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Is a Lost / Stolen list a good idea?


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Discussion Starter #1
A recent post got me to thinking that it might be a service and benefit to WaltherForums members to have a way to report lost or stolen WALTHER firearms.

This would be relegated to Walther only, since we can't possibly be a clearing house for every possible gun make/model in the world.

Since I've never done anything like this, I'd open the floor to discussions about whether or not it's of value, if y'all think it would be used at all, how you'd go about managing the list, and any possible repercussions you can think of in terms of liability or hassle for us here.
 

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Haven't voted, yet.. but just some questions and viewpoints

How effective are the lost/stolen items on other forums?

I've seen them, and correct me if I'm wrong, but there is a strong reliance on members viewing the topics. Including keeping a record, or a least note of what is being sold.

I imagine it is somewhat of a "shot in the dark" in terms of anything being returned, but it may serve as a method of hope for those who have experienced the unfortunate circumstance.

Will it be Walther specific?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Haven't voted, yet.. but just some questions and viewpoints

How effective are the lost/stolen items on other forums?

I've seen them, and correct me if I'm wrong, but there is a strong reliance on members viewing the topics. Including keeping a record, or a least note of what is being sold.

I imagine it is somewhat of a "shot in the dark" in terms of anything being returned, but it may serve as a method of hope for those who have experienced the unfortunate circumstance.

Will it be Walther specific?
All viewpoints welcome.

Wondering the same thing - is a list useful, or more hassle than it's worth? I guess the upside is that if you're buying privately, it might give a little extra peace of mind to check it first to see if it's listed as stolen or lost.

Per my post, yes, Walther only. I'm wondering if the way to do it might not be a moderated Sticky where posts must be approved by one of us first, then the moderators would keep a running tally in the first post to update model, serial number and status (date lost/stolen, recovered yes/no)
 

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Seems to me that verification could be an issue. What would prevent someone from going online -- to one of the current auction sites, for example -- and posting up serial numberes of advertised guns, just to be a jerk, or to lessen competition in the bidding process, or who knows what other twisted reason? Stranger things have happened, and it could cause some serious issues for seller and potential buyers alike. I have no problem accommodating threads that provide a list of stolen firearms; we've had a few (though only a few) in the past. Providing an official stamp of approval on the process could become problematic.

Isn't there an online registry of reported stolen firearms?

Some links of interest, perhaps:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Tracing_Center

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/how-to/report-theft-loss.html

https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/Abstract.aspx?id=201983
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What would prevent someone from going online -- to one of the current auction sites, for example -- and posting up serial numberes of advertised guns, just to be a jerk, or to lessen competition in the bidding process, or who knows what other twisted reason?
Point taken. This is why it's good to ask the questions first.

There's an old axiom I use for both life and business: "Running off in a direction will always get you somewhere if you don't care where you end up."

That said, wouldn't the circumstances you indicate above also apply to those other official channels?
 

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Sure, and without a doubt that's true, RCK. But they also have deeper pockets to sustain legal scrutiny, should the time come and a pesky lawyer appear indicating that faulty information posted here caused his client grevious pain and suffering and monetary loss and ... whatever. I'm not saying that it shouldn't be done or that it's not a good idea. Perhaps with the right disclaimer, it would and could work out all right. But it's not without some risks, I'd think.

There's an old axiom I use for both life and business: "Running off in a direction will always get you somewhere if you don't care where you end up."
That's spot-on and well said.
 

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Seems to me that verification could be an issue. What would prevent someone from going online -- to one of the current auction sites, for example -- and posting up serial numberes of advertised guns, just to be a jerk, or to lessen competition in the bidding process, or who knows what other twisted reason? Stranger things have happened, and it could cause some serious issues for seller and potential buyers alike. I have no problem accommodating threads that provide a list of stolen firearms; we've had a few (though only a few) in the past. Providing an official stamp of approval on the process could become problematic.

Isn't there an online registry of reported stolen firearms?

Some links of interest, perhaps:

National Tracing Center - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

ATF Online - Firearms - How To - Report Theft / Loss

https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/Abstract.aspx?id=201983


There may be others but here's one: HotGunz Stolen Gun Search

I entered the S/N for my P22 and it scared the hell out of me. The dialog box came up and immediately said "Warning Stolen Gun", then very quickly said "This serial number is not in our database". I guess the "warning - stolen gun" is the default message. Also put in a search for stolen guns within 50 miles of my zip and three guns popped up with owner's phone number. A P3AT, a Glock 27, and a S&W .40.
 

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A good point risen about verification. For example, I have no qualms about posting pictures of the serial numbers of my Walthers and if some arschloch decided to have a bit of fun and report mine as stolen when in fact it resides in my safe, I could expect the boys in blue in no time. And nobody needs that noise, especially in Massachus-Istan.

-Pilotsteve
 

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I think Searcher is right on this one. Too many liability problems could arise from having a section for stolen guns. There is always someone out there wanting a reason to sue.
 

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I think that serial numbers should be held confidential,if you lost a gun let the police know but don't broadcast it all over the internet. You never know when the information may be used against you for some reason or another in the future (e.g. by your own admission you own too many guns and are a threat to society for having an arsenal.). We live in dangerous times and freely handing out ammunition to the opposition is not warranted.
 

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I do not remember seeing such a section on any gun forum, and I am on TONS of them.

Someone is free at any time to just make a post stating that their gun got stolen - and here is the serial #. Granted, it would get buried in the site over time. I have seen such posts on forums many times, including my own.

But, to have an entire section dedicated to this can invite the kind of disaster that Searcher stated. I've dealt with threats of lawsuits while running a gun forum before. The average user sometimes doesn't realize the behind the scenes headaches that can sometimes arise when running a gun forum.

It was personal threats directed at me over the course of a long time that made me stop running the FN Forum for the site owner. I was the sole admin for quite some time there. The average user of a forum never knows that things like that go on.

So, why invite disaster. I've been asked before to have a section where people could put positive/negative reviews of local businesses. Man, can you imagine how that will go down when someone who owns a business who got a negative review and finds out about...

Anyway - sometimes, one has to think of all the liabilities before starting something like this. I voted "no" on the poll
 

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Seems to me that verification could be an issue. What would prevent someone from going online -- to one of the current auction sites, for example -- and posting up serial numberes of advertised guns, just to be a jerk, or to lessen competition in the bidding process, or who knows what other twisted reason?
I like the idea but I voted 'no' for the reasons outlined by Searcher. Confirmation/verification is an issue ... and if this can't be done properly, I feel it probably shouldn't do it, at all...
 

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WHY should confirmation that you owned the gun and that it was stolen be a problem?? UNLESS you didn't file a police report!
IF a police report was filed - as I did with several pistols that were stolen, including a P.38 & PPK - then there is no way someone can come back on you for any kind of false ownership claim!
Seems to me like some of the paranoia of not showing ser nrs on weapons posted on the internet. You'll notice that I do not hide mine and never have! I have a bill of sale for every one of my guns - never buy one w/o it - so I don't worry about it!
Sarge
 

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You'll notice I don't hide my serial numbers in photos, either. That said, I don't see any value in a lost/stolen list unless we have a means to be sure that every lost/stolen post is actually correct/true. Key to this is that my serial numbers in photos have no potential to colour if/how other humans choose to deal with one another ... but a lost/stolen list will do exactly that -- hence the importance of the data being 100% true/correct/dependable.

You bring up police reports. Great ... in theory only! In practice, your mention of a police report number means the lost/stolen post has to include the police report number -- which, alone, is useless unless it also includes info about the department with which it was filed ... such as how to get in touch with the department. And the inclusion of report number and department info is still no guarantee that there's accuracy, as someone has to follow up by calling the number and asking about the report, right?

Human nature being what it is (i.e. tendency toward path of least resistance) ... how many people would do that for every lost/stolen post? Probably not many... meaning we're back to most people trusting data that could be bogus ... and having their dealings with other humans coloured by it.

Sorry -- but I'm of the opinion this either needs to be implemented correctly (i.e. such that it's always accurate/dependable info ... no extra steps needed since people will probably ignore them) ... or not at all.
 

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About a year ago I got a phone call from a detective tracking stolen guns. Bottom line: About a year earlier, I had bought a WW !! Walther from a highly reputable dealer in collectible firearms and LE wanted it. Several months later, I received my full refund from the dealer. The other bottom line is I really was so pleased to have gotten this PPK in 32 cal. But I had already voted "yes" on the poll here, before I even read the excellent objections raised by knowledgeable site members, and I now conclude that their objections are completely sound. So, if I might venture a third and final "bottom line," (promise, ha-ha) I would now change my vote to "no," at least until we figure out how we can nullify the generous supply of jerks out there who can screw things up without destroying our liberty. Where are you now, Thomas Jefferson?
 

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I tend to disagree based on facts and current liability law.
As a retired Federal agent and time as a state agent in the Midwest, this could be a safely used tool for members only-registered .
Current local LE and ATF have there own tasks. Short of law enforcement
encountering the firearm, its a small needle in a large haystack.
My background also includes law school and lawyer time, with much attention to related prosecution.

Any exposure within this forum may help-and the action would not involve
the Forums but would be an owner to owner contact issue, with possible law enforcement help. It cannot possibly hurt the chances for return, there is virtually no risk of real liability-and a Walther may be returned to its rightful owner.

This is not a moot point. Somewhere out there is a 1968
Walther PPK-121515 A
original-380/9mm K Ulm/DO. Stolen from me, entered into NCIC,
but all channels help. The last vote tally showed support for
this idea. Why don't we let the membership decide. RM
 

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After I saw that serial number I had to pull out my list and check for past owned Walthers.

I had a '68 NIB with the number 131225A. Close enough to jar my memory, but later production of that year.

I hope you get your Walther back one day.
 

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The last vote tally showed support for
this idea. Why don't we let the membership decide. RM
You seem to be under the impression that the owners/managers of this community run it as a democracy. However, we forum members do not pay taxes to them, and our votes are, at most, symbolic ... because in reality this community is a benign dictatorship (like most online communities, I should add).

I feel your pain and hope you recover your asset. :(
 

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Everyone will have an opinion on this issue. Perhaps the only ones who
should vote are those who have had a Walther "lost" or stolen. Though
our society in the U.S.is liberally off track, and litigation phobic-we should take action.

As a retired Federal agent with law school background; we need to at least msg our
stolen Walthers. So.....Walther PPK (380ACP) 9mmKurz SN 121515A

Stolen firearms should be entered into the NCIC database also-through your local
police department.
 
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