Author Topic: Stolen Firearms  (Read 727 times)

siggaltx

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Stolen Firearms
« on: September 06, 2017, 05:49:22 PM »
Hello.

If someone breaks into a house or car and steals a firearm and then commits a crime with that firearm, is the legal owner of the firearm liable in any way for that crime?

Another question: If there is no "firearms registration list" in Texas, why is the serial number of the firearm written on the background check form when you purchase a firearm?

Thanks!

siggaltx

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Re: Stolen Firearms
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2017, 03:29:58 PM »
I found the answer to my first question - no, I can't be held criminally liable for a crime committed with my stolen/lost firearm.

Is there a legal obligation to report a gun lost or stolen to the police? I know there wasn't 2 years ago but so many laws have changed. I like to stay up to date. 

TexasLawShield

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Re: Stolen Firearms
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2017, 11:15:02 AM »
Siggaltx,

You are correct that you will not be responsible for a crime committed using your stolen or lost firearm.

There is also no legal obligation to report the lost or stolen firearm to the police; however, we recommend that you do for two reasons. First, reporting the incident creates a chain of possession. If the firearm is used in a future crime, you have a police report stating when that firearm left your possession. This saves you the frustration of an unnecessary police investigation when they’re trying to find the real criminal. Second, reporting the firearm lost or stolen increases the possibility that it will be recovered and returned to you. For instance, if your firearm is found by a responsible citizen and returned to the police, the police can use your report to return the firearm to you.

To your second question, technically there is no firearm registration list. But, serial numbers are a way for law enforcement officers to track down the owner of a firearm that was lost , stolen, or involved in a crime. Serial numbers are listed on the background check form because federal law requires Federal Firearm’s Licensees (FFLs) to maintain a record of their transactions. The firearm is not “registered” to you, but the FFL must keep a record of what firearm was sold to you. Listing the serial number on the background check form also helps law enforcement officers determine the legality of ownership. If you are ever required to use your firearm in self-defense, you want the officer to be able to readily identify that you are the rightful owner of that firearm.