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  1. Pre-1899 guns. I have wondered if a modern copy of a pre-1899 gun is classed in the same way. Perhaps if it is a black powder muzzle loader. or a black powder six shooter. Is there a clear and accurate answer?

    I have another question that maybe someone with a career in law enforcement can answer. A few years back my stepson was very careless and would leave a loaded gun around with his three small children in the house. He implied he needed some money and offered to sell me the gun. I saw this as an opportunity to get that gun away from the grandkids and bought it. But I don’t know it’s provenance. I do know he bought it from someone but I do not know if it had ever been stolen or worse used in a crime. Does anyone know a way to find out without putting either myself or my stepson at legal risk?

    1. I’m not an attorney. But under Federal law (generally) a replica of a pre-1899 is Federally exempt only if: A.) It is muzzleloading (non-cartridge), or B.) Chambered for an obsolete cartridge that is no longer factory made. You must consult an attorney if you have any legal questions or before transacting any purchase or sale of any firearm or antique for which you have any doubt about legality.

      I cannot answer your second question with certainty. You should probably contact your local sheriff’s office, if you want to do check on a whether or not any particular gun might have been reported as stolen.

  2. I own a gunstore in the redoubt, as far as your question on running a guns serial number to see if its stolen you have 2 options. If you are friendly with a local gunstore you can have them call the local sheriff and run a NICS check on it. Most of the shops that take in used guns do this and have a working relationship with the LEO, or depending on your current location and local feelings about guns you can put the rifle in a soft case and go into the local PD or sheriff and have them run the check for you in person. Make sure its CASED and they know what you are doing before you take the gun out. Call ahead and ask their preferences on handling this. Now onto meat of the issue I get calls every month or so from customers that want to know their serial numbers for the firearm they bought 4 or 5 years ago……unless they know down to the exact month and year it was purchased we will not be able to spend the time looking through thousands of 4473s to find it for them. With that being said I truly feel that less then 20% of stolen guns are reported with serial numbers, reported guns without a serial number are ignored by police since there is no way to tell if this 870 shotgun is yours or one of the other 50 million made. Basically there is a very low chance your bought gun is stolen and an even smaller chance that it would turn up a positive serial number in the system. But you need to know for sure since it looks poorly on you if you are forced to defend yourself with a stolen firearm. And hopefully this will light a fire under some of you to inventory your arms and have a couple copies of serial numbers in different locations

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