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Thread: Guns, Form 4473, & Things ATF?

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    Regular Member neuroblades's Avatar
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    Guns, Form 4473, & Things ATF?

    I'll jump staright into this topic. A female friend of mine had purchased a new wheel gun for her, then husband, the weapon in question was in her name on the 4473. The husband then gave the revolver to his brother just before their divorce and his arrest. This was approximately 7 or 8 years ago and the gun store where she had purchased the weapon was under different management than it is now.

    OK, I know that if a dealer closes their doors and hangs it up, their books are sent to the ATF for record keeping.

    So, now it's 2011 and I've been working with her, getting her used to guns and to the hobby of shooting and the Rights of ownership in Kentucky. So now she's wanting to recover this revolver from her ex-husband's brother. She told me that her ex had told her that the brother had changed the weapon out of her name and into his own name which, as far as I'm aware, can't be done without her signing off on it as well. Can some verify if I'm correct on this point?

    She had gone back to the gun store that she purchased the revolver to try to get proof of her ownership, via the 4473 but was told by the owner that she had purchased it from, that he had no record of her buying it! This was the same individual that owned the gun store when she nought it, before he retired. To the best of my knowledge, the gun store is still operating with the same books or would the previous owner had his books sent to the ATF and the new owners using "new books"?

    At this point, I'm trying to help her recover this weapon from parties that have it now, since it's still legally her's as best I can figure.

    OK gentlemen, I'm lost at this point and looking for some sage advice on these issues. I know that once we can obtain the proof of legal ownership via the 4473 paperwork, all we have to do is turn this over to KSP with a warrant to recover it, correct?
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    This is just a guess. I would think that the only thing the 4473 form would prove was that she was the original buyer.

    For instance, I bought both my pistols new. I might decide down the road to sell it to a friend of a friend. I can't come back with a 4473 and say look, this paper says the gun belongs to me. You get into he said/she said. The 4473 may be evidence, but I think it is far from solid proof.

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    Regular Member neuroblades's Avatar
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    I know that it doesn't tell who's in current possession of the weapon but it would prove to whom the weapon belongs as in, who purchased it. She'd like to have the weapon back being that she gifted it to her now ex-husband and he can no longer own a gun due to being in prison and there after, being a felon. She's currently trying to look up the original receipt for the weapon but failing that, how can she go about recovering that weapon now?
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    Regular Member CharleyCherokee's Avatar
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    She gifted it to someone who then gifted it to someone else. I'm fairly certain this is a lost cause unless she specifically requested the firearm in her divorce proceedings. Even then I don't think she has any standing to recover the firearm if it was given away before the divorce.
    Last edited by CharleyCherokee; 10-27-2011 at 01:25 AM.
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    The gun is not in anyone's "name". It's not registered, to anyone, period. There is no registration system in KY, nor on the federal level except for NFA stuff.

    Guns are not "titled" like an automobile. It doesn't matter one whit who bought it and filled out the 4473. If she bought it for her husband, then it was his to keep, to give to his brother, sell, or toss in a river as he saw fit.

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    Regular Member hotrod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharleyCherokee View Post
    She gifted it to someone who then gifted it to someone else. I'm fairly certain this is a lost cause unless she specifically requested the firearm in her divorce proceedings. Even then I don't think she has any standing to recover the firearm if it was given away before the divorce.
    Once you gifted the firearm, you lost ownership. Recovery will be impossible. When the court hears it was gifted, game over.
    Last edited by hotrod; 10-27-2011 at 10:04 PM.
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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Correct. Title passes with a gift, gun or anything else, and the recipient can do whatever he chooses with the article from there on. Lost cause. 4473 only shows the applicant and approval to purchase. Has no bearing on current possession.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    Regular Member neuroblades's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    The gun is not in anyone's "name". It's not registered, to anyone, period. There is no registration system in KY, nor on the federal level except for NFA stuff.

    Guns are not "titled" like an automobile. It doesn't matter one whit who bought it and filled out the 4473. If she bought it for her husband, then it was his to keep, to give to his brother, sell, or toss in a river as he saw fit.
    I'm well aware that there is no technical "registration" in Ky. but the fact still remains that when a weapon is purchased, there's a ATF From 4473 that has to be filled out and filed! The From 4473 denotes the original purchaser/owner, this is the reason for seeking this information. Granted, she may not be able to recover the weapon but the weapon in question was bought by her and she'd like to try to recover the weapon if at all possible.
    Got SIG? MOLON LABE

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    Regular Member neuroblades's Avatar
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    Update: 11-10-29

    There is an issue with the former owner of the gun shop where she purchased the weapon as well. When she had contacted him for the verification of the 4473, because she was told that "they" had had her "removed". The former owner of the gun shop told her that he had no record of her buying the weapon in question. We're research this issue as well but separately! I had learned that the former owner's books are now in Washington D.C. in ATF possession. We're currently in the process of contact them for possible "book cooking".
    Got SIG? MOLON LABE

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    Quote Originally Posted by neuroblades View Post
    I'm well aware that there is no technical "registration" in Ky. but the fact still remains that when a weapon is purchased, there's a ATF From 4473 that has to be filled out and filed! The From 4473 denotes the original purchaser/owner, this is the reason for seeking this information. Granted, she may not be able to recover the weapon but the weapon in question was bought by her and she'd like to try to recover the weapon if at all possible.
    For your purposes here, the 4473 is no different from a sales receipt. It shows who originally bought the item, but is meaningless beyond that. You can present all the receipts you want, but that doesn't mean the person who currently possesses the item isn't the rightful owner.

    You've probably heard that "possession is nine tenths of the law"; that applies here, because the person who has possession has an overwhelming presumption of the right of ownership. As I said earlier, firearms are not "titled" items. A 4473 showing her as the original purchaser means nothing. It's no different than if she produces a receipt for a TV bought from Wal-Mart (their receipts for electronics show the SN). If she bought a TV for her husband, who then gave it to his brother (or hocked it to a pawn shop, who then sold it to someone, who then sold it to someone else...), the original receipt (or 4473) will have zero bearing on who is the rightful owner; possession is presumption.


    Quote Originally Posted by neuroblades View Post
    There is an issue with the former owner of the gun shop where she purchased the weapon as well. When she had contacted him for the verification of the 4473, because she was told that "they" had had her "removed". The former owner of the gun shop told her that he had no record of her buying the weapon in question. We're research this issue as well but separately! I had learned that the former owner's books are now in Washington D.C. in ATF possession. We're currently in the process of contact them for possible "book cooking".
    That might get the FFL and anyone else who has conspired with him in trouble, but see my reply above: it won't change who has lawful possession of the item.

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    Regular Member 09jisaac's Avatar
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    Why is she trying to take possession of her ex brother-in-law's gun? It was gifted, there is where she lost any claim to that gun.

    A similar situation happened with me and my brother-in-law. He bough a sig for me for a christmas gift and didn't like me OCing with it (he thought it was illegal and wouldn't do a quick google search to learn the law). I told him he could have is f***ing gun back and I don't want to see it again but he went to boarders sporting goods and asked to have it transferred. They laughed him out of the store. Since there is no gun registration in Kentucky there is no way to prove ownership of a firearm. And if it was gifted away I think it would be wrong to try to get it back.

    Just something about this rubs me the wrong way. Gifts with strings attached, gifts thats only yours if you use it only the way the gifter wants. I understand laying down the rules and then asking them to take the gift or leave it but I doubt she told her husband that he can only keep the revolver if its his.

  12. #12
    Regular Member neuroblades's Avatar
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    A Correction in Information.

    Upon talking more to her, I learned that my initial information was incorrect. The ex-husband didn't actually gift the weapon to his brother, upon being arrested and placed in prison, he asked his brother to take the weapon from her house and to "hold onto it" till he got out. Of course once he got out, he will no longer have the right to own a weapon any longer as he will then be a felon. She has the legal guardianship of her ex-husband's property though and this is why she's trying to recover this weapon.
    Got SIG? MOLON LABE

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