Stolen Weapon

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Dale, May 2, 2002.

  1. The other day I received a certified letter from the Phoenix Pawn Shop Detail that they had seized a weapon from a local pawn shop I had reported stolen nearly 3 1/2 years ago.

    Since I had very, very little contact or dealings with the Pawn Shop Detail I really didn't understand the garbage one has to go through to get a stolen weapon back.

    Since the weapon was not suspected of having been used in the commission of a crime there is a hearing set up later this month. The pawn shop owner/representative, the person who pawned or sold the gun to the shop and I go into the hearing and plead our cases and then the Judge will decide who gets the weapon.

    The letter stated, and I confirmed with my Attorney, the pawn shop owner/rep has least to show and I have the most to show. I have to show proof of prior ownership, etc.

    An interesting fact about Arizona law is that the pawn shops are NOT required to do a stolen weapon check on any weapon. They must merely ascertain the age of the seller to be over 18 on general merchandise and 21 years of age on firearms and maintain inventories to include the name and address of the person selling a gun. They are only required to have a buyer fill the necessary BATF forms. The Pawn Shop Detail has legal authority to enter any pawn shop, unannounced and check inventories, records and serial numbers and this is how they found mine.

    I have little doubt that I can show sufficient prior ownership but I'm not sure if I want the weapon back since I have no idea what it has been used for the past 3 1/2 years.

    I just don't like the idea that if I do not go and plead my case the pawn shop owner/rep gets the gun. Surprisingly the 'possession of stolen goods' issue is NOT enforced in this case. Can you believe it? That idea just floored me to know that. (here in Arizona, considering the value of the gun, it would be reduced to a misdeanor, anyways).

    I bring this situation up to let everyone know that their state laws may be similar. I think it stinks. Even though I can't find my original sales receipt I think all I should have to do is show proof of a police report, an insurance statement of partial reimbursement, statements from witnesses who know I once owned the gun, the weapons manual with the serial number listed in it, and photos, etc......send them in and it'd be done with and I would be told when to pick up my weapon. But, NO! The creep of a pawn shop owner/rep gets his shot of keeping my gun.

    The stolen gun issues here are one reason I hesitated from buying from a private individual I don't know (even at gun shows). I have purchased many a gun from various pawn brokers thinking they did stolen gun checks prior to buying and selling. I now know I was wrong.

    Last edited: May 2, 2002
  2. Shaun

    Shaun G&G Evangelist

    This is one reason why I take pictures and detail everything on the firearm in a database on my PC at anytime I have a printed list complete with images ready to hand over if anything is stolen or recovered. Plus it covers me for insurance purposes.

  3. I do the same on the PC Shaun. I learned that the hard way after the burglary 3 1/2 years ago.

    It's just aggrevating that, although the law does not require pawn brokers to run serial numbers, they can pick up the phone and any police department would be willing to do it for them. It also irritates me that, although I can prove ownership, I have to compete with some pawn broker who, in my book, has no claims on the weapon. Fer sure!

    SPOCAHP ANAR G&G Enthusiast

    Keep records separate

    Make sure you keep your records separate from the computer. One guy on here said he had his list stolen bc the robber knew where he had it.

    Remember the Pawn owner has a vested interest in it as he has paid for it. Now the pawn guy should have called it in and if the guy refused the pawn guy should have held it and called the cops immediately.

    SPOCAHP ANAR G&G Enthusiast

    BTW Dale how did the cops come about to find it in the pawn shop if the dealer did not call it in?
  6. Shaun

    Shaun G&G Evangelist

    Actually I keep the printouts in several undisclosed places around the house and a copy at the office
  7. florgy

    florgy Guest

    There is the principle of the matter to consider. That firearm is your property, regardless of where it's been or what is has been used for in the past 3 1/2 years. Regards.
  8. PAPA G

    PAPA G G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    besides all that i think most P.D.s don't even try to return any guns they find, even stolen ones all become scrap metal, at least ariz seems to try.
  9. oneastrix

    oneastrix G&G Newbie

    That sure is a hassle, Dale. In TX, my police department gets a weekly print out from the pawn shops in the city. The list details EVERYTHING pawned or hocked that week, including firearms. Dispatchers run the serial numbers, if something comes back "hot," the department seizes it along with info on the person who brought it in to the pawn shop in the first place. If an owner is able to be located, a hearing is held. The pawn shop owner doesn't have as much claim to the item in TX as it sounds like he does in Arizona. Part of the pawn business is the gamble that he MIGHT be in possession of stolen property. However, he is not intentionally or knowingly in said possession until he is notified by the police department. They usally take the loss and give the item up. If not, there is a hearing held. It's a pain, but it usually ssems to me that the good guys come out on top with out a problem. Again, that's just in my state.
  10. Pha, as I eluded to in my original post, one of the Pawn Shop Detail's funtions is to go to the pawn shops where they inspect records, serial numbers etc. It was during one of these surprise visits the detail determined the gun had been reported stolen.
    Last edited: May 2, 2002
  11. Dan R.

    Dan R. Guest

    Now that is really screwed! As soon as the pawn shop detail put 2+2 together they should have just conf. the gun and gave you a call and said come pick it up, the pawn-broker should be the one who is S.O.L. for not covering his ***.
    the laws are supid down there, no penalties or repercusions for pawn brokers chosing to do biz with scumbags!?!?

    SPOCAHP ANAR G&G Enthusiast

    3 yrs

    With it being 3 years since that gun has been stolen you don't know who really was in possesion of it. The original crook sold it to someone for some crack money who probably held it for a while or resold it for a more likely (realized) street value.

    I doubt the guy who pawned it had anything to do with the theft, but it is possible.

    Hope all goes well Dale. Since you were offered a partial reimbursment from the insurance company you may want to settle the difference with the pawn guy since you have a concern as to what the gun was used for after being stolen.
  13. jerry

    jerry Since 03-15- 2002 Forum Contributor

    How'd it go Dale?
  14. Well, Jerry, the Ruger P85 is safely in my gun safe and it gets to go on quad rides every now and then.

    I didn't re-read the entire thread you resurrected, and I might not have mentioned it, but when I was considering proving ownership I had some questions in my mind if I really wanted a gun back that might have been used to harm someone or might have been used in the commission of a serious crime (bad karma thing).

    But, my wife, being the spiritual Navajo she is, convinced me to go for it saying, essentially, that if it were in my possession I knew it would never be maliciously used to harm someone in the future.

    Anyway, I contacted Farmers Insurance and they graciously sent me a letter saying that even though they reimbursed me they wished no claim to the gun and suggested I be given the gun back.

    The Judge agreed and since the pawn shop owner/rep never appeared the Judge also found me to be the rightful owner and so it was.

    It's safe now.

    I'm happy.:cool:

    Thanks for asking.
  15. jerry

    jerry Since 03-15- 2002 Forum Contributor

  16. Jesse

    Jesse Tradehawker LLC / / Jn 17:17 Forum Contributor

    I'm happy for you too Dale. Good to hear everything came out ok...
  17. BattleRifleG3

    BattleRifleG3 G&G Evangelist

    I would have thought if the pawnshop owner and the guy who sold it to him were legit, they'd be forthcoming as to where the guy got it before.
  18. Otter

    Otter Guest

    In 1977 my friend gave me a used Marlin .30-30 model 336. Several years later the State police ran serial numbers on some of my weapons that were in my car and that gun turned out to have been stolen in Pa. The owner never got a chance of getting it back, it was sold at auction to benifit the state. My defence was based on it being bought from a dealer in Connecticut. When I buy a weapon I call the police and run the serial number, even if it came from a dealer. We had a previous post from someone in Ohio who said the police in Ohio won't run a serial number for you unless you take the weapon to them. Most police departments do it over the phone. I've called police departments in other states and did NCIC checks over the phone. Never had a problem.

    "Life is too important to be taken seriously."
  19. I had a S&W 4506 stolen years ago along with a Star .25. After reporting them stolen, a NCIC check showed the Star as previously stolen. I bought it at a pawn shop in the general area in which it was stolen. Months after the theft, I got a phone call from the police department letting me know that they found my .45. It had been thrown from a car, most likely, since it was scarred up, had broken grips, broken sights, and was found on the side of the road. I let it sit in my closet for about a year then eventually got it worked on by a good smith.
  20. Otter

    Otter Guest

    Got into a discussion about this topic with someone at work, called the town police to run a NCIC check on my Combat Commander, they told him it has never been reported stolen and never even asked his name. "Whats to stop someone from calling to check a weapon?" he asked me. "Nothing," I told him, "They don't want you to buy a stolen gun anymore that you do." Hard to believe some states have to make it so difficult.

    "Life is too important to be taken seriously."