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Any resources on what "proof" is required to have a stolen firearm returned?

I was just reading an article about the gun confiscations that took place after hurricane Katrina. After a successful lawsuit by the NRA and GOA, the firearms were supposed to be returned. But, many remained in government custody because there was little to no paperwork to document when they were confiscated and many owners were not able to provide the high level of documentation to "prove" that the firearms in custody were theirs.

I assume the laws are different from state to state (or even within counties/cities). So, I was wondering if anyone has a link to any source that might have such info (or at least for Kansas). I had a pistol stolen while living in CA more than 20 years ago (which I reported) and don't expect that they would have contacted me if they had recovered it or if they did in the future. But, if the situation ever presented itself I want to ensure I have what I need.

What I do have for all my weapons:
  • Original Sales receipt or other documentation (e.g. auction result) - hard copy as well as scanned files
  • Photos (electronic files) of all my firearms showing relevant marking (Ser#, make, model, etc)
I can't think of anything else that I should need in the event I need to claim a weapon, but wanted to know from anyone that has any experience.
 

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I keep all the original receipts (if I still have them) but all my guns are listed in a database program in several locations. I am also in the process of photographing each one to include the serial number. I did have a situation years ago where my girlfriend’s gun was used in a crime. She did not have anything with the serial number but I informed the OSI I had done a trigger job on the gun but I did not remember whether I used the red or the blue rebound slide spring. I checked to see which spring I had used and they informed that was proof enough it was her gun and they returned. Another thing I have seen done is to remove a grip panel or remove the action from a rifle and inscribe your initials in a hidden area.
 

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Another thing I have seen done is to remove a grip panel or remove the action from a rifle and inscribe your initials in a hidden area.
I hadn't thought of doing that. For most of my firearms, I either keep them in original configuration or keep the parts necessary to return them to original in case I ever sell one (like that is ever going to happen). I don't know how I feel about marking an original piece of the weapon. But I have a few weapons in mind where I can see a place to put such a marking that would be obscure enough that I wouldn't mind. Good tip.
 

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My serial numbers are on-file & documented as part of my firearm insurance policy. Guns are specifically added and removed as needed. If ANY gun were to be (successfully) confiscated from MY home. I would have a dated, LEO-signed document with his/her badge number, my gun's condition & serial number, and would share a copy with the LEO. There would be NO QUESTION where it came from nor who legally OWNED IT! :wink:
 

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I have many pic of all my guns so you can see the serial numbers. Then they a stored on the thumb drive at my buddy house in his safe and I have his at my house in my safe
 

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I would add that while the serial number is essential, up until fairly recently, serial numbers are not unique. You must also have make, model, bbl length, and caliber to go with the serial number. I recently had a case in which officers recovered several handguns some of which were manufactured in the '50s and '60s. When I ran the serial numbers thru NCIC I got back several comparison hits with guns of the same make that were entered bearing the same serial numbers. But nothing else was entered to narrow the search parameters when first reported stolen. Some of these guns were classic or collectible but I was unable to determine if they were stolen. Tried ATF trace but no-go guns too old.
 

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I would add that while the serial number is essential, up until fairly recently, serial numbers are not unique. You must also have make, model, bbl length, and caliber to go with the serial number. I recently had a case in which officers recovered several handguns some of which were manufactured in the '50s and '60s. When I ran the serial numbers thru NCIC I got back several comparison hits with guns of the same make that were entered bearing the same serial numbers. But nothing else was entered to narrow the search parameters when first reported stolen. Some of these guns were classic or collectible but I was unable to determine if they were stolen. Tried ATF trace but no-go guns too old.
Sounds like some sort off national registry would make your job a lot easier.
 
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My serial numbers are on-file & documented as part of my firearm insurance policy. Guns are specifically added and removed as needed. If ANY gun were to be (successfully) confiscated from MY home. I would have a dated, LEO-signed document with his/her badge number, my gun's condition & serial number, and would share a copy with the LEO. There would be NO QUESTION where it came from nor who legally OWNED IT! :wink:
I can only assume that the citizens who had their firearms taken, some at gun point, had to have requested some type of documentation. Didn't work out to well for them.
 

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Sounds like some sort off national registry would make your job a lot easier.
Don’t know about that but it would make the ATF cartel hysterically happy.
 

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Spreadsheet with purchase date(s) and serial numbers, and in some cases embedded pics, at two different locations, but yikes, I don't think I could find original receipts. I happened to run across one for a shotgun the other day...

I don't throw that stuff away, so I suppose as I clean and re-organize, I could put them in a folder.
 

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Pretty much every gun owner who had their guns robbed by cops in Florida demanded receipts and the cops denied them. When they have their guns pointed at you, you're really not in any position to argue with them.
 

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I keep all of my gun boxes in my closet. Also I have a pretty good idea of when I purchased each gun and where. They keep record of that for is it 15 years?
 

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I was just reading an article about the gun confiscations that took place after hurricane Katrina. After a successful lawsuit by the NRA and GOA, the firearms were supposed to be returned. But, many remained in government custody because there was little to no paperwork to document when they were confiscated and many owners were not able to provide the high level of documentation to "prove" that the firearms in custody were theirs.

I assume the laws are different from state to state (or even within counties/cities). So, I was wondering if anyone has a link to any source that might have such info (or at least for Kansas). I had a pistol stolen while living in CA more than 20 years ago (which I reported) and don't expect that they would have contacted me if they had recovered it or if they did in the future. But, if the situation ever presented itself I want to ensure I have what I need.

What I do have for all my weapons:
  • Original Sales receipt or other documentation (e.g. auction result) - hard copy as well as scanned files
  • Photos (electronic files) of all my firearms showing relevant marking (Ser#, make, model, etc)
I can't think of anything else that I should need in the event I need to claim a weapon, but wanted to know from anyone that has any experience.
You should be fine with the documentation you have. However, not only do laws vary from state to state but from department to department. Also consider this; If you have insurance hand have been paid for your loss, the insurance company is technically the owner of your recovered weapon. So you may also need to deal with them.
 

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Many years ago had 44 mag stolen from my home. I got a call some five years after telling me the gun had showed up in a pawn shop in next county and I could pick it up at the police dept. I went in and gave them my name and told them why I was there. They handed me a white box with the gun inside. I opened the box to check the gun and I left. They never even asked me for I.D. Later I complained about this to the detective assigned to the case. He told me they had called me, therefore they knew I would be the only one who would know they had the gun. I told him that while that was true, they did not know who I told about it. Anyone could have come in and gave my name and walked out with my gun. Does it seem odd to anyone else that in order to buy gun you must fill out a form and go through a background check, but to pick up a stolen gun from the police all you have to do is tell them your name? :confused:
 

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My serial numbers are on-file & documented as part of my firearm insurance policy. Guns are specifically added and removed as needed. If ANY gun were to be (successfully) confiscated from MY home. I would have a dated, LEO-signed document with his/her badge number, my gun's condition & serial number, and would share a copy with the LEO. There would be NO QUESTION where it came from nor who legally OWNED IT! :wink:
The Democrats are trying to do this for all of us.
 
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