We've got a new Congressman in Memphis and I was just thinking maybe I would send him an idea that, I think, needs to be implemented. Currently, if a person wants to purchase a gun from a private citizen, they can just make the transaction without trying to find out if the gun is stolen, or they can try to get the seller to go with them to find a cop. The cop can check the gun to see if it is stolen, because most won't check it unless they have the gun in their possession. I think the FBI could help recover thousands of stolen guns, and other items, if they would allow citizens to check serialized items against the NCIC stolen articles database.
I can't even remember how many times I've arrested someone carrying a pistol that was stolen, and they were not charged with Receiving and Concealing Stolen Property. The thought is that you can't prove they knew it was stolen. Well, I agree, if the item was stolen months ago, you can't get a conviction on that. So, why not open up the information to the public? If someone brings a gun or any other item to me and I run it and find out it is reported as stolen. I'm not giving it back. I'm calling the cops and turning it over. How many other people would do the same? If only a handful of people did that, there would be fewer stolen guns on the streets.
This access could also allow people to check other items, like vehicles, tractors, four wheelers, etc. to see if they are stolen. I think this is an idea whose time has come. Anyone else agree?