Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Question about getting guns released from PA State Police after investigation is over

    My son, who lived with me, committed suicide at home, using his own handgun, The State police came and took the gun used, as evidence, and then took another gun that was in the room as well, in addition to some other items. They were both his guns, and he left no will, so I am going to have to go through the process of getting appointed as the administrator of his estate. We went to inquire about the status of the investigation and the return of all the property (including guns). We were told that the guns would be destroyed, we had no right to them, and since we could not prove ownership of the other items (a holster for one of my guns, for example) that we would not be able to get them back either. I have no desire to keep the guns, but would rather sell them to help defray some of the costs incurred during this horrible tragedy. Any advice on this would be welcome. I would also welcome prayers for our family as we are all in a complete state of shock. I am numb and feel like this is a bad dream at the moment. I know that at some point reality is going to hit me like a ton of bricks. Thanks for any help you can offer.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Brookville, Pennsylvania
    (Jefferson County)
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    Default Re: Question about getting guns released from PA State Police after investigation is

    The fact that you are a legal heir in the rules of intestacy is proof of ownership. All that needs to be proven is that the guns were your son's. ...assuming he had no children or wife, then they would be the next heirs.

    You'll probably need to petition the courts to compel the State Police to release the firearms and other property.
    RIP: SFN, 1861, twoeggsup, Lambo, jamesjo, JayBell, 32 Magnum, Pro2A, mrwildroot, dregan, Frenchy, Fragger, ungawa, Mtn Jack, Grapeshot.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    On top of a hill, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Question about getting guns released from PA State Police after investigation is

    There's no advice I can offer however I offer my sympathy and prayers for your family. I hope that one day both you and your sons mother are able to find some peace after all of this.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: Question about getting guns released from PA State Police after investigation is

    I can tell you it's a fight to get anything back from them, once tried to get a cross back so it could be buried with the deceased and they wouldn't release it

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: Question about getting guns released from PA State Police after investigation is

    My condolences. Prayers sent.
    If you need to vent, feel free.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Elkland, Pennsylvania
    (Tioga County)
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    Default Re: Question about getting guns released from PA State Police after investigation is

    In a word lawyer.

    Prayers and condolences.
    USNRET '61-'81

  7. #7
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    Dover, Pennsylvania
    (York County)
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    Default Re: Question about getting guns released from PA State Police after investigation is

    I can't imagine your loss, I'm very sorry.

    PA law 18 PA CS 6111.1 stipulates that state police make all reasonable efforts to return firearms, and go so far as to award reasonable attorney's fees if you need to hire a lawyer to get them back. Scroll down to section B(4):

    http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/...n=11&subsctn=1
    Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Mohnton, Pennsylvania
    (Berks County)
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    Default Re: Question about getting guns released from PA State Police after investigation is

    Call Phil Kline. Sorry for your loss. No words suffice in times like this.
    The Gun is the Badge of a Free Man

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Bucks, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Question about getting guns released from PA State Police after investigation is

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunsnwater View Post
    Call Phil Kline. Sorry for your loss. No words suffice in times like this.
    Once you have the Short Certificate as proof that you are Administrator of the estate, you are absolutely entitled to receive all property of the estate, once any criminal investigation is concluded. I don't think it's even a crime to kill yourself, so the gun he used isn't "derivative contraband" the way a crime gun from a robbery would be.

    As for proof of ownership, if they took it from your son's room, and nobody else is claiming the stuff, then you win.

    If you have to file a "return of property" petition in Common Pleas Court, and you win, you would be entitled to attorney fees. Make sure the PSP knows that YOU know this, that they can't bluff you and they face some risk beyond just having to release the stuff. They'll have to cut you a check. Send them a certified letter with a copy of your Short Certificate making a formal request for return of the property, and identify all of the property that you know of, with serial numbers if known (it should be listed in the PSP incident report for that night). Address it to the PSP Commissioner Lt. Colonel Robert Evanchick, not to the flunky who you spoke with before. Let the problem trickle down from above, so everybody's boss is aware of it.
    Attorney Phil Kline, AKA gunlawyer001@gmail.com
    Ungawa's M16A1 is for sale, see the NFA ads! http://forum.pafoa.org/showthread.ph...06#post3835606

  10. #10
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    Nov 2016
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    (Lancaster County)
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    Default Re: Question about getting guns released from PA State Police after investigation is

    Thank you for your prayers and advice. Phil, I will take your advice. I agree that pressure from above would be useful. I hope to get appointed administrator and get the Short Certificate mid-week. I will keep you posted. Regards, Stephan

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