Friday, February 8, 2019

Filing Off the Serial Numbers


It's a Hollywood trope, sure, but it also happens in real life.  Criminal want gun with the serial numbers filed off.  But what does that gain them beside an additional felony charge when they get caught?

Ok, if your source of guns is a straw purchase using a friend or relative, and you toss your gun at the scene, it is important to you that when the gun is found the cops don't go right to your Aunt Susan who then says "Oh I bought that for my nephew Methhead Mike."

Filing off the serial numbers is good criminal practice in that case. 

But if your source of guns is a local criminal re-seller, Gun-Seller Gus, and Gus doesn't care about the serial number, Mike shouldn't care too much either. 

If Gus's source is burglarizing homes or vehicles, and Mike gets caught with the gun, the burglary charge is less impactful to him than the federal beef for filing off the serial numbers.  Might as well leave em on.

Crime makes you stupid.  It might be stupid to file them serial numbers off.  It might be stupid to NOT file them off.  I bet most of these criminal masterminds choose poorly.  The polar opposite of what is appropo.

As for us.  Regular gun owners.  Never file the serial numbers off.  Like I have to tell YOU that.


Ratus said...

So, does removing the seral number make it a "ghost gun"?

Will said...

On top of which, filing doesn't remove the numbers, depending on a couple variables.

Then again, the plastic ones just need the metal strip removed, generally.

Sigman said...

You’ve got to go deeper than you think to obliterate the numbers. I’ve seen crime labs raise the number where no trace of them could be seen.