We found an abandoned/lost gun


PDA






PlayboyPenguin
October 12, 2006, 07:25 PM
I just got back from running over to be there when a tank inspection was done at the property we are buying next. While the guy was looking for an in-ground oil tank that might be present he found something else.

What he found, and we then dug up, appears to be a small .22 caliber revolver. It was pretty gunked up and dirty and we diecided not to handle it so we left it lay where we dug it up and called the police. To my suprise they were there within literally 5 minutes.

They asked a few quick questions and took the name of the guy that found it and asked if we had the name of the property owner (which I did not) then they were on their way. No crime scene investigation or anything. What a bummer. Thought I might get to be on CSI or something. :p

If you enjoyed reading about "We found an abandoned/lost gun" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
torpid
October 12, 2006, 07:26 PM
Did they take it or leave it there?

PlayboyPenguin
October 12, 2006, 07:27 PM
They took it. The guy that discovered it says it is not his first one and that his company tells them to just call the police and turn them over.

I stayed out of it pretty much. It was his deal not mine since I am not the property owner yet.

On a side note...one of the officers did ask if either of us were currently in possession of any other firearms to which I said "yes". I told him I was CCW and that I had a permit. He asked what I was carrying and I told him and he did not even ask to see my permit after that. Seemed like a non-issue to him which suprised me. He seemed more interested in knowing what I was carrying than anything else. I did mangage to control myself and not make a joke about how sorry I was they took away their real guns and gave them Glocks instead. :)

JJE
October 12, 2006, 07:27 PM
Why don't I ever find a gun:mad: ???

Bushwhacker
October 12, 2006, 07:30 PM
If you found one would you really want to keep it, not knowing if it was used in a crime????:what: :uhoh:

real_name
October 12, 2006, 07:38 PM
Seemed like a non-issue to him which suprised me.

That's how they are here in Nashville. I guess not looking like a complete punk helps though as well.

Declaration Day
October 12, 2006, 07:45 PM
Seemed like a non-issue to him which suprised me.

I've been in several situations where I came in contact with LEOs and told them I was carrying. Most often, I was a witness to an accident, which is not uncommon, as I spend most of my day on the road.

Only once did an officer make an issue of it, when I was in a department store once and was mistakenly identified as a shoplifter. Other than that one incident, I have never even been asked to present my permit.

Zundfolge
October 12, 2006, 08:13 PM
If you found one would you really want to keep it, not knowing if it was used in a crime???? :what: :uhoh:
I could care less if it was used in a crime, I'd be more concerned if it had been reported stolen ... possession of a stolen firearm is bad juju.

Hoppy590
October 12, 2006, 08:18 PM
aww, the poor boy probibly lost his way home, he must of been hungry and scared, and you sent him to the pound :( shame



:neener:

ArmedBear
October 12, 2006, 08:33 PM
Only once did an officer make an issue of it, when I was in a department store once and was mistakenly identified as a shoplifter. Other than that one incident, I have never even been asked to present my permit.

"Geez, officer, I have a GUN for chrissakes. You think I'd shoplift if I could just rob the place?"

Walter
October 12, 2006, 10:40 PM
If you found one would you really want to keep it, not knowing if it was used in a crime????

If it was a Thompson I wouldn't care if it had been used in the
St. Valentines Day Massacre, it would be MINE!!!!!:D

Walter

10-Ring
October 12, 2006, 11:00 PM
I found a gun once...a Walther PPK...at the range, on one of the benches. Apparently someone just forgot to pack it up when they left :scrutiny: I turned it in hoping that if I did anything that foolish someone would be kind enough to do the same thing :D

Lonestar
October 12, 2006, 11:05 PM
Finding a lost gun at a range is one thing. Finding a gun in a storm drain or in a oil tank:uhoh: I would always call the cops.

sloppyjoec
October 12, 2006, 11:09 PM
i wonder how hard it would be to legally make it you'rs

Glockfan.45
October 12, 2006, 11:13 PM
What gun :rolleyes: .

FW
October 12, 2006, 11:16 PM
If you found one would you really want to keep it, not knowing if it was used in a crime????

I guess the same could be said about a $20 bill found on the ground. It could have been used to buy crack.

Or maybe someone got beaten with a stick in the woods. You wouldn't want to touch any sticks.

The same could also be said about a used gun in a gun shop.

JohnKSa
October 13, 2006, 12:30 AM
I think the problems associated with getting caught with a gun used in a felony are a good bit stickier than what could happen to you for having a $20 that was once used to buy crack.

gregthehand
October 13, 2006, 01:01 AM
I would check to see if it was stolen but that was it. That's if it's obviously abandoned. If it's sitting on the gun range I turn it in the the shop owner immediatley. This happened once and the owner did eventually come back looking for it.

carpettbaggerr
October 13, 2006, 01:15 AM
I told him I was CCW and that I had a permit. He asked what I was carrying and I told him and he did not even ask to see my permit after that. Seemed like a non-issue to him which suprised me. He seemed more interested in knowing what I was carrying than anything else.Who would claim to be that, who was not? ;)

vesmcd
October 13, 2006, 01:24 AM
If I found a discarded/lost firearm, I would check with local police to see if it was stolen. If it was not stolen, I would make any necessary public announcements(newspaper ad?), hold for the required amount of time(if applicable), then if nobody claimed it, it's mine.
As for a firearm left at a range, I would TELL the range owner I had it, do the announcement/time thing, then if nobody claimed it, it's mine. I would NOT turn it over to the range owner. I am a realist, I don't trust anybody(with a very few exceptions).
In any event, I would hold the firearm for a year before disposing of it. If the owner showed up at ANY time I had the firearm, even if it was 20(or more) years later, I would return it.

symr00
October 13, 2006, 01:33 AM
How is finding a gun and keeping it any different than buying a gun FTF from a stranger in your state with no paperwork which is the norm in most states? You really have no idea if the gun was stolen, used in a crime or completely legit.

vesmcd
October 13, 2006, 01:46 AM
I don't know about you ,SYM, but when I buy/sell a firearm FTF from/to an individual, I ask/offer I.D. If they don't want to trade info, I don't deal. I have had firearms stolen from me and I won't buy stolen property of any kind.:fire:

Dr.Rob
October 13, 2006, 05:09 AM
This subject comes up from time to time here... what to do if you find a gun.

You call the cops.

Now I'm not saying that's the rule if you come across an old Winchester in the wall of a barn, or an heirloom in granny's trunk, or an obvious piece of 'western heritage' rusted shut out on the back 40.

We are specifically about finding a hunting rifle in the woods, a handgun by the side of the road, a shotgun in a dumpster etc etc.

Because there is a really really good chance the last 2 are crime guns and the former might just be lost, but you never know.

Add to that: you come across a rifle in the woods, laying on the ground, or leaning against a tree you better have a look around, and make sure your 'lookie here I found me a new rifle' experience isn't really a case of coming across a hunter in distress. Call out, shout a man's name... is he behind a bush taking care of nature's call, or down the hill from you with a broken leg? Look for tracks... try to figure out where the owner went. I'd hate to think you carted off a dying man's firearm because it's 'finder's keepers'.

Just a thought.

ScottsGT
October 13, 2006, 08:47 AM
It probably was just another one of those guns the anti's are always talking about. You know, the one's they keep wanting laws for?
"We gotta get these guns off the street, for the children." I've been searching my streets for years and I've never found one. :(

Rabid Rabbit
October 13, 2006, 09:02 AM
At our range we have a couple guys that bring 4+ shotguns with them and every now and then forgets to take one back home. Thing is their guns are in the $2,500 - 10,000 range. They always get them back.

A coworker "found" a pistol in the "ditch" and took it to the police. After running the gun and talking to her, the police discovered the gun was stolen, given to her 16 yr old son by his uncle (without her knowledge) and found in his bedroom. The moral of the story is don't lie to the cops. They kept her all day making sure she had nothing to do with the theft.

ceetee
October 13, 2006, 10:04 AM
I'm in total agreement with Dr. Rob on this one. (Not surprising...)

I've heard stories of hunters losing their rifles or shotguns in the woods, but I've never met one. For just about everybody I know (well, everybody Im friends with), the loss of a gun worth even a couple hundred bucks would be something that would take a bit of saving to replace. I can't imagine anyone I'd go out with being so cavalier as to lose a gun, and just walk off and say "Forget about it... I'll get another one."

Also, if that gun you found was used in a crime, it may be the one puzzle piece that puts the criminal in prison. You can put all the "Found Property" ads you want in the paper. Keeping the gun is not going help the police find the criminal (if that is the case).

LiquidTension
October 13, 2006, 10:21 AM
I'd run it through NCIC and see what pops up. One of the advantages of being 40-hour certified :)

strambo
October 13, 2006, 10:46 AM
Should have held onto it until the next buy back...got a gift certificate to Sweet Tomatoes or something.:D


-kidding of course. Well, mostly...because any restaraunt called "Sweet Tomatoes" sounds dreadfull to me. :uhoh:

TonyB
October 13, 2006, 12:55 PM
The only gun I ever found was my Grandfather's .32.....the old guy kept it in his sock drawer..loaded with the original ammo from like 1930.....the damn thing still fired....dry as a bone ,but no failures..it was a Mauser....got it put on my permit and later sold it to a collector.
I f I found one in the "street" I'd call the cops...but ask that if no one claimed it,I could keep it.UNless it was a POS.

Devonai
October 13, 2006, 12:57 PM
My friend found a wallet with $46 in it while visiting Yale University. He gave it to campus police and left his name and phone number. Months later, they called him to say that nobody had claimed it and it was his. With gas prices over $3/gallon at the time, he told them to treat themselves to a few days of Dunkin's runs.

I would simply put in a claim for any pistol I found. Maybe the cops would honor it, maybe not. It's worth leaving my name and phone number.

One of Many
October 13, 2006, 02:19 PM
I found a beat up shotgun lying in the middle of the road on Sunday morning, in a city about 30 miles from my home. I took it with me to church (where I was headed at the time), and asked one of the local members to drop it off at the police department.

The gun probably fell off of a vehicle, and the owner probably could not afford a better, or a replacement gun. Turning it over to the police was the best chance of it getting back to the rightful owner.

I would hope that if I was in a similar situation, someone else would do the same for me. How many people have had a momentary lapse of attention, and driven off with a valuable item on the roof of their car? How many have forgotten one of many items they were in a rush to pack up before leaving?

"Finder keepers, losers weepers" is a childish way of justifying the appropriation of someone else's property to your own benefit. If the proper owner can not be found after reasonable measures, over a reasonable period of time, have been exerted, then claiming that property is justifiable. Claiming that property without attempting to find the owner, is not much better than stealing it, from a moral and ethical point of view, and possibly from a legal point of view.

It is unfortunate that "doing the right thing" has become such a rare occurrance. It is surprising how many of the posters to this thread have openly stated they would keep a found gun, and make no attempt to return it to the rightful owner. Hopefully, I will never have the misfortune of meeting these people in person.

PlayboyPenguin
October 13, 2006, 02:24 PM
Should have held onto it until the next buy back...got a gift certificate to Sweet Tomatoes or something.
That is why I am holding onto this crappy Jennings .32 pistol. it might buy me lunch someday.

Unless someone out there would like to buy a Mint Condition, Never fired, beautiful piece of firearms history. :D :evil:

Stevie-Ray
October 13, 2006, 02:48 PM
Seems like every gun that is "found" is a piece of crap.:barf: The usual Jennings or Phoenix arms or unrecognizable .22 revolver seems the standard. I can't seem to run across a Grizzly in .45 mag, or a .475 Wildey or even an Automag laying in a gutter or out in the woods somewhere.:D

'Course, if I were to find one of those, now I'm really in a pickle as to what to do.:D

Drysdale
October 13, 2006, 04:14 PM
If you found one would you really want to keep it, not knowing if it was used in a crime????

It's not like the GUN did anything done!

Sharpdogs
October 13, 2006, 04:55 PM
Here's a story we all wish would happen to us. About 15 years ago a client of my father's moved into an old house. He pulled up some boards in the attic and found a couple dozen old Winchesters. He had no idea what to do. He started selling them for $50 a piece. Someone gave him a heads up as to the value and he sold the rest off to some collector. I believe all the guns were checked to see if they were stolen, used in a crime, etc., but they were all about 100 years old so no records were available. I found a squirrel under my attic floor board, but that's another story.

Mark8252
October 13, 2006, 05:16 PM
If you found one would you really want to keep it, not knowing if it was used in a crime????
:) :) :) :)

I think the owner did the crime...not the gun. After the police were finished with it and I was allowed to keep it I most certainly would.

Dmack_901
October 13, 2006, 05:23 PM
This is what almost concerns me. There is no plausable reason to find a gun in a oil tank, unless it was hidden there. Yet, we have people making comments about keeping it, when it was in all liklihood used in a crime(say... murder), and it could very possibly help solve a serious crime and possibly put a murderer behind bars.:cuss:


edit: oh, should have read more clearly. That does change it a little. It's just hard to distinguish between a hidden, and a disposed gun.

PlayboyPenguin
October 13, 2006, 05:26 PM
Dmack,
The gun was not in the oil tank. It was just buried in the yard. When they search for oil tanks they use metal detectors and that is how the guy found it. :)

bruss01
October 14, 2006, 12:54 PM
Of course, now that you mention it, an oil tank might be a GREAT place to hide a gun. (universal confiscation, etc...)

toivo
October 14, 2006, 02:23 PM
found a gun once...a Walther PPK...at the range, on one of the benches. Apparently someone just forgot to pack it up when they left I turned it in hoping that if I did anything that foolish someone would be kind enough to do the same thing
I don't know--it seems to me that the person who left that gun doesn't deserve to get it back. I know it's a range, there are guns everywhere, etc., but that person flunks "secure your firearms" in my book. You did the right thing, anyway.

Remander
October 15, 2006, 12:47 AM
A fellow found an old gun in his yard in California the 1960's and called the cops.

Cold case workers eventually used the gun to arrest a two-cop killer in the 2003 in S. Carolina. Now that's a cold case!!

Good thing that fellow turned in the found gun.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/07/05/48hours/main706303.shtml

************************
Excerpts:

"In 1960, the actual murder weapon was recovered in Manhattan Beach in a back yard," says Macelderry. "It was uncovered by a man that was doing some yard work."

"We were digging up the weeds when I found the gun," recalls Doug Tuley, who has lived in the same house since 1956. His house was less than a mile from the scene of the murders, in the same neighborhood police believe the killer used to make his escape.

"The finding of that gun was huge to this case also," says Macelderry. "The serial number was traced by investigators back then to Shreveport, La."

Officers Lowe and Macelderry followed the trail of evidence to Shreveport, 1,600 miles and 46 years from El Segundo, Calif. They found out that the gun was sold there in 1957, and sold by Billy Gene Clark.

"I pointed out that this was the least expensive one, at $29.95, then that's when he decided that's what he wanted," recalls Clark, who was 18 at the time and working his first job behind the sporting goods counter at a local Sears.

Investigators found one name, G.D. Wilson, in a record of firearms sold at the store. Lowe says they started canvassing the area around the Sears and tracked George D. Wilson to a nearby YMCA.

The case finally went cold in 1960, after investigators checked out every George Wilson in the country and didnít find a match to the 1957 fingerprint. Obviously, G.D. Wilson was an alias. But Officers Lowe and Macelderry knew that one piece of evidence found here would close this case.

"They were able to locate the register from the actual piece of paper where he signed in to the YMCA as George D. Wilson," says Lowe.

Paul Edholme once worked at the Beverly Hills Police Department, and was one of the country's leading forensic document examiners. He was enlisted to examine the evidence. "The handwriting jumped off the page at me, and it was something that I'm going, you know, 'I gotcha.'"

He matched the handwriting of the George D. Wilson who checked into the YMCA to a South Carolina eye examination report in the name of Gerald F. Mason.

"If you put one [handwriting] over the other, I mean, it's almost identical," says Edholme. "I indicated to the sheriff's department that I was 99.9 percent sure that this was done by the same person."

Now confident that their case against Gerald Mason was solid, California detectives moved to South Carolina to finally get their man. But it wasn't over yet.

When Gerald Mason answered a knock on his front door on the morning of Jan. 29, 2003, he never expected that his past would finally catch up with him.

"He was just shocked. Completely shocked," says Lowe. "And he just kept saying, 'I donít understand. I donít understand why youíre here.'"

El Segundo Police Lt. Craig Cleary, who took Mason into custody, said he never denied committing the crime. "He never denied it. He never reacted," says Cleary. "He just stared off and just shook his head."

Even though Mason was almost 70 years old, police still considered him potentially dangerous. A search of his house turned up a collection of loaded firearms. But this 46-year manhunt had turned up a fugitive very different than anyone had expected.

There's no record that Gerald Mason ever committed another crime after the 1957 police killings. Instead, he got married, raised a family and started his own business.

But the case against Mason was strong. Investigators had matching fingerprints and handwriting, but there was one piece of evidence investigators always wondered about, one that would eliminate any doubt forever.

When he was examined, it was discovered that Mason had a bullet-shaped scar on his back. "He was in fact hit by gunfire from [Officer] Phillips, shot," says Macelderry.

"The last thing that officer did before he died was mark the man that killed him for life," adds Levine.

After a judicial hearing in South Carolina, Mason agreed to return to Los Angeles, to answer for his crimes. "Officers that hadn't been around for 20 years came in, walking on canes," says Levine.

He was referring to officers like Howard Speaks, who lifted the fingerprint that solved the case. "I've been waiting for this date a long time, but the wait was well worth it," says Speaks.

Mason pleaded guilty to murdering officers Phillips and Curtis, and he tried to make amends before being sentenced to life in prison: "It's impossible to express to so many people how sorry I am. I do not understand why I did this. It does not fit in my life. It is not the person I know. I detest these crimes."

DRZinn
October 15, 2006, 01:35 PM
Even though Mason was almost 70 years old, police still considered him potentially dangerous. A search of his house turned up a collection of loaded firearms.Nice juxtaposition. Almost makes it look like one has something to do with the other. Deliberate? Nah. There's no media bias.

akodo
October 15, 2006, 02:54 PM
The ONLY reason I can think of for not turning the found gun over to the police is that they may make minimal efforts to find the owner themselves, and then destroy the firearm.

I guess to overcome that I would request a recept of anything I turn over to them, and call them back on it after a month or so, to prevent them from having the idea that 'a normal person wouldn't want it, would rather have us destroy it than give it back to the finder to have to worry about!'

kd7nqb
October 15, 2006, 08:07 PM
If I found a gun on my property I would have no problem keeping it. Now if I find it somewhere public then I most definitly turn it into the cops and go through that process. But I have a question, most jurisdictions have a policy on things like wallets that if not claimed in x days then you can have it BUT I imagine their policies on firearms are not as generous. I personally know a guy who's gun was taken into custody as evidence after he used it in self defense. He was cleared of any wrongdoing and the gun returned but they refused to return the live ammo, because they had a policy against it. I dont know, honestly if I were in a line of work (like home inspection or this oil tank inspector) and I had a reasonable chance of finding firearms I would make sure to have a buddy at the PD who would run the serial numbers for me without actually taking custody of the gun. (I hope what I just proposed is not highly illegal).

If you enjoyed reading about "We found an abandoned/lost gun" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!