Home Advice How to Check a Gun’s History?

How to Check a Gun’s History?

How to Check a Gun's History?
Image by Ulf Åkesson from Pixabay

Whether you’re just starting as a shooter or have been at it for years, the most important purchase you’ll make is which gun to get. However, buying a rifle is more than deciding which gun looks better and is robust enough. 

You’ll also want to make sure it’s clean! Now, you might be curious about verifying if a firearm is clean to ensure you’re buying legally and without risk, which is a sign of a smart legionary. Here are some tips on how to do that. 

Tracking the Serial Number

Since 1969, American gun makers and exporters have been legally obligated to provide a serial number or a product code for every gun, allowing the law authorities to track them down in the event of a crime readily. 

The general populace, with time, has restricted access to weapon history, and there are only a few methods for tracing it by product code. Several exclusions include imported automatic weapons manufactured before 2002, which will not have a product code.

Serial numbers are found on all firearms manufactured after 2002. The supplier mostly imprints a series of digits on the gun’s body. This id is engraved into the metal parts of the grip, barrel, slides, or trigger block to prevent it from wearing off.

If you have bought the gun from a registered gun dealer, you can request them to identify its serial number. Your firearms dealer can check your registration number, although you may be charged a small price.

This info will also be included in the weapon’s documentation. This information can be found within the owner’s handbook in several instances. If the firearm has no registration number and it is not an antiquity, the holder should report it to authorities because it could be an unlicensed firearm linked to a crime.

Tracing the Gun 

The Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol, Explosives & Firearms is the only organization in the United States to determine if a gun was used in a crime. However, if you want to know some details about your new weapon, only police departments engaged in a legitimate crime prosecution can make such a petition. Unless you are the focus of the criminal probe, such as a DUI involving a gun, the ATF should be able to track down your gun.

Searching Through 3rd Party Databases & Police Records 

The typical individual can look up a gun’s history on the internet in a few different methods; however, they might not discover anything. Nevertheless, a gun enthusiast can sometimes look up the gun’s history by entering the product code into the local police website. This facility may not be available at every local police department, so firearm owners must check with them ahead of time.

Third-party databases provide limited information about firearms if there is no gun information-seeking service in your location. Hot Gunz, for example, obtains information from other firearm owners who notify stolen firearms to the website.

Look for Details on Vintage Firearms

Since vintage guns were made before registration numbers were required by law, they might not have had a serial number. Firearm owners can do their searches on historical guns in various methods based on the info they have. For example, if they know the manufacturer’s details, they can approach that company to learn about the product’s provenance.

They can also send the rifle to a dealer specializing in antique and valuable firearms. The vendor can look up the gun’s background and provide information such as the making, model, estimated date of production, and other details. This service will almost certainly come with a price set by the weapons dealer.

Know If It Is Stolen

It’s a smart option to do homework before purchasing a gun to ensure it hasn’t been stolen. Purchasing your new handgun from a certified firearms dealer is indeed the safest way to ensure your safety. But if you’re buying a gun from a private seller, there are several ways to check the product code to discover if it’s been stolen. You can do so by contacting your local police department or searching through databases of stolen firearms.

Final Thoughts

We understand that this can be overwhelming for some, but making sure your firearm is safe to use is extremely important. It can be pretty dangerous and might even get you in trouble if you neglect to check the history to see if your gun’s clean. It is a huge responsibility, and your safety is important. 

Not to mention, it helps to buy from a reputable and licensed firearms dealer instead of a pawn shop!

Featured Image by Ulf Åkesson from Pixabay