Good question. Thieves are getting smarter and more sophisticated every day so protect yourself. Under no circumstances give out ANY personal information to a stranger. If, as part of a personal sale of a firearm someone asks you to sign a “Bill of Sale”, don’t do it if it contains personal information. You are giving a stranger your personal information not knowing what they will do with it. Sell it to an identity thief or are an identity thief? Go to your house and rob you? Or just archive it for later use if the firearm is used in a crime. Instead, ask them to put the firearm on consignment at an FFL dealer. The FFL dealer should check the hot sheet to see if it is stolen and then becomes the mediator between you and the seller. Only the dealer will have your personal information. The consignment ideal should also be applied to a seller who want an official transfer. This could work both ways, the buyer insisting that the firearm go through the transfer procedure. If you, as a buyer or seller chooses to forego the transfer process, you are taking the liability upon yourself. I’m not saying to not keep the sale privet but use your gut feeling. If it feels bad, it very well could be. Privet personal sales are the best way to break the BATF chain of ownership. The BATF was ordered to destroy record after a period of time. To get around that they made and are still making “copies” of those records.
This is really great information! Obviously it’s the citizens right to sell completely privately if they choose (unless in a state that requires universal background checks), but a lot of people don’t realize that they ALWAYS have the option of going through a local FFL for the sale and/or transfer process.
This provides a safe place to meet for the transaction, opportunity for in-depth inspection, verification of buyer age and status, and more. Yes, there will also be an associated fee for the service, but it’s generally well worth it when needed.
I also want to quickly touch on the “If it feels bad, it very well could be” point… There are soooo many scams going around these days. TRUST YOUR GUT!