In need of some advice


June 19, 2006, 08:26 PM
Back in January I purchased a Colt 1911 from a dealer at a gun show. Since I live in California and it was a 70 series Colt, I had to do a private party transfer. Everything went fine and I picked the gun up from the FFL 10 days later. Now, 6 months later, I have a letter in the mail from the City of Pomona Office of the Poilce Chief stating that the gun is owned by the Pomona Police department and by the time I get this letter it will be entered into the Automated Firearms System as Stolen.
It says to take the letter and gun to the nearest law enforcement agency for safekeeping and if I keep it I can get thrown in jail. At the bottom it says this is a criminal investigation and a felony case number is included.
I was also given a copy of the dealers record of sale with the previous owners info on it. It also says "there does not appear to be any evidence of wrong doing by the previous owner and certainly there is no evidence that the FFL or any other deal violated the law."

Now I'm guessing I should turn this in ASAP, but I would like to be able to get my money back. Who should I contact? Should I just call the dealer and ask for my money back? The letter says I should contact the previous owner (since it was a PPT) but I never gave this guy any money or have had any contact with him before. I used a credit card so I'm guessing I can get my money back by contacting them if I must, but it has been 6 months. Anyone have any insight with that?

The Pomona police office is a little far for me to go to give away my gun. Its says I can bring it to any police agency. Can I trust any police agency to handle this correctly? The last thing I want is a knock at the door long after I turned the gun in. Should I get something from the agency I turn it into? Or should I call the Officer that sent the letter and let him know what I did with it?

I'm kind of pissed that I have to give this thing up as I have grown attached to it, and I'm really not happy about giving it up until I have my money back, but I guess I have no choice.

I guess this is more of a rant than anything else, but any advice would be greatly appricated.

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June 19, 2006, 08:34 PM
Talk to the dealer, at least. I don't know what he would be able to do, this being a private party thing, but getting in contact with him couldn't hurt. If you're after a refund, the seller is the person to go after. You may well have some recourse with the CC company, but it's hard to say.Should I get something from the agency I turn it into? YES! Receipts are good. You should demand a receipt of some kind whenever something is impounded. Even if it's just a handwritten note from the officer working the evidence room that day, you'll want to have *something*. There will be an extensive paper trail following this gun from now on, so even if the department doesn't just give you a receipt, you can ask for a copy of whatever form they fill out when they receive the gun.

June 19, 2006, 08:37 PM
A couple of thoughts:
I would document everything you do from now on out, and make sure the police do the same and give you copies of their documents, or -better yet-
get yourself a good lawyer and have him do the above for you.
Bad enough to be in the position you're already in, don't let some pencil-pusher compound things for you with a clerical error, or, -worse yet-an error in knowing the law(s) involved.

June 19, 2006, 08:43 PM
I'm planning on contacting the dealer tomorrow. They are the ones that recieved the money and sold me the gun, so I'm hoping a refund is possible. The only reason is was done as a PPT was because the gun isn't on the "safe list" meaning dealer can't sell it. Do you think I should still contact the previous owner?

I'll definatly document as much as I can and get something from the officer that takes the gun.
Thanks for the help.

Gun Geezer
June 19, 2006, 09:04 PM
Post edited by moderator to remove illegal advice.

Steve Pearson, please check your PM's.

Preacherman (moderator)

June 19, 2006, 09:09 PM
I don't think I can do that. Reason being a FFL is required in California for any purchase (even PPT) and it says on the letter that the gun is now entered into the system as stolen.
So I think I would be in big do-do if I did that.

June 19, 2006, 09:25 PM
Jim, I'd suggest that you start by checking with the dealer. If you don't get a firm commitment from him to refund your money in full, then I believe your next call should be to an attorney.

June 19, 2006, 09:31 PM
i dont see that you did anything wrong, nor how it could any longer carry any evidence in it, or on it , that would help out a criminal investigation. the gun is yours, you should be able to turn in necessary paperwork , and that should be enough. But these are police we are dealing with here, and just like the N.O. p.d can run over your rights, so can they. I would suggest an attorney.

Old Fuff
June 19, 2006, 09:47 PM
If I understand you bought the pistol from an FFL at a gun show. Since the tansaction was FTF you should have filled out a #4473 form, plus any other paperwork required by the state or local authorities. If this is so, then the dealer should owe you a refund. You purchansed the pistol legally. It was the dealer that sold you stolen property, although it's unlikely that he knew it.

June 19, 2006, 10:03 PM
Thats basically how it happend. I bought it from a dealer that was not local so he sent me to a local FFL with the previous owners info and a PPT was done.
Sounds slightly confusing, but thats California Law for you.

What I really want to know is if the dealer, FFL, and the previous owner haven't done anything wrong and I obtained this gun legally, how is it suddenly the property of the Pomona Police department and now considered stolen?

I guess my first corse of action is to contact the Pomona Police department and find out what happend and why I should give them my gun.

June 19, 2006, 10:18 PM
Or should I call the Officer that sent the letter and let him know what I did with it?

The first thing I would do is call the person who sent the letter. It does have someone's signature, doesn't it?

I would ask him how and why this makes YOu the subject of a criminal investigation when you went out of your way to do the transfer legally. The fact that YOU went out of your way to do everything legally is the only reason they have any evidence of the whereabouts of the gun at all.

Try to find out what the right thing to do is. Ask someone either in person or on the phone.

Old Fuff
June 19, 2006, 10:21 PM
It occurs to me that there might be a mix-up/mistake or misunderstanding about the gun's true serial number. I would check that out first.

June 19, 2006, 10:22 PM
It doesn't say that I'm part of an investigation, just the gun and that I need to turn it in.
I went over to and they gave me the names of some attorneys that I will be in contact with tomorrow.
Thanks for all the help.

June 19, 2006, 10:48 PM
I guess my first corse of action is to contact the Pomona Police department and find out what happend and why I should give them my gun.

BAD IDEA! If they tell you to come into the station and turn over the pistol, RIGHT NOW, what are you going to do? If you don't like the answer that they tell you and you refuse to surrender the firearm immediately, do you want to find out if that's enough to get a warrant to search your home and possibly your arrest.

Either contact a criminal defense lawyer and follow his instructions, or turn your pistol into the police and then contact a lawyer. You're not in a position to ask the police "why I should give them my gun." Don't put yourself in a position to help a prosecutor who's "hard on gun crime."

June 19, 2006, 10:56 PM
Good point. I guess I'm getting a little upset at the entire situation. But thats why I came here for advise, so I don't do something stupid to make this situation worse than it already is.

I have been given the names of a few attorneys and will be contacting them shortly.

June 19, 2006, 10:59 PM
Bruce Colodny is an Attorney that specializes in firearms law...he's located here in Orange County CA.

Give him a call...I definately would.

Jim Watson
June 19, 2006, 11:02 PM
You are screwed. You cannot get good title to bad merchandise. I fear the gun will vanish into the Pomona evidence locker and then into somebody influential in Pomona's private collection or be scrapped by an antigun administration. The dealer cannot recover either, so there is nothing to encourage him to give you his money.

I hope a lawyer will tell you different... but I doubt it.

June 19, 2006, 11:33 PM
Contact an attorney. Do not contact the police. Have your attorney do that. If they call you refer them to your attorney. Follow your attorney's advice. That's what you pay him for.

Be aware that it may NOT actually be your gun that was reported stolen. The NCIC lists guns by serial numbers and there is a lot of incorrect info in the system. It may be your gun, but it may not. Make sure your attorney understands this so he can get additional info from the PD to confirm that it is, indeed, this particular gun and not some other type of gun with the same serial number.

June 20, 2006, 04:02 AM
yeah in my case my speeding ticket showed up including my snn, college and highschool record geez u may look thats where i got to see mine:evil: before.

June 20, 2006, 04:47 AM
i just took a business law class last spring. i got an A in the class.

unless my memory is bad the only person who holds a title over stolen merchandise that defeats yours is the rightful owner. what im saying is that your title to the property makes it yours against all others exept the rightful owner.

also, your credit card company will be able to get you your money back on this. its called a chargeback. with proof that it was handed into police because it was stolen the chargeback will be simple and easy.

the dealer who sold you a stolen gun is legally responsible in this case. if you have to get an attorney and fees are incurred, i would go after the dealer for the money its cost you in legal fees. contact the dealer tho, he may be a good guy whos as supprised as you about this and he might give you the money back. each buyer of the gun can persue legal action against the previous owner untill it gets back to the guy who cant prove where he got it. lots of money wasted in attorney fees but it can be done. personally id just hand it in to the police, do a chargeback with the credit card and call it a day. just be sure to take any aftermarket parts youve bought for the gun off of it before handing it in.

please dont take my word on anything. these are just helpfull ideas you can talk to a real attorney about.

good luck.

June 20, 2006, 07:16 PM

This is actually an interesting story.

First I called the dealer thismorning about the letter and they knew all about it. He asked for the number to the officer and said he would call me back. He called back and asked me to call the officer in Pomona. I called him and he told me what happend. An employee of the Pomona Police department (not necessarily an officer, he said employee) stole the pistol from the Pomona police department, then it was PPT to the previous owner, then sold to the dealer then sold to me. He didn't give me much more info than that, but told me that I need to turn the gun in to a Police agency of my choice. So I called the San Diego Police told them the story and they accepted the gun for the Pomona Police. Both the officer in Pomona and the Officer in San Diego were very nice and understanding of the situation this put me in. I have a reciept detailing what I gave to San Diego and also a number to the local weapons department if I want to track the progress. I then called the officer in Pomona and left him a message informing him that the San Diego Police now has Pomona's gun.

Best of all I called the dealer back at the end of all this and they were very apologetic and offered me a full refund.

So I would like to thank you all of the advice. Everything so far has worked out. I am disapointed that the gun is gone, I really liked that gun, but I am getting my money back. I know how it feels to get something stolen from you. Its not a great feeling, so if this does belong to someone and not just the department, I'll glad that he might be getting it back.

June 20, 2006, 07:31 PM
Bummer to lose something you valued, but good to hear it was not a legal shambles. Hopefully that "employee" is in some very hot water legally and reconsidering lifting guns from evidence lockers anymore to turn a buck, since that's what it sounds like happened.

Ala Dan
June 20, 2006, 07:47 PM
Oops~! I'm happy to hear that things worked out O.K.~!

Jim March
June 20, 2006, 08:04 PM
Ummmm...where was the Cal-DOJ in all this?

During that 10-day wait they're supposed to run the gun too, not just you. Why didn't they catch this?

June 20, 2006, 08:25 PM
Between talking with the San Diego PD, the Pomona PD and the dealer it slipped my mind to ask, but I have been wondering the same thing.
The only thing I could think of is the gun was stolen from an evidence locker and wasn't discovered as missing until after I had purchased it.

Jim Watson
June 21, 2006, 01:04 AM
Go back and buy something expensive from that dealer.
He ate the price of that hot gun to satisfy a customer.

June 21, 2006, 02:10 AM
I second what Jim Watson says. If he doesn't have it in stock, see what he can order, becasue he is being a great guy.

June 21, 2006, 06:45 AM
He did the right thing and should get credit but I can understand them not wanting that information to be public. Hell I'd order something silly from them.

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