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How To Tell If A Gun Is Stolen

May 03, 20174 min read

How To Tell If a Firearm is Stolen

I remember the day I purchased my firearm like it was yesterday. 

I met this guy online who was selling a Remington 870 Wingmaster shotgun that I really wanted… 

So we negotiated a price and agreed to meet in the parking lot of a Starbucks…

I had no idea if this was legal or not but I've never been a rule follower anyways… 

I was a little nervous about meeting someone in a random parking lot with a pocket full of cash so I decided to bring my little brother for backup… 

At the time Evan was 18 years old, 6’ 4” and 220 with a face that only a mother could love… 

When we arrived at Starbucks it was already dark and I immediately realized that we had a problem… 

There was no red truck in the parking lot…

WHAT! 

This guy wants to meet in a dark alley behind a Starbucks… “We're gonna get murdered” Evan said… 

I knew we were walking into a potentially dangerous situation… 

When I pulled down the alley I noticed a man standing behind a truck with a duffle bag… It was like something out of a movie… 

So I got out of the car and walked up to the guy “You got the stuff…” I don't know what I was thinking. I sounded like I was buying drugs… 

The man opened the duffle bag revealing the shotgun… I quickly handed him the money, grabbed the duffle bag and jumped into my car… 

“There's no way that was legal '' Evan said as I floored it down the alley and onto the freeway… 

Later that night I sat in my living room very concerned…

“How do I know if this shotgun is stolen or not?” 

I went on a mission to figure out the ________ things 

Can You Run A Gun's Serial Number To Check If It Is Stolen?

How To Make Sure a Gun Isn’t Stolen

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has a website that allows you to see if a firearm has been reported stolen or not. Law enforcement agencies throughout the state are very interested in making sure that guns are not stolen, so they made a way for how to check if a gun is stolen.

The site is called FDLE | Stolen Gun Search. It’s the Florida stolen gun search, and it’s very easy to use. Simply enter the serial number for the firearm in question and click submit. If the search results say No Records Found, then this firearm hasn’t been reported stolen.

However, if the search results list a detective name and contact info, I would walk away from the transaction. If you’ve already purchased a stolen firearm you will want to contact the detective or the local law enforcement agency There are many reporting agencies who will be interested in this, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Can I Get In Trouble If I Buy a Gun That Is Lost or Stolen? 

In my opinion the answer is no you are not going to get into trouble because you haven’t done anything wrong. Loss or theft is going to happen, but you should make sure it is reported lost or stolen so that you, as the gun owner, will not be implicated should some unfortunate gun violence happen with your gun.

As long as you followed the law regarding a private firearm sale and you did not know that the firearm was stolen you shouldn’t have anything to worry about…

You're probably wondering if you're going to lose the money you just spent. 

Surprisingly the answer is no. If you ever unknowingly purchased a stolen firearm the original owner would have to pay you to get the firearm back…

Crazy right… 

Now don’t get any bright ideas that you're going to turn a profit because that would be illegal…

If the original owner of the firearm wanted the firearm back they would have to pay you the exact amount of money that you paid for the firearm. Not a penny more. 

Conclusion 

When I purchase firearms from a private seller I always run the serial number(s) on the FDLE | Stolen Gun Search


If the firearm is clean I will proceed with the sale and if its not I walk away very quickly. 

Ryan G. Thomas

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Ryan G. Thomas

Ryan believes a trained and aware citizen is the best way to minimize crime, victims and senseless acts of violence. Ryan is a veteran of the United States Air Force and a father of three beautiful children. Ryan and his wife Tiffany met while doing inner city ministry for Operation Explosion in Tampa 12 years ago. He is passionate about God, his family, and his community. Ryan has a passion for the 2nd amendment and believes all Americans should have the right and ability to protect themselves and their families.

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