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Thread: Stolen or not?

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    Regular Member J1MB0B's Avatar
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    Stolen or not?

    I'm not sure what section to post this in, so here goes...

    If I am buying a gun from a private party, how can I find out if it is stolen or not? I was told there is a website to go to but I can't find one.

    Thanks guys.

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    You can politely call the local police (non-emergency line is probably best) and ask if they are willing to run the serial number. I don't know if anyone has actually done it or not. Aside from that, there is no way for you to verify if the pistol is stolen or not yourself.

    I have bought used pistols and I don't bother calling the police or any of that. I just trust my gut. If the person is acting shady, then I will not buy from them. On the other hand if they are knowedgable about the gun, have a plausible story where it came from and are willing to show me their CPL and DL (I write a reciept for them to sign that I keep that includes their name, address, gun model and serial) then I will do business with them. I highly doubt a criminal is going to be that open, so I feel safe enough. If you purchase a stolen weapon then you are the one in possession of stolen property (also you will be out your money too), do what you need to to be comfortable or walk away from the deal.

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Most of the PD's I've ever dealt with want to see the firearm in person before they'll "run it". That way if it's stolen they can seize it and have someone to question.

    You may get lucky and find someone that can check the various databases but usually all access is controlled and someone along the way will want to know "who and why".

    That's one area that our lawmakers could actually help solve the traffic of stolen guns, at least to honest, law abiding people. Give us a way to check, even if for a small fee. There are sites that will allow women to run background checks on prospective dates but no way to check a prospective purchase of a firearm.
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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    http://www.hotgunz.com/

    (not tried, but there it is).
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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    Most of the PD's I've ever dealt with want to see the firearm in person before they'll "run it". That way if it's stolen they can seize it and have someone to question.

    You may get lucky and find someone that can check the various databases but usually all access is controlled and someone along the way will want to know "who and why".

    That's one area that our lawmakers could actually help solve the traffic of stolen guns, at least to honest, law abiding people. Give us a way to check, even if for a small fee. There are sites that will allow women to run background checks on prospective dates but no way to check a prospective purchase of a firearm.
    Correct, it will be seized.


    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    http://www.hotgunz.com/

    (not tried, but there it is).
    The issue with hotgunz is that it is a user submitted data base only.
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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    http://www.hotgunz.com/

    (not tried, but there it is).
    I tried it with the pistol I have on. It has not been reported as stolen. There was a disclaimer advising me to verify the information with local LEOs using NCIC. It might have looked like this.

    DISCLAIMER
    All information in our database is user supplied content. HotGunz.com makes no guarantee or warranty as to the validity or accuracy of the information. Please contact your local police department and request that the serial number be run through NCIC to confirm all results.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Regular Member jbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    Most of the PD's I've ever dealt with want to see the firearm in person before they'll "run it". That way if it's stolen they can seize it and have someone to question.
    No doubt, mere Possession, I'd sure check the state and local law's first before taking to the PD, like you said they might question and charge a person.
    Last edited by jbone; 12-27-2011 at 05:25 PM.

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    Hotguns and http://www.stolenweapon.com/ both rely on users to report to them. I have accounts on both and file weapon info when I learn of stolen weapons (like my neighbor). When you search their databases if you get a hit the system emails the person who uploaded the firearm info. But if no one reports to them that the firearm was stolen then it won't be in their system.

  9. #9
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    What I would suggest is a 'good faith effort'. Here we have multiple databases you can check. I'd run this suspect or new purchase through them, print them out and store this record of absence of hits in the pistol case. I shows you made a good-faith effort to check on it. I think that would go a long way in supporting your intentions. (Mens Rea?)

    This will help a coincidental problem, but if you think you might have a hot gun and don't want to get stopped with it, the only recourse is to hire a lawyer and have him turn it in for his anonymous client or something like that. It could get expensive. Guess that's why people'd rather have a clean sale.

    It's not like you have any easy options.
    Last edited by Badger Johnson; 12-27-2011 at 06:10 PM.
    A gun in a holster is better than one drawn and dispensing bullets. Concealed forces the latter. - ixtow

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    Regular Member MadHatter66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayd1981 View Post
    You can politely call the local police (non-emergency line is probably best) and ask if they are willing to run the serial number. I don't know if anyone has actually done it or not.
    YOU CANNOT CALL AND HAVE THEM RUN IT... Not only will they not, but its actually illegal and against ACCESS rules to do so without a reason or a LE request. As someone said before, if you go to a PD to check and they give it back to you or confiscate it, that's a pretty good indication that its is/is not stolen... Please don't burden your local 911 center with calls like this, they cannot help you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MadHatter66 View Post
    YOU CANNOT CALL AND HAVE THEM RUN IT... Not only will they not, but its actually illegal and against ACCESS rules to do so without a reason or a LE request. As someone said before, if you go to a PD to check and they give it back to you or confiscate it, that's a pretty good indication that its is/is not stolen... Please don't burden your local 911 center with calls like this, they cannot help you.
    Don't get your panties bunched up now. I said he could call the local police, I never once mentioned calling 911 or a 911 center. Then I said he could ASK. Why can't he? He's free to ask the police anything he wants. I have heard this idea (asking the police to run a serial #) talked about many times on here. But I have yet heard of anyone actually doing it. I was simply stating one thing the OP could TRY if he wanted, then stated what I do to feel comfortable with a sale. But thanks for telling everyone what THEY CANNOT DO. If it weren't for you, I was going to call 911 and ask them to run every serial number I have in my house. Thanks.

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    Regular Member J1MB0B's Avatar
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    An idea I was tossing around is an FFL dealer. They have to have some way to check the guns they buy right? On the other hand if the seller is willing to go with me to the cop shop to have the numbers run, then it probably isnt going to be hot.

    Thanks for the replies so far.

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    Regular Member John Hardin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbone View Post
    No doubt, mere Possession, I'd sure check the state and local law's first before taking to the PD, like you said they might question and charge a person.
    A point: you're going to take it in after you've bought it?

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JIMMBOB View Post
    An idea I was tossing around is an FFL dealer. They have to have some way to check the guns they buy right? On the other hand if the seller is willing to go with me to the cop shop to have the numbers run, then it probably isnt going to be hot.

    Thanks for the replies so far.
    This is the best idea. Tell the seller you'll only complete the transaction if he accompanies you to the PD and has them check the status. If he balks save your money. The risk is all on your shoulders as you'll be out the money, have no pistol, and then get the "stink eye" from the Police while you explain how you came by your stolen pistol. Either when you take it in to be checked or alongside the road some night during a traffic stop.
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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JIMMBOB View Post
    An idea I was tossing around is an FFL dealer. They have to have some way to check the guns they buy right? On the other hand if the seller is willing to go with me to the cop shop to have the numbers run, then it probably isnt going to be hot.

    Thanks for the replies so far.
    Some FFLs I have talked to will do an NCIC check like this, but typically they will charge their full FFL transfer fee for the service, and some are under the assumption they MUST do paperwork.

    I would suggest calling around to your local gun stores and asking.

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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMCDH View Post
    Some FFLs I have talked to will do an NCIC check like this, but typically they will charge their full FFL transfer fee for the service, and some are under the assumption they MUST do paperwork.

    I would suggest calling around to your local gun stores and asking.

    Why? What would that accomplish? A NICS (not NCIC) check checks the background of the person purchasing a handgun and not the gun itself.
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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogodawgs View Post
    Why? What would that accomplish? A NICS (not NCIC) check checks the background of the person purchasing a handgun and not the gun itself.
    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ncic

    About the records: The NCIC database currently consists of 19 files. There are seven property files containing records of stolen articles, boats, guns, license plates, parts, securities, and vehicles. There are 12 persons files containing the Supervised Release; National Sex Offender Registry; Foreign Fugitive; Immigration Violator; Missing Person; Protection Order; Unidentified Person; U.S. Secret Service Protective; Gang; Known or Appropriately Suspected Terrorist; Wanted Person; and Identity Theft Files. The system also contains images that can be associated with NCIC records to help agencies identify people and property items. The Interstate Identification Index, which contains automated criminal history record information, is accessible through the same network as NCIC.
    I'm not talking about the NICS system that they use when selling a gun, im talking about the NCIC system that FFL dealers have the ability to access through law enforcement channels. Its how they make sure they are not buying a stolen or "flagged" firearm.

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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMCDH View Post
    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ncic



    I'm not talking about the NICS system that they use when selling a gun, im talking about the NCIC system that FFL dealers have the ability to access through law enforcement channels. Its how they make sure they are not buying a stolen or "flagged" firearm.
    How do FFL dealers have access? Where is that authorized?
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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogodawgs View Post
    How do FFL dealers have access? Where is that authorized?
    The way it has been explained to me is that many gun stores have a standing "for the mutual good" agreement with local law enforcement agencies to check used firearms SNs to make sure they are not taking in anything that's been stolen or suspected of being used in a crime.

    If your asking for the official how and why of such an arrangement, I have no idea, ask your local gun store how they deal with such purchases.

    Edited to add: Pawn shops that also deal in guns are the most common to have these arrangements from my experience.
    Last edited by FMCDH; 12-28-2011 at 11:32 PM.

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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMCDH View Post
    The way it has been explained to me is that many gun stores have a standing "for the mutual good" agreement with local law enforcement agencies to check used firearms SNs to make sure they are not taking in anything that's been stolen or suspected of being used in a crime.

    If your asking for the official how and why of such an arrangement, I have no idea, ask your local gun store how they deal with such purchases.
    I will. But I believe you have false information.
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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogodawgs View Post
    I will. But I believe you have false information.
    Do tell, why do you believe this is false information?

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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMCDH View Post
    Do tell, why do you believe this is false information?
    I manage a gun store.
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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogodawgs View Post
    I manage a gun store.
    I know, so why are you asking me how its done?

    How does your store deal with used gun purchases? (if at all)

    You simply buy anything that comes in off the street without checking it?

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMCDH View Post

    Edited to add: Pawn shops that also deal in guns are the most common to have these arrangements from my experience.
    That "arrangement" that Pawn Shops have is usually spelled out in local laws and provisions of their license. In many jurisdictions they have to report their "purchases" and perhaps "pawns" within a given time period to the Police Department.

    Most jurisdictions also have "Second Hand Dealer Licenses" which may contain similar provisions for highly sensitive items like firearms.

    Not an arrangement, but usually a requirement.
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    Regular Member jbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Hardin View Post
    A point: you're going to take it in after you've bought it?
    Me, hell no! I not taking it in period.

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