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Illegal Sale of Long Guns- What to do?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by JoeFish, Nov 30, 2008.

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  1. JoeFish

    JoeFish Active Member

    A friend of mine just came to me and told me he had sold some shotguns- when he was young and stupid- without any legal transfer. In other words, they gave him cash and he handed over the iron.

    He told me he was going to report them stolen, which I immediately told him not to do, obviously. But I didn't know what else to tell him.

    Is there some kind of amnesty available to him, or does he need to just hope like hell that those guns are never used in a crime?
  2. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Well-Known Member

    What he did was perfectly legal in this country so far as I know.
  3. N003k

    N003k Well-Known Member

    Hes in California though, not sure what the laws are there for selling firearms, I know here in Connecticut for long guns, as long as you know the person can legally own a firearm, that's perfectly legal, however out there, no idea.
  4. Hope nonetheless the guns aren't used in a crime.

    You may want to look up specific laws concerning private sales of shotguns in California.
  5. TAB

    TAB Well-Known Member

    best thing for him to do is shut up about it.

    IIRC as of jan 1 91 all gun sales had to go thru a FFL.

    the law your looking for is PC section 12072(d)

    (d) Where neither party to the transaction holds a dealer's
    license issued pursuant to Section 12071, the parties to the
    transaction shall complete the sale, loan, or transfer of that
    firearm through a licensed firearms dealer pursuant to Section 12082.
  6. JoeFish

    JoeFish Active Member


    If my memory serves me he would have been living in New York State at the time of the sale, if that matters.
  7. Oro

    Oro Well-Known Member

    Then he has no worries. Reporting them "stolen" would actually be a crime, as he'd be making a false statement and accusing the legal and legitimate buyers of a crime. That would be wrong - that would be very, very wrong.
  8. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Well-Known Member

    And the reason that he suddenly cares -now- what he did when he was 'young and stupid' would be?

    Whats he going to do, call some police station in NY state, report he had some guns stolen from him when he lived there years ago?

    What is the cause of his sudden paranoia? :confused: (his sale in NY was perfectly legal, so far as I know, BTW)
  9. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    There is no Federal law regulating private in-state face-to-face sales.

    There are some state laws, e.g. in California, that require an FFL transfer for face-to-face private sales. That wouldn't apply to someone in New York. Also, California's law has only been in effect since 1991, as TAB writes above.

    In California, long guns are not registered or tracked in a database like handguns are.

    So, even in California: let's say a shotgun was manufactured and first sold before 1991 in California. There were no other transfers, so there's no other paper on it anywhere. Your friend sold the shotgun in 1998, without any paper trail. Given that we are presumed innocent in court, how could a prosecutor prove that he sold it in 1998, not 1988?

    Even in California, he would have done nothing morally wrong, and nothing that can be proven in court, either. Let sleeping dogs lie. The fact that nobody has come knocking on his door would indicate that the gun hasn't been used in a crime (obviously, very few of the guns in America ever are). He didn't supply criminals with shotguns or anything, so has nothing to feel guilty about (unless he's a PeTA nut and regrets selling shotguns to bird hunters :p).

    It seems that, since he was in New York, he didn't break any laws, either. Just forget about it.

    Definitely DO NOT report them stolen! This could get innocent people in trouble, and could land him in jail. It should land him in jail if he does it: he'd be making a false report that could result in innocent people being prosecuted for a serious felony!
  10. harmonic

    harmonic member

    How long ago are you talking about? There is a statute of limitations on everything except murder and tax fraud, isn't there? Usually five years?
  11. cassandrasdaddy

    cassandrasdaddy Well-Known Member

    no limitations on felony's in va
  12. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    A number of years back, in New York? And he's now in California?

    Best thing to do is forget it. Do nothing.

    He didn't break any California law in California. Odds are that there is indeed some statute of limitations in New York, so that's most likely a dead issue.

    IOW, don't go looking to create any legal problem.
  13. JoeFish

    JoeFish Active Member

    OK, I called him this morning with your observations:

    I don't know why he suddenly got a bug up his butt about this, he just asked me, so I tried to get him an answer.

    It was in 2000, so the 1991 thing doesn't apply. Assuming the statute of limitations is no longer than it is for assault (7 years in most places) then it would seem he's clear even if he was in the wrong.

    Thanks for all the info guys.
  14. nksmfamjp

    nksmfamjp Well-Known Member

    "There are some state laws, e.g. in California, that require an FFL transfer for face-to-face private sales. That wouldn't apply to someone in New York. Also, California's law has only been in effect since 1991, as TAB writes above."

    . . .and they are unconstitutional. Since he probably doesn't want to be the case(money spender) who helps the US rule against the states which have purposely enacted laws in violation of the constitution, he should shut up. Period.

    Now for good federal laws. Maybe a good federal law would be to hold congressmen at every level who vote for laws overturned in court to be personally financially liable for the court costs and defense costs, maybe we could avoid this nonsense.
  15. beatcop

    beatcop Well-Known Member

    Your "friend" is going to attempt to make someone a criminal (for possession of "stolen" property) because he didn't file some paperwork that he either had to, or feels he should have?

    Oh, boy....can't wait to see the guy who gets arrested for that, after the civil suit he'll own more than your friend's guns!
  16. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    OP is content with the answers...
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