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Bri
07-31-2012, 2:16 PM
My Dad died when I was really young. He left me a rifle. My mom gave it to my sister almost three years ago when we were moving to California from Utah (with other stuff) to store in their basement until we could come back and get it (after we had a place to live).

So last fall I tried to get it back. My brother-in-law (sister's husband) gave me this really old and crappy rifle, not in firing condition (it was disassembled, missing parts, and held together in a bundle by duck tape.)

This was not my Dad's gun. My mom said this was not my Dad's gun. Well his step father died about a year and a half ago and left him a couple of rifles. This guy doesn't know an ak from a mossberg. We found my Dad's gun in his basement; my mom identified both the gun and the bag as my Dad's. I also have a box of shells (because he used to reload) that are 264 win mag. The barrel has 264 stamped on it.

My brother-in-law's family is saying it was their fathers and won't give it to me. :( This is one of the only things my Dad left me and I really want it back.

I don't know what the rifle is or anything about it. I can't find any pictures of my Dad with the rifle to prove it's ours. Is there any way I can find out if my Dad had guns registered in his name, to prove it was ours?

Also their house got raided about three years ago. They're saying they couldn't have gotten it back from police if it hadn't been registered. Is this true? Even if it is, my Dad's rifle was the only one that didn't have evidence tags on them. I don't think the gun was even there when their house was raided.

Any help is appreciated, I want my gun back!

Colt562
07-31-2012, 2:30 PM
I believe, i dont know if its true but you may be able to call up the DOJ and tell them your story and they might be able give you a list of all your dads registered firearms, i believe the list would have the serial number and from there I think you know what to do

roushstage2
07-31-2012, 2:32 PM
Long guns aren't registered, so that route won't go to far I don't think? Tell your sister to put the pants on and take care of business. It was given to her, so it's hers. From there, you'll have to do the FFL thing.

Colt562
07-31-2012, 2:40 PM
Long guns aren't registered, so that route won't go to far I don't think? Tell your sister to put the pants on and take care of business. It was given to her, so it's hers. From there, you'll have to do the FFL thing.

true but since he purchased the rifle, wouldnt the rifle or serial be linked to his name as the "original purchaser"?

There is one more thing you can do, i was just looking and i found that a FFL dealer is required to keep the orginal dros form, unless the company went belly-up and if so the ATF would have the DROS form, so if you know which place he bought it from, that may be the place to start

Bri
07-31-2012, 2:55 PM
Long guns aren't registered, so that route won't go to far I don't think? Tell your sister to put the pants on and take care of business. It was given to her, so it's hers. From there, you'll have to do the FFL thing.

My sister had it for safe-keeping, it was never hers. She's my half sister and not even related to my Dad.

I'm not sure how we're going to transfer it into the state either (legally).

They don't give a *** the last time I visited (in the fall) I kept bugging them to figure out that it was my gun. They waited until the last minute (like always) and then just called up my brother-in-laws mom who said over the phone "Yeah the 234 is ours" and I was like... um it's a 264?

They are shady people.

My mom is talking about stealing it the next time we visit...

roushstage2
07-31-2012, 2:59 PM
Then it's your mom's? She wouldn't be stealing it in that case, she'd be reclaiming her property, no?. If it came down to it, your mother could report it stolen with a known address of where it's at. Also, being your mother, she can simply gift you the rifle.

Colt- I didn't think about that. A phone call to the DOJ sure wouldn't hurt.

bussda
07-31-2012, 3:04 PM
Returning a rifle from law enforcement has nothing to do with registration, just who had possession.
Was the raid before or after you left Utah? Was it logged as a part of the raid? Do they have purchase records when/where the step father purchased it?

The only FFL record would be the 4473, but they were only required to be kept for 20 years.

ETA: No paperwork currently required to bring inherited firearms into California.

TheExiled
07-31-2012, 3:15 PM
I had a similar issue with some of my dad's cowboy guns that a neighbor 'borrowed', it came down to that he had them longer than 30 days so it was up to him if he wanted to return them to me. Ill let my tone writing this give you the answer as to what he chose.. :mad:

JackRydden224
07-31-2012, 3:20 PM
How about asking them how much they want for it?

I know in principle this sounds terrible because you should never have to pay a cent for that rifle but it might be the easiest way to accomplish your goal. If the brother in-law is not a gun person then he might be willing to part with it given some incentive.

Bruceisontarget
07-31-2012, 4:47 PM
I really feel for you. This is why I urge everyone to catalog their firearms with the serial numbers, pictures, and bills of sale when possible. Keep the catalog seperate from the guns in a safe and a copy off site. At least that is what I've done. I really hope you get your rifle back. Sounds like your brother-in-law is a bit of an *****.

axel4488
07-31-2012, 7:30 PM
When you and your mother go back to your sisters house to visit or whatever, have your mother go into the basement, and retrieve the rifle. If the BIL gives any crap, your mother should say firmly, "I am taking my rifle home now." and go lock it in the car.

baih777
07-31-2012, 7:36 PM
When you and your mother go back to your sisters house to visit or whatever, have your mother go into the basement, and retrieve the rifle. If the BIL gives any crap, your mother should say firmly, "I am taking my rifle home now." and go lock it in the car.

if your mother and sister really know it was your fathers, its legally your mothers. mother has to get tuff with her daughter. and take it back. the daughter just has to play dumb to her husband.
i have a shotgun that was my fathers. i keep it in the back of the safe. no idea if it works , but it was my dads. i know the feeling.

stitchnicklas
07-31-2012, 7:37 PM
tell your sister to grow a pair and give you the gun,if not disown her and tell her that is what will happen.do not deal with the loser bil,just get the gun.

SocomM4
07-31-2012, 7:38 PM
It's your mothers rifle, and of they won't give up, have her report it stolen. End of story.

dieselpower
07-31-2012, 7:54 PM
My god this is crazy simple... Tell them you will freaking contact the BATFE and report them for having a FIREARM that is not theirs and they are refusing to turn over. Call the Police and get the property list which will list every gun taken from the home...when your firearm is not listed...that proves the gun was not in the home at the time of the raid and therefore was not theirs. Tell that POS BIL you will have him tossed in jail if he doesn't give you YOUR FIREARM.

YOU ARE THE ONE WHO NEEDS TO GROW A PAIR...NOT YOUR STEP-SISTER.

Take the bull by the horns and get the job done.


FYI- Most police will say this is a "civil matter", but the BIL may not know that. You can still make his life a living hell and make sure he knows that YOU WILL MAKE HIS LIFE A LIVING HELL AND THE RIFLE ISNT WORTH IT TOO HIM...BUT IT IS TO YOU.

Make sure to follow through and call the Police to get the property list from the raid and explain to them the BIL has your firearm. Do this after the BIL refuses to give it too you. On the off-chance LEO do go after him.

mexicancolt1
07-31-2012, 8:22 PM
Try to talk some sense into your sister. If that doesn't work, have your Mom ask for the rifle. If that doesn't work, ask your brother-in-law once again for the rifle. If that doesn't work you can take them to small claims court or simply KICK your Brother-in-Laws ARSE, until he begs you to take the RIFLE!!!!

freonr22
07-31-2012, 8:50 PM
:chris:My god this is crazy simple... Tell them you will freaking contact the BATFE and report them for having a FIREARM that is not theirs and they are refusing to turn over. Call the Police and get the property list which will list every gun taken from the home...when your firearm is not listed...that proves the gun was not in the home at the time of the raid and therefore was not theirs. Tell that POS BIL you will have him tossed in jail if he doesn't give you YOUR FIREARM.

YOU ARE THE ONE WHO NEEDS TO GROW A PAIR...NOT YOUR STEP-SISTER.

Take the bull by the horns and get the job done.


FYI- Most police will say this is a "civil matter", but the BIL may not know that. You can still make his life a living hell and make sure he knows that YOU WILL MAKE HIS LIFE A LIVING HELL AND THE RIFLE ISNT WORTH IT TOO HIM...BUT IT IS TO YOU.

Make sure to follow through and call the Police to get the property list from the raid and explain to them the BIL has your firearm. Do this after the BIL refuses to give it too you. On the off-chance LEO do go after him.

+1

CSACANNONEER
07-31-2012, 8:54 PM
The gun was bought in Utah and is still in Utah, right?

Ok, there is no registration ay all in Utah. Utah does not have a DROS system. Utah FFLs keep the 4473 form. CA DOJ has nothing to do with Utah. Your BIL is an azz. If you can get it, you don't need to do anything special to bring it to CA. Your mom can give it to you without any paperwork. It is no different than her giving you one of your dad's old pairs of shoes.

Either buy it from them, talk to your sister and have her do what is right or have your mom report it stolen.

Whatisthis?
07-31-2012, 9:59 PM
Based on how the siblings sound, I would just report it stolen at this point. If you tell them you will report it stolen if it isn't returned, they seem shady enough to try to move it somewhere else. JMHO.

FalconLair
08-01-2012, 2:01 AM
i would think that if you did file a stolen gun report and the police cant unravel ownership they may leave it at you having to file a civil case to get it back, which would leave you with the burden to prove your case...

Kukuforguns
08-01-2012, 12:26 PM
My Dad died when I was really young. He left me a rifle.
How do you know your father left you the rifle? Did he mention the rifle in a will? If he did, there is a good chance there is some sort of description in the will. Get a copy of the will.

If the rifle is not described in the will, then get the model number, serial number of the rifle, and the manufacturer's name and then contact the manufacturer. The manufacturer might have a record showing to whom the rifle was sold (i.e., the dealer) and the date the rifle was transferred. If you can get the dealer's name and date of transfer, then contact the dealer and see if the dealer has records for sales during that time period.

It sounds as though the rifle is not being used. If you are confident the rifle was bequeathed to you, you could simply have your sister hand you the rifle while BIL is at work. He won't notice the rifle is missing. I personally am not comfortable with this option. I would contact a lawyer in the jurisdiction in which the gun is located before exercising this option. The lawyer will almost certainly want all of the proof you have that the rifle was bequeathed to you. So, get a copy of the will, any probate records, a statement from your mom, etc.

Some people believe that bad and unpredictable things are more likely to happen when you call the police. People who subscribe to this point of view have a motto: "Never call the police." Consider whether you believe contacting the police could have any undesired side-effects. My own interactions with police officers have always been as positive as I could expect under the circumstances.

Bri
08-02-2012, 11:20 AM
How do you know your father left you the rifle? Did he mention the rifle in a will? If he did, there is a good chance there is some sort of description in the will. Get a copy of the will.

If the rifle is not described in the will, then get the model number, serial number of the rifle, and the manufacturer's name and then contact the manufacturer. The manufacturer might have a record showing to whom the rifle was sold (i.e., the dealer) and the date the rifle was transferred. If you can get the dealer's name and date of transfer, then contact the dealer and see if the dealer has records for sales during that time period.

It sounds as though the rifle is not being used. If you are confident the rifle was bequeathed to you, you could simply have your sister hand you the rifle while BIL is at work. He won't notice the rifle is missing. I personally am not comfortable with this option. I would contact a lawyer in the jurisdiction in which the gun is located before exercising this option. The lawyer will almost certainly want all of the proof you have that the rifle was bequeathed to you. So, get a copy of the will, any probate records, a statement from your mom, etc.

Some people believe that bad and unpredictable things are more likely to happen when you call the police. People who subscribe to this point of view have a motto: "Never call the police." Consider whether you believe contacting the police could have any undesired side-effects. My own interactions with police officers have always been as positive as I could expect under the circumstances.

My Dad died very unexpectedly at the age of 35, with know preexisting condition and not a lot of money. So I don't think there is a will. I haven't asked.

My Mom said he left the rifle behind. Out of my Dad's actual kids (me and my brother) I am the only one who has shown any interest in guns (a lot actually) so she said it was mine to have after I turned 18. I didn't even know she still had the gun. I was elated.

She had already given it to my half-sister for safe keeping while we moved. My sister and I don't get along very well. She is 7 years older then me and very different from me (very... girly.) She will not help me get it back.

This is very difficult because I never have the money to visit Utah, and when I do I can only stop working and going to school for about a week. Maybe once a year.

They don't understand why I want the gun. They kept saying "the other gun is an antique. It's more valuable, don't you want that one?" and I'm like no I want my Dad's gun, it's not something I plan on selling! :mad: and anyways, it's obvious that the other gun is not valuable at all, but they don't know anything about guns... I feel like he's just trying to get money out of the guns and con me into getting the "cheaper" one. I hope he hasn't sold it. :(

I think I'm going to try writing them a letter about why the gun is important to me and why I want it, to try and spark them to take the time to figure out that it is mine and belongs in my family. I will also offer to buy it from them in the letter that was a great idea I hadn't even thought of.

Thank you everyone for your input and ideas. I really hope I can get the rifle back, it means a lot to me.

BrokerB
08-02-2012, 12:09 PM
Home was raided.....classy folks

mase1b
08-02-2012, 4:04 PM
I would be hesitant to offer to pay them for the gun. Clearly they aren't really interested in doing the right thing here, and I'd worry that an offer to pay would a) acknowledge that they are the rightful owner (in their minds, and perhaps in court as well if it went that far) and b) plant the idea that there is some value in that rifle other than sentimental. I can almost guarantee that they will keep asking for more and more money, and still keep jerking you around. If you offer $100, they'll ask for $200 reasoning that it must be worth more than you are offering to pay, when you agree to $200 and go to pick it up they'll change their minds and want $300 and so on...

If you, or you, or your mom has any paperwork that proves she owns it, then I would give them option to return or report it stolen. If not, then you it's just your word against theirs who actually owns the rifle...if you try to liberate it, and they have some documentation that they've had it for a while, they could be considered the owners and you might get yourself into hot water.

What a shame!...I'm really rooting for it all to work out in your favor. Best of luck!

BucDan
08-02-2012, 4:42 PM
I feel sorry for you and everyone else OP. Kinda sucks that you have to get through to family through legal matters. That's not how family should treat each other. But I know... When things gets tough...

tpuig
08-02-2012, 5:24 PM
Although it's a hard thing to give up on something that may have sentimental value, just leave it be.

Consider yourself lucky there is no actual blood relation, cut all ties and move on. You will be much richer in the long run.

Save up and buy yourself a nice gun, and think fondly of your dad each time you take it out. Make that your special rifle.

PEZHEAD265
08-03-2012, 8:57 AM
Was your dad a hunter?Maybe contact his buddies they might have a picture of him and the rifle.Does your BIL have a felony record?What was the house raid for?You said half sister so have your mom tell her daughter that it is your dads rifle and she is sure of that and wants it back.She should listen to her mom.

Fundamentals
08-03-2012, 9:08 AM
Your mom gave it to your half sister for safe keeping. Was that the words she used at the time? Was there any witnesses to this exchange?

In any case, it sounds like it is still belongs to your mother, and probate law would have given it to her upon the death of your father. Both you and your mother need to follow the advice above, including the police in this. "For safe keeping" is temporary; it is not a gift. If the sister and her husband refuse to give it back, then it can be considered stolen.

IXMM
08-03-2012, 9:08 AM
How about asking them how much they want for it?

I know in principle this sounds terrible because you should never have to pay a cent for that rifle but it might be the easiest way to accomplish your goal. If the brother in-law is not a gun person then he might be willing to part with it given some incentive.

yeah try to buy it back, if not, then go to court.

russ69
08-03-2012, 9:38 AM
yeah try to buy it back, if not, then go to court.

I'm guessing the rifle is worth about 500 bucks. If it was me I'd just go down and buy a new rifle. Yeah, I understand it was your Dad's but it just didn't work out and it's not worth the hassle.

Kukuforguns
08-03-2012, 11:50 AM
My Dad died very unexpectedly at the age of 35, with know preexisting condition and not a lot of money. So I don't think there is a will. I haven't asked.

My Mom said he left the rifle behind. Out of my Dad's actual kids (me and my brother) I am the only one who has shown any interest in guns (a lot actually) so she said it was mine to have after I turned 18. I didn't even know she still had the gun. I was elated.

She had already given it to my half-sister for safe keeping while we moved. My sister and I don't get along very well. She is 7 years older then me and very different from me (very... girly.) She will not help me get it back.

This is very difficult because I never have the money to visit Utah, and when I do I can only stop working and going to school for about a week. Maybe once a year.

They don't understand why I want the gun. They kept saying "the other gun is an antique. It's more valuable, don't you want that one?" and I'm like no I want my Dad's gun, it's not something I plan on selling! :mad: and anyways, it's obvious that the other gun is not valuable at all, but they don't know anything about guns... I feel like he's just trying to get money out of the guns and con me into getting the "cheaper" one. I hope he hasn't sold it. :(

I think I'm going to try writing them a letter about why the gun is important to me and why I want it, to try and spark them to take the time to figure out that it is mine and belongs in my family. I will also offer to buy it from them in the letter that was a great idea I hadn't even thought of.

Thank you everyone for your input and ideas. I really hope I can get the rifle back, it means a lot to me.
If your father left no written will, then the distribution of his property falls within intestate succession. Assuming Utah as the residence of your father at his passing:
75-2-102. Intestate share of spouse.
(1) The intestate share of a decedent's surviving spouse is:
(a) the entire intestate estate if:
(i) no descendant of the decedent survives the decedent; or
(ii) all of the decedent's surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse;
(b) the first $75,000, plus 1/2 of any balance of the intestate estate, if one or more of the decedent's surviving descendants are not descendants of the surviving spouse.
(2) For purposes of Subsection (1)(b), if the intestate estate passes to both the decedent's surviving spouse and to other heirs, then any nonprobate transfer, as defined in Section 75-2-206, received by the surviving spouse is added to the probate estate in calculating the intestate heirs' shares and is conclusively treated as an advancement under Section 75-2-109 in determining the spouse's share.
Based on your comments, it appears that your father has children from multiple partners, which makes the situation more complicated. I'm going to assume that the rifle passed to your mother through intestate succession. You should get her to confirm this, if possible. Get copies of whatever documents exist regarding your father's estate.

You have another problem. Your mother gave the rifle to your sister "for safe keeping." Was there some reason your mother could not hold the gun until you were an adult? In any event, your mother gave possession of the rifle to your sister, apparently with instructions to pass to you upon your majority. This may cause problems.

I'm sorry, but I'm not a wills/estate/probate attorney. Never took any courses in this area. If you really want this rifle, and your sister is not willing to help you, you will need to hire an attorney or buy the rifle from your sister/brother-in-law. Do not go to the police, given the facts as you have related them here, the police will not be able to determine that you are the rightful owner (even if you can identify the rifle as originally belonging to your father).

Your problems as I see them:
1) identifying the .264 rifle as belonging to your father. Your mother's testimony may not be enough because your brother-in-law's family appears to have contradictory beliefs;
2) confirming that ownership of the .264 rifle passed to your mother and not your sister upon your father's passing;
3) confirming that your mother did not transfer ownership to your sister, but rather only possession;
4) obtaining possession.

Going through an attorney is going to cost you thousands of dollars. You are likely to get the rifle for much less money by buying if from your sister and brother-in-law. I'm very sorry.

Bri
08-03-2012, 12:26 PM
My mom and I made a sudden move to California for financial reasons. She needed more money and a better job came up. We didn't have enough room for everything in the uhaul, so we left the rifle and a lot of stuff at my sisters house until we could come back and get it all. I was 17 at the time anyways.

If your father left no written will, then the distribution of his property falls within intestate succession. Assuming Utah as the residence of your father at his passing:

Based on your comments, it appears that your father has children from multiple partners, which makes the situation more complicated. I'm going to assume that the rifle passed to your mother through intestate succession. You should get her to confirm this, if possible. Get copies of whatever documents exist regarding your father's estate.

You have another problem. Your mother gave the rifle to your sister "for safe keeping." Was there some reason your mother could not hold the gun until you were an adult? In any event, your mother gave possession of the rifle to your sister, apparently with instructions to pass to you upon your majority. This may cause problems.

I'm sorry, but I'm not a wills/estate/probate attorney. Never took any courses in this area. If you really want this rifle, and your sister is not willing to help you, you will need to hire an attorney or buy the rifle from your sister/brother-in-law. Do not go to the police, given the facts as you have related them here, the police will not be able to determine that you are the rightful owner (even if you can identify the rifle as originally belonging to your father).

Your problems as I see them:
1) identifying the .264 rifle as belonging to your father. Your mother's testimony may not be enough because your brother-in-law's family appears to have contradictory beliefs;
2) confirming that ownership of the .264 rifle passed to your mother and not your sister upon your father's passing;
3) confirming that your mother did not transfer ownership to your sister, but rather only possession;
4) obtaining possession.

Going through an attorney is going to cost you thousands of dollars. You are likely to get the rifle for much less money by buying if from your sister and brother-in-law. I'm very sorry.

Thanks for taking the time to write this. I did contact my Dad's brother, who lives in another country, for pictures, but he doesn't have any of him with the gun.

My Dad only has two kids, me and my brother. Of course I would share the rifle with my brother and let him shoot it whenever he wants, but he's not into guns. I asked him about it and it's more important to me then him. I wanted to keep it safe, either then a teddy bear it's the only thing I have left from my Dad. In fact, my sister lost the pictures and videos my Dad took of us when we were kids. So right now I just have a teddy bear. :(

It's probably already gone, with someone in their family, or sold, or hidden.

My mom is a really dramatic person. She'll make a stink out of it. I'll try to get the rifle back, but I'm not going to spend thousands of dollars I don't have.

The only proof I have is the empty shells he never got to reload. I can check if they fit in the gun, might be enough proof for my brother-in-law, but I'm not going to take him to court over it. Honestly, I like my sisters husband more then her, she might even try to keep it out of spite of me. She's always been a sad person and a bully, I don't like it when she gets to me.

thai562
08-03-2012, 12:49 PM
I am sorry to hear this. But It look like you are out of luck.
There is no paper saying your dad left the rifle to your mom, or any proof that the rifle in question is your dad rifle.
The only cost effective solution is offer to buy the rifle back from your sister. She will ask for more than the market value for that rifle. Depend on the price, you can buy it back or not.
If it is too high, consider it as a gift from your dad telling you to stay away from her, and dis-owned @ss.
Good Luck

Bigyates
08-03-2012, 2:28 PM
If it hasn't already been mentioned you could write the manufacturer. If you Dad bought the gun new there may be some warranty record or a record of what city the gun and shop the gun was originally sent to. What are the casings stamped? 264? At least this could cement in your mind that the rifle is truly yours.

LAKings22
08-04-2012, 1:38 AM
Few years ago I knew a person who had somthing I really wanted and he didn't care for it. He refused to sell it or trade it for anything. After a night out which envolved alot of drinking or too much drinking, I brought up the subject to him about the item and he offered to give it, no money or no trade. Since then he hasn't mentioned 1 thing about that item, shows how much be didn't care for it.

SFBA
08-08-2012, 4:49 PM
Write a passionate letter, hit their emotions and offer some money for 'their kids' and have them save-face. They are money/asset grabbers, but we don't want to tell them the truth. Me, because I say what's on my mind, my actual thoughts would NEVER get the gun back presuming I was in your situation. All the best.

SFBA
08-08-2012, 4:54 PM
And agree with Kuku, your mother is a material witness and can peruse legal actions against them. A compelling story and believe there is a junior attorney that can help you or a paralegal that will advise you to sue pro-per. Because of the $ amount, small claims is your best bet.