I've never done it or been asked to.
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Old December 12, 2012, 08:13 AM   #3
zincwarrior
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I would require it for legal purposes. Private sales are completely legal, but that does not absolve you of liability in any manner whatsoever.
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Old December 12, 2012, 08:41 AM   #4
mitchntx
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Quote:
I would require it for legal purposes. Private sales are completely legal, but that does not absolve you of liability in any manner whatsoever.
If it's not required by law, then it can't be illegal to not do it.

What liability concerns you post private sale?
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Old December 12, 2012, 08:47 AM   #5
AH.74
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Private sales are completely legal, but that does not absolve you of liability in any manner whatsoever.
Actually, it does. There is a break in the chain of custody/ownership- you cannot be held responsible for what someone does after the fact, especially if you operated under good faith and the buyer lied to you.

I have only done one private sale where we each showed the other our state ID, but if he had asked me to fill out paperwork or wanted to write or copy down my information, I would have walked.
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Old December 12, 2012, 09:24 AM   #6
Skans
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I've only sold a couple of guns FTF. One was an old SKS rifle; the other was a closed-bolt Mac 10. I looked at their licenses to verify age, but other than that I didn't do any kind of background check or have them sign anything. If the government wants me to check someone's background when I sell a gun, then they can make the NICS available for everyone, free online.
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Old December 12, 2012, 09:31 AM   #7
leadchucker
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In any firearm transaction, I want some reasonable assurance from a buyer/seller that he/she is a legal buyer/seller.

When buying a firearm, I prefer getting a bill of sale, but I don't necessarily demand it. Depends on the circumstances.

When selling, I'll give a bill of sale if the buyer wants it.

I don't record any information on who I sell a firearm to, unless there's a paper trail on the firearm to me.
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Old December 12, 2012, 09:39 AM   #8
hogdogs
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Not only do I not require one as buyer or seller, I prefer to keep such matters private on both ends... If I were sketchy with a buyer, I won't sell to them... If I am sketchy about a seller, I will not buy their item...

If asked about a gun I once owned, I simply, and honestly can say... "I sold that some time ago..."

Brent
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Old December 12, 2012, 10:18 AM   #9
Remington74
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Most guns I sell are at gunshops on consignment. If by chance I do a face to face and the buyer can't or won't produce an Id, I don't need to sell to him and he does not have to buy from me.

On the off chance that the gun is used down the road in an illegal manner and the police may come to my door inquiring about said gun, I want to be able not only to say I sold the gun but also to whom and when.

If that offends anyone, buy your gun somewhere else.
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Old December 12, 2012, 10:56 AM   #10
hogdogs
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Rem74, I totally respect that...

Brent
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Old December 12, 2012, 10:59 AM   #11
mitchntx
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Asking for ID to verify identity and residence is one thing.

Asking for a copy of it is something altogether different.

And without having personal information on a BOS makes the piece of paper nothing more than one with a name written on it.
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Old December 12, 2012, 11:19 AM   #12
Brian Pfleuger
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This seems to be a popular subject, it keeps popping up every few weeks...

Anyway, my requirements haven't changed. I would not provide nor would I request, photo or other ID.

I would require a receipt, something along the lines of:

Brian Pfleuger purchased Ruger M77 MkII rifle serial # 123245 from John Smith on December 92, 1423 for the amount of $83.19

Signed:
Brian Pfleuger
John Smith

That way, I can show that I bought the gun, I thought it was a legitimate transaction, he represented it as legit and I had no reason to suspect otherwise.

There's no downside and plenty of up.
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Old December 12, 2012, 02:04 PM   #13
shortwave
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Quote:
I would require a receipt, something along the lines of:

Brian Pfleuger purchased Ruger M77 MkII rifle serial # 123245 from John Smith on December 92, 1423 for the amount of $83.19

Signed:
Brian Pfleuger
John Smith

That way, I can show that I bought the gun, I thought it was a legitimate transaction, he represented it as legit and I had no reason to suspect otherwise.

There's no downside and plenty of up.
My sentiments exactly...only the highlighted names would be changed to protect the innocent.
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Old December 12, 2012, 02:44 PM   #14
jmr40
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I've bought/sold quite a few over the years. I've never bothered with a BOS for a private sale. But have asked to look at an ID a few times if I were not 100% certain of the buyers age or state of residence when selling a handgun.

I've also asked LE friends to check the SN to be certain a gun I've purchased was not stolen a couple of times.

Never had any issues.
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Old December 12, 2012, 03:39 PM   #15
HisDudeness
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I apologize if I brought up a "dead horse" topic. I live in a very gun friendly state (1st place according to the Brady folks) and it seems that this BOS situation is getting out of hand around here. As hogdogs put it I prefer to keep these things private.

Look, I understand that many of us come from places far less friendly to gun owners. This could explain some of the fear of the authorities. But when I see this start happening where I am from I start to get worried. What exactly are you protecting yourselves from if you've done nothing illegal in the first place?

If we give in and start generating a paper trail as the anti's would have it, doesn't that take us down the proverbial slippery slope?
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Old December 12, 2012, 03:41 PM   #16
Brian Pfleuger
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I couldn't care less if the place I live is gun friendly or not. It's not even a gun thing. I want a receipt for anything I buy that's expensive.
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Old December 12, 2012, 03:54 PM   #17
HisDudeness
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Mr. Pfleuger: I understand where you would request a receipt of sorts. My post was more in reference to those that say the BOS is to "protect them" from consequences in the future. I've been asked to fill out a form that included my driver's license number and my full address. This man was a complete stranger to me. I find this dangerous and offensive on some level.

Now if I was purchasing something particularly expensive I would make it a point to get to know the other party a little bit. I'm not talking best man at his wedding familiarity but maybe some range time with said weapon to get a feel for how trustworthy the individual, and the firearm, may be.
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Old December 12, 2012, 04:11 PM   #18
Brian Pfleuger
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I've been asked to fill out a form that included my driver's license number and my full address. This man was a complete stranger to me. I find this dangerous and offensive on some level.
I don't know about dangerous but it's certainly unnecessary. I wouldn't ask for it or do it if asked.

"Range time" is a bit extreme too, IMO. I've had people stop in my pizza shop trying to sell guns. I can't imagine telling them "Sure, let's head down to the range and try it out first!" and I can't imagine how I'd work that out for an advertised gun either.

My "getting to know them" would be ...
Ring... Ring...
"Hello?",
"Yes, I saw your ad for the Ruger 270 in the Pennysaver, do you still have it?"
"Yes, I do."
"Great, I'm really interested. Where can we meet so I can take a look?"

Every time I've ever done that, be it for a gun or any other item, the person has had me meet them at their house and invited me inside. Always seems very normal, every day sort of nonthreatening to me.

The people who show up with guns and need money are highly suspect. The guy who advertises and invites me to his house, is not.
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Old December 12, 2012, 04:11 PM   #19
zincwarrior
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Quote:
Quote:
I would require it for legal purposes. Private sales are completely legal, but that does not absolve you of liability in any manner whatsoever.

If it's not required by law, then it can't be illegal to not do it.

What liability concerns you post private sale?
Civil lawsuits.
If you sold a firearm to someone and have no proof and any due diligence, it could get legally very bloody. The moment you have to pay a lawyer you've already lost.
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Old December 12, 2012, 04:14 PM   #20
zincwarrior
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Quote:
Quote:
Private sales are completely legal, but that does not absolve you of liability in any manner whatsoever.

Actually, it does. There is a break in the chain of custody/ownership- you cannot be held responsible for what someone does after the fact, especially if you operated under good faith and the buyer lied to you.
Breaking the chain is something easily overcome, and is done so every day.

If you cdon't have proof you operated in good faith and the buyer lied to you, your argument doesn't have strength. If they actually signed something to that effect, you have a much stronger position.

Quote:
I have only done one private sale where we each showed the other our state ID, but if he had asked me to fill out paperwork or wanted to write or copy down my information, I would have walked.
Fine by me. I wouldn't sell a firearm privately without going through an FFL and paperwork. If the sell didn't go through I'd just sell it to a dealer or other commercial third party.
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Old December 12, 2012, 04:16 PM   #21
zincwarrior
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Most guns I sell are at gunshops on consignment. If by chance I do a face to face and the buyer can't or won't produce an Id, I don't need to sell to him and he does not have to buy from me.

On the off chance that the gun is used down the road in an illegal manner and the police may come to my door inquiring about said gun, I want to be able not only to say I sold the gun but also to whom and when.

If that offends anyone, buy your gun somewhere else.
This too. Proof you actually sold said firearm.

Quote:
I couldn't care less if the place I live is gun friendly or not. It's not even a gun thing. I want a receipt for anything I buy that's expensive.
There's also an old contract maxim that contracts over a certain $ amount require writing. It used to be $500 in most jurisdicitions. That may have increased.
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Old December 12, 2012, 04:26 PM   #22
scottycoyote
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all my sales have been done thru armslist, i will ask the person what im required to in an email and once they answer in the affirmative i feel like ive got pretty much all i need (just keep the email). I once tried to use the downloabable bill of sale and the guy didnt want to fill it out, he showed me his dl and told me he could purchase a gun (showed me a gun he had with him in fact), so i did the deal and felt ok about it. I no longer try to get the bill of sale done.
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Old December 12, 2012, 04:28 PM   #23
HisDudeness
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Every time I've ever done that, be it for a gun or any other item, the person has had me meet them at their house and invited me inside. Always seems very normal, every day sort of nonthreatening to me.
This scenario would not likely play out where I come from. I live in a large and transient city where trust is at a premium. Most guns I trade/sell/purchase I find through an online classifieds. Kind of makes me want to move where you live...

Quote:
Civil lawsuits.
If you sold a firearm to someone and have no proof and any due diligence, it could get legally very bloody. The moment you have to pay a lawyer you've already lost.
What due diligence zincwarrior? Has anyone ever been successfully prosecuted for selling a gun to someone that turned out later (unbeknownst to them) to be a prohibited possessor? Should we start filling out paperwork when selling a vehicle to make sure that the purchaser is legally able to drive?

If we treat these tools as "evil" like so many erroneously believe they are, we are playing directly into the hands of those that would restrict their trade immensely. Due diligence doesn't involve a paper trail and you are not legally obligated to do so...
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Old December 12, 2012, 06:26 PM   #24
AH.74
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Breaking the chain is something easily overcome, and is done so every day.

If you cdon't have proof you operated in good faith and the buyer lied to you, your argument doesn't have strength. If they actually signed something to that effect, you have a much stronger position.
Really, it is? Every day? Please cite the last couple of cases in your state in which someone was prosecuted for supplying someone with a gun, where that other person committed crimes. I'm very interested to see this.

If this were such a big issue, don't you think it would have been regulated to death? Why do you think it hasn't been? Because it is not an issue.

Quote:
Civil lawsuits.
If you sold a firearm to someone and have no proof and any due diligence, it could get legally very bloody. The moment you have to pay a lawyer you've already lost.
Again- where are all these cases occurring? Don't you think we'd be hearing about them all the time if it was such a big concern?
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Old December 12, 2012, 06:31 PM   #25
AH.74
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I want a receipt for anything I buy that's expensive.
What is this going to get you in a private sale where I take your cash and hand you a gun? I'm not giving you any warranty or guarantee. Can't you just make your own accounting for your records? How would that be any different?
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