OK, some have said some states make it illegal to cover a serial number, but that would make every S&W revolver with factory Goncalo Alves grips and many other after market grips illegal. Can't see that going through.
So that said here is an email I received from the BATFEXYZ about covering the serial number with tape.....
This is in response to your email to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). In your email, you wanted to know if covering a serial number of a firearm with tape be constituted as obscuring.
Under Federal law, it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to transport, ship, or receive, in interstate or foreign commerce, any firearm which has had the importer's or manufacturer's serial number removed, obliterated, or altered, or to possess or receive any firearm which has had the importer's or manufacturer's serial number removed, obliterated, or altered and has, at any time, been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.
Merely, attaching black tape to a firearms serial number does not constitute a violation of Federal law.
Should you have additional questions, please contact your local ATF office. A listing of ATF office phone numbers can be found at: http://www.atf.gov/field
Firearms Industry Programs Branch, ATF
That said I have the serial number of my every day carry covered with tamper proof tape. Just having my firearm in his grubby little paws does not grant authorization to "search" the serial number unless it is in plain sight or he has Probable Cause to believe the firearm is stolen. It has quit working but I had a video recorder that looked like a Bluetooth ear piece that worked pretty good.
Sure there is probably no way you could succeed in a civil action unless there is the possibility of monetized damages. But there is always the criminal option; 18 U.S. Code § 242 - Deprivation of rights under color of law
. You are unlikely to get anywhere but you could be a royal pain in the @ for the offending cop for a while.
first, 5+ years ago you were told by the Defensive Carry dot com's lead moderator, hotshot, in 2012, when you first posted this silly crap initially on their site:
quote: Some observations... if an LEO wants to run the number on your gun for any reason, he will do so. He will remove the tape to look at the number. If he's nice, he'll put the tape back.
If you dealt with the ATF more than once, you would realize that there is no "horse's mouth" as you can get varing (sic) opinions about the same issue, all of the in conflict with each other. The ATF is well known for this and it is well documented.
Running a serial number, for any reason, is within the scope of an LEO performing his duties. Placing a piece of black tape, bubblegum or melted chocolate over the serial number for him to remove does not constitute an illegal search, no matter how you try to make it so or twist it as such.
Implying that it was an illegal search is laughable, but hey, don't let me tell you different if thats (sic)what you really believe. I suppose that moving a cigarette pack, or a snuff can off of the VIN number on your dash board of your truck so that I could read it would constitute an illegal search to eh?
I'm going to put this one in the same category as the people that tell me I can not arrest them for violating the law because they are a sovereign citizen and the handout that they give me proves that I cant or that only the elected Sheriff can legally transport them to jail.
Do what you want, beleive (sic) what you want. Its a free country. For the most part. unquote. http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum...e-over-serial-number-federal-violation-3.html
second, as pointed out by hotshot it is not a ruling by the ATF and as such wouldn't stand up in court for you let alone anybody else who "read it on the internet on a gun forum" so it has to be true to defend themselves judicially.
third, again, pointed out by hotshot, if the LE removes your sticker, tape, whatever, and lo and behold the firearm is listed in the NCIC database, firearm is confiscated, you are immediately handcuffed and hauled off to jail and the meter on paying to defend yourself is is started and running.
fourth, you luck out the firearm isn't listed in the NCIC database, now what are you going to do jump up and down complain? as the OP is finding out, no legal beagles want to waste their time on it as there is no profit center, tho perhaps charles from CA wants to represent you, tho he isn't really an attorney.
fifth, you insist on spewing this bogus information like it is a get out of jail card to preclude the officer who stops you from taking the firearm away from you "for their protection" while you cool your heels in your car or if you irritate the officer enough you find yourself sitting on the side of the road handcuffed "for their protection" is a disservice of spreading misinformation to the masses and could and prob will get someone in trouble.
sorry to pop the bubble, but your letter is worthless as is your advice to the folks here and as pointed out in 2012, "believe what you want to!"