Police taking a LOOOOOOONG time to return handgun... Why?


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Downr@nge
April 9, 2008, 12:09 AM
Hello fellow HighRoaders! I have another question for you all. (First, I want to say thanks for all your help in my other thread on my wife giving me trouble about getting a handgun.)

My best friend has a Taurus PT 24/7 Pro .45. About 1.5 months ago, it was taken by the police because of a non-violent domestic dispute that erupted in his home between him and his wife. His wife, doing the WRONG thing, listened to her friends, went and got a Restraining Order (Order of Protection) against him. All this took place on a Friday. By Monday, some relatives and myself had finally talked some sense back into her and everything was dropped.

Needless to say, that Friday when everything happened, the Police took his firearm away. They told him he could get it back if the restraining order was lifted. Well, the restraining order has been lifted long ago and they are giving him the run around about getting his gun back. He calls the police station and they tell him, don't call us, we'll call you when you can have it back. (They literally said this to him.) They have told this to him several times. He has no criminal history, has never been arrested for anything other than a traffic warrant once when he was 20 (for a non-payment of a $200 fine), has no negative mental health history, and to boot, he already has his Handgun Permit.

This all took place in New Jersey. Why are the police taking so long to give him his gun back? Why are they telling him there is nothing he can do until they are ready to give it back? Are they (the police) allowed to do this? My friend is a law-abiding, tax-paying, good sumeritan and it sucks that he is going through this.

Neither of us have a problem with Law Enforcement (heck, i'm trying to become a LEO!) so its not like he is belligerent or hates the cops or anything like that.

http://i28.tinypic.com/bjvkh.jpg

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xjchief
April 9, 2008, 12:29 AM
Tell your friend he should get a lawyer or find some kind of legal help.

The next thing you should tell him is to RUN AS FAR AWAY FROM THAT WOMAN AS POSSIBLE. I've never seen a relationship involving restraining orders turn out very well. Time to cut his losses and bail out asap.

BigBadJohn
April 9, 2008, 02:35 AM
I live in NJ also,the EXACT same thing happened to a friend of mine in Sayreville. Some of the run around he got was:
They misplaced them
The person in charge was on vacation
We have no record of the RO being dropped.
You need a release from the prosecutor/judge.
It took a lawyer about 8 months to get his guns back.

Good luck.

Rmeju
April 9, 2008, 04:33 AM
Hire a lawyer and ask him to pack his bags and move into the police dept's ass until he causes more of a problem than he's worth.

You're in NJ, which means that the government, including/esp. the police, only allow you to have any guns at all because they haven't yet been able to go through the formalities of taking them away yet. My understanding is that Jersey routinely takes upwards of 6 months or even over a year to issue one purchase permit to somoene with no legal issues whatsoever. Your friend with a restaining order hanging over his head is going to get zero sympathy from anyone at the PD until he's no longer worth the trouble.

Also, I second the recommendation of getting as far away from that woman as possible. Your friend, if he values his guns AT ALL, has to know what kind of trouble an RO can cause him in the firearms world. I won't berate you for not leaving the state, as that's a very personal decision, but I'd encourage you to find any state line and move just accross it (even to NY, (but not NYC)) if you could manage.

Reid

jrfoxx
April 9, 2008, 06:50 AM
Hire a lawyer and ask him to pack his bags and move into the police dept's ass until he causes more of a problem than he's worth.


sorry all, but htats just a HILARIOUS way to put it! :D

As to the OP's question on WHY the PD is taking so long?
well, a pretty safe guess is they arent real keen on "civilians" :barf: having guns, and want to not give it back at all if possible, or make it as much hassle as possible if they end up FORCED to give it back. Basically hoping that getting that lawyer to force them will be too much time and money compared to the value of the gun, so you'll just give up. local, state, and federal departments have lawyers they are already paying anyways (with our tax money), so using them costs them nothing, whereas if it drags out long enough, one of us is likely to go bankrupt. They will NEVER run out of money or time, we eventually will, so they win by default when we cant afford to continue and have to give up. Neat huh? :rolleyes:

Standing Wolf
April 9, 2008, 07:17 AM
This all took place in New Jersey. Why are the police taking so long to give him his gun back?

Sorry, but you've answered your own question.

TexasRifleman
April 9, 2008, 09:11 AM
RUN AS FAR AWAY FROM THAT WOMAN AS POSSIBLE.


Exactly. Tell him to just write the gun off as the fee for learning what he's married to.

Small price to pay to figure it out. Tell him to RUN, buy another gun after the divorce is final.

He doesn't need a firearm around her anyway, it will just cause trouble again later when she snaps again....... and she will.

XDKingslayer
April 9, 2008, 09:48 AM
He needs two lawyers. One to get his gun back and one for his divorce.

Hypnogator
April 9, 2008, 10:05 AM
Things may be just as Downr@nge is reporting. :scrutiny:

OTOH, it may be that this woman had reasons to fear her husband that his buddies don't know about. If so, his good ol' boy buddies have now browbeaten her into withdrawing the restraining order, and facilitated his re-acquiring the weapon that he may use to kill her, and probably himself. :uhoh:

Just pointing out that there are two sides to every story. If half the restraining orders filed by women seeking a divorce are filed strictly as a legal strategy without actual merit, then half of them are filed by women legitimately concerned that a husband/boyfriend's behavior could pose a threat to their lives. It seems that the knee-jerk reaction here is to blame the woman for causing the hubby trouble, then to bemoan the fact that he used a gun to kill her, giving the anti's more ammunition.

Just my $.02 worth, after 20+ years of investigating sex crimes and homicides.

everallm
April 9, 2008, 11:00 AM
They're doing it 'cause they can.......

One possible action and cheap is to take the local PD to small claims court for the return. relevant sections below.

TYPICAL CLAIMS FILED

Following is a general list of claims which can be filed in Small Claims:

* Breach of a written or oral contract.
* Return of money used as a down payment.
* Property damage caused by a motor vehicle accident.
* Damage to or loss of property.
* Consumer complaints for defective merchandise or faulty workmanship.
* Payment for work performed.
* Claims based on bad checks.
* Claims for back rent.
* Return of a tenant's security deposit.*

Please remember that if you believe you are entitled to damages greater than the money limits, but still wish to sue in Small Claims, you give up your right to recover damages over the money limits. The additional money cannot be claimed later in a separate lawsuit.

*Not to exceed $5,000.

Top of Page
CLAIMS THAT CANNOT BE FILED

The following is a general list of claims that cannot be filed in Small Claims:

* Claims arising from professional malpractice (for example, alleged malpractice by a doctor, dentist, or lawyer).
* Claims for support or alimony from a marital or a domestic dispute.
* Claims arising from a probate matter.

ilbob
April 9, 2008, 11:11 AM
Before he worries too much about his gun, he needs to deal with his marital situation. I am not suggesting a divorce, but he needs to give that situation a long look see. If she did this once, she will do it again.

glockman19
April 9, 2008, 11:17 AM
I'd CAll the ATF and tel them teh gun was stolen and file the proper paperwork. Tell them you understand that the firearm has been recovered and is in the posession of the Police and you weant it returned.

I'd bet you have it in your hands in 10 days or less.

armabill
April 9, 2008, 11:22 AM
Unless the gun is valuable or is a family keepsake , I'd let it go.

Just make sure that you have a valid dated receipt from the police department with the serial number on it.

If possible, you move out of N.J. and but let the wife stay there. Visit when you can.

romma
April 9, 2008, 11:27 AM
This violation of your constitutional rights brought to you by Courtesy of Lautenburg...

kingpin008
April 9, 2008, 11:37 AM
I'd CAll the ATF and tel them teh gun was stolen and file the proper paperwork. Tell them you understand that the firearm has been recovered and is in the posession of the Police and you weant it returned.

You've gotta be kidding. That might work, except for the fact that the ATF would contact the police department in question to investigate the situation, and quickly find out that the gun WASN'T "stolen and recovered" by the police, it was CONFISCATED by the police in response to a domestic issue.

That's called lying. And Federal authorities (like the ATF) really don't take kindly to lying, especially when guns are involved. They also don't take kindly to being jerked around and sent on a wild goose chase to get some commoner's gun back that (by law, whether it was right or wrong) should have had it confiscated. And I'm sure the local police department doesn't take too kindly to false reports, either.

Seriously - if you don't have any good advice, DON'T GIVE ANY. Giving advice like this can get people into serious, serious trouble should they be feeble-minded enough to follow it.

rogn
April 9, 2008, 11:57 AM
Perhaps contacting the NRA or thte NRA_ILA will provide some advice or insite into this breach of public trust. Ive never had to avail myself of any such legal aid but if youre a member you should give it a try.

F4GIB
April 9, 2008, 11:58 AM
If the police (generally) can hassle a gun owner, they will.

Around here, a "lawyer letter threatening litigation" is required before they'll release a firearm. The cost of the letter is just an unofficial "fine" for having the audacity to own a firearm.

Get rid of her and out of NJ as soon as you can.

GRIZ22
April 9, 2008, 12:06 PM
I'd CAll the ATF and tel them teh gun was stolen and file the proper paperwork.

That could turn his present problem into an 18USC1001, False Statement to a Federal Officer charge and get him a 5 year felony conviction.

romma
April 9, 2008, 12:27 PM
I'd CAll the ATF and tel them teh gun was stolen and file the proper paperwork.


I know, but don't you wish you could call the ATF on them?

Because stealing is what it amounts to!!!

glockman19
April 9, 2008, 12:41 PM
the gun WASN'T "stolen and recovered" by the police, it was CONFISCATED

Semanitics. I say if someting is taken and not returned, regardless of the original situation, IT is stolen in my book. They, LEO, have NO legitimate reason for not returning the firearm.

When does confiscation become theft? When the item taken is NOT returned.
From the merriam-webster Dictionary.
Main Entry: 1steal
Pronunciation: \ˈstēl\
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): stole \ˈstōl\; sto·len \ˈstō-lən\; steal·ing
Etymology: Middle English stelen, from Old English stelan; akin to Old High German stelan to steal
Date: before 12th century
intransitive verb
1: to take the property of another wrongfully and especially as a habitual or regular practice
2: to come or go secretly, unobtrusively, gradually, or unexpectedly
3: to steal or attempt to steal a base
transitive verb
1 a: to take or appropriate without right or leave and with intent to keep or make use of wrongfully <stole a car> b: to take away by force or unjust means <they've stolen our liberty> c: to take surreptitiously or without permission <steal a kiss> d: to appropriate to oneself or beyond one's proper share : make oneself the focus of <steal the show>
2 a: to move, convey, or introduce secretly : smuggle b: to accomplish in a concealed or unobserved manner <steal a visit>
3 a: to seize, gain, or win by trickery, skill, or daring <a basketball player adept at stealing the ball> <stole the election> bof a base runner : to reach (a base) safely solely by running and usually catching the opposing team off guard
— steal·able \ˈstē-lə-bəl\ adjective
— steal·er noun
— steal a march on : to gain an advantage on unobserved
— steal one's thunder : to grab attention from another especially by anticipating an idea, plan, or presentation; also : to claim credit for another's idea
synonyms steal, pilfer, filch, purloin mean to take from another without right or without detection. steal may apply to any surreptitious taking of something and differs from the other terms by commonly applying to intangibles as well as material things <steal jewels> <stole a look at the gifts>. pilfer implies stealing repeatedly in small amounts <pilfered from his employer>. filch adds a suggestion of snatching quickly and surreptitiously <filched an apple from the tray>. purloin stresses removing or carrying off for one's own use or purposes <printed a purloined document>.

I might not say it was stolen but I'd sure let the Fed's know that the local PD is viloating the law and not legally returning your property.

At very least I'd file a small court claim to recover the items seripticiously not returned.

Seriously - if you don't have any good advice, DON'T GIVE ANY. Giving advice like this can get people into serious, serious trouble should they be feeble-minded enough to follow it.
Thanks for the advice.:rolleyes:

bruss01
April 9, 2008, 12:47 PM
Hypnogator wrote:
Things may be just as Downr@nge is reporting.

OTOH, it may be that this woman had reasons to fear her husband that his buddies don't know about. If so, his good ol' boy buddies have now browbeaten her into withdrawing the restraining order, and facilitated his re-acquiring the weapon that he may use to kill her, and probably himself.

Just pointing out that there are two sides to every story.


All right, fair enough.

In one case, if he was in the wrong and there was just cause to get the restraining order, then that woman is with an abusive or potentially violent man - answer to the situation in her best interests is divorce so she doesn't have to live in fear. On the other hand, if he was in the right and she way over-reacted and out of spite or malice got a restraining order as a "get back at him" maneuver - answer to the situation in his best interests is divorce so he doesn't have to spend the rest of his life worrying about a petty backstabbing woman that he can't trust.

Gun or no gun, this relationship is dead, Jim. The sooner everyone realizes that and moves on, the sooner they both get a chance at a decent relationship and a fullfilling life.

Im283
April 9, 2008, 12:48 PM
I would think it will take a court order to have the gun released.
I also guess you need a lawyer to get that court order done correctly.

Deanimator
April 9, 2008, 12:57 PM
I'd CAll the ATF and tel them teh gun was stolen and file the proper paperwork.

That could turn his present problem into an 18USC1001, False Statement to a Federal Officer charge and get him a 5 year felony conviction.
INSTEAD, what I'd do is contact the BATFE (I REFUSE to call them the ATF. That's NOT their name.) and inform them of the situation and tell them you BELIEVE that the gun has been misappropriated by a member of the local PD. That is not only POSSIBLE, but it happens all of the time in various places. THAT could prompt a serious investigation of evidence handling practices in that department. Whether he gets the gun back or not, he'll get a measure of revenge on the perpetrators and it may deter that kind of thing in the future, whether they're actually stealing or not.

And good luck to anyone trying to PROVE that you DON'T believe that it's stolen. I'm not even personally involved, and I think it's a real possibility.

And add me to the list of people who think that if the domestic was as described, that he needs to make other living arrangements. I have a few simple rules in life, and one of them is "I'd rather die alone than be hounded to my grave."

springmom
April 9, 2008, 02:06 PM
Things may be just as Downr@nge is reporting.

OTOH, it may be that this woman had reasons to fear her husband that his buddies don't know about. If so, his good ol' boy buddies have now browbeaten her into withdrawing the restraining order, and facilitated his re-acquiring the weapon that he may use to kill her, and probably himself.

Just pointing out that there are two sides to every story. If half the restraining orders filed by women seeking a divorce are filed strictly as a legal strategy without actual merit, then half of them are filed by women legitimately concerned that a husband/boyfriend's behavior could pose a threat to their lives. It seems that the knee-jerk reaction here is to blame the woman for causing the hubby trouble, then to bemoan the fact that he used a gun to kill her, giving the anti's more ammunition.


THANK YOU!!! A sensible caution.

My best friend has a Taurus PT 24/7 Pro .45. About 1.5 months ago, it was taken by the police because of a non-violent domestic dispute that erupted in his home between him and his wife. His wife, doing the WRONG thing, listened to her friends, went and got a Restraining Order (Order of Protection) against him. All this took place on a Friday. By Monday, some relatives and myself had finally talked some sense back into her and everything was dropped.

He needs a lawyer.

Springmom

Dan Forrester
April 9, 2008, 02:10 PM
As others have already said; forget the gun. Tell him to get working on his divorce!!!

Dan

Mr. James
April 9, 2008, 02:21 PM
I have a few simple rules in life, and one of them is "I'd rather die alone than be hounded to my grave."

Amen to that, brother.

blackcash88
April 9, 2008, 02:44 PM
It's Joisey. The gun's probably already been destroyed.

kingpin008
April 9, 2008, 05:23 PM
I say if someting is taken and not returned, regardless of the original situation, IT is stolen in my book. They, LEO, have NO legitimate reason for not returning the firearm.

Unfortunately, because you "say" something is stolen doesn't make it so. And they very well may have a legitimate reason for keeping the gun - if their investigation isn't complete, they can't return the gun. That's not saying that I don't agree that they should be finished with the investigation by now - but the fact is, we don't have all the facts. There may be something they need to look at, or information that the OP doesn't know about that is keeping the cops from releasing his buddy's piece. Fact is, however much I may or may not agree with you, doing this would likely not do any good, and would be extremely likely to result in Fed authorities as well as local authorities being very upset with the OP.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 9, 2008, 05:29 PM
Why? Because they are anti-gun-right butthole you-know-whats, abusing their power and abusing his rights.

More to the point, what to do about it. Get a lawyer and sue their butts! Have to go to court to protect your rights sometimes, unfortunately - that is how our system is set up - in an adversarial manner.

divemedic
April 9, 2008, 06:32 PM
This is a story of events that occurred to me about 5 years ago, events which resulted in my CWP being revoked. It took me six months, multiple hearings, an administrative appeal, and several thousand dollars in attorney fees to finally clear my name. I have posted this on a few other sites in the past, but it has been some time since I last mentioned it. Let this serve as a warning to others that this can happen to you. Sorry if this is a long story.

It began when my live in girlfriend announced that she wanted to see other people, and moved out. While we were living together, her car had broken down, and I had been letting her drive my second car while she was awaiting repairs. She had also been using a second cell phone on my Nextel account. (Trust me, I am not rambling- this is all important later)

When she moved out, I turned off the cell phone and I asked for my car back. She refused. I called the cops, they told me that since I had given her the keys, it was a civil matter. I didn't know where she moved to, so my car was gone. A month later, I saw the car parked at the mall, but there was a "club" on the steering wheel. I had it towed to my house.

The next day, there was a sheriff's deputy at my door with a domestic violence injunction, ordering me to appear at a hearing a week later. At the hearing, she produced a statement that I had been beating her while we were together. No proof, no witnesses, no police reports, no medical records, no marks on her, no corroborating evidence of any kind, just her say-so. It turns out that there is a "domestic violence victims advocates office" at the court house that coaches these women in what to say, and makes sure they get sympathetic judges.

While in court, she began crying, and told the judge that I had taken away her phone, and that I had taken back my car, and left her with no way to get to work. She also told the judge that she was afraid of me because I owned a lot of guns. This infuriated the judge, and he ordered me to turn my guns in to the police, revoked my CCW, and ordered me to provide her with a car and a phone.

He also said that since my 2 jobs as a paramedic could potentially bring me near her, that I was prohibited from going to work. One job was willing to work with me, the other one fired me the next day.

My attorney pointed out that we were never married, and the car was mine. The judge told him to sit down. Luckily, the attorney had prewarned me about the anti-gun attitude of the judge, and I had sold all of my guns to my brother in law two days earlier. Since this was not a final judgment, we could not appeal. The judge also said that my taking away "her" car and phone was a kind of violence, in that I was using my financial influence and the threat of firearms to control her.

For the next five months, we had numerous hearings, and I got one of my jobs back. I had to endure her showing up everywhere I went and she would use the restraining order to force me to leave, sometimes while I was in the middle of dining in a restaurant. I started making sure I had witnesses wherever I was, so that she couldn't accuse me of anything. I hung out with friends and family, so that way it wouldn't be my word against hers.

It would go like this: I would be at a sports bar owned by my partner, and she would show up, and call the police. Since I was there first, they couldn't arrest me, but they would make me leave. She would go grocery shopping at the store across the street from my house, and tell the cops I was watching her from my window, and they would come over and hassle me. She called the cops and told them her doctor's office was in my mom's neighborhood, and they would even throw me out of my mom's house, and make me leave until she was finished at the doctor.

One night, she called me and told me that the whole thing would go away if I paid her $10,000 in cash, and let her keep the car. I refused. My attorney was finally able to trip the judge on a legal technicality, and got him recused from the case. With a new judge, we got the whole thing thrown out, and I got my car back. By the time I got it, it had been damaged by some sort of tool.

Another month, and some administrative appeals later, I managed to get my CWP back. I bought the guns from my brother in law, and my life returned to normal.

All of this was done on a statement filled out by her, with no witnesses, and no proof whatsoever. I discovered that when you get in front of these judges, you are at their mercy. They can ruin your life. One of the deputies told me that most of the domestic violence injunctions he serves are not really violence, but women trying to gain the upper hand in divorce proceedings, or out to get revenge.

ilbob
April 9, 2008, 08:26 PM
One of the deputies told me that most of the domestic violence injunctions he serves are not really violence, but women trying to gain the upper hand in divorce proceedings, or out to get revenge.

My guess is that he is correct. I suspect the vast majority of DV ROs are not really about any actual violence but a negotiating and revenge tool. If there was a requirement that some actual evidence be produced to support a RO, most would never come about.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 10, 2008, 01:26 AM
Divemedic, I'm very sorry for your shaft ordeal. And I hate to say this obvious truth, but the fact of the matter is, given the raw deal the system gives you, about the ONLY ways to ensure that your RKBA won't be taken away on a whim based on lies, is to (a) don't enter into any serious relationships with the fairer (and more vindictive) sex, or (b) have $20,000 stashed away to hire the best lawyer known to man in your state, when the crazy you know what makes allegations after you break up. I don't have (b), so I must choose (a), or at the very least, date only those women who are extremely sweet, meek and mild, without an evil or vindictive bone in their body - they are 1 in 100,000 though, if that common.

SWMAN
April 10, 2008, 01:48 PM
They probably weren't done shooting it yet!:what:

F4GIB
April 10, 2008, 08:35 PM
I suspect the vast majority of DV ROs are not really about any actual violence but a negotiating and revenge tool. If there was a requirement that some actual evidence [beyond the woman's statement] be produced to support a RO, most would never come about.

That's certainly been true in my three decades of law practice.

A lesser, but equally real problem, is judges (female and male) who are predisposed against the man in these cases. This is especially true of family court "referees" who spend 100% of their time sorting out domestic squabbles.

Kpdpipes
April 10, 2008, 11:22 PM
#1 If you are in NJ, it is NOT the Police Department that isnt giving him the gun back, it is the County Prosecutor's Office. The County Prosecutor is the ONLY person that can release a firearm to be returned after a Restraining order is dropped. Most County Prosecutors in NJ are anti-gun (and not just for the Non-LEO's, there's one Prosecutor who has openly stated he'll suspend anyone who works for him if they carry under LEOSA..but that's a different thread). I have a Lt on my Dept who's Ex-Wife has done this to him 3 times, all Three times he has had to go to a Judge to FOrce the Prosecutor's Office to return his guns, and Allow him to go back to Armed Duty. the last time the Judge finally told the Assistant Prosecutor who was holding things up he would Jail HER if he didnt have this cleared up in 48 Hours.

as for the "Everything takes six months" Stuff and Nonsense In some places yes, there are CLEO's who use the fact that they have to sign off on FID cards and Handgun purchase permits as their own little way of Gun Control..However they ARE requored to respond in a certain amount of time, most people dont know enoguh to insist on it, or they can go to the nearest NJSP barracks, who CAN issue the appropriate documents (and generally break that CLEO's balls over it) This is by far NOT the majority of departments. My Department's turnaround time is about 8 weeks, and THAT is only because everything now has to go to the NJSP (with the appropriate $18.00 money order of course) for a Mental Health background check and DV check, they just can't issue permits anymore like they used to be able to. Before the new rules went into effect it was about 2-3 weeks as my chief waited until there were a few permits to do at once rather than sign them individually. NJ's laws are a PITA, but they're a Hell of a lot better than other places, like Ma, or NYC

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