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Old 01-31-2013, 4:06 AM
garplay garplay is offline
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Default What fraction of seized guns are investigated?

A (hopefully not stupid) question: What fraction of seized guns are actually investigated? I'm not talking about guns in murders, but the more pedestrian "convicted felon found with gun" type cases.

When a felon is caught with a gun, somebody else probably committed a crime in providing it [1]. And, since all California private resales must go through a FFL, the seller can't just go "I changed my mind, so I sold it to this dude, I think his name was Mr Pinkman, yeah, thats it...".

So for such guns, what fraction are actually investigated and/or prosecuted?



[1] According to the ATF, most criminal guns aren't stolen. So, QED, if the felon was a felon when he got the gun, and the gun was acquired in California, someone else was involved.
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Old 01-31-2013, 9:57 AM
IA300 IA300 is offline
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My experience, most are taken in residential burglaries and the victim doesn't have the info for LE to put the stolen gun in the system. I know LE can look up handgun stuff by name, as well as make, model, SN, etc., but in the case of long guns that info isn't readily available.
Most times a perp can be prosecuted solely for having a prior felony and LE proving he is not the registered owner of the firearm.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:33 AM
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Ron-Solo Ron-Solo is offline
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I'm not quite sure what you are asking concerning the term investigated.

With LASD all firearms were checked for wants and criminal history, along with attempts to locate the rightful owner. At one point, ALL handguns seized were sent to the crime lab for test firing and put into a database for unsolved homicides. I'm not sure if they are still doing that or not.
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Old 01-31-2013, 1:59 PM
bc360 bc360 is offline
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I'm with Ron-Solo not quite sure what your asking. But in regards to a felon with gun almost 100% are investigated as to the possession. As to locating the registered owner most agencies make a reasonable attempt such as checking the serial number on a data base, obtaining owner information, calling, sending a letter, and in some cases if the jurisdiction is to far requesting a courtesy contact from the agency of jurisdiction. Long guns are a bit more difficult, we typically contact our Liasion Officer with DOJ for assistance on long guns, which takes a bit more time.
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Old 01-31-2013, 3:57 PM
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SVT-40 SVT-40 is offline
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One other issue is not every firearm is "registered" so there are no computerized records for these firearms. This is especially true for firearms which came into California from out of state.

If a LEO in California comes upon a firearm in the course of his dutys and runs it serial number through the firearms system (AFS), ownership information will only come up for handguns purchased in California. Data for stolen, lost, recovered ect is available on a nationwide basis though.

So thats where an "investigation" may end. It will always depend on the seriousness of the crime for which the investigation started though. A murder Ect. will always get the full treatment which will include a "backward" trace, Which is a trace starting at the manufacturer, then to the distributor, then retailer, then first buyer, which is often where the trace ends as many firearms used in crimes were obtained in an illegal manner.
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Old 02-04-2013, 5:13 PM
ak_in_ca ak_in_ca is offline
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I know all firearms from my agency are sent to DOJ for analysis as a rule
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