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Thread: Glock Serial Number

  1. #1
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    Glock Serial Number

    This past weekend, I was looking at a used Glock 19 at a local gun dealer. The dealer pointed out that it didn't have a serial number on the frame in the typical spot. He said that this was probably due to it being manufactured for military use. It also didn't have the Smyrna Georgia markings, which made me think it wasn't a typical import. I'm interested in buying the gun, but the serial number anomaly has me a little concerned. What do you think? Have you ever seen a Glock without the serial number on the frame?

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    Run. Something fishy is going on.

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    Regular Member shaun's Avatar
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    Glock Serial Number

    even mil issued have a serial number. Don't try to read into "what-if"

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    I think buying a gun w/o a ser. # is not an issue

    Selling one, maybe

    Its a glock .. millions of them ... select another if worried

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    I just got off the phone with Glock. The tech said that the frame serial number is the only serial number on the gun that matters, and that any Glock without the serial number on the frame is an illegal gun in the United States. I guess I know what gun shop I don't want to do business with in the future.

    Thanks everyone for your input. I appreciate it!

  6. #6
    Regular Member JustaShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    I think buying a gun w/o a ser. # is not an issue

    Selling one, maybe
    Incorrect.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/478.34

    § 478.34

    Removed, obliterated, or altered serial number.

    No person shall knowingly 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 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.
    Buy, sell, possess, transport - doesn't matter, still a violation of Federal Law. And since it has been Federal Law for newly manufactured or imported firearms to have a serial number* since passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968 there is essentially *no* chance it was made without one.

    *Except, as I understand it, firearms you make for your own personal use.
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    I don't believe you. We were told that buying a Glock without a serial number is not a problem. Producing a law that proves that statement wrong means nothing. The poster who BSes and blusters, without ever providing one ounce of support for his assertions, has said otherwise. You must be wrong. He knows everything about every subject in every State.
    Last edited by eye95; 10-02-2013 at 06:02 PM.

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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    I don't believe you. We were told that buying a Glock without a serial number is not a problem. Producing a law that proves that statement wrong means nothing. The poster who BSes and blusters, without ever providing one ounce of support for his assertions, has said otherwise. You must be wrong. He knows everything about every subject in every State.
    Now that's good sarcasm

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    Glock Serial Number

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottFree View Post
    Now that's good sarcasm
    I was serious.

    Bazinga.


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    Regular Member mobiushky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    I think buying a gun w/o a ser. # is not an issue

    Selling one, maybe

    Its a glock .. millions of them ... select another if worried
    Not trying to pick a fight, but isn't this a bit contradictory? You say buying one isn't a problem, but selling is. Well, if you're buying it, isn't someone selling it?

    Unless there is some new way to buy something that does not involve selling that I was previously unaware of?

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    Regular Member JustaShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobiushky View Post
    Not trying to pick a fight, but isn't this a bit contradictory? You say buying one isn't a problem, but selling is. Well, if you're buying it, isn't someone selling it?

    Unless there is some new way to buy something that does not involve selling that I was previously unaware of?
    Nobody ever said he was a clear-thinking individual.
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    Nobody.

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    Does the pistol have a serial number?
    Is the location where Glock states they inscribe their serial number look to have been tampered with?
    The absence of the Smyrna Georgia markings does not, in and of itself, mean that the pistol is illegal.

    Essentially, is this the first reported sighting of a cheap Chinese knock-off?

    If the seller is attempting to sell the pistol, presumably legally, because you state that he is a gun dealer, then the legal status of the gun should have been vetted. Unless of course the gun dealer's "shop" is the trunk of his car, open between the hours of sunset and sunrise..

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    Back to my original thought:

    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    The absence of the Smyrna Georgia markings does not, in and of itself, mean that the pistol is illegal.
    Absent markings on elsewhere the firearm , it does.

    § 478.92
    (a) (1) Firearms. You, as a licensed manufacturer or licensed importer of firearms, must legibly identify each firearm manufactured or imported as follows:
    (i) By engraving, casting, stamping (impressing), or otherwise conspicuously placing or causing to be engraved, cast, stamped (impressed) or placed on the frame or receiver thereof an individual serial number. The serial number must be placed in a manner not susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered, or removed, and must not duplicate any serial number placed by you on any other firearm. For firearms manufactured or imported on and after January 30, 2002, the engraving, casting, or stamping (impressing) of the serial number must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch and in a print size no smaller than 1/16 inch; and
    (ii) By engraving, casting, stamping (impressing), or otherwise conspicuously placing or causing to be engraved, cast, stamped (impressed) or placed on the frame, receiver, or barrel thereof certain additional information. This information must be placed in a manner not susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered, or removed. For firearms manufactured or imported on and after January 30, 2002, the engraving, casting, or stamping (impressing) of this information must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch. The additional information includes:
    (A) The model, if such designation has been made;
    (B) The caliber or gauge;
    (C) Your name (or recognized abbreviation) and also, when applicable, the name of the foreign manufacturer;
    (D) In the case of a domestically made firearm, the city and State (or recognized abbreviation thereof) where you as the manufacturer maintain your place of business; and
    (E)[B] In the case of an imported firearm, the name of the country in which it was manufactured and the city and State (or recognized abbreviation thereof) where you as the importer maintain your place of business. For additional requirements relating to imported firearms, see Customs regulations at 19 CFR part 134.


    Even if the Glock is made in the U.S., it still has to have a serial number, model number, caliber/gauge, name of the manufacturer/importer and the city and state on the frame in a conspicuous place, regardless if that placement is 'typical'. With just the info the OP provided, I wouldn't touch this gun with a 10ft pole. And if the OP is 100% correct, I'd be tempted to contact state/federal LEO/ATF.
    Last edited by Shallnotbeinfringed; 10-13-2013 at 10:25 AM.

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    Buying a gun that has had the serial number obliterated is illegal. I am aware of no Federal law that makes it illegal to buy a gun that has never had a serial number (or had the serial number marked in the wrong place, or whatever). Of course there could be any number of state laws that might make that illegal, but I don't know how they deal with guns made before 1968 that might not have a serial number. Manufacturers were not required to put serial numbers on guns (under Federal law) until the GCA of 1968 (though of course many/most did anyway).

    It is (since 1968) illegal for a licensee to manufacture a gun without a serial number. It is not illegal (Federally) for a non-licensee to manufacture a gun for personal use without a serial number (unless it is an NFA firearm -- any NFA firearm you manufacture must have a serial number).

    The status of this gun depends largely on whether or not it had a serial number that was obliterated. If the usual spot on the frame has no place for a serial number, then who is to say it was obliterated vs. never there? Maybe it's not a genuine Glock frame and the serial number is elsewhere. Maybe it was illegally imported and they don't have the serial numbers in the same place in whatever market the gun was manufactured for. Foreign guns lacking "import marks" are usually interesting to collectors.

    Anyway, if all you want is a Glock to carry, as others have said, find another gun. You don't need to be in a justified shooting at some point and have a whole bunch of side-show nonsense about the status of your gun.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shallnotbeinfringed View Post
    Absent markings on elsewhere the firearm , it does.

    § 478.92
    [...]
    Even if the Glock is made in the U.S., it still has to have a serial number, model number, caliber/gauge, name of the manufacturer/importer and the city and state on the frame in a conspicuous place, regardless if that placement is 'typical'. With just the info the OP provided, I wouldn't touch this gun with a 10ft pole. And if the OP is 100% correct, I'd be tempted to contact state/federal LEO/ATF.
    The law you cited regulates manufacturers, not buyers. At the moment we're only considering the legality for the buyer. The law you cited doesn't even say a gun lacking the markings is contraband and subject to forfeiture.

    Kind of like it is illegal to assemble a non-importable rifle from imported parts, but it is not illegal to possess such a rifle. If you are the "assembler" you did a no-no - if you are the possessor, that, in and of itself, is not a no no (but if the law says such a gun is contraband and subject to forfeiture you'd still be at risk of losing the gun).

    All of that said, the OP should just find another gun if he doesn't want to mess with the questions/risks/hassle.

    As far as being tempted to contact the law on the dealer, if you know for a fact that he's trying to induce someone else to commit a crime to cover his screw up (buying a gun with an obliterated serial number) then that's one thing, but if you aren't certain of that, with first hand knowledge of the condition of the gun, personally, I'd stay out of it. Not my job. Serial numbers are (allegedly) for excise tax enforcement. Let the accountants deal with it.

    P.S. I'm not an attorney and nothing I say should be taken as legal advice.
    Last edited by BrianB; 10-13-2013 at 10:45 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianB View Post
    The law you cited regulates manufacturers, not buyers. At the moment we're only considering the legality for the buyer. The law you cited doesn't even say a gun lacking the markings is contraband and subject to forfeiture.

    Kind of like it is illegal to assemble a non-importable rifle from imported parts, but it is not illegal to possess such a rifle. If you are the "assembler" you did a no-no - if you are the possessor, that, in and of itself, is not a no no (but if the law says such a gun is contraband and subject to forfeiture you'd still be at risk of losing the gun).

    All of that said, the OP should just find another gun if he doesn't want to mess with the questions/risks/hassle.

    As far as being tempted to contact the law on the dealer, if you know for a fact that he's trying to induce someone else to commit a crime to cover his screw up (buying a gun with an obliterated serial number) then that's one thing, but if you aren't certain of that, with first hand knowledge of the condition of the gun, personally, I'd stay out of it. Not my job. Serial numbers are (allegedly) for excise tax enforcement. Let the accountants deal with it.

    P.S. I'm not an attorney and nothing I say should be taken as legal advice.
    Good points Brian.

    922 does say:

    (k) 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.

    If the serial # is on the frame (Glock puts serial numbers on things like the barrel, slide and other places, but none of the are "the" serial number), I can't find the reference that states it is illegal for an owner to obliterate the manufacturers markings. So its conceivable that the other manufacturers markings have been removed, and so long as the serial number on the frame hasn't been messed with, the firearm is legal to purchase/sell.

    Regarding contacting the authorites: When new gun control laws are suggested, the general hue and cry is "We have enough laws on the books, they just need to be enforced". If I were the OP, and I was 100% certain that the serial numbers on the frame were gone (by whatever means), would I not be bound, as a responsible citizen, to report to the proper authorities the existence of a firearm with an obliterated or removed serial number?

    P.S. : also not an attorney, and I didn't stay at a holiday inn express last night. This is just for discussion purposes only. Isn't it a ****** world we live in where ordinary people feel compelled to put in disclaimers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shallnotbeinfringed View Post
    Good points Brian.

    922 does say:

    (k) 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.
    Yep, in my prior post I said if the number was obliterated (as opposed to simply never put on, or put in a strange place) then it would be illegal to buy (or possess for that matter).

    Quote Originally Posted by Shallnotbeinfringed View Post
    If the serial # is on the frame (Glock puts serial numbers on things like the barrel, slide and other places, but none of the are "the" serial number), I can't find the reference that states it is illegal for an owner to obliterate the manufacturers markings. So its conceivable that the other manufacturers markings have been removed, and so long as the serial number on the frame hasn't been messed with, the firearm is legal to purchase/sell.
    If the firearm is not an NFA firearm, Federally, it is not illegal (to my knowledge) to obliterate the manufacturer markings other than the serial number. This is frequently done for a variety of reasons that aren't important here. If the firearm is an NFA firearm then you can't obliterate the manufacturer name, and I don't remember whether or not you can obliterate the model and city/state information (and I'm too lazy to look it up at the moment).

    Quote Originally Posted by Shallnotbeinfringed View Post
    Regarding contacting the authorites: When new gun control laws are suggested, the general hue and cry is "We have enough laws on the books, they just need to be enforced". If I were the OP, and I was 100% certain that the serial numbers on the frame were gone (by whatever means), would I not be bound, as a responsible citizen, to report to the proper authorities the existence of a firearm with an obliterated or removed serial number?
    If you knew for a fact that they were obliterated, then it would be reasonable (in my opinion) to feel such a compulsion. For me the compulsion would be mostly to protect some innocent buyer from ending up unwittingly committing a crime at the hands of the dealer.
    Last edited by BrianB; 10-13-2013 at 11:31 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Hartman View Post
    This past weekend, I was looking at a used Glock 19 at a local gun dealer. The dealer pointed out that it didn't have a serial number on the frame in the typical spot. He said that this was probably due to it being manufactured for military use. It also didn't have the Smyrna Georgia markings, which made me think it wasn't a typical import. I'm interested in buying the gun, but the serial number anomaly has me a little concerned. What do you think? Have you ever seen a Glock without the serial number on the frame?
    This is not directed towards the OP.

    The OP does not provide any information that could lead us to conclude that the subject firearm is illegal. The question at hand is the pedigree of the firearm and the route the firearm traveled to come to rest with that local gun dealer.

  20. #20
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    Gun dealer had to report some serial number when they took it into stock.

    Lost all my guns in a fishing accident anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMTD View Post
    Gun dealer had to report some serial number when they took it into stock.
    Not necessarily true. It is completely valid to write "None" in your bound book if the gun doesn't have a serial number. In fact I discussed the very topic of guns with no serial numbers with the ATF compliance examiner during my recent annual compliance inspection.

    Again, if the serial number was obliterated, gun is contraband. If the gun never had a serial number, not necessarily a problem - gun could be completely legal. It's represented in the OP as a Glock, so if it has a genuine Glock frame, and the pocket where the serial number tag goes is empty, it's almost certainly a contraband gun. The OP said it didn't have a serial number on the frame in the typical spot, but didn't indicate if there was a gouged out hole there, whether or not the frame even had the pocket where the serial number goes, if the serial number was elsewhere on the frame, etc.

    It sounds like the gun was also missing the Smyrna, GA import markings, so (if it is a genuine Glock frame and not a 3rd party frame) I suspect the gun perhaps entered the country "unofficially". It is possible the serial number is elsewhere on the frame, or possible that in whatever country/market the gun was made for they don't require serial numbers to be on the frame, but instead want them on the barrel. I know some countries regulate barrels the way we regulate frames.

    If it hasn't run afoul of some law making it contraband, this gun might have some interesting collector value. Would be interesting to see some pictures of this thing - but I'm sure it's long gone.
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