I found a gun! Now what?

Generally, makes it worth less. A lot more of a bitch to clean. Function should not see a difference unless there is heavy rust throughout.

SSG Schwartz

Nobody is going to get mad at you ya fucking mope. We just jump up & down on your stupid head 'till you take it back!Just kidding1:D However, I must work on the most honest police force on the planet. Nobody I work with does any of the things people have brought up on the SDMB.

Seriously, if I missed it in one of the posts, what state are you in WhyNot? It would be a lot easier to direct you to sites regarding possession/ownership of firearms if I knew that.

You absolutely do need a Firearms Identification card to own a long gun in Massachusetts. cite. (Warning, pdf). Given that the OP doesn’t give her location, I strongly suggest looking up the laws for your state before proceeding further. The NRA has a summary.

Sorry - Illinois, Cook County, but not within the City of Chicago (Well,* I* am, but the gun and my mother’s house are not.)

ETA: I’m not getting anything to work on the NRA site, not even my usual Firefox warning that it’s trying to display popups.

I got it to work - IL state law says you need a Firearms Owner ID Card to own a “long gun,” but that gun does not need to be registered. It doesn’t go into county laws.

City of Chicago laws are more restrictive - you must register the firearm with the police at the Daley Center. Registration lasts for 1 year and must be with the gun at all times.

In general:

  1. It’s in your mother’s house, she’s in control of it. Do NOTHING to it without her permission.

  2. Identify it, as per suggestions above, bearing in mind #1.

  3. Indentify it’s loaded/loaded status, as above, beaing in mind #1.

3a) If loaded, have it unloaded, bearing in mind #1.

  1. Determine legal status, as suggested above.

  2. Discuss disposition with mother.

5a) If weapon is to be sold, determine value of weapon before offering to for sale. Chances are, it’s of nominal value, but check places like Shotgun News, your local firearms shops, and if it’s rare (not very likely, obviously!), a professional appraiser.

5b) If weapon is to be sold, make sure you conduct the sale IAW all applicable Federal, State, and Local laws and ordinances.

5c) DO NOT displose of weapon without your mother’s approval first. So doing could get you in substantial trouble.

All that said, have a little fun figuring out your mystery. If nothing else, you’ve just discovered a small bit of family history, one your mother apparently didn’t know about. Do a bit of detective work, find out the story of the weapon, and its presence in your mom’s basement.

Let me ask what should be the obvious question. WhyNot, what do you want to do with this gun? Everybody seems to be assuming you want to keep it. Is that true? Or are you looking to sell it for its best price? Or do you just want to dispose of it safely?

I’m sorry, too; For you and every law abiding gun owner in that state. Do your research for legality before doing anything with that weapon!

Well, I’m not sure. Mostly I’m concerned about legality and, now that I’ve thought of it, safety around my kids and any other kids that might be playing in the house. Of course, as **Tranquilis **points out, I’m not the owner of the gun, legally or unofficially. I’m just pretty sure my mother hasn’t and doesn’t want to deal with it - guns scare her. While I’m not a gun owner, they don’t scare me (I respect them, but I don’t fear them anymore than I would a chainsaw or blender or other mechanical object that could kill me if I’m stupid with it), but I’m not sure I want to jump through all the hoops required to legally own a gun in Chicago.

Perfect scenario for me? Mom says, “I don’t care, just get it out of my house, it’s yours!”, I post pics on Thursday and you all fall all over each other to be the first one to tell me I’ve unearthed General Custer’s own rifle in mint condition and it’s worth at least 1 meeeeeeeeeellion dollars. That’d be cool. Unlikely, but cool. :smiley:

Maybe I could buy the SDMB off those new fellers!

Not at all, (OK maybe a smile) I can appreciate the beauty of a well made, well kept, firearm, although I might not use “pretty” to describe one.

This being the case, then by all means, move forward in disposing of it (making sure that you’ve confirmed your mother’s approval). Contact local gun shops (local to your mother) for information on how to legally sell or otherwise dispose of it. Gun folks are generally quite happy to help. The police could help here, too, but they’d very likely be destroying it, rather than making a, as you say, “pretty” weapon available for someone else to enjoy.


Whichever path makes you feel more comfortable.

But make damn certain it’s unloaded!

Regarding the matter of calling the police or not:

A few years ago, we found ourselves in possession of two long guns that we needed to get rid of. They were of no particular value AND they were classified as super-scary assault rifles in NJ. (I think that law’s changed in the meantime.) So we called our local PD non-emergency number and explained the situation. A cop came by and took the guns away. No problem.

I guess that unless you have a good reason to assume that the cops are gonna fuck with you…well, why would you assume that they would? I’d think that their interest would be the same as ours–to protect law abiding citizens (like us) from idiots who have no business possessing firearms (like us!)

I’m closer than Silenus, and I know a guy from Decatur, so we’re like neighbors and you should send the gun to me.

I’ve called a Ruger Number 1 “beautiful”, so “pretty” is ok with me.

I’d suggest that you at least have some knowlegable person check to make sure the gun is unloaded. And you might want to consider putting a trigger lock on it to keep it from being used unless you decide to do so.

I’m more than a bit astonished that you find that outcome acceptable? How can you possibly accept that a government official should arbitrarily decide your right to possess a firearm?
I’m not a gun nut, and I certainly think there should be some reasonable control over the private posession of weapons, but it should not be arbitrarilly decided by some local yokel, just because they’re wearing a badge

Well, when I found a gun a few years back, I took it in to the police station. The fact that someone had wrapped it in a towel and shoved it under my garage door made me think that letting the cops know might just be a good idea.

After 90 days, I went back to the police station and took home my new .22 rifle. Easy as pie. I’m not sure exactly what all y’all paranoid geeks are gettin’ so freaky about.

But Green Bean said that they wanted to get rid of the gun. I imagine the phone call somewhere along the lines of “hello, police? I’ve got this gun I want to get rid of but don’t know how…” “Oh, we can take that off your hands” “fantastic”. Not “I found this gun what do I do?” “Give it to us! It is ours”

How was it arbitrary? As Aioua said, we wanted them to get rid of the guns for us! They didn’t make the decision. We did. They just took care of the dirty work for us.

Maybe the local police in other areas are “local yokels,” but the guys around here do a good job.

Ooh, and you probably got yourself a genuine murder weapon too! I assume the police didn’t find out why it was shoved under the garage door?
In addition to the previous advice about always assuming a gun is loaded, I would further add: Don’t point it at anything you don’t want to shoot.

Yeah, but do you know which ones are closeted gays? Kind of the same thing, right?

WhyNot, I might not call a gun “pretty” but I might call a gun “purdy” – you don’t have such a sense of lost machismo when you utter it that way. :wink: