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Discussion Starter #1
Its Sunday and I'm bored, so I figured I'd start up some E-debate.


I'll start out with my own two word personal opinion on private buyers and sellers requiring bill of sales. It's BS.

I had a gun trade this weekend nearly fall through because the other party would not initially deal unless I signed a bill of sale and include my personal information such as address, phone number, and DL number. I'd understand if we lived in a "cover-your-azz" registration state/city like NY, but we live in the free state of Texas. And we're both service members too! But I'm still not giving my personal info to a stranger dangnabit. I do believe however, in visually checking state ID for age/citizenship/etc.

So why do people insist on this complete waste of time and paper? Its meaningless. It wouldn't do anything meaningful to protect a seller as he/she still would not have conducted any unlawful activity by conducting a private sale in the first place. But the practice seems to be ingrained in the minds of a lot of gun guys.


What's your opinion FNF?
 

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Some people think that if a gun is used in a crime the original owner somehow would be responsible. Unless they are OCD about keep papertrail on things they buy/sell I dont see the need for them
 

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I don't ask for one and I don't like buying or selling from people that insist on using one. A lot of guys on Texasguntrader want a bill of sale and the website advises their use and even has a printable form. I have walked away from sales because I just didn't like the looks of the person. A bill of sale is no replacement for gut instinct or intuition.
 

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I think most people probably use to to cover themselves if the gun ever gets used in a crime and somehow traced back to them. Then they can say "I sold it to so and so"
 
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If anything, I'd expect it to be the seller who'd potentially be more worried. If the gun is used in a crime, and the FBI/ATF traces it, and the weapon is then placed back in the seller's property in some way or another as some sort of framing (or even just a red herring). Most I would do is check and see if the serial was reported stolen, if it isn't, then I'd do cash with a handshake.
 
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I live in Texas too... And, whenever I sell a gun, I make a bill of sale. It also says that the buyer can legally own the firearm. It has the S/N on it, and all mags and whatever else I include. Plus, it claims I offer no expressed warranty, and the manuals are included.


Then, we both sign it. I have 2 copies - one for each of us. I keep these bill of sales, for every gun I have owned.


If the buyer doesn't sign it - I don't sell the gun. I have only had ONE guy refuse to sign it in all the years I've done the bill of sale. I started to suspect that he may not have been legally entitled to own one (citizenship or visa issue). I refused to sell it and left.


I have seen one of my probationers once get some heat about a hit and run in a car he used to own... He provided proof that he sold the car (title was never transferred, but he had a bill of sale), and the police moved down the food chain to the guy listed on that bill of sale while investigating the hit and run.


If something happens with one of the guns I sold - I can prove I sold it by having the bill of sale.
 

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If buying.... Cash and gun in brown bag. heheh. If selling a gun I'm going to make whoever (Even none immediate family members) fill out a 4473 at my local FFL.

PS. I sold a handgun to a really good friend and made him go through my FFL. Cost $10. After a couple years he moved to Chicago....I was talking on the phone with him and asked if he gave his brother the gun? He said no I brought it with me. I was like WTF!!!! You live in the heart of Chicago with a unregistered handgun with a hi-cap mag! He didn't know about the laws. Luckily I went through that FFL and he still has family in GA to mail it to in separate pieces.
 

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I can understand a signed bill of sale but no way the seller, especially a stranger is getting my personal info.
I just get a signature and CHL # or DL#. Mine is on there too. I don't see that as a big deal.

I also keep their cell #, if they gave it to me, and possibly their lic plate # on their vehicle as well. I've been in the criminal justice field for years - guess I'm just a bit paranoid.
 

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Have never and would never do a bill of sale on a private transaction. Goes against everything the 2A gives us. Again, even if the gun is used in the commission of a crime, the gun didn't do the crime, the person who pulled the trigger did. Unlike autos in which one is required to maintain liability insurance or financial responsibility, no such imposition for firearms exists, yet.
 

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I ask that the buyer show their CPL and DL so I can confirm they can own a firearm ... a "good guy" card is good enough for me. I always note the buyers name for future reference and keep a phone #. I will not fill out a bill of sale, nor would I ever expect one ... if you're that worried about a private sale, you need to go through an FFL and be done with it.
 

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I require a bill of sale for a few reasons. To show the sale was "as is" and paid in full. I would also want to be helpful in finding a criminal that may of used the firearm in a crime. This speeds up the investigation and directs the focus elsewhere. I have nothing to hide. I'll bury them before I give them up.
 

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A bill of sale indicates to me that the buyer of the firearm I'm selling is legally able to buy the weapon (or they wouldn't agree to it). If I have papers (4473) on a gun TO me, then I prefer papers on that gun FROM me. If that firearm is ever used in a crime, there is a chain of custody. If the firearm is never used in a crime, the chain is irrelevant but my part in it is documented. My bill of sale includes my information for the buyer's benefit as well.

I fail to see how a bill of sale between two private parties 'Goes against everything the 2A gives us' - the 2A doesn't GIVE us anything, it enumerates what is rightfully ours. Also, suggesting that a desire for a bill of sale implies enough to concern about a transaction to warrant an FFL is nonsense - The BATFE doesn't have unrestricted access to my personal records for 'registration purposes.'

I submit that if you are that worried about agreeing to a bill of sale then maybe your tinfoil hat is a bit too tight....
 

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While I don't really like Filling out a 4473 when buying a gun, I consider it part of the process. I don't like my taxes being used for social programs that perpetuate the welfare state , but I pay them. If you can't/won't change a situation (4473 requirement for purchase/transfer with an FFL), you have the choice to either accept the rules, break the rules, or remove yourself from the situation. A 4473 won't keep me from buying a gun I want. If a bill of sale is to egregious a request, there are other buyers, thanks...
 

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For some reason, some people like paper trails on everything. If that's what gives one a warm and fuzzy so be it. I feel that an underlying reason for wanting one on the private sale of a firearm is the fear of some potential future liability associated with the gun. I agree that if one sells a firearm to a person that he knows can not legally own one and a crime is perpetrated with that firearm then you may have some questions to answer. One previous poster said that upon purchasing he would rather pay cash with no personal details revealed but upon selling he wants to know all about the buyer. I would submit that if anything I would want the sellers info. What if the gun is stolen or one that is found to be used in a crime?

The 2A reference may have been a stretch but if we don't stand firm for and exercise openly the rights "enumerated" to us they will slowly but surely be taken away. If the gun grabbers perceive that private individuals are all for documentation of private sales they will use this to help substantiate their push for registration. IMO. No tinfoil here just a coonskin cap.
 

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Interesting perspectives on both side. I guess it comes down to your personality. CYA or IDGAF!
 
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Have never and would never do a bill of sale on a private transaction. Goes against everything the 2A gives us. Again, even if the gun is used in the commission of a crime, the gun didn't do the crime, the person who pulled the trigger did. Unlike autos in which one is required to maintain liability insurance or financial responsibility, no such imposition for firearms exists, yet.
That's a nice thought but you being in possession and no way to prove you weren't the one that used the gun to commit the crime could be a lot of trouble.

People always do a bill of sale. It covers YOUR ass.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I didn't think this would be such a polarizing topic haha. But yes I agree, this does seem to be an issue influenced by personality.

But I will say one last thing. I don't think anyone's ever been arrested for lawfully selling a gun that was eventually used in a crime.

Follow-on question: Do you guys have different feelings on the topic if the firearm in question is a World War 1/2 bolt action vs a Saturday night special handgun?
 
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