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Letter from US DOJ

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by dobeman, May 22, 2013.

  1. dobeman

    dobeman Hillsboro Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Imagine my surprise today. Postman delivers a signature required letter from US DOJ. Turns out there was a DEA drug bust in Beaverton, OR on May 2, 2013 and they seized some firearms. One of them was traced back to me. The letter referenced the serial number and make/model. I bought the gun new from a local FFL two maybe three years ago. I sold it a while back in a face to face local OR resident sale. The DOJ letter also gave the names of the people busted in Beaverton. I know for fact none of them was who I sold the rifle to. Who knows how many times the rifle has changed hands.

    Sobering fact - when you buy a gun through a FFL, it is registered in a national database. They traced it to me within 18 days. So be carefule who you sell to and obviously, once it's sold and out there, we lose control over who ends up with it.

    The letter doesn't put me at any fault. It is asking me either request pardon or mitigation of the forfeiture, or to contest the forfeiture.
     
  2. misplacedtexan

    misplacedtexan Beaverton, OR Active Member

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    maybe contest it, and get the gun back if it was of any value?

    It's going to end up 'destroyed' if it stays with them
     
  3. dobeman

    dobeman Hillsboro Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I had that thought - it's a nice gun - or it was. they have the asset value as $1 in the letter.
     
  4. ATCclears

    ATCclears Seattle area, WA Well-Known Member

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    Backup a minute...

    I'm not a lawyer (and I didn't sleep at a Holiday Inn last night...), but it seems like you might be putting yourself in a precarious position if you responded that you wanted the gun returned to you. Wouldn't this imply to the DOJ that you never sold it?

    Peter
     
  5. Kid@Heart

    Kid@Heart Vancouver, USA Cynic Lifetime Supporter Diamond Supporter

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    Why would it put you in a precarious position? If you sold it, you have absolutely no rights to have it returned to you. On the other hand, if it was stolen from you...
     
    Mathmattx and (deleted member) like this.
  6. dobeman

    dobeman Hillsboro Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    yeah, I was joking a little... I have forfeited all rights to that gun a long time ago. After reading the DOJ letter over and over I think it requires my action only if I want the gun back. Which I don't.

     
  7. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Or they went to the manufacturer to find out what distributor the rifle went to and then to the dealer that distributor transferred it to then they went to that FFL and thumbed through his 4473's until they found you.

    If it was a national Data Base they could have gotten to you in a few hours. or less not 18 days.
     
  8. One-Eyed Ross

    One-Eyed Ross Winlock, WA Well-Known Member

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    If it was in a data base, like Mark W. said, it wouldn't take 18 days. More like 30 seconds or so, depending on which system they run it on...
     
  9. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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    hell you're lucky they sent a letter instead of a SWAT team!!!
     
  10. dobeman

    dobeman Hillsboro Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    regarless of how they traced the serial number.. it's sobering that I am still tied to that serial number.. I wonder if I had sold it through a FFL transfer .... I guess they would have gone to the next owner of record, then me.

    and Caveman, you got that right... like I told my wife, at least we didn't hear the loud thump thump thump of a helicopter with blinding spotlights and governemnt ninjas in black suits roping down all around our house. That would have disturbed tea time.
     
  11. mattdomes

    mattdomes Newberg Active Member

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    This is why I always get a bill of sale
     
  12. RBid

    RBid Wilsonville, OR Well-Known Member

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    Mark W is right. There is no national database. I know this first hand, having participated in BATFE serial tracking from the dealer end. Tracing individual serials can be a time intensive affair. Each stop has a two part record: "received from X on xx/xx/xxxx date, transferred to Y on you/yy/yyyy date". BATFE has to follow the trail by contacting each stop, and waiting for people to sift through records.

    This system is too clunky and intensive to employ it for confiscation. Using it for any large scale effort would be a nightmare. It does allow BATFE to do their jobs, however.
     
  13. dobeman

    dobeman Hillsboro Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I too will adopt that strategy. If it limits sales, so be it.
     
  14. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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    you got that right there is no way I would ever sell any gun without one maybe it's just me but I like to CMA!!!!
     
  15. oknow

    oknow amboy wa. Well-Known Member

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    they found his name in 30 sec. but it took the postal service 18 days to get the letter to him
     
  16. dobeman

    dobeman Hillsboro Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    LOL I like that theory.
     
  17. hermannr

    hermannr Okanogan Highlands Well-Known Member

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    What they do is go to the manufacturer and find out who the weapon was originally shipped to. Then they go to the FFL and find out who the gun was originally sold to (you in this case). Then they ask you basically if the weapon was stolen from you, or not.

    If you sold the gun, and know who you sold it to, and tell them...they would send a letter to that person, similar to the one you received, basically to find out if it was stolen from them, and so on, etc. until they find out if the weapon was stolen (in which case it will be returned to the rightful owner) or if it was legally owned by the person it was seized from, in which case it can be either kept by the government agency, auctioned off, or destroyed.

    They are accusing you of nothing. If you do have a bill of sale, and you do know the next owner, and if the weapon was stolen from him, it might help him recover the weapon, that is all. It has nothing to do with requiring a bill of sale, or not. You are not in jeopardy in any way, one way or another. It is NOT proof of any need to keep a record of a FTF transaction.
     
  18. hermannr

    hermannr Okanogan Highlands Well-Known Member

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    One other thing. Just because the weapon was seized in a "drug bust" does not mean the legal owner was involved, it does not mean the legal owner was not able to purchase and possess firearms.
     
  19. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that is NOT how it works. If you have EVER bought from an FFL that record will always be at that FFL, ALWAYS.

    Cops find gun and go to maker to find out where the gun went. Then they go to the wholesaler. Then they go to the FFL who sold it. If you were that first buyer then they come to you....... If you sold it, even to an FFL then they go there.

    I am sure in some cases they work backward also but still at some point your name will come into it.

    BOS makes NO difference. If it makes you feel better great.

    ETA: Looks like we were typing at the same time.
     
  20. dobeman

    dobeman Hillsboro Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    yes, I know. And I've done nothing wrong. I just wonder how differently this would have been handled had the gun been used in a homicide.