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Potential Estate Sale..

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 04:03 PM

100 guns found in dead man's home
Kristi Haunfelder, Staff Writer August 09, 2005
City of Pewaukee - City of Pewaukee police have returned 91 of the more-than-100 firearms they were holding for safekeeping to the family of Hal Erdmann, 73, of N40 W22560 Overhill Lane.
Erdmann, a federally licensed firearms dealer and collector, was found dead in his home the afternoon of July 1, after friends reported they had attempted to contact him for about a week and had not heard from him, the police report said.

"He had a number of health issues," said City of Pewaukee Police Capt. Dave Funkhouser. Police are awaiting a toxicology report, but it appears Erdmann died of natural causes.

"There was nothing to indicate foul play," Funkhouser said.

When a relative told police he did not want to take custody of Erdmann's firearms collection, police went to look at the collection, most of which was in the basement.

Police discovered the collection was extensive, with more than 50 rifles, many of them from different countries, and more than 40 handguns, many of which were also from other countries.

Police also found two mortars and explosive rounds for the weapons, several fully automatic machine guns of different types and a wide variety of ammunition for the various weapons.

Some of the fully automatic weapons were an Uzi, Mac-10 machine pistols, a Thompson submachine gun (Tommy gun), a Browning 30-caliber belt-fed machine gun mounted on a tripod and a World War II German machine gun.

"It was definitely unique," Funkhouser said. "I don't know if I will see anything like it again except maybe in a museum."

While the collection included some modern weapons, newer than 10 or 15 years, most were older pieces. There is no concern that the weapons were being stockpiled or used for terrorist or other such activities.

Funkhouser said Erdmann was clearly a collector, and was fully licensed to buy, sell, trade and repair weapons, and was not in violation of any ordinance that Funkhouser was aware of in having the firearms in his home.

"From everything we could see, it was a completely legitimate operation," said Funkhouser. "The Constitution allows people the right to bear arms. He certainly exercised his rights, and, from everything we were able to determine, he was doing it lawfully."

Because of the large number of firearms, the City of Pewaukee contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. After agents viewed the collection, the agency directed police to contact the Milwaukee County Bomb Squad to assist in removing some items from the house, including the mortars.

The City of Pewaukee Police Department took custody of the collection until the family and the executor of Erdmann's will could determine what to do with it.

"We didn't seize (the firearms) for any criminal investigation," Funkhouser said.

It was common knowledge in the area that Erdmann had the collection, and police were concerned about leaving the collection in the vacant house. They took the items into custody in the interest of public safety, Funkhouser said.

The ATF also needed to make sure that all the paperwork was in order for the items found in the home.

Of the weapons held by police, 91 have been returned to the family, along with ammunition and other property.

Police continue to hold the machine guns and mortars while the ATF continues tracking the paperwork.

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#2 moparnascar


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Posted 09 August 2005 - 04:50 PM

Boy that story sure is re-assuring. Looks as if the ATF will will go over the paperwork until they find something wrong. It sure is nice to know that when you die your friendly ATF will search your house.

Hopefully those transferable guns will be up for sale without a greedy dealer.

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#3 OldFalGuy


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Posted 10 August 2005 - 11:58 AM

Reckon we all might want to keep in mind the need to have a will and an executor who understands NFa to a sufficient degree and will take custody of the firearms and properly go about the business of distributing them as described in the will or sell them in a business like manner.
But for this unknowledgable "relative" there would have been no police or ATF need be notified to come muddle about with the firearms.
Keep your paperwork where the executor can find it might be prudent-
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