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View Full Version : Can this be made right? (handgun)


New2guns
03-30-2011, 3:13 PM
I have learned a dear friend who has a hand gun purchased from a private party. I am a stickler for being legal. She is obviously ignorant of fire arm law the same as most everyone is. My concern is that it is a done deal. She doesn't want to be a criminal but neither does she want to lose her $450 investment. I will buy her out and help her to get one the right way but if I do I would like to be able to salvage the gun if possible. I researched the serial number on Hotgunz and there is no record of it but I know that is not the NICA list and will have to go to a LEA for a final check.
My question is, if this handgun comes out clean. Can I then register it through an FFL and take possestion of it legally Without repercussion ?
I am really not a hand gun affectionado but it is a very nice little firearm and I would rather own it than have it lost. I would rather see it lost and destroyed than have her remaining life destroyed through an injustice.
Any advice on how this can be done?
Thanks in advance.

Caladain
03-30-2011, 3:16 PM
I have learned a dear friend who has a hand gun purchased from a private party. I am a stickler for being legal. She is obviously ignorant of fire arm law the same as most everyone is. My concern is that it is a done deal. She doesn't want to be a criminal but neither does she want to lose her $450 investment..

Do you think it's a hot gun? I'm confused by the direction of your post...is the handgun not on the roster? Is the serial destroyed..? Did she buy it from a sketchy person?

OleCuss
03-30-2011, 3:24 PM
I think he means it was a private party transfer without benefit of an FFL or any other legal niceties.

When it was done and whether it was done in California might be of interest.

Purple K
03-30-2011, 3:26 PM
If it is not a stolen firearm she can voluntarily register it herself without the need of an FFL. Simply download and print the form from the Ca. DOJ and send a check for $19 along with the form to Ca. DOJ bureau of Firearms.

dantodd
03-30-2011, 3:30 PM
If someone inadvertently bypassed CA law it is my understanding that a Voluntary Registration form is all that is required. I think there is a law that says as long as the government required form is the only way the DoJ learns about the gun they cannot pursue the illegal transfer as that would violate your friends 5th amendment right. Now, if the person who sold her the gun rats her out etc. then that is separate evidence leading to the crime and there is some chance for trouble. In either event the probability of a problem is very tiny. She could certainly PPT the weapon to you but it won't really be any "safer" than vol. reg. because the only things that can instigate a case would not be mitigated by a PPT.

oldsmoboat
03-30-2011, 3:30 PM
If it is not a stolen firearm she can voluntarily register it herself without the need of an FFL. Simply download and print the form from the Ca. DOJ and send a check for $19 along with the form to Ca. DOJ bureau of Firearms.
Not doubting you but I have a question.
Why doesn't everyone do this and save on DROS fees and 10 day wait?

bruss01
03-30-2011, 3:37 PM
I think what he is asking is there a way to verify beyond a shadow of a doubt that this gun is NOT stolen, without risking getting the purchaser in trouble? I took him to mean that the sale consisted of two people sitting down at a kitchen table somewhere, she handed the seller money, the seller handed her the gun, and they went their separate ways without bothering to go through an FFL.

Also he may be asking, if that transaction was indeed an illegal act, whether there is a statute of limitations on the illegal transfer.

My thinking is that if the gun has a clean history, and the statute of limitations has expired, then she can voluntarily self-register the gun by submitting a form and be good to go. I am not a lawyer... but I would be interested in seeing what one has to say, because I suspect this is not an altogether uncommon occurance where people don't realize that guns can't be sold like, for instance, a carburetor or a carpet steamer.

If it turns out that the guy who had the gun prior to the person who she acquired it from got it by theft (2 previous owners ago) and it was reported stolen, then once she goes to register it, there are going to be questions asked such as "how did you get this gun" and "why are you in possession of an unregistered handgun" etc... or at least, that seems to be the concern the OP expressed.

If that informal sale of a handgun was in fact a crime and not just a "rules violation" I'd be interested in hearing whether it is a felony or a midemeanor.

skylindrftr
03-30-2011, 3:38 PM
Not doubting you but I have a question.
Why doesn't everyone do this and save on DROS fees and 10 day wait?

Probably because the app takes a couple months to process I'm guessing?

jello2594
03-30-2011, 3:41 PM
But while the app is processing, you have possession of the firearm. What happens if the form is denied? Are you supposed to relinquish the gun to law enforcement?

Untamed1972
03-30-2011, 3:52 PM
Does she still have contct with the person she bought it from? If the seller is not a shady person, she could ask that they accompany her to an FFL and properly complete a transfer. Just leave out the detail that is had already been trasnfered improperly. Just pretend that this is a new transaction.

New2guns
03-30-2011, 3:52 PM
Do you think it's a hot gun? I'm confused by the direction of your post...is the handgun not on the roster? Is the serial destroyed..? Did she buy it from a sketchy person?

The handgun is pristine and even in the case all matching serial number. I don't suspect it is stolen but want to know for certain she won't get into trouble because of her ignorance. The only reason I know about it is she knows I am a gun nut and ask if I could teach her how to operate the slide. She doesn't have the strength and I recommend she buy a small revolver instead. It operates perfectly but she is just too small to operate it. She lives alone and insist on having a gun. In her neighborhood I believe she is justified in her belief.
I don't know the person she purchased it from other than they needed money at the time and she needed a gun (her words).
I really am interested in the route of PPT to me. I have lots of guns so am no hurry to get this one and wait the 10 or more. It does seem odd to wait ten days for a gun I take in even though I have a safe full of guns but you do what you gotta do. I won't even run a stop sign.

New2guns
03-30-2011, 3:56 PM
I think what he is asking is there a way to verify beyond a shadow of a doubt that this gun is NOT stolen, without risking getting the purchaser in trouble? I took him to mean that the sale consisted of two people sitting down at a kitchen table somewhere, she handed the seller money, the seller handed her the gun, and they went their separate ways without bothering to go through an FFL.

Also he may be asking, if that transaction was indeed an illegal act, whether there is a statute of limitations on the illegal transfer.

My thinking is that if the gun has a clean history, and the statute of limitations has expired, then she can voluntarily self-register the gun by submitting a form and be good to go. I am not a lawyer... but I would be interested in seeing what one has to say, because I suspect this is not an altogether uncommon occurance where people don't realize that guns can't be sold like, for instance, a carburetor or a carpet steamer.

If it turns out that the guy who had the gun prior to the person who she acquired it from got it by theft (2 previous owners ago) and it was reported stolen, then once she goes to register it, there are going to be questions asked such as "how did you get this gun" and "why are you in possession of an unregistered handgun" etc... or at least, that seems to be the concern the OP expressed.

If that informal sale of a handgun was in fact a crime and not just a "rules violation" I'd be interested in hearing whether it is a felony or a midemeanor.

Pretty much my concerns.

G60
03-30-2011, 3:56 PM
Not doubting you but I have a question.
Why doesn't everyone do this and save on DROS fees and 10 day wait?

Because that's illegal.

Ed_Hazard
03-30-2011, 3:56 PM
Not doubting you but I have a question.
Why doesn't everyone do this and save on DROS fees and 10 day wait?

Because doing this is illegal.

-hanko
03-30-2011, 4:01 PM
Not doubting you but I have a question.
Why doesn't everyone do this and save on DROS fees and 10 day wait?
'Cause it's against the law?? ;) Given only 10% of "Assault Weapons" were registered before the y2k deadline, why would you think that 100% of sales go through dealers?

OP needs to have the lady download the voluntary registration form and send it out.

-hanko

dantodd
03-30-2011, 4:08 PM
If the intention is to simply transfer it to you then just go to an FFL and do so. Filing the VolReg and waiting for it to get processed is just a waste of $20 if she's planning on PPTing it to you anyway. There is no requirement to register a firearm before transferring it anyway. The serial number check is going to be the same whether it is a PPT or VolReg so you'll get the same info either way and it will be the same questions asked of the same person if something pops, so save the $20.

socalphoto
03-30-2011, 4:18 PM
I went through a similiar situation a few months ago. I wanted to purchase a handgun from a friend who was NOT the registered owner of the gun (I had it checked by an LEO friend). I sent in the Voluntary Reg to DOJ and was denied. The rejection letter said I need to do the PPT at an FFL.

We did the PPT and had no issues so that might work in this case. I can't remember specifically what it says on the Vol Reg form but there is a question that asks how you got the gun. I think the only options were Private Party, Business, and then Other. As I did not want to lie on the form I put down Private Party.

If I am mistaken please correct me...don't want any FUD going around.

dantodd
03-30-2011, 4:21 PM
I went through a similiar situation a few months ago. I wanted to purchase a handgun from a friend who was NOT the registered owner of the gun (I had it checked by an LEO friend). I sent in the Voluntary Reg to DOJ and was denied. The rejection letter said I need to do the PPT at an FFL.

No one has suggested that it is OK for the OP to simply take possession and then file a VolReg form. The DoJ told you correctly that you need to do a PPT to take possession of a firearm from its current owner regardless of "registration" or lack thereof.

stix213
03-30-2011, 4:27 PM
I'd have her get the original seller and go down to an FFL and do the transfer as if she hadn't bought it yet. FFL holds for 10/11 days then she picks it up. Everything solved.

If the original seller doesn't want to do that then I would have her do the volreg route as others have stated. From what people here have said repeatedly the state is far more interested in finding out who currently has what gun then they are following up with why they didn't know about it until now.