People store different things in storage units. However, it is illegal to store a gun in a storage unit since storage facility workers can auction things in the storage unit. That is likely to happen if a renter fails to pay rent for several months. It is also not safe to store guns and ammunition in storage units due to their explosive nature.
Therefore, when you come across a gun in a storage unit, you need to do several things. Below are more details on what you should do to a found gun in a storage unit.
What Should You Do When You Find a Gun in a Storage Unit?
If you purchase the belongings of a particular storage unit from an auction, check the kind of things that are in the storage unit. If you notice that one of the things in the unit is a gun, do the following.
- Check if the gun has bullets
- If it has bullets, unload it.
- Give the gun to the people working in the storage facility
Check if the Gun Is Loaded
You should never assume that a gun is unloaded. Always check the gun. Therefore, checking whether a gun is loaded or not should be the first thing you should if you found a gun in a storage unit. However, when checking if the gun, observe firearm safety precautions. For instance, you should:
- Ensure that you point the gun in a safe direction.
- Keep your fingers off the gun trigger. Doing this will help ensure that you do not accidentally discharge a bullet.
- Ensure that there are no people around you when you are checking the gun.
The way you will check the gun depends on the type of gun you have found. If the gun has a loaded chamber indicator, check it to know whether the gun is loaded or not. This indicator is usually on the side of a gun, and it sticks out when a gun is loaded. If the gun chamber is not loaded, this indicator retracts inwards. Many handguns have a loaded chamber indicator.
If the gun does not have a loaded chamber indicator, perform a gun press check. To perform a gun press check, you need to slide back until you expose the gun chamber. You should, however, be careful when taking the gun slide back, as taking the slide back too far may make you eject a bullet.
If you find out that the gun is loaded, unload it.
Unloading a Loaded Gun
Unloading a loaded gun involves removing the ammunition from the gun chamber. It is a simple process, but you need to be cautious when carrying it out. For instance, when unloading the gun, you should point the gun at something that you would not mind shooting . You should not point at a person or a wall. You should also lock the slide to the rear when unloading the gun.
How you will unload the gun will depend on the type of gun you are handling. For instance, if you are dealing with a fixed cylinder gun, you will need to unload it using a pushrod. It is usually located under a gun’s barrel, and it pushes rounds through a gun’s loading gate.
To unload the gun, do the following.
- Open the gun’s loading gate and half-cock the gun
- Rotate the gun’s cylinder until the round chamber aligns with the gun’s loading gate
- Depress the pushrod until a round emerges
- Remove the round
- Repeat this process until you remove all the rounds from the gun’s cylinder
- Re-latch the cylinder
If the gun is a swing-out cylinder, do the following to unload the gun.
- Unfasten the cylinder and swing it out
- Depress the gun’s pushrod
- Remove all the rounds in the cylinder
- Return the cylinder to its location
If the gun is a semi-automatic gun, pull its slide back and eject any rounds in the gun’s chamber. After removing the rounds, return the slide.
Give the Gun and Ammunition to the People Working in the Storage Facility
After you ensure that the gun is not loaded, you should give it to the people working in the storage facility. For instance, you can give it to the people working in the facility’s front office. These people will give the gun to the local authorities.
The local authorities will find out more about the origin of the firearm and how the owner put it to use in the past. Doing this will help them know whereabouts of the gun. The process is likely to take several weeks or days, depending on how busy the police are at that time.
If police find out that the gun was present at a crime scene, they will look for the owner. However, if they find out that the gun owner did not use the gun in a crime, they will return it to the storage facility. After the police return it, you can pick it up from the storage facility.
Make Sure the Gun Was Properly Handed Over
If the people working in the storage facility fail to call you after several weeks, you should call them. When you call them, they should tell you whether the local authorities have returned the gun or not. Doing this will help ensure that the people working in the storage facility do not keep the gun.
If you do not want to hand the gun to the people working in the storage facility, you can hand it to a firearm dealer with a federal license. Such a person knows the laws that govern gun handling. Therefore, this person will help you determine if the gun was in the wrong hands. If it is not a stolen gun, this person will likely return the gun to you. If it is okay for private parties to sell guns in your state, you can sell the gun. Lastly, if you do not want to sell it, obtain a gun license and keep the gun.
Although it is illegal to keep guns in a storage unit, some people still keep them in these facilities. If you find a gun in such a facility, you need to check if it is loaded. If it is, unload it and give it to the storage facility workers. These people will hand this gun to the local police, who will check the legality and use of the gun at a crime scene.