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  #1  
Old 04-15-2019, 11:11 AM
tackdriver tackdriver is offline
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Default Seized AR demand letter to return ?

If "someone" were to have had their legal AR seized by the Bureau of Firearms (let's say the BoF mistakenly thought it was assembled in 2017) and they never (almost a year) notified this person when this property is available for return, does anyone know who a letter demanding the return of this firearm should be addressed to?

Emails to the BoF have never been responded to.

Bacerra? Dept of Justice? Bureau of Firearms? The Good Tooth Fairy?
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:17 AM
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Sounds like a LEGR would be requiered.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:25 AM
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Correspondence requesting the return of firearm should be directed to the agency having custody of the firearm. Don't expect that any such letter will produce the return of the weapon. The law doesn't allow that (please refer to Penal Code section 33850). The best outcome is that the agency will respond that the weapon is available for release.

Then you need to complete the LEGR process to actually obtain the release of the weapon.

You may have waited too long. Most agencies will destroy firearms as abandoned after 180 days of no contact with their owners (please refer to Penal Code section 34000).
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:04 PM
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Thanks. I have applied for the LEGR (twice First expired, second pending) I'd written the "agent" who'd actually taken the rifle. NO response. I wrote and tried calling the worthless BoF staff. No response to the emails. They'fe clueless when talking to them in person.
Just trying to do what I can before I have to spend big bucks on an attorney. Entire situation is unbelievable.
I believe that the 180 days of no contact comes into play AFTER they send you a letter stating its available for pick up.
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by tackdriver View Post
Thanks. I have applied for the LEGR (twice First expired, second pending) I'd written the "agent" who'd actually taken the rifle. NO response. I wrote and tried calling the worthless BoF staff. No response to the emails. They'fe clueless when talking to them in person.
Just trying to do what I can before I have to spend big bucks on an attorney. Entire situation is unbelievable.
I believe that the 180 days of no contact comes into play AFTER they send you a letter stating its available for pick up.
The predominant view among LE agencies is that a firearm is "abandoned" after 180 days of no contact by the owner. There is no requirement for the LE agency to make notification to the owner (although it's a very good business practice for them to do so). Here is the text of PC 34000:

"Notwithstanding any provision of law or of any local ordinance to the contrary, when any firearm is in the possession of any officer of the state, or of a county, city, or city and county, or of any campus of the University of California or the California State University, and the firearm is an exhibit filed in any criminal action or proceeding which is no longer needed or is unclaimed or abandoned property, which has been in the possession of the officer for at least 180 days, the firearm shall be sold, or destroyed, as provided for in Sections 18000 and 18005."

Please note that the conjunctive term used between the court proceeding, unclaimed, and abandoned clauses is "or". Thus, a firearm need only fit into one of these three categories in order for it to be destroyed.
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:53 PM
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Which office are you dealing with?
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:55 PM
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Here's what it says on the back of the seizure form

You will be notified by the BoF by certified mail when your property is available for return. The notice will explain procedures for obtaining the return of your property. If you do not respond to the notice within 180 days of the date of the certified letter...… all evidence will be destroyed.
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Old 04-15-2019, 1:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tackdriver View Post
Here's what it says on the back of the seizure form

You will be notified by the BoF by certified mail when your property is available for return. The notice will explain procedures for obtaining the return of your property. If you do not respond to the notice within 180 days of the date of the certified letter...… all evidence will be destroyed.
Hang on to that letter. That may be a business practice of DOJ. I retired from a County SO and we did not provide such documentation. In any event, I would not let a 180 day window pass without communicating, with documentation, my request for the return of property. Irrespective of what they wrote to you, once there is a basis to consider the weapon as abandoned, it becomes subject to destruction.
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Old 04-15-2019, 2:20 PM
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Thanks Rick. Yes, so far, I've already done what you've suggested. LUCKILY, I even kept copies of my emails. I wrote the BoF and the agent who stole the rifle. I guess it's just wait and see

Any idea who I would address my demand letter to?
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Old 04-15-2019, 3:28 PM
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You can hire an attorney to petition the court to have a judge release the firearm to you OP. Of course, you have to hire an attorney to fight any bogus AW charges should you "poke the lion".

Could get expensive and life ruining.

Cheaper to buy another AR, chalk it up to CA BS tax and move on with your life.
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Old 04-15-2019, 3:52 PM
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What led the BOF to mistakenly believe that it was assembled in 2017?
As long as they believe this, they are not going to volunteer to release it.
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Old 04-15-2019, 3:55 PM
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Very often, a carefully worded request for assistance to your local state representatives (Assembly and Senate) showing copies to each can provide leverage and information.

The issue here isn't "gun control" it's a state agency which isn't responding to inquiries lodged under it's legal purview.
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Old 04-15-2019, 4:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tackdriver View Post
Thanks Rick. Yes, so far, I've already done what you've suggested. LUCKILY, I even kept copies of my emails. I wrote the BoF and the agent who stole the rifle. I guess it's just wait and see

Any idea who I would address my demand letter to?
Ordinary protocol is to send it to the agency head. They're not going to personally read it, but it will go to a staff member who (should) route it to the proper place in the organization. I'd start here:
Office of the Attorney General
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
A lot of California agencies are notorious for not being responsive to correspondence and phone calls. There is an attitude of "you can get into trouble if you do something wrong, but not if you don't do anything." If the staff member handling your issue doesn't know exactly what to do, stand by for a stonewalling. As previous posters have pointed out, your elected reps can he be helpful in getting a response from agencies, but don't expect them to advocate for your position. A lawsuit can be helpful to getting a response. Process must be responded to, and is generally assigned to more senior staff folks to handle, but it's quite expensive.
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Old 04-15-2019, 6:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tackdriver View Post
Thanks Rick. Yes, so far, I've already done what you've suggested. LUCKILY, I even kept copies of my emails. I wrote the BoF and the agent who stole the rifle. I guess it's just wait and see

Any idea who I would address my demand letter to?
If the Agent "stole" it, you should send it to him. After all if he truly stole it it wouldn't be in any evidence locker...
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Old 04-15-2019, 6:14 PM
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Originally Posted by RickD427 View Post
Ordinary protocol is to send it to the agency head. They're not going to personally read it, but it will go to a staff member who (should) route it to the proper place in the organization. [...]

As previous posters have pointed out, your elected reps can he be helpful in getting a response from agencies, but don't expect them to advocate for your position.

I'd start here:
Office of the Attorney General
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
OP, I see your location as San Diego. Not, necessarily as “bleeding heart” as some (I’m looking at you, SF). As a qualified “previous poster”, , I never indicated the legislative representatives would be advocates, but, their interest provides leverage. I would strongly suggest that the letter you send to the AG show “cc” copies to your Legislative representatives. It tells them someone else is watching.
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Old 04-15-2019, 6:17 PM
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OP, have you resolved the issue with BOF that caused them to believe that it was manufactured in 2017. If not, you will not receive a notice that your property is available for return because until that is resolved, as far as they are concerned, it is evidence of a crime and a illegal AW.
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Old 04-15-2019, 6:24 PM
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Originally Posted by TRICKSTER View Post
OP, have you resolved the issue with BOF that caused them to believe that it was manufactured in 2017. If not, you will not receive a notice that your property is available for return because until that is resolved, as far as they are concerned, it is evidence of a crime and a illegal AW.
^^^THIS^^^

Please do a search on the topic. We have discussed in several other threads, an apparent agenda of DOJ to seek a test case, in civil court, of their interpretations of the AW (and unsafe handgun) statutes.

Note to DVRJON - You are an eminent "Previous Poster." I did not mean to suggest that were attributing an advocacy role to our fine elected reps, I was just cautioning the OP from viewing them as such.
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Old 04-15-2019, 6:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickD427 View Post
A lot of California agencies are notorious for not being responsive to correspondence and phone calls. There is an attitude of "you can get into trouble if you do something wrong, but not if you don't do anything." If the staff member handling your issue doesn't know exactly what to do, stand by for a stonewalling.
Rick, with all due respect, having run a number of those “California agencies”, I would suggest your analysis is uninformed. It is possible to identify the outliers, but tarring the group with “A lot” is tenuous, at best. The concept that “You can get into trouble if you do something wrong, but not if you don’t do anything,” is completely unfounded in this world (and a number of my former staff would vehemently disagree with you ). Inquiries from legislators on behalf of constituents are closely tracked and demand short-response times. Agency heads routinely have to sit before legislators in various hearings (including budget) and legislators remember (and are briefed on) non-responsive agencies. Not dealing with legislative inquiries will end a career.
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Last edited by Dvrjon; 04-15-2019 at 7:15 PM..
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Old 04-15-2019, 7:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Dvrjon View Post
Having run a number of those “California agencies”, I would suggest your analysis is uninformed. It is possible to identify the outliers, but tarring the group with “A lot” is tenuous, at best. The concept that “You can get into trouble if you do something wrong, but not if you don’t do anything” is completely unfounded in this world. Inquiries from legislators on behalf of constituents are closely tracked and demand short-response times. Agency heads routinely have to sit before legislators in various hearings (including budget) and legislators remember (and are briefed on) non-responsive agencies. Not dealing with legislative inquiries will end a career.
[/QUOTE]

My experience is in middle management, and in working with quite a few of line folks in a lot a criminal justice agencies. I don't want to paint with an overly large brush, there are a lot of really good and hard working folks in government service. But at the same time the "You can get into trouble if you do something wrong, but not if you don't do anything" is pretty well entrenched at the line. I've done enough performance counseling and personnel documentation to be able to stand behind the statement. Nonfeasance is a much bigger problem in government service than is misfeasance. Ill also make the observation that the hard-working and high-performing folks in service wind up pulling more than their share of the load.

I'll generally agree with your comment about agencies having to be responsive to legislative inquires, but it's also important to note that legislative staffs only get concerned when there is a problem in the aggregate. Individual and singular complaints don't get a whole lot of notice. It's also important to note that the equation changes a bit when the agency head is elected and has an agenda (as is the case with the Attorney General). I worked for an elected Sheriff, and on one occasion received direction (along with a number of others) to stonewall a particular County Supervisor's staff. I can assure you that when the Sheriff received the inevitable "complaints", they were taken as complements.
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Old 04-16-2019, 8:17 AM
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AR's are cheaper than lawyers. Buy another one.
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Old 04-19-2019, 8:20 AM
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Once again, thanks to everyone for your responses. Since the last entry I have spoken with another lawyer who said (for $300) he would write a letter demanding the return of my rifle. He also cautioned (like lawyers before him) about what I write here.
Someone had asked about why I thot they thot I had assembled the rifle in 2017. I had an accident and guns that were in my car were "seized". In order to get my property back I had to fill out the LEGR. Since my rifle was built in 2009 before the 2014 mandatory registration of long rifles I had to first register it. I am assuming that's what caused these people to "think" I had built it in 2017. (Even though I had put on the registration form that it was purchased in 2009) I even sent this documentation to the BoF…. no response of course. The AR registration still says "in process". Next month it will be one year since the jackboots came to my house.
I could write pages about this saga. But will leave it for now. If anything interesting develops and the lawyer says it's ok. I'll let you know.
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