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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    1

    Default To Prove Ownership of My Firearm That Was Taken After a Accident for "Safekeeping"

    My question involves police conduct in the State of: Montana.
    So first of all good morning everyone from the "Big Sky country" I have a issue that I am being unfairly treated by our local police department in my hometown of Billings Mt. So please allow me to explain, A couple of days ago I had the unfortunate mis-happenings of being in a minor accident that resulted in some damage to both vehicles that had rendered them both inoperable. The accident in nature was due to the other driver having failed in yielding the right of way and was ticketed as such I myself received no citations. Anyhow immediately after the said incident I was pretty banged up and was dressed still in my Pjs as it was early A.m and only intended to make it to the pharmacy to pick up a much needed inhaler. The weather at the time was -3 degrees outside and I was not at all prepared to be outside for any amount of time at all and after pushing the my vehicle to a safe "out of the way" side of the road and exchanging info with the other driver who was just fine. I hurried home to get a change of clothes to be better equipped to be outside. However after I came back the police had already showed up and both vehicles had been towed off as directed by the police. apparently while I was gone the police had searched my vehicle and found my pistol under the seat of my truck and confiscated it for "safekeeping". After speaking with the officers I asked first of all why was my vehicle towed as it was legally parked and safely off to the side of the road. To which they responded that the vehicle was inoperable and after explaining to me why my firearm was taken I was told that I could pick up my legally owned pistol from the evidence locker to which it had been taken again for "safekeeping". Now fast forward a day or so I am being told that I am having to prove ownership of a firearm that I have had for quite some time that was bought from a private individual which is allowed in Montana without paperwork. One the gun in question is not Stolen otherwise I would suspect I would have been duly informed at this point and secondly our police department ,s evidence employees are now telling me that to get this firearm back I am having to prove that I am the legal owner of this pistol and that they Do Not Believe that I own this firearm. Another question that presents itself is if the firearm is in my possession and i am claiming ownership then it is to be said it is mine or am I wrong and also are my civil rights as a non-felon U.S citizen being violated and for the love of God what avenues do I have that I can take to retrieve my property back from a holier than thou employee of our local police department.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,482

    Default Re: To Prove Ownership of My Firearm That Was Taken After a Accident for "Safekeeping

    Do you still have access to the guy who sold it to you? Have him write you a bill of sale, if so.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,612

    Default Re: To Prove Ownership of My Firearm That Was Taken After a Accident for "Safekeeping

    Quote Quoting V3npyre
    View Post
    are my civil rights as a non-felon U.S citizen being violated
    No. I don't see the authorities doing anything wrong by requiring proof of ownership. What would you do if it had been stolen and your insurance company required proof of ownership?

    Quote Quoting V3npyre
    View Post
    what avenues do I have that I can take to retrieve my property back
    Talk to a local attorney who is well known to, and respected by, your local authorities.

    Next time you buy a firearm, get a bill of sale with the serial number and keep it forever. Photograph the weapon and its serial number and keep it forever.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,670

    Default Re: To Prove Ownership of My Firearm That Was Taken After a Accident for "Safekeeping

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    No. I don't see the authorities doing anything wrong by requiring proof of ownership.
    Wrong, maybe not. But unless they have reason to believe the gun is not owned by the OP a little pressure should get it back with the need for proof.

    It isn't like this firearm was laying in the street and found by the PD.

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    Talk to a local attorney who is well known to, and respected by, your local authorities.
    That's the sort of pressure I'm talking about.

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    Next time you buy a firearm, get a bill of sale with the serial number and keep it forever. Photograph the weapon and its serial number and keep it forever.
    Agreed. I have a binder I keep all of that in along with info of who I later sell the gun to.

    Quote Quoting flyingron
    View Post
    Do you still have access to the guy who sold it to you? Have him write you a bill of sale, if so.
    Worth a try.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,612

    Default Re: To Prove Ownership of My Firearm That Was Taken After a Accident for "Safekeeping

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
    View Post

    Agreed. I have a binder I keep all of that in along with info of who I later sell the gun to.
    I scan all mine to my computer and back up drives. Easy to recover if something happens to the paperwork.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,670

    Default Re: To Prove Ownership of My Firearm That Was Taken After a Accident for "Safekeeping

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    I scan all mine to my computer and back up drives. Easy to recover if something happens to the paperwork.
    I probably need to do that. I started doing it back before scanners and disk space were pretty much free.

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