Placing black tape over serial number- Federal violation???

This is a discussion on Placing black tape over serial number- Federal violation??? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have made a couple posts about placing black tape over the serial number of my carry gun so LEO can not claim plain sight ...

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Thread: Placing black tape over serial number- Federal violation???

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    Ex Member Array F350's Avatar
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    Placing black tape over serial number- Federal violation???

    I have made a couple posts about placing black tape over the serial number of my carry gun so LEO can not claim plain sight and run the number in event of being disarmed "for officer safety" and if removed pursuing civil rights violation referencing Arizona v Hicks (among others). Several posters have stated their opinion that this would constitute "obscuring" the serial number and violate federal law.

    Well; straight from the horses mouth (and not just some single employee of BATFE.....


    From: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    Sent: Sunday, September 09, 2012 7:01 PM
    To: FIPB Regulatory Email inquiries
    Subject: Obscured serial number

    Some buddies and I are having a rather heated discussion about this....

    If I were to put a piece of black tape over the serial number of my CCW handgun (1911 style) would that constitute "obscuring" the serial number and be illegal? The serial number is in no way defaced, altered or removed, all you have to do to see the serial number is remove the tape. If this does constitute obscuring then isn't every S&W shipped with the large grips which cover the serial number on the butt illegal? There are a number of after market products that cover the serial number, would that be illegal? If not but the tape is what is the difference?

    Thank You

    Bob




    RE: Obscured serial number
    Inbox
    x


    FIPB Regulatory Email inquiries
    9:51 AM (2 hours ago)

    to me
    This is in response to your email to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). In your email, you wanted to know if covering a serial number of a firearm with tape be constituted as obscuring.

    Under Federal law, it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to transport, ship, or receive, in interstate or foreign commerce, any firearm which has had the importer's or manufacturer's serial number removed,
    obliterated, or altered, or to possess or receive any firearm which has had the importer's or manufacturer's serial number removed, obliterated, or altered and has, at any time, been shipped or transported
    in interstate or foreign commerce.

    Merely, attaching black tape to a firearms serial number does not constitute a violation of Federal law.

    Should you have additional questions, please contact your local ATF office. A listing of ATF office phone numbers can be found at: ATF Online - Field Divisions.



    Regards,

    Firearms Industry Programs Branch, ATF
    Bolding and enlarging is mine.

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  3. #2
    Member Array STLRampage's Avatar
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    I may be missing something but what does it matter if a LEO runs the serial on a gun if it's legally purchased and carried?

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    Member Array Ionracas's Avatar
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    Depending on the gun and holster used, the serial number should be covered. If a holstered gun is in the officers possesion and they remove the gun to run the number would that constitute a civil rights violation? Might be a safer move than the tape, just saying. Of course I realize that not all of us may carry in an easy to remove holster.
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    Member Array Ionracas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STLRampage View Post
    I may be missing something but what does it matter if a LEO runs the serial on a gun if it's legally purchased and carried?
    I agree with that but unlawful search and seizure? If they have no warrant or probable cause they have no business running the number.
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    Distinguished Member Array DontTreadOnI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STLRampage View Post
    I may be missing something but what does it matter if a LEO runs the serial on a gun if it's legally purchased and carried?
    What does it matter that an officer stops and questions you for no reason as long as you're not wanted or committing an illegal activity?
    If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.

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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    I think some apologies are in order from many who insisted that "their" expert or their interpretation of an easily understood regulation was correct when everyone else that can read the stupid reg (which I and others quoted verbatim back in the other thread) were indeed on the money.

    Thanks for the update. Don't know how anyone could misinterpret it.
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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    Never seen that one before
    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

    Isaiah 6:8

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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ionracas View Post
    I agree with that but unlawful search and seizure? If they have no warrant or probable cause they have no business running the number.
    I may be naïve here but to me it seems to be much ado about nothing.

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    I've never had an officer run my gun the 2 times I have been stopped carrying it. Of course they didn't disarm me either
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

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    JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by suntzu View Post
    Never seen that one before
    My use of emoticons is near masterful.




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    Member Array Ionracas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmhawth View Post
    I may be naïve here but to me it seems to be much ado about nothing.
    I am not saying I am right and Ill be the first to admit I can be a little slow. I welcome anyone to correct what I say. Just dont correct my grammar, T-Mobile does not come with spell check. Or anything useful for that matter, not even that hot girl in the pink dress.
    tricolordad likes this.
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    I thought Missouri was the "Show Me State"? Actually, good to know. You're to be commended for your e-mail, and the ATF commended for a prompt answer. Missouri got nuthin' on Colorado!

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    Quote Originally Posted by STLRampage View Post
    I may be missing something but what does it matter if a LEO runs the serial on a gun if it's legally purchased and carried?
    Oh I don't know; maybe a little thing called the CONSTITUTION!

    If I am walking down the street OCing (which I do) and LEO unlawfully detains me for nothing else but OCing, seizes my firearm without cause and unlawfully searches (removes the tape to run the numbers) without being challenged, what is next but LEO standing on the street corners hollering "PAPERS!!! YOU VILL SHOW YOUR IDENTITY PAPERS!!!" Does that matter??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock and Glock View Post
    I thought Missouri was the "Show Me State"? Actually, good to know. You're to be commended for your e-mail, and the ATF commended for a prompt answer. Missouri got nuthin' on Colorado!
    Not in Misery any more, I may not be as high as you but I am with ya in Colorado.

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