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  #1  
Old 01-03-2018, 3:00 PM
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Default Found Old Guns, Can my family keep them?

Dad bought a house in 1998, in the attic was a 1948 Lee Enfield Rifle Bolt Action .308 along with a Mossberg Bolt Action 16GA shotgun. There is no paperwork for these guns. From 3 vists to local gun shops they say it’s fine for us to keep and not register. The LEO at the San Jose Police station said to call them in to take. My dad has no FSC but I have a Hunters License and I turn 18 in 20 ish days. Is it possible to do a family transpher from my dad to me so our family can officially own the gun? Or what are the legalities of all of this in terms of owning them.
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2018, 3:03 PM
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Your dad could have legally given them to you in 2001 without any paperwork. IT's a shame he didn't do that.
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  #3  
Old 01-03-2018, 3:33 PM
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Originally Posted by CSACANNONEER View Post
Your dad could have legally given them to you in 2001 without any paperwork. IT's a shame he didn't do that.
Maybe his dad did and he just forgot. Lucky you were here to remind him
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  #4  
Old 01-03-2018, 3:48 PM
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Originally Posted by MurdaJ View Post
Maybe his dad did and he just forgot. Lucky you were here to remind him
Yes, lucky OP's memory was jogged. He could have ended up doing a bunch of unnecessary paperwork.
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  #5  
Old 01-03-2018, 4:20 PM
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Originally Posted by DVSmith View Post
Yes, lucky OP's memory was jogged. He could have ended up doing a bunch of unnecessary paperwork.
Easy to forget since he was 1 when his father gave it to him..
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  #6  
Old 01-03-2018, 4:22 PM
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Mums the word, delete this
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  #7  
Old 01-03-2018, 4:26 PM
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Originally Posted by DanAndJohnson View Post
Dad bought a house in 1998, in the attic was a 1948 Lee Enfield Rifle Bolt Action .308
If you turn it in and no owner is found, you may be able to claim it but you would need LEGR release from DOJ.

And before you go loading any 308 ammo in it, be sure it isn't .303 British - which is what most Lee Enfields were chambered for from the factory, unless it is an Ishapore model.
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  #8  
Old 01-03-2018, 4:26 PM
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Nope found firearms are required to be turned in to the Police.
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  #9  
Old 01-03-2018, 4:29 PM
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Good lord man, delete this thread and keep them. They are so old that california was still a free state when they were acquired. Enjoy them in 20 days.
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2018, 4:39 PM
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Hypothetically IF your dad has had them all along the. All you need to do is mail off a form.
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  #11  
Old 01-03-2018, 4:43 PM
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Required to be turned in and if not stolen and owner not found you can get them with legr and fsc. If you keep them and they are stolen might be a problem.
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2018, 5:02 PM
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No in California they are undocumented. The local police cannot report to the feds. Remember we are a sanctuary state.
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  #13  
Old 01-03-2018, 6:02 PM
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Keeping one's mouth shut is obviously a lost art.
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  #14  
Old 01-03-2018, 6:14 PM
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All old guns must be turned into local Raynes safe and never spoke of again.
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  #15  
Old 01-03-2018, 6:26 PM
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Check the OP's post count, nuff said.
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  #16  
Old 01-03-2018, 6:31 PM
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Keeping one's mouth shut is obviously a lost art.
Seriously, why would anyone post this...?
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  #17  
Old 01-03-2018, 6:31 PM
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Originally Posted by SVT-40 View Post
Nope found firearms are required to be turned in to the Police.
That is correct. See California Civil Code 2080 and 2080.1:
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2080. Any person who finds a thing lost is not bound to take charge of it, unless the person is otherwise required to do so by contract or law, but when the person does take charge of it he or she is thenceforward a depositary for the owner, with the rights and obligations of a depositary for hire. ...

2080.1. (a) If the owner is unknown or has not claimed the property, the person saving or finding the property shall, if the property is of the value of one hundred dollars ($100) or more, within a reasonable time turn the property over to the police department of the city or city and county, if found therein, or to the sheriff's department of the county if found outside of city limits,...
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Keeping one's mouth shut is obviously a lost art.
It looks more like being honest and law abiding is a lost art.
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  #18  
Old 01-03-2018, 6:58 PM
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too late OP already put on Instagram and Facebook selfies with said firearms.
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  #19  
Old 01-03-2018, 7:26 PM
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Originally Posted by fiddletown View Post
That is correct. See California Civil Code 2080 and 2080.1:

It looks more like being honest and law abiding is a lost art.
Fiddletown,

Thanks for posting this.

However, when citing the requirements of Civil Code sections 2080 and 2080.1, it's also very helpful to also cite section 2080.3. When a person turns over found property to their law enforcement agency, and the owner is not found, the finder has a right to the property (except for public employees finding property in the course of employment) after paying the costs of notice. I am not aware of any other provision of law restricting the application of CC 2080.3 in the case of firearms. I know that many LE agencies (including my own) lack internal policies for such a release, but the lack of an administrative capacity does not negate the requirements of CC 2080.3. Here is the text:
"(a) If the reported value of the property is two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or more and no owner appears and proves his or her ownership of the property within 90 days, the police department or sheriff’s department shall cause notice of the property to be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation. If, after seven days following the first publication of the notice, no owner appears and proves his or her ownership of the property and the person who found or saved the property pays the cost of the publication, the title shall vest in the person who found or saved the property unless the property was found in the course of employment by an employee of any public agency, in which case the property shall be sold at public auction. Title to the property shall not vest in the person who found or saved the property or in the successful bidder at the public auction unless the cost of publication is first paid to the city, county, or city and county whose police or sheriff’s department caused the notice to be published.

(b) If the reported value of the property is less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) and no owner appears and proves his or her ownership of the property within 90 days, the title shall vest in the person who found or saved the property, unless the property was found in the course of employment by an employee of any public agency, in which case the property shall be sold at public auction."
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  #20  
Old 01-03-2018, 7:56 PM
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No in California they are undocumented. The local police cannot report to the feds. Remember we are a sanctuary state.
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  #21  
Old 01-03-2018, 7:59 PM
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Originally Posted by SVT-40 View Post
Nope found firearms are required to be turned in to the Police.
What about found termites, hazardous materials and dry rot? Will the police or previous owner want those too? In other words, you bought the house and all its contents (good and bad) and once escrow closes its no body's business but yours.
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Old 01-03-2018, 8:07 PM
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Dad bought house (and presumably contents) in 1998. Firearms did not transfer to him with the sale?

T
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  #23  
Old 01-03-2018, 8:14 PM
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Originally Posted by MurdaJ View Post
Maybe his dad did and he just forgot. Lucky you were here to remind him
Yeah, I'm sure you have forgotten that your dad did give them to you when he found them in the house in 1998
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  #24  
Old 01-03-2018, 8:20 PM
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These could have belonged to your Grand Pappy and your dad just plum forgot about them. Happens to older folks all the time.
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  #25  
Old 01-03-2018, 9:29 PM
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Originally Posted by fiddletown View Post
It looks more like being honest and law abiding is a lost art.
It is neither dishonest nor against the law to keep one's mouth shut, it's just a downright smart thing to do sometimes. There are plenty of ways to be honest and law abiding without shooting your mouth off on the internet about some perhaps illegally acquired firearms and possibly even implicating yourself in a crime which it appears that's exactly what he may be doing. That is if we are to believe his very first (and only) post on this forum is for the purpose of doing that. Supposedly he's already called the cops and talked to several gun dealers and didn't like what they had to say... So yeah, why not blab it to a bunch of strangers on the internet and take their advice? The answer to the OP's question is easily found on the internet by using an incognito search, and any "17 year old" knows this.

He joined in December and waited at least three days to post this? Really?
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  #26  
Old 01-03-2018, 9:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickD427 View Post
...when citing the requirements of Civil Code sections 2080 and 2080.1, it's also very helpful to also cite section 2080.3. When a person turns over found property to their law enforcement agency, and the owner is not found, the finder has a right to the property (except for public employees finding property in the course of employment) after paying the costs of notice. ....
Good point, and thanks for adding that.

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Originally Posted by timdps View Post
Dad bought house (and presumably contents) in 1998. Firearms did not transfer to him with the sale?....
Not necessarily. Usually personal property included in the sale is itemized in the sale documents.

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Originally Posted by ACfixer View Post
....The right to remain silent is granted to us by the constitution, it is neither dishonest nor against the law to keep one's mouth shut. It's just a downright smart thing to do sometimes.
Actually the right protected by the Fifth Amendment is not that broad. Read the Fifth Amendment sometime (emphasis added):
Quote:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
And while discretion is a good idea, when silence is part of a scheme to keep something that doesn't belong to you it is dishonest.
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  #27  
Old 01-03-2018, 9:37 PM
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Originally Posted by fiddletown View Post
Actually the right protected by the Fifth Amendment is not that broad. Read the Fifth Amendment sometime (emphasis added):And while discretion is a good idea, when silence is part of a scheme to keep something that doesn't belong to you it is dishonest.
True enough on that regard, and I edited my post.... BUT at this point it appears he's either full of sheet (which I suspect) or he's incriminating himself on a public forum.

In either case it would have been better for him to keep his mouth shut, hence my original comment.
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Old 01-03-2018, 9:39 PM
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Originally Posted by joepamjohn View Post
What about found termites, hazardous materials and dry rot? Will the police or previous owner want those too? In other words, you bought the house and all its contents (good and bad) and once escrow closes its no body's business but yours.
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Originally Posted by timdps View Post
Dad bought house (and presumably contents) in 1998. Firearms did not transfer to him with the sale?

T
Gents,

Firearms, unlike termites , hazardous materials and dry rot have very specific legal requirements regarding transfer.

In California, with very few specific exceptions, firearms must be transferred through a licensed FFL. They cannot be transferred by a realtor, escrow service, title company, or anyone other than an FFL.

For that reason, firearms found in real property, after that real property has been transferred are found property and not the property of the buyer. That triggers the application of Civil Code sections 2080, 2080.3 and 2080.3.
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  #29  
Old 01-03-2018, 9:39 PM
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Originally Posted by joepamjohn View Post
What about found termites, hazardous materials and dry rot? Will the police or previous owner want those too? In other words, you bought the house and all its contents (good and bad) and once escrow closes its no body's business but yours.
Incorrect

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Originally Posted by timdps View Post
Dad bought house (and presumably contents) in 1998. Firearms did not transfer to him with the sale?

Nope. There is a legal process for the transfer of firearms.

T

Also, check out 485 PC, misappropriation of found property. It is considered theft.
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Old 01-03-2018, 9:51 PM
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Originally Posted by RickD427 View Post
In California, with very few specific exceptions, firearms must be transferred through a licensed FFL. They cannot be transferred by a realtor, escrow service, title company, or anyone other than an FFL.
I think we are skipping some details in the OP in order to assume that our new 17 year old member didn't already know this.

He mentions his dad doesn't have an FSC, but he himself has a hunting license... Well his Dad wouldn't have needed an FSC at any point to sell or transfer those long guns and for him to know a hunting license was ok in lieu of one means he's either done some reading or he actually does have a license and is already crystal clear on what the laws of the state are.

When did he "find" the guns? Then why not call the rightful owner and return them? Perhaps we have a young man here that is trying to transfer some ill acquired guns into his own name, I don't know. But after getting conflicting answers from SJPD and from 3 different FFL's? Really, he asked three FFL's and they ALL told him it was okay to keep the guns and break the law?

I smell fish, I just don't know what kind.
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Old 01-03-2018, 9:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ACfixer View Post
I think we are skipping some details in the OP in order to assume that our new 17 year old member didn't already know this.

He mentions his dad doesn't have an FSC, but he himself has a hunting license... Well his Dad wouldn't have needed an FSC at any point to sell or transfer those long guns and for him to know a hunting license was ok in lieu of one means he's either done some reading or he actually does have a license and is already crystal clear on what the laws of the state are.

When did he "find" the guns? Then why not call the rightful owner and return them? Perhaps we have a young man here that is trying to transfer some ill acquired guns into his own name, I don't know. But after getting conflicting answers from SJPD and from 3 different FFL's? Really, he asked three FFL's and they ALL told him it was okay to keep the guns and break the law?

I smell fish, I just don't know what kind.
Regarding the bold I suspect the FFLs don't know the law (vs are telling someone to knowingly break it though that is possible). I have many customers that have told me several FFLs/B&M stores tell them just to file the online oplaw/intrafamily form for inter-state intrafamilial transfers.

The DOJ has even told some of them that, but they found us because they wanted to do everything lawfully and knew that wasn't right.
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  #32  
Old 01-03-2018, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACfixer View Post
I think we are skipping some details in the OP in order to assume that our new 17 year old member didn't already know this.

He mentions his dad doesn't have an FSC, but he himself has a hunting license... Well his Dad wouldn't have needed an FSC at any point to sell or transfer those long guns and for him to know a hunting license was ok in lieu of one means he's either done some reading or he actually does have a license and is already crystal clear on what the laws of the state are.

When did he "find" the guns? Then why not call the rightful owner and return them? Perhaps we have a young man here that is trying to transfer some ill acquired guns into his own name, I don't know. But after getting conflicting answers from SJPD and from 3 different FFL's? Really, he asked three FFL's and they ALL told him it was okay to keep the guns and break the law?

I smell fish, I just don't know what kind.
Returning the firearms to the person who sold the house in 1998 would be a viable and legal course of action.

The "Finding" actually occurred in 1998, and that's when all of the legal duties that we discussed were triggered. The father cannot lawfully transfer them to the son because the father never lawfully received them in the first place. The statute of limitations is going to protect the father from prosecution, but it's not going to make his possession legal.

The best solution here is to turn them over to the police, let them post the required notice, and then when the 1998 homeowner fails to claim them, demand them back from the police under CC 2080.3. The return from the police will have to be processed through a California FFL and the OP will have an excellent paper trail showing his lawful possession.
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  #33  
Old 01-03-2018, 10:15 PM
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I'm with ACfixer.

This smells mighty fishy.
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  #34  
Old 01-03-2018, 10:24 PM
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Those guns while kinda cool finds are not worth the hassle of possibly being in possession of a stolen firearm however unlikely. Just turn em in to the police, sucks but its not like they are really that cool. SMLEs especially Ishapores are pretty easy to find and affordable. The 16ga is pretty much worthless to most people, most people if not all shoot 12ga or 20ga now.
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  #35  
Old 01-03-2018, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by scvpiper View Post
No in California they are undocumented. The local police cannot report to the feds. Remember we are a sanctuary state.

Now that's funny!. Those are your guns, don't ask-don't tell. I'm always suspicious about these posts where the guy has no history. Likely many are DOJ shills. An illegal alien can't be questioned or held, why would anyone worry about a couple of antique guns?.
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by fiddletown View Post
That is correct. See California Civil Code 2080 and 2080.1:

It looks more like being honest and law abiding is a lost art.
Except you could argue "found property" doesn't apply since they were in the house that is under the ownership of your family. Morally speaking, it's totally fine since it came with the house (furniture, if you will).

Since you're also concerned about the legal aspect, that would have been a legal transfer at the time the house was acquired (the FFL requirement for PPT transfers was effective January 1, 2011). Your father was technically in legal possession of those weapons (assuming he wasn't or isn't a prohibited person), and it would be just as hard to prove that you didn't know those guns were there as it would be to prove you did. What I'm saying is, your father has possessed those weapons since 1998, and if him or someone in your house is a prohibited person and those weapons weren't stored in accordance with safe storage ordinances in CA or your city, you just admitted that a crime was committed. Read this article on constructive possession.

At this point, I would refrain from saying anything else about them, since you wouldn't want to incriminate yourself or anyone in your family. If you're really worried about it, talk to a lawyer. Otherwise, like I pointed out above, those are legally your father's guns (unless someone somewhere has paperwork to prove otherwise) and he can transfer them to you via the Intra-familial Firearm Transfer form when you're 18.
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Last edited by SFgiants105; 01-03-2018 at 10:55 PM.. Reason: "your" should have been "you're" (facepalm)
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Old 01-03-2018, 11:14 PM
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^^^ Hmmm. So that brings up a good point. Long guns over 50 years old in 1998 didn't require a DROS. So perhaps the three FFL's were correct? Well if that's the case, it would make me a cynical idiot. Nahhhhhh
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Old 01-03-2018, 11:19 PM
pacrat pacrat is offline
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OP The only reason your father "FOUND" the guns in the attic.

Is because the previous owner "ABANDONED" them there.

If your father "FOUND" the guns or any other valuable property that someone "LOST". That is a different story and statutes of "FOUND" property would apply.

That is a distinction which the "guns are bad and must be turned in to cops" fanbois continually neglect to acknowledge.

Going from memory here. There are specific civil statutes that govern how "ABANDONED" property left at a previous residence is legally handled. None of which involves, "turning in to cops". Waiting 90 days. Or jumping through all the LEGR or FSC crap.

A letter sent to previous occupant at last known address. Even if that "last known address". Is the house your father bought. And safe storage of said abandoned property for a term of 14 days.

There is a distinction of how abandoned property is handle whether it is worth more or less than $700. IMO the 2 beaters mentioned in OP fall far below the $700 deliniation mark.

Please refer to the thread link below. This situation was discussed at length in it last spring.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s....php?t=1320578

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclope...alifornia.html

And 2nd link takes you to the NOLO site for a more comprehensive understanding of the civil codes dealing with "abandoned property"

Bottom line is, have Pop send the letter and document the sending of same. Wait at least 14 days for response. If none received. Go to the Ca DOJ web site and file a "VOLREG" form. Pay the $19 fee to the state.

IIRC, you do have to have a current FSC and list the number on the VOLREG FORM.

After reading the provided link you will find that there are "no elements" of PC 27545. It does not apply to any "ABANDONED PROPERTY".

That is all that is legally required to register the firearms as your own.

Last edited by pacrat; 01-03-2018 at 11:44 PM..
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Old 01-03-2018, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ACfixer View Post
^^^ Hmmm. So that brings up a good point. Long guns over 50 years old in 1998 didn't require a DROS. So perhaps the three FFL's were correct? Well if that's the case, it would make me a cynical idiot. Nahhhhhh
There may be some mileage in that argument, but you still have to deal with the issue of whether the seller of the home in 1998 actually did transfer the firearms as part of the sale. Being a cautious person, I would not be accepting of the argument that such a transfer did occur. The lawyers here are a lot better qualified to comment on that issue.

The OP is a lot better off going the CC 2080 route, paying the advertising and FFL fees and then having a very sound basis for him to own the firearms.
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Old 01-04-2018, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by pacrat View Post
...https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclope...alifornia.html

And 2nd link takes you to the NOLO site for a more comprehensive understanding of the civil codes dealing with "abandoned property"....
That applies to property abandoned by a tenant in rental property and us inapplicable in this situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickD427 View Post
.... you still have to deal with the issue of whether the seller of the home in 1998 actually did transfer the firearms as part of the sale. ....
Whenever I have bought or sold a home any personal property included was specifically identified in the sale documents. A failure to identify the guns as being included in the sale is strong evidence that the guns were not intended to be included and were therefore lost property.

This topic comes up from time to time on discussion boards, and not only boards dealing with firearms. And when it does it's always interesting to see how hard some folks will work, and the gyations they will go through, to hold on to stuff that doesn't belong to them. It's really rather pathetic.
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