The following is a video transcript.
I want to talk today about a situation that a lot of people have encountered, and that is: your firearm turns up lost or unfortunately stolen. What do you do in this situation?
CALL U.S. LAWSHIELD
One of the first things you should do is contact U.S. LawShield and speak with your Independent Program Attorney, because on a case-by-case basis, we should determine whether or not you should contact the police immediately and report the firearm as stolen. There is not any Colorado state law that requires you to do so, but it’s generally a good idea, because if your firearm ever turns up at a crime scene or somewhere else that it’s not supposed to be, you at least have a record of having reported it missing and not in your possession.
KNOW YOUR GUN’S SERIAL NUMBER
Once reported to police, the lost or stolen firearm gets entered into a national database with the make and model of the firearm, as well as the serial number (if you have it). It is important to law enforcement and very helpful to exonerate you in case somebody points a finger at you for being involved in a crime because it was your firearm that was used.
In general, you cannot be charged for the crimes of another; however, you could be roped in under a complicity theory if you knew or had reason to believe that somebody was going to use your firearm in some other crime. That’s why it would be important for you to report the firearm as stolen.
Moreover, if your firearm is left out and a District Attorney or police officer thinks that your actions were reckless because your firearm was left out and was stolen or borrowed by somebody, you could be charged under a reckless or even negligence theory of criminal prosecution and potentially face jail time.
On the civil side, it’s unlikely that you would be sued for something related to the unlawful use of your firearm if it was lost or stolen. However, there is nothing stopping somebody from suing you, or even trying to shake you down to try to get some extra funds related to their losses.
That’s why it is important that as soon as you discover that your firearm is lost or stolen, you contact U.S. LawShield immediately and ask to speak to an Independent Program Attorney. We can assess whether or not you should be making any reports or taking any other affirmative action.
If you have any questions about this video or anything else, feel free to call me. I’m always happy to talk to U.S. LawShield members.