CCW Shooting Aftermath: What Becomes Of The Gun?


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fiddleharp
July 14, 2011, 05:38 PM
Let's say a guy with a concealed carry permit is jumped by a robber or armed carjacker out in public (not in his own home), and he draws his handgun and kills the bad guy. The police arrive and he tells his story, and maybe even backed up by eyewitnesses. The investigating officers are satisfied that this was clearly a case of self-defense.
It looks like our CCW holder will get to go home and sleep in his own bed tonight.
My question: Will his gun get to go home with him?
Or, will the police seize it and impound it, possibly forever?
What is standard police procedure in a clear-cut case like this?

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MedicMark
July 14, 2011, 05:39 PM
Cops like to take things. (and they don't like to give'em back)

klutchless
July 14, 2011, 05:51 PM
Unfortunatly his/her gun is gone until the investigation is over and the case is solved.If there are delays in returning the weapon usually a call to the prosecuters office gets it cleared up pretty fast.

chhodge69
July 14, 2011, 06:12 PM
And don't forget that until you are cleared officially, you may not be able to purchase another pistol because of an ongoing investigation, indictment, etc.

41
July 14, 2011, 06:22 PM
I think that it depends on where you are, I've never heard of anyone's gun being confiscated around here.

isc
July 14, 2011, 06:28 PM
My sister shot a carjacker in New Orleans. she was questioned and released, he was treated and after he recovered went on trial. He was aquitted after a lengthy trial. 3 years after the shooting the NOPD told my sister they lost her gun and she never saw it again. I am pretty sure a dirty new orleans cop removed the serial numbers and kept it as a drop gun.

Rock185
July 14, 2011, 07:50 PM
His gun will not be going home with him. Whether a police officer in the line of duty, or a private citizen, after the case is investigated and the report completed, the case will be be presented to the appropriate prosecuting authority. Here in Arizona, that will be the County attorney. The County Attorney will review the case and decide if there are any violations of the law and, if so, whether or not to prosecute. I would expect that the process is similar in other jurisdictions. It is not a clean/justifiable shooting until the prosecutor says it is. Only after the prosecutor decides not to prosecute the officer or private citizen, will the gun be released. I was involved in an on duty shooting and my gun was held in evidence for 18 months. The firearm could be held much longer if there are further legal issues to resolve, appeals, etc.

Nanook
July 14, 2011, 07:50 PM
Wow, sounds more like Chicago than Nawlins.

Of course, that couldn't happen in Chicago, since the citizens don't have CCW.

oneounceload
July 14, 2011, 07:59 PM
This is why you always have a second gun for CCW

9mmepiphany
July 14, 2011, 08:02 PM
I think that it depends on where you are, I've never heard of anyone's gun being confiscated around here.
It isn't very helpful when you don't have a give a location so we'll know where here is ;)

Local SOP is that guns used in shootings are taken as evidence and held until that investigation/case in ruled justified or adjudicated...there are no exceptions for LEOs either, they take the gun at the scene.

The gun will be booked into evidence. It may be fired, to establish ballistic properties, and may be taken into evidence during a trial. When it is no longer need for further legal proceedings, it can be released by the DA's office

Rocketmedic
July 14, 2011, 08:24 PM
Can a citizen sue a department that 'loses' or otherwise refuses to release the firearm after a case has been resolved?

AethelstanAegen
July 14, 2011, 08:29 PM
3 years after the shooting the NOPD told my sister they lost her gun and she never saw it again.

Has she tried to follow up with some sort of investigation here? You'd think the NOPD internal affairs would be interested to know that guns are going missing. I would think that she would have some sort of legal recourse to regain her property (though I'm no expert). I know I'd raise quite a storm though if my local PD told me they "lost" my gun.

BaltimoreBoy
July 14, 2011, 08:37 PM
"This is why you always have a second gun for CCW"

And the corollary: Never use a gun you love for CCW or home defense. Better that the police take that old Charter Arms Bulldog than the Python willed to you by your father.

"Can a citizen sue a department that 'loses' or otherwise refuses to release the firearm after a case has been resolved?"

Perhaps. But what for? You'll likely lose and in any event your suit will cost more than the value of the gun. That's why the guns go 'missing' (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) to begin with.

Same lesson: Use a Cheap Reliable gun. There are many such.

MedWheeler
July 14, 2011, 09:03 PM
The gun goes back to its owner in most localities, but not until the case is officially closed. I've even heard of one case in which the spent brass was returned to the defender along with his weapon. It was, after all, his property (though I believe it's assumed he abandoned the actual projectiles.:D)
I've made sure I have another gun that can fill my carry needs until I get my EDC back, should I ever face that highly-unlikely situation.

hermannr
July 14, 2011, 09:08 PM
Depends on the situation and the state. It is possible to continue on without having to give up you sidearm here in WA, if it is an unquestionable SD shooting.

If there are questions as to if you may be charged or not, you can expect it to ride to the station house, you in the back seat, it in the front seat.

Here is WA, only a judge can "confiscate" a firearm. RCW 9.41.98. The police on only hold it temporarly, until they have either charged you and teh judge orders forfiture, or released you, and it with you. The Judge can order it held for evidence if they charge you, the police cannot.

In an case, yes, you can sue for your weapon back, or compensation if it has been stolen from the property room. WA has a formal procedure for how personal is to be disposed off, and recovered by it's owner.

Wingwalker
July 14, 2011, 10:59 PM
Been a cop for 12 years. Even if I think you were justified in the shooting, the gun comes with me. I don't decide whether or not you're charged with a crime. That's left up to a grand jury. If they decline to indict, my agency would return your gun immediately. If you're indicted and then acquitted at trial, you're attorney will ask the judge to sign an order that your gun be returned to you.

I responded to a call once where a guy was running his mouth in a bar (imagine that). The owner of the place didn't like it and decided to stick a .38 in his mouth and pull the trigger. Luckily, it "only" blew the guys teeth out and the bullet exited his cheek. He was released from the hospital the next day. We charged the bar owner with 1st degree assault. When it came time for trial, the defendant entered an Alfred Plea which means he maintains his innocence but admits the prosecution has enough evidence to convict him. He avoids a trial and sentencing is left to the judge. He got 2 years probation and the judge ordered that we return his gun. I was the evidence custodian at the time so I had to sign his gun back over to him.

withdrawn34
July 14, 2011, 11:23 PM
Depends. In most places, you're going to lose the firearm until the investigation has been concluded. Remember, the police do not have the (legal) authority to be judge and jury. The DA, or in some areas, a grand jury, makes the determination as to whether your shoot was ultimately justified.

Now, the LEO does have some authority in the sense of whether he has probable cause to arrest you because he believes it wasn't a legit self-defense shoot. So if decides you acted in SD, you can go home eventually, but you're not out of the woods until the jury or DA says so.

There are some places that won't return a gun, no matter what. These are illegal seizures, but people in authority get away with whatever they want until someone can stop them. The average joe often cannot afford the thousands of dollars it takes to hire a lawyer and assert their rights, so unfortunately, Joe just has to accept the trampling of his rights in these cities. To make the situation even more perverse, Joe then is forced to pay taxes to fund the exact same force that denied him his right to due process.

Owen Sparks
July 14, 2011, 11:45 PM
I knew someone who had to shoot a man who drove up in his front yard after a threatening phone call. The police never took his gun.

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