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#157357 - 12/06/08 01:59 PM About firearm purchasing - private seller vs. shop
Henry_Porter Offline
Member

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 111
I have read in a couple of sources a recommendation to buy firearms face-to-face from a private seller (typically a used gun) rather than buying from a store if legal and possible in one's area. I think this recommendation is to leave less rather than more paper trail of gun purchases.

Because these sources tend to err on the side of caution/wariness of government gun control/hypervigilance, I'm not sure how to take this. I also prefer to leave less rather than more records of any of my purchasing habits. I like the selections I can get from stores but prefer the relative anonymity of private transactions.

I guess I'm trying to weigh the pros and cons of low-profile transactions versus full paperwork transactions.

Leaving aside purchase aspects of inspection and test firing, do you have any insights or tips regarding the preference of face-to-face, cash transactions? (In my location, these transactions are legal, btw.)

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#157359 - 12/06/08 02:09 PM Re: About firearm purchasing - private seller vs. shop [Re: Henry_Porter]
Stu Offline
I am not a P.P.o.W.
Old Hand

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1058
Loc: Finger Lakes of NY State
If you are not 100% sure of the firearm history, A face to face no paperwork transaction could come back to haunt you if the firearm was used in a crime or is stolen and someone checks the ballistics or serial number for any reason.
_________________________
Our most important survival tool is our brain, and for many, that tool is way underused! SBRaider
Head Cat Herder

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#157360 - 12/06/08 02:09 PM Re: About firearm purchasing - private seller vs. [Re: Henry_Porter]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Get some kind of identifying information on the seller, and hope that it is not false. That way if you learn that you do indeed own a stolen firearm or one that was used in a crime, you have something to point at when LEO's are asking uncomfortable questions.
This was learned from hard experience. Bought a beautiful pre-owned but almost never shot Walther PPK/S (true german) for a reasonable price. Less than a week later, I was explaining to the police department about the stolen gun that I had dropped off at the local gunsmith's shop for inspection. Turns out it was stolen from my father's business partner's company truck. Kinda hard explaining that one away.
Looks like SBRaider and I were in a typing race to the same idea, I lost.



Edited by Desperado (12/06/08 02:12 PM)
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#157376 - 12/06/08 03:57 PM Re: About firearm purchasing - private seller vs. [Re: Desperado]
Henry_Porter Offline
Member

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 111
Thanks for the tips re: paperwork. I get at least a Bill of Sale. Would hate to buy a stolen gun.

I'm really interested in your thoughts on avoiding shop purchase to lessen the amount of government records regarding who owns what. As I mentioned, where I live it is legal to conduct either kind of transaction, which the private sale of used guns leaving must less official records. If I ask this question at certain forums, I get universal "don't let The Man know more than you have to," but I appreciate the more common sense, down-to-Earth, non-political ideas that are common here.

So, stated another way, do you have concerns about government records of your firearms purchasing being used to control guns, confiscate, etc.?

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#157380 - 12/06/08 04:41 PM Re: About firearm purchasing - private seller vs. [Re: Henry_Porter]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Originally Posted By: Henry_Porter

So, stated another way, do you have concerns about government records of your firearms purchasing being used to control guns, confiscate, etc.?



Nope, I really don't. However, should that come to pass I can imagine they will have been "STOLEN, SOLD, LOST" etc. What you do is between you and your God, or the lack thereof. Whatever you choose to believe.
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#157406 - 12/06/08 10:24 PM Re: About firearm purchasing - private seller vs. [Re: Desperado]
Nishnabotna Offline
Icon of Sin
Addict

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 512
Loc: Nebraska
I'm not sure how much I fear firearms I currently possess being confiscated - much more likely to be grandfathered I would think. But if such a thing did come to pass you can be sure the BATF will look in their files for a list of addresses right off the bat.
I'm not sure how well the lost, stolen, sold thing would play.

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#157423 - 12/06/08 11:44 PM Re: About firearm purchasing - private seller vs. [Re: Nishnabotna]
Stretch Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 707
Loc: Alamogordo, NM
Or....what you could do is write down the serial# of the weapon (assume you already know the mfr and model) and take the number to the police station. Tell them you're going to buy a gun and ask if they'll check the serial for stolen or other......
that would at least alleviate the immediate problem.
Also, get a receipt (and ID like someone said) even if it's handwritten.
_________________________
DON'T BE SCARED
-Stretch

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#157429 - 12/07/08 12:00 AM Re: About firearm purchasing - private seller vs. [Re: Stretch]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4015
Loc: Anchorage AK
Okay, so if you've ever bought any firearms through a dealer, then should the government find it necessary to come a looking, they already have a record that you own or have owned firearms, so you go on the check anyways list. Now if they come and they find you have a firearm(s) they don't know about, especially one that may have an adverse history, now the trouble starts. If they decide even just one of the guns in your collection is a bad apple, they will likely take the whole bunch, followed by a search warrant on the rest of your house, and finally cuffed and stuffed.

Unless your entire gun collection is off the books AND you have managed to keep your mouth shut about it all this time, I would say that buying as a private sale, especially from someone without a bona-fides, is just asking to be labeled a suspect.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#157433 - 12/07/08 12:04 AM Re: About firearm purchasing - private seller vs. [Re: benjammin]
Nishnabotna Offline
Icon of Sin
Addict

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 512
Loc: Nebraska
That's why you have your "public" guns, and then the guns that you buried in the middle of the night.

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#157443 - 12/07/08 12:36 AM Re: About firearm purchasing - private seller vs. [Re: benjammin]
Stretch Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 707
Loc: Alamogordo, NM
Originally Posted By: benjammin
Okay, so if you've ever bought any firearms through a dealer, then should the government find it necessary to come a looking, they already have a record that you own or have owned firearms, so you go on the check anyways list. Now if they come and they find you have a firearm(s) they don't know about, especially one that may have an adverse history, now the trouble starts. If they decide even just one of the guns in your collection is a bad apple, they will likely take the whole bunch, followed by a search warrant on the rest of your house, and finally cuffed and stuffed.

Unless your entire gun collection is off the books AND you have managed to keep your mouth shut about it all this time, I would say that buying as a private sale, especially from someone without a bona-fides, is just asking to be labeled a suspect.


I don;t think they would do that Benjamin, and here's why I say:
- I work with ATF guys and local police and they're as hard-core a gun owner as anyone else I know;
- They have no idea what guns I own unless they're investigating me for an offense that permits them to dig through archived records, and even then, it's like looking for a needle in.....;
- There is no requirement to "register" a firearm, unless it's an automatic or otherwise prohibited without license;
- private sales are done everyday (i.e. you're over for dinner at my house and you like this gun I have. You ask if it's for sale and I say yes. Done.);
- certain States and cities may have "registry" laws, but that would apply whether you bought the gun public or private;
- the only item that can be seized is one that's already illegal to obtain, or was obtained as fruit of a crime, or one that's stolen, or one that's been used in a crime. So.... if the police had a reason to look for, find, and seize the hypothetical weapon, they would have no legal justification to seize the others (now, law can be complicated, but this inability of theirs to seize the "other" weapons you own is under the assumption that there's been no other crime);
- in then end, about the only things a buyer has to worry about are:
...- whether the weapon is functional;
...- whether or not it's stolen;
...- whether or not it's been used in a crime.

I really don;t think it's much of an issue if a few precautions are taken.


Edited by Stretch (12/07/08 12:42 AM)
_________________________
DON'T BE SCARED
-Stretch

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