Armed Agorism: A three part series about obtaining and owning firearms through the Grey Market by guest contributor Atreidies. If you would like more background on Agorism, Black and Grey markets check this video.The following information is for educational purposes only. Please follow the advice in the article at your own risk.
Buying firearms is a potentially risky endeavor. If you are reading this article at the original source, you probably already understand that there is a defacto registration system in place on the federal level. This is not supposed to be the case, but most people wouldn’t doubt the inability of the federal government to let go of a voluntary data collection system that by law requires a purge after 24 hours, especially regarding something as potentially dangerous to their power structure as firearms in the hands of ordinary citizens.
When buying from a federally licensed dealer (FFL), the purchaser fills out a form (4473) and the data collected on that form is either called in or entered electronically to check against a state or federal database, and the government decides if you can exercise your natural right to self-defense, or your enumerated and (supposedly) constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. The law requires that this data be purged every 24 hours, and the reality is that this is likely true. HOWEVER, it’s highly likely that the names and unique identifying information provided (SS Number, DOB, etc.) are added to a list of gun owners. There are ways to avoid having more “hits” on that list, or if you’ve never bought a gun through a licensed dealer, to never make it on the list in the first place.
The 4473’s are kept on file for 25 years or longer with the FFL, even if they go out of business. If the ATF or any other agency does a trace on a gun, they will go to the manufacturer, which will eventually lead them to the FFL that did the original sale and has the 4473 on file. If it is your name on the form, it is your door they will be knocking on. This is why private transfers are a great Grey Market solution, because they are essentially a dead end for the investigator.
Private transfers happen between two individuals, without the FFL process. The seller can be an FFL selling from his private collection. Some states require private transactions to go through an FFL, so purchases in these states should be avoided. There are several avenues to find a seller, which I will discuss later. More importantly, there are some things to avoid when buying from private individuals.
First, don’t use a social media account that is traceable to your real identity. Second, don’t provide your state of residence if you are buying out of state. Third, don’t mention that you are ineligible to possess a firearm if you are ineligible. It is a federal crime for an individual to KNOWINGLY sell to someone who resides out of state, or is ineligible. If you don’t tell them, they won’t know, and you aren’t causing them to run afoul of the law without their consent. Most won’t ask, and if they do, just drop all contact and move on. Giving false information can trap you in a setup. As a seller, if a buyer ever tells you they are from out of state or that they are ineligible, DO NOT SELL THEM THE FIREARM. This is potentially a setup, so just halt the transaction and walk. Maybe they’re just ignorant of the law, but you don’t want to take the chance.
Many private sellers will ask for a Bill of Sale or a B.O.S. in their listings. A Bill of Sale is simply a record of the transaction. It is not filed anywhere, is not reported to any agency, and is not admissible in court as long as it is not notarized at the time of the transaction. If you decide to fill out a bill of sale, you can choose to provide false information. The desire for privacy is reason enough to provide false info. If the seller asks to see your I.D. to verify, you can tell them you are not comfortable with it for that same reason. If they insist, you can walk away. To be honest, I have purchased from people requesting one, but they end up not requiring it when the deal goes down, or they just handed it to me to fill out with no verification. Most sellers only ask as a CYA, but they also understand that it provides no protection from the Jack Boots when they come knocking. If you are ineligible to own a firearm legally, DO NOT FILL OUT A BILL OF SALE. Ever.
Seriously, you’re better off buying a burner phone with three bodies on it. I mean, if you get caught with it, you’re SOL regardless. Don’t give them a paper trail to come and find you. As a seller, you have NO OBLIGATION to ask for a BOS. You have NO OBLIGATION to know to whom you sold the firearm. “I sold it” is all any agency needs to know.
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington and Washington D.C. all require background checks for all sales, even between two individuals. Maryland and Pennsylvania do as well, but only for handguns. Some states also require a permit to purchase, even private transfers, and those require a background check as well. Every other state has no regulation on private sales. Those are the states you want to buy from in order to stay completely off radar.
Part 2 – Where to shop and how to buy, sell, trade outside of the system
Part 3 – Restricted Items, almost restricted items, items that may or may not get you in trouble