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Librarian
05-27-2011, 2:37 PM
We've seen a slight increase in posts that go something like this:

My friend/relative gave me a handgun and now is gone. How do I make this legal?

On Calguns, we're kind of stuck for an answer beyond "get a lawyer".

Here's the problem: since 1991, California has required substantially all firearm transfers to go through a CA-licensed FFL (see the Wiki for the long explanation (http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/Buying_and_selling_firearms_in_California), that's not what this thread is for).

Since 1968, Federal law has required substantially all interstate transfers (http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/Transferring_firearms_Interstate) to go through an FFL in the state of residence of the buyer/receiver, and violation of that is a Federal felony.

Failing to follow the transfer laws, deliberately or accidentally, is a crime (or several crimes in sequence).

We can't give you legal advice. We're not lawyers, and even if some of us were licensed and inclined, those members would not become YOUR lawyer until an agreement were reached - and most likely we would never see the result of such agreement on the forums.

We have some private guesses on how important various agencies seem to believe these violations might be - but we don't know, and those agencies are not publishing their 'no harm, no foul' criteria.

A few posts like that, on exploration of circumstances, have a nice neat legal resolution that's obvious.

But it's pretty difficult when a member comes on and posts the equivalent of "I just committed a Federal felony, what do I do?" Ahh, maybe don't confess to a crime in a public forum known to be monitored by many law enforcement agencies?

That sounds harsh, because a lot of the posts come from people who really do/did not know that their acts were criminal. They're "malum prohibitum (http://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=1202)", bad because prohibited, and one simply is expected to know the laws exist - an often unfulfilled expectation.

So, the best I can come up with is this advice:
phrase your question as a fully-deniable hypothetical.

"What if <this> were to be true?" questions can be discussed in the hypothetical. The answer may still resolve to "If I were in that circumstance, I think I'd get a lawyer right quick".

Can any one else offer more or better advice?

loose_electron
05-27-2011, 2:42 PM
The legal terminology method is suggested - try this:

Allegedly:
<put your statement or question here>
Now what do I do?


I really doubt if things posted here would ever be legally admissable, but that's another story.

mosinnagantm9130
05-27-2011, 2:43 PM
Can any one else offer more or better advice?

Sticky this thread?

Ripon83
05-27-2011, 2:52 PM
So you don't feel that the "anonymity" of a forum identification is enough? I guess I can't imagine asking if something I've done was a crime on a forum, but I also can't imagine our esteemed law enforcement agencies of the United States and Local wanting to go after an anonymous ID with an IP search and hunt down?

loose_electron
05-27-2011, 2:53 PM
The nature of the laws in CA cause a lot of out of state people to do illegal things.

Allegedly:
I was at American Shooting Center for a class, a lady from Florida came in with a little .380 pistol in her purse, and she did not know that shew was illegally doing concealed carry without a permit. We got her a little case and a lock so she could walk out of there legally.

There, that works, its all alleged, and I have admitted nothing.

Very Important: Anything that you post on the internet is there forever.
Anything that you post on the internet, even as an anonymous contributor, can be traced back to you and your real identity, if people (LEO or Government groups) want to find out who you are in the real world.

loose_electron
05-27-2011, 2:56 PM
So you don't feel that the "anonymity" of a forum identification is enough? I guess I can't imagine asking if something I've done was a crime on a forum, but I also can't imagine our esteemed law enforcement agencies of the United States and Local wanting to go after an anonymous ID with an IP search and hunt down?

You don't have anonymity if they want to make the effort to find out. Good news is 99.999999999999% of the time nobody cares.

s30
05-27-2011, 3:02 PM
Sticky this thread?

This.

MasterYong
05-27-2011, 3:07 PM
So you don't feel that the "anonymity" of a forum identification is enough? I guess I can't imagine asking if something I've done was a crime on a forum, but I also can't imagine our esteemed law enforcement agencies of the United States and Local wanting to go after an anonymous ID with an IP search and hunt down?

It would be remarkably easy for the gov't to track down just about anyone on this site. They would likely need to subpoena the forum owners for server logs and the like, and hopefully the forum owners would fight it, but if the subpoena was legit then they could have the info right quick.

You have no anonymity on the internet. Anything that is made by man can be unmade by man.

Just in most cases, no one cares enough to try, or the "evidence" given in the forum post wouldn't be enough to get a subpoena.

IANAL.

Librarian is right tho, there does seem to be an increase of people on this forum outright admitting to crimes and then asking how to make good on it. Not even with the decency to say "hey I may know a guy that did X. What would this guy do about had X actually happened?"

Even then you're not exactly being discreet.

Ripon83
05-27-2011, 3:33 PM
I agree they can find anyone, but for most of these questions would they care to?

unusedusername
05-27-2011, 3:48 PM
We have an amazing number of stickies in this forum already, but putting this up with the others might be a good idea..

Common sense people, public forums are just as public as the lobby of a police station.

paradox
05-27-2011, 4:10 PM
We could always do like the druggie forums and overuse SWIM...

Someone
Who
Isn't
Me

wash
05-27-2011, 5:00 PM
Time for me to put on my tin foil hat:

A lot of these are from people with one or very few posts, they may be antis trying to paint us as a group of irresponsible criminals that disregard existing laws.

On a side note, we have lawsuits going because CA laws are vague and difficult to follow. Inadvertent "crimes" happen as a result.

dantodd
05-27-2011, 5:31 PM
I realize this is OT but perhaps like the CCW sub-forum we need one for Notices and FAQs. It will be a god place to put stickies and We can prevent new thread starts but leave one open thread for magazine Q's, one for bad transfers etc. then just heavily moderate those few threads. If a unique question comes up worthy of FAQ status it can be moved.

GettoPhilosopher
05-27-2011, 6:06 PM
Hey, Librarian, speaking of that, just the other day I was shooting my AR pistol....accuracy was bugging me so I put on a stock and a foregrip, and got rid of that pesky bullet button. Anyways, I pulled the trigger and it went FA and dumped my entire illegally acquired 30rd highcap downrange. Oops!

I want to fix it, but I bought it FTF from my old pot dealer. Is the gun store gonna have a problem with it? I'm worried because I was just 5150'd last week, and my pesky GF got that restraining order against me. Help?

</obviously blatantly sarcastic> ;)

luckystrike
05-27-2011, 9:06 PM
sticky!

now a good question is, are the LEAs that troll this site here to educate themselves or are they here to try and cyber-bust good people?

beauregard
05-27-2011, 9:16 PM
This thread is part of what makes Calguns better than the rest of the internet.

HowardW56
05-30-2011, 9:56 AM
So you don't feel that the "anonymity" of a forum identification is enough? I guess I can't imagine asking if something I've done was a crime on a forum, but I also can't imagine our esteemed law enforcement agencies of the United States and Local wanting to go after an anonymous ID with an IP search and hunt down?

That happens all the time.... Kiddy Porn....

HowardW56
05-30-2011, 10:00 AM
Hey, Librarian, speaking of that, just the other day I was shooting my AR pistol....accuracy was bugging me so I put on a stock and a foregrip, and got rid of that pesky bullet button. Anyways, I pulled the trigger and it went FA and dumped my entire illegally acquired 30rd highcap downrange. Oops!

I want to fix it, but I bought it FTF from my old pot dealer. Is the gun store gonna have a problem with it? I'm worried because I was just 5150'd last week, and my pesky GF got that restraining order against me. Help?

</obviously blatantly sarcastic> ;)

Did you do this after your felony parole was completed or during? :rolleyes:

Librarian
05-30-2011, 10:37 AM
Did you do this after your felony parole was completed or during? :rolleyes:

I think he did it right after he registered his address with the local police, where he pointed out the school across the street.

And that was the AR he picked up in Reno a few weeks ago.

bwiese
05-30-2011, 10:43 AM
For all the noobs that think "things can't happen" I'll just say that former DOJ agent Iggy Chinn essentially broke into a house on a rumor of an AW. His story was that the door was left open. [approximate story/don't recall full details/coulda been related to early Robinson M96 matter]

NEVER EVER ASSUME LACK OF PROSECUTION.

Kid Stanislaus
05-30-2011, 11:31 AM
If they're bound and determined to get you on something then they'll persue until they find something. The best we can do is to not make it easy for them.

GettoPhilosopher
05-30-2011, 11:42 AM
I think he did it right after he registered his address with the local police, where he pointed out the school across the street.

And that was the AR he picked up in Reno a few weeks ago.

Actually, come to think of it, it was a .50 BMG upper too. I'm also 17, renounced my citizenship, was dishonorably discharged from the Army, later illegally immigrated back, and am now a fugitive from justice.

What form do I fill out again?

POLICESTATE
05-30-2011, 11:43 AM
So you don't feel that the "anonymity" of a forum identification is enough? I guess I can't imagine asking if something I've done was a crime on a forum, but I also can't imagine our esteemed law enforcement agencies of the United States and Local wanting to go after an anonymous ID with an IP search and hunt down?

It doesn't take much to track people down these days, especially online.

Now if you were running through a few proxies, or a VPS in a foreign country it would be different, but even then you never really know what you can trust these days.

I agree however that it doesn't make sense for people to post details or even admissions of wrong doing on line. Boggles the mind.

loose_electron
05-30-2011, 12:53 PM
If you think you are anonymous
and unfindable as a poster on a web forum
then you are badly mistaken.

People are making a business out of doing exactly that:
http://www.reputationdefenseonline.com/internet-detectives-a-new-breed-of-super-sleuths/

And thats getting the job done with out all the
tools available within the government and legal tools.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080128/02263889.shtml

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/newspaper_tracks_down_anonymous_commenter_gets_him _fired_just_fun

Companies that specialize in doing this for legal matters:
http://www.vestigeltd.com/solutions/case-types/43-defamation

Bottom line - You can be found and identified.
Keep it legal, and keep it polite are my two suggestions.
Big brothers (of many forms and flavors) are always watching
if they want to be. 99.999999% of the time nobody cares,
but there is that one small part of the time where it could matter quite a bit.

chead
05-30-2011, 1:24 PM
Unless you post your personal information (phone, address), it's likely that no one is going to track you down for what is an honest mistake. There are videos of people shooting illegally-converted full-auto on Youtube, and I doubt those folks are all in jail now..

e: Don't construe this to mean it's a good idea to post questionably legal things on the internet. I have personally known two instances that have resulted in arrest and jail time.

Norsemen308
05-30-2011, 1:37 PM
^^^BAHAHAHAHAHA......if they catch people with kiddy porn on IP addresses... I wouldnt be posting you might have a illegal gun, guns, all of that...

best thing is to keep your mouth shut, and delete your thread...

diginit
05-30-2011, 5:34 PM
I think that most of the people that ask these questions simply don't know the complicated BS CA laws and want to comply with them without loss of personal property. They want to know how to keep their gift or purchase. Because their father or grandfather, mother or brother, gave it to them. It is a family eirloom...Or simply because they just spent $500 on a collectors/shooters item. These are good people that just haven't read every volume of the CA PC in the Library of Law and have no desire to become a felon. But wish to keep the item. Just because it is a gun, It can be illegal. I think this is unconstitutional. We have the right own any inatimate object we choose. As long as no person is harmed with the object, No crime has been committed. Another reason Ca laws need serious reform...Guns don't kill anyone in a safe, drawer, or even on a table. People kill People. With knives, clubs, arrows, fists or boots. Get a clue...