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Thread: How to prove firearm ownership

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    NW Valley
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    3,571

    How to prove firearm ownership

    What has happened to arczech has gotten me thinking (I know..scary, right? me thinking? )

    In cases of acquiring firearms through outlets other than typical firearms dealers, how do you prove ownership? No, I'm not saying I have stolen firearms, but I will say that I may not have done things 100% as I should have in years gone by, such as proper bills of sale and whatnot.

    Say this same situation happens to me...firearm gets stolen, pawn shop gets it before I realize it's gone. Highly unlikely, as I'm seeing them on a daily basis, for for the sake of argument let's assume it does happen. Sure, for some of them I have dealer's receipts, but what about the case of ones my Dad or Grandpa gave me? It was nothing more than "Here boy...be careful, but have fun with it!". I have serial numbers, but what's to say that the pawn shop wouldn't just claim that I walked in one day, copied a number, went home to call it in "stolen", and claim it as mine?

    In short, how do I legally prove it to be mine? I've thought about the old classic of mailing myself a document with the numbers on it, and keeping it sealed unless an issue arises, and using the postmark date as the "proof", but I have no clue if that would stand up in court.
    '62 Scout 80, basic wheeler on 33s, SBC, SM465, NP205..blah blah blah

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Flagstaff
    Posts
    578

    Re: How to prove firearm ownership

    I have a dated and notorized letter with all my guns listed with make-model-serial # and accessories (scope, sling etc) which I keep in a safe deposit box. I really have it for insurance purposes and don't know if it work for this but the dated and notorized gives it some credability.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Guernsey, Wyoming, United States
    Posts
    2,144

    Re: How to prove firearm ownership

    I agree with this, it should help. Photos are another helpful tool. I have photos of each of mine, me holding it and a close up of the serial #.


    Quote Originally Posted by cosninocanines View Post
    I have a dated and notorized letter with all my guns listed with make-model-serial # and accessories (scope, sling etc) which I keep in a safe deposit box. I really have it for insurance purposes and don't know if it work for this but the dated and notorized gives it some credability.
    Don

    I'm just a washed up old has been, Army dude.
    My opinions are outdated... After all, what have I done lately?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Apache Junction
    Posts
    33

    Re: How to prove firearm ownership

    There are so many stolen firearms that they drop off of the stolen list after just a few years. Unless the owner requests that the file be renewed, they become "new" again with no legal baggage.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    4,729

    Re: How to prove firearm ownership

    personally, I have all my guns listed in an acquisition and disposition log book (same book the dealer uses) showing the date I acquired it, from whom, serial number and caliber. It also shows to whom and where it went if I sold it.

    I also list them in my home owners insurance inventory and have photographed them all.

    I had one stolen once while in California. I was sure surprised when I got a call 2 years later to tell me they recovered it! Another two years waiting for the trial on the jerk who had it..... and I got it back!
    We have another Jeep!

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