Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Pistol confiscated, but I'm not being charged... any advice?

    About 2.5 months ago I was the victim of burglary and managed to shoot the intruder while he was fighting with one of my roommates. The police confiscated my pistol and did not give me a property receipt for the gun (although they recorded all of the recovered property on a property receipt).

    I am not being charged with anything, but have been subpoenaed a couple times as a witness along with both of my roommates. I wrote a letter to the PPD and was told to call the Gun Permits Unit. After giving the property receipt numbers for the recovered property (but not the pistol as they never gave me a receipt for that) I was told I would receive written notice in the mail. I called after waiting 6 weeks, just wondering if I could get an update and the officer was very rude. The next day I received a letter stating, "The Philadelphia Police Department does not find it feasible to comply with your request". It mentioned I could file a petition under rule 588.

    Questions:
    1) Do I need an attorney to file that petition, if not, would having one help?
    2) How does one go about filing such a petition? Is there a form I can print out online or do I need to go to a courthouse and get one?
    3) What are the chances of me getting my gun back?
    4) If hiring an attorney is necessary or would greatly increase my chances of getting my gun back, does anyone have any recommendations?
    5) What constitutes proof of ownership? I have a receipt from the FFL and a carbon copy of the PSP Application/Record of sale, will that be enough?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pistol confiscated, but I'm not being charged... any advice?

    Change your terminology
    Your gun was not confiscated
    Your gun was stolen

    Start by filing a stolen property report and name the PPD as the thief
    Last edited by BimmerJon; August 22nd, 2014 at 07:27 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pistol confiscated, but I'm not being charged... any advice?

    In a little bit I will be home and will give you some infomation. First, I have a question. Are there still any ongoing investigations related to the burglary or shooting?
    Junior

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pistol confiscated, but I'm not being charged... any advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by BimmerJon View Post
    Change your terminology
    Your gun was not confiscated
    Your gun was stolen

    Start by filing a stolen property report and name the PPD as the thief
    Sound advice, that will definitely expedite things.

    Is the pistol listed on the property receipt? If so, that would be the receipt, you don't need a separate one.

    The receipt from the FFL along with your record of sale form is more than sufficient to establish ownership.

    As for the case, it's fairly standard practice to retain all evidence until a disposition is final. You may have to wait for all of the legal wranglings to come to an end.

    As I'm sure you know Philly is not gun friendly so I would expect them to cause you a lot of grief in getting your property back. However, case law is on your side and they know that.

    Lastly, it may not help but the DAs office is going to have a victim/witness coordinator that is supposed to assist you with all of this. I would see if you can get an appointment and express your concerns. Being Philly...

    Ultimately, you may require an attorney to file the necessary motion for return of your property.
    "A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself"

    "He created the game, played the game, and lost the game.... All under his own terms, by his own doing." JW34

    "Tolerance is the lube that helps slip the dildo of dysfunction into the ass of a civilized society." Plato

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pistol confiscated, but I'm not being charged... any advice?

    Once all of the defendants have been prosecuted, and the appeals have run, there should be no reason for the PPD to retain your gun. In fact, it's hard to articulate a reason why they'd need to retain it for trial anyway, in the absence of allegations that any defendant stole the gun. From the brief OP, it sounds like the only real link is that the gun was used to shoot a perp, providing a link to that perp.

    The UFA provides for an award of attorney fees if you have to file a petition for return of property. So that weakens the usual SOP of the Philly cops, which is to give you the finger because they know that you won't spend $2K to try to recover a $500 gun. Under the current law, they risk having to pay that money to try to keep your $500 gun.

    Contact attorney Jon Mirowitz in Philadelphia, he knows the players, and they know that he's a serious lawyer and knows the gun laws, having helped to draft a few of them back in the day.
    Attorney Phil Kline, AKA gunlawyer001@gmail.com
    Free seminar 7/18/19 in Quakertown: https://www.senatormensch.com/concealed-carry-seminar/

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pistol confiscated, but I'm not being charged... any advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by ViperGTS19801 View Post
    In a little bit I will be home and will give you some infomation. First, I have a question. Are there still any ongoing investigations related to the burglary or shooting?
    Yesterday he waived his right to a preliminary hearing. I would assume that means the next step is an actual trial? The DA assigned to our case said that my roommate who was injured fighting him would be the first and maybe only witness, and I'd be a second witness if necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by GunLawyer001 View Post
    Once all of the defendants have been prosecuted, and the appeals have run, there should be no reason for the PPD to retain your gun. In fact, it's hard to articulate a reason why they'd need to retain it for trial anyway, in the absence of allegations that any defendant stole the gun. From the brief OP, it sounds like the only real link is that the gun was used to shoot a perp, providing a link to that perp.
    Yeah, that would be the only link as the gun never left my possession until the cops took it.

    Should I wait until all this garbage is over before filing a petition?

    Thank you all for the advice, I appreciate it.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Pistol confiscated, but I'm not being charged... any advice?

    So, here's the way it worked for me. Two variables are different in your case than in mine, those being that the weapon was actually used, and the investigation/trial is still in process. However, that shouldn't make the sequence of events any different.

    When my Ruger P85 was confiscated by the Philadelphia Police for "unlawful open carry," I sent in a request to have it returned to me, the same way you did, and I received the exact same response: they didn't find it "feasible" to give me my rightful property back.

    Now, in my case, there was no investigation to be completed in regards to the incident itself, and they had no right to keep my gun any longer. I found that the correct thing to do was to then send a letter to the Office of the Commissioner of the Philadelphia Police, demanding (in a professional manner, of course) that since the gun was not evidence in any crime and that I had not done anything illegal, that my property be returned. As a result, a detective was assigned to the case to perform an "investigation," which I interpreted to mean "try to find a way to not give it back."

    Regardless, after a while, the investigation was completed, and the Gun Permits unit was forced to issue me a letter stating that I could go pick up my firearm from the evidence room at City Hall.

    The biggest difference is that there is still a case in process that your weapon is involved in. Most likely, until that case is completed, they will not return your firearm.
    Junior

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Pistol confiscated, but I'm not being charged... any advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by fronttowardenemy View Post
    Yesterday he waived his right to a preliminary hearing. .
    Just out of curiosity... when did the incident happen?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Pistol confiscated, but I'm not being charged... any advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCityK9Cop View Post
    Just out of curiosity... when did the incident happen?
    June.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Pistol confiscated, but I'm not being charged... any advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by fronttowardenemy View Post
    June.
    Were they only able to have the prelim now because the guy you shot was in the hospital?

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