Hi, I’m Austin Davis, Director of Training for Concealed Coalition. Our Coalition members regularly send me questions, and today’s question is,
“Hey Austin, how do I tell if a gun is stolen?”
Finding Out Whether a Gun is Stolen
How to tell if a gun is stolen is an interesting question, and one that doesn’t really have a straightforward answer.
First off, so few stolen guns get reported as stolen for a variety of reasons. As a result, there are a lot of stolen guns floating around that have never been documented, so many are hard to trace or identify as stolen.
If you have suspicions that a gun is stolen, law enforcement can run the firearm through a National Crime Information Center (NCIC) by serial number database. In my area, I’m not aware of any agency that offers that service to the public, but it might be worth asking around to find a local police department that can check for you.
Using Caution When Purchasing a Firearm
Something to think about – if you buy a suspicious gun from a suspicious seller for a suspicious price, that might be what we in law enforcement call a “clue.”
If it’s found later that your gun is stolen or it’s been used in connection with a crime, a bill of sale and an ID of the person who sold it to you would be extremely helpful at clearing your name. Luckily for you, we have a Personal Firearms Record Form that can help you with keeping track of your purchases.
Additionally, while it may be extra expense and hassle, there are a lot of advantages to running a Federal Firearms License check. At the end of the day, that fee could be pennies on the dollar compared to the legal fees if that dream deal turns into a nightmare.
So while buying a used gun at a good price is attractive, there’s a potentially ugly downside as a legal responsible gun owner that you need to be very aware of.
If you or someone you know has ever had a bad experience buying a used gun let us know about it. We would be very interested to hear your story.
Got any more questions like these? You can now text them to me, Austin Davis, at 713-528-8411. I look forward to connecting with you.
And remember, be a guardian always, and a warrior when needed.