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June 20, 2007

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Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Put Guns In Those Pawnshops

The following comes to us from Hal Herring, who lives in Montana and writes mostly about conservation:

“Last winter, when I drove down to Alabama, I pawned my re-weld M-14 for extra money. After my wife paid off the loan, the pawn shop told her that the rifle had been seized by the Sheriff’s Department because its serial number allegedly matched that of a rifle stolen in Detroit, or Bakersfield, depending on who was telling the story.

<p>“I’ve now worked for three months to get it back. Called the NRA, lawyers, sent letters, called and written the local district attorney. Nothing. Finally I found a lawyer who gave me a straight bit of info. There is a statute that says law enforcement can seize items from a pawnshop without a warrant, and if they think the item is stolen, you are out of luck. </p>

<p>“I found out where the rifle had been owned before it was sold to me, and gave this information to the sheriff’s department and they never even bothered to check. Lawyers in private practice aren’t interested in challenging the cops because the money involved isn’t enough to justify their time. </p>

<p>“The M-14, which I had owned for 15 years and had a lot of sentimental value to me, is gone. I can’t really believe this has happened, but it surely has.”</em></p>


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Dean J

I hate to say it, but pawning something you love is generally a terrible way to get a loan.

Amen brother Dean, amen.


This is simply the way of the world. Bureaucratic typos lead to seized guns. This is among the many hazards we gun owners must simply live with. The cops, FBI, and the BATF will always be around, and always involved in firearms regulation. We might have our guns, but they've got guns AND badges.

JC Blauvelt

If the gun is reported as stolen then it is was entered into the NISPIN stolen property system. If the police seized it then a report had to have been done to generate a case and a contact made with the police department that entered the gun as stolen, into NISPIN. All states have FOIL laws(freedom of information law) and a designated FOIL officer. He should file a FOIL request and get a copy of the case report and NISPIN report. Most states have a 10 day maximum limit that the PD has to give you an answer. This will tell him who reported it stolen and then contact can be made with the owner and or PD that entered the gun in NISPIN. You should be able to clear up if this is truly a stolen gun or a mistaken entry into NISPIN. Do not give up. Remember. " For evil (bureaucracy) to rein only takes good men to do nothing".

Canadian Lurker

Good article of cartridges Dave. How high is the hate mail piled-up?
I have only a minor squibble with your list. I was pleasantly surprised with your nod to the venerable 6.5x55 but why not mention its ballistic twin the .260 Remington? The Rem version is more widely available in North America than the original after all.


I sold a couple of favorite guns to a well-to-do uncle of mine to buy a wedding ring. A year later I recieved my beloved Mini-14 as a Christmas present from my wife. So, moral of the story....rich uncles and great women beat out the pawn shop and the sheriffs dept any day of the week.

Buddy Hinton Sturmgewehr.com

I despised the French. I despised them far more than I despised the British, whom I most heartily despised. But I did my duty and entertained them. I succeded in charming no few of them, though they charmed me not at all.


The missing blog pages from Jim Zumbo http://mygunblog.blogspot.com/
For your edification, here is Mr. Zumbo's Original post to his now defunct blog.

Assault Rifles For Hunters?

As I write this, I'm hunting coyotes in southeastern Wyoming with Eddie Stevenson, PR Manager for Remington Arms, Greg Dennison, who is senior research engineer for Remington, and several writers. We're testing Remington's brand new .17 cal Spitfire bullet on coyotes.

I must be living in a vacuum. The guides on our hunt tell me that the use of AR and AK rifles have a rapidly growing following among hunters, especially prairie dog hunters. I had no clue. Only once in my life have I ever seen anyone using one of these firearms.

I call them "assault" rifles, which may upset some people. Excuse me, maybe I'm a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons among our hunting fraternity. I'll go so far as to call them "terrorist" rifles. They tell me that some companies are producing assault rifles that are "tackdrivers."

Sorry, folks, in my humble opinion, these things have no place in hunting. We don't need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them, which is an obvious concern. I've always been comfortable with the statement that hunters don't use assault rifles. We've always been proud of our "sporting firearms."

This really has me concerned. As hunters, we don't need the image of walking around the woods carrying one of these weapons. To most of the public, an assault rifle is a terrifying thing. Let's divorce ourselves from them. I say game departments should ban them from the praries and woods.

And the following was his apology

I was wrong, BIG TIME

Someone once said that to err is human. I just erred, and made without question, the biggest blunder in my 42 years of writing hunting articles.

My blog inflamed legions of people I love most..... hunters and shooters. Obviously, when I wrote that blog, I activated my mouth before engaging my brain.

Let me explain the circumstances surrounding that blog. I was hunting coyotes, and after the hunt was over and being beat up by 60 mph winds all day, I was discussing hunting with one of the young guides. I was tired and exhausted, and I should have gone to bed early. When the guide told me that there was a "huge" following of hunters who use AR 15's and similar weapons to hunt prairies dogs, I was amazed. At that point I wrote the blog, and never thought it through.

Now then, you might not believe what I have to say, but I hope you do. How is it that Zumbo, who has been hunting for more than 50 years, is totally ignorant about these types of guns. I don't know. I shot one once at a target last year, and thought it was cool, but I never considered using one for hunting. I had absolutely no idea how vast the numbers of folks are who use them.

I never intended to be divisive, and I certainly believe in United we Stand, Divided we Fall. I've been an NRA member for 40 years, have attended 8 national NRA conventions in the last 10 years, and I'm an advisory board member for the United States Sportsmen's Alliance which actively fights anti-hunters and animal rights groups for hunter's rights.

What really bothers me are some of the unpatriotic comments leveled at me. I fly the flag 365 days a year in my front yard. Last year, through an essay contest, I hosted a soldier wounded in Iraq to a free hunt in Botswana. This year, through another essay contest, I'm taking two more soldiers on a free moose and elk hunt.

When I started blogging, I was told to write my thoughts, expressing my own opinion. The offensive blog I wrote was MY opinion, and no one else's. None of the companies that I deal with share that opinion, nor were they aware of what I had written until this firestorm started.

Believe it or not, I'm your best friend if you're a hunter or shooter, though it might not seem that way. I simply screwed up. And, to show that I'm sincere about this, I just talked to Ted Nugent, who everyone knows, and is a Board member of the NRA. Ted is extremely active with charities concerning our wounded military, and though he's known as a bowhunter, Ted has no problem with AR 15's and similar firearms. My sincerity stems from the fact that Ted and I are planning a hunt using AR 15's. I intend to learn all I can about them, and again, I'm sorry for inserting my foot in my mouth.

I did not hear the podcast, but he was reportedly on Tom Gresham's Gun Talk. According to one listener, his apology was sincere. Too bad he's messed up his career now. He should know, guns are guns, are guns. If you support the 2nd Amendment, it doesn't just mean "sporting" firearms. It means ALL firearms.

We need to learn a lesson from this. NEVER post to your blog when you're tired, exhausted, intoxicated or just plain angry. (No, I'm not saying he was ALL of these, but I believe, he was at least tired.)

One other thing, Mr. Zumbo quoted a well known line, or at least, part of it. He said, "To err is human." Well, I think most of us know the follow up is, "To forgive, devine." How about some forgiveness folks? It won't hurt, he's already lost his blog and his sponsors.

Current Mood: Hopeful
Current Music: Q Lazzarus - GoodBye Horses (Music from "Silence of the Lambs")
Current Gun: Para-Ordnance P14 .45ACP


He knew that being gay and a gun enthusiast was a combination that messed with:
Buddy Hinton Sturmgewehr.com??'This unrepetant, transgendered size queen is the single largest KY-Jelly consumer. Hah.. what the world needs is more gay gun nuts.. preferably ones who have stereotypical good taste in hip-hugging leather.

Dr. Ralph

Pawn shops are bad news and there's no reason to ever darken the door of one. I know several people who have "lost" cherished weapons to these criminals who charge thirty percent interest or more. Mostly they are just fences selling stolen property and paying off the cops. Oops did I say that? We all know that never happens right? Better to sell blood or borrow from an Italian in a $5,000 suit. As far as Zumbo goes I think maybe Remington overreacted and OL followed suit? Who knows... but he definitely got the short end of the stick. As far as drinking and blogging goes I can only say it is my favorite hobby when I can't hunt. Bring back Zumbo, OL is not the same without his pompous opinions... love or hate him at least we were paying attention!

Dustin Chaddy

Really, I'd like to know. Why is it, those on the political left feel it necessary to call those on the political right things like "racist," "hatemonger," and others. Or course, these people don't stop there. Anyone who comes out in support of Coulter, Limbaugh, or Hannity, get labeled "knuckledraggers."

What gets me is so many on the left claim to be "tolerant" or more accepting of the Gay lifestyle. Yet, when it came down to whether or not to allow Gay marriage, the majority in Michigan voted for an amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. I find it really strange, when you consider that these same people voted for a democrat for senator, and this same majority gave this state's electoral votes to John Kerry.

Buddy Hinton

I KNEW IT, HE HAD TO BE GAY. My gaydar is perfect. ... Yoga Retreats for Gay Men in Hawaii hehe



Dr. Ralph is 100% right. It's the same kind of linch mob that got Don Imus fired. What Imus said was off color and in bad taste but to ban someone from the airwaves over one little comment is awful. So much for free speech! I also loved Jim Zumbo articles and opinions.

Dave in St Pete

The Col. never met Jerry Miculek, did he?

Chad Love

It's bad, of course, that his M14 is gone, but as a full-time freelancer myself, what struck me about the story is that a well-known writer (and F&S masthead occupier) like Hal Herring is forced to pawn a gun in order to fund a trip that was probably assignment or job-related.
I don't think the general reading public has any idea how ridiculously poorly-paid most independent writers really are. Unless you're a staffer or an editor's darling you're pretty much living hand-to-mouth every month. I can think of no better way to ensure lifelong poverty than to become a writer or a public-school teacher. I'm a writer. My wife teaches high school...
So I feel your pain and can commiserate, Hal. I'm getting ready to leave on an assignment for a regional magazine that will, in all likelihood, end up costing more in expenses than the assignment pays. But if you write, what are you gonna do? Publish or perish. Or in most cases, publish then stay a pauper. It's a vicious, demoralizing game and if a respected writer like Hal Herring is forced to pawn his guns to make do then screw it, I give up. Small-timers like me don't stand a chance. I've long since given up on querying the national mags anyway as it's frankly a waste of my time and postage and the regional mags don't have the budget to make it even remotely self-sustaining.
It's the tapped-out freelancers lament: Do I go back to beat reporting at a daily, or do I become a soulless corporate flack?
Either way, hope you get your M14 back somehow.

Dr. Ralph

Become a soulless corporate flack that's where the money is... or buy a pawn shop!

Clay Cooper

Dr. Ralph

May I add, Police are to serve and protect who?

Really, I'd like to know. Why is it, those on the political left feel it necessary to call those on the political right things like "racist," "hatemonger," and others. Or course, these people don't stop there. Anyone who comes out in support of Coulter, Limbaugh, or Hannity, get labeled "knuckledraggers."
Posted by: Dustin Chaddy | June 20, 2007 at 09:40 PM

You support Coulter and Limbaugh, then you ask why others express hatred? Hello, pot to kettle.

If you don't want to be seen as a hatemonger, then reject those who peddle hatred, those who call other Americans really horrible things like 'traitor' just for exercising their freedom to say and think differently. Remember, dissent is patriotic.

Dr. Ralph

So who is being protected when they confiscate Hal Herring's M14 Clay? And don't get me started on that... I just got pulled over for the first time for the seat belt law which is undeniably unconstitutional. What's wrong officer? You're not wearing your seatbelt sir, by the way do you mind if we search your vehicle? George Washington would have shot the cop...


Don't give up on trying to get your M-14 back! No matter what. If it happaned to me w/ my luck, the Police would brand me as a radical terrorist and put me in jail. Orthey would "quietly" investigate me


Don't EVER give the police permission to search your vehicle! There are dishonest cops who will "plant" drugs in your car. You do NOT have to give permission. After all, the cop isn't going to find any further evidence of speeding, or running a stop sign, or failure to wear a seatbelt by looking in your trunk. This post would never see the light of day in "thehighroad.org" blog, because the moderator there thinks it's "cop bashing" to suggest ways to protect yourself from unscrupulous cops. And, most likely, the cop who seized that M14 took it home. I'd bet my last dollar on that! I've seen it done before! And, by the way, most cops are professional and honest--just remember that you're NOT a criminal because you don't want your car searched!


Interesting thread, despite the intrusions from somewhere out there in the dark recesses.

During an unusual police occurrence at my place of residence (many years ago, involving my young cousin and his under-age, runaway girlfriend who was also the daughter of a nearby chief-of-police), my Mossberg shotgun was confiscated, along with several other firearms.

The following Monday, I was able to retrieve all but the Mossberg, since the numbers matched those of a firearm stolen a few weeks earlier. No matter that I'd owned the shotgun in question for over 10 years at that point, the serial number was a match and that's all that mattered to the man behind the desk.

I was fortunate enough to have close, familial ties with another branch of local law enforcement and, as a result, had the gun returned a couple of weeks later...with an apology from the Department. But without those connections, I have little doubt that I'd never have seen that gun again.

It jams now, not consistently but only when the follow-up is most needed, so it resides in a dark corner of my safe.

Oh, and like most of my first guns, it was purchased at a pawn shop.


There's never a good enough reason to pawn a gun, or anything else for that matter. BTW where I'm from, teachers make about 50,000.00 a year.

craig curtis

what a shame for those of you who have never had the privelage to visit a pawn shop their absolute bottom feeders ! i worked in one in the music dept. long ago, the only thing they do is keep crack junkies in the money .it was pittifull and their mark up was 60% not 30. they stay in buisness praying on ignorance and poor soles addictions.they dont always know the value of a good gun though so i did keep an eye peeled for something to no avail . bottom line dont shop where theifs sell their wares !!!!!!

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