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Old August 27, 2016, 11:58 AM   #1
geetarman
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Firearm Confiscation

I have a question for the membership that I don't believe has been addressed before.

If you are in a situation and you defend yourself with a firearm, do the authorities have the right to seize every firearm you own or ONLY the firearm used in the incident?

Could the authorities seize your firearms to "investigate" whether those guns have ever been used in a crime?
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Old August 27, 2016, 01:08 PM   #2
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I am no expert, but I believe they can only hold the weapon used unless you are arrested and charged, in which case all bets are off.
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Old August 27, 2016, 02:11 PM   #3
Old Bill Dibble
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It really depends. In order to seize evidence the police need to have probable cause that whatever it was, was used in a crime or was an element of the crime. So if you say are involved in a shooting in Atlanta and you live in Los Angeles then the police will have a difficult case to show probable cause and seize guns at your home.

Most likely if they are going to seize something not on you or in your immediate proximity at the time of the suspected offense then they are going to get a warrant. This can be surprisingly fast depending upon where you live and the crime involved. There are a number of exceptions but a warrant will be the most likely case.

The overwhelming majority of crimes are not elaborate ruses full of subterfuge as are popular in the TV and movies. If you are involved in a shooting and the police find your gun they are going to assume that is it until they find out otherwise. If they suspect funny business then they will go get a warrant and come take everything they could possibly be involved in the act under investigation.

Also if during the course of their investigation they regard you as a suspect in a different crime they will get a warrant and come seize anything that might be involved in that crime.

TV also sets us up for the unrealistic expectation that the police can look at a bullet and pronounce; "That's a 9mm" in a very authoritative voice. We all know that what looks like a 9mm could be a .380, .38, .357, .357 sig or some other diameter altogether that has deformed past a good measurements. Easy enough to do after it has banged around in a body and been handled by a surgeon with tools.

So if you have a bunch of 9mm and similar caliber handguns in your house and the police have probable cause that one of them was used in a crime they will try to get them all. Police are not as dumb as they sometimes portrayed either. They know that a barrel can be swapped out pretty easily on a Glock and lots of other pistols. They still need probable cause. But so long as it can be explained to a judge in a way that makes sense they will likely get their warrant.
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Old August 27, 2016, 04:05 PM   #4
Boogershooter
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I've known 3 people that have been involved with crimes pertaining guns. I'm gona try to keep this brief in each case but they are documented and you can Google them if you so desire.

First one was in Shreveport louisiana in 1988. Business owner had repeated break ins at his small engines business. After multiple complaints and installing camera on his property the police still had no suspects in custody. He decided to sleep at his shop one night to catch them. He did and a gunfight ensued. Only one was armed but he shot two of the three in the confusion. They confiscated all the firearms in his house even tho he was in jail. He ended up serving 5 years.

Second was a young fellow that lived down the road. He robbed a bank in Pleasant Hill louisiana. He has his gun tucked in his back pocket. When he tried to pull his pistol it got hung on his wallet. He pulled them both out and left the wallet on the counter. Needless to say they caught him within 20 minutes. He never went home, just straight to jail. They took all his firearms from his residence, even his father's guns. The father was able to get his back after a couple of years.

A coworker was pumping gas when he was hit from behind with a bat. After he regained consciousness the guy was still in his truck going thru his wallet. He reached into the door of the truck and grabbed his gun. Held him at gunpoint til cops arrived. They confiscated all his weapons from his house til he was cleared of all charges.

The point of these stories is that they took all guns from their residences. Even when the crimes were self defense and not at home.
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Old August 27, 2016, 04:07 PM   #5
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depends upon local law. soon this may depend upon federal law.
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Old August 27, 2016, 04:15 PM   #6
TXAZ
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I am familiar with a similar situation as you relate that occurred a couple of years ago to a friend, where no crime was committed or charged, after a very weak allegation was made insinuating domestic violence from a very ill relative who wasn't getting what they wanted.
At the end of the investigation, no wrong doing was found, but the Chandler AZ police refused to return the handgun. My friend indicated their response was "No, sue us".

So it does happen, and police get away with it, knowing that very few people are going to spend $1,000 to recover a $500 gun.
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Old August 27, 2016, 05:17 PM   #7
JWT
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Unfortunately that's what is going wrong in this country. Criminals seem to have all the rights and those trying to protect themselves or their property have none.
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Old August 27, 2016, 06:57 PM   #8
thallub
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If
Quote:
you are in a situation and you defend yourself with a firearm, do the authorities have the right to seize every firearm you own or ONLY the firearm used in the incident?
Depends on the details of the situation and where you live. If you kill someone in a self defense situation expect the gun to be confiscated until the police complete their investigation and the DA rules on the shooting.
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Old August 27, 2016, 07:05 PM   #9
Old Bill Dibble
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My answer was only to the OP's question about the investigation aspect. If you are under indictment for a felony, DV or some other crime laws vary greatly from state to state. Some states will allow the police to come and seize all of your guns for a DV charge.
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Old August 28, 2016, 12:44 AM   #10
Koda94
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Quote:
If you are in a situation and you defend yourself with a firearm, do the authorities have the right to seize every firearm you own or ONLY the firearm used in the incident?

Could the authorities seize your firearms to "investigate" whether those guns have ever been used in a crime?
my guess is if you defended yourself in your home where you keep your other guns then its certainly a possibility I would even say most likely. My guess to your second question is if any gun is taken as evidence its serial number will be ran as part of the investigation regardless of any probable cause to any other crime, no different than any gun you use to lawfully defend yourself with.
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Old August 28, 2016, 10:27 AM   #11
Glenn Dee
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confiscation ? if used to cause the death of another, to assault or wound another or to cause alarm or fear of another, and that act is considered a crime the person with the gun would be arrested and the gun siezed as evidence for trial upon conviction the gun would become forfiet and destroyed or auctioned. other guns owned by that person could be siezed by the police. however they are still the property of the convict, who may dispose of the guns as he see fit.

if the person is not convicted or the shooting adjudicated as justified, his property should be returned to him.

in a jurisdiction such as nyc where the mere possesion of a firearm is subject to local laws and the arbetrary rules of the local police department, those rules stating the mere possesion is dependant on the possesion of a police department issued permit. that permit may be suspended or revoked by the police and the police may confiscate any other firearms ... while these firearms are still personal property they may only be disposed of by rules of the police.
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Old August 29, 2016, 12:14 AM   #12
62coltnavy
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Police often seize things that have no reasonable connection to a crime--because they can. They merely submit an overly broad warrant application to the judge, and judges usually sign them. Or sometimes they seize guns "just because." There was an incident recently in Southern California where a wealthy gentleman kn own for his arm candy and machine guns (most of which he keeps in Nevada) had his home broken into. The burglars tied unsuccessfully tried to get into a steel door gun vault he'd had built, without success. When contacted by the caretaker, the police demanded access to the gun vault, which was refused. The police then broke through the door and seized all of "assault weapons" types of firearms that were there (leaving some very valuable rifles) for "safe keeping." I will be surprised if he gets them back without a lawsuit. In another case, where a retired police officer and gun collector was arrested on a bogus illegal sales charge (that was later dropped) the police seized over 350 firearms, and after the criminal case was dismissed, demanded all kinds of proof of ownership, giving back a trickle of weapons, but ultimately destroying most of the collection upon the application of the LA City attorney who was negotiating with the owner's attorney for their return. How many actually made it to the shredder is anyone's guess. San Francisco and Oakland were both sued over their refusal to honor certificates from the DOJ authorizing the return of weapons to owners, requiring (often repeated) proof of ownership (even when they had taken the gun from the owner and provided a receipt). The unstated but clearly official policy of these departments is that civilians should not own guns in their towns, and they will do everything possible, including illegal acts, to prevent returns until compelled to do so.
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Old August 29, 2016, 08:37 AM   #13
Don P
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Here in FLA most likely the firearm used will be taken as evidence. As for the ones in the home. They will not be confiscated for the reason you stated. What may happen is if the first judge you stand before checks the box on the paperwork that tells LE to go to your home and remove all firearms then you have no choice. This is not a LE decision but one made by the judge/court. A friend was involved in an indecent. Guess we will call it road rage. Argument happen in one place and came to a head at a convenience store. For some reason he felt the need to adjust his holster while arguing with the other person. LE called he was hauled off to jail and the judge checked the box. LE was informed and all guns removed from the home. Wife has a CCW and she cannot have her gun until this mess is cleared up.
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Old August 29, 2016, 11:18 AM   #14
geetarman
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Many of you have heard of the freeway shooter in Phoenix. A man was arrested and charged and his gun confiscated. The police tested the gun and affirmed it was the gun used in the shooting. All charges have been dropped and the defense has had the gun tested at two different facilities. They state they cannot confirm the gun matches the gun in the shootings. The man arrested and released wants his gun back and the court agrees and orders the gun returned to the owner. The state police refuse and state the gun will be held for further testing. How justified is this?
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Old August 29, 2016, 11:48 AM   #15
Old Bill Dibble
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Quote:
Many of you have heard of the freeway shooter in Phoenix. A man was arrested and charged and his gun confiscated. The police tested the gun and affirmed it was the gun used in the shooting. All charges have been dropped and the defense has had the gun tested at two different facilities. They state they cannot confirm the gun matches the gun in the shootings. The man arrested and released wants his gun back and the court agrees and orders the gun returned to the owner . The state police refuse and state the gun will be held for further testing. How justified is this?

If all that were true then the police (more likely the DA) could be held in contempt of court. However it is not true:

http://www.abc15.com/news/region-pho...s-suspects-gun

The judge ordered the gun held.
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Old August 29, 2016, 12:33 PM   #16
geetarman
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Back in June, Judge Granville ordered that Merritt be given his gun and vehicle back on June 30. But that date came and went and Merritt did not get that weapon back.
The judge caved to the request of the police. The shootings have continued and the gun is in custody and the alleged shooter has had all charges dismissed.

There is something RADICALLY wrong with this picture.
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Last edited by geetarman; August 29, 2016 at 12:39 PM.
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Old August 29, 2016, 01:08 PM   #17
VoodooMountain
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First one was in Shreveport louisiana in 1988. Business owner had repeated break ins at his small engines business. After multiple complaints and installing camera on his property the police still had no suspects in custody. He decided to sleep at his shop one night to catch them. He did and a gunfight ensued. Only one was armed but he shot two of the three in the confusion. They confiscated all the firearms in his house even tho he was in jail. He ended up serving 5 years.


Why was this guy thrown in jail for 5 years? Because one of the criminals wasn't armed?
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