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If serial numbers are altered, the gun becomes "hot", and selling, transferring, or purchasing such a weapon is considered illegal.

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Once the gun has been loaded, the gun is to be considered "hot"

I looked up a dictionary, but have no idea what "hot" means.

  • hot adjective (STOLEN) (slang) Hot goods have been recently stolen and are therefore difficult to sell or dangerous to deal with because the police are still looking for them. The word is written in "scare quotes", to indicate that it's being used with a "non-standard / slang" meaning. – FumbleFingers Mar 3 at 14:45
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Here is my personal interpretation:

If serial numbers are altered, the gun becomes "illegal/not regulated", and selling, transferring, or purchasing such a weapon is considered illegal.

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Once the gun has been loaded, the gun is to be considered "dangerous"

  • You do not want to hold on to a hot thing, because it will burn you. – Michael Harvey Mar 3 at 15:54
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See definition 8 in the online Merriam-Webster:

: recently and illegally obtained
a : hot jewels
// admitted that the car was hot
b : wanted by the police
// also : unsafe for a fugitive
// made the town too hot for them

Other dictionaries I've checked mostly have the 'stolen' meaning, but the expansion of the term to other sorts of "sought by the police" items seems rather natural.

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