How do you find a gun's owner?


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Eric F
April 29, 2008, 07:22 AM
A tornado hit Suffolk Va yesterday, I am a firefighter in a diffrent city so I was not there and my house escaped any damage at all. My wife called a few minutes ago and there is a pistol in the front yard and a rifle or a shotgun on the roof. My next door neighbor is going to get the rifle/shotgun off the roof (as I am not home yet and wont be for atleast 2 more hours) I told them to put them in the house until I get home. How do I find the owner with out giving them over to the police?

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hso
April 29, 2008, 07:45 AM
You might call the manufacturer with the serial number to find out who they sold the gun to and then call them. They might be able to tell you what retailer (if there's an intermediate distributor in the chain) they sold it to and they may be kind enough to try to go through their records to find who they sold it to.

Without a state registry that sort of amateur sleuthing is about all you can do without an LE agency being involved.

CrawdaddyJim
April 29, 2008, 08:42 AM
Something heavy and small would not fly very far unless it was inside of something else. I would make a flyer up with out pictures or descriptions. Leave one at the houses closest to you that were heavily damaged. Use your cell number as a contact number.

Also being in FD you could get a Deputy that you know well to run them through to see if they are stolen in which case you would want to turn them in.

bnkrazy
April 29, 2008, 09:45 AM
You guys must've had it bad down there. Hope everyone affected gets back on their feet quickly.

Henry Bowman
April 29, 2008, 10:31 AM
Wow. The antis were [almost] right! The streets (actually, the yards and rooftops) are flooded with weapons!

Or is it manna from heaven?


I don't mean to make light of the devastation of a tornado, but I have never heard of such a thing as guns falling from the sky. I assume there was other, less interesting, debris that fell on your place as well.

snorko
April 29, 2008, 10:41 AM
They could be from several miles away. I personally viewed a car that was carried 2 miles and dropped into an industrial area.

You would think, though, that they had to come from inside the house, so they are most likely from a severely damaged or destroyed home. The flyers are a good idea, maybe post a few to nearby gun clubs? the owner may be a member.

Eric F
April 29, 2008, 01:54 PM
Well I finaly got home the pistol is in good shape minus the mud and dirt on it, the rifle, a scoped lever action unfortunatly is trashed, bent barrel and the scope is broken, the stock is pretty rough also. The pistols owner should be able to readily identify it as it is"uncommon" and old. I have contacted the paper for running an ad on the fire arms.

There is now a total of 5 guns all together there were a few here and there my neighbors have found. They likely came from a gun cabinet found about a block away. This should not be too hard to get them to their owner/ers. I will give it a week then unfortunatly I will have to hand them in. I contacted an LEO in a near by city and his advice was to give them up right away but I can not bring myself to do it.

primlantah
April 29, 2008, 02:32 PM
They could be from several miles away. I personally viewed a car that was carried 2 miles and dropped into an industrial area.

You would think, though, that they had to come from inside the house, so they are most likely from a severely damaged or destroyed home. The flyers are a good idea, maybe post a few to nearby gun clubs? the owner may be a member.

No offense but... If my house was destroyed and my guns scattered for miles i wouldn't be thinking about going to the gun club... i would have bigger things to worry about.

i doubt the manufacturer or stores would be able to tell you... how do they know the firearms were not resold in a private sale.

The idea about a deputy would probably work the best.

CountGlockula
April 29, 2008, 02:43 PM
I was thinking about the exact same thing: What about the guns after a tornado ripped through the town?

I would've packed my weapons with me during the evacuation. Now I may look silly weilding a shotgun, but at least I have them.

Bazooka Joe71
April 29, 2008, 02:57 PM
See, I knew firearms would rain from the heavens once Mr. Heston got there.:)


How is everyone doing? It is doubtful, but hopefully no one was killed...Homes can be rebuilt, lives can't.

coloradokevin
April 29, 2008, 02:59 PM
Eric,

Seeing as you are a firefighter (a fellow local government employee), why are you concerned with turning the guns in to the local LE agency?

Is your area particularly anti-gun?

My department stores tons of found property, including guns... I don't see why that wouldn't be a good way to get the weapons back to the owner, assuming that the owner would likely contact the police to report them missing!

Gosh... you hose-draggers never trust us blue canaries :)

IllHunter
April 29, 2008, 03:16 PM
Odds say nearby but you never know. Wanna know how far this travelled?

mekender
April 29, 2008, 09:32 PM
i was thinking about this last night as i was watching the news feed... problem is, if my house were a pile of lumber and my guns were laying all over the yard, here in NC it would be a crime for me to move them off my property to a secure location...

SouthpawShootr
April 29, 2008, 09:53 PM
You guys must've had it bad down there. Hope everyone affected gets back on their feet quickly.

These were probably the worst I can remember. It hit an area that had alot of large, expensive houses. Some photos showed only the foundations and a trail of unidentifiable debris leading away fromt he houses. It threw a car through a brick wall at Obici Hospital. It looks to me that most of the homes affected were either completely destroyed or suffered catastrophic structural damage. I live in Chesapeake - about 30 or so mile east of where it happened but a coworker was on her way home right in the middle of it.

Can't offer any advice about getting the guns back to their rightful owners without involving the PD.

Kharn
April 29, 2008, 10:01 PM
Report them as found property to the police. They'll check the serial numbers to make sure they're not stolen and usually, if the property is not claimed in 30 days, you're able to keep it.

You're a firefighter, you should know a cop or two that can run them for you or explain the process.

Kharn

jmr40
April 29, 2008, 11:04 PM
Tornadoes can carrry things a lot farther than you would think. About 10 years ago a bad one hit a town about 50 miles west of here. A week later while turkey hunting I came upon an area in the woods about 200 yards square covered in scraps of building material. Shingles, insulation, vinyl siding etc. in the middle of this I found someones W-2 forms from the town that was hit. I mailed them back and told him where I found them but never heard back from the guy.

Eric F
April 30, 2008, 08:54 AM
Seeing as you are a firefighter (a fellow local government employee), why are you concerned with turning the guns in to the local LE agency?

Is your area particularly anti-gun?

My department stores tons of found property, including guns... I don't see why that wouldn't be a good way to get the weapons back to the owner, assuming that the owner would likely contact the police to report them missing!

Gosh... you hose-draggers never trust us blue canaries
I read the thread about a tornado in Kansas where LE took the guns and were less than helpful when returning the guns. Fiction or not I would just really like not to hand them ovet to the police. They are not particularly unfriendly infact they are great but I have never seen how they are in a "disaster zone"

I did get 2 calls already and one is a probable owner of one of the found guns. I will find out fo sure tomorrow, he has a serial number.....good for him I keep a list at work with me of my stuff.

Old Sarge
April 30, 2008, 10:40 AM
I have volunteered extensively for the American Red Cross, and it never ceases to amaze me, how far stuff travels, and the powers of the wind, waves, etc. How much damage can be done in a relatively short amount of time. Our prayers are with you, your family, and neighbors for a speedy recovery.

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