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Old August 13, 2015, 02:24 PM   #1
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Keep your sales records

Had a somewhat disturbing call from an out of town PD - a gun I no longer own, that was traded out at a fairly large gun store was recovered at a crime scene and traced to my name. It was a gun purchased at an FFL dealer at a gun show; went through the 4473 last year. I traded it at a gun store back in April. The sales clerk there reminded me to hang on to the receipt of that transaction - glad I did. I don't know why it wound up traced back to me when I traded it out to the store - but I'm in the clear now. Friendly reminder to keep records when you're buying and selling firearms!
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Old August 13, 2015, 02:55 PM   #2
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Good advice!

Another reason to NEVER, NEVER sell a gun!

I'll have to tell my wife I keep them so they won't fall into the hands of criminals...
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Old August 13, 2015, 03:32 PM   #3
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And if you hadn't had that paperwork? You would have just told them the same thing you said here; they would have said "Thanks" and moved on to that gun shop where you traded it out and gone from there.
FITASC: Fédération Internationale de Tir aux Armes Sportives de Chasse.
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Old August 13, 2015, 04:01 PM   #4
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Fair enough, FITASC - but in this day and age, it's always a good idea to make sure you CYA ( Cover Your A** ).
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Old August 13, 2015, 05:51 PM   #5
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Do not agree, not even a wee little bit. They have NOTHING on you and you did nothing wrong, and no pile of stupid paper is going to sway anyone in any direction.

I don't require / request / keep / in triplicate a mess of nonsense when I sell a lawnmower, I won't do it on a target pistol either.

That nonsense...
is for others to do.

Just, PLEASE, be courteous, and let your buyer know ahead of time if you subscribe to the monotonous "paper trail" so us regular folk can simply move on.
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Old August 13, 2015, 05:58 PM   #6
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<-----Gun dealer who gets 3-5 gun trace requests a year.

When ATF NTC calls me for a gun trace, I fax them the 4473. In nearly eight years NOT ONE customer got cuffed, beaten, arrested, tasered, door kicked in, dog shot or feelings hurt when the local PD/ATF asked them "Do you remember who you sold that gun to?" In EVERY case they were thanked for their time and NOTHING happened.

We should save our paranoia for stuff that needs paranoia.
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Old August 13, 2015, 07:37 PM   #7
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In EVERY case they were thanked for their time and NOTHING happened.
That's how I've seen it as well. Let's say I sell a gun to Barney in good faith, and with no reason to believe anything illegal will come of it. Barney needs money, and six months later he sells the gun to Pete. Pete uses it for something nefarious.

If the ATF, the local prosecutor, or anyone else wants to blame me for that, they can get a warrant and arrest me. They'll have to prove that I knew something bad would happen when I sold the gun. Absent that, I can't be charged with anything.

I did once have a situation with a gun I sold. I traded it to a retired LEO, who traded it to someone else a few years later. A few years further down the road, something happened, and it ended up being confiscated by the DEA in a drug bust.

They traced the gun to the retail point of purchase and my name was on the 4473. They sent me a letter.

(I had to sign for a certified letter from the DEA. The mail lady was glaring at me the whole time.)

The letter was a notice that the gun had been seized as per whatever the law is on asset forfeiture, and it stated that I'd have to prove ownership and go to court if I wanted it back.

I ended up calling the office to clarify that I hadn't been in possession or control of the weapon in years, and that I had a signed bill of sale...and...and...

Oh. What? OK. No, I don't expect to get the gun back. I was paid for it. It's not mine. So, that's it? Oh. OK. You have a nice day, too.

That's the last I heard of whatever happened there.
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Old August 15, 2015, 08:11 PM   #8
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You, know I am so happy I stumbled across this thread. I recently sold one and was actually quite concerned about the paper trail; started figuring out ways to scan the Bill of Sale and save it multiple drives etc etc etc. It’s actually a relief to hear some of these accounts.
I’m still going to keep the BoS but instead I’m just going to keep the copy in the safe versus in triplicate in several backups.
"A weapon without a name is nothing; Just another hunk of steel, wood, or what have you. A weapon with a name is more. It is a partner, a friend, and a comrade to the end"
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Old August 16, 2015, 06:16 AM   #9
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IIRC Illinois requires private sellers to keep a record of a firearms sale for 10 years.

Missouri has no such record keeping requirement.
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Old August 16, 2015, 07:58 AM   #10
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I keep a list of all my guns, I give a copy of that list to my insurance company. If I buy or sell a gun (though selling is out now days) I up date the list for the insurance company.

Its a simple job to have the police check with the insurance company to know when you got or got rid of a gun. Make someone else keep the paper work.

Some times you can get in trouble no matter how careful you are.

In the late 80s I took a rifle team to the WP Wilson Matches (NG Championships in Little Rock). A rifle, NM M14 was stolen in route. We had a spare so the shooter got to shoot. I immediately notified the FBI, and my boss in the Guard. Started the SIR (Serious Incident Report). I did everything by the book.

Before I left Little Rock I was contacted by the FBI, saying the rifle was recovered. Some idiot baggage handler was drunk waving it around in down town Little Rock.

I did everything by the book, every thing turned out right,

No big deal RIGHT................wrong.

About two weeks after I got home I was called in by my boss to confront a couple FBI agents. Seems like the same rifle that was stolen and recovered was reported stolen in 1967 and never recovered.

I had a good alibi, I was in Vietnam fighting a war. No where near Alaska, but being the military I'm the one who was in trouble.

I did and investigation and figured out the person in charge of the marksmanship unit in '67 forgot who he issued the rifle to and didn't have the paper work, so to cover his butt reported it stolen just before an inspection. After the inspection apparently the guy who had the gun turned it in and the guy never told anyone it was recovered.

He was long gone, leaving me as the only one to blame, Gots to blame someone you know. Its the way it is.

One thing you need to write down and paste in your hat, 99% of cops, including FBI agents know nothing about guns or serial numbers on guns. I could tell some stories of incidents I ran across as a CSI, and (so called) firearms expert that would scare you to death, all be cause cops and fbi agents, and prosecutors, don't know crap about guns.
Kraig Stuart
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
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