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View Poll Results: What should I do if he refuses to have the gun examined before the sale?
Refuse to by the weapon, and report him to his local LE 3 10.00%
Refuse to by the weapon, but make no report to LE 20 66.67%
Buy the weapon, but only for a reduced price 0 0%
Buy the weapon, and don't ask any more questions 7 23.33%
Voters: 30. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 6, 2012, 09:40 AM   #26
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why not just ask to do the transfer through an FFL?
What is that supposed to accomplish?

The FFL has no way of checking.
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Old June 6, 2012, 09:47 AM   #27
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I don’t quite understand what you’re asking about. Are you trying to find out if its stolen? If you think its stolen don’t do the trade.

None of this would occur in Texas. While they might do it, I’ve never ever heard of someone bringing a pistol into a police station to get “checked.” If you told me that was a condition for sale my reply would be impolite at best. You’d never find a seller in Texas like that.

If you want to be perfectly safe why don’t you have the sale done through an FFL that can call in a standard check? (I’ve not done that but assume that’s not a problem). I’m really not getting what you’re trying to do here.
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Old June 6, 2012, 09:52 AM   #28
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What is that supposed to accomplish?

The FFL has no way of checking.
When they do the sale, the numbers are run through the state police before the transaction can be completed. At least, that's what happens at my LGS.
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Old June 6, 2012, 09:53 AM   #29
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News flash: this is a typical response by an Leo when you do not have the suspect item in hand. The only confirmation is if YOU gave him the number of a stolen gun by accident!

Morally, ethically and legally, you have no direct knowledge this gun is stolen at this point, but I would not deal on it because it is suspect.

I would simple tell the seller you have no interest. Now, if you do have direct evidence or information that the gun is stolen, I'd say you pass what you know onto the police.

In the future, I would only get police involved in a gun deal when you have evidence the other side is breaking the law. Asking police to confirm if a gun is stolen is asking for trouble. What if they have a bad number in their system? I don't trust any of it. The system is about getting guns off the street. It is not designed as a lost and found.
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Old June 6, 2012, 09:58 AM   #30
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If you are willing to pay the higher price for inconvenience, why not just ask to do the transfer through an FFL?
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Old June 6, 2012, 10:24 AM   #31
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You might also consider the fact that in many states, if you purchase an item you know or reasonably suspect to be stolen, you could be looking at a Receiving Stolen Property charge.

Some things are simply not worth the attendant risks. It's up to you to decide.
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Old June 6, 2012, 10:33 AM   #32
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I didn't vote because you didn't have an option that I would have chosen.

Here's the thing - I've bought and sold numerous guns privately. I'll buy a gun either from a private individual or from a LGS and then if I decide I don't like it enough to keep or end up not using it enough to warrant keeping I'll sell it. I won't give an exact number as to how many I've gone through that way in the last few or several years but I can say its been quite a few.

I always ask for a signed bill of sale - by both of us - when either buying or selling privately. I also ask to see a state issued photo ID and copy down the ID number. This way if the gun ends up being contraband (stolen, used in a crime etc.) I know who to send the police after. Aside from that buying a used gun in a private sale is ALWAYS a risk. Legalities aside you never know if there's something that's wrong with the gun - I've had guys hide the fact that their gun was broken in one way or another and try to sell it as a functional weapon. One guy tried to sell me a gun that was missing the extractor and the ejector had broken off inside the gun for near retail pricing since he claimed the gun was NIB and would function fine. As I said its ALWAYS a risk.

I've never asked a seller to accompany me to a police station. I HAVE however been asked if I would submit the gun to a serial number check. At that point I will tell the buyer if that's what he wants then we can meet at my favorite LGS and do the transfer through the FFL. The price of the gun remains the same however I'll pay for the FFL fee and he can pay for the background check. Sometimes they go for that and sometimes they back out of the deal because they don't want to go through the background check. I've also had people say, "I'm going to take this gun to the police to have it registered under my name so would you be willing to take $X?" to which my reply is, "That's fine that you want to register the gun in your name but that doesn't have any effect on me so no the price is not going down."

I did have ONE guy threaten to call the police on me if I wouldn't submit the gun to a serial number check with HIS local police department (he lived in a city 4 hrs away from me) or sell the gun to him at a reduced price to avoid the trouble. I told him to go pleasure himself and go ahead and call the police because I'll be calling them myself to report his attempt at extortion. He hung up quickly and I DID call his local police dept. to report his attempt. I haven't heard anything about it since.

If I were dealing with you I'd tell you to go jump off a cliff (but in more colorful terms) and never contact me again.
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Old June 6, 2012, 12:09 PM   #33
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I also live in Indiana. I have also performed numerous private Firearm sales buying/selling/trading. I also have to assume what you are asking, you are asking simply out of being naiive regarding firearm sales.

What you are asking is ridiculous. The vast majority of property in this country, firearms included, are not stolen and will never be stolen property. If you bought a vintage jacket at a second-hand store, I have to wonder if you would go out of your way to attempt to contact the original seller to find out whether or not the article of clothing in question had ever been stolen. The consequences are essentially the same. But there is no National Stolen Clothing Registry, even considering there are several articles of clothing in this country that cost exorbatantly more money than your standard service firearm. The thought of such a Registry is ridiculous, is it not?

After you opened a Birthday present at your last birthday event, did you make sure to ask the gift-giver if the item was stolen as well, or at least insist on seeing proof of purchase?

There isn't any reason in the world (or at least the State of Indiana) that you should treat this any differently. I create a Bill of Sale, or receipt, with my and the other party's information on it for every transaction. That is it. Assume property is not stolen property. I guarantee you will be right with better than House Odds. And in the case that you're not right, your liability and responsibility for the property will be covered with your bill of sale. And you will be able to aid the police in their property investigation by pointing them in the right direction.

But as far as requesting a lower price, or requesting the man submit his gun to a database test that puts him at additional risk of even a "False Positive", is ridiculous and incredibly one-sided. It is not something that will be received well in this community, and likely something that will be seen as nothing short of an insult by the majority.

If you showed me your nice new shiny car that you had just worked your butt off to pay for, my first response would not be to ask you if you had considered that you may be in possession of stolen property unknowingly.

I also realize it might upset you to read some of these responses, but I assure you that the dissonance you are feeling is simply a lack of understanding. This is not something that is commonly done, and for a reason. It is not needed, and largely is a power that can be used to take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens with regulations like "False Positive/Partial Match SOP". And possession of our guns is something this community takes very seriously and very close to heart.

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Old June 6, 2012, 01:37 PM   #34
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"When they do the sale, the numbers are run through the state police before the transaction can be completed."

Maybe in the Peoples Democratic Republic of CT, but not in most other places.

The gun is entered in the bound book, then a 4473 t trasnfer it back out to the new owner.

No checking.
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Old June 6, 2012, 02:13 PM   #35
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Maybe in the Peoples Democratic Republic of CT, but not in most other places.

The gun is entered in the bound book, then a 4473 t trasnfer it back out to the new owner.

No checking.
This has happened in both of the sales run through the FFL I have done with individuals. Not in new sales from the store to me. Both times the serial # of the gun was read to the State police in what I thought to be a check of the gun.
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Old June 6, 2012, 04:13 PM   #36
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Let me understand this...right now, your only reason for suspicsion is the low price, and a single police officer's response that it could be a "partial match" to the serial number of a listed stolen gun? Is that right?

I would have my doubts about the "partial match" information. If there is a stolen gun with the numbers "34" in the serial number, and your gun also has the numbers "34" in the number, that's a "partial match"? "34" in the middle of the number of one gun, and "34" at the end of the number of another gun could be a "partial match" to a police officer, particularly one who is not expert in the details of this kind of thing.

Personally, I think you are borrowing trouble. Get a signed bill of sale, include the ID of the seller, and your butt is covered if the gun comes up stolen. You will likely be out your money, but that's a risk you take.

Since you have doubts about it, probably the best thing for you to do is pass on the sale.
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Old June 6, 2012, 08:12 PM   #37
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Why does everyone trying to do a FTF sale think the other person is trying to pawn off stolen goods?

OP if you are that paranoid about it, don't bother and only buy new guns from your local gun store - problem solved
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Old June 6, 2012, 11:05 PM   #38
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I'm wary of this 'partial match' justification as well. If I were the Police officer that responded to the OP's phone call, and he asked me to determine whether a gun was stolen - I would probably ask him to bring it in as well. Because I'd have reason to suspect that he believes it may be a stolen firearm. I'm sure that people call the Police all the time w/ bogus stories, trying to determine if they're aware of a crime that has been committed, or whether a given action is, or was, illegal. So of course they'll ask you to come in. The inquiry itself is going to raise suspicion.
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Old June 6, 2012, 11:21 PM   #39
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@44 Amp: I had no suspicions until the police officer said there might be an issue. I was doing what I assumed was my due dilligence before buying a firearm from an individual.

To all, it ends up being a moot point, since the seller decided to sell it to someone closer to his area. He would have had to drive an hour away to meet me half way, and he found someone else closer to home. Thanks for the suggestions, and I think I am going to stick to buying used guns from a gun shop rather than individuals.
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Old June 7, 2012, 08:04 PM   #40
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If you're local police are like mine, they won't give you an answer either way without the gun in hand. They take it to the back room and run the numbers. If it's stolen they keep it, if not you get it back, but you won't get any anwers unless they have possession of it. Go to your local FFL and see if they will run the serial number for you. Some will do it for a small fee. If you don't want to try that, here's a website that may help you, but it will only show guns that have been reported to this site. Otherwise, you'll just have to go by what your gut tells you. If it feels like a bad deal and you think it will worry you from now on, you're better off just passing on this one & moving along to the next deal.
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Old June 7, 2012, 10:08 PM   #41
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The way it was explained to me by a local cop is ... that they keep a record of ser # checks and which cop ran the check. I have no idea if this is a local, state or federal requirement. I wanted to have a pistol checked about a year after I bought it … when the seller got busted on a pretty big drug possession charge.
Anyway, I asked a cop buddy if he could run the numbers and he didn’t really want to because he would have to answer questions … especially if it came back stolen. He said I might not be able to get it back easily if I took it down there myself and it came back clean.
Luckily, I was able to play junior detective and find out where he bought it, and confirm it to be clean. Part of the problem with this one was that by the time I wanted it checked, the guy I bought it from was a felon. He wasn’t at the time I bought it.... and no, I wasn't trying to get away with anything except get the thing checked out and a way to turn it in without hassles if it had been stolen.

I have used getting the cops to run the numbers as a bluff, just to see how a seller reacts. .. If one were to start acting fishy, no way would I buy it … and would pass on a description of the weapon / seller to a detective, if it was local.
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Old June 7, 2012, 10:18 PM   #42
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Just because it's a partial doesn't mean it's a hit.

Life is too short to deal with a potentially 'high overhead' flakey deal.

Keep looking.
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Old June 7, 2012, 11:42 PM   #43
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I hear varying things about whether police even have access to some sort of national stolen gun database.

I did get one really crazy good deal on a shotgun a few years ago. I called my local PD, gave them the serial number and asked if they could check. Not more than 5 seconds later they told me it wasn't stolen. I felt like I fulfilled my obligation and went through with the deal.
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Old June 9, 2012, 05:39 PM   #44
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You seem to have some issues with the purchase/seller.

When I am faced with a good deal and I have doubts, I walk away. I have no moral obligation to go further unless I know that a crime has been committed.

Remember no good deed goes unpunished. It the weapon comes back hot the investigators will look at you and you will be drawn simply for being a good citizen.
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Old June 9, 2012, 05:49 PM   #45
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Yeah, I would pass on the offer for the po-po to inspect anything I own or may own... If the serial number is "clean" they need nothing more...

In Fla, if ANY gun had the same number as one on the "hot sheet" than it would be red flagged when I call the agency in charge...

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Old June 9, 2012, 11:02 PM   #46
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I think you're being paranoid. Besides, if you check it in XXX jurisdiction, and then live or travel to YYY jurisdiction, what makes you think that they covered all the jurisdictions for you. What if it was stolen in Washington, and sold to you in Alabama? How can you check every jurisdiction?

You haven't even seen the man to be able to size him up and see if he makes your spidey sense tingle. Due diligence is good. Paranoia not so good. So far you havent given a good reason to question the mans integrity.
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Old June 11, 2012, 12:09 AM   #47
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I would walk away from the deal. The "partial match" stuff makes no sense. It either matches or it doesn't. One scenario is that it matched and the police want you to go through with the deal so they can investigate/arrest the seller? And, as far as requesting a lower price because of an increased risk of it being stolen, that could be used to point a finger at you for knowingly receiving stolen property. It doesn't sound like its worth the trouble to me.
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Old June 11, 2012, 01:54 PM   #48
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I don't understand how the CT FFL could run the serial number to determine if the firearm was stolen or the two individuals in their sale. This does not jibe with what the local police, my state AG, or the dude at batf said when i asked them about getting a serial number checked. The local police said "bring it here and we will check it"; the state AG said i should ask batf; batf said A LOT that indicated to me that they were of the inclination that their database was for active investigations only.

Which makes me think of that old 1980's phrase "plausible deniability"; the government has all but denied me, joe citizen, use of the only reliable means of determining if a class of goods may be stolen. I wonder how that would float, were i to be charged with possession of a stolen firearm? I hope i never have to find out, but it would seem to be a reasonable objection to me. Much like buying any other item that doesn't have a title or paperwork evidencing its ownership.
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Old June 11, 2012, 06:44 PM   #49
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Unless things have changed in the last decade, since I lived there and bought a pistol from a private party, in Connecticut ALL handgun sales must be called in to the State Police, who assign each sale a transaction number that gets entered on a multi-part form documenting the deal. For private, face-to-face sales, the private seller is responsible for calling the State Police to get the approval. When he/she makes the call, the officer handling the call asks for the make and type of the handgun and the serial number.

This isn't a case of a private party "being able" to run a serial number, this is a case of a private party NOT being allowed to conclude a transaction withOUT running the serial number.
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