The police want my Lefever


October 5, 2005, 09:28 PM
I'm getting a little p***ed here. last week The local police contacted the dealer that sold me a shotgun and they in turn contacted me. Seems the person who sold the gun to my dealer had a prior felony. I don't know who but they are bringing charges against him for possesion. At first the police only wanted pictures of the gun....they said. But I was kind of uneasy about possibly losing it to the courts and my dealer offered to buy it back. So rather than have me take trhe loss I did just that ..sold it back. A week went by and when I returned to my dealer it was up for sale again. When I inquired if it had been cleared, and not being used for evidence, he told me that the police had called him the day before and told him they would not need it as they had pictures from me. Well I was a bit attached to that old gun so I bought it back at the same price of course. Now 24 hrs later I get a call from the police again they want it! I'm about over it. So what are my options here? Anything short of selling it back again? What is the proceedure here. Any LEOs that can help me out. I really don't want to lose this gun. :fire:

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October 5, 2005, 09:59 PM
Uh, if they cleared it, then whats the problem? You bought it through a legal dealer right? Is it stolen? If not, then they ought to not have a leg to stand on.

What kind of Lefever is it? Please tell me it isn't a .410... I want one of those so bad...

October 5, 2005, 09:59 PM
I'm afraid once law enforcement need an item as evidence, you're pretty much hosed. They can take it from you if they get a warrant. Personally, I'd rather co-operate with them rather than make them go to the extra trouble... if they get angry enough, you might never get it back (after all, it's evidence of a felony, so may get destroyed!), or it might come back with evidence-locker info indelibly engraved all over its metal surfaces...

I'd try to get a refund from the dealer, but after two iterations through the sale process, this might be flogging a dead horse.

I'm sorry for your trouble, but this is one of those situations where you may just have to grin and bear it. Miserable, I know... :(

Car Knocker
October 5, 2005, 10:30 PM
Make appointment with lawyer.

Double Naught Spy
October 5, 2005, 10:51 PM
skofnung, whether or not it was purchased by T-Bird under seemingly legitmate legal conditions is not the point. If the gun was part of a crime (felon in possession), then it can be taken into evidence. Additionally, the felon could not have legally sold it to the dealer as legally he could not be in possession of it or own it.

I am guessing that the dealer wasn't 100% in the loop. I can't imagine the police releasing the gun for sale and then demanding it back. If it was released, then my guess is that your dealer should have that receipt, but he probably just dealt with them on the phone and so doesn't have a receipt. Of course if it never went to the police, then there would be no receipt. As with any government agency, there may be more than one person involved and the folks there may not all be on the same plan as to how to proceed. In other words, the police may have initially said it was okay to sell, and then later were informed (as by the DA) or determined that the actual gun was needed, not just documentation.

Your dealer should take it back because he sold it to you under the misconception that he had free and clear title to possess it, and he did not. Chances are, he thought he did and for whatever reason, things changed. Besides, you are a good customer with a history (now, if not previously) of repeat business! :D

Try the dealer first. After all, he sold you a gun that was used in a crime. He seems to be cooperating with the police and my guess is that he will take it back again. It really might be in his best interest with the police, ATF, and with you. While he may not have intentionally done anything wrong, he did buy a gun from a felon. I am sure he would like to appear to be operating in good faith with all the folks involved.

T-Bird, if your dealer does not buy it back and the police demand possession (either by politely asking or a warrant), document everything fully before you surrender the gun, during the transaction, and most definitely get a receipt if they do not provide you with a warrant. If you are served a warrant, verfity the data on the warrant is accurate with the gun.

Also, determine if you can, what the process is for regaining ownership of the gun, if possible. As with dealing with your dealer, the police may be perfectly happy with releasing the gun back to you once it is no longer needed. Of course, that may take years between the current investigation, trial, and possible appeal.

Try the dealer first. If that doesn't work, contact ATF concerning the surrender of your gun to the local police. Explain the situation with all the appropriate information (police agency, investigator, case #, etc.) and ask if you have recourse on the dealer. Here, the ATF may be a decent source of reliable information that will be free. You can consult a lawyer or NRA pertaining to such matters.

You can ask your local police, but since they are involved in the investigation, I would not be inclined to necessarily believe they are fluent with all the relevant and specific gun laws. If you think about it, they aren't exactly behaving with a clear course of progression or understanding of their needs. Try as they might, no cop knows everything and their realm is quite expansive. Here, my thought is that they may say that you will get the gun back when you can't, unbeknownst to the police, or say you can't when you can, also unbeknownst to them.

October 5, 2005, 10:53 PM
Contact a lawyer.

Standing Wolf
October 5, 2005, 11:01 PM
I'd tell the cops no. If they're old enough to be taking home government pay checks, they're surely old enough to have heard the word "no" a time or two.

Don Gwinn
October 5, 2005, 11:05 PM
You can tell them "no," but as I understand it, that won't mean much. They have the right to take it anyway.
You should be asking a lawyer instead of us.

October 6, 2005, 12:50 AM
I think it's a tax scam. They're trying to get their 10% a few too many times.

Smokey Joe
October 6, 2005, 12:58 AM
I agree with the above posters. In this matter, for you, T-Bird, it's not Miller time, it's Lawyer Time.

You could probably handle everything yourself, documenting everything and doing all the legal research, etc, etc, etc, taking every minute of your spare time for the next six months. And one misstep and it's Bye-Bye Lefever. You could probably build a house for yourself, too, checking up on all the building regulations and requirements, learning how to as you go. And taking at least four times as long as a construction company that does this for a living, would.

Lawyers do this sort of stuff for a living. This is what they're for. Yes it'll cost you, and no you don't deserve the hassle. Do you want to fight for your Lefever with a chance to get it back free and clear or do you want to shrug and let it go?

BTW, contact the NRA about this (I presume you're a member.) They may take an interest, and they do have a legal department. Can't hurt, might help.

Jeff White
October 6, 2005, 01:00 AM
It's possible that the court wouldn't accept the pictures as evidence or the suspects lawyer wanted to see the gun to prove it existed.

We often photograph recovered stolen property and return it to the owner as soon as possible. Sometimes though, one lawyer or another wants to see the real thing.

If you give it to the police, they will give you a receipt for it and you will get it back at the end of the court action. Talk to the victims rights advocate in your local states attorneys office, you may even be entitled to some compensation for your trouble.


October 6, 2005, 02:52 AM
Just for the sake of saying it, perhaps you should go boating.

October 6, 2005, 03:20 AM
Additionally, the felon could not have legally sold it to the dealer as legally he could not be in possession of it or own it.

what is TOTally screwed about this- the felon does NOT give up "finaincial intrest" in the weapon, all he had to do was have a non felon sell the gun for him and it would have been legal. ARGH.

Byron Quick
October 6, 2005, 03:24 AM
I can't imagine the police releasing the gun for sale and then demanding it back.

You can't? Never dealt with any government agencies in your life? Imagine a government employee jacking a citizen around or not knowing how to do his job properly. First time that's ever happened.

October 6, 2005, 07:06 AM
I am not a lawyer, but I just got through a business law class taught by a local asst. DA, which covered personal property as well as real property. I am not sure if this applies to firearms, but they are personal property. If it was used in a crime then you are SOL I am afraid. They can get the warrant and take it, but I would think they would do that anyway to CYA. However, in the state of NC, if you buy personal property in a manner in which a reasonable person would believe the item is not stolen then it is yours free and clear even if the person from whom it was stolen from makes claim to it. I think this sucks but it protect the buyer of the item and debated this in class. I think this is the same in other states, but I am not sure of that. It does not matter that the dealer's transaction was not legal because he did not know that at the time. However, you sold it back after the police contacted you about the gun, so this would void the above protection since you bought it back knowing there had been questions about it from the police.

If it were me I would sell it back to the dealer and be done with it. Sure you could contact a lawyer, and if you want to keep it then do so, but is it worth all the legal fees? As always legal advice on the Internet is worth what you paid for it :D

October 6, 2005, 09:35 AM
I knew would get all the right answers here. Based on the responces, I'm gonna sell it back. Just to get out of the legal loop. Although I do like the gun it CAN be replaced, and now I will have a little extra money to go SHOPPING!
Time to move on. I look at it this way, if I sell it back to my dealer, who is a GREAT guy by the way and really willing to do anything to please me on this, so say it goes to trial, gets released back to him in 6 mos. I'm there twice a week, I'll just buy it back again after the dust settles.

No it was not a .410, a Nitro 12 ga. heres a pic...the last time any of us will ever see it probably. Oh well,**** happens

1 old 0311
October 6, 2005, 09:40 AM
I would worry this could come back and bite you years from now. When in doubt play it safe.


October 6, 2005, 09:43 AM
I think I would contact a lawyer.
If not that, maybe you could "sell" it to someone. (Of course, you don't remember his name). :evil:
Just a shame that someone who tries to have legitimate dealings with firearms gets jerked around. :banghead:
Best of luck in this situation. Keep us posted as to how this turns out.

October 6, 2005, 09:50 AM
I see you decided to sell it back. Probably the easiest way to put this behind you. There will be other guns to buy.

If you had wanted to keep it, I would have suggested getting a lawyer. You would probably have still needed to lend it to the police for evidence but having a lawyer involved on your side puts everyone on notice that you are to be taken seriously. Your weapon may get better care while in their custody and you will probably get it back as soon as possible.

Not bashing anyone but the fact is, people put extra effort into doing their jobs properly when they are dealing with a lawyer.

October 6, 2005, 10:00 AM
What's the lawyer going to cost though?

12 ga Nitro Specials aren't exactly high buck guns.

Camp David
October 6, 2005, 10:01 AM
I'm getting a little p***ed here.

T-Bird: My recommendation is that you get the Lefever back any way you can and keep it!

A few seasons ago, I went duck hunting in Mississquoi Bay on Lake Champlain in Vermont using a friend's old Lefever 12 gauge double... best damn duck gun I ever shot bar none... It rode to shoulder smooth, pulled crisp, and held well... Friend did not want to sell it! Shucks! I believe both barrels were full choke and I used 2-3/4 shells, #4's, on both ducks and geese. Beautiful gun.

Jim K
October 6, 2005, 02:37 PM
Sit down NOW and write down all that has taken place regarding that gun. Get all the paperwork, receipts, and so on. Get copies of the 4473 forms from the dealer. Keep everything in a file, preferably in a safe deposit box.

That way, just in case the gun turns up later in the wrong place or wrong hands, and the cops trace it to you, you have proof you sold the gun back to the dealer. Even if the cops seize it, that doesn't mean it automatically is destroyed or sold legitimately. (Guns, drugs, and other valuable items have been known to grow legs and walk right out of police property rooms, only to magically appear on the street later.)


October 6, 2005, 02:48 PM
Camp David... I know what you mean about it being a sweet shotgun. You see I have two, well HAD two until this morning. The one in question was my "go to" and was cut off at 18.50" by somebody earlier in it's life, maybe the felon. I, like a lot of you, felt that this was just going to get me a higher profile than I wanted to have. Not that I have anything to hide, but one never knows how these things can come back on you. It's done now. I took it back and got my money. I will keep that in the bank until I find another suitable short classic. Now the other Lefever I have is bone stock with 30" barrels and as tight as can be. It is a very nice HUNTING GUN. But I really liked the idea of it's evil twin watching the house. They were only a few digits apart. There will be others.

Thanks guys you all have been great. I know I did the right thing.

late post: thanks Jim that is good advice. I will do just that tonight. Just another good reason to rid myself of it.

October 6, 2005, 05:36 PM

You don't need a lawyer just yet. First things first this only applies to the state of OH and keep in mind I'm just a detective not a lawyer YMMV! The best bit of advise so far is to document everything, and I mean everthing. Second contact the local court and get in contact with the prosecutor handling this case. When you speak to him offer to bring in the shotgun during the trial (He will issue you a subpeona Duces Tecum) This is an order to produce whatever is listed. You will also get paid for this as well. Chances are you will never be called. This bit of proactive effort should save you a great deal of heartache, and you can actully get a feel for how things are going You can choose to get a lawyer if you think things will get out of hand.


October 7, 2005, 08:41 AM
Hey T-bird, when you decide to sell the remaining 12 ga. let me know. It will make a good partner to my .410 LeFever :neener:

October 7, 2005, 09:48 AM
Isn't that the gun you sold to that fellow at a gun show?

October 7, 2005, 02:15 PM
get yourself a lawyer and have them call the da's office that way you have someone who has a relationship already with these people and they can handle things to your best outcome -- document everything but if you get the receipt make sure you get a case number and everyone's names --- not saying that it will happen but things get lost in department and make it into officers homes -- I was a cop and I know it happens

October 8, 2005, 02:30 AM
Lawyer. Long term solution.

Bury it in a sealed container, stay silent. Short term solution.

I'd use both, If I had to keep the gun.

October 8, 2005, 06:11 AM
I agree with the above posters. In this matter, for you, T-Bird, it's not Miller time, it's Lawyer Time.

If you still have the oppertunity, SELL IT SELL IT SELL IT and buy an exact copy of it with a new SN for 3x the money if you have to. It will be CHEAP compared to any legal trouble.

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