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View Poll Results: What % of gun sales are private?
0% to 10% 28 36.84%
10% to 25% 25 32.89%
26% to 50% 14 18.42%
51% to 75% 6 7.89%
76% to 100% 3 3.95%
Voters: 76. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 10, 2013, 07:16 PM   #1
spacecoast
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What % of gun sales are private?

The talking heads on TV are claiming that 40% of all gun sales are private and not covered by background checks. This is hardly scientific, but what % of the guns you currently own (that were purchased) were acquired through a private transaction without an official FFL check? If they were purchased before the FFL requirement, please do not count them.

Last edited by spacecoast; January 10, 2013 at 07:22 PM.
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Old January 10, 2013, 07:22 PM   #2
sigcurious
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1 of my guns was acquired from a private party...but I was living in CA at the time, so it went through an FFL anyway.
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Old January 10, 2013, 07:32 PM   #3
hermannr
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3 of mine were aquired prior to GCA68...one of those was through a dealer that would now have an FFL, several were inherited, (after 68) and the others were aquired from various sources...3 of which came through a FFL. I am going to say, with your guidlines...80% private.
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Old January 10, 2013, 07:42 PM   #4
SamNavy
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Does that "40%" also include illegal black-market sales and FTF sales where one or both parties know that the gun is either illegally owned by the seller or that the buyer is a prohibited person... in other words, does that 40% include all ILLEGAL and LEGAL used sales?

It would be interesting (for my own knowledge) to know just exactly what percentage of 100% legal gun sales are FTF without an FFL vice buying the tax-paying way in a store or from a dealer.

Every gun I've ever bought has been new from a dealer with a 4473 and NICS check... but I have subsequently sold exactly half of the guns I've ever owned.

So... I've bought 100% of my guns with an FFL, and sold 50% of them... but of that 50%, 100% were FTF in the parking lot of a local Lowes (once at Home Depot)... I always park with the car backed up to the row of sheds and utility trailers at the edge of the parking lot... easy and convenient... plus I got shopping after.
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Old January 10, 2013, 10:32 PM   #5
CowTowner
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I've picked up a couple in private sales. And sold a couple in the same manner.
I've also done a few purchases that were private except both parties exchange C&R FFL copies. They're in my bound book, but no call was made.
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Old January 10, 2013, 11:07 PM   #6
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I don't see how they could have gathered the data to arrive at that number. For all we know, it could be 80%, or it could be 10%.
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Old January 10, 2013, 11:15 PM   #7
Tex S
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Half of my guns were acquired without using an ffl. 85% of these were gifts from my father or wife.

I have only bought 1 pistol without using an ffl, and that purchase was made through a good friend.

I have never bought a gun from a stranger, and I probably never would unless the gun was obviously new or too cheap to pass up.

I have also never sold a gun to a stranger.
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Old January 11, 2013, 12:25 AM   #8
hogdogs
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While I have and will go through an FFL, I much prefer private sales...

I am currently looking for in state collectors that may have the NIB XD40 (for me) and a pair of XD9's for the wife and daughter...

Brent
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Old January 11, 2013, 01:03 AM   #9
Aguila Blanca
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There's a funny thing about private sales ... they're private. There is no way ANYONE can know what percentage of gun sales are private.

That said, I very much doubt it's anywhere near 40 percent. In fact, with absolutely no basis whatsoever for my number, I'd guess it's not more than 15 percent.
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Old January 11, 2013, 01:11 AM   #10
Willie Sutton
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^^ really?

I've not done a FFL transfer in 20 years, and in my circle of shooters I can't really think of anyone who does not try to buy used (meaning privately) long before dealing with a FFL.


Willie

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Old January 11, 2013, 04:28 AM   #11
Aaron1100us
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Out of my 12 guns, three were given to me by relatives, one was bought privately.

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Old January 11, 2013, 06:14 AM   #12
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Interesting results so far. Mathematically, this is only an estimate and assumes that each respondent owns the same number of guns, but weighting the number of answers in each range by the center of the range, we get...

( 11(5%)+7(13%)+6(38%)+1(63%)+3(88%) )/28 = 25%

I'm not willing to draw any conclusions yet, but would point out that TFL readers are (in my opinion) more likely to buy privately than Average Joe who walks into a gun store to buy a firearm for personal protection for his family.

Last edited by spacecoast; January 11, 2013 at 06:53 AM. Reason: corrected slight math error
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Old January 11, 2013, 06:35 AM   #13
Pilot
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I think most people buy their guns through and FFL and go through a background check. Private sales and the "gun show loophole" are another canard by the media and politicians to demonize the gun buying public.
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Old January 11, 2013, 06:48 AM   #14
JimmyR
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Over 50%

I have made most of my purchases via F2F sales.

I have owned 20 guns since I started collecting. Some have since been sold/traded.

Of those:
5 have been inherited, hence no background check
1 was a gift, so no check there,
7 were F2F transactions
Leaving 7/20 weapons that I bought in a shop or had to do an FFL transfer.

Too bad I lost all my guns in a tragic boating accident.
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Old January 11, 2013, 09:17 AM   #15
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Of the firearms I've owned, 4 of 13 were given to me. The rest I purchased through FFL transfer. I have sold two guns FTF. I think alot of guys on this board will skew statistics. Firearms enthusiasts, none of whom I know are nuts, tend to do more FTF transactions among each other. Average joe public is very unlikely to do FTF transactions unless they are criminals and it is via black market. So, enthusiasts (which I would say account for 3% or so of the population) may buy half of their firearms through private deals. They may not, depends on the person. A median percentage, as opposed to the average, more accurately reflect reality. I would guess that it would be somewhere between 15% to 25%.
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Old January 11, 2013, 09:52 AM   #16
JWT
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Kinda like asking how far is up? Since private sales are just that, private, the anti gunners cannot have any accurate information on the percentage. All of my firearms were from gun stores or dealers at gun shows.

They use that percentage to help them pursue the 'gun show loophole' that is such a popular whipping boy.
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Old January 11, 2013, 10:09 AM   #17
Glenn E. Meyer
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The way to do it is through standard survey methods with gun owners.

However, the chance you would get an honest answer today is very low. Determining the sample would be a horror.

Data are irrelevant anyway in this argument. What is well known is already ignored.

Just remember guns are about having a shotgun and shooting the skeets. Joe says so - and he should know. He's a sportsman.
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Old January 11, 2013, 10:25 AM   #18
spacecoast
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Not scientific, but our weighted average is staying consistent at 24% with 38 respondents so far.
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Old January 11, 2013, 12:15 PM   #19
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Only 2 of the 20 guns I have owned were private sales/trades.
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Old January 11, 2013, 12:28 PM   #20
Pahoo
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Are they really watching ????

Quote:
QUOTEThe talking heads on TV are claiming that 40%
I saw this as well and right off, wondered how they gathered this data. I have bought guns at yard sales, auctions, flea markets and private homes. I didn't think anyone was watching. .....

Be Safe !!!
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Old January 11, 2013, 12:33 PM   #21
hermannr
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Willie and I are the same. Out of all of the guns I own, only one was purchased new, and that one was purched in 1964.

My oldest is from 1903, my newest from 1991 (manufacturer date, not my ownership) I just prerfer older weapons.
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Old January 11, 2013, 12:42 PM   #22
sigcurious
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Quote:
I didn't think anyone was watching.,
You must have missed the black helicopter circling along with the "plumber's" van down the street!

As to where the numbers come from, I suppose it would be possible(but entirely inaccurate) to attempt to extrapolate from areas where registration is required. Or extrapolate entirely from CAs numbers(still inaccurate) where "all" transfers go through an FFL, assuming that all the PPTs there would count as undocumented in the rest of the country.
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Old January 11, 2013, 02:20 PM   #23
orangello
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I answered 10-25% considering only the firearms that i personally purchased from individuals/non-FFL's, but i did not consider the firearms given to me in my youth that were purchased by my father. There are a few of them; i still have them in my safe. One of them was purchased by my father from an individual (quasi-relative).

The percentage would be a bit higher considering those gifts from my father.
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Old January 11, 2013, 02:41 PM   #24
spacecoast
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Quote:
The percentage would be a bit higher considering those gifts from my father.
... and those are ones that shouldn't be considered, I'm trying to focus only on arms-length transactions where money was exchanged or a trade was made.

Quote:
My oldest is from 1903, my newest from 1991 (manufacturer date, not my ownership) I just prerfer older weapons.
hermannr, I'm right there with you. I have three Colt handguns older than 1925, and I enjoy shooting those more than most of the others. Old Colts are a delight.

Quote:
However, the chance you would get an honest answer today is very low. Determining the sample would be a horror.
That's why the inquiry was about percentages, not absolute numbers, so that none of us have to admit how crazy we really are In all honesty, I think the estimate we develop here would put an upper bound on the actual number in the general population given that TFL responders are pretty certain to be more comfortable with private sales than Average Joe firearm buyer.

Last edited by spacecoast; January 11, 2013 at 02:50 PM.
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Old January 12, 2013, 12:57 AM   #25
willhud
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Between my wife and I, we now have 5.

1 revolver my Father gave me when I turned 13. It had been my grandfathers.
3 (2 Pistols and 1 Rifle) we purchased at a LGS with the background check
1 Rifle that I got from a F2F purchase.
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