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Frequently Asked Legal Questions

Find answers to common questions in our searchable FAQ.

13432 views   |   36   |   Last updated on Sep 20, 2023    Guns

Reporting a Stolen or Lost Gun

We have not been able to locate a Texas law that would require a gun owner to report that their gun has been either lost or stolen.

If you would like report your gun as lost or stolen, you should contact your local police or sheriff's department. Your local law enforcement can take information about the gun and can contact you if your gun is ever recovered.

Finding the Serial Number

Texas does not have a statewide gun registry, and there is no state or federal agency that keeps centralized records of firearms.

If your gun was stolen or lost and you need to find the serial number, there are a few places to begin your search:

  • Check the sales receipt.
  • If you bought the gun from a federally licensed dealer, you probably had to sign a Firearms Transaction Record form. If the dealer gave you a copy of the form, it will likely list the serial number.
  • Check the manufacturer’s box that the gun came in for a sticker with a serial number.
  • If you had the gun insured, your insurance policy documents will likely show the serial number.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) has a few additional suggestions:

  • Contact the store where you purchased the gun—they may be able to look up the transaction. Federally licensed firearms dealers are required to keep sales records for a certain amount of time. However, they’re not obligated to fulfil records requests from their customers.
  • If the store has gone out of business, local law enforcement may be able to submit a records search request on your behalf.

If you bought the firearm from a private citizen, your options will be more limited. Texas law does not require registration or transaction forms for private party sales, so you’ll likely have to rely on your own records.

It’s always a good idea to keep track of any guns you own. The ATF has a Personal Firearms Record form that you can fill out and keep in a safe location for this purpose.

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