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Thread: When did firearms start being required to have serial numbers?

  1. #1

    When did firearms start being required to have serial numbers?

    My research points me to the GCA of 1968. Is this correct?
    Please cite your reference.
    Thanks

    ETA: posted in General since it has more traffic

  2. #2
    Contributor 02/2014 FunkyPertwee's Avatar

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    I thought it was the GCA of '68.
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    You both are correct. I found this out about 5 years ago when I went to the local gunsmith, he also sells guns on consignment. And picked up an old 12 guage pump and an old 22 longrifle for my son. I asked why no serial numbers he said because they were made before 1968 and schooled me on the subject.
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  4. #4
    Team GunsNet Gold 07/2012 / Super Moderator Gunreference1's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scootertrash View Post
    My research points me to the GCA of 1968. Is this correct?
    Please cite your reference.
    Thanks

    ETA: posted in General since it has more traffic
    Yes, the GCA of 1968 is correct.

    reference - http://www.atf.gov/regulations-rulin...ing-2009-5.pdf

    Steve
    After today, it's all historical.

  5. #5
    Senior Member tank_monkey's Avatar

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    GCA 68. Prior to that many guns had NO serial numbers (Sears Roebuck long guns many times had no numbers, but then many did).

    Colt ALWAYS had serial numbers as did many other manufacturers, purely for logistical purposes. They wanted to track any 'bad batches' (which was a rare occurence), or they wanted to track guns for customer service issues, or they wanted to make sure that any gun malfunction from a 'contract run' i.e. them building or selling someone else's line, was not a result of THEIR production line. Only some manufacturers worried about this, so only those makers put SNs on everything they built.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the link Steve!! Also thanks to you other guys for your info!!
    Now I have part 2 of my postr:
    Can a long gun be transferred/shipped over state lines to a family member without having to go thru an FFL?

  7. #7
    Moderator circuits's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scootertrash View Post
    Thanks for the link Steve!! Also thanks to you other guys for your info!!
    Now I have part 2 of my postr:
    Can a long gun be transferred/shipped over state lines to a family member without having to go thru an FFL?
    No, unless it's being sent to an heir as part of an estate.

  8. #8
    Senior Member tank_monkey's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scootertrash View Post
    Thanks for the link Steve!! Also thanks to you other guys for your info!!
    Now I have part 2 of my postr:
    Can a long gun be transferred/shipped over state lines to a family member without having to go thru an FFL?
    If all parties are still alive ... NO. You're still transfering ownership or possession to someone else.

  9. #9
    I thought that mfg's always put serial numbers on their guns... even on Colt .45 six shooters back in the 1800's... didn't they?

  10. #10
    Contributor 02/2014 FunkyPertwee's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Ducati View Post
    I thought that mfg's always put serial numbers on their guns... even on Colt .45 six shooters back in the 1800's... didn't they?
    They probably had manufacturing reasons for wanting to serial number their guns and parts, probably for fitting purposes. Not all guns were serialized, however, until it became mandatory.
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