A Greenville, Tennessee woman was shopping at a church sale when she saw what she believed to be an air-soft gun.
The woman purchased the gun, but when she got home she took a closer look at it.
She told police she realized that the gun was a Glock 23 with a full magazine and a round in the chamber.
She called the pastor to tell him what she had purchased.
Another woman from the church came forward claiming the gun belonged to her husband.
But, she had no documentation or proof that the gun was indeed hers.
Police checked the serial number of the weapon and found it was reported stolen by the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.
The firearm, a magazine, and a holster were seized by police.
While this is a zany example, buying a used firearm can be risky.
You don’t want to think you’re buying one thing, and end up in possession of a stolen firearm – or worse.
But using the few simple tips below, buying a used gun can be a good, safe option…
And you can save yourself a lot of money and even find a gun that’s been barely used.
So, whether it’s a private sale or buying from a pawn shop, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Buy well-known brands:
When buying a used gun, stick to guns from reputable manufacturers.
Put simply, a Glock is going to be more reliable than a cheap knockoff.
For example, a pistol made in Russia from some company you’ve never heard of isn’t a good gun to buy used.
If you stick with a quality brand such as Glock or Ruger or Smith & Wesson then the resale value should be strong if you decide to resell the firearm.
Examine the gun.
Use the eyeball test:
Anytime you are looking at a gun, take a look at the outside appearance.
Is the gun scratched, dented, or is the finish faded?
Cosmetic issues are expected on a used gun. Yet, you want to make sure the gun wasn’t abused or ignored.
Ask about any modifications that have been made to the gun (sometimes people like to add accessories to hide problems).
Ask questions about who and when the modifications were made.
Finally, ask them if you can take the gun apart to examine the parts more closely.
Work the gun:
With the owner’s permission, dry fire the gun once or twice. The action should be smooth and firm.
Check to see if the trigger pull weight feels right.
You want to avoid triggers that are too light or heavy. If the trigger doesn’t feel right then walk away.
If the gun is a revolver check to see that the cylinder isn’t loose, and that it rotates smoothly and aligns properly with the barrel.
Most firearms from well-known gun makers are well built. If they have been abused it should be fairly easy to spot.
Be careful who you buy from:
When buying a used gun, pawn shops and gun stores are usually your best option.
Most pawnshops and gun stores will have some sort of transaction record for the gun, and are less likely to sell you a stolen gun.
If you’re doing a private sale, be careful who you do business with.
You can ask the seller for the firearm serial number.
Then you can call your local police department to see if they can check to see if the gun has been reported stolen.
Just like buying anything used, you get what you pay for – if the price is too good to be true then it probably is.
A gun that is selling for $100 is going to shoot like a $100 gun. It’s not something you want your life to depend on.
If the price is too good, or the seller is too eager, it might be best to find another gun.