I found a Pistol?


June 17, 2007, 06:14 PM
Hey guys i found a pistol in real good shape near the trash of an apartment building. The landlord was cleaning and throwing everything away from an appartment in that building where a man had past away. I am assuming that it could have been that mans pistol. The serial# and everything is very legible and I was wondering if I could get in trouble for having it and also how could i go about getting it registerd in my name..

Please try to give the most legal advise as possible. I live in Connecticut.

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June 17, 2007, 06:21 PM
Call the police, and let them know where you found it. They'll hold it for a while, run the numbers to make sure it isn't stolen, check it against their docket of active investigations, and otherwise verify that the gun is clean.

Make sure you inform the police in writing that if the gun isn't reported lost/stolen and hasn't been used in the comission of a crime, you claim it as your own. Provided you have a valid CT pistol permit, they will be required to discharge it into your keeping after X number of months.

You don't register pistols in CT, but you are required to hold a state issued license. I'd go ahead and get the ball rolling on that. Depending on where you live, it might take 6-8 months to get it issued.

June 17, 2007, 06:22 PM
The circumstances are very suspicious to me, I would have left the gun on the ground and called the cops.
Even if it is the dead guys gun, it belongs to his heirs, it isn't "yours"...so... do the right thing

You'll feel better about a gun you saved up for and could pass on to your heirs.

June 17, 2007, 06:25 PM
Why would i have to turn it in just asking can't i just get in touch with the weapons division of bridgeport and tell them what happen also i don't really remember exactly what the address is.. also if he had heirs i wonder why the landlord was cleaning his apartment..
Not an argument thanks for the reply

June 17, 2007, 06:28 PM
I think the police would desire to have said weapon in their possession while criminal investigations on it are done.


Nomad, 2nd
June 17, 2007, 06:33 PM
One tact: Is to CALL the PD from a pay phone, and ask them to run the numbers... Now if it IS stolen... you should turn it in...

PS: What kind of pistol?

June 17, 2007, 06:37 PM
it is a beretta Mini Cougar Mod:8040f also what are the chances of me getting in trouble because i took it home and have had it for a while in my possesion but i want to do the right thing also i am licensed my print are all over it and my friends to from looking at it but i was never sure what to do i dont think its stolen or used in a bad way i think the landlord just didn't know what to possibly do with it..

Nomad, 2nd
June 17, 2007, 07:09 PM
KNOWINGLY possessing stolen property is a crime. I bought a gun that was stolen previously from a paun shop... (The Gov't. was slow at running the numbers...) A detective came over, took my statement that I bought it... gave me a recept and that was it. (Got my $ back from the shop)

Call in the #'s from a pay phone... if it is not stolen, take to to the PD... and do what was outlined above (See wether someone claims it... and put in to get it if it is not claimed (Be SURE to do this... otherwise some cop will take it home)

FYI For taking off prints... whipe it down, and then submerge it in oil... when someone whipes off the oil they take off the prints...

Ned Flangers
June 17, 2007, 07:10 PM
Well, found near the trash is a red flag. Emphasis on near. Honestly, I don't think the landlord would have chucked it in a dumpster where a kid could find it. Would you? Do the right thing and turn it over. If your story is true, you have nothing to worry about.

June 17, 2007, 07:32 PM
I don't think its worth the risk hanging on to it without calling the Police. Suppose it was used in a crime, and for whatever reason you are question and the gun comes up or is discovered. Now you have, at best, a stolen gun, and at worst a gun used in a crime. Good luck getting out of that mess...

Granted, that is a worse-case scenario, but I don't think that remote possibility is worth the price of the gun.

If I were you, I would hand it over to the police, and ask/request that it be returned to you if it is not stolen and otherwise clean.

Black Knight
June 17, 2007, 07:54 PM
When you hand the pistol to the police officer make triple sure you get a receipt for the Beretta. It should have your name, his name and badge number, the date and time, the make, model and serial number of the pistol at the very least. That way if it isn't stolen and you are allowed to claim it you can prove you were the one who turned it in. Many years ago my Father's store was broken into and a P-38 was stolen. He had the serial number and everything, and a police investigation was initiated. About three months later a detective came into the store to just look around (high crime neighborhood). Guess what he had in his belt. You guessed it, my dad's P-38. The detective denied it was my dad's but when the detective handling the case came over with the report guess who was red faced. My dad called the chief to "thank" him for the detective "returning" his pistol. Keep up with them on the pistol or it might end up in a cop's collection. I'm not trying to bash cops especially since I am one but, these things do happen.

June 17, 2007, 11:29 PM
If it were me and I found it laying next to the trash I would have stood there and called the cops from my cell phone and made sure no kids found it until the cops arrived, but that's just me.

Now that you can't do that, I don't know what to suggest. Maybe you can wipe it down and put it back where and how you found it and then call the cops.:uhoh:

I certainly wouldn't take any chances, if it was used in a crime and they found it in your possession you never know what could happen. I'd also be afraid to sell it, I know most if not all the gun stores where I live run the numbers of any guns you trade-in or sell.

Granted the gun would have to be stolen to show up as an illegal weapon and if it was legally bought but used in a crime it would probably slip by unnoticed. However then it comes down to what is morally right, if you have evidence that could lead to the prosecution of a murderer wouldn't you rather it be in the courtroom rather than your living room?

Good luck!

June 17, 2007, 11:38 PM
Call the police and turn it in. If it was property of the dead man they may know. I would ask the landlord if he threw it out. If your afraid to ask I would tell the police that this was a possibility and maybe they will ask for you.

Chuck Dye
June 17, 2007, 11:51 PM
There is such a thing as "theft of found property." Fail to jump through the right hoops in many jurisdictions and, bingo, you are a thief.

Art Eatman
June 18, 2007, 12:06 AM
My own opinion is that in today's world, in a gun-control state, a person is best served by giving the pistol to the police--and forgetting about it. Tell the truth about the circumstances.

Me, I'd type up the full story; two copies. One for me, one for the cops.

Or, if you know a lawyer, let him do the deed for you.

And the last thing one might do at THR is recommend anything less than honesty and observing the law--and our opinions of the laws are irrelevant.


June 18, 2007, 12:13 AM
I agree with call the police.....turn it in ASAP, there may be a reason it was tossed.....also might be late but hope you thought about fingerprints.

June 18, 2007, 12:28 AM
Nomad, 2nd: I bought a gun that was stolen previously from a paun shop... (The Gov't. was slow at running the numbers...) A detective came over, took my statement that I bought it... gave me a recept and that was it. (Got my $ back from the shop)
You’re lucky. In Texas, it is the pawn shop that is protected, not the buyer. If you buy something from a pawn shop and it turns out to be stolen you are out $$$. One of my best friends in the world owns a pawn shop here in town. We have had a couple of ‘discussions’ regarding the fairness of this law. :D

June 18, 2007, 01:04 AM
"Finder's Keepers, Looser's Weepers."

It says that in the Bible next to the part where it says, "Seek and ye shall find."

Unfortunately, if the pistol is stolen or has been used in a crime and at some point in the future the authorities find it in your posession, then that's bad. On the whole good/bad scale, that could be VERY bad. Not worth it. Turn it in.


June 18, 2007, 01:37 AM
If you found it and turn it in, there should be no problem with your prints being on it. Some would think to pick it up with a glove or rag initially, but not the majority, I would guess.

June 18, 2007, 10:19 AM

You can get into tons of trouble for having that gun. Do not call the police from a payphone. Call the police and tell that you found a gun and what should you do? They will give you instructions, follow them.

This isn't your Grandmothers attic.... This is a gun that was found near a trashcan in an apartment complex. Assume the worst. If it turn out better than that, good for you.

Think of what would happen if 20 years from now that gun is (for some reason) confiscated and tested by the police and the ballistics come up that it was used in a murder 20 years ago...... Good luck getting out of that mess with a story that shows and astounding lack of ethics....

June 18, 2007, 10:34 AM
Do the right thing - call the police.
#1 - The gun doesn't belong to you.
#2 - Is a Beretta Mini Cougar really worth getting in trouble for??

June 18, 2007, 10:36 AM
Call the police, report and hope for the best. But i would not get too attached to it. I didnt see if previous posts mentioned wether it was loaded when you found it or the condition it was in. Was it cleaned or did it look like it had been fired?
Either way, i would not get attached to it. I know it feels like you found a hidden treasure but you may have found a real nightmare if you're not careful.

Good luck

June 18, 2007, 10:38 AM

Just turn it in and be a good citizen. You don't know the gun's history.

June 18, 2007, 11:34 AM
near the trash of an apartment building.

So I gotta ask - what were you doing there?

I mean, I doubt there was a flashy neon sign that read, "FREE BERETTA! COME AND GET IT!"

There must have been some effort on your part. Or you just happened to be the first person to walk past it and do something about it.

June 18, 2007, 02:10 PM
I guess, being back East and all, people there seem to think differently but if I were put in that same position I'd give thanks to the Gun Fairy and keep my mouth shut. But then I also don't mind buying a gun in a bar. The possibility that it's a stolen gun doesn't make it any less useful and I know that if I buy it I can be sure it won't be used to rob convenience stores whereas the guy three stools down might use it to get enough money to pay his bar tab.

June 18, 2007, 09:42 PM
Turned the pistol in and got a case # but i asked if i could claim it and they said in ct it goes to the FBI to have balistics run on it and the get turned into manhole covers..... But thats better than it being in my hands.... thanks goes for all the responces and your help feel much better now.

June 18, 2007, 09:45 PM
I can't say I would have done the same. I probably would have put in a new barrel and extractor, then hid it in a air vent where it would wait for the day when the gov bans em all. :( Just being honest.

June 18, 2007, 10:06 PM
You did the right thing. Easy come, easy go. And if that pistol was used by some BG, better you play it straight now than end up in a world of legal hurt.

June 19, 2007, 09:29 AM
You did the right thing. Now go out and buy yourself a Beretta! :D (Following all Connecticut law, of course).


June 19, 2007, 02:58 PM
Manhole covers? They told you that? What a bunch of BS.
Basicly they want to remove you from the loop. It will most likely become some LEO's personal sidearm after it clears through the system if it is in good and working condition.

Unlike what people are convinced of by TV shows and the media, ballistics is not that perfect. Many firearms have nearly identical ballistics (similar makes and models, changing ballistics over time from use often overlap at some point in thier lives). However since most firearms are not used in crimes, the chances of one found in the possession of a criminal (or someone connected to a victim in an investigation) matching the ballistics in a crime are low enough that they act like it is a perfect science to help prosecutions and support funding for such work. Ballistics also change with wear and tear from use of the firearm, and are dependent on just a couple parts being the same, never experiencing an excessive polishing or resurfacing etc.

In the best case scenario you might have helped clear up some crime (of course being on the list of suspects now as well) or in very rare circumstances actualy had the firearm returned to its owner (rarely happens even with firearms reported lost or stolen by owners). However more than likely you made a donation to law enforcement and some new officer is going to be happy with his far below market value purchase of said firearm. However he will at least have a good excuse for having it in his possession.

Yet you did the right thing.

June 19, 2007, 04:41 PM
Well, in my opinion the police have plenty of firearms being paid for by taxpayers. I'd NEVER turn in ANY firearms to them. Kinda like walking down the street and finding $20, "hey, it's my lucky day". If it was a real piece of junk I'd trade it in at one of those gun turn-ins for cash.

I don't pretend to have perfect grammar but man, please learn how to use a . It makes a post much easier to read, gets your point across better, and implies that you aren't a dunce.

June 20, 2007, 12:54 AM
Turn it in to the Police. You dont need something that could be linked to a crime or possible fraud. Bullet printing is a very real thing that could possibly bite you. And besides it is your civil duty to do the right thing.

June 20, 2007, 08:44 AM
Wouldnt it be their civil duty to return it to the legal owner? And if the legal owner can't be found or is barred possession of it then shouldn't the finder get to keep it?

More and more if I find a gun I would think about keeping it for the day when we are not allowed to have them.

June 20, 2007, 01:46 PM
Hate to say it, but good idea to just turn it in and be done with it...

If you want a pistol in CT, just get the permit. Its not hard. Then go buy that little Beretta if thats what you want (not likely)

So what if a cop gets it, at least you are not connected to it.

my .02

June 20, 2007, 09:11 PM
Good job, you did the right thing! Better safe than sorry and like you said you feel much better now. For a few hundred bucks you can buy a pistol that you can truly call your own.

Well done,

June 20, 2007, 09:16 PM

You're right. I should have clarified:

You did the right thing if you believe that potentially helping to solve a crime and avoiding any possible legal issues you might've faced with having a 'hot' firearm down the road are good things.

Jim K
June 20, 2007, 09:27 PM
A lot of theory and BS here, but no Beretta Cougar is worth being caught with a gun that is stolen or worse was used in a murder. The best procedure is to not touch the gun (so you can't be charged with unlawful possession or carrying without a permit) and call the police. You don't have to be anonymous unless you want to.

What you don't want to do is keep the gun and then get caught with it later:

"Honest, officer, I didn't have the gun when Dirty Louie was shot with it, I found it in a dumpster, and just took it home. Honest! What do you mean about a right to remain silent?"


June 20, 2007, 09:47 PM
The couple hundred you save from having to buy one new is peanuts compared to the thousands in legal fees you would have to pay if and when you were found in possesion of a firearm that was used in a crime. Good call turning it in, and since you just saved a bunch of money in legal fees go buy a nice new handgun that you want.

June 20, 2007, 09:47 PM

June 20, 2007, 09:59 PM

June 20, 2007, 10:09 PM
I know done is done and better to get rid of it than hold onto it. It wasn't like you found SIG P-210.

June 20, 2007, 10:26 PM
Call the police. let them run the numbers, if it checks out maybe they will let you keep it. CT gun laws are no joke, don't get arrested over something worth a few hundred bucks.

Professor K
June 20, 2007, 10:34 PM
I'd have buried it in a few ziplocks, with some silica packets inside, also grease up the gun. A gun is a gun, if for some reason you cant own a gun anymore (bans, ect), you'd be glad you had a spar pistol to use if SHTF, or if not to use, just to use to barter.

June 20, 2007, 11:31 PM
i found a 22 rifle in a river, under a bridge. it was in bad shape, i tried to give it to the cops. they said since they had no outstanding crimes for which they were seeking a marlin 22 bolt action rifle, they did'nt want it.

June 20, 2007, 11:34 PM
Imagine if it comes back as a gun that was used in a crime and you, by turning in, are responsible for finding and helping to convict a criminal or even a killer. Imagine on the other hand you didn't turn it in and because of that a criminal was/is never brought to justice. Believe me, you should feel comfortable knowing you did the right thing turning it in.

June 20, 2007, 11:48 PM
i found a gun, too, once. it was a glock 19 and I was 15 years old. the gun was hidden in some bushes near where id get off the school bus.

i was super excited and hid it under a sweater until i got home were it was hidden in my laundry basket.

later that night i brought it to my friend's house. his dad could smelll something fishy going on and so demanded to know what was up. well we were full of grins so we had to show it...

his dad picked it up, dropped the magazine, racked the slide back, and damn near slipped to death on the bunch of airsoft pellets that had spilled out of the "magazine".

it turned out to be one of those really real feeling and looking airsofts. still worth a bundle but not a real gun at all.

June 21, 2007, 02:39 AM
Are people serious with this hide/bury stuff? Do y'all have caches 'o insurgency and treasure maps to go with? Maybe decoder rings? I'm as freaked out about the future as the next guy, but I just don't believe people are actually saying this is what the fella ought to have done. Like seriously "If it were REALLY ME, I would really really BURY IT IN MY YARD." Get real. The power of anonymity I guess.

June 21, 2007, 03:27 AM
I should have said that first.

July 4, 2007, 07:33 AM
If it was a nice gun I would keep it and not say anything.

Black Adder LXX
July 4, 2007, 05:36 PM
You did the right thing. Smart move.

July 4, 2007, 05:38 PM
Turn it in.... lol

July 4, 2007, 06:09 PM
Are people serious with this hide/bury stuff? Do y'all have caches 'o insurgency and treasure maps to go with? Maybe decoder rings? I'm as freaked out about the future as the next guy, but I just don't believe people are actually saying this is what the fella ought to have done. Like seriously "If it were REALLY ME, I would really really BURY IT IN MY YARD." Get real. The power of anonymity I guess.

Yeah, its even stupider considering that you aren't really anonymous. I am 100% certain that the administrators and moderators can all see our IP's, and if the SHTF and the government was out to get all of us all they would have to do would be to force the owners of the site to turn over those IP's, and bang, they know who you are and where you live, and based on your comments they now know there is a high probability you have a hidden stash somewhere.

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