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View Full Version : Help, I am confused on how to register my handgun!


v62cobra
05-18-2011, 9:03 AM
Hello everyone,

Glad to be on this forum. I used to come here often, but it's been awhile. I have a Ruger P89 that my buddy sold me. I want to get this thing transfered and be all legal in my name. I am not sure if he registered it. It was an impulse buy, I am actually looking to upgrade:D. I didn't know at the time I bought it that it had to be done at a licensed location. In WA and MO we just sold them like any other property. Anyways, he is now in the Army and is going to deploy so he is not in CA. How do I register a firearm I bought, without the original owner present? Can the sheriff's department help? I live in Contra Costa county.

Thank you. Any help would be appreciated. I love firearms, but I want to be legal!

jermedic
05-18-2011, 9:11 AM
I don't know if there is any way for you to do that. You would have to do a private party transfer at a FFL and do the 10 day wait period. For a PPT both the buyer and seller need to be present to sign paperwork and show ID. I'm sure someone will post more info, but as far as I can think you may be out of luck. Hope we can find a fix for you.

v62cobra
05-18-2011, 9:42 AM
thanks for the reply. I am so confused. I feel as though I am supposed to just turn this into the police and consider it a loss:confused:

At the same time, the thought of that makes me feel like my rights are being taken from me since I am trying to do the right thing ya know....

Klaus
05-18-2011, 10:34 AM
Someone will come along and correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you can do a Ca DOJ voluntary registration. You can find the document here: ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/pdf/volreg.pdf

What were to happen if you submitted a voluntary registration and your gun came back stolen?

Munk
05-18-2011, 10:36 AM
just give him back the pistol, have him store it at his parents house or something. When he comes by for a visit, stop by an FFL and begin the transfer process on a PPT. He only needs to be in there for 15 minutes or less, then he can split. FFL will hold for the 10day, and you can pick up the gun on your own.

Someone will come along and correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you can do a Ca DOJ voluntary registration. You can find the document here: ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/pdf/volreg.pdf

What were to happen if you submitted a voluntary registration and your gun came back stolen?

This is wrong. It's been wrong the whole time. There's a fairly long thread that showed up in the 2a forum because people have been misusing the volreg for years, and for some reason, people keep advocating doing the wrong thing.

dan12580
05-18-2011, 10:46 AM
Have his mom/brother/aunt/cousin/friend ppt it to you. Meet at an ffl and do the transfer. It seems to me that when doing dros all the doj is concerned with on the sellers end is 1-the gun stolen? And 2- is the seller a felon in possesion of a firearm. Ive sold guns here in ca via ppt that I bought cash & carry in texas with zero problems. Iam sure the legal experts on the site will offer differnt/possibly better advice but I know what has worked for me in the past.

Can't buy anything here
05-18-2011, 12:07 PM
Not sure if a voluntary reg would work on a registered gun...if someone had a gun in their possession for the past 20 years, probably no problem...but if a gun comes back to someone recently, they might ask questions..

Librarian
05-18-2011, 12:43 PM
Hello everyone,

Glad to be on this forum. I used to come here often, but it's been awhile. I have a Ruger P89 that my buddy sold me. I want to get this thing transfered and be all legal in my name. I am not sure if he registered it. It was an impulse buy, I am actually looking to upgrade:D. I didn't know at the time I bought it that it had to be done at a licensed location. In WA and MO we just sold them like any other property. Anyways, he is now in the Army and is going to deploy so he is not in CA. How do I register a firearm I bought, without the original owner present? Can the sheriff's department help? I live in Contra Costa county.

Thank you. Any help would be appreciated. I love firearms, but I want to be legal!

Unfortunately, California legislators have decided firearms are not 'like any other property', and require the blessing of an FFL and the DROS system.

There's no way to reason to that requirement, you just have to know, but it's been the law since 1991.

I think the right solution has already been suggested: return it to his family to hold, and when he comes back, go to an FFL and do a PPT - Private Party Transfer. Since the transfer never "really" happened, there's no issue returning the gun to his family.

See the wiki article - http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/Buying_and_selling_firearms_in_California

Moto4Fun
05-18-2011, 12:49 PM
OP didn't state how long ago he bought it. It is conceivable that he hasn't done anything wrong to this point and that voluntary reg is not even needed. Place an ad to sell it, show up and do PPT with new buyer and you're done. IF the new buyer is unable to complete the buying process, the gun gets re-DROS'ed to you, and you become the registered owner. Otherwise (assuming the gun is clean) the buyer takes possession after his 10-day waiting period.

v62cobra
05-18-2011, 1:08 PM
well he doesn't have family in CA. I don't know when he will come back and that's great and all. I guess what do I do in the mean time? I can't just tell the law to hold on a sec he'll be back in a year and then we'll take care of it!

Like I said, I don't know for a fact that he even registered it. In that case, who do I even attempt to call and try to figure this out? Seems like the police will just want to confiscate it.

Thanks for all your help.

v62cobra
05-18-2011, 1:11 PM
Unfortunately, California legislators have decided firearms are not 'like any other property', and require the blessing of an FFL and the DROS system.



I now know. In fact I never gave it thought because I didn't think it would be the case since three states I've lived in didn't care.

v62cobra
05-18-2011, 1:16 PM
OP didn't state how long ago he bought it. It is conceivable that he hasn't done anything wrong to this point and that voluntary reg is not even needed. Place an ad to sell it, show up and do PPT with new buyer and you're done. IF the new buyer is unable to complete the buying process, the gun gets re-DROS'ed to you, and you become the registered owner. Otherwise (assuming the gun is clean) the buyer takes possession after his 10-day waiting period.

Awsome. This is great info. I will try this route.

JagerTroop
05-18-2011, 1:44 PM
OP didn't state how long ago he bought it. It is conceivable that he hasn't done anything wrong to this point and that voluntary reg is not even needed. Place an ad to sell it, show up and do PPT with new buyer and you're done. IF the new buyer is unable to complete the buying process, the gun gets re-DROS'ed to you, and you become the registered owner. Otherwise (assuming the gun is clean) the buyer takes possession after his 10-day waiting period.

He already admitted to "buying it from a buddy". Your method would technically be illegal.

Just do as Librarian says. This would be the best (and legal) route to take.

FYI - If anyone here plans on ( or has, or may have) breaking the law... DON"T POST ABOUT IT! Dumb. That's day one stuff.

G1500
05-18-2011, 2:29 PM
Did you pay for it while in CA?

Can't buy anything here
05-18-2011, 3:00 PM
Place an ad to sell it, show up and do PPT with new buyer and you're done. IF the new buyer is unable to complete the buying process, the gun gets re-DROS'ed to you, and you become the registered owner. Otherwise (assuming the gun is clean) the buyer takes possession after his 10-day waiting period.

I'm so confused...what if the new buyer is able? then the gun is sold to him...and you have to buy it back? :confused:

v62cobra
05-19-2011, 6:25 AM
He already admitted to "buying it from a buddy". Your method would technically be illegal.

Just do as Librarian says. This would be the best (and legal) route to take.

FYI - If anyone here plans on ( or has, or may have) breaking the law... DON"T POST ABOUT IT! Dumb. That's day one stuff.


OK man relax. Just trying to figure out how to BE LEGAL! This is pretty anonymous, you have no clue who I am or even what I look like. My sex, ethnicity, or really anything. You don't know if this is my real IP or if I am even where all the machines say I am. You don't even know if I am making this all up. I could be a simulated computer program and you wouldn't be able to tell.

Stop acting like you live in the U.S.S.R! If I post detailed plans about how I am going to kill a bus full of nuns then feel free to give me a heads up about being careful about what I post. Been posting on the net and asking questions for over 20+ years now. Think I have an idea. I am new to firearms with regards to CA. I am here to expand my horizons.

Thanks.

v62cobra
05-19-2011, 6:26 AM
Did you pay for it while in CA?


I didn't even pay for it. He never has even taken the money. It's been so long I think it would be considered a gift.

MaHoTex
05-19-2011, 6:38 AM
So was the transfer done inside California or outside California? If outside, was it a free state?

cmace22
05-19-2011, 6:40 AM
Did this happen out of state or here in Cali?

If it was out of state and done legal to there laws you are GTG.

If it was done here, it sounds more like your buddy loaned you the gun. Have someone DROS it for you or wait until he gets back. The DROS only asks for seller info not owner. If the gun is clean there is nothing to worry about.

G1500
05-19-2011, 10:29 AM
I didn't even pay for it. He never has even taken the money. It's been so long I think it would be considered a gift.

Sounds like you are storing it for him.


;)

Moto4Fun
05-19-2011, 10:34 AM
He already admitted to "buying it from a buddy". Your method would technically be illegal.

Just do as Librarian says. This would be the best (and legal) route to take.

FYI - If anyone here plans on ( or has, or may have) breaking the law... DON"T POST ABOUT IT! Dumb. That's day one stuff.


How is my method technically illegal. We know he bought it from a buddy. We don't know when he bought it. We can assume that he bought it after 1987 (when the P89 was designed), but we cannot know if the buying process that he followed was illegal at the time that he bought it.

Even if the method which he acquired the gun was illegal, the method which I suggest that he register it or sell it is not illegal (to my my understanding).

I would appreciate knowing where specifically my information is wrong.

paul0660
05-19-2011, 10:46 AM
DOJ will happily take your voluntary registration. They consider this doing the right thing, and there is a statute of limitations for the "crime" you committed. You can call your local leos and find out if the gun is stolen beforehand. If it is..........I dunno.

MaHoTex
05-19-2011, 11:19 AM
DOJ will happily take your voluntary registration. They consider this doing the right thing, and there is a statute of limitations for the "crime" you committed. You can call your local leos and find out if the gun is stolen beforehand. If it is..........I dunno.

For real? I do not think so. I do not believe they will just run the serial number for you.

paul0660
05-19-2011, 11:25 AM
For real? I do not think so. I do not believe they will just run the serial number for you.

I have called Mendocino county dispatch twice with serials, and they did it in less than a minute.

Why wouldn't they?

ke6guj
05-19-2011, 11:30 AM
I have called Mendocino county dispatch twice with serials, and they did it in less than a minute.

Why wouldn't they?

some/many LEAs won't just run a random serial number over the phone. Why? think about this, how many people would call the LEA, give them the serial number, find out its stolen, and then turn it in. Too many people would just make it disappear.

SO, the LEAs require that the firearm be physically present when running the numbers, so that it can be confiscated if it comes up stolen.

paul0660
05-19-2011, 11:38 AM
In both the instances I called, I had a number and not the gun. I was checking before buying because long guns aren't registered by number and aren't checked for stolen status during dros (and certainly C&R transactions aren't). Perfectly reasonable request, speedily complied with by my public servant.

MaHoTex
05-19-2011, 11:39 AM
I have called Mendocino county dispatch twice with serials, and they did it in less than a minute.

Why wouldn't they?

A friend of mine who is an investigator for SDSO said he could not run a serial for me in their system because he would have to attach it to a specific case.

ke6guj
05-19-2011, 11:42 AM
In both the instances I called, I had a number and not the gun. I was checking before buying because long guns aren't registered by number and aren't checked for stolen status during dros (and certainly C&R transactions aren't). Perfectly reasonable request, speedily complied with by my public servant.

good for you then. Just saying that many other LEAs won't do serial number checks over the phone.

Moto4Fun
05-19-2011, 11:45 AM
Then just call Mendocino County.

paul0660
05-19-2011, 11:47 AM
I believe you.

rhbanjo
05-19-2011, 12:00 PM
I'm pulling my hair out.... I sent you a PM.

loose_electron
05-19-2011, 12:29 PM
Read what "Librarian" wrote above. If the gifting was in the state, you need to get it legally transferred to you.

A lot of the advice here is a mess of scrambled eggs.

woods
05-19-2011, 12:41 PM
I had a number run and they didn't even ask my name or anything.

I was storing a gun for someone moving and had no safe wanted to make sure it was clean. It was.

Librarian
05-19-2011, 1:08 PM
Everybody step back a bit and breathe.

OP, you and your buddy made a mistake, but not an especially bad one, and hardly uncommon.

The ideal corrective situation is apparently not available.

Generally, CA's interest seems to be in getting a handgun tied to someone's name, and anecdotally, absent other criminal behavior, just fixing that seems to satisfy them.

So, the volreg form would cover that; no questions on where it came from or how you got it.

So would a PPT, if you care to sell it - again, no questions on how the owner came to have it, and no requirement that the gun be registered to the seller.

chiselchst
05-19-2011, 3:30 PM
Everybody step back a bit and breathe.

OP, you and your buddy made a mistake, but not an especially bad one, and hardly uncommon.

The ideal corrective situation is apparently not available.

Generally, CA's interest seems to be in getting a handgun tied to someone's name, and anecdotally, absent other criminal behavior, just fixing that seems to satisfy them.

So, the volreg form would cover that; no questions on where it came from or how you got it.

So would a PPT, if you care to sell it - again, no questions on how the owner came to have it, and no requirement that the gun be registered to the seller.

I've followed these types of questions, and that advice (highlighted above) is your best option, IMHO... Be honest, and don't lie on the form. My understanding is that they just want to know who the current owner is...

http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/pdf/volreg.pdf