View Full Version : Cop needs help.

September 2, 2005, 11:51 AM
I'm a LEO in upstate NY. Two nights ago I seized a shotgun which was used in a crime. I'm having a really hard time locating the serial# on the weapon. This is kinda a pain in the rear, since NYS state law says we have to run the # through the state data base.
Before anyone answers, Ive already checked the out side, and most of the inside, of the weapon. I have found a few proof marks, and a number on the barrel, which appeatrs to be a patent number.
The weapon is a J.C. Higgns Model 20, 12ga pump. It has a vented barrel thats about 21in long, looks like it would be a good gun for grouse. So far I've ascertained that J.C. Higgins was a name used by Sears Roebuck on guns that were manufactured for them other makers, between 1946 and some time in the sixtys.
If anyone can let me know where to find the serial #, or if anyone knows anything about this weapon (mostly for my own intrest) please let me know. I'd appreciate the help.

September 2, 2005, 01:51 PM
If the shotgun does not have a serial number than federal requires on their yellow form, NSN. That means no serial number due to the fact that the gun was made prior to 1968. What more can they require other than a forensic blueprint of the shotgun? Does New York state inscribe numbers on pre 1968 guns? I kind of doubt it but then again this is a state that elected Hillary Clinton for senator. :eek:

September 2, 2005, 01:54 PM
The J.C. Higgins model 20 was made by High Standard and is a very good shotgun and is very smooth in operation. Parts can be had through Numrich gunparts. Are you going to keep the shotgun?

September 2, 2005, 02:03 PM

You most likely have a shotgun that was manufactured before the federal requirement to stamp serial numbers on the receiver- which is where it should be, plainly visible, if there is one. Absent toolmarks that indicate that the number was obliterated, it probably never had one.

As one old cop to another- I commend you for not falling for the 'patent number' error. I have run many a gun to have them come up stolen, entered on the patent number. Of course anyone can see that it would be dumb to put the 'serial number' on the barrel, but evidently a good many of our contemporaries couldn't figure that out. Good luck with your effort, and stay safe.

Mosinjoe- he can't keep the gun. It was seized as evidence.

September 2, 2005, 06:48 PM
I thought so. It's a shame as that old gun is well made and probably has alot of life left. Too bad it was used to commit a crime. :mad:

September 2, 2005, 09:20 PM
JC Higgins rifles were made by Fabrique Nationale in Belgium.

I don't know about the shotguns.

I would enter the SN as 0000pre1968 and forget it!

September 3, 2005, 03:25 AM
Thanks for the help everyone! I thought they made serial numbers mandator long befor the 60's. I stand corrected!
Being as the weapon was not used in a violent crime, the suspect will probably be able to petition the court to get in back. If he doesn't, it will probably be destroyed :( . There are ways that officer's can come into possession of seized weapons, however most of them are unethical and or downright illegal. For example: Most arestees usually need money fast, court/legal fees. If the weapon was not used in the commission of a violent crime, it may be returned to the suspect. The Officer could then offer to buy it from him, private citizen to private citizen :eek: .
I did find a Remington 30/06 Model 760 lying in a field a few years back. After making sure it wasn't stolen or used in a crime, and waiting about one year, I was allowed to take possession of the weapon. I wound up giving it to a fellow Officer who needed a deer rifle.

Anyhow thanks again for the help.

September 5, 2005, 03:32 PM
Private citizen to private citizen sales are legal in less communistic states.

September 5, 2005, 07:34 PM
I think you misunderstood me, the private sale of shotguns and rifles by non-FFL is completely legal in NY, at least outside of NYC and LI. I was only stating that a Cop buying a firearm from a convicted riminal might be frowned upon by some people. It might be unethical, but not illegal. After all this isn't California. :)

September 6, 2005, 05:33 PM
Oh Okay. It can't be that bad- getting guns out of the hands of criminals, right?? Thats the justification I would use, anyway. I'm under the impression that New York is on par with Commiefornia as far as that goes, though.