Part of being a responsible gun owner is being prepared in case of an emergency. Today, we will talk about what documentation you should keep on your guns to put you in the best position if you ever need to report that they have been lost or stolen.
In Texas, there is no gun registry, so it is vital for you to keep track of your firearms. You can do this by keeping a list of your firearms with their makes, models, and serial numbers. It’s also helpful to keep track of who you purchased the firearm from, where you obtained it, and when it came into your possession.
When you purchase a gun from an FFL dealer, there is a record of the transfer from the FFL to you. If however, you purchase a gun through a private sale, there is no official government record of the transfer. If you buy or sell a gun in a private sale, creating a bill of sale is a good idea. This is an easy way to save you a headache down the road, not only if your firearm is lost or stolen, but also if the police ever inform you that a gun you sold in a private sale was later used in a crime.
A bill of sale should include the parties involved in the transfer, the date of the transaction, and the make, the model, and the serial number of each gun. If you want to go the extra mile, you may also acquire a copy of the purchaser’s drivers license, and representations from the buyer that they are qualified to purchase a gun and do not intend to use it in the commission of any illegal activity.
It is a good idea to keep your firearm documentation separate from the firearm itself, in case your home is ever burglarized. We recommend using a fireproof lockbox for a hard copy, or an encrypted USB drive or cloud-based digital copy for easy access, if you should ever need the information. If your gun is stolen and you can’t provide this information to law enforcement, the chances of you recovering your stolen firearm are slim to none.
If you have any questions about personal firearms documentation, call Texas LawShield and ask to speak with an Independent Program Attorney today.