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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/6/2005 5:18:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2005 5:19:13 PM EDT by Tirador223]
Someone I know has offered to sell me an antique pistol. The serial number on the frame has been carefully and almost professionally obliterated, but the number still exists on the underside of the slide.

Is this gun forever illegal because of the alteration of the original number?

Can I have the frame remarked with the original number from the slide and everything be kosher?

I think I know the answer to this and will have to pass on the purchase, but wanted to check the legal minds of ARFCOM and see what was said.

Link Posted: 9/6/2005 5:39:21 PM EDT
Tag cuz I'm curious.
Link Posted: 9/6/2005 6:26:08 PM EDT
How old is the gun I believe NOT FOR SURE that if it was made before 1900 it is ok.
Link Posted: 9/6/2005 7:19:54 PM EDT
Post 1900, probably 1920 or so.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 5:23:38 AM EDT
Worth a bump.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 5:39:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tirador223:
Post 1900, probably 1920 or so.

Since it was not made in 1898 or earlier, it is not an antique under the law. It is considered a C&R firearm and possession or transfer is illegal if the serial number has been removed or obliterated. See 27CFR§478.34.




Subpart C_Administrative and Miscellaneous Provisions

Sec. 478.34 Removed, obliterated, or altered serial number.

No person shall knowingly transport, ship, or receive in interstate
or foreign commerce any firearm which has had the importer's or
manufacturer's serial number removed, obliterated, or altered, or
possess or receive any firearm which has had the importer's or
manufacturer's serial number removed, obliterated, or altered and has,
at any time, been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 3:16:22 PM EDT
Sigh. It is as I suspected and apparently never ever going to be right again.

Oh well, thanks for the news.

Link Posted: 9/16/2005 9:39:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/16/2005 9:41:23 PM EDT by I-M-A-WMD]

Originally Posted By Tirador223:
Sigh. It is as I suspected and apparently never ever going to be right again.

Oh well, thanks for the news.

I worked a retail gun shop and had an insurance adjuster bring in to me an H&K USP. His customer had reported it stolen months earlier and the police department called the adjuster in as they had recovered it and since the insurance agency had paid the customer it was now property of the insurance agency. The pistol had had the SN scratched off under the front of the frame where H&K insets a piece of silver metal to the polymer frame. Had to be the dumbest fricken thief in the world as he did not take the SN off the slide or the barrel!

Anyhow, the insurance adjuster was wanting to sell the pistol to recover his firms payment to the insured. When I noticed the SN was defaced I winced noticeably and told him, "I don't want to see that!" He quizzed me as to why I handed it back to him after pulling my shirt up to carefully wipe my finger prints off the damn thing and flopping it on to the counter. I told him that as far as I knew- it is absolutely illegal to posses a firearm which had the SN# defaced or altered. (Like the VIN# on a car)

He then brought up a valid point, if it was illegal for him to have it... Why on Earth did the PD surrender it to his possession? On one hand, the whole scenario was screaming "STING! RUN SLY BEFORE YOU GO BEHIND BARS w/ a hole like (o) and come out 5 years later w/ a hole like (O)" But on the other hand, the guy had all his credentials and documentation from the PD. So I called my local ATF branch.

The first ATF guy said he'd need to check w/ someone else. Someone else said that if we were sure of the SN we could re-apply- to the best of our ability- the SN back on the frame... But when I pressed him as to whether that would cause complications at a later date he said he'd have to check w/ someone else. The 3rd ATF guy said he couldn't understand why the PD would surrender the pistol w/ an altered SN to the adjuster but since they had, it would be best to put the SN back on it.

In the end, without something in writing it was all mental masturbation. I told the adjuster I'd buy the parts of the pistol for $150 and he could- or I would- destroy the frame. He walked out and I never saw him again. Each time I think about it, I hear a big bee buzzing around and see (O).

While this situation doesn't mirror yours Tirador223, as there's no documentation that it was stolen and returned etc. It's just best to walk away. AFAIK, once altered always altered... It's the same way when you get altered from (o) to (O)!

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