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Thread: Gun Serial numbers.

  1. #1
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    Question Gun Serial numbers.

    Can a Leo run your guns serial number just because you are carrying a gun? If so, would this not be a defacto gun registration if the Police dept. kept a record of what names went with what serial number.

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    Newbie protias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizz272 View Post
    Can a Leo run your guns serial number just because you are carrying a gun? If so, would this not be a defacto gun registration if the Police dept. kept a record of what names went with what serial number.
    No, they cannot.
    Some see running the numbers as a registration scheme, some have said police departments don't have the ability to keep records.
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    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    Well,,,

    Quote Originally Posted by protias View Post
    No, they cannot.
    Some see running the numbers as a registration scheme, some have said police departments don't have the ability to keep records.
    They can NOT make a data base,,, It is the law!!

    BUT,,,, If a cop calls in your name, and number,,, IT WILL,,, go on a list, in a computer!!!

    It will be in a system, linked to other systems, linking to all the other systems,
    all knowing that a guy (you) have a gun (number),,,,

    WhATS NOT TO LIKE ABOUT THAT?
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    it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED!

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    I believe that a member of LE unholstering a citizens firearm for the purpose of running serial numbers is a violation of our 4th amendment.

    And once the serial numbers are run, doesn't that go on a list of being a "Crime Gun"?

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    Regular Member XD40sc's Avatar
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    Seems it would be a clear violation of our 4A rights.

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    Keep in mind that in some states a LEO can disarm you for "officer safety". Once that is done, the serial number of the firearm is "in plain view" and there is nothing to stop them from running the serial number.
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    Newbie protias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustaShooter View Post
    Keep in mind that in some states a LEO can disarm you for "officer safety". Once that is done, the serial number of the firearm is "in plain view" and there is nothing to stop them from running the serial number.
    Legally they cannot in WI.
    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson (1776)

    If you go into a store, with a gun, and rob it, you have forfeited your right to not get shot - Joe Deters, Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Prosecutor

    I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians. - George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

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    Want to see info that they have? A FOIA request for all records held by a local PD for records that contain gun serial numbers. Find out first...then you have ammo to argue with.

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    Regular Member JustaShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protias View Post
    Legally they cannot in WI.
    I gathered that from this and other conversations here. Unfortunately, that is not the case in Ohio.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1245A Defender View Post
    They can NOT make a data base,,, It is the law!!

    BUT,,,, If a cop calls in your name, and number,,, IT WILL,,, go on a list, in a computer!!!
    This is half true. The stop information will be put in the dispatch log as the officer calls it in. But it isn't a "list" per se.


    Quote Originally Posted by 1245A Defender View Post
    It will be in a system, linked to other systems, linking to all the other systems,
    all knowing that a guy (you) have a gun (number),,,,
    This is not true.
    Logged activity on an agencies system stays within that system. The only way information gets shared is if it is released in a BOLO alert via NCIC. Piddly things like F.I. stops are not entered into it.

    This is also why if I pull you over and give you a verbal/written warning another officer on my department will know about it if he pulls you over later, but an officer with a different agency will not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pkbites View Post
    <snip>
    This is not true.
    Logged activity on an agencies system stays within that system. The only way information gets shared is if it is released in a BOLO alert via NCIC. Piddly things like F.I. stops are not entered into it.

    This is also why if I pull you over and give you a verbal/written warning another officer on my department will know about it if he pulls you over later, but an officer with a different agency will not.
    NSA popped into my head after I read the above.

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    Regular Member JustaShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    Perhaps that is why the question was posted in the Wisconsin sub-forum.
    Which of course is why I prefaced my statement as I did. My post was intended to be sure they were aware that simply crossing into another state could change the situation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nutczak
    I believe that a member of LE unholstering a citizens firearm for the purpose of running serial numbers is a violation of our 4th amendment.
    Unless they have RAS that it's stolen.

    And once the serial numbers are run, doesn't that go on a list of being a "Crime Gun"?
    Yep. I own 3 "crime guns".
    A worthless, corrupted term, just like "high-capacity magazine" (when referring to normal-capacity ones which are sold with the pistol by the manufacturer) and "assault weapon" (when referring to anything which is not a military-grade select-fire rifle).
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    Quote Originally Posted by protias View Post
    Legally they cannot in WI.
    Yet they still do it. Even our DoJ FAQ makes it clear that LEOs will regularly violate your 4th Amendment rights:

    Quote Originally Posted by Page 27 of the DoJ FAQ
    In certain circumstances, a law enforcement officer may ask to take temporary possession of the weapon or may seize the weapon during interaction with the individual to ensure the safety of the officer and others or to secure the weapon as evidence. The officer will return the weapon at the end of the stop unless the individual is placed under arrest for a violation of the law that allows the weapon to be seized.
    Source

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoTolerance View Post
    Yet they still do it. Even our DoJ FAQ makes it clear that LEOs will regularly violate your 4th Amendment rights: Source
    Ask is the key word in there. They cannot demand/steal it off of you.
    Last edited by protias; 09-30-2013 at 05:01 PM.
    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson (1776)

    If you go into a store, with a gun, and rob it, you have forfeited your right to not get shot - Joe Deters, Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Prosecutor

    I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians. - George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post


    Yep. I own 3 "crime guns".
    Didn't you mean you lost three crime guns in a kayaking accident ?? wink wink nudge nudge
    Last edited by Yetiman; 09-30-2013 at 05:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JustaShooter View Post
    Keep in mind that in some states a LEO can disarm you for "officer safety". Once that is done, the serial number of the firearm is "in plain view" and there is nothing to stop them from running the serial number.
    No state can empower the police to do what the Fourth Amendment forbids, i.e., detaining you absent reasonable suspicion of crime, or patting you down to look for - or to seize weapons - absent a reasonable belief that you are both armed and presently dangerous. Terry v. Ohio.

    Seizing a firearm to look at serial numbers also violated the Fourth Amendment. Arizona v. Hicks.

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    I suspect that "presently dangerous" is claimed by the mere presence of a gun. I mean, guns are dangerous.....right?

  19. #19
    Regular Member Sorcice's Avatar
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    Gun Serial numbers.

    If they flat out can't why did the Appleton Leo's run them multiple times?

  20. #20
    Regular Member F350's Avatar
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    You forgot a major point.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    No state can empower the police to do what the Fourth Amendment forbids and the US Supreme Court as set president against in multiple decisions, i.e., detaining you absent reasonable suspicion of crime, or patting you down to look for - or to seize weapons - absent a reasonable belief that you are both armed and presently dangerous. Terry v. Ohio.

    Seizing a firearm to look at serial numbers also violated the Fourth Amendment. Arizona v. Hicks.
    Last edited by F350; 10-01-2013 at 04:08 PM.

  21. #21
    Regular Member NoTolerance's Avatar
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    Re: Gun Serial numbers.

    Quote Originally Posted by protias View Post
    Ask is the key word in there. They cannot demand/steal it off of you.
    Someone should tell them that.

    The real problem is, who is going to press the issue by filing a lawsuit for what amounts to a "temporary inconvenience"?

    Even the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department are temporarily seizing lawfully carried firearms during traffic stops.

    It's crap and it needs to stop, but I just don't see anyone taking on the expense to fight it - especially when the firearm is returned within minutes.

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    Re: Gun Serial numbers.

    Just a thought, and if this illegal please let me know:

    If Officer Friendly were to remove an LACs firearm under the guise of "safety", then check the serial number under Plain View, would that be negated by a piece of electrical tape over the number?

    The number would still not be viewable at that point, and nothing has been altered or removed.

    Again, I do not condone illegal activities, and if the above fits that category I apologize in advance.

  23. #23
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    Re: Gun Serial numbers.

    I am very glad to hear Wisconsin itself does not have a database.

    Can they not access NCIC as well? It's probably not likely that an individual officer could/would do it in the field, but what about dispatch?

    Not trying to be Chicken Little, just wanting to learn. These are honest questions, and no offense is meant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JustaShooter View Post
    Keep in mind that in some states a LEO can disarm you for "officer safety". Once that is done, the serial number of the firearm is "in plain view" and there is nothing to stop them from running the serial number.
    Other than the fourth amendment.


    Quote Originally Posted by b0neZ View Post
    Just a thought, and if this illegal please let me know:If Officer Friendly were to remove an LACs firearm under the guise of "safety", then check the serial number under Plain View, would that be negated by a piece of electrical tape over the number?
    The number would still not be viewable at that point, and nothing has been altered or removed.
    Again, I do not condone illegal activities, and if the above fits that category I apologize in advance.
    WE HAVE A WINNER!!
    I do this. A piece of gorilla tape works for me. Take my weapon?? A LEO can do that, but not without me stating that I do not consent to any searches. Can that same LEO "run my numbers"? Yes he can, but not without a warrant or removing (oh theirs that pesky Constitution again) the tape.

  25. #25
    Regular Member F350's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0neZ View Post
    Just a thought, and if this illegal please let me know:

    If Officer Friendly were to remove an LACs firearm under the guise of "safety", then check the serial number under Plain View, would that be negated by a piece of electrical tape over the number?

    The number would still not be viewable at that point, and nothing has been altered or removed.

    Again, I do not condone illegal activities, and if the above fits that category I apologize in advance.

    From an exchange I had with BATF a year ago....

    From:me
    Sent: Sunday, September 09, 2012 7:01 PM
    To: FIPB Regulatory Email inquiries
    Subject: Obscured serial number

    Some buddies and I are having a rather heated discussion about this....

    If I were to put a piece of black tape over the serial number of my CCW handgun (1911 style) would that constitute "obscuring" the serial number and be illegal? The serial number is in no way defaced, altered or removed, all you have to do to see the serial number is remove the tape. If this does constitute obscuring then isn't every S&W shipped with the large grips which cover the serial number on the butt illegal? There are a number of after market products that cover the serial number, would that be illegal? If not but the tape is what is the difference?

    Thank You
    FIPB Regulatory Email inquiries <FIPB@atf.gov>
    9/19/12

    to me
    This is in response to your email to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). In your email, you wanted to know if covering a serial number of a firearm with tape be constituted as obscuring.

    Under Federal law, it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to transport, ship, or receive, in interstate or foreign commerce, any firearm which has had the importer's or manufacturer's serial number removed, obliterated, or altered, or to possess or receive any firearm which has had the importer's or manufacturer's serial number removed, obliterated, or altered and has, at any time, been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

    Merely, attaching black tape to a firearms serial number does not constitute a violation of Federal law.

    Should you have additional questions, please contact your local ATF office. A listing of ATF office phone numbers can be found at: http://www.atf.gov/field.



    Regards,

    Firearms Industry Programs Branch, ATF
    Last edited by F350; 10-01-2013 at 10:14 PM.

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