The gun was reported stolen 15 years ago. It could very well have been sold and resold and resold in the private market and this guy had no idea it was stolen when he finally purchased it at a pawn shop or gun show, or off a "newsypaper" advertisement. And yes, people do stupidly forget that they have guns with them. The story says it was in a hidden compartment. It could have been in there in a closet for several years. Given the number of years since the gun was reported stolen, I think that piece of info may really be somewhat irrelevant.