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View Full Version : old, "unregistered" family transfers?


savasyn
11-24-2007, 11:18 PM
I've been asked this a couple of times recently, but I'm not 100% on the answer.

If you were to have received a handgun from your father in the mid 80s(pre needing to do the paperwork & $19) and have chosen not to do the paperwork now(which I believe is legal), can you legally take that gun to and from the range/any other legal activity without fear of being convicted of being in possession of an unreg'd gun? It's yours legally, but the state doesn't know that.

I'm clear that if you tried carrying it concealed on your person without it being in your name(and especially without a CCW) it's an automatic felony, but I'm asking about legal transport(unloaded/locked.)

Part two of this question is very similar. My father recently asked me to clean up his old Derringer. I was happy to do so after checking with you guys about it being legal to borrow handguns. What I forgot to check out was that he bought the thing 40+ years ago so who knows what paperwork was done on it(if any) back then. Would there have been trouble if, for whatever reason, a cop would have needed to run the serial number? Obviously we could have just called my dad, who is the rightful owner, but once again, who knows if the state knows that.

Any thoughts on these issues?

Thanks!!

bwiese
11-24-2007, 11:39 PM
Really, there is no crime for possession of an 'unregistered' gun - there is a requirement that gun transfers after 1/1/1991 require DROSing and a requirement that people moving into CA w/handguns beginning 1/1/98 have to file "Personal handgun importer" forms.

There's zillions of guns that were legally transferred paper-free before 1/1/1991 between family members, or in a dude's garage. I (and many others are similarly situated) have a bunch of dad's guns as well as guns privately purchased in 1980s or earlier.

I'd say at least 35% of all handguns in CA are legal and paperwork history has huge gaps. A gun made in the 1950s may have had multiple cycles of private sale, inheritance, gifting, etc.

You are correct that a gun not DROSed to you is an escalator in CCW charges.

And, as long as that old Derringer you cleaned for your dad was not illegal (smoothbore, stolen, etc.) you're fine borrowing it on occasion under 'infrequent loan' exemptions in 12078(d) as long as you have a valid HSC. If a cop or gov't can't find out who owns it, f**k 'em - as you are in legal possession of it. (Hell, some guns are so old they may not even (legally) have serial numbers - not sure when requirement for S/Ns kicked in, but probably 1968 GCA.)

savasyn
11-24-2007, 11:47 PM
Cool, thanks!
Yup, he is the original owner of the Derringer and it's rifled(didn't know they made smooth bored ones or that there was a law against them.)

I also didn't know you needed an HSC to borrow handguns. Good thing I finally got mine a few months ago! All of my handguns were bought in the 90s until a few months ago when I found this site and started buying again...

bwiese
11-24-2007, 11:55 PM
Cool, thanks!
(didn't know they made smooth bored ones or that there was a law against them.)

You can't have smoothbore handguns/pistols.
You can't have a handgun that shoots shotgun shells (i.e, Taurus Judge).


I also didn't know you needed an HSC to borrow handguns.

Hmmm, I thought I answered a post of yours covering this awhile back - maybe I'm confusing it w/someone else's - about borrowing guns.

PC 12078(d)(1) (or is it (d)(2)? losing it, brain fading...) provides for infrequent lending of guns between parties known to each other, for periods of up to 30 days, for any legal purpose. The lendee must hold a valid HSC card if the gun is a handgun. The parties, of course, cannot be prohibited persons.

This 'lending' is unsupervised, no-original-owner present. This does not apply to reg'd AWs or hicap mags, where the original owner must remain in the immediate presence of the borrower.

All of my handguns were bought in the 90s until a few months ago when I found this site and started buying again...

[Your handguns are fine and don't need further papering, unless you moved into CA after 1/1/98 and still need to file a Personal Handgun Importer report.]

savasyn
11-24-2007, 11:58 PM
You did answer my questions about borrowing recently as I was asking before picking up the Derringer. I guess the part about the HSC didn't stick in my mind as I had one at that point.

Yup, I'll my goodies were purchased here.

Thanks!

LECTRIKHED
11-25-2007, 10:15 AM
If it was stolen back in the day, ie 1972, and you were born in 1980, I think you will be ok. Your father might have some problems, but obviously you could not have stolen it.

The following question is hypothetical. In no way do I support any type of illegal activity nor do I have any friends of friends who have done this.

Is there a statute of limitations on stealing, or receiving a stolen gun? For example, old guy bought a stolen hunting rifle in 1969, or stole the rifle. Normally there is a statute of limitations on crimes. Is there one on these crimes?

Fjold
11-25-2007, 11:02 AM
You may not be prosecuted but the gun would still belong to the person that it was stolen from.

brassburnz
11-25-2007, 5:56 PM
My HSC expires in 2008. What would happen if for some reason I don't get another HSC right away? I know I can't buy another handgun without one, but what about the handguns I already own? Do I become "unsafe" because I don't have a current HSC?

Just wondering.

Randy
NRA Life Member

bwiese
11-25-2007, 6:18 PM
My HSC expires in 2008. What would happen if for some reason I don't get another HSC right away? I know I can't buy another handgun without one, but what about the handguns I already own? Do I become "unsafe" because I don't have a current HSC?

Nope.

You do not need an HSC card (or its forerunner, the BFSC) to retain your handguns.

HSC is only for acquisition (purchase, PPT, inheritance, interfamily transfer).

If you (sadly) decided you never needed a new handgun after your HSC card expires in 2008, you would not have to replace/renew it.

sierratangofoxtrotunion
11-26-2007, 5:17 PM
If you were to have received a handgun from your father in the mid 80s(pre needing to do the paperwork & $19) and have chosen not to do the paperwork now(which I believe is legal), can you legally take that gun to and from the range/any other legal activity without fear of being convicted of being in possession of an unreg'd gun? It's yours legally, but the state doesn't know that.

How old is this hypothetical person? Was he old enough to buy it back in the mid 80s when this happened? If this person was a year old at the time, can he have been given a gun at the time without doing the paperwork?

MFortie
01-04-2008, 9:33 AM
I just read this over on the S&W forum:

"It is not a crime to possess an unregistered hangun. Carrying a gun becomes a felony if the gun carried in public (or in one's vehicle) is unregistered. The non registration raises the violation from a misd to a felony but is not a crime in and of itself to possess an unregistered handgun. PC12031, 12025"

This means carrying illegally? Not if the handgun is in a locked case, etc. on the way to the range? Hate to think the Blackhawk I bought in 1976 from a good friend will land me in jail!

Regards,

Mark

Hopi
01-04-2008, 9:55 AM
Hypothetically:
Let's assume that I am a resident in in the Midwest where PP sales are undocumented and I buy a large estate that includes firearms with diverse histories of acquisition. Is there a way to determine if the rifles are "clean" (not used in the commission of a crime) and won't subject you to criminal firearm ownership?

bwiese
01-04-2008, 10:16 AM
I just read this over on the S&W forum:
"It is not a crime to possess an unregistered hangun. Carrying a gun becomes a felony if the gun carried in public (or in one's vehicle) is unregistered. The non registration raises the violation from a misd to a felony but is not a crime in and of itself to possess an unregistered handgun. PC12031, 12025"

This means carrying illegally? Not if the handgun is in a locked case, etc. on the way to the range? Hate to think the Blackhawk I bought in 1976 from a good friend will land me in jail!

Yes, of course, why would it be otherwise?

"Incorrectly transported concealable handgun" is, in essence, illegal CCW.

Doesn't matter if it's an old Blackhawk or a new Beretta, if it's not DROSed to you (even though you legally possess it) it's an escalator to basic CCW charge.

There may be some extenuating handwaving if truly on way to range, but expect lawyer$ and initial felony charges if handgun is not DROSed to you, esp in a greater metro area. Out in the sticks might be a bit different but there's a fair chance you could get a CCW there anyway.

bwiese
01-04-2008, 10:19 AM
Hypothetically:
Let's assume that I am a resident in in the Midwest where PP sales are undocumented and I buy a large estate that includes firearms with diverse histories of acquisition. Is there a way to determine if the rifles are "clean" (not used in the commission of a crime) and won't subject you to criminal firearm ownership?

If you were legitimately purchasing firearms from an estate, the worst that'd happen is, whenever an event occurred where that gun was run (and if it were in NCIC or state records as 'hot') it'd end up going to original owner.

Hopi
01-04-2008, 10:34 AM
If you were legitimately purchasing firearms from an estate, the worst that'd happen is, whenever an event occurred where that gun was run (and if it were in NCIC or state records as 'hot') it'd end up going to original owner.

I actually have friends in MO who do antique estate clearances and frequently come across firearms of all types. I have received a few of these via my C and R license, but until now I didn't think that they might possibly have a 'storied' history.