Firearm Bill Of Sale: Apparently a controversy I did not know existed.

On an earlier post I mentioned that any gun owner worth his salt would make a bill of sale when transferring a firearm to a private seller. Some reacted quite harshly at the idea demanding to know if I was some sort of gun grabber/fascist/etc. My guess is that they don’t like the idea or have not though about it some.

Why a bill of sale? Basically you are looking to have some sort of documentation that proves you are no longer the owner of a firearm that might be involved in a crime later down in the timeline and for one specific reason: I do not want to give investigators a reason to check on me, but to send them down the line with a question answered fast and efficiently. This goes double if the firearm is a handgun bought from a FFL and you filled the dreaded form 4473.

Yes Virginia, sometimes Law Enforcement officers will trace the ownership of a gun from crime to manufacturing. As I heard it from former Taurus USA President Bob Morrison, any LEO organization investigating a crime can contact ATF to trace a firearm. ATF access the manufacturer’s database and in seconds knows where the gun was shipped to and the only thing they need to do is to contact the FFL who will go into the bound book and produce the name of the person who bought the firearm. If the name of the person does not match the name of the suspect or they do not have a name of the suspect, they may go ahead and drop by the address as it appears in the form and have a chat with the resident. If the resident is the person that appears in the 4473, there will be some questions asked until they are satisfied that person has nothing to do with the event or was not a contributing factor or is somebody whose character is less than stalwart or can be charged with a crime if they are really desperate to make progress or show a result.

I am particularly fond of mailing myself any possibly important document that needs to be time-stamped. Some call this “The poor man’s Copyright” as many songwriters have used to establish date of creation of a particular piece without having to go through the expense in time and money of registering the song by the usual means. Some advocate the use of registered mail and even leave it at a safe deposit box or mail it to your lawyer’s address with your name clearly in the envelope and instructions to your lawyer not to open and to be pout away in your file for possible future use. Any which way, it gets hard for any agency to say that the document in question is somehow suspicious if it bears marking of a federal institution. I will admit to certain amount of laziness and say I am satisfied with mailing the well-sealed envelope to myself. By the way, make some sort of notation on the outside of the envelope to know what the contents are inside.

In the unlikely event that you are visited by members of the badge, you can produce the sealed envelope and after demanding a receipt for it, you can turn the contents to the LEOs. And, of course you have a copy of the bill of sale tucked somewhere as back up till they end their investigation and return the document. I this age of digital everything, why not take that extra effort?

So, why give them a chance to screw with your life when a piece of paper can send them down the road in an expeditious matter and leave you alone?

Now, if you find this procedure an egregious assault against your rights as a citizen, just don’t buy a gun from somebody who requests a bill of sale. It is that simple.

I am wondering if it is also an egregious assault against your rights as a citizen to check if the firearm you are buying from private citizen is stolen or not.

Just a thought, you know?

 

8 Replies to “Firearm Bill Of Sale: Apparently a controversy I did not know existed.”

  1. A bill of sale goes to the purchaser, as documentation that he bought the article in question as opposed to stealing it. The seller should retain a copy. This goes for any item sold, not just guns. It’s not something that’s filed with the government, there no question of anything to do with “gun-grabbing” If, in the case of a gun, it is used at a crime, and recovered at the scene, it can be traced back to the FFL that sold it, and he has a record of who he sold it to. Your the goat if you don’t have something to show you sold it




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  2. I’m with you on this Miguel. Reality is what it is not what we hope for it to be. If someone I’m selling a gun to doesn’t want to sign a bill of sale that’s someone I don’t want to do business with. I do bills of sale for every vehicle I sell or buy so why not guns. I’m also not a hypocrite. I insist on a bill of sale for guns I buy as well.




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    1. Signing a bill of sale informs a complete stranger that I have guns, and where he should go some night to get them. Crazy Opsec, if you ask me. If I wanted a paper trail for Big Brother to follow, I would be buying from an FFL. I would never sign.




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      1. Why would you be selling a gun to a would-be gun thief? People just need to be smart with FTF deals – I’d only sell to people I know.




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      2. If you’re buying/selling a gun isn’t the idea you have guns a given? Big Brother has no access to a private BOS short of an official inquiry and even then it would be your choice as to whether or not to admit you have such information. Help me out here, I don’t understand your point.




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        1. Seems to me that if you’re selling a weapon and have a reciept for that sale, what you’re doing is telling the dotfed you no longer have weapons, so they’ve no reason to come diddy-bopping to your door for anything other than to roust you so as to not miss your ride to the FEMA camp.




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        2. One reason to BUY a gun on Armslist, rather than an FFL, is so that Big Brother doesn’t know you have it.
          The “trail” ends with the first FFL buyer.
          When they decide to confiscate our guns, they will go to that first buyer, I don’t what him to give them my name and address!
          Another reason is, I don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night, with the “seller” standing over my bed, with another gun, looking to take back the one he “sold” me. Or come home from vacation, and find he has broken in while I was gone, looking for my guns.
          I don’t want the government OR the seller/stranger to know who I am. Why would you?
          Is that more clear?




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