Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Found a gun in MN... questions...

Discussion in 'Legal' started by RoostRider, Jul 21, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. RoostRider

    RoostRider Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    A friend of mine found a .380 handgun, unloaded, in a case, with 2 magazines completely full of ammunition in a semi-public place (the common area of the storage area of an apartment building he maintains, under a pile of junk that has been there for years). He is over 21 with no felonies.

    What should legally be done about this?

    Is there a legal procedure he can go through where he will be allowed to keep this gun?

    Is he obliged by any law MN or federal to report this finding?

    Again, this was found in the locked common area of an apartment where the storage lockers are.... it's origin is completely unknown.... everything else in the pile was disposed of....
     
  2. janedoedad

    janedoedad Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    Messages:
    237
    Location:
    Fayetteville, GA
    Check your MN specific laws.

    Beyond any MN law to the contrary, the firearm would be considered abandoned property. Much like a 13" b&w TV or 8-track player the tenant left behind.

    So, is the gun a POS or is it a reputable firearm?!? Inquiring minds want to know!
     
  3. RoostRider

    RoostRider Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Its probably a POS..... lol.... a Llama .380 he says..... never heard of it before...

    Anyone know about the laws in MN regarding this issue?
     
  4. thebaldguy

    thebaldguy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    652
    Location:
    Minnesota 10,000 lakes and even more taxes
    If you contact the authorities, I'm pretty sure they will tell you to bring it in. It could be legimately misplaced, stolen, or even used in a crime. I don't think that "finders keepers" legally applies to firerms. A call to a lawyer may be in order..

    Having an illegal firearm in Minnesota is frowned upon. Really frowned upon. If this firearm was used in a crime, and it's in your hands now, you may have some explaining to do.

    I'd call the authorities and find out what to do. I would turn it in if asked.
     
  5. MovedWest

    MovedWest Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    493
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    Llama isn't a bad firearm, just not popular. If it's in good shape it might be worth keeping, but consider the original owner has reported it stolen. If that's the case it's considered a stolen firearm - and you DON'T want to have it found in your possession. I'd call an attorney if you think it's worth it. If the weapon is in good shape consider it worth about $300-350.

    -MW
     
  6. RoostRider

    RoostRider Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Do firearms fall under different rules for abandoned property?

    Everything else in the pile was clearly abandoned.....

    I got a chance to look at it today.

    I think it is highly unlikely that this gun was used in a crime (but how would you know about any gun you bought on the private market either?).... it was found in an area only frequented by people in the building... it was unloaded in a case with 2 completely full magazines, the magazines had obviously been loaded a long time (the top rounds were tarnished, less and less the deeper in the magazine they were)...

    I think the police would gladly come and take it..... and no one he knows would ever see it again...

    Is there a way to 'run' a firearm without surrendering it to the police?

    I researched it and it seems to be one made in the 30'-50's and worth about $200-$300.... a 'mini' 1911.... kinda cool...
     
  7. THE DARK KNIGHT

    THE DARK KNIGHT Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Messages:
    1,550
    Location:
    NJ
    Just call the police, tell them the situation, and go turn it in. $200-300 is not worth the tons of trouble the gun could turn out to be.
     
  8. TheFallGuy

    TheFallGuy Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Messages:
    124
    I would say a lawyer is in order, but that would quickly cost more then to legally acquire the same gun. Bring it to the cops. Have them run it. They may take it. They may not. The last time I had to deal with abandoned property (no a firearm) I was told that I had to place an ad in a local paper with a circulation of 500 or more for 2 weeks. If no one called, it was mine. However police departments like to keep and destroy guns so good luck.

    Of course you could go the illegal route and cross your fingers but again a lawyer will cost more then the gun is worth.
     
  9. Rmeju

    Rmeju Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Messages:
    465
    If you're primarily concerned with keeping the gun, or you want to keep it but stay out of trouble I would talk to a lawyer. I don't know what that will cost in your area.

    If you're only interested in staying out of trouble, call the police. Do so with the understanding that they are not lawyers, may not be your friend, and will not necessarily do what is in your best interest. Be aware that a great many of them are just as confused as we are as to the technicalities of what should legally be done in a situation such as this and that there is a good chance that if you ask them, they will do what's simplest for them and tell you to turn it in, quite possibly without ever returning it to you even if they run it and it were to come back clean.

    I do not dispariage the police for this, but individual officers vary widely on both knowledge and attitudes about firearms but you should be aware that you don't know which variety will be answering the other line.

    Futhermore, and this is important, just because an officer tells you there's no need to turn it in, or if they run it and don't get any hits, you should not consider those responses from the police as free passes in the future if any trouble were to ever come up. This makes the 'just turn it in' option something to consider.

    Hope that helps you come to a decision!
     
  10. M36

    M36 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Arizona
    I second this. Just because fate as delivered a free handgun into your life does not mean you should keep it as a gift.

    It may have come from one of your unknown neighbors houses or at the most, was used in a crime such as a homicide, which may be a long shot, but you don't know.

    If it is stolen at the minimum you are taking your chances of being caught with a stolen handgun.

    It all boils down to doing the right thing.

    BTW, check the MN theft statute for something like not reporting something that is lost or misplaced.
     
  11. kd7nqb

    kd7nqb Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Messages:
    2,207
    Location:
    Puyallup Washington
    Assuming that your state is like Oregon, most gun shops will run a stolen gun check through the same system they run 4473 checks. Of course if it comes back stolen you gotta turn it in.
     
  12. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,047
    Location:
    In the Wild Horse Desert of Texas
    I've checked with the police about a number of found firearms over the years. I just tell them that I've come into possession of (type of firearm) and I want to make sure that it's not stolen. I tell them the serial number, they tell me that they'll get back to me if anything comes up, and that's the last that I've heard from them.

    Even in the cases where I've found the owner and returned the gun!
     
  13. countertop

    countertop Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,640
    Location:
    At the diner
    Thats what i would do. I'd call in the serial number and see if its stolen, etc.

    If not, I'd consider it lost and/or abandoned. Maybe hold it and put up a notice that a gun was found and if someone lost it (and can describe it) to have them call your friend.

    Otherwise, finders keepers
     
  14. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,562
    Location:
    Central Indiana.
    You really have got to wonder why someone would abandon what sounds like a halfway decent gun. If you found it in the woods or in a trash can or at the bottom of a lake, you really ought to wonder.

    Anyway, given the circumstances as I understand them, somebody didn't want the thing. Why not? About the only reason that I can think of that would mean no trouble for you would be a widow who didn't want her husband's legal gun, had nobody she cared/trusted to give it to, and maybe trusted/liked her neighbors enough that she hoped one of them would be responsible owners, appreciate it, and give it a good home. How likely would that be?
     
  15. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Messages:
    8,931
    Location:
    Californicated Colorado
    Yes. When you pawn a gun, the pawn shop would obviously want to know if the gun is stolen or not. Call a pawn shop and ask them if they'll run the serial number of the gun. They don't need to be told the whole story of finding the gun because chances are they've been asked to do this when private individuals buy guns through FTF transactions.

    That is what I would do. I think it is silly to be afraid of a gun you/your friend honestly found abandoned. Those who'd run full sprint to the nearest LEO and shed the new found pistol, seem fearfully reactionary to me. There's no reason not to try and track the serial number to clear the gun because then it just might become your own. This site contains dozens upon dozens of posts by members who've done exactly that after finding a gun. People lose, forget about, and arbitrarily abandon guns. It happens. If it turns out to be stolen, get rid of it. If it is too cheap to keep, sell it. Just don't get rid of it because your too afraid to do a little research.
     
  16. hvengel

    hvengel Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    200
    Also in most states a gun is like any other property. If you find something of value (think a bag full of money for example) what are you required to do? In most states you turn the found property over to the police and they check to see if it matches anything reported stolen or lost. They keep it for a specified time (on the order of 90 days) to see if anyone claims it and if not you become the rightful owner of the found property. At least this is what most states require for property found in a public location. But the gun in this case was not found in a public location since it was found place only accessible to people living in the apartment complex. I am not sure if this changes what needs to be done.
     
  17. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Messages:
    5,061
    Location:
    S.E. Minnesota
    Ownership of gun should revert to the apartment complex owner, once the police establish that the gun is not stolen and it truly is abandoned. I suspect once the police have it, they will destroy it (if it was not stolen) rather than give it back.
     
  18. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Messages:
    8,931
    Location:
    Californicated Colorado
    Why have the police research it if someone else could do that without taking it out of your possession?
     
  19. Loanshark

    Loanshark Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    172
    Location:
    O-H-I-O
    I would have a FFL run the ser#. If it comes back clean I would run an add in the paper. If no one steps forward I might do some homework on the legalities. Or I might just keep records of my efforts and the gun. I'd probably sell it at the gunshow, and put the cash towards something else.

    This is just what I might do. It could get you in trouble, so don't blame me if you do the same and get pinched.
     
  20. Loanshark

    Loanshark Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    172
    Location:
    O-H-I-O
    If the ser# comes back stolen, or the like. Off to the popo it goes!
     
  21. RoostRider

    RoostRider Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Thanks for all the advice guys..... I agree that the police probably don't have a 'routine' for this that will allow him to keep the gun.... I had a pretty hard time recovering my own gun, registered to me, that they took from me after a legal self defense shooting... even after the DA told them to give it back to me....

    Let me make this clear... If I had good reason to believe the gun was stolen or used in a crime and dumped I would advise him to give it to the police (perhaps anonymously).....

    The problem here is that he has very little reason to believe something like that.... It seems highly unlikely that a gun used in a crime would be placed into a case with 2 magazines and left under a pile of leftover tenant junk in a security apartment building...

    If he found it in a river or something.... well, yeah, that might seem likely.... but I would guess that the gun was left by a tenant who didn't want it, just like all the other junk in the pile... He was employed to 'throw away' that pile of junk, and told that he could keep anything if he wanted it.... if it were something other than a gun I would question why someone would just dump something valuable like that, but there are plenty of people who just wouldn't know what to safely do with a gun or what it was worth and be unwilling to 'ask around' about it...

    Given his building (inner city, mostly single middle class 20-30 year olds), the conditions, and the gun in question, my guess would be a girl whos dad/boyfriend gave her a gun when she moved into 'the big city'.... she never used it, never understood why she should have it, perhaps a little scared of it, kept it in her storage locker, went to move and just decided to dump it....

    He has no desire to give the police a gun that could rightfully be kept, and I wouldn't want to advise that.... He is not into guns at all, but he's not the kind of fool to give away valuables either...

    I think I will look around on his behalf and see if I can have the gun checked out without bringing it in.... keeping records of the search for the rightful owner is a great idea....

    I understand that this is just net advice, but I think it was all good advice, even though some of it contradicts others take on it....

    Glad I asked you guys.....

    Any other ideas are welcome (some great ones here).... and if anyone could quote me statute pertaining to this that would be great....
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2009
  22. OurSafeHome.net

    OurSafeHome.net Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    220
    Location:
    National Training Vendor
    Do tell!
     
  23. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    7,384
    Location:
    Alabama
    If you turn it over to LE,consider it theirs and move on. The chances of you ever getting it back ain't in your favor.
     
  24. RoostRider

    RoostRider Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    The short of it- My house was being robbed and I used this gun to defend myself and my family from the intruder. The police took the gun as evidence and logged it as so. The burglar was caught after fleeing. I testified against him in court. He sentenced to prison for 14(?) years (was on parole for manslaughter at the time.... reduced from murder in plea)....

    I spent months writing letters and getting 'permission' to get my gun back after the trial (no more need for 'evidence').... including talking to just about every cop on the force, permission from the chief of police and the DA in writing to return the weapon... it was finally returned to me after being 'tested', 'cataloged', 'printed' and all the ammo kept by the police.... (of course I still had to go get it from the department and it was covered in finger print dust)

    I was told by a long time vetran of the force, who happened to be the lead detective in the case, that he had never seen a gun returned in all his time on the force (St Paul PD)... but even he told them to give me back my gun..... in fact, I think he was likely the one that 'got it done' so to speak...

    So yeah, I seriously doubt they would return this gun, no matter what.... at least without a LOT of hassle...
     
  25. pharmer

    pharmer Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2004
    Messages:
    800
    Location:
    Santo las Nubes, Fl
    In the projects, everyone knows where the "public" gun is. Take it and use it, put it back. Could be what he found. Joe
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page