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Gun Shows/Private Sellers

Discussion in 'General Firearms & Ammo' started by tlshark, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. tlshark

    tlshark New Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    I need some help. I know with all the talk about the gun show loopholes and bs that it is getting tougher and tougher to find them.

    But when you go to a gun show how do you find the private sellers? I have several more firearms I would like to acquire and prefer dealing with private sellers.

    Any help?

  2. Texas1911

    Texas1911 TGT Addict

    May 29, 2017
    Austin, TX
    Um, usually they carry around their wares with "For Sale" on it. You can always ask someone if they are selling their gun as well.

    Why don't you just post on here what you want and keep an eye out on other forums.
  3. SIG_Fiend

    SIG_Fiend Administrator TGT Supporter Admin

    Feb 21, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Seeing as you have one post and you are asking about obtaining guns "under the radar", I feel obliged to comment that I certainly hope you are not trying to do anything illegal, aren't a felon, etc etc. Sorry, no offense intended but, for all I know you could be someone from the Brady group fishing for more "ammo" against these mysterious gunshow "loopholes". ;)

    Technically speaking, any FFL gun dealer at a gun show has to do the standard NICS background check. Usually at most gun shows I've been to, the dealers typically have big signs and more "official" looking booths. Usually you can tell who the private sellers are as there is typically just one person at a table with a handful of random items, typically with no sign or any other "official" looking stuff. Also, usually there are plenty of people walking around with stuff on them, slung over their shoulder, etc so if you see something that catches your eye you might as well ask.

    The "loophole" the anti's talk about isn't one at all. Face to Face sales in Texas do not require any background check. Typically most people doing FTF sales will want to see at least a Texas DL to verify residence, and many will also want to see a CHL. While anti's can make the argument that this somehow means criminals have an endless supply of easy guns to get without dealing with the NICS check, reality bares out the fact that this is simply not true. I forget where I saw it but, I saw an old FBI study on firearms that were seized as the result of crimes. From what I remember, the firearms purchased through FTF sales made up an almost non-existent percentage of the total. The vast majority were stolen, obtained through straw purchases, or other means. If criminals actually had enough drive to go browse gun forums looking for FTF sales, they would likely have a real job to begin with and not be criminals. ;) Criminals are into crimes of opportunity, not hard work. ;)
  4. tlshark

    tlshark New Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Thank you for your info. Nope, not a criminal or an anti, or any other of the things you mention. Happy to show DL and CHL.

    I just happen to like good old fashioned F2F and as well the gunshows. I enjoy going to them. I just never knew how you found a private seller at a gunshow, seems to me all the booths are FFL. I figured what better place than here to ask.

    In fact, I have been checking the forums and such, was able to purchase a nice XD-45 off of the Texas Gun Trader.

    Anyway, thanks for the heads up, and the due diligence. It is tough when you just join a forum and you have a question that may lend itself to mis-interpretation. I suppose I could have waited to ask, but then again there is the Ft. Worth gun show this weekend so it was kind of a timing issue.

    Thanks again.
  5. ducksps

    ducksps Active Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Austin, Houston
    One thing I have done to cover my behind when buying a gun from a source such as Texas Gun Trader is to meet the seller at my bank. If I like the firearm I write the serial number on the check and walk with the seller inside the bank while they verify the check will clear and/or get their cash. I like the fact when I make a larger purchase I have a record of the transaction. This also let's the seller know that they have to show the third party an ID before completing the transaction.
  6. Shorts

    Shorts TGT Addict TGT Supporter

    Mar 28, 2008
    +1 above

    Taking the few minutes to draw up a bill of sale with SN, copies signed by both buyer and seller is a reasonable action. As a courtesy when buying, I provide DL, CCW and military ID. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask the same in a FTF transaction.
  7. idleprocess

    idleprocess Active Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    Private sellers at gun shows with a booth are an increasing rarity these days. The easiest way to spot one is to look for a table without a banner and with all sorts of odds and ends. Expect to pay cash when dealing with a private seller because unless they have a paypal account they're checking every few minutes on a notebook, there's no other way to verify the funds on the spot.

    Otherwise, look for what you might be interested in rather that searching for a private seller.

    ATF is supposedly cracking down on private sellers at gun shows. In theory, as a collector, it's best to only "retire your collection" at a gun show only once ever lest the ATF consider you dealing in firearms without a license.

    Some dealers will sell weapons "from their personal collection" without doing a NICS check. I consider this somewhat shady because said "private sale" firearms are often priced well above market ... almost like it's a convenience premium for not performing a background check. I suspect that the ATF would take a dim view of the practice.
  8. mac79912

    mac79912 Well-Known BANNED!!!

    Mar 4, 2008
    +1 the ATF has been thru my local shops the past couple of weeks and have been giving shop owners a hardtime and checking there personal gun logs.Apparently someone is selling guns under the table at the gunshows in my area.With all the guns going over to Mexico now its surprises me that it took this long for them to investigate the gunshops.I made the mistake of selling a gun in the paper years ago and ended up testifying to a grand jury.The guy who bought my gun robbed a store then left the gun at the scene.Lets just say that a knock on your door by the FBI is not fun.Luckily I had gotten a copy of the guys drivers license and kept his phone number.I no longer sell my guns in the paper and if I decide to sell one I have my gun guy perform the 4473 check.
  9. Floyd_Droid

    Floyd_Droid Active Member BANNED!!!

    Jul 28, 2008
    Shady Shores, TX
    I've never purchased a firearm from a private individual that didn't involve an FFL and really have no intensions. But since we're on the topic:

    Q1: If someone does purchase a firearm from a private collector, is there a source where the buyer can check the Make, Model and SN# to make sure it wasn't involved in a crime?

    Q2: When one purchases a gun from an individual and it's transfered to an FFL and then transfered over to the buyer. Is the buyer the new registered owner? (even though gun registration is not required in Texas)

    Just curious.

  10. JKTex

    JKTex Well-Known

    Mar 11, 2008
    DFW, North Texas

    I think most LEA's will check it for you if you ask them.

    And there is no registration. The FFL runs the NCIS and the form you filled out stays on file with them for record keeping purposes only.

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