Bad to Buy Pistols Face 2 Face?

Bad to Buy Pistols Face 2 Face?

This is a discussion on Bad to Buy Pistols Face 2 Face? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I just got an apartment here in West Virginia for when I start back at school at WVU. I went to a gun show last ...

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Thread: Bad to Buy Pistols Face 2 Face?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Sig229's Avatar
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    Question Bad to Buy Pistols Face 2 Face?

    I just got an apartment here in West Virginia for when I start back at school at WVU.
    I went to a gun show last weekend and saw many tables with pistols for sale that required no paperwork or NICS check.
    As I understand it, thats perfectly legal to do so in this state.
    Im originally from anti-gun Maryland, so you can understand my excitement.

    What I was wondering is:
    What could be some of the downfalls for such a purchase?
    Is there any way I can run the SN# to find out if the firearm was reported stolen or lost?
    What if I were to buy it, and find out later the handgun has a bad history? Would I be held accountable?

    Not that I expect the folks there were selling the firearms at the show to be criminals. All of the FFL dealers and private dealers at the show seemed to get a long like family and looked like they trusted each other.

    But hell, you never know. Right?
    Primary Carry Gun: Sig Sauer 229~R (.40cal w/ Golden Saber JHP's)


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    Senior Member Array tankdriver's Avatar
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    I like to sell on Auction Arms, or Gunbroker that way, you are sent a dealers FFL and HE has to deciede if the guy who paid you should get it or not. Not me. I can not get in trouble for the sale in any form or fasten, unless i sell a stolen gun, which i ill not do as I always check them out....
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    Member Array johnsr's Avatar
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    you are buying a weapon from an authorised dealer, you shouldnt have any problems. but watch out for the person that wants you to buy one for him. those gun sales are crawling with undercover ATF persons. and they might try to trap you.

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    VIP Member Array HKinNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsr View Post
    but watch out for the person that wants you to buy one for him. those gun sales are crawling with undercover ATF persons. and they might try to trap you.
    Any person who purchases a firearm for somebody should have their lic yanked. Fisrt time 3-5 years and second time gone forever.!! You are not buy smokes or beer for a underage kid.

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    Senior Member Array Sig229's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsr View Post
    you are buying a weapon from an authorised dealer, you shouldnt have any problems. but watch out for the person that wants you to buy one for him. those gun sales are crawling with undercover ATF persons. and they might try to trap you.
    Actually here in WV you do NOT have to be a dealer to sell guns face to face at gun shows. Pistol or rifle.
    So that was why I was wondering.

    Im not sure how I feel about this.
    On one hand, I think thats the American way. Why should the Federal government know what guns I own.
    On the other hand, I know that could be trouble because a criminal could buy a gun.
    But, criminals can get guns no matter what anyhow.
    So, who knows...
    Primary Carry Gun: Sig Sauer 229~R (.40cal w/ Golden Saber JHP's)

  6. #6
    New Member Array alligator94's Avatar
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    It is legal to buy face to face in WV, if you have any doubts about the person than just don't buy it from them. Also, you can call your local sheriffs office and most of them will run the sn's for you if you want to do that. The only thing I would do is to get a bill of sale.

  7. #7
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    I've sold FTF here in Texas, but I used a written bill of sale, and viewed the buyers TX DL and TX CHL too. I did not want to sell to a felon. He did likewise. He did not want to buy from a felon. I had a perfect paper trail up to and including the sale. Clean provenance.


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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sig229 View Post
    What could be some of the downfalls for such a purchase?
    Some risks:
    • The gun previously could have been involved in a crime. If you do not check out the gun, you could be asking for a world of trouble in the future, should it ever become known that the gun is "wanted." The questions could get very sticky.
    • Without written proof of purchase from someone, a "hot" gun or gun involved in a prior crime could be a real problem for you.
    • The person you're buying from might have other ideas than merely selling you a firearm, or purchasing yours. You could be attacked, robbed or worse.


    Some precautions might include:
    • Speak with the person first, on the telephone, to verify many of the facts in the advertisement. Do your homework, prior to agreeing to a meet.
    • If you both agree on the sale, make it pending the completion of a stolen firearms check using the serial nbr of the gun. Get the S/N at this point, then do the check.
    • Perhaps consider only purchasing from people who hold a CHL in your state, as this may weed out many unsavory types of folks.
    • If going to meet someone you do not know:
      • Document the trip you're about to make, including the advertisement, the person's name, email address, telephone number and basic details. This is for someone else to find, in case you go missing or something ugly happens, as this might be the only trail to follow.
      • Pick a public place suitable for examining a firearm, ie your shooting range.
      • Pick a time of day when others are around. Witnesses, should anything happen.
    • Do whatever else it is you'd normally do:
      • Be watchful and circumspect, 'cause you do not know this person.
      • Be armed.
      • Bring your cell phone.
      • Perhaps bring a friend.
    • Document the major details of the exchange. An easy way is to have already pre-printed two copies of a basic Bill Of Sale, which lists the basic deal, details of the gun, details of the two parties. Identify the other person's basic name and contact info, including his/her driver's license ID# and state. Sign and date each copy, then each person takes one, you exchange the cash and gun, then leave.
    • If someone seems reticent to go through these basic hoops, ask yourself why and whether you should be concerned. Probably not, but you never know.


    In Oregon, you can call the state police as a private individual and perform a stolen firearms check, based on a serial number. Rumor is, it can even be done anonymously, but they've required full contact info for both parties in all cases where I've called.

    Not that I expect the folks there were selling the firearms at the show to be criminals.
    Hard to tell who's who, when you don't know them.

    About all you can do is to reduce the odds ... by purchasing only from supposedly-reputable folks, at a reputable/safe place and time of day, with witnesses, being armed and prepared, having documented the encounter prior to meeting, having already completed a stolen arms check, and only after confirming the person has a history of quality exchanges with other folks. Pick one or more of these steps, and you can reduce the odds of encountering a bad egg and getting stuck in a crack.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Array Sarge45's Avatar
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    I have and will do transactions face to face. I always ask them if it's legal for them to own or possess a handgun. That gets the monkey off me if I'm selling. I never buy FTF unless I know the person.

    I am always armed in the event the meeting goes sour and they attempt to jack me.

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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Anytime you buy a used weapon you are taking a risk. Even if you buy from a licensed dealer and have verified through local LE that it is not stolen still does not guarantee a clean history. My CPO P225 could be a murder weapon. If the previous legal owner killed someone with it and sold it, no one may ever know until I do something that requires a ballistics test. If the remains aren't discovered until a few years from now, I might have some questions to answer.
    That is why I only buy from people I know very well or from a licensed dealer. And even when buying from friends we do all the paperwork.
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    Member Array Pizza Bob's Avatar
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    I think the point that has been missed in all of this is that FTF private sales of handguns are only legal if both participants in the transaction are residents of the same state. Interstate sales of handguns are verboten unless done through FFL's. Have you established residency in WV? Simply having an apartment for a semester's worth of school probably doesn't qualify unless that is your permanent residence. Do you have a WV driver's license? I'm leary of FTF slaes unless the individual is known to me or comes to me highly recommended by someone I trust. Just food for thought. Be careful out there.

    Adios,

    Pizza Bob

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Al Lowe's Avatar
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    The only FTF sales that I trust are in a gun store, or with someone I know. Now, having said that, in the state of Michigan, where I live. Even in private sales(including at gunshows), if the weapon being sold is a pistol, the buyer MUST have a permit to purchase, or a Concealed Pistol License and form RI-60.

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    Senior Member Array Rustynuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock and Glock View Post
    I've sold FTF here in Texas, but I used a written bill of sale, and viewed the buyers TX DL and TX CHL too. I did not want to sell to a felon. He did likewise. He did not want to buy from a felon. I had a perfect paper trail up to and including the sale. Clean provenance.
    That's about as clean as you can get. Odds are in your favor, but you still don't know if they guy just stole the gun or killed his wife 5-min ago with it! Same with the seller, how does he know you didn't just commit a felony yesterday? Might be a little paranoid, but I still prefer an FFL transfer just to get the NICS call. Plus the only used gun I ever bought was a dog. Used = higher chance of a lemon IMO.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rustynuts View Post
    That's about as clean as you can get. Odds are in your favor, but you still don't know if they guy just stole the gun or killed his wife 5-min ago with it! Same with the seller, how does he know you didn't just commit a felony yesterday? Might be a little paranoid, but I still prefer an FFL transfer just to get the NICS call. Plus the only used gun I ever bought was a dog. Used = higher chance of a lemon IMO.
    Just a calculated risk to sell this way. The NICS check at an FFL's a good idea tho.


    The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins. ― The Journals of Kierkegaard

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    Senior Member Array Sig229's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pizza Bob View Post
    I think the point that has been missed in all of this is that FTF private sales of handguns are only legal if both participants in the transaction are residents of the same state. Interstate sales of handguns are verboten unless done through FFL's. Have you established residency in WV? Simply having an apartment for a semester's worth of school probably doesn't qualify unless that is your permanent residence. Do you have a WV driver's license? I'm leary of FTF slaes unless the individual is known to me or comes to me highly recommended by someone I trust. Just food for thought. Be careful out there.

    Adios,

    Pizza Bob

    You bring up a good point.
    Yes, I got my WV drivers license last week and have a copy of a years lease on the house Im renting.
    Primary Carry Gun: Sig Sauer 229~R (.40cal w/ Golden Saber JHP's)

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