Frequently Asked Questions

I entered my stolen firearm before the new login system. What do I do?
How do I search for a stolen firearm?
Why do I have to create an account to add my firearm?
Why does HotGunz have a Z instead of an S?
Why isn't there a place for me to describe the special features of my gun?
Can Law Enforcement Departments enter firearms on behalf of our gun-theft victims?
What if I don't know my stolen firearm's serial number?
Why should I register my stolen firearm on this site?
Is this some sort of gun registry?
Are you associated with law enforcement or anti-gun groups?
Can you help with my legal problem or tell me the status of my stolen gun?
Why can't I find out who owns this site or your address/telephone number?
Do you log my search or report to the owner if I search their serial number?
Can anyone see my email address when they search?
Can I search through the list of serial numbers?
Is this website linked to NCIC?
Why are there advertisements on this site?
What protections do you have in place to prevent false entries?
How can I share a link to my stolen firearm on my blog/facebook/website/etc.?

I entered my stolen firearm before the new login system. What do I do?

Register for a new account using the same email address you originally used to enter your stolen gun(s). Once you create your account you should see all of your firearms on the "My Firearms" page. This new feature should make it easier for you to manage your firearms if you have multiple stolen firearms. Feel free to contact us if you are having any difficulties.

How do I search for a stolen firearm?

Enter the serial number of the firearm in question on the home page without spaces, dashes, or other special characters.

Why do I have to create an account to add my firearm?

The account feature is necessary to prevent false entries and ensure that you can be contacted with information regarding your stolen firearm. It also makes it easier for you to manage multiple firearms and update your contact information. Be sure to check your junk mail or spam folder if you do not receive the email within a few minutes after registering for your free account.

Why does HotGunz have a Z instead of an S?

We wanted a domain name that was short and easy to memorize. We originally came up with "HotGuns" but the name was already taken and being sold with a minimum bid of $10,000. We improvised and selected HotGunz instead.

Why isn't there a place for me to describe the special features of my gun?

The stolen firearms database search is an exact match of the serial number only for privacy reasons. It is not searchable by keywords, so if someone searches the database for your serial number it is going to come up with your gun regardless of it having a Leupold scope, stainless barrel, etc. The status of accessories can be determined once someone has contacted you with information regarding the stolen firearm.

Can my Law Enforcement Department enter firearms on behalf of our gun-theft victims?

Absolutely

What if I don't know my firearm serial number?

Do not add your firearm to the database until you locate the serial number. The database can only be searched by serial number... no one will find it without the correct serial number. If you purchased the gun from a licensed firearm dealer (i.e. gun store, pawn shop, licensed gun show dealer) you can contact them for the serial number. If the dealer is no longer in business they are required to surrender their firearm sales records to the ATF. Contact the ATF to locate the serial number of a firearm purchased from a dealer that is no longer in business. If the gun was purchased from an unlicensed dealer (i.e. friend, yard sale, private gun show seller) you will have to locate the seller to see if they recorded your serial number. If the original seller does not remember the serial number they may be able to locate it using the same process.

Why should I register my stolen firearm on this site?

A thief cannot easily sell a stolen firearm if everyone knows it is stolen. As a responsible gun owner it is your duty to do everything in your power to get your firearm off the streets. In most cases this would include reporting the theft to the police, informing your friends, family, and neighbors of the theft, and posting your firearm on the internet. There are many places online that allow you to post your stolen firearm, but none are quite as simple, anonymous or effective as HotGunz.com. A few reasons a person who has come into possession of your stolen gun may not report the firearm to the police or check other stolen firearm sites or forums are fear of getting in trouble, unwillingness to search through hundreds of post looking for a match, or unwillingness to create an account or give up personal information just to perform a search. Our site provides a simple, fast, and worry-free serial number check. They will be checking our site... will your firearm be on here when they do?

Is this some sort of gun registry?

Not at all. The information we collect would be useless to form any type of "gun registry." The beauty of our system is the ability to remain anonymous, whether checking or reporting a firearm. The only potentially sensitive information we require is the email address necessary to report a stolen firearm. We require this to enable a person with information about your firearm to contact you (without revealing your email address). If this is a concern, we recommend that you create an anonymous email account using one of the myriad of free email accounts available, and check it frequently for information about your firearm.

Are you associated with law enforcement or anti-gun groups?

No, we are not associated with any law enforcement agency or any groups interested in restricting or denying the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Certain law enforcement agencies may however enter stolen firearms on behalf of gun theft victims within their jurisdiction.

Can you help with my gun related legal problem or tell me the status of my stolen gun?

No, we are not lawyers nor are we associated with any law enforcement agency.

Why can't I find out who owns this site or your address/telephone number?

We do not post our personal information on the internet because we simply want to provide a much needed free public service. We operate this site as a side project out of pocket in our free time and do not make any money from it. We are not trying to gain any sort of fame or recognition and we value our privacy as much as we value yours. We are not a large corporation, just regular guys who don't want our families addresses posted online for everyone to see.

Do you log my search results or report to the owner if I search their serial number?

No, we do not log or report your searches. If you come across one of the firearms in our database you can contact the owner on your own terms. We do not want people to avoid using this site out of fear that they will be reported. Just remember to put yourself in the owners position and do what you would want done if it were your firearm.

Can anyone see my email address when they search?

No, the email address you registered your firearm with is never revealed unless you reply back to the person contacting you.

Can I search through the list of serial numbers?

No you cannot. The serial number search is an exact match only. This means that if you have a serial number of 123ABC and search anything other than 123ABC or 123abc then no results will be listed. This is to protect the privacy of the gun owner.

Is this website linked to NCIC?

No, our database only contains firearms that have been reported to us as being stolen using the Report Stolen Firearm link at the top of the page. These results may include firearms entered by certain law enforcement agencies on behalf of their gun-theft victims. Just because a serial number is not in our database does not necessarily guarantee that the firearm is not stolen; it simply means that no one has reported this serial number to us. The only way to be 100% sure is to contact your local police department and request that they run the serial number in question through NCIC.

Why are there advertisements on this site?

The advertisements on our site help offset the cost of providing this free service. If you appreciate the service we provide, please feel free to check out any ads you may be interested in.

What protections do you have in place to prevent false entries?

If the status of a firearm is contested we will require a copy of the police report in order to keep the firearm in the database. If we confirm that an individual is abusing our system we will permanently ban them. While there is always the possibility of deviant behavior in a database that relies on information provided by the public, the perpetrator will not be able to profit from such behavior. Entering a firearm into our database that is not actually stolen does not give a person title to the firearm. Worst case scenario it may delay or cancel a potential sale if the buyer checks the serial number, but doing so would leave the offender open to civil repercussions if the seller chooses to pursue legal action. We will be more than happy to provide their legal counsel with information pertaining to a false report. The possibility of this type of behavior occurring is not limited to our database alone. There are many reported cases of individuals making false reports to local and federal law enforcement agencies. The bottom line is that nothing is completely fool proof, but we will do our best to prevent any abuse that could undermine the trust of our users.

How can I share a link to my stolen firearm on my blog/facebook/website/etc.?

A permanent link is displayed above all stolen firearm results. This link is "www.hotgunz.com/serial-123.html" but replace the 123 with your actual serial number. Please be aware that there should be no spaces or special characters in your serial number and the url is all lower-case.