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Question on 'legal' confiscations

Discussion in 'Legal' started by critter, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. critter

    critter Well-Known Member

    Threads below got me to thinking. Suppose the police (local, state or feds) come to your home for whatever reason and decide they must confiscate some of your items: guns, ammo, powder for reloading, etc.

    Will they provide you with an inventory of what they took away? Can they be persuaded or even forced to do so? If they do not give you one, how in the world can you prove they took something away and it 'got lost' in the process?

    Your inventory of what they took is worthless as they can simply say, nope, we didn't take that and then 'bubba' has a new toy to play with.
  2. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    They might. They might not.

    As of this week, property isn't what property used to be.
  3. Risasi

    Risasi Well-Known Member

    All I know is I have half a dozen 1911's for a reason. And they are in several locations. Actually that goes for all my firearms.

    Statistically I suppose that means I am more likely to lose one. But I am also guessing statistically that means I am much less likely to lose all of them.

    Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Try to keep a couple degrees of separation between you and some of your baskets. Problem solved.


    As for property, well it looks like it's time to start a couple corporations. What if people started incorporating their neighborhoods?
  4. Beethoven

    Beethoven member

    If you allow any police/govt. agent into your home for the purpose of confiscating ANYTHING, you do not deserve to get it back.
  5. If the items in question are taken from you for the purpose of a criminal proceeding a chain of custody must be demonstrated to the courts in order to tie the evidence to you and this would have to start with a basic inventory of items to include photos of the individual items plus the location where the item was seized as well as brief description of the item.

    This is so that cops cannot just randomly pull stuff out of thin air and introduce it as evidence against you.

    In my county a chain of custody that’s missing a link or two will guarantee your evidence getting tossed.

    As far as the unholy gun confiscation schemes tossed around these halls, it would have to follow some type of order because the officials would want to tie you to the gun if nothing more than, so they could later point to a pile of empirical evidence as to why the gun ban was necessary.

    “See we took 9 evil AK-47’s from Bubba Gump in Cornhole Montana and 50 Kel-Tecs from Tyron Shoelace in Atlanta GA.

    A Fineswine photo-op-orgasm-fest
  6. mhdishere

    mhdishere Well-Known Member

    A while back a guy I know had his guns confiscated. His brother was going thru a messy divorce and the soon-to-be ex-wife said she was afraid he'd give hubby a gun and he'd shoot her :cuss: The cops came by and took EVERYTHING, even his bow and arrows. The cop told him "We're not leaving without them, you'll have to go to court to get them back". They did inventory everything and he did eventually get everything back, but it was a PITA.

    Need I say that this was in NJ?
  7. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

    This is golden advice!

    Let me get this straight... My brother is going through a nasty divorce, they come and take MY guns because I MIGHT give one to him. :confused: Something tells me I must have stepped into the middle of this mess -- or else something is royally wrong.
  8. mhdishere

    mhdishere Well-Known Member

    Well, the wife told the police she was afraid that her husband's brother would give her husband a gun (he wouldn't have). Cops tend to take things that that seriously, even if the woman in question is a whacko.
  9. Bayou Boy

    Bayou Boy Active Member

    This is a quick narrative of how this would go at my house.

    LEO: Uh, we need to come inside and confiscate all of your weapons.
    ME: Let me see the warrant.
    (If they don't have one they politely get the door in the face.)
    LEO: Can you open this safe for us. We need to check inside.
    ME: I forgot the combo a year ago. Haven't been in it since.
    LEO: :uhoh:
    ME: :neener:
  10. CAS700850

    CAS700850 Well-Known Member

    Gee, perhaps Ohio is another country alltogether. Around here, you need a court order to confisctae any property that is not immediately apparent as "contraband" and seen and accessed legally. More often than not, this means a search warrant. Ohio law requires that when a judge issues a search warrant, a return showing what property, if any, was seized in connection with the warrant. A receipt for property must be provided to the property owner, with a copy of the receipt filed with the Court.

    What does this mean? It means that you have to specify to the judge what you are looking for, then bring a list back showing what you took, with the owner getting a copy as well. All this gets to the prosecutor, who then must turn it over to the owner's attorney in Discovery. So, there will be a whole slew of people who know what was taken, so there's less chance of an item disappearing.

    As for the case of the police confiscating the brother's guns...can't see that order being granted around here. And, around here, the cops will not touch somthing like this without (1) a court order to do so and (2) a prosecutor telling them the court order is valid. Too many have been sued (some successfully) to take any chances.
  11. RavenVT100

    RavenVT100 Well-Known Member

    The NJ superior courts have ruled that it's ok for police to perform a warrantless confiscation of a person's firearms if they feel that they're a "risk" during a domestic situation. Of course, since gun owners themselves are registered (the law abiding kind, anyway) with the State Police, it's not like you can pretend you don't have them if you wish to remain legal.

    Confiscated guns do not get the "evidence" treatment and generally come back damaged or partially destroyed. Bottom line: If your weapons are siezed in NJ, do not set your hopes on seeing them again.

    Domestic violence complaints, as best I can understand it, can be as innocent as the neighbors calling police because they heard you and your wife having an argument. No warrant necessary, and you can say goodbye to what you have.

    The only blessing is that the court has ruled that weapons confiscated during one of these incidents cannot be used as evidence to bring criminal weapons charges against the person who they were siezed from. Meaning, if your grandfather willed you a Marlin 60 (a tube-fed .22 rifle that happens to be an "assault weapon" in New Jersey because it holds 17 .22LR instead of 15) and the police find it for whatever reason during a "domestic violence" call, they apparently wouldn't be able to bring you up on the felony charge you'd normally get for owning such a "dangerous, offensive weapon" in the words of the NJ superior court.
  12. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Well-Known Member

    Before anything can be "seized" there would have to be a warrant describing what they are looking for.

    Anything taken will be logged into evidence. "Bubba" don't get no new toys :rolleyes: They don't just fall into a black abyss.

    I happen to be the evidence officer (the one who logs and maintains the evidence room) and eveything gets the same treatment....everything.
  13. RavenVT100

    RavenVT100 Well-Known Member

    Steve, are you a policeman in NJ?

    If you are, I'm just going off of what I've been told by attorneys. I don't want to contradict you.

    But from what I've been told, the SOP for any type of "domestic violence" related call is to inquire whether or not there are any firearms on the premises, and if the answer is yes, to then take them away. This is, of course, applicable to calls where the complaint is unsubsantiated--i.e. someone calls the police and when they get there, there's no evidence that anything occurred. Guns get taken anyway in some of these situations--again, from what I've been told by attorneys in NJ.

    Is this not what occurs in New Jersey? Or were you just referring to how it works in your part of PA?
  14. Tory

    Tory member

    Missing the point

    "But from what I've been told, the SOP for any type of "domestic violence" related call is to inquire whether or not there are any firearms on the premises, and if the answer is yes, to then take them away.:

    The operative phrase being "ON THE PREMISES." Note that the actual episode in question concerned a brother-IN-LAW; NOT the husband. Note further that there is nothing which suggests the two families lived together.

    Seizing the property of a third party who is not domiciled with the complainant, based upon mere allegations that the third party MIGHT give a gun to the complainant's spouse, is NOT grounds for warrantless search and seizure under any laws I'm familiar with.

    Then again, it IS New Jersey, which prides itself on being the "cutting edge" for family law decisions, as well as virulently anti-gun. In-laws who live apart from the complainant may now be considered within the sphere of its domestic violence statutes. Watch; neighbors will be included next....... :barf:
  15. mhdishere

    mhdishere Well-Known Member

    Wow, ok, I'll clarify.

    The two families did not live in the same home.

    The crux of the matter is that the sister-in-law told the cops she was afraid of her husband, that she knew his brother had guns and she was afraid her husband would get a gun from his brother and kill her. (If you knew the guy you'd know this is the LAST thing he'd do.)

    The officers who came to collect the weapons (including bow and arrows) had a warrant. Whether it has specifics on exactly what to take or not I don't know, but I doubt the bow and arrows would have been on it since even NJ doesn't register those, yet.

    Everything was returned in good condition, but there was some hassle and there's now bad blood between the guy and his ex-sister-in-law.
  16. armoredman

    armoredman Well-Known Member

    That's putting it mildly.

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