Question for any dealers

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RunningOnMT, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

    Nov 19, 2008
    Akron, Ohio
    I'm just curious, is there any way to trace a history of owners for a used firearm? The reason I ask is because it seems dealers sometimes don't seem willing to allow as much on trade if you bought your gun used rather than new. To give an example, Say you buy a used firearm that a store sells new for $600.00. You pay $500.00 because it's pre owned but it doesnt even appear to be fired. Now say you put 50 rds through it, and while there is nothing wrong with it, you decide for whatever reason you'd prefer something else. Now as far as wear and tear the gun is still like new with no evidence of ever having been fired. So you go back to that dealer or another one to trade. Now there's another big bump off the price. Only now it's significantly less than the gun is worth because they are going off what you paid, not what it originally sold for, though it's no worse for wear having been owned by two different people. So maybe now the value is down to $375.00 for a $600.00 gun. I've seen it happen and I've actually been asked when trading, "Where did you buy it?" and "How much did you pay?". Both questions I believe are irrelevant and none of their business. So, if I don't answer those questions, can they still find out?
  2. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    North Florida
    No. Not that I am aware of. And, I have never asked anyone those questions when they are trading in a gun. I look at condition and I look up blue book value and I look up what I pay for it new and I make an offer. As long as I can make 35 bucks or so on the gun I am good. I always try to be as fair as possible. I dont care what you paid or where you bought it as long as I know its not hot.

  3. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

    Nov 19, 2008
    Akron, Ohio
    Thanks Dan. That's how it should be done. Guys like you are scarce in these parts.
  4. hjsmith00843

    hjsmith00843 Member

    Jun 23, 2012
    Myrtle Beach SC.
    Instead of carfax we could come up with Gunfax. Umm let me go trade mark that idea. No one steal my idea... J/k
  5. goofy

    goofy Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    I'm with Dan on this.
    You just have to remember that you wont get the price for it that you paid because the dealer has to make something so he has to figure out what he would sell it for then offer you less and if he not a ripoff it will not be much less then his selling price.between $25-$50 depending on the gun.
  6. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    As to the immediate question about tracing a firearm's ownership history asked in post #1; in most states the answer will be "No". There is a Federal government mandated paper trail for all firearms from manufacturer (or importer) to first retail buyer. In some states, with restrictive gun laws, there is a state level statutory paper trail (registration) for some (or possibly all) types of firearms at the first sale from dealer to consumer, and for all sales or transfers thereafter. However, such records are normally searchable only by law enforcement persons acting on official business, and not by private persons seeking information under any Freedom of Information Statute.

    Probably, most of the 50 states have no state or local level requirement for any kind of record keeping for the sale or transfer of most shotguns and rifles. More states regulate and track private handgun sales and ownership; but, again, most states probably do not do so. In some states, it is actually illegal for any state or local government agency to keep any records on private firearms ownership. {For example: Florida, unless something has changed very recently}

    Now, as to the concern (question) about what a dealer is willing to pay for a used gun. A dealer needs to buy all inventory items at a price that is low enough so that he can resell it at a reasonable profit, in a reasonable amount of time. Otherwise, he/she cannot pay expenses like taxes, utilities, wages, etc. It really does not matter what the inventory item is. You need to sell it in a reasonable amount of time and make a reasonable profit on it.

    Even a smart private buyer, buys a used gun at a price that does not exceed what he/she thinks he/she can resell for in the future.

    I worked in the gun business for over 30 years. Then and now, the only thing that normally concerns me about a gun, that I consider buying, is its physical condition is, and its relative marketability. These two things are all that I normally consider to determine the price that I am willing to pay.

    An in great demand, hard to find or get gun that is in strictly NRA "Very Good" to "Perfect" condition will get me to offer a greater percentage of its original retail price or current average selling or "Blue Book" price. A gun that there is little buyer demand for, and/or that is in just NRA "Good" to "Poor" condition will get a much lower offer as a percent of its original or likely selling price, because I do not like loosing money or taking forever to be able to sell any item.

    Usually, a firearm's ownership history was and is of absolutely no interest to me, unless something provable, beyond any reasonable doubt, in a courtroom, about its ownership history made it more valuable. {For example: a gun once owned by someone like Annie Oakley or Bat Masterson would command a premium price.}

    Hope this is informative.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
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