Liabilities with private sales

This is a discussion on Liabilities with private sales within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I was curious about potential liabilities that might come up after a private sale. I can imagine a number of scenarios where there might be ...

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Thread: Liabilities with private sales

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    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Liabilities with private sales

    I was curious about potential liabilities that might come up after a private sale. I can imagine a number of scenarios where there might be some civil or even criminal liabilities depending on who you sold the gun to and where it ended up after the sale. When you buy a gun from a dealer, can the government link the gun to the buyer? In other words, if you sell a gun in a private unrecorded sale, is the gun still linked to the original buyer through the licensed sale? I've always wondered what's the difference between a licensed recorded sale and gun registration.

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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    When the gun turns up on a crime scene the local PD will initiate a trace through BATFE. They will contact the manufacturer who will tell them if a warranty card has been filed on it or which distributor they shipped it to. The distributor will identify the retailer. The retailer will go through their paperwork and identify who they sold it to. Then either the local PD or BATFE can be expected very shortly thereafter to be knocking on the door of that retail purchaser asking if they can tell them where that particular weapon is. If the person says they sold it, they can expect to be asked who they sold it to, when, and do they have a bill of sale or any kind of record of the sale that could help them identify who it was sold to.
    If it was dumped and recovered after a robbery/homicide and you have no documentation of the sale and can't identify the buyer you might want to be sure you have a verifiable alibi. You just became a person of interest.
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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Do a bill of sale (make, model, serial) and identification of the person buying it (name, address, phone number), check DL to verify address--all done.

    If you are concerned that the person might commit a crime with it--don't sell to him/her.

    If it gets stolen from the other person, they should be reporting it to the authorities.

    I'm sure in the last 10 years there have been firearms legally sold between gun owners (i.e. neither is a "prohibited person")...and have yet to hear of anyone being held liable for a firearm he/she sold to someone else.
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    Senior Member Array dnowell's Avatar
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    The other concern I have is that as a buyer you don't necessarily know that the gun is clean. Could have just been used in a crime, could be stolen, or so on. As someone else said, I haven't heard of that becoming an issue, but it's in the back of my mind.

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    Member Array ouch's Avatar
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    I worry about this too. I might be selling a XD in the future and I think I might tell him we need to do a ffl transfer.. I worry more than I should on things, but its better to be prepared

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I know of a situation where an individual bought a firearm from somebody and the gun turned out to be stolen,after an investigation the cops never charged the person that bought it, but he never got the sellers information.He ended up being out the gun and money he paid for it
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    I know of a situation where an individual bought a firearm from somebody and the gun turned out to be stolen,after an investigation the cops never charged the person that bought it, but he never got the sellers information.He ended up being out the gun and money he paid for it
    I have heard of this too.

    On the other hand I wonder what will happen when the "confiscation" police show up at my door and say hey! You're missing some from our records. Where is this gun and that gun? My reply will be ummm I sold them at a gun show. How it goes from there I can't say...probably me being branded a criminal and arrested.
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    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    What is the difference then between gun registration and a licensed sale? I thought that gun registration was still a hot button issue. Looks like that horse left the barn long ago.

    I'm not selling a gun, but this just came up in another conversation. It got me interested in several angles on the scenario.

    Still more questions, who has access to this info? That's a very good question isn't it? Let's say someone is killed or injured with a gun from a private sale. Can attorney's trace the ownership in a civil action?

    If a government agent showed up at my doorstep asking about gun ownership, my first reaction would be to just shut the door. How do they get past that? What if I just tell them I don't know who I sold it to? I suppose like someone said, I might need to start looking for an alibi and a good lawyer.

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    Member Array smartas's Avatar
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    Not sure how much this Bill of Sale will help but it seems to provide some comprehensive seller level waiver that may help...

    Better than nothing...
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    Member Array jdivence's Avatar
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    This is just from the Ohio perspective and the information came from the shop owner/smith at my favorite shop. IF you choose to purchase a hand gun your info is run through the FBI instant background check. If that comes up clean you are good to go and all the FBI knows is that you own a hand gun. They do not know make model caliber or any of that.
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    Member Array 2rott's Avatar
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    I've bought & sold a few handguns to private individuals. I require that we print a copy of both our drivers licenses on the written receipt. I also put the date & time of exchange & both sign it.
    I hope this covers me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smartas View Post
    Not sure how much this Bill of Sale will help but it seems to provide some comprehensive seller level waiver that may help...

    Better than nothing...
    This is a good form...saved it in my bookmarks!

    I am careful who I sell to...don't sell that much, but I do get copies of ID and signatures...prefer CCW permitted individuals as then I can be relatively sure of a clear background.
    After that, I don't worry about it...I keep records.
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