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Thread: Does the government know when I buy a gun?

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    If I go down to my local gunstore and purchase a gun and fill out all the paper work for the background check, where does all that information go? Is there any way that information can be used to identify me as a gun owner and which guns I own?

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    Campaign Veteran roscoe13's Avatar
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    vaguard wrote:
    If I go down to my local gunstore and purchase a gun and fill out all the paper work for the background check, where does all that information go? Is there any way that information can be used to identify me as a gun owner and which guns I own?
    Yes, but, currently, only from a "who owns this gun?" starting point. The feds know which dealer sold it, the dealer knows who bought it...
    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." - George Washington

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    Of course the VSP know right away. The ATF is a bit different. The only way they will know is if they conduct an audit of the store and single outyour purchase record for some reason or another. Of course if the gun is stolen or reported stolen, one day the record may be pulled. The ATF is reported to be over burdened. My advice is to treat their powers the same way you should treat any firearm, with caution.

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    vaguard wrote:
    If I go down to my local gunstore and purchase a gun and fill out all the paper work for the background check, where does all that information go? Is there any way that information can be used to identify me as a gun owner and which guns I own?
    Do you think "they" should know?

    Do you think it should be public information, discoverable by anyone willing to file a FOIA request for the info?

    What if instead of going to the local gunstore, you respond to an add in the local trading post rag, and buy a gun face-to-face and pay cash from someone selling off a gun. Do you think "they" should know?

    A newspaper out in Roanoke believes that it was doing good journalism and a public service by publishing a listing of all holders of concealed carry permit holders in VA. Do you agree or disagree with that?

    Most folks here are fairly seasoned firearms owners and carry their gun(s), regularly. Most of us here, know the laws well and how the process all works. You've only been here a few times so I'll guess you've got some questions and want to learn and most here are willing and eager to educate.

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    No I dont think gun owners should be registered or catalogued. Thats the first step to getting them taken away. I saw what that newspaper did and I think a few people over there should be looking for new jobs. I have only posted here a few times but read other posts very regularly. There is a lot of good information here and a lot of people who are very knowledgable. Thank you to everyone who helps out with my rookie questions.

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    vaguard wrote:
    If I go down to my local gunstore and purchase a gun and fill out all the paper work for the background check, where does all that information go? Is there any way that information can be used to identify me as a gun owner and which guns I own?
    When you buy from a FFL dealer they logit in their books.

    At the date of the sale only you and that dealer actually know what you bought. The ATF is permitted to come in and check the books only a few times a year if necessary.

    The background check that is called in on you has nothing to do with thefirearm. It is only to see if you are eligible to own a firearm. No information about the firearm is provided.

    The log entry is kept with that gun dealer and there is no "master list" of sales that can be searched by the ATF. If the dealer stops selling firearms and wants to get rid of the books hemust turn over his log books to the ATF and cannot just throw them away.

    To find the owner of a firearm the ATF would need to contact the Maker and identifywhat dealer itwas sold to.Then checkwith thatdealerto see the log entry. This will showthe person it was sold to. The trail basically ends there unless the buyer can provide who he sold it to.

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    To find the owner of a firearm the ATF would need to contact the Maker and identifywhat dealer itwas sold to.Then checkwith thatdealerto see the log entry. This will showthe person it was sold to. The trail basically ends there unless the buyer can provide who he sold it to.
    How does that work if the maker no longer exists? For example, I have a COP 357 that my mother purchased in ~1984. The manufacturer has since gone under.
    ---

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    Campaign Veteran roscoe13's Avatar
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    rlh2005 wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    To find the owner of a firearm the ATF would need to contact the Maker and identifywhat dealer itwas sold to.Then checkwith thatdealerto see the log entry. This will showthe person it was sold to. The trail basically ends there unless the buyer can provide who he sold it to.
    How does that work if the maker no longer exists? For example, I have a COP 357 that my mother purchased in ~1984. The manufacturer has since gone under.
    I would bet that those records, like records for defunct dealers, must be turned over to the ATF...

    I'm not sure when records that would allow the ATF to track a firearm to the first retail purchaser started being kept...
    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." - George Washington

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    The ATF is permitted to come in and check the books only a few times a year if necessary.
    Tell that lie to Red's Trading Post. Argument from authority is the opposite of a personal attack.

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    Regular Member zoom6zoom's Avatar
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    I figure that if I buy enough guns they'll have trouble keeping track of them all. I'm off to a good start this year.

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    roscoe13 wrote:
    rlh2005 wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    To find the owner of a firearm the ATF would need to contact the Maker and identifywhat dealer itwas sold to.Then checkwith thatdealerto see the log entry. This will showthe person it was sold to. The trail basically ends there unless the buyer can provide who he sold it to.
    How does that work if the maker no longer exists? For example, I have a COP 357 that my mother purchased in ~1984. The manufacturer has since gone under.
    I would bet that those records, like records for defunct dealers, must be turned over to the ATF...

    I'm not sure when records that would allow the ATF to track a firearm to the first retail purchaser started being kept...
    FFL I (Dealers) must send their records to the BATFE when closing the business. There is no such requirement for FFL III (Collectors).

    You may also avoid the whole traceability issue if you purchase older firearms that do not have serial numbers. The down side to owning a gun without a serial number is that if the gun is stolen, there is no way for you to get the gun back if it is recovered.

    You may also buy firearms from other individuals within your state. There is no record keeping and no traceability. (State law may vary.)


    You may also build your own firearms either from scratch or as 80% kits. You finish the gun and you do not have to serialize it. (State law may vary.)

    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come …………. PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Regular Member glockfan's Avatar
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    How about when a dealer buys a used gun do they check the serial? I'd hate to buy a stolen used gun!

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    glockfan wrote:
    How about when a dealer buys a used gun do they check the serial? I'd hate to buy a stolen used gun!
    I do not believe there is a system for FFL dealers to check serials to see if gun is stolen. I do believe some police Departments will forward serials of stolen guns to local FFL dealers asking them to be on lookout for a certain type of gun. Officers with access to NCIC can run serials to check if they have been reported stolen.

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    glockfan wrote:
    How about when a dealer buys a used gun do they check the serial? I'd hate to buy a stolen used gun!
    Good question.....

    I am not sure if they call the local police to check it or not. I know pawn shops are required to enter everything they buy into,I believe, an Internet database that the police can search.

    I have seen searches done and you can look for the stolen property from your case. You can also see what people have pawned. This is great when you catch a guy stealing watches and mobile phones from UPS packages.

    If theguypawns 10 a week that are brand new has some explaining to do. :P

    I will ask my local gun dealer what they do when they buy a used gun.

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    What about a kit gun? I mean, I guess there's some part that's considered a "gun" in there, and that has a tracked serial number, right?
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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