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Old April 29, 2017, 09:18 AM   #1
Beentown71
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Not registration but...

Was convincing a friend that we don't have a registration (nationally). It did bring up a question though. Can law enforcement look up what you have purchased by your name? For example, can a law enforcement (local Sheriff for this example) pull up what rifles and handguns you have purchased? Do they have the serial numbers, make, model or calibers able to be reference?

The questioning is because I know they can "trace" a firearm back to previous owners. That called into the question if they can do the reverse....Use an owners name to see what they have purchased from an FFL.

Thanks
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Old April 29, 2017, 09:28 AM   #2
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Here's my best guess: I don't think so, but it may vary from state to state. For example, states which use a pistol purchase permit system may have integrated some way of doing that.

Here's what I know: In Arkansas, the answer to that is no. I have access to the Arkansas Crime Information Center, which ties into the National Crime Information Center. In the system I use, there's no way to look up what guns someone owns by name, DOB, etc. Then again, we don't have any kind of purchase permit system. If you buy from an FFL, you do a 4473 & get checked. If you buy from a private person, you don't have to.
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Old April 29, 2017, 09:42 AM   #3
Beentown71
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Thanks for the input. We have no "registraion" in my state. I would think though that if they can trace a firearm by using the serial number (if purchased through an FFL) that they could look up what a person has purchased by their name. Which is just like registration except that private sales throws a wrench into it.
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Old April 29, 2017, 09:52 AM   #4
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the form for a background check asks if pistol or rifle only.....ffl sale records might be different
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Old April 29, 2017, 10:14 AM   #5
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beentown71
For example, can a law enforcement (local Sheriff for this example) pull up what rifles and handguns you have purchased? Do they have the serial numbers, make, model or calibers able to be reference?
It depends on the state. There are some states, such as Pennsylvania and Connecticut, and I believe a few others) that require all firearms purchases through FFLs to also be reported to the state police. After the Sandy Hook school shooting, Connecticut reportedly extended their law so that now even private sales of both handguns and long guns must be reported. Prior to that, Connecticut was like Pennsylvania, where the database is incomplete because it doesn't include all transactions. In fact, courts in PA have ruled that the database is not a registration because it is not complete.

However, that doesn't stop police in PA from running any handgun they encounter against the not-a-registration and confiscating it if it doesn't show up -- even though there is no evidence to suggest that said handgun has been stolen.

So that's two states, and I'm fairly certain there are a few more.

Found a link to the CT form -- easier to find than I expected.

http://www.ct.gov/despp/lib/despp/sl...ms/dps-3-c.pdf

It includes make, model, and serial number of the firearm as well as the buyer's name and address.
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Old April 29, 2017, 11:46 AM   #6
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Had a state trooper ask to run the serial numbers on a rifle and pistol. I said it was ok, but not sure why.

I was assaulted once, but I didn't have a weapon on me, the event was at my domicile at the time but in my nightstand. The responding officers knew I had a license to carry so they asked to take it temporarily. I told them where it was and they secured it in a patrol car until they were done, then they gave it back as they were leaving.... although unloaded.
Had a couple of traffic warnings where I had to inform the officer that I was armed (state law)
So there's a few times that I've "voluntarily" informed Law Enforcement of some of my weapons.
Not a registry, but in a small town, they know who's armed. Most officers and even state troopers don't even seem to care as long as you're A responsible citizen.

Last edited by rickyrick; April 29, 2017 at 02:42 PM.
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Old April 29, 2017, 12:51 PM   #7
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Firearms involved in a crime are traced with the serial number, That number takes them to the manufacturer, the manufacturer gives them the warehouse/wholesaler, that takes them to the dealer and if it has been less than ten yeas the dealer has the records of who it was sold to. If it has been bought or sold since, it is difficult to track unless the original owner can provide them with the name of the buyer.
The information must be kept by the retailer for ten years, after that there are no records.
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Old April 29, 2017, 01:10 PM   #8
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I don't think so.
In Ohio we just have nics, Although I think you can voluntarily register at most PD's

Running the Serial number I think they can check if it's stolen.. Im not sure what system that goes thru but that's all they can gather "on the spot" I think.

But honestly Im not sure.
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Old April 29, 2017, 03:40 PM   #9
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ShootistPRS spelled it out. There is a trace path for new firearms, at least as far as the first FFL who sells it. That path isn't through NICS or background checks, it's through the dealer's bound books.

States such as CT and PA, who maintain their own database of gun sales by name and serial number can obviously do a trace much quicker. The PA state supreme court can claim all they want that the database isn't a registry but, IMHO, if a cop can run the serial number of a firearm and ping my name and address -- it's registry. Incomplete, perhaps, but a registry nonetheless.
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Old April 29, 2017, 05:06 PM   #10
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In Pa only pistols are kept is a "sales data base". Only those pistols sold in pa are in that file.
If you move to PA from out of state there is no requirement to "register" your firearm. In fact there is a law against the government maintaining a registry.

Some people think that when an FFL in PA does a PICS/NICS check they collect data on what you buying, they don't. It only checks to see if your a prohibited person.
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Old April 29, 2017, 05:34 PM   #11
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwilson452
In Pa only pistols are kept is a "sales data base". Only those pistols sold in pa are in that file.
If you move to PA from out of state there is no requirement to "register" your firearm. In fact there is a law against the government maintaining a registry.
You are correct, and that was the basis on which the PA supreme court decided that the state police "database" is not an illegal registry -- because it isn't complete. But the fact that the supreme court ruled that it's (a) not complete, and therefore (b) not a registry doesn't stop many police officers from running any gun they encounter (such as a routine traffic stop of a carry permit holder) through the not-a-registry, and confiscating the gun if it isn't "registered" to the possessor, even though there are numerous logical and legal reasons why a person may be in possession of a handgun that's not listed in the not-a-registry.

Such as having moved to PA from another state and brought the gun with him/her.
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Old April 29, 2017, 07:23 PM   #12
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I would think though that if they can trace a firearm by using the serial number
From the maker to the first FFL yes they can....but if the gun was subsequently sold FTF, how would anyone else know?
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Last edited by FITASC; April 30, 2017 at 08:15 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old April 29, 2017, 10:38 PM   #13
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitasc
From the maker to the fist FFL yes they can....but if the gun was subsequently sold FTF, how would anyone else know?
And this, of course, is what gives rise to the argument that periodically resurfaces over whether or not to give/get a bill of sale when buying or selling face-to-face. As the seller, it's obviously to your advantage to have a record of whom you sold it to in the event that some time in the future the gun is used in a crime and traced as far as you.

On the other hand, buyers who aren't in states that require registration often don't want any paper trail leading to them.

'Tis a conundrum, for certain.
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Old April 30, 2017, 01:30 AM   #14
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BTW, 4473s are retained by the FFL for 25 years, not 10, after which they may be destroyed.
In AZ the only thing PD can find out is if you have a CCW permit. If you have a firearm the only thing they may do is run the serial to see if it's reported stolen. If the stop doesn't result in an investigation, they cannot keep that information on file., firearms information is only kept for active investigations.
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Old April 30, 2017, 08:10 AM   #15
JoeSixpack
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In AZ the only thing PD can find out is if you have a CCW permit. If you have a firearm the only thing they may do is run the serial to see if it's reported stolen. If the stop doesn't result in an investigation, they cannot keep that information on file.
I always get suspicious about rules like this.
In Ohio if you apply for a CHL (CCW) you have to be finger printed.
the finger prints are ran and suppose to not be kept if there are no problems.. but I always wonder.

I just assume they keep them anyway.
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Old April 30, 2017, 08:18 AM   #16
FITASC
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Quote:
4473s are retained by the FFL for 25 years
When I had my FFL many moons ago, it was 20 years - did they change it to 25?

Quote:
it's obviously to your advantage to have a record of whom you sold it to in the event that some time in the future the gun is used in a crime and traced as far as you.
No, it really isn't. They knock on your door, you tell them you sold it to some guy 15 years ago (or whatever the truth is) and you you do not remember his name. - Done.
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Old April 30, 2017, 08:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSixpack
I always get suspicious about rules like this.
In Ohio if you apply for a CHL (CCW) you have to be finger printed.
the finger prints are ran and suppose to not be kept if there are no problems.. but I always wonder.

I just assume they keep them anyway.
That's what parallel construction is for. Obtain the evidence illegally and then fit it into a legal reason
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Old April 30, 2017, 08:38 AM   #18
Spats McGee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FITASC
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
it's obviously to your advantage to have a record of whom you sold it to in the event that some time in the future the gun is used in a crime and traced as far as you.
No, it really isn't. They knock on your door, you tell them you sold it to some guy 15 years ago (or whatever the truth is) and you you do not remember his name. - Done.
It's only "done" if "they" believe you. In the event that "they" do not believe you, having a some documentation of the sale may very well prove to your advantage.
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Old April 30, 2017, 09:14 AM   #19
JoeSixpack
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No, it really isn't. They knock on your door, you tell them you sold it to some guy 15 years ago (or whatever the truth is) and you you do not remember his name. - Done.
Is it really that easy? I mean you speak from personal exp? from a non-ffl perspective?

I've only sold 2 guns before, both of them I was original buyer (from FFL)
I had them sign a bill of sale and I signed a copy for them as well.
But signatures such as they are probably means nothing.

The two gentlemen I sold to seemed perfectly legit, But I always wondered what happen to the guns after I sold them, I did'nt want them and needed the money but still.
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Old April 30, 2017, 09:45 AM   #20
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registration?

If your purchase involves the use of a computer, you are in the "system".

Let's not be ignorant.
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Old April 30, 2017, 11:47 AM   #21
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FITASC
Quote:
it's obviously to your advantage to have a record of whom you sold it to in the event that some time in the future the gun is used in a crime and traced as far as you.
No, it really isn't. They knock on your door, you tell them you sold it to some guy 15 years ago (or whatever the truth is) and you you do not remember his name. - Done.
Unless they don't believe you ...
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Old May 1, 2017, 01:15 AM   #22
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FITASC, you are right - it's 20 years, been out of the business for about 16 years, had a brain fart, my bad.

Aquila Blanco, in this state there is no requirement to keep records of firearm sales between law abiding private parties. I know some people who do, do that, but it's entirely voluntary.
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Old May 1, 2017, 07:30 AM   #23
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From the OP:
"Can law enforcement look up what you have purchased by your name? For example, can a law enforcement (local Sheriff for this example) pull up what rifles and handguns you have purchased? Do they have the serial numbers, make, model or calibers able to be reference?"


In NJ, yes. To buy a handgun you need a handgun purchase permit. It's a four-part carbon copy which lists the make, model, caliber and serial number. One copy goes to the state police, one copy to the local police, one kept by the seller and one kept by the buyer. I'm sure it's entered into a state police database and there's at least one way to sort out who owns what.
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Old May 1, 2017, 08:45 AM   #24
Don P
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Quote:
And this, of course, is what gives rise to the argument that periodically resurfaces over whether or not to give/get a bill of sale when buying or selling face-to-face. As the seller, it's obviously to your advantage to have a record of whom you sold it to in the event that some time in the future the gun is used in a crime and traced as far as you.

On the other hand, buyers who aren't in states that require registration often don't want any paper trail leading to them.

'Tis a conundrum, for certain.
Excellent advice, for a bill of sale. Sold a handgun, bill of sale used. Buyer had CCW & drivers license, all looked good. Gun was used in NJ in armed robbery. Sheriff knocked on "MY" door. The way it works, LE calls manufacturer, manufacturer gives LE distributors name. Distributor gives LE retailers name. Retailer gives LE 4473's name. Hence, a knock on the door
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Old May 1, 2017, 11:06 AM   #25
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don P
Excellent advice, for a bill of sale. Sold a handgun, bill of sale used. Buyer had CCW & drivers license, all looked good. Gun was used in NJ in armed robbery. Sheriff knocked on "MY" door. The way it works, LE calls manufacturer, manufacturer gives LE distributors name. Distributor gives LE retailers name. Retailer gives LE 4473's name. Hence, a knock on the door
That's the problem.

I fully understand and sympathize with a buyer's desire to avoid a paper trail. I share that preference. But, once a gun is mine, in the unlikely event that I might do the unthinkable and sell a firearm, I want proof that it left my possession. So, yes -- I guess I'm admitting to a double standard.

My solution, which (sort of) avoids the hypocritical position of requiring a bill-of-sale when I sell but refusing to provide personal data when buying, is to swallow the 15% and sell any guns I decide to unload through an FFL on consignment. In a sense, I'm "putting my money where my mouth is" by paying that 15% commission fee for the peace of mind of having documented where a gun went when it left my possession.
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