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Author Topic: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)  (Read 1471 times)

Offline jager

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Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« on: December 22, 2017, 08:03:53 PM »

I would like some advice please.

Let me give you the run down.

I had a handgun stolen from my storage unit several years ago by former employee.
Didn't realize it was missing until quite some time later.
Nothing I could do at that point.

It belonged to my great grandfather. Not a valuable piece by any means but sentimental none the less.

I recently have seen this gun listed for sale on the internet.
I believe it to be the same weapon, It does have a few distinguishing marks.
It is also non-working, and if it is the same gun I know exactly what the issue is.

I don't know the seller or how it was acquired.

There is a listed price..way more than what is worth.

How would you handle this?

I know I could bite the "bullet" and pay to get it back. Is there a transfer fee for antique guns??

I really would like it back.

Offer lower price and pay?
Tell my story...

Would just like some other opinions.

Again, what would you do?

Please don't judge the method of storage.
it was/is a non functioning antique that was well packed.

Thanks!



Offline Dan-o

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2017, 08:37:04 PM »
I would set up an inspection in a safe public place and then explain to the seller.   If he's honest, he may work with you. If he's a dirt bag at least you could read his reaction.   
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Offline jackelope

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2017, 08:40:02 PM »
Call the police maybe?
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Offline boneaddict

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2017, 08:44:58 PM »
Call the police. Get a detective. 

Offline Bob33

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2017, 08:45:47 PM »
If it meant a lot to me I would buy it first, ask questions later.

There should not be a transfer fee on an antique gun.
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Offline boneaddict

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2017, 08:48:13 PM »
My question is how would you prove it was yours?  No police report when it was stolen?  Insurance claim? In which case, I guess what Bob said

Offline jager

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2017, 08:51:32 PM »
The only way I could "prove" that it was mine is the way in which it malfunctions which doesn't exactly prove anything...

No insurance claim no police report.

Offline Colville

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2017, 09:14:50 PM »
Focus. Whats most important.  The guy could be the third one to own it since the theft for all you know. Is the point vengence, a cheap return or no return, or getting your family gun back. Dont use option one or two if three is what's most important, or you'll kick yourself later.

Offline WapitiTalk1

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2017, 09:46:28 PM »
Haven't bought many used guns but wouldn't current seller know that it wasn't "clean"?  If so, that makes him a turd, yes? 
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Offline DRobnsn

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2017, 11:16:52 PM »
Haven't bought many used guns but wouldn't current seller know that it wasn't "clean"?  If so, that makes him a turd, yes?

How would he know that?

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2017, 11:35:58 PM »
You have no proof it's yours so don't have much options.  Would be worth a call to the police, maybe something will lead back to the dirt bag who stole it, maybe the current seller is a dirt bag  :dunno:  You can't anticipate some other good, maybe someone else will be hooked up with their stolen items.
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Offline viva_che1363

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2017, 01:52:43 AM »
I'd buy it back, set up a safe place to meet face to face and once it's in your position ask your questions,  how he acquired it, when etc.  And go from there.
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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2017, 07:51:27 AM »
If it meant a lot to me I would buy it first, ask questions later.

There should not be a transfer fee on an antique gun.

If it is an 1898 or older gun, no transfer is required.

Haven't bought many used guns but wouldn't current seller know that it wasn't "clean"?  If so, that makes him a turd, yes? 

He said it was taken several years ago by an employee.   No way to know how many times that gun has changed hands. The current seller could be honestly clueless about that.

Now, if the seller turns out to be the employee that took it all those years ago, then things could get interesting...


Guess you would have to get with the seller for a closer inspection to verify if you can, whether it is or isn't your gun that was stolen, then decide what it is worth to get it back.

Curious why you didn't file a stolen firearm report at the time you found it missing?
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Offline Skillet

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2017, 10:19:14 AM »
I agree with Colville - keep your eye on the prize here.  Having detailed knowledge of the gun proves nothing in terms of getting the gun back.  Consider anything you pay for it "tuition" for the learning experience.

If you do find that the guy selling is the guy that stole it, well - I suppose you just thank him for coming clean and bringing it back to you, holster it and leave.  :dunno:
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Offline tlbradford

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2017, 09:27:03 AM »
File a police report right now.  Followed by contacting a detective about the firearm for sale.  This is if you can someway prove ownership in the past.  If you have no way of doing that, then you should contact the seller and buy it back.
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Offline heronblu

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2017, 05:01:41 PM »
I realize that it's probably too late for this now but I write the serial number of all my firearms down as well as emailing them to myself, in case of this very thing.

Offline danderson

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2017, 05:39:38 PM »
I would file a report and explain the situation, let them handle it, chances are this person may have other stolen property 

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2017, 08:41:54 PM »
I would file a report and explain the situation, let them handle it, chances are this person may have other stolen property

Or this person may be an innocent second or even third party owner and have no clue it is stolen.

If the OP has no way to positively prove this was his gun, and since no police report was filed at the time  :bash:  it comes down to most likely buying it back or walking away with a hard lesson learned...
It is better to be consistently incorrect than inconsistently correct...

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Offline Oh Mah

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2017, 09:05:11 PM »
was it stolen before or after 594?
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Offline Ridgeratt

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2017, 09:10:52 PM »
was it stolen before or after 594?


Excellent point!!!

How many people have bought, traded and sold guns. Lots of items were exchanged between folks with no paper work. Folks looking for the first gun for a kid would find a clean used gun and buy it. I even see ads on here doing the same thing. Courious how many of you got your first gun from your parent's who found a used gun. Perhaps there is no paperwork done on those either.




Prior to 1968, some long guns had serial numbers, some did not. It began in the 1800s. In 1934, US law required SNs on all handguns and machineguns. In 1968 law required them on rifles and shotguns.

I have guns from my Great grandfather that have no numbers on them what so ever.....

« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 09:31:57 PM by Ridgeratt »

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2017, 09:17:27 PM »
was it stolen before or after 594?

The OP said it was an antique gun, so if it was truly an antique by legal definition (example, made in 1898 or before) there is no requirement to do a transfer, cash and carry...
It is better to be consistently incorrect than inconsistently correct...

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Offline Oh Mah

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2017, 09:32:12 PM »
 :dunno: i thought that in order for a dealer to sell it they have to have the paper for where it came from.Just like any broker or pawn shop.
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Offline Ridgeratt

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2017, 09:43:44 PM »
:dunno: i thought that in order for a dealer to sell it they have to have the paper for where it came from.Just like any broker or pawn shop.

What is the definition of dealer you are using.

Offline CAMPMEAT

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2017, 09:56:03 PM »
You didn't need any type of paperwork at all, unless selling it, in the good old days in Washington State. Bill of sale was all you needed in years before, if I remember correctly.
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Offline KFhunter

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2017, 09:58:59 PM »
You didn't need any type of paperwork at all, unless selling it, in the good old days in Washington State. Bill of sale was all you needed in years before, if I remember correctly.

Didn't even need that, that was just CYA in case someone did something stupid with a gun you once owned.
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Offline Ridgeratt

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2017, 10:03:20 PM »
KF I would be willing to bet your dad traded numerous guns over the years. Perhaps many with just a hand shake.

Offline CAMPMEAT

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #26 on: December 24, 2017, 10:08:21 PM »
You didn't need any type of paperwork at all, unless selling it, in the good old days in Washington State. Bill of sale was all you needed in years before, if I remember correctly.

Didn't even need that, that was just CYA in case someone did something stupid with a gun you once owned.


I meant business to private party. I remember doing paperwork, bill of sale on my Colt Python.
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Offline KFhunter

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #27 on: December 24, 2017, 10:32:38 PM »
OH ok, that goes back further than me  :chuckle:
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Offline Oh Mah

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #28 on: December 24, 2017, 10:50:36 PM »
:dunno: i thought that in order for a dealer to sell it they have to have the paper for where it came from.Just like any broker or pawn shop.

What is the definition of dealer you are using.
dealer:someone that is selling as a business.If its a private seller then different i guess.It still will hold the seller liable whether there is paper work or not.,If the op can prove it is his then the seller is in posession of stolen property.Also trafficking stolen property.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 10:56:16 PM by Oh Mah »
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Offline jager

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2017, 09:47:39 AM »
Thanks for all of the input!

I didn't want to update until I had the pistol in hand.

Little backstory first...just to clarify a few things.

This gun was taken about 8 years ago long before 594, by an employee of a storage company I was using.
He was an older guy.. I had met once. fired a long time ago..

I saw the ad for the handgun online...a total fluke that I spotted this gun..I immediately recognized it as the one that I had.

After a few emails back and forth over the holiday and a little online sleuthing by myself, I met the mid 20 something guy that had it.

Nice guy. fellow hunter, Wasn't a tweaker.

I bought the gun back. Didn't ask questions. All I could have said was, how or where did you get this? Would it have mattered?

Didn't report to the police as I had no proof that it had been mine. I had no idea how many times this gun had changed hands.
It IS antique by the way, 118-119 years old.

Didn't initially report because I hadn't known it was missing for quite some time..Not enough info on the gun etc.

Anyway, The gun is back in the family.

Thanks again !


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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2017, 10:14:01 AM »
Good to hear! 
It is better to be consistently incorrect than inconsistently correct...

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2017, 11:25:51 AM »
I would have asked.
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Offline Calvin Rayborn

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Re: Stolen antique handgun for sale. (Opinion)
« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2017, 11:38:36 PM »
Give that low-life a good grillin!

 

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