PDA

View Full Version : Checking legal status of firearms


M91
01-02-2011, 3:18 PM
Hello
I recently came across some old guns in our attic. I would like to go ahead and begin cleaning/restoring them. After talking to some friends and experts at a gun show, it was suggested to me that I begin by checking the 'legal status' of the guns. Where could I begin to see the history of these guns? What resources would be best to tap into to figure this out?

One seems to be from 1942? Do these still require paperwork?
Thank you,

jtmkinsd
01-02-2011, 3:34 PM
Hello
I recently came across some old guns in our attic. I would like to go ahead and begin cleaning/restoring them. After talking to some friends and experts at a gun show, it was suggested to me that I begin by checking the 'legal status' of the guns. Where could I begin to see the history of these guns? What resources would be best to tap into to figure this out?

One seems to be from 1942? Do these still require paperwork?
Thank you,

First off I would caution you about "cleaning" them. Too often I've seen the value of firearms destroyed by people who just wanted to "clean them up".

As far as getting a history on them, there are a multitude of resources available. It's hard for me to know where to point you without knowing what kind of gun (manufacturer, make, model).

You said you found them in your attic? From a previous owner? Do you own the house now?

paul0660
01-02-2011, 3:38 PM
What jtmkinsd said about cleaning, in spades. Get a lot of advice first. Post pictures here if possible.

Need more info about them ownership wise. It is quite likely that no paperwork needs to be done.

Cokebottle
01-02-2011, 3:43 PM
If you've been in the house and the guns have been in the attic for more than 20 years, there never was any paperwork or registration required on any of them.

The best you can do is have a cop run the serial numbers to see if they have been reported stolen.
But be aware that serial numbers often duplicate between manufacturers and even within the same manufacturer.
A Calgunner recently had a cop run the serial number on his rifle during a traffic stop, and the serial number came back as a stolen S&W revolver.

Southwest Chuck
01-02-2011, 4:09 PM
If you've been in the house and the guns have been in the attic for more than 20 years, there never was any paperwork or registration required on any of them.

The best you can do is have a cop run the serial numbers

Careful, you might want to qualify your statement a little bit. He may have found himself an unregistered AW up there and not know it !

choprzrul
01-02-2011, 4:11 PM
Experts at a gun show? Really?

You are at the right place now. Abide by the above advice.

.

Cokebottle
01-02-2011, 4:13 PM
Careful, you might want to qualify your statement a little bit. He may have found himself an unregistered AW up there and not know it !
True... and if that's the case, he's got a can of worms that is best left in the attic for the next owner of the home.

But seriously... that is not the legal way to handle a discovered unregistered AW.
Best thing to do would be to get in touch with
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/../images/ads30/Davis120x60.gif (http://www.calgunlawyers.com/)

M91
01-02-2011, 4:45 PM
Thanks for the advice regarding the cleaning of the guns. I will try and do a little more homework.
So would I go to the station with serial numbers? Is this an acceptable way of going about it?

jtmkinsd
01-02-2011, 4:51 PM
Thanks for the advice regarding the cleaning of the guns. I will try and do a little more homework.
So would I go to the station with serial numbers? Is this an acceptable way of going about it?

You should call and ask your local PD/SO, some departments will do it, some won't. Certain manufacturers offer a gun history report for a fee...you can do a lot on the web to find facts and manufacture dates about firearms.

Cokebottle
01-02-2011, 4:55 PM
First, I would verify that none could be considered assault weapons.
Walking into a police station and volunteering that information could make for the start of a very bad year (or 10).

Check the appendix on the flowchart: http://www.calguns.net/caawid/flowchart.pdf
If any of these guns are from the Korean or Vietnam era, there is a possibility that they are listed.
If anything shows up on that list, disassemble it and get in touch with the link above and they will recommend how to proceed, do not post anything about it publicly.

Anything with a bolt action is going to be a non-issue, so you are only concerned about semi automatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns.

Once satisfied that nothing is on the AW list, then yes, my next step would be to make a detailed list... make, model, serial number, and a brief description. Take that to the local PD and let them know that you would like to check the status on some guns that have been "around the family for a long time" but you don't know the history.
If you mention "finding" them, they are going to want you to turn them in to lost and found.
You want them to believe the truth... that they are guns that have been in the possession of your family and you just want to verify the history.

sw99
01-02-2011, 6:07 PM
If you've been in the house and the guns have been in the attic for more than 20 years, there never was any paperwork or registration required on any of them.

The best you can do is have a cop run the serial numbers to see if they have been reported stolen.

CA law is LEA can only return firearm to you if you can prove ownership of it. So if you know you cannot prove ownership, be careful who you show them to!

But be aware that serial numbers often duplicate between manufacturers and even within the same manufacturer.

yep. The vital statistics are serial number, manufacturer, firearm type, model (if any) and caliber. Firearm Type being Pistol, Shotgun, Rifle etc.

HK-DEMON-
01-02-2011, 6:09 PM
:useless:

Cokebottle
01-02-2011, 8:43 PM
CA law is LEA can only return firearm to you if you can prove ownership of it. So if you know you cannot prove ownership, be careful who you show them to!
Unless you have kept a receipt from 1980, or in the case of a gift from a family member, there is no way to prove ownership of a long gun.

But that is one reason I recommended simply taking in a list... not the actual guns.

todd2968
01-02-2011, 8:52 PM
Gotta be more specific.
Whatcha got?

G17GUY
01-02-2011, 8:58 PM
I would not go to the police station, nothing good can come from that. Post a hypothetical thread, "Is this gun legal in California" with pictures. The crew here at Calguns is more knowledgeable than any police station.

Cokebottle
01-02-2011, 9:05 PM
I would not go to the police station, nothing good can come from that. Post a hypothetical thread, "Is this gun legal in California" with pictures. The crew here at Calguns is more knowledgeable than any police station.
If it's an unregistered assault weapon, the last thing he wants to do is post it on a public forum.
As for conventional guns, Calgunners, with the exception of Ron and some of the other LEOs, don't have the ability to check for stolen status, which I believe is what he wants to know.