PDA

View Full Version : Return of Stolen Mac 90


PartsGuy
08-25-2006, 2:01 PM
Hi guys - I'm relatively new to this forum although I subscribed to it some time ago as PKAY. Now retired, new email, new registration.

Gotta question for you legal beagles. Suppose a guy owned a Norinco Mac 90 purchased in 1994. And suppose that Mac 90 was stolen in a home burglary in 1996. And suppose further the weapon is recovered by a law enforcement agency in 2006. The recovering agency informs the local agency in the jurisdiction where the original burglarly occurred. The local agency contacts the legal owner of the Mac 90 of its recovery and states it is now available for repatriation, as they say.

Since, in the interim, between 1996 and 2006, the weapon was classified as an "assault weapon" in CA, can it legally be registered as such by the original legal owner? Any ideas on how this might work? Thanks in advance for any info you may be able to provide.

blkA4alb
08-25-2006, 2:02 PM
I don't see any way that he would be able to register it. The registration is closed and thats that. He MAY be able to sell it out of state but I wouldn't bet money on it.

grammaton76
08-25-2006, 2:06 PM
Very interesting question. I would think this would be one you'd ask the DOJ about. I figure it's totally guaranteed that said person is going to get screwed and not be able to register, but maybe they'd allow some kind of late reg in those circumstances (since I imagine there are police reports, etc).

blkA4alb
08-25-2006, 2:08 PM
Very interesting question. I would think this would be one you'd ask the DOJ about. I figure it's totally guaranteed that said person is going to get screwed and not be able to register, but maybe they'd allow some kind of late reg in those circumstances (since I imagine there are police reports, etc).
Ask the DOJ? :D Your so funny. I sure hope you don't mean by phone :p . I still don't see any kind of registration happening. Its closed, and legally I don't believe it can be opened again. He also technically wasn't in possession of the said item when the ban took place.

50 Freak
08-25-2006, 2:11 PM
Call the DOJ....Their response will be "Tough cookies....by the way...what is your address???"

grammaton76
08-25-2006, 2:12 PM
Ask the DOJ? :D Your so funny. I sure hope you don't mean by phone :p . I still don't see any kind of registration happening. Its closed, and legally I don't believe it can be opened again. He also technically wasn't in possession of the said item when the ban took place.

Heh, no, in writing. Like I say, I imagine the dude's screwed.

However, there is a procedure to apply for the importation of an AW, that's open to everyone. It's may-issue though and so far, they just blanketly refuse to issue the permits. There's also a big, nasty application fee that you don't get refunded if your application is declined.

Depending on how they feel about stolen property, it's within their power (but they probably won't exercise it) to grant the importation and registration of said AW.

PartsGuy
08-25-2006, 2:14 PM
Thanks for the quick responses! Wow! It's an interesting conundrum. There is a police report. The gun was not "evil" when purchased or stolen. Couldn't be registered by January 1, 2001 'cause it wasn't in the possession of the owner.

If the state says no to grandfathering registration and confiscates the piece, the owner has been effectively robbed twice, once by the Perp and once again by the state of CA. Ha!

The out of state sale option is a compromise. I have contacted DOJ, and they have yet to respond.

grammaton76
08-25-2006, 2:23 PM
Another option is to demil your rifle out of state, purchase an off-list receiver for it, and reincarnate it as a California legal rifle with a pinned mag or no evil features (i.e. the thumbhole stock that came with most mak-90s will have to be removed).

But rather than doing that, you would be best off seeing if someone would trade it for an unlisted rifle which you CAN legally have in CA.

fun2none
08-25-2006, 3:07 PM
The rifle is question is now an unregistered assault weapon. It is doubtful that the original legal owner would ever see it again. You might have a chance at getting it back if you were currently a resident in another state, and the law enforcement agency that recovered it was cooperative. ;)

kantstudien
08-25-2006, 3:27 PM
Couldn't be registered by January 1, 2001 'cause it wasn't in the possession of the owner.

The DOJ is going to say that you should have registered it "in abscentia" if you ever wanted to be able to possess it again should it be recovered by the police. The fact that you did not register in prior to Jan 1, 2000 (not 2001) means that you did not really want it back. I wouldn't be surprised if DOJ didn't tell the police agency to turn it into a manhole cover by now.

bwiese
08-25-2006, 3:33 PM
Sorry dude, I'd bet your SOL.

However, you should ask DOJ Firearms IN WRITING about this.

We need to get DOJ actions, policies and procedures on paper.

Then let us know what they say.

PartsGuy
08-25-2006, 3:39 PM
LOL, Bwiese. Prolly so, prolly so. Fact is, I understand, the gun is in pretty good shape. Blue Book says it may be worth ~ $500 in that kinda condition. The guy would be amenable to sale outa state if the DOJ gave him enough time.

Wulf
08-25-2006, 7:11 PM
Hypothetically speaking, if DOJ declined to allow you to register, could you charge DOJ as an accessory to the theft? :D In this situation its undenyable that DOJ's actions would be furthering the victimization of the righful owner.

dwtt
08-25-2006, 10:24 PM
You should write a letter to the DOJ asking describing the situation and ask if the rifle can still be registered or, at the very least, sold out of state. Send it registered mail with return receipt. The DOJ will tell you it's too late to register the rifle and you're not going to get it back from the cops. If they say you can sell it out of state, then do so. Do not demil the MAK-90. Just sell it and then use the money to buy a Romanian kit and a NDS-3 receiver. Build up a new AK and you'll come out about $200 ahead. That's what I would do if I were in that situation.

PartsGuy
08-26-2006, 7:56 AM
Thanks to all for the ongoing replies. The gun is being shipped to the local agency and will arrive near the end of next week, whereupon the owner will be notified. It will then be interesting to see if in fact it will be released to him.

Keep your thoughts and ideas coming. Haven't encountered a situation like this before. In the vast majority of similar burglary cases where a firearm or multiple firearms are stolen, the original legal owner never sees them again for two reasons: 1) the police treat the theft of a firearm as a property crime just like any other. Coulda been a gun or a toaster. No difference. No extensive investigation to recover the stolen item(s); and 2) In the case of a firearm recovered as evidence of having been used in a crime, the arm will be held in an evidence locker or property room until ALL of the criminal matter is resolved including appeals from conviction.

artherd
08-27-2006, 12:52 AM
You've got a chance if DOJ advised your customer that he could not register the firearm. You would go after the DOJ for fraud, and your remedy could be specific performance to issue an AW *PERMIT*. (DOJ may not grant you a regular SB23 registration. The cutoff date is CLOSED, and that is codified law which DOJ does not get to play fast and loose with.

They can (they resist this strongly) however issue you a permit to buy/register/own an AW.

A court could force them to grant a permit.


Confiscation (and this is what the circumstances ammount to) of the firearm was outside of the legislative intent, and indeed outside of the constitutional authority, of the origional or subsequent legislation.

I'd suggest retaining a good 2a attorney (like chuck michel in LA) and pressing the issue, HARD.

taloft
08-27-2006, 2:40 AM
The DOJ is going to say that you should have registered it "in abscentia" if you ever wanted to be able to possess it again should it be recovered by the police. The fact that you did not register in prior to Jan 1, 2000 (not 2001) means that you did not really want it back. I wouldn't be surprised if DOJ didn't tell the police agency to turn it into a manhole cover by now.

+1, There doesn't appear to be any reason that the firearm couldn't be registered prior to the deadline. I don't think you will get satisfaction on this one short of retaining an attorney. Please keep us informed of the outcome.

PartsGuy
08-27-2006, 8:45 AM
It just keeps gettin' curioser and curioser. Guy might go the Chuck Michel route if DOJ dumps on him. But only if Michel's office goes pro bono or contingency lawsuit of some kind (Can ya sue DOJ?). Don't think he wants to spend coupla thousand in legal for a $500 gun.

zinfull
08-27-2006, 9:42 AM
Just out of curiosity did you receive a payment from the insurance company for the stolen items? If so you do not own the gun but the insurance company does.

Jerry

artherd
08-27-2006, 10:05 AM
It just keeps gettin' curioser and curioser. Guy might go the Chuck Michel route if DOJ dumps on him. But only if Michel's office goes pro bono or contingency lawsuit of some kind (Can ya sue DOJ?). Don't think he wants to spend coupla thousand in legal for a $500 gun.
I wish him luck, I'd pay chuck, gotten good results myself.
-Ben.

M. Sage
08-27-2006, 10:57 AM
Hypothetically speaking, if DOJ declined to allow you to register, could you charge DOJ as an accessory to the theft? :D In this situation its undenyable that DOJ's actions would be furthering the victimization of the righful owner.

Lol, that's not a bad idea.

As far as the insurance company paying him and then owning the pistol... Not unless they did a transfer! If it's registered in your name, it's yours.

PartsGuy
08-28-2006, 9:30 AM
OK Gents - Now for the next installment. Telecon with DOJ Field Office resulted in verbal ruling that if in fact the long gun to be repatriated has since been classified as an AW by the state of CA, it is "contraband" and cannot be released to the original legal owner. Further verbal ruling indicated that if the weapon had been registered in absentia prior to the deadline of January 1, 2000, it could be released to the original legal owner.

Questions as to DOJ releasing it to the original legal owner for sale out of state or "donating" it to the local law enforcement agency for trainging purposes and taking a tax write off are left to be ruled on in writing in response to a formal written request and outline of the facts submitted to DOJ.

Written request in process. Will keep the forum informed.

artherd
08-28-2006, 9:46 PM
It would be interesting to see in writing that an "in absentia" registration would be allowed. I belive that DOJ has told people this was unlawful before. Possibly suit could be brought?

PartsGuy
08-29-2006, 10:45 AM
Yes, ArtHerd, it would be interesting. Let's see what DOJ comes back with. Holding off on the letter just yet. Seems to be some confusion if the piece to be returned is a Norinco SKS or in fact a Norinco Mac 90 (both stolen at the same time from the same owner). If it's the SKS, it will be returned. Not an AW. If it's the Mac 90, then the SHTF.

thedrickel
08-29-2006, 8:39 PM
DOJ has it and can't figure out if it's an SKS or MAK90? You must be joking. . . but if true, sure explains a lot about DOJ actions in general.

PartsGuy
08-30-2006, 10:07 AM
Not DOJ, thedrickel, the Bakersfield P.D. property folks and the Redondo Beach P.D. property folks. The former says the recovered weapon is the Mac 90; the latter says it is the SKS. Will know by the end of the week. More to come.

grammaton76
08-30-2006, 11:13 AM
It would be interesting to see in writing that an "in absentia" registration would be allowed. I belive that DOJ has told people this was unlawful before. Possibly suit could be brought?

If they do allow it, I know a guy who lost a LOT of AR's because he was in Okinawa during the reg period, and they flat-out would not allow him to register (even though home of record was CA).

Provided that this develops into a case, PM me and I'll track him down, see if he wants to jump in as a plantiff. I imagine the more plaintiffs the better...

PartsGuy
09-17-2006, 1:06 PM
Here we go again, gents. CRPA legal counsel, Chuck Michel, says it's contraband under the 1999 AW ban (SB23). The Norinco Mac 90 is specifically called out among others as banned. Therefore, Redondo Beach P.D. cannot return the gun to the legal owner of record even if they wanted to. The legal owner has to fill out paperwork just as if retrieving the gun from pawn. And DOJ would be sure to flag it. If by some chance the arm were returned to the legal owner, it would not have been registered as an AW under the law and within the time frame stipulated. The legal owner would then be a person in possession of an unregistered assault weapon, a felony, and subject to all the consequences therewith including fine, imprisonment, loss of weapons and right to own firearms, etc., etc.

CRPA's director Upholt agrees.

The only option open to the legal owner under the law is sale out of state if, and only if, the R.B.P.D. is willing to ship to a FFL in a state where the arm is legal to own.

I am told that a circumstance such as this is extremely unusual and was never contemplated when SB23 was crafted (if you can call an oppressive trashing of the Second Amendment "crafting", but I digress).

The donation and tax write off scenario is a possibility if DOJ agrees in writing and receipt and acceptance of the donation is provided the legal owner in writing by the donee department; in this case, the R.B.P.D.

More to come. I'll let you know the outcome.

fairfaxjim
09-17-2006, 1:17 PM
Can you spell S.O.L.?

artherd
09-17-2006, 1:37 PM
Your only hope will be if the owner tried to register it "in absentia" before the deadline, and was not permitted to do so.

PartsGuy
10-05-2006, 11:49 AM
The final chapter, folks. The owner wrote a letter to the Chief of the Redondo Beach Police Department outlining the legal realities with which he, the owner, was confronted and offered the weapon as a donation to the department for familiarization and training purposes. The donation was accepted and a receipt for same will be mailed to the owner by the Property/Evidence Officer.

Just a side note here. DOJ responded to the owner that the return of the weapon may have been effected since the "stolen-gun-return-to-owner" paperwork supplied by the R.B.P.D. to DOJ would not have been flagged because no long gun data was in their records, and in 1996, the year of the burglary, the Norinco Mac 90 was perfectly legal to own. Were that the case, the owner might have innocently reclaimed his stolen rifle only to be arrested at some later time and place for being a CA resident in possession of an unregistered assault weapon, a felony rap! That's a legal pickle he most certainly wanted to avoid.

Case closed.

xenophobe
10-05-2006, 12:08 PM
Your only hope will be if the owner tried to register it "in absentia" before the deadline, and was not permitted to do so.

In SJ, there have been numerous people who have had unregistered AR and AK rifles as late as 2003 who were allowed to register, providing they proved to the PD that weapon was indeed purchased prior to Jan 1, 2000. They would provide proof, and then receive a letter from the PD stating that the weapon was legally purchased and to allow the registration so they could release the firearm.

I haven't heard about this happening recently though, and I have no documents to support this. Just first hand conversations with customers who were in this predicament that needed original proof of purchase to avoid being prosecuted with felony possession of an unregistered AW.