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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not up on the latest in California gun laws and I haven't bought a new gun in a while, so I don't know the process and I'm looking for some advice.

I'm looking to trade in an older Remington .270 pump rifle that a friend gave me as a gift about five years ago. The gun, in turn, was given to him by somebody else before that. I don't have any paperwork on it.

So what happens when I bring this thing into my gun shop as a trade-in? Do I need to prove legal ownership? Will the shop run an owner search on the serial number or something? What happens if they do and the gun comes up with somebody else as the listed "owner."

Thanks in advance for any advice on this. :cool:
 

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Ummmm well lets see here...

If it's a rifle (non assault weapon), by law CA isn't supposed to keep any records of any transactions or registered owners or anything for any longer than 10 days or 90 days or 3 days or something. You can go down to the local gun dealer or a SportMart or something, and get a "private party transfer" for anywhere from $10 - $50. The dealer will run some paperwork through the state, this isn't being "registered" per se like your car, this makes sure you're not a felon and that the rifle isn't known to be stolen. There'll be a 10-day waiting period before you can take delivery. Other than that, I TIHNK you're in the clear. According to theory, the state shouldn't be able to tell that you didn't go through the paperwork process last time, and if you say the rifle is yours, I don't THINK there's any way for the state to say otherwise unless somebody reported it stolen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
kasudyo said:
unless somebody reported it stolen.
That's the only part of your response that worries me. I don't have any reason to believe this is the case, but since I don't know the heritage of this rifle, I really can't be sure. I mean, I don't know anything about the guy who gave it to my friend before he gave it to me. :eek:

Just speaking hypothetically here, any idea how long the state would keep records on a gun reported stolen? Forever? A couple years?

I'm married and sh*t and have a nice peaceful life, and all I want to do is trade in this old deer gun for something I'll be able to enjoy a little more. I don't want me or my friend to end up in the hoosegow over this, ya know what I mean?

Anyway, thanks for the response.
 

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Okay, first thing you need to do is check with your local PD (Police Department) and have them run the serial number for stolen, felony, etc.

Mark
 

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RimDim said:
I'm not up on the latest in California gun laws and I haven't bought a new gun in a while, so I don't know the process and I'm looking for some advice.

I'm looking to trade in an older Remington .270 pump rifle that a friend gave me as a gift about five years ago. The gun, in turn, was given to him by somebody else before that. I don't have any paperwork on it.
I agree with everything else that has been said by the other posters. But, to be completely correct, I want to point out one other thing: When you accepted the rifle as a gift five years ago, you committed a boo-boo. All transfers are supposed to go through a FFL (a dealer in a nutshell), with paperwork processed by the CA DoJ. There are exceptions for parent/child transfers and inheritance, but they don't apply here. So not only you, but also the guy who gave it to you, and the previous owner all did something wrong.

That having been said, I agree that the best course of action is probably to go to the police, and ask them how to verify that the record of this gun is clean. Whether you want to volunteer to them that you forgot to do the paperwork when you got it 5 years ago, or whether to keep quiet about it, is up to you. If it were me, I would tell them about it right up front, and show proper remorse. After all, I'm sure they can easily find out that no DoJ paperwork on it was done back them. You can be honest and tell them that back then you didn't know that such paperwork was necessary, you just found out about it on the internet, and now you want to make it right. I think it is exceedingly unlikely that they'll take offense, unless you go out of your way to piss them off.

By the way, the following should be obvious, but I'll mention it anyhow, please don't feel offended: Don't just storm into the nearest police station, carrying the gun for all to see, as if you were about to go postal. Call them first, ask them what to do, and ask for instruction on how to bring the gun to them for checking. Then carry the gun unloaded, locked, and in a locked case, to be as legal and non-threatening as possible. Demonstrating that you're really trying to be as responsible as humanly possible (childproof lock and all that good stuff) might go a long way towards demonstrating that your intentions are good.
 

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treelogger said:
I agree with everything else that has been said by the other posters. But, to be completely correct, I want to point out one other thing: When you accepted the rifle as a gift five years ago, you committed a boo-boo. All transfers are supposed to go through a FFL (a dealer in a nutshell), with paperwork processed by the CA DoJ. There are exceptions for parent/child transfers and inheritance, but they don't apply here. So not only you, but also the guy who gave it to you, and the previous owner all did something wrong.
funny thing huh... there is not supposed to be registration of long guns but people NEED to do a transfer???? of what the name address ss number etc.
God willing just a few more years and i am otta CA!
 

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Admission of guilt??

RimDim,

I know absolutely nothing about the CA DoJ. I would like to think that treelogger is correct in his assumption that whatever state agency has oversight for the enforcement of the California gun laws will decide that you are really a nice guy and let the whole thing slide. But remember, these guys job is to make cases and compile statistics thereon. When somebody lays a ready made case at their feet, will they ignore it, or will they add you to their scoreboard?

Before walking into a police station and making an admission of guilt, I recommend that you find out exactly what your legal standing is regarding your present ownership of the rifle. You might think you are only asking advice from the authorities, but to them it will be viewed as a prima facia case against you.

I'm just wondering if it might not be better to not wake a sleeping dog. You have said that it is an older rifle and that it was given to you. It appears that your present investment equals zero, so monetarily you might be far ahead to just chunk the thing in the river (metaphorically speaking), forget you ever owned it and go buy the new rifle you have your eye on.

The foregoing offered solely as my opinion and should not be interpreted as legal advice.
 

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Dear Hipshot: You know, I can't disagree too much with you. There is a risk that you run into some agency / some person who is only interested in "doing their job". So this turns into a tradeoff. On one hand, Mr. RimDim could just go and toss the rifle into the trash, and he's out a couple hundred bucks. Or just keep it, and use it (still out the money, but he gest some use out of it). Or he could to the nearest dealer, try to sell it, and the risk is that the DoJ figures out the rifle has a really horrible history and he is in a world of hurt. Or he could go to the police station, and either be in the same world of hurt, or be treated really friendly, and be absolved of his sins. And even trying to call the local police department anonymously ahead of time is probably a bad idea, that might stir up a whole hornets nest (if there is a hornets nest in there). And what if he does go to the PD, and it turns out the gun was stolen 20 years ago? Then he loses the gun (but most likely nothing else bad happens to him); if he had just kept quiet and kept the gun at home, he could still shoot it.

But I still bet a sixpack that if he is nice about it and goes to the police, nothing bad will happen to him, and the only bad thing that might happen to the rifle is that he loses it if indeed it is stolen property. But please don't take this as legal advice, only as a bet of a few beers.
 

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A bit of advice for all you folks that live in CA. I lived ther till one year ago and I've never seen a place where so many people know so little about the law there. Th eFunny thing is that it is NOT as bad as you think it is. How does he know that you ask? Because every year I went to one of the better gun shops and for two yes$2 bought a book put out by the CA DOJ, Dept of Justice that is. And every year I was fully up on all the laws in CA that had anything to do with guns. It is an 8 1/2 by 11 soft bound book that almost all the good gun stores have. Or you can get it from the DOJ for one dollar.



KNOW what is right or wrong. KNOW what is good or bad. It is worth $2 a year just to have the peace of mind that when you head out to the range or to go huntinting you are transporting your gun legally. GET ONE SOON.
 

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Not saying that I have any experience in this area or that I've ever done anything similiar, my suggestions would be:

1) Do you know any LEO's that could run the number for you? Family, good friends, etc.? If indeed it is 'hot', said LEO could 'find' it somewhere and turn it in for you (possibly.)

2) Sell it out of state via gunbroker.com or something along those lines. Not ALL of the states are as anal as Kalifornia when it comes to long guns.

Good luck,

Mark
 

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Alright well, if you're going to trade it in to a dealer, they're gonna go through the paperwork. There isn't any dealer who's gonna not jump very carefully for each and every hoop that's put in front of them in fear that they're gonna lose their shop. If this gun is stolen and you take it to the dealer to trade it in, you just lost the gun, any money you were hoping for, and the gun is gone (based upon my local PD I've got my own theories as to where it would go...). Then you aren't getting anything off for the rifle you want to buy.

I want to point out one other thing: When you accepted the rifle as a gift five years ago, you committed a boo-boo. All transfers are supposed to go through a FFL (a dealer in a nutshell), with paperwork processed by the CA DoJ.

Some people won't lose sleep over that.

I'm sure they can easily find out that no DoJ paperwork on it was done back them.

They better not be able to. The law (I'll find it for you) specifically states that the DOJ can keep NO records on ANY rifles (as long as they're not assault weapons: most ar15s, all .50cals, etc). No rifle registration, no owner registration, no record of the transfer, nothing. That's got to be some kind of lawsuit right there if they did. Class action: every CA rifle owner vs the DOJ?

I think your best bet is to find a relative or a friend of a friend who's a cop and get them to run the serial number. If it's clean, you trade it in at the dealer. If it's hot, you either keep it forever and never get stopped by a cop with it in your possession (some people don't advise this), OR sell it to somebody with no paperwork (some people don't advise this) OR chuck it in the river OR throw yourself upon the mercy of the local PD (as long as you don't live in my town, where if you accidentally injure yourself you're charged with mayhem upon yourself).
 

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Vincent said:
A bit of advice for all you folks that live in CA. I lived ther till one year ago and I've never seen a place where so many people know so little about the law there. Th eFunny thing is that it is NOT as bad as you think it is. How does he know that you ask? Because every year I went to one of the better gun shops and for two yes$2 bought a book put out by the CA DOJ, Dept of Justice that is. And every year I was fully up on all the laws in CA that had anything to do with guns. It is an 8 1/2 by 11 soft bound book that almost all the good gun stores have. Or you can get it from the DOJ for one dollar.

KNOW what is right or wrong. KNOW what is good or bad. It is worth $2 a year just to have the peace of mind that when you head out to the range or to go huntinting you are transporting your gun legally. GET ONE SOON.
Vincent,

I believe this is the book you are referring to.
http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/pdf/cfl.pdf

It is in pdf format and requires Adobe Reader to download. For anyone who wants to read from it online, please note that the page numbers of the document do not correspond to the page number displayed by Adobe Reader, ie, if you select a topic from the Table of Contents, you will need to check the page number displayed in the document and not the page number of the Adobe Reader display.
 

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Quote:

"and I'm looking for some advice."

Move away from there. Leave a bomb, hire some bulldozer drivers to plow the entire state of Kalifornia into the ocean. Contact your cousins on the East coast and encourage them to do likewise. What is with coastal states anyway? Come to the mid-west and grow corn. We feed the world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah, I figured that was coming. :rolleyes:

I happen to like living in California. I don't like everything about it, but it ain't all bad. I also have family in Indiana, Missouri, Michigan and Wisconsin. I like all those places, too, and they're not perfect either. Overall, it's a big, beautiful country, with lots to recommend it.
 
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