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Thread: A question I didn't know the answer too

  1. #1
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    I admit I'm a little embarrased I didn't know the exact answer to this question when asked to me...

    In Wisconsin, I know guns aren't "registered" per se. But the place you purchased them certainly keeps a record. Those records can be subpoenaed i'm sure correct?

    When you purchase a firearm what is actually recorded?

    The FBI background check once approved just gets destroyed correct?

    Does only the store where it was purchased keep a record?

    Do firearm manufacturers keep a record of what store they sell a weapon too.

    The reason this question was asked is a co-worked wanted to know if he sells a gun he bought at a retail store to someone else, if that person sells it, and on and on... does it always come back to him if its ever used in a crime or something?

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    Gun stores are required to keep records (FFL bound book). I think it just has model/make, serial number, who it was sold to, and when. The records must be kept for a number of years (20?) or go to the ATF when the business closes.

    Police often use these records to trace back guns used in a crime. The only meaningful use of this I've heard of was to figure out what gun stores sell the most weapons that end up in crimes (for example, Badger Guns in Milwaukee has sold more guns that end up involved in crimes than any other shop in the state).



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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4473

    A Firearms Transaction Record, or Form 4473, is a United States government form that must be filled out when a person purchases a firearm from a Federal Firearm License holder (such as a gun shop).

    The Form 4473 contains name, address, date of birth, government-issued photo ID, National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check transaction number, make/model/serial number of the firearm, and a short federal affidavit stating that the purchaser is eligible to purchase firearms under federal law.

    Lying on this form is a felony and can be punished by up to five years in prison in addition to fines, even if the transaction is simply denied by the NICS.[citation needed]

    The dealer also records all information from the Form 4473 into their "bound-book". A dealer must keep this log the entire time they are in business and is required to surrender the log to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) upon retirement from the firearms business. The ATF is allowed to inspect, as well as request a copy of the Form 4473 from the dealer during the course of a criminal investigation. In addition, the sale of two or more handguns to a person in a five day period must be reported to ATF on Form 3310.4.

    If a person purchases a firearm from a private individual who is not a licensed dealer, the purchaser is not required in most states to complete a Form 4473, though some states force individual sellers to sell through dealers.

    These forms are given the same status as a tax return under the Privacy Act of 1974 and cannot be disclosed to private parties or government officials without a proper warrant.

    Director John Milius portrayed his concerns over the Form 4473 in his film Red Dawn, where it is specifically mentioned as being used by an invading Soviet army to track down civilians who own guns.

    Form 4473

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    Brigdh wrote:
    The only meaningful use of this I've heard of was to figure out what gun stores sell the most weapons that end up in crimes (for example, Badger Guns in Milwaukee has sold more guns that end up involved in crimes than any other shop in the state).
    There will always be gun stores that sell the most weapons that end up in crimes. There will always be a particular gun shop that has sold more guns that end up involved in crimes than any other shop in a state.

    Imagine a normal distribution of 'crime guns' the independent variable (X-axis horizontally) versus 'state fraction' the dependent variable (Y-axis vertical) with particular gun shops as datum-points.

    Now snip off the worst tail, close 'em down. Look, the distribution remains. It is a bit less variable and more peaked with a higher 'Q', but you can still close down the worst gun shops or the worst 1% or what ever other irrational fiction is desired. This is the way of Sarah Brady and the gun-grabbers.

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    Brigdh wrote:
    The only meaningful use of this I've heard of was to figure out what gun stores sell the most weapons that end up in crimes (for example, Badger Guns in Milwaukee has sold more guns that end up involved in crimes than any other shop in the state).
    There will always be gun stores that sell the most weapons that end up in crimes. There will always be a particular gun shop that has sold more guns that end up involved in crimes than any other shop in a state.

    Imagine a normal distribution of 'crime guns' the independent variable (X-axis horizontally) versus 'state fraction' the dependent variable (Y-axis vertical) with particular gun shops as datum-points.

    Now snip off the worst tail, close 'em down. Look, the distribution remains. It is a bit less variable and more peaked with a higher 'Q', but you can still close down the worst gun shops or the worst 1% or what ever other irrational fiction is desired. This is the way of Sarah Brady and the gun-grabbers.
    I'm sorry, what I meant was that I've never heard of the ability to trace a gun making a difference or catching a bad guy anywhere other than on TV, so the only "useful" thing to come out of it in my eyes is a sort of census count of sold firearms and where they end up.

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    Don't be sorry. There are memes that float virus-like through the media (and our consciousness, the definition of meme) and mostly unseen. I would vaccinate us the pro-gun community. The 'sting' might be my needle for which I apologize.

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    Would it surprise anyone to find out there is a particular McDonald's in Milwaukee that has sold more double cheeseburgers to felons than any other?

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    When a Federally Licensed Firearms dealer sells a firearm the following has to take place:

    When the dealer receives a firearm the following happens. The Manufacturer records the disposition of the firearm in it's Aquisition and Disposition record book (A&D Bound Book). The manufactuerer records all the indentification information of the firearm, the dealers business address and the dealer's FFL number. On receiving the firearm the dealer records the acquisition of the firearm in his/her A&D record book. The dealer enters the make, model, caliber, type of action, serial number and address of the person the firearm was received from. The record book is kept on the dealer's premises for 20 years or until the dealer goes out of business, at which time the A&D book is transferred to the ATF. If the dealer purchased the firearm from a private party the dealer may or may not have a receipt of sale and of course the private party would have no A&D record book to record the sale in but never the less the dealer must record the purchase in the A&D record book.

    When a person purchases a firearm from a dealer the buyer must fill out ATF form 4473. The 4473 form records a great deal of personal information concerning the legal status, address and character of the buyer. The dealer retains the 4473 form at his location (subject to on site audits by the ATF). The dealer then determines if the sale is a handgun or a long gun.

    In Wisconsin:

    If the firearm is a long gun the dealer contacts the FBI and by using the National Instant background Check System (NICS) requests a background check on the buyer. If the background check is OK the dealer receives an OK to proceed transaction number and may instantly deliver the firearm to the buyer. The dealer must then enter disposition information into the A&D record book. The FBI by law can only keep a record of the tranaction for 18 months.

    If the firearm purchased is a handgun the buyer must fill out ATF 4473 form as well as Wisconsin DOJ form DJ-LE-FH2. The dealer then contacts the Wisconsin Department of Justice instead of the FBI and the DOJ runs a background check on the buyer. If all is normal the DOJ assigns a transaction number to the sale. The dealer must then hold the firearm for 48 hours after approval by the DOJ before giving custody to the buyer. After delivery the dealer must make an entry of the disposition into the A&D record book.

    In regards to Hugh's co-woker's question concerning a private sale to another individual the answer is two part.

    First: If the sale is to another private person there may be no record of the sale. The only known record of sale might be the last sale made by a licensed dealer. That may or may not have been the co-worker. Trace back becomes rather complicated in this case.

    Second: If the co-worker purchased the firearm directly from a dealer then there definitely is a record of the sale as decribed earlier. If the firearm is used in a crime it is realtively easy to trace back to the co-worker.

    Yes the dealers records can be supoenaed. Yes the dealer is required to co-operate with law enforcement when tracing weapons used in crime. I have been asked a few times to review my records to determine if I had sold a specific firearm. I was asked just three months ago to do so.

    As mentioned in Hugh's post there is no U.S. registration requirements of firearms. In fact, the NICS laws specifically forbid the U.S. from requiring registration that is why there is a time limit set as to how long the FBI can retain firearm transaction records. However, there is no such restriction placed on the individual states. You can bet that the State of Wisconsin keeps a permanent record of the sale of handguns. Is that considered registration?

    Because of all this gobbledy gook it is extremely important that when a firearm sale takes place between two private individuals that the seller fills out a very detailed receipt, including, the make, model, caliber, type action, serial number, date (and even time) as well as the name and address of the buyer.

    Hope this helps.


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    Lammie wrote:
    As mentioned in Hugh's post there is no U.S. registration requirements of firearms. In fact, the NICS laws specifically forbid the U.S. from requiring registration that is why there is a time limit set as to how long the FBI can retain firearm transaction records. However, there is no such restriction placed on the individual states. You can bet that the State of Wisconsin keeps a permanent record of the sale of handguns. Is that considered registration?

    Because of all this gobbledy gook it is extremely important that when a firearm sale takes place between two private individuals that the seller fills out a very detailed receipt, including, the make, model, caliber, type action, serial number, date (and even time) as well as the name and address of the buyer.
    Almost all states allow private sales of handguns, see map at http://www.opencarry.org/privatetransfers.html.

    2 points.

    First, what is the answer as to retention of state records of handgun transfers thru dealers in Wisconsin? In VA these records are destroyed. In PA these records are retained, confusing fome untrained police outfits into thnking handguns mysa be confiscated if not in this database. A federal lawsuit is pending on this question in the Dickson Dozen lititgation. Also, BATFE at one time sent a letter to PA stating they were breaking federal law for keeping records of handgun transfers - nothing even became of it but it looms out there.

    Second, I disagree that "it is extremely important that when a firearm sale takes place between two private individuals that the seller fills out a very detailed receipt, including, the make, model, caliber, type action, serial number, date (and even time) as well as the name and address of the buyer." This amounts to turning private individuals into dealer record holders - this is the opposite of what we want, i.e., registration. A strategic goal of maintaing the righ of private sales is to preclude the government from being able to trace gun ownership and carry out confiscation at some future date, or to use this data to palce gun owners on lists like the no-fly list for extra hassle and scrutiny. After all, even dealers destroy their records atI think 20 years.

    Private means private - sell the gun, don't make and don't keep any records. Breaking the trace chain of ownership is a good thing. Now It's up to you of course - there may be reasons to make and keep a bill of sale, such as if you make a capital gain on the gun sale and must report to the IRS.

    First Amendment jurisprudence provides susbtantial right to exercise your rights anonymously. The Second Amendment should be no different.

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    Mike:

    In response to yoursecond question:

    My comment about a sale between two private citizens had nothing to do with registration or legal requirements. I offered the information as a matter of good judgment. If you sell a firearm to another private citizen it is common sense that you record all relevant information. It is simply a matter of having that information in case the firearm is used at some future date to commit a crime and you are questioned in connection with that crime. The information filled out about the sale need go no farther than the seller's file cabinet.



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    Mike: In response to your second question as regards record retention of handgun sales by dealers:

    The pertinent Wisconsin state statutes regarding handgun sales by dealers are 175.30 and 175.35. Of specific interest to your question are 175.30 and 175.35 sub (2J) and 175.35 sub (2K) and it's subs. The answer is too complicated to list in this post because it is filled with what if's. i.e. the information is needed as evidence in a criminal prosecution. Generally the state retention period is 30 days after receipt of the duplicate dealer sales information but conditionally can extend to 3 years as I understand the statutes.

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    Additional response to you comment regarding keeping information on gun sales between private citizens. Your information sounds good on the surface but if you purchased the firearm from a dealer and later sold the firearm to a private citizen andthat firearm is later used in a crime and you are hauled "downtown" in connection to that crime, because you are the last known owner of the handgun, You had best have some information in order to get your ass out of the fire, principles be damned. Can't happen? It happens every day.

    Under Wisconsin statute 175.30 there is no mention of dealer record retention life.

    Additionaly: If you purchase your firearm directly from a manufacturer, i.e. Colt, the manufacurer keeps a permanent record of the sale. This record is separate from the NICS requirements.

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    Lammie wrote:
    Additional response to you comment regarding keeping information on gun sales between private citizens. Your information sounds good on the surface but if you purchased the firearm from a dealer and later sold the firearm to a private citizen andthat firearm is later used in a crime and you are hauled "downtown" in connection to that crime, because you are the last known owner of the handgun, You had best have some information in order to get your ass out of the fire, principles be damned. Can't happen? It happens every day.
    What are you talking about? Name a person whose gun was sold and someday used in a crime causes huge difficulty for them?

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    Sorry to ruffle your feathers Mike. You are entitled to your opinion as am I. I know of two cases where a person's life was made miserable under just such conditions. I will not divulge their names out of respect for their privacy. You may chose to beleive me or not beleive me, that's your choice.

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    Lammie wrote:
    Sorry to ruffle your feathers Mike. You are entitled to your opinion as am I. I know of two cases where a person's life was made miserable under just such conditions. I will not divulge their names out of respect for their privacy. You may chose to beleive me or not beleive me, that's your choice.
    Most of my feathers fell out long ago - my point is that of the 300 million or so guns in the United States, many or most are NOT in possession of the first transforee from a dealer - those are the only guns which can possibly be tracked from a trace done by BATFE from a manufacturer/importer to FFL. Secondary sales, even thrudealers are not linked to the

    Except in the handful of states which have any gun registration at all, there is no logical or legal foundation for an expectation of formal titling of guns or records of their transfer.

    If a government agency seizes personal property (i.e., guns), this isan opportunity, not a problem - an easy set of facts upon which to base both a lawsuit and publicity campaign. Look at the Dickson Dozen lititgation in Pennsylvania - these guns owners had their guns seized for only moments mainly, and only one guy's gun was taken to the station for a week or so - and now as a result of serious targeted publicity and 2 Section 1983 lawsuits (in which police chiefs and officers are being deposed for hours by civil rights lawuyers), the entire law enforcement community is PA is undergoing re-training in the law of open carry and being reminded thatguns are not registered in PA, and that the transfer database of handguns is just a database of some transfers, not any ownership registry.

    You guys ought to relish a gun seizure!

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