11 thoughts on “Update on Wilkes-Barre Incident”

  1. And how do you prove ownership of your firearm once the police take it? I don’t have receipts with serial numbers for every gun I own.

  2. The article says the police responded to a report of a man “with a gun in his hand.” This sounds like he was stopped and his gun seized on suspicion of “brandishing,” or presenting a weapon in a threatening manner. He was not charged; that his property is being kept is likely actionable.

    In the lawsuit sure to follow on the heels of this incident, the 911 tape on which some citizen reports the firearm better actually contain the words “gun in his hand” or the local police are in trouble.

    Likewise, with zero criteria in the law (as far as I know) by which a detained citizen can affirmatively prove ownership of a firearm found on his or her person, I would suspect that if the firearm is not in the criminal databases reported as stolen, and a trace back to the shop which sold it does not come back to another name than that of the person who had it strapped to their hip, the gun must be returned to him. There is no time limit in law for this to happen. There is no administrative appeal, except through the courts (or maybe a lawyer intervening with a DA or police administrator) for the citizen to expedite the police review, if one is ongoing. So this is likely actionable against the local police also.

    And if you don’t have receipts or dated pictures or a notarized list or videos or some way to prove ownership of not just your guns but everything in your house, hope you never have a house fire. The insurance companies will tell you that if you can’t prove something got burned up in the fire, it likely wasn’t, and you will be SOL for the insurance claim.

  3. I have no firearms in the registry, because I brought them with me from Indiana, and haven’t bought a firearm in Pennsylvania. So does this empower them to confiscate my firearms?

  4. How do you prove their yours?

    Well you can make a start by using the customs agents at your local international airport.

    Go to the airport, leave your guns in the trunk. Then go into the customs office, and tell them you are traveling internationally and need a receipt so you can bring your guns back into the country.

    They produce an inventory – by serial number – on their forms and give the forms to you. They retain no copy of the information.

    (If you do travel internationally you present the receipts to prove you are not importing the weapons when you return.)

    If you are actually going to travel internationally, it is best to include cameras, radios, and computers too. This way you can avoid paying duty if customs accuses you of importing them.

    They may not agree this constitutes “ownership” but it is a nice way to document everything for insurance claims later on if anything were to happen to them.

  5. The fact that four of the ‘Dickson Dozen’ filed their first suit in US District Court today will help to keep driving the headlines on this issue. Many of the players from that incident are already ‘on the case’ in the Wilkes-Barre incident.

  6. You guys are all bent out of shape because a state is keeping track of who buys what guns… but if they don’t have a record of sale, how will they make sure nobody breaks into your house and steals your guns?

    Oh, wait…

  7. That can be accomplished through a trace. The problem here is that the police are using the absence of a record to assume you don’t lawfully possess the gun, which is false. The record of sale is merely that. There are valid reasons why someone’s gun wouldn’t have one, such as moving from another state, or possessing a federal firearms license, which exempts you from the requirement.

  8. My point was, keeping track of who pays for what does nothing to prevent a thief from stealing anything. It just abridges the right of a Good People to be left the h*ll alone. And it gives the po-po an excuse for stealing from the Good People.

  9. Oh, I agree there. It’s also supremely silly for the state to track this stuff when the federal government also has a system.

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