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Location: Area 20 Colorado
Joined: 02/28/2005
Posts: 37
Bill of sale for Private firearms sale?

Question, I have bought and sold many guns privately and never had a bill of sale. I also have never sold a gun that I bought from a dealer. Do you guys have them sign something like a bill of sale or get something signed when you buy a gun to make sure who they are or if it is stolen the police know who to go after?

any thoughts would be great!

bitmasher's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Bill of sale for Private firearms sale?

It is a litigous society. It would behoove you to have the seller sign a statement that the said firearm is his/her and is selling it to you for such amount. Sign date and witness. As a private party the CBI will run a background check for you on any buyer that wishes to purchase your gun (I think its $35 or so). This leaves a paper trail away from you if the gun should wind up in a crime some years after you have sold it.

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Location: Alabama
Joined: 08/25/2003
Posts: 634
Bill of sale for Private firearms sale?

I have always just written down a simple statment saying that the owner transfers all rights and ownership to the buyer.

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Location: Utah
Joined: 03/03/2005
Posts: 383
Bill of sale for Private firearms sale?

I agree.

For your protection, get the guy's signature assuming responsibility of said firearm (with model and serial number on paper) from a certain date and time.

Typically, FFL's or Pawn Shops involved in exchanges of weapons send the ATF a form showing you're no longer in possesion of a firearm. Even a hand-written Bill of Sale is better than nothing, but a short typed version is preferred.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Bill of sale for Private firearms sale?

I couldn't agree with you guys more. I'va always done this when selling person to person.

It's always a good idea to have your backside covered in a case like this. Especially when selling a handgun. The person you sell to may not commit a crime with it, but may have it stolen from him/her. If the gun is stolen from that person or that person decides to use it in a crime, well that's very unfortunate. You may never know about it unless by odd chance and bad luck you turn out to be the victim or the police recovers the gun. If the cops never recover the gun then you may never even know that it was used in a crime

I've always know the people I've sold and bought guns to/from when it's a person to person transaction. I've always kept good company and acquanted myself with reasonably good/honest people. Still, ya never know. So I keept the bill of sale short and simple. Both of your names and signatures on it, make/model and the serial number of the gun, state of residency for the both of you, date sold, price. That's about all you need. Keep all that paperwork in a safe but easy to find place in case the cops ever come knocking.

However, I've never heard of too many fine sporting rifle or shotgun that were the weapon of choice in a randum crime. Even rare for assault rifles to be used in crimes. Even so, if that firearm is found by the cops in the posession of someone else, then they've got more to worry about than you do.

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Joined: 05/24/2005
Posts: 48
Bill of sale for Private firearms sale?

Good question. What if a family member gives you one of there firearms?
Frontiersman

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Bill of sale for Private firearms sale?

Unless it was used in a crime then you've got nothing to worry about.

If it was used in a crime by the original owner and the cops can't track it to you, then they will never know where the gun is anyway.

If the gun passed down to you was used in a crime long before you were even walking and talking, and you are caught with that gun today......what can they do to you? Cops may talk to you if they find you own it, but I doubt they will do more than that. I'm sure that there are many people out there who have guns that were used by famous outlaws in the past. PBS has a series called History Detectives, and they did a special about a guy who inherited one of Pretty Boy Floyd's guns - a Colt 1903 pistol. The outlaw had given it to the guys uncle when he was a teen for helping be a lookout for Floyd briefly.

It's always good practice to keep serial numbers of every gun you have now or have ever owned written down and kept in a safe place. That way if you have a break-in and have some of your hardware is stolen, then you can put that info in a police report, and if those guns are used in a crime later and found, then you should be clear of anything.

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