Police Return Gun After Shooting?

This is a discussion on Police Return Gun After Shooting? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; User "Janq" mentioned this in a previous thread, but I've read it in many others as well. In a shooting, the weapons involved are seized, ...

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Thread: Police Return Gun After Shooting?

  1. #1
    Member Array austinguy23's Avatar
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    Police Return Gun After Shooting?

    User "Janq" mentioned this in a previous thread, but I've read it in many others as well. In a shooting, the weapons involved are seized, of course. However, I'm curious if anyone knows from personal or second-hand knowledge if you ever get your gun back once the investigation and trial is over (assuming you're found innocent).

    My immediate notion would be that you would, but I thought I'd ask. I'm sure some of you are in law enforcement or have been involved in shootings...

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    VIP Member Array PatrioticRick's Avatar
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    I have known of one person that fired off his weapon while intoxicated and fighting with girlfriend. He got it taken away, but he did get it back later minus one CWL. Alcohol and guns don't mix! The guy was a dumba$$
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    Distinguished Member Array p8riot's Avatar
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    Our local PD will return the weapon after ballistics checks and verifying that it is not stolen, and only IF the shooting appears clean. If there is any question as to the legality of the shooting, it is held as evidence until the legal questions have been answered favorably or the case is adjudicated and the owner acquitted.
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    Member Array tvsjr's Avatar
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    Yes, you will get it back. Some departments may return it during the investigation (and likely ask that you not sell/dispose of it), but all must return it when the investigation is completed. To keep the weapon indefinitely would constitute an illegal seizure and, IMO, a violation of Fourth Amendment rights.

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    Member Array ispcapt's Avatar
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    Spent 35 yrs in law enforcement and conducted hundreds of shooting investigations. The answer to your question is "it depends". If it's a legit shooting and the owner is in legal possession of the firearm then the firearm is usually returned. If the shooting goes to a criminal trial where the firearm is entered as evidence then it's up to the judge to determine disposition of the firearm regardless of the outcome of the trial. It requires a court order to forfeit the firearm. The order will be specific as to the disposition of the firearm.

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    Senior Member Array incredipete's Avatar
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    Hmmm. Makes me want to carry my Glock instead of that EMP I've been eyeing...

    Reminds me of that old saying "Kimber is what you show your friends, Glock is what you show your enemies."
    Gun Control means never having to say "I missed you."

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    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    Also consider that, according to a Mas Ayoob article I read, if an investigation is undertaken the gun will be held as evidence until no longer needed and thus it might be necessary to engrave the slide with a case number.
    Not pretty on that heirloom quality 1911 you might have been packing.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array cockedlocked01's Avatar
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    It does gives some thought as to your EDC. Personally, I end up carrying my less expensive guns. I'm not saying I'm trusting my life with a "cheap" gun, just less expensive than, say, a nice 1911.

    I know there all quite a few people out there that carry a 1911 type gun, heck I wouldn't mind doing it, either. I'm sure many of you probably won't be in a shooting, but you carry because of "what you may have to do." But it does make one consider a 1911 with less bells & whistles.
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    I asked this question once as well, because I didn't want to put hundreds of dollars into my gun only to have it taken away after I've needed it and never returned.

    The general idea is that as long as the shooting was justified and they don't need it anymore for the investigation then it will be returned to you (HOPEFULLY in the condition in which you submitted it to them).

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    As long as there is any legal issue possible, you probably won't get your gun back. When a case is disposed of, some departments still aren't going to want to give it back. It may be lost, they may tell you that your attorney needs to contact them, or they may just tell you no. The gun will just be sitting in a bin/safe somewhere. It will not be properly cared for, it will not be cleaned. You may get your gun back with rust or other damage. It will likely be marked in some way.

    Simply put, if you can't afford to replace the gun you probably shouldn't be carrying it.
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    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    You really do have to carry what makes you feel safe though. If that's a 1911 that your Grandaddy carried in WW2 then so be it.
    Guns age, just carrying them ages them, being told to drop your weapon NOW on hard concrete by a responding LEO ages them, getting thrown in a safe at the PD ages them.
    But if we carry a beater that isn't reliable because we're worried about dinging the better guns then we are defeating the object.
    I have powertools that cost more than I want to admit, they get used hard and although I look after them they show signs of that use. But that is absolutely fine by me, that is what they are for - using.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 0.02 View Post
    You really do have to carry what makes you feel safe though. If that's a 1911 that your Grandaddy carried in WW2 then so be it.
    Guns age, just carrying them ages them, being told to drop your weapon NOW on hard concrete by a responding LEO ages them, getting thrown in a safe at the PD ages them.
    You know what they say, when you buy a gun for carry you might as well take it to a gravel parking lot and throw it like a skipping stone and get it over with.

    I'm getting my slide reblasted to take out the holster marks on the front of the slide and the half-moon marks from where the previous owner slipped and gouged the slide with the slide stop.

    It will look pretty again but probably only for a short time. Soon it will start to get dinged again and that's fine with me. I just wanted a few short months of beauty.

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    VIP Member Array raevan's Avatar
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    What is the value of your life? Iff you use the gun once to save your life and don't get it back it is worth the cost. .

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    Member Array denverd0n's Avatar
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    You will probably get you gun back eventually, but it could take a very long time. I wouldn't expect it back in anything less than several months, and wouldn't be surprised if it took a couple of years. I also wouldn't be surprised if it was not well cared for in the time that it was in police custody, and I have heard of confiscated guns being "lost."

    I would not choose an heirloom gun as an EDC.

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    Member Array Spectre's Avatar
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    Consider the cost of the gun as a life insurance premium. I'm not going to carry my Nazi P.38 as a defensive sidearm. My XD40 is my working gun and while it's well cared for, it's showing the miles.

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