If I had inkling it was hot…I think you might contact the local sheriff or police department and ask them if they could check their database for you. The worst they could do is say no. If they do it you would know one way or the other. If it is stolen you might help catch a thief… or cause an other wise innocent person who may have purchased the gun unaware it was stolen, a small problem… like receipt of stolen property issue. However, when I have been in this situation and found a really good price on a gun that I wanted: I have asked the guy selling the gun for a face-to-face meeting. After engaging him in casual conversation about where he works, etc. I may ask, “Is it hot?” and gauge his reaction. I usually preface the “question” with… “Why are you selling this nice gun so cheaply?” and gauge that one. If my gut sent up red flags and alarm bells then I moved on down the road. During this time of economic downturn I have bought a couple guns that have been really good deals, at one face to face I asked where the fellow worked and found out he had been laid off from a local business that was in serious financial trouble. He needed the money more than the gun. If you don't like the answers and your gut is reacting negative just hand it back and say well thanks anyway, and walk away.