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Thread: OT - Serial Number Check Service For Stolen Firearms

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    Regular Member Bucks Gun Shop's Avatar
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    OT - Serial Number Check Service For Stolen Firearms

    I am looking to see if there would be interest in having a service that will check the serial numbers of used firearms you guys are purchasing to ensure the firearm has not been stolen. There would be a nominal charge for the service ($5.00) and it would come with a $500 guarantee if the handgun is later found to be stolen, provided the search was conducted prior to your purchase.

    Let me know if there is interest in this and I will see what I can set up...
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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    This is something that our "Government" should be providing for free. We pay them to maintain the database so why is it only available to members of the "Club"? I can look into lots of other government databases, why not one that would actually help stem the trade in stolen firearms?

    Not that your idea isn't a good one, I am having a hard time with the information not being available to anyone with an internet connection at no charge. We're already paying for it through our taxes.
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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    I think that would be a good service. I agree we should be able to do that search ourselves, but as we cannot at the present, it would have value.

    The insurance idea would have to go through the state insurance commisioner to be approved, (unless you were to purchase the insurance through an already approved third party) and most likely would be an appreciated added value.

    I, for one, do not trade face to face unless I personally know the person. Theft is the main reason I don't.
    Last edited by hermannr; 06-07-2011 at 04:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    I agree we should be able to do that search ourselves, but as we cannot at the present,

    The insurance idea would have to go through the state insurance commisioner to be approved, (unless you were to purchase the insurance through an already approved third party) and most likely would be an appreciated added value.
    Why can't we do this ourselves? This is not the only place Buck's has posted this. On SGN, it was pointed out that one could call local PDs and ask for a s/n check. I think some will do this for you. Some may not, unless the firearm is brought in and surrendered if stolen. Hmmm....
    And how many guns are bought for under $500? Some, to be sure, but many are more to much more....
    I like the plan better where the service would be provided free by NICS

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    The NICS check does nothing re the firearm, but does a background check on the purchaser. The Local PD will run an NCIC (National Crime Information Center) check based upon make model and sn. It should be noted that some firearms manufactured prior to 1968 may not have a sn, and some may have a number that is NOT a unique sn, but a model number. In that case yhere could be several with the same number. I have a Stevens 325 bolt action 30-30 with no numbers other than model and calibre. Bought it from a dealer about 6 months back.

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    I'd pay the $5 if the local PD wouldn't do it. I like this idea, though I'd prefer if the govt would do it for free. But hey, at least there's a way that's not very expensive at all compared to the price of the firearm.
    Quote Originally Posted by SayWhat View Post

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trigger Dr View Post
    The NICS check does nothing re the firearm, but does a background check on the purchaser.
    I think the poster may have suggested NICS as they have the mechanism for such a check in place. Phones, computers, database managing geeks, etc.

    NCIC is more likely where stolen weapon checks would be made. Considering the number of firearms that are lost or stolen, yet never reported, I'm not so sure that there is any foolproof way to "insure" that a firearm you are about to buy is "clean". That is unless you are buying a new firearm from a Dealer.

    BTW, will the "Insurance Policy" cover all the ancillary legal costs one might incur if he is found in possession of a stolen gun? Once a police officer checks the firearm and finds it stolen a trip to the "slammer" is no doubt next. Lawyer, bail, time off work, etc, are all possible expenses one might incur if found in possession of a stolen firearm.

    This risk is always there when buying from private parties but someone "insuring" against the firearm being stolen might well have placed themselves in a position where these expenses could be recovered from them.
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    I had an individual walk into a pawn shop carrying a Mauser mod "B", when I was looking at generators. I commented on it, and he said his father had passed away and guns were of no interest to him. We went outside to talk and he said if he got $35-40 for it he would sell. I agreed to buy if he would go to the PD with me to check stolen. He agreed. Gun was clean as well as a Browning turn bolt he had. He showed the obituary column for his father and I bought both guns for $50. The PD was happy to check stolen for me at no cost.
    If there had been a hit, he would been the one to lose, not me. Check BEFORE buying, not after.

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    Regular Member Bucks Gun Shop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    BTW, will the "Insurance Policy" cover all the ancillary legal costs one might incur if he is found in possession of a stolen gun? Once a police officer checks the firearm and finds it stolen a trip to the "slammer" is no doubt next. Lawyer, bail, time off work, etc, are all possible expenses one might incur if found in possession of a stolen firearm.
    Gang: If I said "Insurance Policy" or implied one, that is incorrect... Essentially there would be warranty (not sure of the legal term to use) that would pay $500 if the gun were found to be stolen and the check was done prior to purchase... I think you are expecting too much of your $5 investment if you want indemnity... In the situation cited above, you would at least have evidence that you attempted to confirm that the firearm was not stolen...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bucks Gun Shop View Post
    Gang: If I said "Insurance Policy" or implied one, that is incorrect... Essentially there would be warranty (not sure of the legal term to use) that would pay $500 if the gun were found to be stolen and the check was done prior to purchase... I think you are expecting too much of your $5 investment if you want indemnity... In the situation cited above, you would at least have evidence that you attempted to confirm that the firearm was not stolen...
    Why would would anyone buy a gun suspected of being stolen especially before a check was done. The onus would fall on the seller. If the seller was a dealer, I would be a bit suspicious.

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    Regular Member Bucks Gun Shop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trigger Dr View Post
    Why would would anyone buy a gun suspected of being stolen especially before a check was done. The onus would fall on the seller. If the seller was a dealer, I would be a bit suspicious.
    Trigger Dr. - I suspect that if you are purchasing from a dealer, then you would not need this service... However a vast number of buy firearms FTF from person they do not know, and have no idea of whether or not the firearm is stolen or not... If it later turns up stolen, you may not have any recourse with the original seller - especially if you have no clear record of the sell or ability to locate the seller...

    That said, I am left with the impression that the majority of those that have viewed this thread see little value in what I am considering. This is important insight for me to have...
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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    I was curious as to what others would say. My initial thought was that I would have no interest in a service like this. After reading others thoughts my disposition is the same.
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    I did buy a shotgun from a dealer only to have the sheriff come by 2 weeks later and confiscate the gun. It had been stolen and sold to the dealer, who required ID from the seller. I was told by the court that I would get my money back from the dealer when the dealer got his money from the thief. Still have the evidence receipt dated 1976 and no money. Go figure. do the check with the local PD THEN buy or pass.

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trigger Dr View Post
    I was told by the court that I would get my money back from the dealer when the dealer got his money from the thief. Still have the evidence receipt dated 1976 and no money. Go figure. do the check with the local PD THEN buy or pass.
    This sounds like the "court" was full of #$%^. Since when would it make any difference if the Dealer got his money from the Thief or not? Your "Contract" was with the Dealer.

    The only exception to this might be that the shotgun was "consigned" to the Dealer and he was merely a transfer agent for the money. If the Dealer ever showed ownership of the shotgun then he should have forked over the dough you paid him.

    As for PD checks, are they really the "final word" on whether a firearm is stolen or not?

    Example:
    You buy a firearm on July 1. The PD checks the status and it's "clean". You buy it from a guy who was introduced to you by a guy at work and it was a great deal.

    On August 1, Fred and Frannie Furbel come home from a 3 month vacation and find his gun collection gone, stolen. He reports his favorite pistol (and other's) as stolen. You are stopped in October for a minor traffic offense like an inoperable taillight or such, and in the process, the new pistol you bought is removed from your possession and checked? Guess what, it is NOW listed as stolen, even though you did check. Guess who gets a ride in the back seat?

    Buying guns from unknown parties is risky, even if the PD does check the firearm for you.
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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    Took a while but finally found this old thread through the search....


    I just found out this through a thread in Oregon and makes me wonder if ANYONE can use it or just Oregon citizens.... Someone who has just bought a gun might try it and let us know.

    Quote:
    The Firearms Unit is responsible for processing stolen gun checks against the stolen weapons files in LEDS and NCIC for the dealers and any private citizen requesting this service. There is no fee for processing the stolen gun checks. To check a firearm against the stolen record files, call 1-800-432-5059
    Do you want to get your Oregon Concealed Handgun License? Sheriff Dickerson of Columbia County Oregon will be at the Puyallup WAC show in October. Everything you need to get your Oregon CHL is linked through the website or you can use the information from the website and make an appointment and apply at his office in St Helens, Oregon.
    http://www.washingtongunrights.com/ccso

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    Regular Member skiingislife725's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1Gunr View Post
    Took a while but finally found this old thread through the search....


    I just found out this through a thread in Oregon and makes me wonder if ANYONE can use it or just Oregon citizens.... Someone who has just bought a gun might try it and let us know.

    Quote:
    The Firearms Unit is responsible for processing stolen gun checks against the stolen weapons files in LEDS and NCIC for the dealers and any private citizen requesting this service. There is no fee for processing the stolen gun checks. To check a firearm against the stolen record files, call 1-800-432-5059
    Found this too: "Call the FICS Unit at 1-800-432-5059. The established 800 number is an intra-state number. If your phone provider uses a system outside of Oregon, you may receive a
    message that this number is not available for your use. In those instances, the
    alternate number to call is 1-503-585-6245, which pools into the same phone line as
    the 800 number."

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    fresh in from the Firearms Unit...

    Good Morning Bill,

    Unfortunately, no, we do not have a phone number that I know of. We do not have a database of all the stole firearms here at DOL and we usually suggest people to call WSP or local law enforcement. I do know that for whatever reason law enforcement will sometimes tell individuals they canít look up that information for them. It would be nice to have a database that private individuals trying to make sure they are not purchasing stolen firearms could have as a resource but there are none in Washington that I am aware of.

    Feel free to contact us with any further questions or concerns. Thank you and have a great day.

    Firearms Unit
    Dept. of Licensing
    Business and Professions Division
    360-664-6616
    Firearms@dol.wa.gov
    Do you want to get your Oregon Concealed Handgun License? Sheriff Dickerson of Columbia County Oregon will be at the Puyallup WAC show in October. Everything you need to get your Oregon CHL is linked through the website or you can use the information from the website and make an appointment and apply at his office in St Helens, Oregon.
    http://www.washingtongunrights.com/ccso

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    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1Gunr View Post
    fresh in from the Firearms Unit...

    Good Morning Bill,

    Unfortunately, no, we do not have a phone number that I know of. We do not have a database of all the stole firearms here at DOL and we usually suggest people to call WSP or local law enforcement. I do know that for whatever reason law enforcement will sometimes tell individuals they canít look up that information for them. It would be nice to have a database that private individuals trying to make sure they are not purchasing stolen firearms could have as a resource but there are none in Washington that I am aware of.

    Feel free to contact us with any further questions or concerns. Thank you and have a great day.

    Firearms Unit
    Dept. of Licensing
    Business and Professions Division
    360-664-6616
    Firearms@dol.wa.gov
    I believe that this could be a defense if you honestly believed you made a legit purchase/trade.
    I know that I would like to have a number to call before I make a private firearm purchase.
    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom1Man View Post
    I believe that this could be a defense if you honestly believed you made a legit purchase/trade.
    I know that I would like to have a number to call before I make a private firearm purchase.
    May be a defense against any criminal charge but you'd still have the firearm seized. It would then be returned to the legal owner who reported it stolen (after an NICS check and Proof of Ownership).

    You could then go and attempt to collect your money from the party that sold it to you, that is if the Cops didn't arrest him and he's now serving 5 years.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

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    Re: OT - Serial Number Check Service For Stolen Firearms

    Quote Originally Posted by Bucks Gun Shop View Post
    I am looking to see if there would be interest in having a service that will check the serial numbers of used firearms you guys are purchasing to ensure the firearm has not been stolen. There would be a nominal charge for the service ($5.00) and it would come with a $500 guarantee if the handgun is later found to be stolen, provided the search was conducted prior to your purchase.

    Let me know if there is interest in this and I will see what I can set up...
    I Dont know about where you live, but in Durham, NC that service is free. All you do is call the local sheriff department and read them the serial number and they will tell you whether the gun comes back clean or not. Tell them you are considering purchasing a pistol from a private party and you want to know whether you are purchasing a legit product or not.



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    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    May be a defense against any criminal charge but you'd still have the firearm seized. It would then be returned to the legal owner who reported it stolen (after an NICS check and Proof of Ownership).

    You could then go and attempt to collect your money from the party that sold it to you, that is if the Cops didn't arrest him and he's now serving 5 years.
    I was only referring to the criminal charges. You're screwed if it was stolen, out the money, name on criminal record, may have to appear in court as a witness, etc.
    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    Regular Member Matthias's Avatar
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    Would this help at all? Or are you only looking for IN state weapons?

    http://www.hotgunz.com/
    http://www.stolenweapon.com/

    Those are 2 that I use on a regular basis, just checking stuff out.

  23. #23
    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SevenSlugs View Post
    I Dont know about where you live, but in Durham, NC that service is free. All you do is call the local sheriff department and read them the serial number and they will tell you whether the gun comes back clean or not. Tell them you are considering purchasing a pistol from a private party and you want to know whether you are purchasing a legit product or not.



    Sent from my SGH-T839 using Tapatalk 2
    Most of the PD's locally want to see the firearm for themselves before checking. My guess is the reason is two-fold. To prevent improper use of the database and so they can seize the weapon if it proves to be stolen.

    If one were to check, find out a firearm they were about to buy proved to be stolen, they'd most likely just say now way on the purchase. That doesn't do anything to get the stolen weapon off the street and back to the rightful owner.

    I know that a local Pawn Shop regularly calls police on firearms that people are about to pawn. Every once in a while I see several cars in the lot, officers out arresting the person attempting to pawn it. If I am correct, Pawn Shops have to report merchandise they pawn/buy, especially firearms. Apparently this one does it while the customer is still waiting for their money.
    Last edited by amlevin; 08-17-2012 at 09:46 AM.
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