Q's On Cid's Recover Of The Reno Pd Thompsons A
Posted 02 June 2005 - 10:37 AM
How does one know if your NFA item came out of a PD via a purported "loan" by the Government as opposed to a direct purchase by the PD from Auto Ordnance or Savage?
Will a FOIA request show the origin of the weapon, or will the information be redacted so you cannot tell the source?
But, it makes me uncomfortable to say the least. Despite my desire to have a US Property marked weapon, at this point I'm glad I don't.
Posted 02 June 2005 - 01:10 PM
|QUOTE (TNKen @ Jun 2 2005, 10:37 AM)|
|How does one know if your NFA item came out of a PD via a purported "loan" by the Government as opposed to a direct purchase by the PD from Auto Ordnance or Savage? |
Any guns loaned by the government to police agencies would have ben post-WWII giveaways of surplus guns to law enforcement agencies. Apparently, some police agencies obtained guns this way.
Any direct purchase of a Thompson by a police agency would have been through Auto-Ordnance Corporation. Savage was contracted to make Thompsons by Auto-Ordnance Corporation, Savage did not make any direct sales to law enforcement, military or anyone else.
Posted 02 June 2005 - 07:30 PM
What about any military Thompson? There are a lot of them out there with government inspection stamps. Are the ones a Reno singled out because they have the, "US Property," on them? I wonder what makes those at Reno so special.
Posted 02 June 2005 - 08:40 PM
Posted 02 June 2005 - 09:05 PM
As to the comment made concerning the US Property Markings – many a US weapon with US Property markings has been sold by the US Government to private individuals. Think of all the .45 Caliber Semi-Automatic Pistol’s sold through the Director of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM) Program in the 1960’s by the US Army – complete with bill of sale. Do you think I am going to be grinding the US Property markings off my Remington Rand 45 – not a chance…and not a chance the government could get it back through any legal process currently in place.
Posted 02 June 2005 - 10:09 PM
|Army CID has more important things to do than chase after legally registered small arms that have no value at all to any government agency.|
There have been many reports of the CID investigating, updating the wherabouts of loaned Military Vehicles to various Parks, and VFW Halls through out the US since 9/11. So the CID looking into the whereabouts of loaned guns doesn't surprise me...Nor should it surprise anyone else..
|legally registered small arms|
They may be legally registered, but the question is, were they legally sold? Not if those Firearms were LOANED to a PD and later sold their not. I also believe the Government will try to reclaim their property.
|no indication theft was involved when these Thompson left the inventory of the US government and went to a police department.|
That's not the issue. It's only after the PD(S) sold what wasn't theirs to sell, is the problem.
|As to the comment made concerning the US Property Markings – many a US weapon with US Property markings has been sold by the US Government to private individuals. Think of all the .45 Caliber Semi-Automatic Pistol’s sold through the Director of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM) Program in the 1960’s by the US Army – complete with bill of sale. Do you think I am going to be grinding the US Property markings off my Remington Rand 45 – not a chance…and not a chance the government could get it back through any legal process currently in place.|
Different situation. From what I understand, the CID is investigating Firearms that were loaned by them, and later sold. Not legal Guns obtained through the DCM and the like.
Posted 03 June 2005 - 06:00 AM
You may be right. However, if CID were looking for two Thompsons lawfully provided to the Reno PD years ago, I would bet there is much more to this story than we know today. The disposal of these and other Thompson’s to law enforcement agencies happened many, many years ago when the Thompson was being phased out of service or was no longer an issue weapon. I doubt these government disposal records even exist today. I still say Internet rumor mill…but it is fun to discuss
Posted 03 June 2005 - 06:44 AM
However Under Tennessee state law (and probably most other jurisdictions) and the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code, if a person voluntarily surrenders and turns over an item to a person (the holder), and the holder sells the item to a innocent third party, the third party retains ownership of the item. The owner has a cause of action against the holder, but not against the innocent purchaser.
For example, if I take my old Corvette to someone for restoration, and voluntarily surrender it to the restorer, then the restorer turns around and sells my car to an innocent purchaser without notice that the car is mine, then the third party, as a bona fide purchaser without notice of the fraud, retains ownership of the Corvette. I have a cause of action against the restorer, but not against the third party to recover the car. Harsh, but the law favors protection of the innocent third party.
I litigated a stolen banjo case a couple of years ago. Different facts. Banjo was stolen from a car. Police report filed, etc. The guy that had it claimed he bought it at a yard sale. Two judges ruled the person in possession had no better title to the banjo than his predecessor, which was a thief. A thief has no title to anything. We got the banjo back.
Difference in the two situations is the circumstanes of the tranfer to the seller. One is a voluntary conveyance while the other is an outright theft. Under the voluntary conveyance, the language of the statute even includes "larceny by trick" i.e. if the swindler knew what he was going to do from the outset, and cons you into turning over the Corvette to him, same result. The key is the circumstances of the initial transfer.
Will this apply to the governmnet? Maybe. The Thompsons were not "stolen" nor do they represent stolen property. There was a voluntary conveyance to the PD and subssequent transfer to a bona fide purchaser.
Posted 03 June 2005 - 09:50 AM
And UCC 2-403(1) in this case operates at the juxtaposition of Federal and state law. It's really a fascinating potential note for a law review, but here's how it works in this case:
The Reno PD had voidable title (under federal law) to the Thompson. When the Thompson was put in the hands of the dealer, the dealer too had the same voidable title. Upon the sale by the dealer (a merchant engaged in the business of selling goods of the same type as the Thompson), 2-403(1) operated under state law to create good title in the first purchaser, who was a bona fide purchaser for value.
So the current possessor has a good state law title to the Thompson thanks to 2-403(1).
Now, the interplay of state and federal law is whether the federal claim to title will trump the state law title. I have looked into this within the past year in regards to another matter and have found no precedent on point. My personal assessment is that the Federal case, to recover on a 30+ year old piece of property loaned to a PD and then transferred through numerous successor BFPV's with a good form of title, is not a case I would want to bring.
It would be a different story if the Thompson was stolen by the Reno PD, in which case the Reno PD would have held void and not voidable title. However, the Thompson was loaned to the Reno PD, and the fact that the Reno PD may have violated the terms of that loan by selling the Thompson to the dealer is not relevant to the above analysis as the merchant seller still took with the voidable title required to cause the provisions of UCC 2-403(1) to operate.
Posted 03 June 2005 - 12:32 PM
Owned by the government?
A government by the people, for the people and of the people.
So what comprises the government? The people. What makes is the US? The people. Who owns the Thompson with the US Property marking? The people.
So this means that the Reno Thompson is partly my property and partly the property of everyone else that is a US citizen, including the greedy CID officer who wants the gun for his collection.
Posted 04 June 2005 - 12:51 PM
Also, somewhat related, isn't the Jerry Prasser Chinese Thompson (only $80,000) subject to confiscation by the Chinese government as was done with WWII "bring back " art in the '80's by the various European owners? Likewise, the "bring back" Stens could be re-claimed by the British?