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andy.pasha 12-25-2012 5:25 PM

Am I Getting My Gun Back?
I was told to post this question in this thread for a better response.

I would like to say Thank You to everyone in this forum. I love it when people get together and share their knowledge. I really appreciate all your help.

Here is my story.

In June 2012 I let my buddy borrow my rifle(ar15) to go shooting. He gets pulled over for speeding and the cop asks if he has any weapons. My friend being the good samaritan that he is, says "yes" and shows the police officer my gun along with 3 other guns. One of 3 guns happens to be loaded (NOT MINE) and my buddy gets taken in, along with all the guns. My buddy is not a citizen of the US, but he is a registered resident and he is allowed to own a gun. One of the 3 was actually his gun. (ALSO NOT THE LOADED ONE). The loaded gun was from a mutual friend of ours.

My friends lawyer says that if he accepts a plea bargain they may possibly deport him back to China. So after many failed plea bargains the case is going to trail by jury. So I have a few questions about this case.

1. What are the chances I am my gun back?
2. What will happen to my buddy? Probation? Deportation? He is a 30 year old accountant who works for Bank Of America, not a speck on his record. He is the definition of a model citizen (besides this hiccup)
3. I found a Gun Release Application on the California DOJ website. If I fill this out will I possibly get my gun back? or is it a waste of time/money because the case is still open.
4. How long do trials go for?

The county where he was arrested is Ventura County in Southern California.

Sorry for making the posting so lengthy. I tried to sum it up as best as i can with the least amount of words.
I would like to say Thank you to everyone who took the time to read and answer back to my thread. I really appreciate all your help. Every bit counts.
Please feel free to ask me questions or tell me about your opinions.
Thanks Again
Andy P

Ron-Solo 12-25-2012 5:45 PM

The LEGR is only good for 30 days. Do not send it in until the handling detective or Deputy District Attorney handling the case tells you it is ready for release.

In the mean time, send a REGISTERED letter to both agencies advising them that it is your desire and intention to reclaim your property when it is no longer needed. Be prepared to have documentation of your purchase of the rifle.

Additionally, I recommend that you contact the CalGuns Foundation who can refer you to a qualified firearms lawyer to assist you.

If it was not the firearm used to commit the violation, you might get it back, but there are no guarantees.

Best of luck to you. In the future DO NOT lend firearms to anyone unless you are going to be physically present to control its use.

RickD427 12-25-2012 5:50 PM


There are far too many variables in your question to give a good answer.

If your weapon is in L.E. custody, you really should seek the advice of a qualified attorney. Here are a couple of points to keep in mind:

Is your AR-15 an RAW or OLL? That makes quite a difference as to the charges your friend may be facing, also for your culpability in supplying the weapon.

What was your friend charged with? INS doesn't deport all criminally charged persons.

What agency is involved? Some L.E. agencies have adopted polices intended to frustrate the owner of a weapon from recovering it (like requiring proof of original purchase). The DOJ Law Enforcement Gun Release letter is required for the agency to release the weapon to you, but your obtaining of the letter does not require them to release the weapon. If the weapon has evidentiary value to the case, you should plan on it staying in custody until the case is resolved. That includes the trial and appeal period. Most trials last between 1/2 day to 3 days, but plan on a number of delays getting to the trial.

Once evidence is admitted, the court controls it. The judge may order the weapon destroyed if he/she deems that it was used for a criminal purpose. This is another reason for you to have an attorney. They can best represent your interests in the weapon.

Jet Setter 12-25-2012 7:02 PM

Sorry to hear about your friend and gun. I may suggest reaching out to CGF.

boogak 12-25-2012 7:47 PM

if it is a long gun you may need to fill out the volreg form first as long guns are not recorded in doj. then after that you will need to fill out the doj legr. all this after the case is closed. good luck to your buddy and you!

Heiko 12-25-2012 11:07 PM

I think you will need a court order for a return of property at the conclusion of the case, or even possibly before it is concluded. I think the property clerk at the police department would not release it without a court order; not a DOJ form, a court order stating with particularity what you want returned and with who it is to be released to, and with the official red court stamp on it. I say that you could get it back before the case is concluded because if he is only charged with the loaded firearm and the AR is not in any of the charges, it would not be needed for evidentiary purposes.

You will need an attorney, possibly even the one representing your friend since he is already making appearances on the case, draft the order and request the court grant it. I would provide any and all proof of legal ownership as an attachment. The DA may or may not stipulate and the judge may or may not sign the order but I think that's what you have to do.

Q619 12-28-2012 9:44 PM

Don't know about your gun but I sincerely doubt any IJ is going to pull your buddies resident status.

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