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Hypothetical: Finding a gun?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by anapex, Aug 17, 2004.

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  1. anapex

    anapex Member

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    Ok so I'm sitting here at work not thinking about work but thinking about the flower bed I get to dig up over the weekend and then my brain mixed the flower bed and guns together. So I was thinking what would I do if when digging I dug up a gun. If it was sans serial number I would probably turn it in but if it still had the serial and was in somewhat decent shape and could be cleaned up... well it'd be a hard choice. What would everyone here do? What kind of laws might there be to govern this kind of situation? For discussion sake let's make it finding a gun anywhere (IE: along side the road, in a wall in your house, on your property somehow but not in a house).
     
  2. SLCDave

    SLCDave Member

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    I'd say "Cool! New gun!"
     
  3. Jack T.

    Jack T. Member

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  4. 5ptdeerhunter

    5ptdeerhunter Member

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    When my parents first bought a house together back in like 1982 or so. My dad found a handgun in the attic. And since I wasn't born yet his interest in guns wasn't all the much so he took it to the police department and turned it in. And that was it. But if I found a gun I would like to keep it.
     
  5. Daniel964

    Daniel964 Member

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    I'd say "Cool! New gun!" My thoughts exactly ! !
     
  6. gbelleh

    gbelleh Member

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    Is there some way to find out if it's stolen without asking the cops?

    It depends...if I found it in my attic, I'd probably keep it. If it was along the side of the road, I'd be more likely to turn it in.
     
  7. Average Guy

    Average Guy Member

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    I believe I would make some discreet inquiries first, just to be sure it's not the weapon that will break some big case wide open.

    I keep asking my wife, a police officer, when she's going to start bringing home some fun toys for me. :evil:
     
  8. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I'd feel nervous about it unless I could be sure it hadn't been stolen.
     
  9. Tharg

    Tharg Member

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    know a guy who found 3 or 4 guns when fishing (talk about a catch!) the one he kept was a colt single action in 45LC - his brother kept the others. So far as i know - it doesn't have serial or anything on it.. in fact it looks pretty dang rough (it was at the bottom of a river) - but shoots just fine.

    I don't see him turning it in....

    heh

    J/Tharg!
     
  10. jdkelly

    jdkelly Member

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    Found gun, no thanks.

    Yea that's what I'd want, a gun with no known history.

    Respectfully,

    jdkelly
     
  11. jcrb

    jcrb Member

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    What percent of working guns that you could find in the woods, or buried your flower bed do you think were lost and what percent were disposed of?

    I wouldn't want to discover years later after some minor problem that resulted in the police having a look through my guns that I was in possession of a murder weapon.

    Only problem is if you turn it in and it is hot you better hope that the local police like you because its a sure bet you will be number one suspect unless its immediately obvious you couldn't be.
     
  12. Joey2

    Joey2 member

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    I have found a hand gun, an Ivers Johnson .32 "owls head", I kept it and had it for about 10 yrs. I came from a small town so I made inquires and nobody knew anything about it so I kept it.

    Moving around with the USMC somewhere along the line it got stolen.

    Back to the subject, yes I would keep a gun if I found it today in a heart beat. That is provided I did not know who the owner was.'
     
  13. WhiteKnight

    WhiteKnight Member

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    That doesn't make one bit of sense. :uhoh:

    Here officer, I've got a gun I used to kill... *cough* I meant I found in my flowerbed.

    :rolleyes:

    Would simply turning in the gun not qualify you as "immediately obviously" not the murderer? Then again, I have seen some mindboggling criminals on TV's Dumbest Criminals show.
     
  14. Combat-wombat

    Combat-wombat Member

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    Y'know, It's really weird you should bring that up, because I was just thinking about that- What I'd probably do, because there is a somewhat high likelyhood of it being a crime weapon, is take it, clean it, make sure it's operational, etc... And then take it to the woods or somewhere remote, and waterproof/bury it. Throughout all this, I'd be sure to keep my fingerprints off of the gun. Hey- I wouldn't want to just give up a gun, but I don't want to have it in my posession and have it turn out to be some criminal's disposed weapon.
     
  15. whm1974

    whm1974 Member

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    Guns used in crimes have been turn in during gun buyback or dropped in those boxes some citys have so people can turn in guns.

    -Bill
     
  16. RJ357

    RJ357 Member

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    It is not unusual for perpertrators to report the crime, find a body, etc. There must be many naive criminals that believe this will draw suspision away from themselves.
     
  17. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    I'd take it to the next "no questions asked" gun buy back.
     
  18. WilderBill

    WilderBill Member

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    Yep, I've wondered about that, too.
    Part of me would want to just keep it. Reasoning being that someone didn't want it bad enough to hang onto it, I found it, I'll take better care of it.
    Then again, if it were stolen and the thief decided to just dump it and not risk being caught with it in his posession, I think I'd like to see it go back to it's owner.
    On the other (third hand?), if it were used in a crime, I think I'd rather not have it and try to explain that, yes, it does have my prints all over it, but I just found it...really.
    I suppose a lot would have to do with what it was, where it was, how did I feel about it that day, etc.
     
  19. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...Is there some way to find out if it's stolen without asking the cops?..." Nope. If you find a stolen firearm and keep it, you are guilty of being in possession of stolen property. If it was used in a crime, you could be charged with that crime. It also means that its legal owner won't get his property back.
    "...And then take it to the woods or somewhere remote, and waterproof/bury it..." Hence becoming a partner is whatever crime in which it may have been used. Makes you as guilty as the original criminal.
    If you find any firearm, leave it where it is and call the cops. You might just be helping them solve the murder of some kid.
    You really think losing ALL your firearms and your right to more is a good idea?
     
  20. oldfart

    oldfart Member

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    "You really think losing ALL your firearms and your right to more is a good idea?"

    It'll happen anyway, sooner or later. Having one or more safely stored away might be very good life insurance. I know people who have large collections of guns, old and new. Almost all of the guns are documented but there are always a few that have no paper trail. If I suggest the owner might be a bit paranoid he just shrugs his shoulders and looks away...
     
  21. jsalcedo

    jsalcedo Member

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    I found an old shotgun, cleaned it up and kept it.

    I don't think my 1921 break open .410 was used in any crimes.

    No serial number (too old) no rifling (smoothbore) It's probably safe.
     
  22. Red Dragon

    Red Dragon Member

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    Depending on where I found the weapon, and what kind it was, I would probably copy the serial number down and bring the serial number in to the police to have them run it. There are some circumstances though (i.e. antiques, curio and relic) type of weapons that, when found, it becomes fairly obvious that they aren't stolen or crime weapons, unless the crime was 100 years ago and if thats the case, it doesn't really matter. Cold cases usually don't go back that far. I remember when a friend of mine was helping one of his co-workers fix up an old house and when they busted down a wall, they came across an old revolver that was used by the "regulators" who were hired to come in and control the copper miners when they went on strike in the early 20th century. He cleaned it up and gave it to my brother's father-in-law, a guy who happens to be a police officer and also an avid gun collector. The revolver is now part of that collection. I have heard of the most weapons that are found being war trophies, so I would go through some hoops first, but probably keep the weapon.
     
  23. Andrew Rothman

    Andrew Rothman Member

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    Could you live with yourself if you kept it, it turned out to be the key to solving a crime?

    I am sure as heck not a lawyer, but it turns out that "Finders, keepers" is not entirely different from common law.

    http://www.artcellarexchange.com/artlaw6.html

    Generally, if the true owner cannot be found or is no longer alive, you get to keep what you find. If it's stolen, or evidence in a criminal case, obviously it must be returned to its owner or to the police, respectively.

    If you find it on your own property, unless it's stolen-or-evidence, you own it, period. If you find it on another's property, it's his, subject to the same restrictions.

    I have no doubt that the local cops will feel otherwise.

    While you should be able to tell them you found it, let them check it out, and then keep it if it's not a stolen or crime gun, I'm guessing they'd feel a duty to dispose of it on their own terms.

    I guess if I found a gun, I'd call my lawyer, and let her advise me on notifying the police and on protecting my finders-keepers rights.
     
  24. O.F.Fascist

    O.F.Fascist Member

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    If you find a gun wouldnt it work just like if you found anything else.

    Turn it in to the lost and found at the police and if no one asks for it in two weeks or so then you get to keep it?
     
  25. Ian

    Ian Member

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    It'd depend on the details of the situation. If I found a Lorcin in a bush, then yeah - I'd probably drop it off at the local cop shop. But if I found a .45 Luger in a trunk in the attic, it would go straight to my safe-deposit box. :)

    A lady came into the gun shop I worked in last summer with a rusty of thing and an interesting story. She was out hiking, tripped, and fell into a small creek. Her hand came down on something clearly not a rock, and upon inspection is was an old, very rusty revolver. She brought it in, and learned that it was an original Model 3 Schofield. Too far gone to be usable without a LOT of work, so it now resides in a display case.
     
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