PDA

View Full Version : Question about reporting a gun stolen


boxbro
11-02-2009, 3:09 PM
Just a hypothetical question.

If a gun was stolen from someone and they never reported it because they didn't know the serial number, could they be charged with a crime for not reporting it stolen ?

blackrifle242
11-02-2009, 3:55 PM
If you tell the LEO doing the report that you don't have the serial # than all they have to do is do a search of your name and they can bring up the firearms that are licensed to you. Now a long gun would be a different story. I would say that you could go to the FFL that sold you it or where you did your PPt and they should have it on file. If you don't report it stolen and a crime is committed with it, you might have allot of explaining to do. Be smart and have pictures with the serial #'s for every gun you own. Oh by the way I know from experience.

dantodd
11-02-2009, 4:12 PM
Just a hypothetical question.

If a gun was stolen from someone and they never reported it because they didn't know the serial number, could they be charged with a crime for not reporting it stolen ?

I am not aware of any CA law that requires the reporting of a stolen weapon. I believe there are ordinances in LA and SF.

From LCAV: http://www.lcav.org/content/reporting_lost_stolen.pdf

bwiese
11-02-2009, 4:18 PM
It's probably a good idea to report a lost/stolen weapon, but should not be made mandatory in law.

If you don't know the serial# you can report "best efforts" on what you recall the gun is (make, model etc.)

If it was a gun DROSed to you, there's a record that could be fetched - unless it was from a pre-1991 gun you'd acquired, etc.

empty
11-02-2009, 4:36 PM
Seems that unless you are in LA or SF, there is no requirement to report.

However, if you report, you can receive an exception to the one handgun purchase in 30 days rule.

BillCA
11-02-2009, 4:47 PM
You report the gun stolen, giving the make, model and other descriptions of the gun. Generally, police won't be able to enter it into the NCIC database (National) without the serial nr. But if one is recovered that matches your description, someone in the burglary division might be able to retreive your information and ask you to ID the gun. Don't overlook finding the original box or manual (if you wrote the s/n on it) as a source of the information.

In those places where reporting is mandatory, you have reported it stolen. The police will give you a card with a case-number on it. File this in your file-drawer for future needs. If police later come to your door, asking if you own a certain firearm, you can tell them it was stolen and should be on the report -- here's the case number.

California keeps a list of handguns you own, but not long guns. If necessary, you need the approximate date (Mo/Yr) you bought it to get the dealer to find the serial number in his bound book.

leitung
11-02-2009, 5:15 PM
Note if you owned/bought a gun prior to REGISTRATON (not licencing as some indicated) it would not be in the AFS system. Always a good idea to write down your serials and keep them in a safe place seperate from your guns.

Shotgun Man
11-02-2009, 5:25 PM
I am not aware of any CA law that requires the reporting of a stolen weapon. I believe there are ordinances in LA and SF.

From LCAV: http://www.lcav.org/content/reporting_lost_stolen.pdf

I question the constitutional validity of such statutes under the fifth amendment.

From this Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution) : In Haynes_v._United_States (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haynes_v._United_States), 390 U.S. 85 (1968) the Supreme Court ruled that, since convicted felons are prohibited from owning firearms, requiring felons to register any firearms they owned constituted a form of self-incrimination and was therefore unconstitutional.

In Los Angeles, the statute could be construed to require reporting within 48 hours of when you reasonably should have discovered the theft. Maybe you discovered the theft 96 hours after they were in fact stolen. Some prosecutor could say you weren't reasonablely diligent on checking on your guns.

Any one being prosecuted could claim they feared prosecution for putative irregularities concerning the gun-- especially here in CA where gun ownership is fraught with perils at every turn.

If you were being prosecuted for not reporting an OLL with a BB, you could claim you didn't report for fear of incriminating yourself. You could state how DOJ refuses to endorse the BB as legal, or you could state you were concerned that your compensator would be judged to be a flash hider.



SEC. 55.12. DUTY TO REPORT THEFT OR LOSS OF FIREARMS; EXEMPTIONS.
(Added by Ord. No. 178,010, Eff. 12/3/06.)
A. Any person who owns or possesses a firearm (as defined in Penal Code Section 12001(b) or as amended) shall report the theft or loss of the firearm to the Los Angeles Police Department within 48 hours of becoming aware of the theft or loss, whenever: (1) the person resides in the City of Los Angeles; or (2) the theft or loss of the firearm occurs in the City of Los Angeles.
B. Any person who has experienced the theft or loss of a firearm within the five years prior to the effective date of this ordinance without the firearm having been recovered during that period, and who otherwise meets the reporting requirements in Section A. above, is required to report the loss or theft of the firearm to the Los Angeles Police Department within 60 days of the effective date of this ordinance.
C. Any person who fails to report the theft or loss of a firearm as required in Subsections A. or B., when the person knew or should have known of the theft or loss, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
D. Persons licensed to sell or manufacture firearms pursuant to Penal Code Sections 12071 or 12086 are exempt from this section, if the firearm lost or stolen was business merchandise, was lost or stolen from their firearm-related business, or was in their possession pursuant to Penal Code Section 12082.
E. If any provision of this ordinance is found to be unconstitutional or otherwise invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, that invalidity shall not affect the remaining provisions, which can be implemented without the invalid provisions, and to this end, the provisions of this ordinance are declared to be severable.

boxbro
11-02-2009, 6:10 PM
Thanks for the replies guys.

OlderThanDirt
11-02-2009, 8:46 PM
Many smaller cities (e.g., Oxnard, Thousand Oaks) have adopted ordinances requiring that lost or stolen handguns be reported within a few days of when the owner should have reasonably known the gun was missing. Reporting the gun missing probably beats a scenario where the gun is used in a crime, the police recover the gun, and then come looking for you.

I don't like the ordinance, but I wouldn't like my door being kicked in at 0400 and being dragged from the house buck naked. Its not nice to scare the neighbors.

KylaGWolf
11-03-2009, 9:56 AM
First off why would you NOT want to report if one of your guns are stolen.

If your gun is stolen then used in a crime the police could be coming to YOU for the crime. Second if you have household or renters insurance you need to file a report to file a claim to get payment.

MasterYong
11-03-2009, 11:16 AM
First off why would you NOT want to report if one of your guns are stolen.

If your gun is stolen then used in a crime the police could be coming to YOU for the crime. Second if you have household or renters insurance you need to file a report to file a claim to get payment.

I was thinking the same thing. In what situations would it be beneficial to NOT report is stolen? I can't think of any...:confused:

OlderThanDirt
11-03-2009, 11:28 AM
I was thinking the same thing. In what situations would it be beneficial to NOT report is stolen? I can't think of any...:confused:

I can think of a lot of reasons, all of which trace back to ownership issues. A lot of people just don't get it when it comes to the casual transfer of firearms. Not that they have any sinister intentions, but that they were lazy and are not the owner of record, or not in possession of a firearm where they are the owner of record. Then throw in estate issues where a deceased person's firearms end up all over the place unless a knowledgeable executor steps in and properly transfers the firearms. Add situations where old farts have firearms hidden and nobody can find them (including the old fart with dementia). Was the firearm stolen? Who could reasonably know.

MasterYong
11-03-2009, 11:39 AM
I can think of a lot of reasons, all of which trace back to ownership issues. A lot of people just don't get it when it comes to the casual transfer of firearms. Not that they have any sinister intentions, but that they were lazy and are not the owner of record, or not in possession of a firearm where they are the owner of record. Then throw in estate issues where a deceased person's firearms end up all over the place unless a knowledgeable executor steps in and properly transfers the firearms. Add situations where old farts have firearms hidden and nobody can find them (including the old fart with dementia). Was the firearm stolen? Who could reasonably know.

What are you talking about???

This question was in the context of the OP, which would be IF a gun WERE stolen why NOT report it?

What does that have to do with not even knowing if it were stolen? If you forgot where you parked your car would you report it stolen? All your other examples would indicate that the gun had been illegally acquired... in which case it can't be stolen. Stolen = taking something that's not yours. If you acquired it illegally it's not yours.

OlderThanDirt
11-03-2009, 12:03 PM
What are you talking about???

This question was in the context of the OP, which would be IF a gun WERE stolen why NOT report it?

What does that have to do with not even knowing if it were stolen? If you forgot where you parked your car would you report it stolen? All your other examples would indicate that the gun had been illegally acquired... in which case it can't be stolen. Stolen = taking something that's not yours. If you acquired it illegally it's not yours.

A lot of people "own" guns that may not be in the DOJ system. This includes older firearms, firearms that technically were acquired illegally through an estate or gift, and cases where DOJ cannot provide a serial number since they either have no record of the firearm, or it is not linked to your name. Therefore, a person is left with a situation where they will have a hard time reporting a firearm as lost or stolen. For example, your father gave you a firearm, nobody did an interfamilial transfer, you report it as stolen but don't know the serial number, the police figure out you never owned that particular type of firearm; you have essentially turned yourself in for an illegal transfer.

As for lost firearms, you look in the shoe box where you keep your glock; its not there; you didn't loan it to anyone; you no longer have the DROS; its most likely stolen. But when? Most likely longer than the required reporting period. You are a complete bonehead on several fronts. Do you call the police to report your missing/stolen firearm? Not all thefts are obvious, especially if you have a high volume household and don't secure firearms.

I hate to say it, but there are a lot of people that are completely clueless regarding firearm laws and their basic responsibilities. Most people that post here know better, but I suspect the majority of gun owners do not.

MasterYong
11-03-2009, 12:22 PM
A lot of people "own" guns that may not be in the DOJ system. This includes older firearms, firearms that technically were acquired illegally through an estate or gift, and cases where DOJ cannot provide a serial number since they either have no record of the firearm, or it is not linked to your name. Therefore, a person is left with a situation where they will have a hard time reporting a firearm as lost or stolen. For example, your father gave you a firearm, nobody did an interfamilial transfer, you report it as stolen but don't know the serial number, the police figure out you never owned that particular type of firearm; you have essentially turned yourself in for an illegal transfer.

As for lost firearms, you look in the shoe box where you keep your glock; its not there; you didn't loan it to anyone; you no longer have the DROS; its most likely stolen. But when? Most likely longer than the required reporting period. You are a complete bonehead on several fronts. Do you call the police to report your missing/stolen firearm? Not all thefts are obvious, especially if you have a high volume household and don't secure firearms.

I hate to say it, but there are a lot of people that are completely clueless regarding firearm laws and their basic responsibilities. Most people that post here know better, but I suspect the majority of gun owners do not.

You're still all over the place. We're not talking about someone that owned a gun before registration. We're talking about WHY someone wouldn't want to report a gun stolen. I don't see the reasons you just listed as being reasonable. If you had it before registration, why would you not want to report it stolen? If it were a gift form a family member, and you didn't know that you had to do a IF transfer, then why would you mind reporting it stolen (since you didn't know you acquired it in an inappropriate way)?

"Most likely longer than the required reporting period?"

There is no required reporting period.

OlderThanDirt
11-03-2009, 2:43 PM
You're still all over the place. We're not talking about someone that owned a gun before registration. We're talking about WHY someone wouldn't want to report a gun stolen. I don't see the reasons you just listed as being reasonable. If you had it before registration, why would you not want to report it stolen? If it were a gift form a family member, and you didn't know that you had to do a IF transfer, then why would you mind reporting it stolen (since you didn't know you acquired it in an inappropriate way)?

"Most likely longer than the required reporting period?"

There is no required reporting period.

Whatever. Just giving examples of why some people would not want to report lost or stolen firearms.

There is no required reporting period.

Where have you been sonny? FYI, many cities in California REQUIRE lost (i.e., missing, stolen, can't find) firearms to be reported to police within 72 hours of discovering the weapon missing. I don't have a comprehensive list of California cities with the reporting requirement, but in Ventura County it includes Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks.

So, as to why someone would not want to report a stolen gun, again, any irregularity in who DOJ thinks is the lawful owner could cause the reporting "owner" some real problems.

If it were a gift form a family member, and you didn't know that you had to do a IF transfer, then why would you mind reporting it stolen (since you didn't know you acquired it in an inappropriate way)?

This is a classic. Stupidity is not a very good excuse in court. What is it that they say about "ignorance of the law" and "no excuse"? Excuses are like arseholes; everyone has one. Except in this case, an illegal handgun transfer could lead to your arsehole being exercised in jail.

MasterYong
11-03-2009, 3:01 PM
This is a classic. Stupidity is not a very good excuse in court. What is it that they say about "ignorance of the law" and "no excuse"? Excuses are like arseholes; everyone has one. Except in this case, an illegal handgun transfer could lead to your arsehole being exercised in jail.

That was my point. If you didn't know you had committed a crime, then you wouldn't have a problem admitting that you'd committed a crime, seeing how you had no idea you'd done it.

I've been incredibly clear in my posts, and you're still all over the place. Good day to you.

OlderThanDirt
11-03-2009, 3:29 PM
That was my point. If you didn't know you had committed a crime, then you wouldn't have a problem admitting that you'd committed a crime, seeing how you had no idea you'd done it.

I've been incredibly clear in my posts, and you're still all over the place. Good day to you.

Is being all over the place a crime? I don't think it is where I live, but I'm not sure with all the squirrelly rules on Calguns.net.

Just a hypothetical question.

If a gun was stolen from someone and they never reported it because they didn't know the serial number, could they be charged with a crime for not reporting it stolen ?

Getting back to the OP's question, not reporting a stolen firearm is a crime in certain parts of the state. Not knowing the serial number is not a valid excuse. At risk of being all over the place, again, there are a lot of scenarios where people would not want to report a stolen firearm. However, I can't think of any reasons that would involve a gun that is legally owned. However, I would not enjoy reporting a stolen firearm where I don't know the serial number. There are plenty of ways in life to feel stupid without being too lazy to write down a few numbers for future reference.

MasterYong
11-03-2009, 4:21 PM
Getting back to the OP's question, not reporting a stolen firearm is a crime in certain parts of the state. Not knowing the serial number is not a valid excuse. At risk of being all over the place, again, there are a lot of scenarios where people would not want to report a stolen firearm. However, I can't think of any reasons that would involve a gun that is legally owned. However, I would not enjoy reporting a stolen firearm where I don't know the serial number. There are plenty of ways in life to feel stupid without being too lazy to write down a few numbers for future reference.

LOL but based on your assertions one doesn't need to worry about any of those city regs either! See, it's apparently very easy to have no idea someone came into your house and stole a Glock out of a shoebox! So, if you didn't know when it was stolen... how would the reporting requirements matter?

Still all over the place.

Wait... didn't i wish you good day???

Shotgun Man
11-03-2009, 4:39 PM
LOL but based on your assertions one doesn't need to worry about any of those city regs either! See, it's apparently very easy to have no idea someone came into your house and stole a Glock out of a shoebox! So, if you didn't know when it was stolen... how would the reporting requirements matter?

Still all over the place.

Wait... didn't i wish you good day???

The law in law in LA is so poorly written it seems to impose criminal liability for not reporting when you lack actual knowledge of the theft but should have known they were stolen.

C. Any person who fails to report the theft or loss of a firearm as required in Subsections A. or B., when the person knew or should have known of the theft or loss, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

mmartin
11-03-2009, 5:52 PM
If you didn't know you had committed a crime, then you wouldn't have a problem admitting that you'd committed a crime, seeing how you had no idea you'd done it.
I've been incredibly clear in my posts,...

except, of course, I might not have known I was commiting a crime when I committed it:), but now that I hang out on calguns, I might have learned that I did:eek:. and since someone else has now committed a crime by stealing the gun I had:chris:, I might not want to report it lest I open the can of worms from the crime I would now know I unknowingly commited.:cool:
... just in case that wasn't clear...;)
megan

OlderThanDirt
11-03-2009, 6:12 PM
LOL but based on your assertions one doesn't need to worry about any of those city regs either! See, it's apparently very easy to have no idea someone came into your house and stole a Glock out of a shoebox! So, if you didn't know when it was stolen... how would the reporting requirements matter?

Still all over the place.

Wait... didn't i wish you good day???

Well, the bottom line is that these reporting laws are a joke. As I recall, the ordinances state something about when you should have reasonably known the firearm was missing. So, if I claim I never checked that shoe box, I'm free and clear. It just might be a little uncomfortable if LE discovers my stolen firearm before I report it missing.

You did mention something about a good day. A cold beer just walked into my office (attached to a cute blond), so my day just got better.

OlderThanDirt
11-03-2009, 6:15 PM
except, of course, I might not have known I was commiting a crime when I committed it:), but now that I hang out on calguns, I might have learned that I did:eek:. and since someone else has now committed a crime by stealing the gun I had:chris:, I might not want to report it lest I open the can of worms from the crime I would now know I unknowingly commited.:cool:
... just in case that wasn't clear...;)
megan

That's it exactly, except you need to make sure you correctly report the can of worms, and how you didn't really commit a crime that you may have committed because you were committed to following the law, and therefore, could not have unknowingly committed the violation based on your lack of knowledge of committing any crime.

mmartin
11-03-2009, 6:50 PM
That's it exactly, except you need to make sure you correctly report the can of worms, and how you didn't really commit a crime that you may have committed because you were committed to following the law, and therefore, could not have unknowingly committed the violation based on your lack of knowledge of committing any crime.

HA!
I knew you'd get it.
see how clear that all is?:TFH:
because, you know, I've been perfectly clear about this all along.

megan

KylaGWolf
11-03-2009, 7:58 PM
Older Than Dirt I can think of a few ways of fixing your scenarios. If someone had a gun that was given to them from an estate. Do the paperwork even if later than you should have fixes that problem. As for the old guy that may have had dementia unfortunately there is no fix for that one....been there with my grandma and a great aunt. As for not knowing the SN easy fix for that one write down the SN for every gun you have and lock it away in safety deposit box or safe if you have one at home. That was IF you ever run in to a situation where you need that SN you have it.

CSACANNONEER
11-03-2009, 8:25 PM
Just to make it clear, some guns don't have serial numbers! Many long guns made prior to 1968 (mostly lower end .22lrs and shotguns) never had SNs. Also, home builds are not required to have SNs either.