About 10 years ago I was driving to work early in the morning and spotted what I thought was a pellet gun (a pistol) laying by the side of the road. It was on the gravelly part where the pavement ends.
I stopped and ran back to get it, what I picked up was not a pellet gun, but a Ruger Mark II with a 6" barrel. The gun had a fully loaded magazine, but an empty chamber. It was missing the front sight and the tape residue led me to believe the screw had come up missing and the owner taped the front sight on (bush league move).
The gun was scratched from it's fall to the pavement but was otherwise in good shape.
I called my local Sheriff's Office to have the serial number ran to see if it had been reported stolen or lost, It had not. I also checked the websites that allow people to post serial numbers of their stolen or lost guns....no luck there either.
I ended up replacing the front sight and screw (maybe I should have looked again on the side of the road for the sight??) and installed some Hogue grips on it.
Years later, having not been notified the gun was lost or stolen, I sold it to buy a stainless Ruger Mark II Competition model.
Last year my friend in Oregon was driving along U.S. 101 when he also came upon a Ruger Mark II laying in the middle of the lane. He stopped and picked it up. He turned it over to the local police, but has not heard back if the gun was ever returned to its rightful owner (this sometimes takes a year or more).
Then just this past month, my Father-in-law found a pistol while taking his grand daughters for a walk. This got me to thinking......how often does this happen?
My son relayed a story to me that he heard from a friend, the Ecology Youth Corps (those kids that clean up garbage along the freeway) find an incredible amount of guns, most are turned in to law enforcement, but I am sure a few are smuggled home.
So I decided to pose the question on some of the gun forums and here are some of the responses I got:
- My brother in law found an AMT Automag V under a water meter plate. (He works for the local water district). He turned it into the local PD, and after a half a year or so they gave it to him.
- I hunted with a guy in Spokane who found a Model 94 30-30 leaning against a stump one morning at a pullout along the hi-way. It was snowing, no tracks but ours in the pullout and snow on the gun. His son was still using it 15-20 years later.
- I found a 410 sawed off shotgun in a reservoir in San Angelo, TX when I was in 2nd grade
- My dad found a new pistol in the middle of the street when I was a kid in Long Beach, CA. Went to the police found out it belonged to a motorcycle cop. The guy never even thanked my dad for finding it and turning it in.
- About 4 years ago while at work I found a rusted Remington pump shotgun. The stock was broken and couldn't work the action. Since I work for a city I turned it into the PD.
- I Found a Remington 30/06 laying on a snow covered road while hunting in the Taneum unit. I'm pretty sure the truck in front of me kicked it up so it was visible. Obviously had been run over and was trashed. Ran into the owner shortly thereafter and he was grateful to have it back, even if it was scrap. Something about being a family heirloom
- I was out snow kayaking in north ID with some buddies. We set the lower
truck, (mine ) than I hopped into my buddy's truck and headed up the
we got to the put in, the other passenger hopped out and said " look at this!" He found a Ruger SS MK II in the mud he put it in the truck and we did our run.
...I never knew what he did with it but some snowmobiler was sad.
- I Found a Colt Gov't 1911 on I-90 while driving from Ellensburg to Spokane this summer when I pulled off the road to take a piss. Contacted the state patrol and dropped it off at one of their stations along I-90 an hour later. I got a call from them two weeks ago saying it hasn't been claimed and the "registered owner" had passed away. They asked me if I wanted to purchase ($200) it. Otherwise, it would go to one of their auctions.
- I found three .22 rifles in a trash pile I was cleaning up at work. Two
Mossberg Plinksters and a 10-22. They were pitched in a old drum out
side an old cannery building in a big pile of junk that we, city
employees, were working at getting cleaned up when we had time.
I called the VPSO, Village Public Safety Officer, we documented where they were found and the rifles, and forwarded the info to troopers. While we waited for call back, they were stored in evidence storage. Within 24 hours troopers said that they were not stolen, and that they did not have any owners info, so do what you want with them.
The Plinksters were corroded beyound salvaging so I locked them in a vise and chopped them into 4-6" pieces, then tossed them in a Smart Ash Burner with a load of used oil filter, and sorbents. The 10-22 was in bad shape but it's better metallurgy aloud me to use it as a starting point for a youth sized 10-22 build
- Winston-Salem, NC.
I found a Glock outside a Circle K once. Just outside the door, behind a trash can.
If I hadn't been about to stuff old McD's bags in the can, I'd never seen the gun.
I knew better than to touch it, so I moved it around with my penknife.
it took me about 5 seconds of looking to know I wanted to call the cops, so I did.
someone had made a s___ty attempt to grind off the serial number and manufacturer's marks.
Moral of the story is, keep your eyes peeled when walking or driving, you may just find a gun. Guns, like any tools, are subject to misplacement. We should strive to be more responsible when it comes to firearms, but these things happen for one reason or another.
And BTW, make sure you do the right thing and call the local Law Enforcement, what you found may have been used in a crime or stolen from your neighbor.....