Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #11
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    Aug 2013
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    The Woods, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: So does anyone know if an FFL can run serial numbers on used guns?

    Well the PSP can deny it all they want they definitely keep track of handgun sales. Long arms are a different story especially in Pa where an FFL transfer is not required for long arms. I have some old Savage shotguns without serial numbers as they were not required until Ď68 or Ď69. God only knows how many times they have been bought and sold before ending up in my collection. No way to trace them either. In a sense they are ghost guns.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
    (Columbia County)
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    Default Re: So does anyone know if an FFL can run serial numbers on used guns?

    When a stolen gun is reported to the police the police enter the serial number make and model etc into NCIC. The NCIC stolen gun file is accessible to every police department in the country. The PSP handgun registry of sale is not a part of NCIC that is maintained by PSP and does not record any information about stolen guns. I suppose it's possible that a gun shop could call their local police and tell them they suspect they may have bought a stole gun. The police could run the serial number to verify if it has been reported stolen. If the gun is stolen the police will go and recover it and the shop lost the money it spent on buying it. Maybe they should have a system in place where a gun being bought or trade in at a gun shop can be searched via NCIC instantaneously but they don't.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ligonier, Pennsylvania
    (Westmoreland County)
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    Default Re: So does anyone know if an FFL can run serial numbers on used guns?

    As an FFL I can indeed check for stolen firearms. There is an App on the E-PICS website; the one where we do e-file PICS. I punch in a serial number, pertinent firearm information such as make and model. I don't get much detail information back. The response merely informs me that there is no record of that particular firearm on a stolen firearms data base. If a firearms comes up as on a stolen firearms data base, I'm instructed to notify law enforcement immediately.

    To add: A Pa. FFL can only do this through the E-PICS. If they aren't using the electronic system they can't access that information.
    Last edited by ScotsGuards; July 27th, 2022 at 10:11 PM. Reason: Added information

  4. #14
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    The Woods, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: So does anyone know if an FFL can run serial numbers on used guns?

    So E-PICS would be the computerized system that big box stores and WalMart use right? Seems like most places call in checks over the phone.

  5. #15
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    The Woods, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: So does anyone know if an FFL can run serial numbers on used guns?

    I read online that Tennessee has itís own system called TICS that can check for stolen guns.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ligonier, Pennsylvania
    (Westmoreland County)
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    Default Re: So does anyone know if an FFL can run serial numbers on used guns?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4thdimension View Post
    So E-PICS would be the computerized system that big box stores and WalMart use right? Seems like most places call in checks over the phone.
    The big box stores do use the E-PICS but many of the smaller FFLs (Such as myself) use that system as well. It allows us to run multiple checks in a more timely and efficient manner. An FFL doesn't really need much in the way of complicated infrastructure to utilize the E-PICS App. Just a good internet connection and a proper device. I've run PICS checks on my Android phone though I prefer to use my laptop here at the shop or my tablet at gun shows. I really don't understand why more (Or most, if not all) FFLs don't utilize the E-PICS system. It's really not that complicated.

  7. #17
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    Aug 2013
    Location
    The Woods, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: So does anyone know if an FFL can run serial numbers on used guns?

    The gun store I do 90% of my business with still calls pics. Actually most of the smaller shops in my area do. Iíve only filled out the computerized background check at Walmart.

  8. #18
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    Jul 2020
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    In a college town, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: So does anyone know if an FFL can run serial numbers on used guns?

    Quote Originally Posted by ScotsGuards View Post
    The big box stores do use the E-PICS but many of the smaller FFLs (Such as myself) use that system as well. It allows us to run multiple checks in a more timely and efficient manner. An FFL doesn't really need much in the way of complicated infrastructure to utilize the E-PICS App. Just a good internet connection and a proper device. I've run PICS checks on my Android phone though I prefer to use my laptop here at the shop or my tablet at gun shows. I really don't understand why more (Or most, if not all) FFLs don't utilize the E-PICS system. It's really not that complicated.
    Something something slippery slope to registry because another digital system involved

    I still prefer my LGS call it in. Iíve had 2 e-pics checks run and they took just as long as the phone calls do. Only real bonus is they go into pending instead of research and it seems PSP prioritizes pending status over research status.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ligonier, Pennsylvania
    (Westmoreland County)
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    Default Re: So does anyone know if an FFL can run serial numbers on used guns?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4thdimension View Post
    The gun store I do 90% of my business with still calls pics. Actually most of the smaller shops in my area do. I*ve only filled out the computerized background check at Walmart.
    There are two levels of the computerized E-PICS App. A dealer with the proper infrastructure can go paperless and have the buyer fill out the state SP-113 and the federal 4473 forms on the computer and print and file them. They can also provide a copy of the SP-113 to the buyers which is mandatory. Many of the big box stores do this.

    If a dealer doesn't want to get that complicated they can utilize paper forms and have the buyer fill the Pa and federal forms with a pen. They then input the buyers ID information, verify that, then initiate a PICS. This is the way we do ours here. I like having a hard copy to work from from the get go. It also saves us hauling all sort of devices to gun shows or having them further clutter up our already too cluttered shop area.

    I know some dealers still use the phone system. If you are low volume and don't have many multiple buyers it works adequately enough I guess. If an FFL is like us and frequently have multiple buyers at one time the E-PICS allows us to stack multiple checks instead of having to wait till one is cleared then call in again for the next one. When PICS is slow I've seen dealers sitting on the phone for hours waiting for an operator. Going to the E-PICS App is one of the smartest business moves I've ever made. Well worth the investment in the infrastructure needed to do so. It's paid for it's self thousands of times over.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ligonier, Pennsylvania
    (Westmoreland County)
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    Default Re: So does anyone know if an FFL can run serial numbers on used guns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodwanderer View Post
    Something something slippery slope to registry because another digital system involved

    I still prefer my LGS call it in. I*ve had 2 e-pics checks run and they took just as long as the phone calls do. Only real bonus is they go into pending instead of research and it seems PSP prioritizes pending status over research status.
    It really doesn't create an additional level towards a registry. We don't input any firearms information in the abbreviated E-PICS App. Only if it's a handgun, long gun or other. That data is asked so that a check on anyone under 21 will be unable to proceed for the handgun or other categories. It's to help us from screwing up. The same way we verify drivers license numbers and DOBs so that they match.

    We don't file any firearms information with the PSP on long guns and by law we must file a copy of the SP-113 with the PSP regardless if we are using the phone or any of the E-PICS Apps.

    Oh and as for pending and research. ALL PICS go into pending for a time. Even if phoned in. That's just the delay while the check is pulling up the go/no go information on the buyer. Some pendings are longer than others. Some are 30 seconds, some are 3 hours. Research on the other hand can take up to 15 days and involves a whole higher level of investigation at PICS.
    Last edited by ScotsGuards; July 27th, 2022 at 11:38 PM. Reason: Added information

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