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question about rifle transfers....

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by mstrmom42, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. mstrmom42

    mstrmom42 Vancouver, washington New Member

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    I am a Washington resident, and about 10 years ago we were on vacation in the Tillamook area and went to the Tillamook fair. My son was about 15 and entered to win a Ruger rifle. To our surprise he won the rifle. They had to do a transfer from Oregon to Washington and we picked up the rifle. My son being young and broke was going to pawn it for gas money a couple years later. I bought the rifle from him with the intention of giving it to him when he was an adult, because I made some bad choices when I was his age. My question is can I gift it to him or do I have to transfer it to his name? Or can I "loan" it to him and forget I loaned it to him?
  2. RVNvet

    RVNvet Beaverton Member

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    Unless Washington has some strange 'gun registration/transfer' law I've never heard about, there's no way to 'transfer' ownership from one private party to another. Only gun shops, and sometimes vendors at gun shows (and this does vary from state to state), have to register the sale/transfer of a gun...rifle or pistol. (And these records are kept by the FBI.) Chances are it was transferred to you directly from Oregon, since your son was only 15, but maybe it was to him. Doesn't matter, though. If it turns up at a crime scene, or in loot found on a perp, they will go to the original seller and/or transfer records, and follow it from there. As a former LEO who worked as a detective for awhile on homicide cases, I can tell you that we often had to go through quite a few owners on a firearm before finding who owned it last. The only other way the last known owner would show up is if he had it stolen, and had the serial number on the crime report. Even then, that data often didn't make it into the FBI records, since local law enforcement agencies don't always get the info to the feds, as least not right away. Often, the last legitimate owner didn't have a record of the serial number when it was stolen, so the number itself wasn't on the crime report. (I've heard talk of some people who have had guns stolen, and didn't file a crime report, since they were afraid they might get in trouble for not securing it better.)

    Just to be sure, call up your local gun shop, and ask them what the laws are in Washington. "I read it was legal on an internet forum!" makes for a very poor defense in court...::)