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  #1  
Old 09-19-2018, 7:50 AM
RipsterBolton RipsterBolton is offline
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Post Pawnshop holding friend's firearms for ~$15,000. Not sure if legal.

A few years ago a friend got into some legal trouble and had his firearms seized by the local sheriff. The sheriff was holding the firearms until the paperwork went through saying that I was eligible to receive the weapons.

The sheriff picked a local pawn shop with an FFL and said that they would be able to release the firearms to me, they delivered the firearms to the pawn shop in December 2017.

I was in semi constant contact with the shop for a few months (they have no message machine, and they would only occasionally pick up the phone. They assured me that I could take the firearms when I made the 5 hour drive up there. I don't have a vehicle so I couldn't get up there until April of 2018.

When I went to get the firearms, the pawn shop said that the friend had to be present for the firearms to be released to me (Private party transfer). The friend had moved out of state while the sheriff still had custody of the firearms. I asked them to ship to an FFL where I live and that I would cover the costs and they agreed.

I called the sheriff, left a message and then drove back home. The sheriff returned my call the next day saying that a few of the firearms are unregistered and that the shop should have released them to me at that time. The Sheriff offered to take the firearms back from the pawn shop and we could start the process over (paperwork for my eligibility) and then try again with a different shop but that the friend would still have to be present. I got in contact with my friend and he said he could come back out to California. We told the sheriff that they did not need to intervene at the time because the shop would be shipping the firearms to a different FFL shop soon anyway.

The shop never made any attempt to ship and I was unable to get in contact via phone or email with them for some time.

My friend did not make it out to California until July of this year. The shop told him that they could not facilitate the transfer as he no longer a resident of the state and does not have a California drivers license. They also told him that they would be charging $3 a day per firearm for the firearms. This comes to a total of around $15,000.

The shop never mentioned a storage fee before. My thoughts are that the shop had been making the process more difficult (not picking up the phone, giving misinformation when they did pick up, never mentioning storage fees, making zero attempt to ship the firearms to a different FFL) than it needed to be so that my friend would agree to sell the firearms to them. Now that they know that isnt going to happen, they are attempting to squeeze us by saying there was a storage fee the whole time.

My friend is still staying in the town, and I have tried emailing and calling the sheriff to take the firearms back to start the process over, but the sheriff has not responded to me.

I am not sure how to proceed. I do not want the shop to gain ownership of the firearms, and I do not want to give them a penny for holding the firearms.

I did not chose the shop, the sheriff chose the shop. I feel like it is the responsibility of the sheriff to take the firearms back from the shop since they are acting in a nefarious manner.

I do not know how to proceed as I do not know if the shop has actually done anything illegal.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

Last edited by RipsterBolton; 09-19-2018 at 8:07 AM..
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Old 09-19-2018, 8:09 AM
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rdfact rdfact is offline
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I don't have any legal advice, but to expect the pawn shop to store the firearms for 9+ months for free is unrealistic. They are a business and deserve some sort of compensation. $15,000 is quite high however.
How many guns? My basic attempt at the math:
Dec 2017 to now is about 9 months (~270 days).
$15,000 / 270 = 55.5
$3 / day. 55.5 / $3 = ~18 guns?
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  #3  
Old 09-19-2018, 1:45 PM
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cockedandglocked cockedandglocked is offline
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Seems like $15,000 as a fee for storing ~20 guns for 9 months is pretty steep, but it's a pawn shop after all. Only barely a step above payday loan shops and towing companies. They don't care if they make enemies out of customers. They exist for the sole purpose of separating people from their money.

If you've ever had a car get impounded, you'll know that the towing companies really don't feel sorry for you or cut you any slack when they demand their $3,000 payment for storing your car for a week. They'll say you should've picked it up sooner if you didn't like their $500/day storage fee, and that you're welcome to forfeit the property in lieu of paying the fee. They are perfectly aware that you'll never "do business" with them again and will write a bad Yelp review - and they really don't care.

This is no different.

I would not expect them to be flexible about this, and I'm sure they are within their legal rights to make the demand.

To be fair, they probably never expected anyone to let their guns sit at their shop for almost a year. $384/week to store 20 guns isn't that unreasonable to ask, when you figure that 1) it's extremely inconvenient to securely store 20 guns for someone, and 2) most people would come back to pick them up after, at most, a week or two.

How did nobody know about the storage fees? Was there no paperwork involved in this transaction?



Take a look at the picture below, and ask yourself, "Should I expect that these guys will, for little or no cost, securely store my large collection of guns for the better part of a year, out of the kindness of their hearts?"



Frankly, the only thing that shocks me about the pawn shop's behavior in this story, is that they haven't sold the guns yet. There must be some legal reason why they can't, because I'm quite sure that if they could, they would. If that's the case, then maybe that's a bargaining chip you can use... "Look, I know you can't sell the guns off, and I can't pay you $15k. So how about I'll pay you $3k to get the guns back, and you don't have to deal with storing them indefinitely anymore?"
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Last edited by cockedandglocked; 09-19-2018 at 3:07 PM..
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Old 09-19-2018, 2:34 PM
AdamVIP AdamVIP is offline
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I think you need to go in person to the sheriff. They set it up and can likely give more details as well.
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Old 09-19-2018, 2:46 PM
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Why start a second thread???

You don't like the answers you were getting???

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...0#post22131290
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Old 09-20-2018, 2:34 PM
Sousuke Sousuke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RipsterBolton View Post
I called the sheriff, left a message and then drove back home. The sheriff returned my call the next day saying that a few of the firearms are unregistered and that the shop should have released them to me at that time. The Sheriff offered to take the firearms back from the pawn shop and we could start the process over (paperwork for my eligibility) and then try again with a different shop but that the friend would still have to be present. I got in contact with my friend and he said he could come back out to California. We told the sheriff that they did not need to intervene at the time because the shop would be shipping the firearms to a different FFL shop soon anyway.
Can you still go back and do this? I have a feeling they would be hesitant to involve fees with the sheriff.

Also can someone confirm....technically the pawnshop can never claim these firearms, they would have to return them to the sheriff at some point if they remained unclaimed correct?
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Old 09-21-2018, 9:00 AM
Chewy65 Chewy65 is online now
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I suspect there is a lot of material information missing as details are very important in unraveling a mess such as this. I would begin with confirming that the sheriff transferred the firearms to the pawn shop and under what authority. At this point I wonder if part of the problem is that the OP was dealing with this all along as thought he had authority to receive them when he never did. The situation may have been exacerbated by doing everything over the phone which may have added to the confusion.
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