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Old August 20, 2012, 01:40 PM   #1
adrnmrnda
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Join Date: August 20, 2012
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bought in AZ stolen in CA

question for the knowledgible and experieced.

I purchased a lever action .22 Henry for my step-son in 2003 while stationed in AZ, the store i purchased it from is no longer in business.

While stationed in Ca he turned 18 and i gave it to him to keep when he moved out of the house. He moved in with his father, left the rifle there and moved to Co. I have just learned that his father is claiming his apartment was broken into and all of his guns were stolen, including the Henry. It was never registered with the great state of Ca. I have left military service but do have a job with a security clearance, should i be concerned? how to find the seriel number of a rifle i purchased almost ten years ago. What is the path forward? Sloppy housekeeping on my part for not having the seriel number on hand and not transfering ownership when he turned 18.

Thank you.

p.s. My wife and I do not believe it was stolen but rather that he sold it as he did not file a police report AT ALL, and has done similar things before.
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Old August 20, 2012, 02:14 PM   #2
Ben Towe
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AFAIK, when your step son took possession, ownership was legally transferred. Not sure about Cali. Do they have registration for long guns?
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Old August 20, 2012, 03:05 PM   #3
Tom Servo
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The only time it will come up is if the gun is found by police and the serial number is submitted to the ATF. The ATF will then run a trace, which will direct them to the records of the shop from which you purchased it.

This is where it gets tricky. The shop is out of business, which means the records were boxed up and sent to a warehouse in West Virginia. The trace would take quite a bit longer in a situation like that.

Long story short, getting the serial number is going to be quite an ordeal.

That said, even if the gun were recovered by law enforcement, you'd get a phone call from the ATF to let you know it's been recovered. At that point, you may have the option of getting it back.

As it stands, you legally gifted it to your stepson 9 years ago, and his father lost it. The only time this could possibly be an issue for you is if there was suspicion that you knowingly provided it to a criminal. That's not the case here.
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Old August 20, 2012, 08:52 PM   #4
Frank Ettin
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There's no registration of long guns in California (yet). However, under California law, the rifle should have been transferred by you to your step-son through a California FFL. But it's too late to do anything about that now.

On the other hand, a theft of a firearm needs to be reported promptly. That wouldn't have been your responsibility. It would have been the father's.

If your suspicions are correct, the rifle is probably gone forever.

I suspect that this will be closed chapter in everyone's life.
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Old August 22, 2012, 06:24 PM   #5
hogdogs
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My gun return adventure went okay... 11 years after the burglary, I got a letter from the city PD stating they may have property belonging to me. Turned out they ran the numbers on MY Mossberg and found the name of BG who lost it due to AG ASSAULT charge did not match and my name was cross referenced and found I described such a gun in theft report...

I got lucky that the FFL had gone under or no such record would have been in ATF custody...

Brent
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Old August 22, 2012, 06:55 PM   #6
Tom Servo
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Quote:
I got lucky that the FFL had gone under or no such record would have been in ATF custody
Actually, it would have gone quicker if the FFL were still in business.

If the dealer is active, it just takes a call from the ATF, and he pulls the 4473 from his records. Most often, that takes a couple of hours.

On the other hand, if the dealer is out of business, the records are in a filing box somewhere in the West Virginia warehouse. I stress somewhere because I've seen pictures of it.

Boxes are stacked floor to ceiling, with no real sort of organization. The Tiahrt Amendment prohibits the ATF from making any sort of database.

As such, traces take a lot longer. Assuming the dealer sent all the forms in (a big "if"), and assuming he had them organized by date, it's still a lot of digging.
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Old August 22, 2012, 07:42 PM   #7
hogdogs
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In my case, they were not looking for my stolen guns... I had no serials to turn in as they were in a lock box also stolen....

They were only running numbers at 10 years before selling or scrapping the gun for "hits" none would have popped up...

Brent
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Old August 25, 2012, 05:08 PM   #8
Ronbert
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If the question is whether or not this would affect your security clearance.... I think not. Unlikely to even be discovered and if discovered doesn't suggest you did anything wrong.

(I have a clearance and work in that environment though I'm not an investigator.)
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