Gone Outdoors

How to Find a Gun by Its Serial No.

by TomL

Every gun manufactured and sold includes a serial number. This is a way for the authorities to track and keep tabs on every gun that is out on the market. The guns are registered upon purchase and a gun search can be performed online or in offline locations, depending on the area in which you live. This is a great way for a person to check whether a gun was involved in a crime or stolen prior to purchase. A gun can be found by its serial number by following the steps below.

Note down the serial number of the gun as you will need it to run the search. The number is located in different locations but can most often be found on the handle, slide or the inside of the weapon. A local gun shop will know the location in case you have trouble finding it.

Perform a gun search by contacting the government or the criminal apprehension site linked to your state. This could be the BCA (Bureau of Criminal Apprehension) or a different website created for the state where you live. Call your city government through the number listed in the Yellow Pages and someone there will also be able to help you with the exact web address.

Contact your local law enforcement and ask whether they can check the serial number against the NCIC (National Crime Information Center) database. Many states do not have a database that is open to the public, and they will want to see the firearm when running the search.

Items you will need
  • Gun
  • Serial number


  • Erasing or shaving a serial number of a fire arm is illegal in all states.

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