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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Around 10 years ago I sold one of my AR-15’s because I needed some money. Last week I get a phone call from a police department that’s about 2 hours drive from where I live. They said that they finished their investigation and I can come pick up my gun. ???WTF?? Apparently they contacted the ATF and they said it was my gun since I was the original owner. It was seized during an arrest and no one else could prove it was theirs so I now have it back! Has this app to anyone else?
 

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Hmmmm...sounds a bit weird to me. If you legally sold it 10 years ago you would have no claim to the gun.
If it was seized during a arrest and your name came up as the original owner ,wouldn't they ask how the arrested person came to have it?
If you told them you sold it 10 years ago, then you would not be the current owner.
Good luck with that.
 

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This story sounds all kind of fishy.
Where I have experience in something like this is that cops don't contact you or return firearms that have been involved in a crime, unless they are requested by you. Then you have to show proof of ownership. A lot of departments feel the less guns in circulation the better and they destroy them.
 
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Phone call? Tell them the truth. You sold it, it ain't yours. If they insist on the original owner bit, get it in writing.
240828
 

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And THIS is exactly why I keep records. Because this sounds a hell of a lot like a trap.

Because someone is going to ask just how that rifle got to where it was, and who was in possession of it.

At least that's what they tried with me, once, back in NY, involving single shot 12 ga, that turned up, cut down, to a less than legal length, at a drug den in another city, and hour from home. One I bought in Buffalo, for a pheasant hunt, as my Maverick was 2 hours away, at home, while I was in college.

Sold it to a friend 6 months later. Elmira PD talked to the BATFE, and my name came up. Made 2 calls, one to my attorney, the other to the friend I sold it to, who did remember who he sold it to, and both of us had bills of sale.

Next buyer\seller didn't. Never charged, as there was no way to prove it went to the last "owner", from him, and that guy had a record that was not a quick read, and some obvious prison ink, going by his mug shots.

Now, does thins ever ha[[en, when a CPD or CSD will call up the person named on the last 4473? Yes. Some will even offer to meet up, so it can go back to you, just in most cases, it's something you have to request, as most departments do try to return stolen property to it's rightful owner. Just not usually firearms, IME, but again, I did spend 24 years living in a more conservative county, but it was still NY State.

And SOP there, was to urn in any unregistered handguns to members of the NYSP, by smaller departments, for destruction. Some rifles as well. When my grandfather retired from that agency, he dropped close to $90, at $3 a pop, updating his pistol permit, with some "Destroyed" handguns, a few of which we now own, others went to other family members, and some we took in, went to our daughter.

And I can give one case where I can verify the owner was contacted, and got that pistol back.

Someone broke into my grandfather's apartment, and tossed the place. They found two of his handguns, his 4 inch Python, and his Savage 1903 Pocket .32. Both turned up in served warrants in Buffalo NY, on drug dealer's homes. They did not get destroyed, and he got a phone call, much like the OP did, letting him know they had them, and that they would contact him for pickup, once the cases were done. Which they did, 8 months later.

I drove him up to get them, as I was home recovering form surgery, at the time, and I was mobile again, as my stump was pretty much healed up again. Got him in his vchair, and pushed him into the station to get them. This was a couple years before he passed on.

Dad ended up with the Savage as part of the will, I ended up with the Python. His old service revolver.

One of the few good things about the pistol permit system in that state, if it's in the registry, they make an effort to get it back to the owner, and, in a few cases, yes, if the owner is no longer around, the family is contacted, to see if anyone has a permit, is applying for one, and wants it. Even in NY, there are pro 2A agencies, and even in ones that are not, Pro 2A LEOs.

I also had one of mine, lost while out on Lake Erie, turn up a few years later, a little H&R .22 (Fell out of my pocket), that a couple kids found in the harbor, magnet fishing, that I did get a call on from the CSD. Told the permit clerk to email me a picture of it, and I'd let her know if I wanted it back. Wasn't worth it, solid rust, on a &75 handgun, so the next trip up to add one, I brought the letter they sent me with, and had it removed.

That one went with others, either unregistered, or in violation of state law in some way, and became part of a steel billet, at the local foundry\steel plant.

A couple years in Lake Erie, it was covered in rust, and packed with sand, so there was no saving it.
 

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To get to you, the original buyer, required BATF involvement to start with the manufacturer or importer and go forward to trace the gun's history. This is not a "point-click-query" task. From the manurfacturer, most go to a wholesale distributer before ending up at a FFL where the 4473 was completed on a paper form to a buyer. Each step required a for-real
BATF employee to run down. They do not do this for giggles. It starts with a formal request from a Law Enforcement agency which will eventually receive a report on trace results.

Most of the traces we ran ended up dead-ends but some paid off. At one time, BATF literally had semi-trailers with paper records of surrendered FFL's records which required a manual search to attempt a trace if the dealer had gone out of business. Other times, an agent would have to go to a dealer and do a manual search through the dealer's paper records. They would then contact the person/business on those records until a dead-end was reached. Time to do a trace depended on priority of the case under investigation. Violent crimes understandably came first. Property crimes a lesser emphasis.

That the police turned the gun over to someone who told them he had sold it ten years ago is odd but different states have different laws. A gun seized as evidence generally requires a court order to dispose of.
 

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It has sting written all over it. You go to get you gun and you end up in a cell. I would tell them, thanks but not my gun. I don't think that I would be discussing the transfer with them either. If they want you they can come for you in the traditional way; in the middle of the night with door busters, flash-bangs and a dozen heavily armed men in black, shooting your dog and holding your children at gunpoint. But, don't worry that probably won't happen. Of course, then again, you might want to move and leave no forwarding address....I know some Mexicans that can get you any kind of ID you need. ;)

I have a vague memory of a family court that was luring non-paying spouses into the open with some kind of giveaway then hustling them off to jail.
 

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double post
 

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I have a vague memory of a family court that was luring non-paying spouses into the open with some kind of giveaway then hustling them off to jail.
Actually that was a movie.
I cannot remember which one but I remember the scene where a guy was trying to take his son to the event and the lead actor felt sorry and waved him off.
 

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It has really happened, that law enforcement hosts fake prize giveaways and similar cons to lure wanted suspects or those with warrants outstanding to a location and then arrest them without incident.
 

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And this is also why I keep at least some records of almost anything I buy or sell, and especially guns. Emails, PDFs of the ad, bill of sale, whatever. Something to show when I acquired it or sold it, and the prior or future owner... Having even some basic records shows any items date of transfer, whether it's a home stereo, bicycle, whatever and especially a firearm. It's the biggest "get out of jail" card you can have... proving to the reasonable observer that it wasn't stolen and you didn't use it in a crime...
 

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Get a lawyer to represent you , what you say and do is part of the record . I have never sold a gun but when I do it will go threw a gunshop transfer with paper work .
 

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I have a vague memory of a family court that was luring non-paying spouses into the open with some kind of giveaway then hustling them off to jail.
From what I saw in the mid 90s and early 2000s, it was fairly common in GA and FL.

Actually that was a movie.
I cannot remember which one but I remember the scene where a guy was trying to take his son to the event and the lead actor felt sorry and waved him off.
Nope. It was a real thing.

It has really happened, that law enforcement hosts fake prize giveaways and similar cons to lure wanted suspects or those with warrants outstanding to a location and then arrest them without incident.
Yep. I remember a show that used to come up on TNN and then Spike, in the afternoon, hosted by a retired sheriff, John Bonell I think, which would feature a few chases, and other incidents, where agencies did just this, Call and say the guy with unpaid fines, a warrant, whatever, won a contest, and would give them an address to go to.

Once there, they would have a legit looking prize team, have them fill out the paperwork, in the arrest team would walk in and surround them. Most were shown to be in the major southern cities.

They nabbed quite a few guys that way, and IIRC, our own CSD did the same, with some of the ones in the Jamestown area of NY.

Wonder if the OP is coming back?
Kind of has a one and done feeling to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hmmmm...sounds a bit weird to me. If you legally sold it 10 years ago you would have no claim to the gun.
If it was seized during a arrest and your name came up as the original owner ,wouldn't they ask how the arrested person came to have it?
If you told them you sold it 10 years ago, then you would not be the current owner.
Good luck with that.
I live in Georgia and we have some very liberal gun laws. I went and got the gun and they didn’t even ask if it was stolen. They even provided the name of the person it was seized from and what the charges were. It was seized during a domestic violence arrest. As far as the police and the ATF were concerned it was my gun. And yes, they provided an affidavit stating that.
From what I saw in the mid 90s and early 2000s, it was fairly common in GA and FL.



Nope. It was a real thing.



Yep. I remember a show that used to come up on TNN and then Spike, in the afternoon, hosted by a retired sheriff, John Bonell I think, which would feature a few chases, and other incidents, where agencies did just this, Call and say the guy with unpaid fines, a warrant, whatever, won a contest, and would give them an address to go to.

Once there, they would have a legit looking prize team, have them fill out the paperwork, in the arrest team would walk in and surround them. Most were shown to be in the major southern cities.

They nabbed quite a few guys that way, and IIRC, our own CSD did the same, with some of the ones in the Jamestown area of NY.



Kind of has a one and done feeling to it.
Hmmmm...sounds a bit weird to me. If you legally sold it 10 years ago you would have no claim to the gun.
If it was seized during a arrest and your name came up as the original owner ,wouldn't they ask how the arrested person came to have it?
If you told them you sold it 10 years ago, then you would not be the current owner.
Good luck with that.
When I went to get the gun they didn’t even ask if it had been stolen. They practically insisted that I take it. Before handing it over they ran a background check and it came back squeaky clean. Got everything in writing too.
 

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Sounds like they are trying to pin a crime on someone & save the investigation time.
So come on down & claim your prize. LOL
 
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