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Possible Stolen gun

jerry batemanjerry bateman Member Posts: 307 ✭✭✭
edited September 2010 in Ask the Experts
Perhaps some of you guys can help. I am an FFL holder since 1970 and I live in Indiana. I recently sold a Colt Diamondback to a gentleman from Tennessee. I bought this gun in question on a Gun Broker Auction in 2007 from a Pawn shop in Georgia. Yesterday my customer from Tennessee phoned me and said the Police confinscated the gun from the FFL. holder where my customer had me ship the gun, they told him it was stolen. I called the ATF. at the ATF. NIC's location where the Background checks are performed, the officer at ATF. said they don't check serial no.'s when doing background checks. My customer is Demanding his money back, I haven't talked to the FFL. holder or authorities in Tennessee yet.
This Situation is something totally new to me and I know nothing about or exactly what I need to do. How was this FFL. holder able to Determine the gun was stolen? I only want HELP from people know exactly what they are talking about.
Thanks in advance


  • HerschelHerschel Member Posts: 2,035 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Though laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, in my area pawn shops are required to report the description of used merchandise received to the police. The police can then do an NCIC check on any serial numbered item. If the item has been listed as stolen NCIC sends a message to both the agency doing the check and the agency that reported it stolen. Stolen merchandise can stay on the NCIC list as stolen for years. Any police agency can run an NCIC check. Maybe some eager beaver cop was in the ffl's place of business, was shown the gun and had his agency do a NCIC check on it. Maybe the ffl asked a friend in law enforcement to run the check. I suggest you contact the agency that confiscated the gun and the agency that listed the gun as stolen. Mistakes can be made in serial numbers, etc so it may not be stolen but that is unlikely. I suggest you get on the phone and talk to the ffl that received the gun from you and to the authorities in TN. Don't expect this to get cleared up quickly.
  • fordsixfordsix Member Posts: 8,722
    edited November -1
    i am sure the buyer got some kind of paperwork for the consfication with case numbers from the police have him forward copys to you so you know who to call and get answers
  • JIM STARKJIM STARK Member Posts: 1,118 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    IIRC I had a conversation with a gent from Tennessee.and was told that in his city...(maybe the whole state) the FFL must check to see if firearms are on the "stolen" list... I'd check with the receiving FFL He would know....
    Good luck,
  • neatgunsneatguns Member Posts: 117 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hi Jerry,
    I am afraid you will likely be the one to loose here. Too much time has gone by for you to go back to the pawn shop in Ga for any refund from them. Short story: A few years back I bought several guns from a guy in Lagrange Co. One was a Winchester M100 rifle. I sold that here on GB to a buyer in Louisiana. He contacted Winchester to see if the factory replacement firing pin had been installed under their recall of this model. Well, Winchester had this gun on a stolen list. They reported it to the local LEO. The Sheriff where the buyer was from came and confiscated the rifle. It had been stolen in a burglery in the early 1980's in Sturgis, Mi. I provided the name of the guy I got it from to the local cops but I do not know if anything was done. They did not seem very interested in investigating a 25 year old crime. I talked to a detective from Sturgis and he told me the gun would be returned there and returned to the owner if possible. If the owner had been paid by the insurance co or was not located the gun would be destroyed. No way in any world would I or my customer be getting the gun back. Michigan destroys all non returnable guns. I issued a refund to the buyer. I could have sued the guy I got it from but a $450 rifle was not worth the effort and costs. Since you are the one who sold it last, you are the one who will have to eat the loss. Just get copies of reports from the law enforcement who seized the gun from your buyer to be sure this was a stolen gun. Not much more you can do besides return the money to your buyer. Don't you just love how there is no way for us FFL's to check for stolen guns? Good luck, Phil.
  • MIKE WISKEYMIKE WISKEY Member, Moderator Posts: 9,750 ******
    edited November -1
    after receiving copies of the police report, refund the buyers $$, then contact the pawn shop and provide the paperwork you received..........and hope for the best.
  • Spider7115Spider7115 Member, Moderator Posts: 29,705 ******
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by MIKE WISKEY
    after receiving copies of the police report, refund the buyers $$, then contact the pawn shop and provide the paperwork you received..........and hope for the best.

    Good and correct advice from Mike. You may have a civil case against the pawn shop if the Statute of Limitations has not expired but it may not be worth the expense since you are in different states.
  • andrewsw16andrewsw16 Member Posts: 10,729 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    It is probably different in each locale, but here in my little town in NV, you can take a list of serial numbers down to our local PD in person and they will run the NCIC check for free. It is one way to keep from accidentally buying stolen goods.
  • 47studebaker47studebaker Member Posts: 2,251 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by MIKE WISKEY
    after receiving copies of the police report,(AND VERIFYING THE INFO WITH THE PD INVOLVED) refund the buyers $$, then contact the pawn shop and provide the paperwork you received..........and hope for the best.

    I added to the above.
  • babunbabun Member Posts: 11,497
    edited November -1
    There are SOME "FFL's" around the Nashville area that routinely check for stolen guns during a internet sale. If your sale went to a FFL within a 50 mile radius of nashville, Email me with the name. There is more to this story, I'll tell you about, but not here. Bob
  • tneff1969tneff1969 Member Posts: 6,682 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    We voluntarily update our files every night to the state, if there is an issue with a gun or any other item. We know withing a day or so, the receiving FFL may have contacted his local PD to have the numbers run as a precaution or does his files like we do.
  • nunnnunn Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 35,711 ******
    edited November -1
    It may not be stolen. The NCIC computer often overlooks alpha characters in a serial number and there is no field for model.

    Suppose a Webley-Vickers Rhino Roller, caliber .50-80, serial number A505050, is stolen and entered in the NCIC computer.

    An officer lays hands on a gun in his jurisdiction, a Webley-Vickers Twinkie Duster, caliber .50-45, serial number L505050. He runs that gun through NCIC. He will get a hit on the Rhino Roller. That's when we actually have to compare the gun in hand to the one in the stolen report.

    If it were me, and I found that there was a legitimate police report reporting THIS SAME GUN stolen, with serial number and NCIC entry, and that ALL the paperwork pre-dates my acquisition of the gun, I would refund the buyer's money. I have been in this situation once, and did just that.

    I also got my money back from the pawn shop where I bought the gun. I had to make a complaint with the Consumer Credit Commission to get it done, but the pawnbroker did give me my money back. I have no idea whether he got his money back from the thief who sold him the gun.

    I would have to see the actual reports before I did a darn thing though.
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