Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    (Allegheny County)
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    Default What happens if someone tries to transfer a stolen gun?

    I would assume that part of the transfer involves checking the serial number against whatever database the police use, but so many gun laws are poorly thought it I wouldn't be completely shocked if it's not.

    I'm guessing it would be flagged, and then the FFL probably has some responsibility to notify police etc. and the person who tried to sell it would probably face criminal charges. Is there any risk to the buyer? I.e. If I tried to buy a handgun from someone on Armslist that turned out to be stolen, is there any risk that I could get in trouble? (assuming I didn't know it was stolen, of course)

  2. #2
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    bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
    (Columbia County)
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    Default Re: What happens if someone tries to transfer a stolen gun?

    As long as you didn't know it was stolen and you never took possession of it I don't think they could charge you. It would also help if you didn't know the seller. However if someone were to fall into that situation, expect the the police to request an interview.

  3. #3
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    Mohnton, Pennsylvania
    (Berks County)
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    Default Re: What happens if someone tries to transfer a stolen gun?

    You'll get the gun, then you'll get the knock, then you'll relinquish the stolen property.
    The Gun is the Badge of a Free Man

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What happens if someone tries to transfer a stolen gun?

    Are you saying the FFL would actually complete the transfer, and then the police would respond? That's pretty nuts if it's true!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    next to my neighbor, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: What happens if someone tries to transfer a stolen gun?

    Quote Originally Posted by mattre View Post
    Are you saying the FFL would actually complete the transfer, and then the police would respond? That's pretty nuts if it's true!
    If the gun doesn't come up stolen during the nics/pics its good to go.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    lewistown, Pennsylvania
    (Mifflin County)
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    Default Re: What happens if someone tries to transfer a stolen gun?

    I asked an ffl this same question, he told me when he calls PSP, they don"t check on the gun for being stolen . So you could be buying a stolen gun without knowing it .

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Shamokin, Pennsylvania
    (Northumberland County)
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    Default Re: What happens if someone tries to transfer a stolen gun?

    Short answer is I dont think they check the gun's history, at least not for long guns/consistently.

    I'll share my stolen gun story. About 5-6 years ago I buy a 22 rifle from Gander Mt. near Muncy, pass the check, pay $100, go home, tear it down and refinish and get set up the way I like it. About 2 months later I get a call from a local police dept somewhere out towards Jersey Shore, asking did i buy such and such gun, do i still have it, etc. They tell me it was stolen from a camp and the best thing for me is to take it back and get my money back. I inquired about the fact that it had been modified by now...more or less they said they dont care on their end, and I can ask to be refunded for my extra costs but no guarantees. So I pulled the scope (mine), took it back, got my $100 + tax and fees back and that was the end of it. Clearly the gun was not checked when it came to the store or when I bought it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Brookville, Pennsylvania
    (Jefferson County)
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    Default Re: What happens if someone tries to transfer a stolen gun?

    Quote Originally Posted by mattre View Post
    I would assume that part of the transfer involves checking the serial number against whatever database the police use, but so many gun laws are poorly thought it I wouldn't be completely shocked if it's not.

    I'm guessing it would be flagged, and then the FFL probably has some responsibility to notify police etc. and the person who tried to sell it would probably face criminal charges. Is there any risk to the buyer? I.e. If I tried to buy a handgun from someone on Armslist that turned out to be stolen, is there any risk that I could get in trouble? (assuming I didn't know it was stolen, of course)
    1. The dealer doesn't check any databases to see if a gun is stolen. He doesn't have access to NCIC or whatever it is that stolen goods are listed for the police to check.
    2. The background check doesn't check to see if the gun is stolen. Background checks only check the criminal/mental health background of the BUYER. Nothing about the gun is made known to NICS or PICS.
    3. Rifles/shotguns aren't checked post-transfer.
    4. The State Police may notice that a stolen "firearm"(handgun, SBS, SBR) was transferred when they put the Record of Sale into the database.


    Until the whereabouts of a stolen gun is known, or is suspected to be, by other investigative measures - a stolen gun looks just the same as any other gun to all parties.

    As for receiving a stolen gun in what you believe to be an honest transfer, generally you will not get in trouble. PA's laws on the matter require mens rea(guilty mind). ....that you knew it was stolen, or at least reason to believe it was stolen. I'm not saying that the police or local DA wont try to run you thru the system regardless, nor that you will always win against such things, but typically you aren't going to get in trouble if all your ducks are in a row.

    If you have a "firearm" transferred through a FFL, you would have reason to believe it wasn't stolen because of that administrative step.
    RIP: SFN, 1861, twoeggsup, Lambo, jamesjo, JayBell, 32 Magnum, Pro2A, mrwildroot, dregan, Frenchy, Fragger, ungawa, Mtn Jack, Grapeshot, R.W.J.

    Don't end up in my signature!

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
    (Columbia County)
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    Default Re: What happens if someone tries to transfer a stolen gun?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rural Ruger View Post
    Short answer is I dont think they check the gun's history, at least not for long guns/consistently.

    I'll share my stolen gun story. About 5-6 years ago I buy a 22 rifle from Gander Mt. near Muncy, pass the check, pay $100, go home, tear it down and refinish and get set up the way I like it. About 2 months later I get a call from a local police dept somewhere out towards Jersey Shore, asking did i buy such and such gun, do i still have it, etc. They tell me it was stolen from a camp and the best thing for me is to take it back and get my money back. I inquired about the fact that it had been modified by now...more or less they said they dont care on their end, and I can ask to be refunded for my extra costs but no guarantees. So I pulled the scope (mine), took it back, got my $100 + tax and fees back and that was the end of it. Clearly the gun was not checked when it came to the store or when I bought it.
    That police officer was a real genius. He should have had your local police or state police pick it up.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    DeepInTheWoods, Pennsylvania
    (Warren County)
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    Default Re: What happens if someone tries to transfer a stolen gun?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunsnwater View Post
    You'll get the gun, then you'll get the knock, then you'll relinquish the stolen property.
    This.

    Happened to me.

    Dirtbag thief is still making 3 and 6 dollar payments to me via the court system.
    American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

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