With a spate of mass shootings this year, there seems to be a perpetual drumbeat of information about guns, background checks, and registration. Often there’s little discussion about what to do if your gun is stolen or how to find out if a gun you purchased from someone was reported stolen.
Hot Gunz to the rescue. Gun owners created this free online database service in 2009, because they felt that the general public should have access to information on whether a firearm was stolen or not. According to their website, they are the largest user submitted stolen-gun database. You will need to register for free to access the site’s three main services: Stolen Gun Check, Add Your Stolen Gun, and View Local Stolen Guns.
Stolen Gun Check
Just because you think you are buying from a reputable dealer, doesn’t mean you can be certain your gun is clean. Hot Gunz offers a gun serial number search to determine if a gun is stolen. The site notes that they do not collect personal information or log your searches. As this information is user submitted, accuracy of course cannot be guaranteed. You can also contact your local police department and request the serial number be run through National Crime Information Center (NCIC) to confirm the results.
Add Your Stolen Gun
Because they rely on the public to upload data on stolen gun buyers, the site encourages people to participate by adding your stolen firearm’s serial number after you report the theft to the police. The site notes that it is used by 1000s of North American visitors, including gun buyers, pawn shop personnel, and gun dealers.
View Local Stolen Guns
If you’re an investigator keeping an eye out for stolen guns within a 5-50 mile radius of your zip code, the site offers access to the Local Firearm BOLO.
For an interesting read, the Hot Gunz stolen firearms database has a Facebook page, for which they occasionally post articles regarding gun theft.
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