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View Full Version : Private party gun sale gone bad - what should I do?


dukka
05-17-2005, 7:53 PM
Hello. I made a critical mistake when buying a gun last year. The person was a friend and needed the money, and I paid the person and took immediate possession of the firearm as collateral with the understanding that we'd do the official transfer "in the next few days". It's been about 10 months. This person has since ignored my repeated requests to complete the transfer. I have continued to send polite emails and leave phone messages but he does not respond.

I'm not quite sure what to do. I do NOT want to be in illegal posession any longer. I figure there are a few things I could do:

1 - Surrender the firearm (to the local Sheriff?) and sue my friend for the amount that I paid him. I'm thinking that this will probably screw both of us equally (as I might get fined or worse for illegal possession) and I wish to do this only as a last resort.

2 - Pretend like I purchased the gun in Texas and file with the DoJ directly. As close to the truth as this is (my friend did buy the gun in Texas, actually) I don't like lying in any context, but especially not to the DoJ.

3 - Destroy the gun and eat the cost (a grand...ouch).

4 - I have no idea and would like suggestions...

What should I do? Apart from travelling back in time and not being a trusting idiot. Your help is appreciated.

dukka

GTKrockeTT
05-17-2005, 8:08 PM
is he still your friend? if you've exhausted every possible avenue with him, then i'd give the DOJ an anonymous call asking for proper protocol in this matter.

just4fun63
05-17-2005, 8:28 PM
it would be interesting to see what they say. I have been asked to loan with a firearm as collateral before also

snwnme@realguns.com
05-17-2005, 9:30 PM
You're discussing what IMHO amounts to an illegal firearm transaction in a public forum.

I would get a lawyer involved if it were me.

LongBch_SigP226
05-17-2005, 10:20 PM
Considering seriousness of this situation, you shouldn't even be asking stuff like this on public forum. You have 2 choices, consult a lawyer or call CA DoJ.

ivanimal
05-17-2005, 11:37 PM
Take it to a FFL an tell them the story. I believe you can tranfer it to your name once you and the gun have cleared. What do you do when you want to put an older gun into your name. A gun from a deceased relative....I am no lawyer but I would try that first.

ubreal
05-18-2005, 8:47 AM
Your friend is very stupid because if you kill someone or the gun is stolen and use in a crime and they find the gun in your friend name he is responsible for that gun and could be responsible for that crime. You should let your friend know about this.

Technical Ted
05-18-2005, 9:39 AM
Originally posted by ubreal:
Your friend is very stupid because if you kill someone or the gun is stolen and use in a crime and they find the gun in your friend name he is responsible for that gun and could be responsible for that crime. You should let your friend know about this.
This is only if the handgun is registered in the "friends" name. There could be a reason the guy became scarce once he had the money in hand....

trempel_ry@yahoo.com
05-18-2005, 9:53 AM
Originally posted by dukka:
This person has since ignored my repeated requests to complete the transfer. I have continued to send polite emails and leave phone messages but he does not respond.
Why is it so much trouble for your "friend" to go and fill out the transfer paperwork? It will only take some of his time. Is it possible that the gun is stolen?

Regardless, you taking posession of the pistol means that both of you already commited a crime. I would suggest that you STFU about it first. Aftet that you have several choices that minimize the chance of you paying fines or seeing the inside of your county jail.
1. Contact your "friend" and request that both of you go to a FFL and do a legal transfer, pay fees, 10 day waiting period.
2. If he still doesn't want to do the transfer, then tell him that you wish to return his property and get your money back.
3. If he tells you to piss off, then you can call the DOJ or your local LE agency and ask how you can get rid of somebody else's gun that's been left in your house.

Calif Hunter
05-18-2005, 4:15 PM
Hypothetically speaking, #2 sounds good.

dukka
05-18-2005, 5:11 PM
Thanks all for the suggestions. Calling the DoJ seemed like a good idea. I just got off the phone with Lisa at the DoJ (http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/phonenum.htm) and she was very helpful. She explained that while I was technically in violation of the law for the last year or so, its not a huge deal and that I can simply fill out a Firearm Ownership Record (http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/pdf/volreg.pdf) and send in the $19 and everything will be on the up and up. She said to make sure to go through the DROS process however if I decide to sell.

I'll follow up with how it goes.

dukka
05-18-2005, 5:20 PM
Note that this assumes that Lisa was telling the truth and that filing this form will not result in sunglass wearing police at my door wanting to "ask a few questions."

BTW - while I appreciate the concern over my revealing a problem in this forum, but getting the truth out in order to get advice was the right thing to do. Better to have kept it offline, but I don't really know any other gun owners. The risk is certianly (still) there that something bad will happen to me, but I somehow suspect that the DoJ has better things to do than hound someone who's biggest concern is how best to follow the law. (God help me if I'm wrong!)

I will certainly follow up so that this incident, heaven forbid, can be used as a cautionary tale to other law-abiding citizens, "If you err don't try to set it right, just shut up about it." Hopefully that won't be necessary!

GTKrockeTT
05-18-2005, 5:28 PM
glad to hear, hope it works out for you.

colossians323
05-19-2005, 7:54 PM
Why are gun owners a bunch of paranoid freaks?
Why have we let our rights go so far that we are constantly looking over our shoulders for the black helicopters?
Can yoyu imagine the outrage of a ten day waiting period on speaking in public, or better yet, backround check for you to speak with a stranger.
Men, and women, don't be afraid, have courage(i'm beginning to sound like Dan Rather)Do you think our founding fathers were seeking legal council to seperate from England.
Buck up, it will take some brave men to realize our freedoms do not, or are not given or taken by our Government.
Please, dont be such wussies,

Turbinator
05-19-2005, 8:13 PM
I think it's because too many gun owners are used as examples by law enforcement, or lawmakers. And once a gun owner is on trial, no one comes forward to lend a hand..

Gotta be paranoid, else we're made up as examples.

Turby

snwnme@realguns.com
05-19-2005, 9:57 PM
Keeping fellow gun owners out of trouble by helping them follow the law is not being paranoid.

It's being law abiding.

Turbinator
05-20-2005, 11:18 AM
No, but erring on the side of EXTREME caution AND always thinking that we're on the short end of the stick, IMHO, is being paranoid.

I don't talk to a lot of people about guns, not even with some of my friends. It's because in this day and age, people just get all riled up about guns and violence. Why risk making yourself a target of burglars and anti-gunners, I say?

Turby

trempel_ry@yahoo.com
05-20-2005, 11:52 AM
Why are gun owners a bunch of paranoid freaks?
Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not after you. http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
People have gone to jail, paid fines, and lost their rights to own firearms because of stupid, small infractions.

bwiese
05-20-2005, 12:06 PM
"Lisa" at DOJ, I believe, is something of a "analyst" (gov-speak for clerk/customer service).

SHE IS NOT A LAWYER, NOR IS SHE EMPOWERED TO MAKE DEALS ABOUT PROSECUTION OR LACK THEREOF.

However, practically speaking, if the gun's not stolen, etc. just DROS it. (If it's on NCIC, I believe DROSing will red-flag it. That could cause you some problems.)

I believe the 1st-time violation of illegal transfer of firearms may be an infraction w/$300 fine but could be chargeable as misdemeanor.

Bill W
San Jose

jnojr
05-20-2005, 12:26 PM
Originally posted by Colossians323:
Why are gun owners a bunch of paranoid freaks?
Why have we let our rights go so far that we are constantly looking over our shoulders for the black helicopters?

Because it doesn't matter what's "right" or "wrong". If they come get you, you can say it's illegal, unConstitutional, etc. But you'll do it from the inside of a jail cell, spending thousands upon thousands on lawyers, and you'll still be convicted by a court that doesn't care about right or wrong, either. Your chances of getting a judge that says "Yeah, the law says X, but the law is wrong, so I'm letting you go" is next to nil.

So, if you want to not be "paranoid", and stand up for your right to own an "assault rifle", go for it... we'll all applaud your courage, and you'll get donations towards your legal defense fund. But after you're convicted, we'll all be cursing you for providing yet another legal decision that supports the "wrong", "illegal", and "unConstitutional" law that we're stuck with. Like Silveira.

BigAL
05-20-2005, 3:13 PM
Originally posted by Colossians323:
Why are gun owners a bunch of paranoid freaks?
Why have we let our rights go so far that we are constantly looking over our shoulders for the black helicopters?
Can yoyu imagine the outrage of a ten day waiting period on speaking in public, or better yet, backround check for you to speak with a stranger.
Men, and women, don't be afraid, have courage(i'm beginning to sound like Dan Rather)Do you think our founding fathers were seeking legal council to seperate from England.
Buck up, it will take some brave men to realize our freedoms do not, or are not given or taken by our Government.
Please, dont be such wussies,

I think our very own Atek said it best: "because going to jail sucks."

MaceWindu
05-21-2005, 12:24 PM
I understand the paranoid gun owners to a certain extent, but I say "prove it". No matter what, I am innocent until proven guilty.

Hi-caps, YUP, gotta bunch. Non-LEO marked....Do I keep all of my nice Assault-Prevention toys @ my house, NOPE. Different address. Registered? http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif......

Break the law, naaaah, is the law "just"? Not even close.

MW

05-21-2005, 8:35 PM
Originally posted by MaceWindu:

Do I keep all of my nice Assault-Prevention toys @ my house, NOPE. Different address. Registered? http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif......



So, you're admitting that you've got a couple of unregistered light sabers floating around, huh?

MaceWindu
05-21-2005, 10:03 PM
Nope, the Republic is aware of all of my lightsabers!! I am under the impression that when its bought, is it not registered? Is it not on record?

Damn Anakin, I knew I could not trust that little $#$^&%!!!

I am not an advocate of breaking the law!! Everything here is GTG....

MW

Mssr. Eleganté
05-21-2005, 10:53 PM
When a long gun, uh, I mean long light saber is puchased in California, it is not registered.

When the DROS is run on long gun purchases, CALDOJ is only notified that you are buying one or more long guns at that time. They don't get to know the type, make, model or serial number of the long guns you are buying.

So if you didn't send in any assault weapon registration forms before the ban, then none of your long gun "assault weapons" are "on record".

MaceWindu
05-22-2005, 12:17 AM
Originally posted by Amendment II:
When a long gun, uh, I mean long light saber is puchased in California, it is not registered.

They don't get to know the type, make, model or serial number of the long guns you are buying.

So if you didn't send in any assault weapon registration forms before the ban, then none of your long gun "assault weapons" are "on record".

Good.....I prefer the term "Assault-Prevention" weapons... http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

MW

MaceWindu
05-22-2005, 12:20 AM
This should help some of the paranoid CA gun owners!

http://zapatopi.net/afdb.html


http://www.calguns.net/laughroll.gif

MW

taloft
05-23-2005, 1:12 AM
I almost hurt myself laughing so hard when I checked that link. http://www.calguns.net/laughroll.gif

Y. Lee Quiote
06-12-2005, 4:52 PM
Used to be the DOJ had a form to use in these circumstances called the self registration form. I once downloaded it from the DOJ site and filled it out. Sent it in with the $15 and I got back a nice note telling me that my pistol was now properly registered.

colossians323
06-12-2005, 8:24 PM
Originally posted by MaceWindu:
This should help some of the paranoid CA gun owners!

http://zapatopi.net/afdb.html


http://www.calguns.net/laughroll.gif


MW


Nice site.
Mace, it would be good to go shooting with you someday, those chip Mcormick mags you sold me work great thanks a bunch.
Now, I know people have and well be made example of, especially by a certain few trying to get ahead, but do any of you have any friends or acquaintances that are one of these examples, or are we just talking out are bufadora's?
I am interested how many on his site know or have known any examples.

MaceWindu
06-12-2005, 9:45 PM
Colossians323

Hey Bro,

Whenever you wanna go plinkin, you let me know. I rarely turn down an appointment to go shooting!!

MaceWindu

tango 5
06-13-2005, 1:02 AM
I got something to say, first off i am a member of a few message boards of diffrent topics, from cars, to sniper forum and this site here. Why is everyone soo freakin tight assed about asking questions that refer to illegal or illegal ownership of certain guns? Its questions we are asking here, not admiting to any type of crime or location of where these guns are. Do you really think that the cops or other government agency is gonna knock on your door to look for a firearm that belongs to a friend of yours? C'mon folks, lets get real here.

I know im new here, but dont think im stupid. Ive got a **** load of questions to ask about certain guns and the legality of ownership in California, thats the MAIN reason why i came and signed up here. This forum specializes in California gun laws.
Now if i cant come here and ask these questions, then what is this site for? Get off your high horse and relax, your not the one asking the commiting any said "crimes". Thats all i hear is, "your gonna go to jail for talking about that on the internet" or "how does the local jail cell look from the inside". Makes me not want to ask my questions due to the fact that, thats all im going to hear.

Ok im done venting......

dukka
06-13-2005, 12:47 PM
While I agree that people are a bit on the paranoid side, the end result was positive and not everyone responded in the way you suggest. I recommend that you just ask your question if you are comfortable and ignore the paranoid responses.

bwiese
06-13-2005, 3:32 PM
Tango5...

You're apparently unaware that quite a few questions folks ask -usu newbies to this board - may possibly involve felonious conduct. (Possession of illegal AWs, hicap mag transfers, etc.)

As I recall, your questions about prospective legality were indeed OK. But many others' aren't.

It's only slightly more than trivial to find a user's identity via IP address tracking so something really egregious could well prompt prosecution. Plus, we know these boards are scanned by antigunners (MMM, Brady, VPC, etc.) plus DOJ staffers who I am sure are more than glad to refer suspicious info to prosecutors.

Prosecutors would like these 'crimes' because they're kinda self-confessing ("Gee, what do I do with my unregistered M16?" or "I was arrested, I need a lawyer, here's what I did...."). Besides triggering/ enhancing a prosecution these perhaps could trigger searches, dunno.

So it makes sense to tread warily. There's lotsa eyes here and not all of them are friendly.

There's also the chance that provocateurs get folks here to assist in some form of illegal conduct. (Remember, there was a drug case where undercover cops asked a guy where they could get drugs. Stupid kid pointed to a house down the street - boom! Arrested for something like criminal facilitation.) So that's why we do jump all over certain posters' questions.

This is NOT paranoia but mere practicality.


Bill Wiese
San Jose

stator
06-13-2005, 3:42 PM
Originally posted by dukka:
Thanks all for the suggestions. Calling the DoJ seemed like a good idea. I just got off the phone with Lisa at the DoJ (http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/phonenum.htm) and she was very helpful. She explained that while I was technically in violation of the law for the last year or so, its not a huge deal and that I can simply fill out a Firearm Ownership Record (http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/pdf/volreg.pdf) and send in the $19 and everything will be on the up and up. She said to make sure to go through the DROS process however if I decide to sell.

I'll follow up with how it goes.

I hope you have a recording of that call. If they should prosecute you, you'd have that as your defense for entrapment. Lisa, as pointed out by another member here, cannot make deals in behalf of the CA-DOJ, but she cannot be part of entrapment either.

If not, I'd go see a lawyer, or give the gun back. Screw the thousand dollars as this will be nothing compared to lawyer fees that may likely be in your future.

tango 5
06-13-2005, 11:48 PM
Originally posted by bwiese:
Tango5...

You're apparently unaware that quite a few questions folks ask -usu newbies to this board - may possibly involve felonious conduct. (Possession of illegal AWs, hicap mag transfers, etc.)

As I recall, your questions about prospective legality were indeed OK. But many others' aren't.

It's only slightly more than trivial to find a user's identity via IP address tracking so something really egregious could well prompt prosecution. Plus, we know these boards are scanned by antigunners (MMM, Brady, VPC, etc.) plus DOJ staffers who I am sure are more than glad to refer suspicious info to prosecutors.

Prosecutors would like these 'crimes' because they're kinda self-confessing ("Gee, what do I do with my unregistered M16?" or "I was arrested, I need a lawyer, here's what I did...."). Besides triggering/ enhancing a prosecution these perhaps could trigger searches, dunno.

So it makes sense to tread warily. There's lotsa eyes here and not all of them are friendly.

There's also the chance that provocateurs get folks here to assist in some form of illegal conduct. (Remember, there was a drug case where undercover cops asked a guy where they could get drugs. Stupid kid pointed to a house down the street - boom! Arrested for something like criminal facilitation.) So that's why we do jump all over certain posters' questions.

This is NOT paranoia but mere practicality.


Bill Wiese
San Jose

I agree with what yoru saying 100%. I might have went off a little harsh in my previous post. But its just frustrating to see people who have serious questions and dont know what to do, they ask and have other members jump on them and make them feel like an idiot for it. No worries though. Take care. http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif