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Does the original owner (title holder) still own the gun if it's been stolen?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Gordon, Dec 30, 2002.

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  1. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    Who owns a stolen gun?

    Here is a sickening little story: A year ago I walked into my local gunshop and in the gunsmith's "to repair" rack I saw my Brown Precision 600 Remington superlight .308 with Kevlar stock, Burris mini scope and it's Gary Bloxham custom oakleaf camo paint job. I started jumping up and down and telling gunsmith who I'd spent $$$$$'s with for 2o years that it was MY GUN. He said "oh there are a lot of guns that look like that". Oh yeah sure with a turned down action and bushnell rings and magnaport and MY camoflage pattern. Gun was brought in by local retired football coach of high school to fix "too light" 1.5lb trigger. I said I had the gun built for $2000 in 1979 by Chet Brown in his garage in San Jose and had reciept to prove it and had filed a police report with LOCAL PD in 1989 when it and others were stolen in business burglary. I made them call PD as I wasn't leaving without my gun. The gunsmith wanted to give it to football coach as he was well known localect. The PD det. came and took gun. Next day I get call from Detective appologizing:"Yes the gun was listed as stolen, we found the report BUT in 1994 Ca. laws changed and stolen property cases have to be litigated in court so we returned the gun to Mr. honest citizen until you take him to small claim court. " I called "mr honest citizen" and explained it was my stolen gun, he says he paid $200 in 1989 from some nice ethnic man he hasnt seen since but I could by it back for $500 without the scope. I havent been able to deal with this problem I was so mad for a year I wanted to raid the guys house ect, but now I am happy just not to be so mad. Apparently this "law" was passed by scum bag influential Flea market people whose "business" was being hurt by people finding their stolen property being sold.:mad: :banghead: :mad: :banghead:
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2002
  2. faustulus

    faustulus Member

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    Take him to court. And make sure since you are suing to include the cost of your legal fees. In most states it is illegal to buy stolen property, but in Kali, who knows. In any case the statue of limitations for that has surely passed. And not to be flippant but I would move to a state without such stupid laws.
     
  3. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    The criminals have the rights in the People's Republic of California; law-abiding commoners have the right to pick up the tab.
     
  4. SteelyDan

    SteelyDan Member

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    Actually, I just checked this thread to see if anyone was actually proclaiming "Yeah, I've got a bunch of M-16s I stole from the county armory..." But the real post raises a question. Gordon: did you get an insurance payment for the stolen gun? Because: (1) if you did get paid, I'm less sympathetic, and (2) if you didn't get paid, then, while it isn't much, I'm sorry and I'd be pissed too, and I'd definitely look into that court proceeding to determine ownership.
     
  5. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    What I learned was that while someone may have possession, title still remains with the original owner. If your gun was stolen, you should get it back even though others exchanged money for it. You may have to get a writ of mandamus from a court of equity prohibiting the sale of the gun, clear your title and ordering the store to fork it over.

    BTW, as part of your "case in chief" you should mention that some "unidentified" Mexican who sold it to him for a measley $200 should raise bells & whistles as to its "hot" status.
     
  6. Zander

    Zander member

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    Why should that make the slightest bit of difference? He discovered his own property which was stolen. It should be returned to him no matter what the sociofascist freaks claim is the "law". If he recovers his property...and he damn sure should...it is incumbent on him to deal with his insurance company in an honest and forthright manner if they paid a claim.

    But his property should be returned to him...period.
     
  7. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    If insurance was paid for the gun, the insurance company would hold title. After all, the victim/gunowner was compensated for his loss.
     
  8. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    I'm kinda weak on CA laws, but doesn't private transfers have to be made through a dealer? If so, was that law in effect in 1989?
     
  9. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    Forgive me with offending some with my flattering discription of this stolen property felon. I should have grabbed rifle and ran out of store. Then I would have been arrested for stealing MY property, I wonder how that would play in court. I got $500 dollars from an NRA insurance deal thats it. Remember it was stolen from my business during burglary, they triggered motion sensors after prying bars and Alarm co called police who arrived 20 minutes later to tape up crime scene. They also got a Swenson combat commander and a couple others that I had in a locked steel cabinet along with $1200 in cash.Small print of business insurance excludes guns and cash. Of course an ex employee tipped off doper friends that some cash was kept on premises. At the time police warned me not to take "things into your own hands" and that was last I saw of my favorite modern guns. I now keep them behind Browning pro-steel safes,and safe deposit boxes. I think I will give one last legal try, but I'm sorry I get mad at being (inapproprite anglo saxon word) and I don't fergit nothing!Its like G-d told me to let it go and just relateing it here almost got me kicked off forum.....:banghead:
     
  10. faustulus

    faustulus Member

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    ???
     
  11. tomkatz

    tomkatz Member

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    I'd be totally hacked too, you get to vent a little over that IMO....tom
     
  12. Pendragon

    Pendragon Member

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    Heh

    You should have just took the rifle and gone home.

    Cops come and talk to you, show them your reciept and whatnot.

    Still, here in CA, you never know what can happen.

    Take the SOB to court. Any honorable man would, at worst, sell it back to you for what he paid for it - trying to make $300 on a situation like this is scummy.

    Get a mean lawyer and try and have the gun impounded or something so he does not mess it up while things are pending.

    The thought of some idiot doper selling a Swenson for probably $50 just makes me crazy.
     
  13. TheeBadOne

    TheeBadOne Member

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    Buying that type of gun for that low of a price will tip off anyone that it's stolen. Take him to court, shouldn't be hard to get it back if you have paperwork. Perhaps the "good Coach" could use some media coverage...:banghead:
     
  14. NewShooter78

    NewShooter78 Member

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    What kind of gunsmith is this guy. I can't believe that you could have been going to him for 20 years and this is how he treats you. I sure hope you take this case to court. And if you do keep us updated.
     
  15. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    $500 compensation for a $2k gun would mean in a court of equity that you have 75% & the insurance co. has 25% of the title. Think of it as shares of stock with you being the majority shareholder (or better yet, tenants in common). Once you sue to get your gun back, you may have to "quiet" title with the insurance co. (if they find out).
     
  16. 2nd Amendment

    2nd Amendment member

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    The only couple of times I've seen that situation arise the insurance company has written it off, saying basically that dealing with the process was more trouble than collecting the money was worth.

    OTOH that was at the agent level which makes one wonder if he simply didn't want to personally bother with it.
     
  17. Ebbtide

    Ebbtide Member

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    Unless I am missing something buy it back for 500.00

    If that is what the NRA gave you as insurance all you are out is a decade of fine shooting.

    Expences for court may be pricey, and the guy may just sell the rifle before you get a chance to serve him.
     
  18. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    I thought this over and other than anger I was a fool for not buying back my favorite 5 pound .308. Heck the nice man was even telling me how accurate it was with the loads he worked up. He said he would trade it for a "new .257 Roberts" . :fire: But I will offer him $500 , I hope he doesnt want interest for the year I've waited. : :what: and has the thing.Thanks for all the sensible input and the venue for ranting. I am testing the waters here and I discovered the available depth . Now I will move on to Senoir Membership . Happy Yeaw years ya'all.Oh one last leagal question do I have to get my rifle back thru an FFL and pay state and wait period? When did my last transfer expire exactly?:ar15:
     
  19. PATH

    PATH Member

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    Best of luck to you and let us know how it turns out!
     
  20. clem

    clem Member

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    Gordon,

    Can you post this "1994 CA. gun law"? I just find that kind of odd. What if your rifle had been found in Arizona or Texas, and another thing, stolen weapon serial numbers are entered in a national data base accessable by law-enforcement.
    Something just ain't right about this whole mess.
    And as noted, just get a lawyer and get a mean one and sue the pants off everyone involved, including that 'gun shop".
     
  21. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    Some body retitled my post more appropriately-thanks. OK this law passed in 94 had to do with decriminilizing possesors of stolen property "if authorities have reasonable belief "party who possesses such stolen property did not have knowledge of its being stolen. Once again so police need not be called to flea markets and arguments over whose TV it is. This should not affect guns as they are specially restricted and titled (as are autos) but apparently is being applied to guns. The serial numbers WERE found in national stolen gun data base. I will be going to small claims court myself. Small claims is less than 5000 in Ca. and provides a very quick and reasonable resolution in my experience(Ive never lost in 6 trials). The real issue I am focusing on now is : if I have to go thru an FFL as this guy insists transaction must do I fill out a second 4473? Must I wait (been waiting 10 years) and be rebackground checked. Must I pay sales tax on $500 on my own (provable) property?:scrutiny: :cuss: :neener:
     
  22. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    Doesn't Federal Law trump State Law?

     
  23. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    OK thats settled now riddle to me about DROSing my own gun back to me along with the tax on "sales" issue. OK I'm a SENIOR MEMBER now I'll help: it can be nontaxable LABOR for a "finders fee".:impaled:
     
  24. deanf

    deanf Member

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    Make sure the police make a "recovered stolen property" report so that the serial number can be cleared from NCIC and whatever the ********** equivalent is. That's the database available to police that holds records of stolen property. Guns are held in the NCIC (federal) database forever, regardless of local/state statutes of limitation.

    Perhaps the detective you mentioned in the beginning took care of this, but I'd make sure.
     
  25. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    Gordon,

    The coach bought the gun before the 1994 law. It doesn't apply to him. He bought stolen property.

    Buy an hour of a lawyer's time on this before you talk to the coach again.
     
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