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Posted: 1/20/2006 6:20:34 PM EDT
OK
A buddy of mine just bought a house from a man in his later 70's or early 80's.
My friend decided to redo the house, the basement had a drop ceiling. While working with the ceiling and changing tiles he found an older pistol bag. In this bag he found an old pistol from the 20's in great shape.

What are his options?

He has no clue where the man went, he thinks it was some nursing home in another state.

What can he or should he do?

Or, did he find this in his grandfathers belongings after he passed away
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 7:56:36 PM EDT
First of all what handgun is it? Give the specific model number and make and i'll try and tell ya what year it was made. If its an old revolver made before 1898 he may be in the clear. The pistol may very well be a stolen pistol judging on where this old man kept it, he was trying to hide it from someone. If its stolen theres a 50/50 chance it was claimed stolen to the police and may be in their records. I dont know how far back the records go as far as stolen guns serial numbers stay in the system. I was buying a Mauser broomhandle from a fella, I told him the only way i'll buy it is if i have it registered, the story behind it was that his grandfather left it to him when he died, Where the grand father got it is anyones guess. I specifically told him that if we take it to the police station and it comes up stolen its not my fault and he understood that clearly. So we went together to the police station and i had them run it as i was buying an unregistered pistol, they ran the serial number and it came up stolen from 20 years ago, they confiscated the gun.
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 8:05:31 PM EDT
It's from the land of Beer and Sausage.
It was made in 1922.
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 12:46:15 PM EDT
Your question is spefically addressed on the MSP FAQ

Scroll down to "Other Firearms Questios", and see #25. I doubt your gonna like the answer....

While it may have been stolen, it also may have been hidden to protect it from burglary. Also possible it was placed there long ago by a previos home owner, or a relative. Still, I'm betting it's not registered...

Any chance this was found elsewhere (like in another state that didn't require registration, where their police could check the serial numbers for the possibility it was stolen)? Maybe they would then allow a more favorable outcome if it wasn't?

T Bone (Detroit).
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 10:17:32 PM EDT
Wow, that sucks. If it wasn't previously registered it's contraband? Damn Brady bunch!
I wonder how many treasures are hidden in a closet or attic somewhere that will get melted down because they've been there since before registration and the person who found it is trying to do the legal thing?
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 2:58:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2006 3:12:22 AM EDT by 9245]
Well since it's probably not registered, and you probably cannot find the previouse owner to sighn the greencard, the state considers it evil and it must be melted down no exceptions it doesn't matter how rare or valuable it might be, or what the circumstances are, you must be a good sheep and turn it in for destruction....

Thats what the law says on the other hand....

<­BR>

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS ARE PROBABLY HIGHLY ILLEGAL IF YOU DO THEM, IF YOUR CAUGHT YOU WILL BE ARRESTED AND WILL GO TO PRISON, AND, OR BE FINED SO DON'T DO IT, THIS INFORMATION IS FOR PURELY INFORMATIONAL/ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY DO NOT DO IT, INFACT DON'T EVEN READ IT, AND I OFCOURSE HAVE NEVER AND WOULD NEVER DO THIS BECAUSE IT WOULD BE WRONG, AND BY THE WAY I AM NOT A LAWER, AND YOU SHOULD TAKE NOTHING I SAY AS LEGAL ADVICE, OR SERIOUSLY IN ANYWAY, INFACT YOU SHOULD JUST IGNORE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

....you could call an out of state police department in a state that doesn't require registration, and make up a story of why you want them to check the serial number to see if it's stolen, tell them your interested in buying it or something (CALL FROM A PAY PHONE, NOT your homephone....) as was suggested above, if it comes back clean great, if not do the right thing and tell them where they can find it, but you might have some 'spainin to do.... If it's registered to someone get in touch with them find out if they want it back, if they do give it to them, if they don't see if they will sighn the greencard, if they will great, then do the transfer the right way, if they won't then your probably shit out of luck, and the pistol will probably have to go to the smelter.... If it's not stolen, or registered then you can do one of two things:

1: Give it to a friend or relative in a non registration state, then have them give it back all going through transfer dealers both ways, (if you need to find a "friend" ask around the board I'm sure theres someone who would be willing to assist, if not for free, then maybe for a small fee, just cover there transfer, and shipping costs....) then just get a purchase permit, and have it registered like you would any pistol, and your done the pistol is now 100% legal....

2: Go get a purchase permit, say that you're buying it from out of state, or some other BS story, then go through a transfer dealer (or maybe go through the transfer dealer first if you want....) just mail the pistol to the transfer dealer as if it's comeing from out of state eighther don't use a return address, make one up in a non registration state, or use a real address from a friend or relative thats in on the scheme from a non registration state, preferably mail it from the state you say the pistol is from, and preferably near where the address would be, or is in that state, atleast in the same city in that state where the address is supposed to be or is, I could be wrong but I think all the dealer needs is the name of the sender, so make one up, or give him the real name of a friend, or relative who lives in the non registration state that you say the pistol came from, as far as I know federal law says nothing about telling the FFL a fake name when transfering a gun TO the FFL, I.E. the sender, and there is no requirment for the FFL to get the senders ID, or attempt to verify it in any way, so as long as the FFL isn't in on it there breaking no laws eighther, obviously use your REAL name when filling out the 4473 just like you would any gun, once it's transfered to you from the FFL just treat it as you would any pistol fill out the greencard, and have it registered, and your done, the pistol is now 100% legal....

There are no federal laws broken that I'm aware of with eighther method particularly number 1, number 1 only "bends" Michigan law, technicly the state police website only talks about transfering the pistol to yourself, so you can just play stupid, I haven't actually read the law so this may not even violate the letter of the law, so it would break no Michigan law eighther.... As for number 2 it's more questionable as far as Federal law, but I still don't think it violates it, Michigan law however is most likely certainly "bent", if not broken entirely, I'de go with number 1 if I were you....

AGAIN THESE SUGGESTIONS ARE FOR INFORMATIONAL/ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY DO NOT DO THEM
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 7:31:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2006 7:34:21 AM EDT by TBoneDetroit]
While the above post certainly is entertaining, there are a few major glitches in the hypothetical situations as outlined.

An FFL must document the source of any firearms on a log (must log all guns in and out of his possession). Interstate shipping of firearms for the purpose of sale/transfer must be from FFL to FFL (with the exception of contiguous states), and the FFL must submit an ink signed copy of their FFL to the sending dealer or distributor prior to the sending of the actual firearm. No dealer here will get involved in shipping an unregistered pistol to another state (nor should you ask one too).

Some of the basic principles in the above might actually work, were they to be tried, but I do not endorse violaton of any law, ordnance or statute.

On another subject, did you say you your buddy had reletives in another state? Aren't you Isn't he due to visit them??

T Bone (Detroit).
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 7:45:55 AM EDT
When i took in that broomhandle (described in my previous post) The man in charge of pistol registration at my local PD said there wont be a problem registering it to me if the pistol doesnt come up stolen or present any red flags in the computer, unfournately it did. I've registered pistols in the past that were never registered. My dad had an auto parts store in the 1960's and he was robbed, so my father was friends with the local PD detective and he was given a pistol for whatever reasons (for protection). Anyways my dad didnt know anything about registration and never registered it, 35 years later i was going through old filing cabnets at our parts store and found the pistol (an old model 10 smith victory mofel) i took it to my police station told them the story they ran the numbers and gave me the registration. I still have the gun. So it is possible to register something that wasnt prev. registered, but in this case its hit or miss weather it was or not.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 10:01:36 AM EDT
Theres nothing that says a gun must come FROM an FFL when moveing accross state lines it only has to go TO an FFL, now some FFL's are parenoid, and will only take transfers from other FFL's, but it's not required people do individual to FFL transfers accross state lines all the time, ask around the board if you want, my SAR-1 for example came from an individual in NH, I just had to use a transfer dealer here, as for the FFL getting the name of the person there getting a transfer from, I could be wrong, but atleast with C&R FFLs all they requir is a name, no Drivers License number or anything just a name to put as the source in the bound book, ofcourse theres no way to verify that name, the law is more for FFL's SELLING guns not BUYING them, and if you used method 1 it's kind of a mute point anyway just ship to there FFL, they take the transfer, turn around and mail it back to your FFL....
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 4:34:37 AM EDT
Why are you people suggesting all of this clandestine and possibly illegal activity?
It's really not that difficult.
An unregistered handgun in Michigan is a crime. Attempting to register it is NOT.
When you take it in to your local PD tell them the truth. They will run the serial number. If it is on the hot sheet they will confiscate it. If it is on the hot sheet, you don't really want it in your posession do you???
If it is NOT on the hot sheet, they will register it in your name and all is well.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 2:00:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/23/2006 2:01:30 PM EDT by hughjafj]
Cool, thanks for clearing that up Kurt. It just didn't seem right that you couldn't do that.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 6:40:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By anotherlefty:
Why are you people suggesting all of this clandestine and possibly illegal activity?
It's really not that difficult.
An unregistered handgun in Michigan is a crime. Attempting to register it is NOT.
When you take it in to your local PD tell them the truth. They will run the serial number. If it is on the hot sheet they will confiscate it. If it is on the hot sheet, you don't really want it in your posession do you???
If it is NOT on the hot sheet, they will register it in your name and all is well.



Sorry, but ythe Michigan State Police do not seem to agree. Here is the text of the question and answer from their FAQ (the one I linked above....)

25. I found a pistol in an old house that I was fixing up. Can I get it registered in my name? You should take it to your local police agency and they can check on the history of the pistol. They will, of course, check to make sure it is not stolen, and also for any previous registered owner. If the pistol was not previously registered, it is considered contraband, and cannot be registered to you. If there was a previous registered owner, attempts should be made to contact that person. If contact is made, the pistol will either be turned over to them, or they will sign off as seller on a License to Purchase issued to you. If attempts at making contact are futile, you can get a License to Purchase and the pistol can be released to you.

Now that seems to be nearly the same exact scenario orrignally posted. And it seems at least likely that the lovely antique German pistol will in deed be declared "contraband" and be sent to the smelter (or perhaps someone connected's private collection? Hey, it happens!).

T Bone (Detroit).
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