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What Would It Take To Lose A Thompson


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#1 Sgt

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 01:50 PM

A curious thought came to me as I was searching out the various MG friendly ranges in my area. What if a person happened to be shooting FA on private land, with permission of landowner, out in the country, say in the afternoon. Could you be cited if a neighbor called it in as disturbing the peace? Just how much power does the PD or Sheriff have in such cases? Can they permanently confiscate your registered gun for minor offense, like the example above, or maybe if you were at a range that didn't allow them? No, I'm not in any trouble and I know most of you guys are not lawyers, even though you play one on TV.
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#2 The1930sRust

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 03:03 PM

What would it take to lose a Thompson? Shoot someone with it.

As far as confiscation, I would always defer a situation like that to a supervisor;-) but to "permanently confiscate your registered gun for minor offense" would be unheard of here. Now, if charges of a serious nature were drawn (such as wanton endangerment, a meanacing charge, etc.) perpetrated with said gun, then you could temporarily lose your gun(s) while the case creeps its way through the courts. If you are found innocent or charges are dropped, the guns get returned to you most likely. Now, I don't know about what the Court migh do (if for a felony conviction you might lose it to destruction order). For the situation you cite, I don't think I'd worry too much. The days of the cops pocketing a nice gun after the Court says you can't have it seem to be over (at least in my agency;-)

Also, most coppers I know would simply warn you first that there had been a complaint of disturbing the peace (then ask for a turn!). The avenue of least paper work is my creed.

Just my .02
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#3 Waffen Und Bier

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 07:53 PM

Check your state and local laws. Make sure the bullets aren't leaving the shooting range. In Florida, if it is used in a felony or a game law violation, it can be forfeited (sp?) (and you don't get it back). If it is involved in certain misdemeanors, you may need a court order to get it back. If you are too slow to move, the agency involved could cut it up, sell it, or otherwise dispose of it. It's always bad when the police take your guns. They don't get the gentle treatment and safe storage we lavish upon them either. I've found it helps to have an on or off duty police officer friend who has guns with you when you are shooting wink.gif I'm not a lawyer and this ain't legal advice.

Ordnance - bombs and guns and grenades and sh*t

Ordinance - local laws

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#4 Sig

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 08:00 PM

What a sick society we are that we worry about confiscation doing perfectly LEGAL things.
Private land, with permission of the land owner out in the country.
Jeez we are not active enough if we worry about that.
REALLY!

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#5 TNKen

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 08:03 PM

Make sure you get the landowner's permission in writing. And take your Form 4's.

Ken
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#6 Grey Crow

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 08:42 PM

Most towns have a time frame where disturbing the peace is in effect. Here in my city it's 12 midnight or there after.

They don't even have an ordnance on barking dogs here!

If your concerned with ordinances, check them out as they are public information.

So long as the land owner is willing and proper safety requirements met, if the police do show up they will most likely enjoy the history behind such a fine weapon.
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#7 Sgt

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 09:00 PM

Thanks guys, that is some good common sense. I tend to be paranoid with something so expensive. Luckily I've had the good fortune to make the acquaintenances of some of you fellas who live in my region. I've also been invited by some large landowners, who happen to love guns. Now that I have some options, I just wanted to educate myself with the possible issues and responsibilities, before I go a blasting.
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#8 Bill in VA

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 08:50 AM

Here in VA, we can lose an MG if we can't produce the state registration (our "green ticket.") I don't keep the original with the gun, but I keep a small photocopy of it and my Form 4 rolled up the butt stock plus I keep a small folder of "papers to keep me legal" with color copies of my Form 4s, green tickets, FFL, pertinent sections of state and local laws, etc... I figure if I have to produce my green ticket, the photocopy ought to suffice for an in-the-field check (they can radio in the registration number), and if necessary, I can always produce the original at the station within an hour's (or two) time.

Most of the places I shoot are either on public/National Forest ranges or private land (usually farm land.) In VA, agriculturally zoned property isn't generally subject to noise laws (i.e., "disturbing the peace." Generally, we don't shoot on Sundays since some folks want at least one quiet, peaceful day around here.) However, there have been a few times when I've been shooting that someone has called the cops.

Each time, they've been pretty polite. They usually start by letting us know someone complained about the noise, and that since they were called about gunfire they have to investigate. From there it's usually either, "is that thing legal?/I didn't think those things were legal" (and we explain that they are, producing a barrage of paperwork and the obligatory "want to shoot it?") Or, "I can't tell you guys to stop, but you ought to at least go talk with your neighbor who complained...you're the one that has to live near him."

IMHO, if the police ever show up, first, be sure you're legal, and second, be polite. They're working guys doing their jobs just like the rest of us. Offer your paperwork and if they ask you to stop/leave, do so. No reason to get your dander up...if you do, you might be arrested and have your gun taken, at least for a little while. You'll probably beat the rap, even if you don't beat the ride, but why bother? And if your gun is confiscated, go straight home, call your lawyer, get your paperwork, and go straight to the station house. (I knew a fellow who had his MP5 confiscated by Chesterfield PD in VA once. He got his gun back eventually ( IIRC< it took him a month or two and a court order), but in the meantime, the PD shot the piss out of it, didn't clean it, etc... When he got it back it was filthy, scratched up, and had a dented cocking tube and broken rollers. He about cried when saw it.)
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