Recovering gun from police


PDA






Xoudus
August 2, 2010, 12:22 PM
I was involved in a self defense shooting about a year ago no charges were filed. After calling to see when I could reclaim my gun I was told they were holding it "incase new evidence came up". I could understand this a few months after the incident but a year? Are they just jerking my chain or do I need to get lawyers involved and all the legal whatnots.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

If you enjoyed reading about "Recovering gun from police" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Jefpainthorse
August 2, 2010, 12:28 PM
Sounds like your lawyer needs to write a letter........

gbran
August 2, 2010, 07:23 PM
How much is the gun worth?

BTW, my ex wife shot/killed her boyfriend with my revolver. No charges were filed. I bugged the sheriffs office regularily and the gun was returned to me in a little over a year.

rondog
August 2, 2010, 07:50 PM
Yeah, I'd say you're getting jerked around.

Gouranga
August 2, 2010, 07:54 PM
One thing to try. Get an appt with the chief. Chat with him on it. Explain (calmly and respectfully) how you are given no other option but legal action against the department and how you would prefer to not take that route.

It may do nothing for ya, it may just expedite things. Simple fact is, they took your property, you were not charged. I can't see how they have any right to keep your property for more than a year. My bet, they lost it.

rondog
August 2, 2010, 08:11 PM
My bet, they lost it.

Yeah, as in "lost" it into somebody's gun safe.

Guns and more
August 2, 2010, 08:18 PM
My bet, they lost it.
All the more reason to make them squirm. If that's possible.

Black Knight
August 2, 2010, 08:18 PM
I am with Gouranga somewhat. Do get an appointment with the police chief and discuss the matter with him. Do not mention legal action as most chiefs will immediately clam up and hurry you out the door. Wait one week after you have discussed it with the chief and give him a polite telephone call to jog his memory. If this fails have your attorney contact a judge and get a court order from the judge to release your personal property forthwith in the same condition it was seized. Then have the court order served to the police chief (personally) by a deputy sheriff or other court officer.

If they claim it has been lost, fine tell the chief you are going to contact the State Police as well as the ATF and file a stolen firearm report. Let the chief know your are willing to prosecute the person who stole it. Lets see how fast they "find" it after that.

ConstitutionCowboy
August 2, 2010, 08:25 PM
What is your city/town, county, and state?

Woody

Oyeboten
August 2, 2010, 08:25 PM
Some state laws mandate that any property in police custody for more than six months, becomes the property of the state, and will be sold at auction or other venue.

Keeping property ( or other supposed 'evidence' ) more than 'six months' then, in those contexts, is a bureaucratic maneuver, and a way for a state to make money by selling the property.

Bluehawk
August 2, 2010, 08:26 PM
I can't see how they have any right to keep your property for more than a year. My bet, they lost it.

You are correct...if the case is over they have no right to keep it...I seriously doubt they lost the firearm...evidence today is recorded so meticulously it it would almost have to be "lost" on purpose!!!!!
Many police agencies have a "policy" on not returning firearms but that doesn't make it legal...they do it because they feel they can...and do...get away with it.
Sometimes a face-to-face chat with the Chief can do wonders...if not, then a lawyer certainly can do the trick!
If you do go in and speak with the Chief (make an appointment) go in with a positive attitude...smiling...be cheerful...respectful but not submissive. Many are happy to get a chance to have contact with the ordinary citizens of their city or town...something they usually don't get a chance to do. All they normally come into contact with is their officers and politicians!!!!!!
When you do talk with him don't be long winded...briefly state his dept has your firearm in which the case is closed and you would like it back. Do NOT say..."yer guys won't give it back to me".. and put him on the defensive.
He will either state his depts policy or ask why or who said you can't have it back and then the ball is rolling...he will most likely ask to see the report AND the person who told you that you can't have it back!!!!!!
In any event just sit and listen to what he has to say...do NOT argue with him nor get defensive if he says it won't be returned. Simply be cordial...stand up...shake his hand...thank him for his time and leave...THEN call a lawyer!!!!!!!!
How do I know all this? I have been on both sides of this fence...both as a citizen and as a police officer.

stchman
August 2, 2010, 08:27 PM
I've heard it can take up to 2 years. Moral of the story get a cheap gun, make sure you can shoot it well, make sure it's reliable, and use that one.

snubbies
August 2, 2010, 08:28 PM
Black Knight has the solution perfectly. Threatening would never work.

Bluehawk
August 2, 2010, 08:30 PM
Some state laws mandate that any property in police custody for more than six months, becomes the property of the state, and will be sold at auction or other venue.

Normally...by law...that's only after the police have made certain steps to contact the legal owner at their last known mailing address...usually by certified mail! They have to give the owner notice of destruction or a chance to reclaim their property.

Deltaboy
August 2, 2010, 08:41 PM
Call and Visit the Chief and if they don't play nice sic the Lawyer on them. :D

Joe Demko
August 2, 2010, 08:47 PM
Unless it is a pretty expensive gun, it won't take too many billable hours to exceed the price of just buying a new one.

Ryder
August 2, 2010, 08:52 PM
Only way I know of to get a gun back from the police is with a judges order. Worked for me :D

And yes, needed a lawyer to speak to the judge for me. Perhaps a friend of the court or a magistrate could do that? They will speak to you.

Shadow 7D
August 2, 2010, 11:22 PM
Contact your local NRA, 2nd amendment task force, city counsel man, the first can help you find a local lawyer to help you, the latter can get you an appointment with the chief.

Impureclient
August 3, 2010, 12:25 AM
Yikes...I was just about to make a post on what happens when you are involved in a self defense shooting and they confiscate the gun for evidence and noticed this right at the top.
I guess this answers my question. Now the "range only" and "safequeen" gun make sense to me now.

bigfatdave
August 3, 2010, 12:41 AM
in the same condition it was seizedAnd don't give them a pass if your gun comes back borked.

Unless it is a pretty expensive gun, it won't take too many billable hours to exceed the price of just buying a new one.
Sometimes you do it because it is right, not because it is practical.
Personally, I may be obligated to fund the police via my taxes because of a social contract, but I'm not obligated to let them confiscate things at will like a teacher taking away a naughty child's toy. The man had a defensive incident so clear-cut that it resulted in no charges for a year, any evidince that could be collected has been or at least they had their chance ... he should be able to walk in and take his private property out with no questions asked.

Hell, if I was getting jerked around, I'd get a sleazy lawyer, make a sign, write up a bill for rental hours on the gun, and make it my hobby to camp in front of the station to tell the entire community about the theft of my property.

What's a handgungun rental run these days, about $8/hour?

Deanimator
August 3, 2010, 10:27 AM
If you have to sue to get it back, sue for damages as well. At that point, they've both deprived you of your property and caused you to incur quantifiable expenses to get it back due to their tortious act of wrongful taking.

And if it's "missing", DEFINITELY contact the BATFE. Who knows what OTHER firearms have gone "missing" and to where? I have no respect for the BATFE, but they're just as happy to bend other LEOs over the desk as they are you. They've got the documented track record to prove it. Make that work for you. If they're illegally diverting guns, make them pay a price for it, even only in worry.

As far as evidence not going missing, guns, drugs and a lot of other things have regularly gone "missing" from Chicago PD facilities. Regularly enough for it to make the papers.

doc2rn
August 3, 2010, 11:06 AM
Happened to me out of state, had to defend myself and they seized my weapon as evidence in Ohio. Got my CCW back since they didnt recognize it from the DAs office in my home state. He is waiting on a response for the return of my weapon.

Guns and more
August 3, 2010, 12:17 PM
Unless it is a pretty expensive gun, it won't take too many billable hours to exceed the price of just buying a new one.
That just encourages bad behavior.
And if it's "missing", DEFINITELY contact the BATFE.
Yep. Although I don't know why a cop would want a "throw down" gun that has been entered into evidence, unless he wipes out the serial number.

FlaChef
August 3, 2010, 12:44 PM
city, county, or state of the OP?
If it is someplace like Boston Mass. (has a history of doing this) or other it will make a difference (skip trying to get the police chief and go right to the NRA for a lawyer who will work cheap for the publicity and/or bill/sue the wrongful party for legal expenses).

Joe Demko
August 3, 2010, 01:26 PM
Though it may "encourage bad behavior" there is also economic reality. Lawyers, good ones anyway, don't come cheap. I have a family to support and darned little in the way of extra money lying around that I can spend on discouraging bad behavior. I suspect that I am not the only member here who meets that description. The facile advice to lawyer up might mean more if you were also going to kick in a few bucks to defray his legal fees. You were planning on doing that, right? Otherwise you might be encouraging bad behavior.

jimmyraythomason
August 3, 2010, 04:12 PM
Many police agencies have a "policy" on not returning firearms but that doesn't make it legal...they do it because they feel they can...and do...get away with it.
I ran into this about 10 years ago in Birmingham,Alabama. I had a .357 revolver stolen from my locked vehicle. Birmingham police responded about an hour after being called. Three officers finally showed and I filled a report. One officer,obviously a veteran of some years, told me as a matter of factly "even if we find it you won't get it back". I asked why and he said "we don't give back guns"! One officer said it,the other two heard it and didn't contradict him,making three officers telling me that Birmingham Police Dept. was going to keep my gun if they found it! He did say I would be contacted to identify it if it was found. As I said this was 10 years ago and I haven't heard from BPD and don't expect to.

Deanimator
August 3, 2010, 09:45 PM
Yep. Although I don't know why a cop would want a "throw down" gun that has been entered into evidence, unless he wipes out the serial number.
Criminals tend to both be not very bright and to think that everybody ELSE is stupid. And make no mistake, a cop who takes something that doesn't belong to him is just another criminal. How many criminals, in and out of uniform, have you seen commit crimes on video that they either knew or should have known were possibly being recorded?

ThePunisher'sArmory
August 3, 2010, 09:50 PM
Rondog said what I was going to say. They either lost it, some cop took it home, or its a range toy for that PD. Get a lawyer, or go up to the PD every day untill they give it back or tell the truth. I mean it EVERY DAY!

cassandrasdaddy
August 4, 2010, 04:41 PM
if you end up going atf for stolen gun report make sure you send a copy of that letter to your congress critter and enclose a copy of your letter to the congresss critter with the one to the atf send all the above to the local chief with a friendly update letter on where the process stands everything certified return receipt. a copyb to the local mayor or whoever hires/fires cheif heck around here i'd send it to the state cops too just for luck

rtroha
August 4, 2010, 05:28 PM
Unless it is a pretty expensive gun, it won't take too many billable hours to exceed the price of just buying a new one.

For those of us that live in Ohio, the police can be forced to eat the legal costs.

(B) If the law enforcement officer does not return the firearm to the person at the termination of the stop or otherwise promptly return the firearm to the person after the seizure of the firearm, if a court finds that a law enforcement officer failed to return the firearm to the person after the person has demanded the return of the firearm from the officer, and if the court orders a law enforcement officer to return the firearm to the person, in addition to any other relief ordered, the court also shall award reasonable costs and attorney’s fees to the person who sought the order to return the firearm.

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2923.163

gun guy
August 5, 2010, 08:51 AM
ray didnt have that problem,he was our team leader for a time,san diego police were most upset to find a few items ray had stored in his garage. laws rockets, satchel charges, the odd crates with ak-47's, m-16's, a few thousand round lots of small arms ammo. other odds an ends, couple bloopers, just things a growing boy needs. they took all of it, imagine that. ray was real upset, took him awhile to build his collection, he was proud of it. so ray made a couple calls, something about a friend with a farm in virgina, (he did, odd jobs for the government on the side) he wanted the small arms, returned, torn down an packed in cosmoline so he could reassemble and inspect them. in the end, the only thing they couldnt, or didnt return were the blasting caps, the fire marshal put his foot down on that. everything was brought back within 2 weeks with profound apologies. guess it just depends on who you know

Xelera
August 5, 2010, 08:04 PM
In many cases, crime labs can recover the filed off serial number as well. When the number is stamped into the metal frame, it damages the crystalline structure in the metal below it as well.

Magnetic particle, x-ray, and ultrasound have been shown to work in many cases of this.

Unfortunately, possession of a defaced firearm is a crime, so taking it in to get the number recovered would be like turning yourself in...

God bless this mess...

Bluehawk
August 5, 2010, 08:12 PM
gun guy: ray didnt have that problem,he was our team leader for a time

What in the world are you talking about???

nyrifleman
August 5, 2010, 10:54 PM
Yep. Although I don't know why a cop would want a "throw down" gun that has been entered into evidence, unless he wipes out the serial number.

Unfortunately, the answer may be "to sell". I don't know where the OP lives, but that sort of corruption within police forces has been documented time and time again in places like NYC, Boston, Chicago, Detroit and others. Firearms and drugs confiscated as evidence find their way back to the streets.

Sky
August 6, 2010, 12:32 AM
Thats probably what they are counting on (lawyer will exceed the cost and trouble of buying a new gun)! It seems honor and doing what is fair and right just ain't the modus operandi anymore. Must have started with Cain or Able naw had to be a woman involved lets blame Lilluth! Hope you get your gun back or someone swings from the yard arm!

DaisyCutter
August 6, 2010, 01:18 AM
I was involved in a self defense shooting about a year ago no charges were filed. After calling to see when I could reclaim my gun I was told they were holding it "incase new evidence came up". I could understand this a few months after the incident but a year? Are they just jerking my chain or do I need to get lawyers involved and all the legal whatnots.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

It happens all the time, to anyone involved in a shooting.

My friend shot a cop killer in February. He still hasn't gotten his $3500 SBR AR15 back. I went to the academy him, and we graduated in the same class. He was on duty, in full uniform, driving a marked patrol car when teh pursuit ended and the shootout started.

The cops are totally jerking him around.

Frankly, the rifle did it's job.



If the time limit to file charges expires, or the case ageny closes the case without filing charges, then you'll get the firearm back.

As long as the case is open, they aren't going to release the evidence. It's that simple.

Art Eatman
August 6, 2010, 11:44 AM
Anecdotes and vents...Enough.

If you enjoyed reading about "Recovering gun from police" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!