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ElvisShotFirst
07-19-2011, 12:00 PM
Hi everyone. Hoping for a legal opinion from you guys. I have a buddy down in la who bought a storage locker in an auction and found two guns inside. One is a 44 mag pistol and one is a .30 carbine. They look 70s or 80s era. Does he have any legal path to register them? Is he legally obligated to just Turk them over to the police?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Caladain
07-19-2011, 12:03 PM
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/archive/index.php/t-399040.html

Also, Make/model/pics? :-D

ElvisShotFirst
07-19-2011, 12:15 PM
Thanks! I will ask my buddy what the specs on then were.

Markus
07-19-2011, 12:30 PM
what happens if you were to find high cap mags? would you be allowed to keep them?

goodlookin1
07-19-2011, 12:35 PM
what happens if you were to find high cap mags? would you be allowed to keep them?

Yes

chris12
07-19-2011, 12:55 PM
what happens if you were to find high cap mags? would you be allowed to keep them?

Interesting question. While buying them isn't directly illegal, I've often heard it is illegal by conspiracy, because only half of a transaction can't be illegal. That would probably be even tougher to prove though.

I wonder if the place selling the storage lockers is doing something illegal, either by selling a gun without an FFL or selling hi-cap mags.

Steveo8
07-19-2011, 1:28 PM
I watched one of those auction shows the other night. They found a rifle in the storage room, the auctioneer also spotted the rifle. He took the rifle to the main office and informed the bidders that the winning bidder could claim the weapon after the auction and that it would be DROS'd through a dealer.

NorCal Mtn Flyer
07-19-2011, 1:30 PM
I have purchased several storage auctions, but none in CA, so this may not be applicable.

When a storage unit operation is about to auction off a unit, they themselves are legally NOT allowed to enter the unit and search through it. They have a very strict set of rules which must be followed. When advertising a unit, they may look through the door and get an "idea" of what type of goods might be in the unit.

So how would the storage operator know what is in the unit? Yes, generally the buyer has 24 hrs to clear out the unit, and nobody is there looking over your shoulder. It is buyer beware, and buyer is responsible for the legal disposition of any and all contents.
So what ever the laws are for that location....

I have yet to find a firearm in any of my units, but I have found quite a bit of ammo, shooting accessories, illegal contraband, etc... And of course, just about every unit has fishing gear, porn, and at least one basket of dirty laundry! lol

Just-in
07-19-2011, 2:09 PM
wrong thread... ignore me

sreiter
07-19-2011, 2:12 PM
I watched one of those auction shows the other night. They found a rifle in the storage room, the auctioneer also spotted the rifle. He took the rifle to the main office and informed the bidders that the winning bidder could claim the weapon after the auction and that it would be DROS'd through a dealer.

but thats only if the sellers see's them (show i saw was from dallas). if seller dont see 'em, they become the buyers

vincewarde
07-19-2011, 2:50 PM
As far as firearms or High-cap mags:

1) The storage unit owner usually specifically does not check or warranty the contents of the storage locker. If they see a gun or high-cap mag, that would be different. Then they would clearly have an obligation to act within the law - but if it is buried in the back of the unit, they should nit be any more liable then if there happened to be illegal drugs in a box in the back of the unit.

2) The buyer also should be in the clear. After all, they did not conspire to buy the mags or the firearm. They just happened to be there, and they found out after the fact. They clearly should register any handguns they find - perhaps by an "operation of law" form. As for the mags, they clearly cannot sell them intact, but they could keep them for personal use or break them down and sell the parts.

I trust that if I got this wrong, someone with more legal knowledge will set me straight.

curtisfong
07-19-2011, 3:20 PM
As for the mags, they clearly cannot sell them intact, but they could keep them for personal use or break them down and sell the parts

Common sense would tell you that is correct; but IMO that isn't the question.

Obviously, if such a thing happened, and at a later date, you were approached by Law Enforcement questioning how you got those mags, if you say *nothing* and refuse to provide any details, you are in the clear.

The question is, if you told the DA or LEO that you found them in a storage unit less than 3 years ago, what would happen.

chris12
07-19-2011, 4:05 PM
As far as firearms or High-cap mags:

1) The storage unit owner usually specifically does not check or warranty the contents of the storage locker. If they see a gun or high-cap mag, that would be different. Then they would clearly have an obligation to act within the law - but if it is buried in the back of the unit, they should nit be any more liable then if there happened to be illegal drugs in a box in the back of the unit.

2) The buyer also should be in the clear. After all, they did not conspire to buy the mags or the firearm. They just happened to be there, and they found out after the fact. They clearly should register any handguns they find - perhaps by an "operation of law" form. As for the mags, they clearly cannot sell them intact, but they could keep them for personal use or break them down and sell the parts.

I trust that if I got this wrong, someone with more legal knowledge will set me straight.

So someone can sell guns without an FFL or high cap mags as long as they don't know they are selling them? That really doesn't seem legal.

If this were the case all I would need to do is find myself a someone with a bad memory and I could get all sorts of stuff I want. Or a store where you bagged everything yourself and then they just sold it to you by weight...so they don't know what they are selling.

BigDogatPlay
07-19-2011, 4:25 PM
Only my thinking and opinion, but if the buyer does not have an FFL they can't receive firearms without a DROS in California. Don't know if any type of operation of law would cover it.

If we keep talking about it, the LAPD gun unit will be out at every storage locker auction...... :D

Kid Stanislaus
07-19-2011, 8:43 PM
wrong thread... ignore me

You don't need to be think'n you'll get away with THAT!!:D

Anchors
07-19-2011, 9:52 PM
Only my thinking and opinion, but if the buyer does not have an FFL they can't receive firearms without a DROS in California. Don't know if any type of operation of law would cover it.

If we keep talking about it, the LAPD gun unit will be out at every storage locker auction...... :D

A gun shop in the valley told me about a regular they have that comes in with these guns.

He sells them through the dealer to be safe, if there is anything he wants, he still does a DROS to himself (sells to shop, buys from shop).

With the ones he sells they said once they got a box of junky old guns and they bought them from him for 20 bucks a pop and sold them for 100 or something.

ElvenSoul
07-19-2011, 9:58 PM
I believe it is a Salvage Sale...so the item is considered found...same as if walking in the woods and found the guns...

ElvenSoul
07-19-2011, 10:02 PM
Of course now that your friend has these firearms he has to do the right thing and register them, and either turn in the hicaps or disassemble them into parts kits.

berg
07-19-2011, 10:06 PM
Hi everyone. Hoping for a legal opinion from you guys. I have a buddy down in la who bought a storage locker in an auction and found two guns inside. One is a 44 mag pistol and one is a .30 carbine. They look 70s or 80s era. Does he have any legal path to register them? Is he legally obligated to just Turk them over to the police?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Why would anyone register a C&R M1 Carbine?

ElvenSoul
07-19-2011, 10:20 PM
Have a gunsmith check and make sure that the m1carbine is infact semi auto and errr not full auto... these kinds things do happen...people find full auto weapons....my cousin found a full auto ak hidden in 70's Pontiac he bought at auction in 98'...sad to let it go...the gun not the car..

jdberger
07-19-2011, 10:38 PM
Not sure, but I think you could VolReg teh guns.

Good question. I'll post it to "The Right People".

NorCal Mtn Flyer
07-19-2011, 11:04 PM
If an individual did come into possession of a handgun via one of these sales, wouldn't they have the normal 60 days to register it, just as if they had just brought it in from out of state? After all, they had only just taken possession of it.
And the owner of the storage facility sold the unit contents as "misc household goods", not a firearm specifically. So how would they be deemed in violation of any particular PC, provided they had no prior knowledge of the firearm's existence?
And in anycase, short of a buyer calling the LEA to come to the unit to remove the firearm, what proof does anyone have that the weapon was in fact IN the unit when it was sold?

Just playing a little devil's advocate here....

In reality, I have no doubt that the LEA's come across this scenario often enough to have a resolution already in place. But I would also suspect it does not include the buyer of the unit maintaining ownership of the firearm...

BannedinBritain
07-20-2011, 12:03 PM
But I would also suspect it does not include the buyer of the unit maintaining ownership of the firearm...

That's a little cynical...which is understandable, but it's not the truth of the matter. As long as the serial number doesn't come up stolen...or the firearm isn't suspected as being used in a crime, they don't care that you found a gun. They'll check the number...and in some instances they may take a ballistics sample from the firearm for their records...then you can pick up the firearm and dispose of it as you wish.

Coming into possession of these firearms is an "operation of law"...so I don't believe the volreg form is appropriate for handguns. The "op law / intrafamilial transfer" form would be a better fit. Besides, op-law form is $19 for as many handguns as you need to list...volreg is $19 for each firearm.

Gray Peterson
07-20-2011, 12:39 PM
1) The dealer licensing and reporting requirements do not apply to the sale, lease, or
transfer of any firearm in the following instances (Penal Code 12078(u)):
• Firearms obtained by individuals through operation of law, such as:
- the executor or administrator of an estate;
- a trustee in a bankruptcy proceeding;
- an assignee for creditors;
- a receiver for an estate in receivership;
- a surviving spouse;
- a transfer of property between spouses.

curtisfong
07-20-2011, 12:44 PM
Hypothetically, "assignment to creditors" seems to be an interesting way to get around all sorts of unreasonable purchase/sale restrictions... or I am I overreaching?

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Assignment+for+Benefit+of+Creditors

blazeaglory
07-20-2011, 1:00 PM
If an auctioneer can see the gun in plain view he has to DROS it to whoever buys the unit but if he cant see any firearms than it is OK. But other than that, once you win the unit and find a gun by law you have to notify the proper agency to see if its stolen or violates NFA rules. Other than that its yours.

bwiese
07-20-2011, 1:03 PM
Hypothetically, "assignment to creditors" seems to be an interesting way to get around all sorts of unreasonable purchase/sale restrictions... or I am I overreaching?

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Assignment+for+Benefit+of+Creditors

You should not overextend this.

If some situation where gun ownership occurs as a result of some legal action (or byproduct thereof), then that's OK.

The individal should file

Note that this is not a "found" gun (as if it was laying on the sidewalk). Storage unit contents are sold/auctioned per contract.

Most storage places I'm aware of actually do run quick run-thrus of units ready for auction just to deal with such situations and the guns are turned over to police.

curtisfong
07-20-2011, 1:08 PM
So the "auction off a sealed box with unknown contents" thing wouldn't pass the sniff test?

I guess that isn't surprising :)

aermotor
07-20-2011, 1:09 PM
I thought they can't even go inside the unit let alone rummage through the contents....

tgriffin
07-20-2011, 1:29 PM
I thought they can't even go inside the unit let alone rummage through the contents....

My understanding as well, relatives own storage unit complexes up in Oregon and that is the law there at least.

blazeaglory
07-20-2011, 1:53 PM
If the gun is in plain sight it has to be DROS by the owner through a FFL but if you cant see any guns when the door is open then it is OK.

Plain sight means if the gun can be seen from the outside of the locker without going in and rummaging through anything.

BannedinBritain
07-20-2011, 2:05 PM
I thought they can't even go inside the unit let alone rummage through the contents....

When the renter defaults...the storage company, to satisfy the debt, files the necessary paperwork to take ownership of the contents for auction. It's a similar process to what a "mechanics lien" does for a mechanic who can't collect for work done on an automobile. At that point, everything in the unit is the property of the storage company to do with as it pleases...an auction is the most expedient method of recouping the back rent.

goodlookin1
07-20-2011, 2:46 PM
The mags would be considered "found" because the buyer had no clue what he was buying. IE: No one-sided conspiracy to sell, know knowledge of sale of high caps, no intent, lending, no manufacturing.....nothing illegal. ALL he did was "buy", which we all know is legal.

Trailboss60
07-20-2011, 4:16 PM
A bit off topic....
I thought they can't even go inside the unit let alone rummage through the contents....


I used to attend storage auctions in Fremont/Newark years ago, and a guy that owned a second hand store on Thornton ave. was chatting it up with the storage manager right down the street from his business before the auction, (he was a savvy bidder as I had seen him at many other auctions). Based on what was visible when the unit was opened, no person would reasonably think that there was anything much of value in the unit, but the bidder went pretty high on his bidding. After he won the unit, the foreclosed renter asked him to sell him just the "cabinet in the back" for a certain sum of money, and the cheshire cat grinning bidder declined.
I have no doubt that the manager pre-inventoried the unit for that guy...not saying it happens a lot, but it did that day.

762.DEFENSE
07-20-2011, 4:35 PM
what happens if you were to find high cap mags? would you be allowed to keep them?

Totally!

Burbur
07-20-2011, 4:42 PM
Pre-inventorying aside, a watchful storage owner knows which units are full of goods and which are full of crap.

My grandfather never auctioned off the stuff renters defaulted to him, hell he still has most of it...

ElvisShotFirst
07-21-2011, 9:51 AM
Thank you everyone.

FX-05 Xiuhcoatl
07-21-2011, 10:26 AM
:popcorn:

bradcannoneer
07-21-2011, 1:16 PM
i also buy storage auctions often the way to be legal is to drop the guns off at a dealer have them do a dealers background on you yes pay for it yourself! tell the dealer your playing it safe !then after yu get the guns your clear from stolen prop issues and there yurs cali legal ...etc

bradcannoneer
07-21-2011, 1:19 PM
my autioneer friend tells me to do the same as i mentioned and when he sees the guns they become the property of the auctioneer !! to do as they please....

lhecker51
07-21-2011, 3:56 PM
Interesting question. While buying them isn't directly illegal, I've often heard it is illegal by conspiracy, because only half of a transaction can't be illegal. That would probably be even tougher to prove though.

I wonder if the place selling the storage lockers is doing something illegal, either by selling a gun without an FFL or selling hi-cap mags.

Very good observation. I have referred this case to the DA for charges and prosecution. There will be a subpoena for the OP's identity for the purpose of charging him as well.

We must rid our great state of these cop killing, whale blasting, sea otter endangering, high cap magazines!

"what happens if you were to find high cap mags? would you be allowed to keep them?"

Damn, I got all excited. Thought you actually broke the law. Let me know if you DO find any hi-cap mags as there may still be hope for a prosecution.

high_lander
07-21-2011, 4:59 PM
personally i would STFU and enjoy, but that is me.

Now before I knew legalities of it, I came into possession of some old firearms that a neighbor of my wife's grandfather found in their shed. She let me pick through what I wanted and had took the rest to the sheriff. I got some good stuff too.

I know not legal, but meh so what. MOLON LABE!

formula502
07-21-2011, 10:04 PM
Why would anyone register a C&R M1 Carbine?

Maybe it was an Auto Mag & Auto Mag III. :D

dantodd
07-21-2011, 10:45 PM
I know not legal, but meh so what.

This is not a good attitude to have toward the law, especially when your right to keep and bear arms may well rest in the balance.

BannedinBritain
07-22-2011, 1:29 AM
This is not a good attitude to have toward the law, especially when your right to keep and bear arms may well rest in the balance.

In CA? Yeah...I would agree...but he's in Texas...so there is a small difference in attitudes about firearms. :D

NorCal Mtn Flyer
07-22-2011, 1:36 AM
my autioneer friend tells me to do the same as i mentioned and when he sees the guns they become the property of the auctioneer !! to do as they please....

Granted, I'm thinking of Texas and Colorado, but if an auctioneer tried to lay claim to anything in a unit which was being auctioned off, he would be lucky to make it out of the facility with his life! There would be an immediate lynching! :eek:

Big Jake
07-22-2011, 6:24 AM
Interesting question. While buying them isn't directly illegal, I've often heard it is illegal by conspiracy, because only half of a transaction can't be illegal. That would probably be even tougher to prove though.

I wonder if the place selling the storage lockers is doing something illegal, either by selling a gun without an FFL or selling hi-cap mags.

I doubt it as it would be difficult to prove that the place had prior knowledge of the contents of the storage locker thus removing the ability to form intent!