The police have your firearms, now what?

Gun seizure

There are a number of reasons for the police to seize your legally owned firearms. For instance, the police will seize your firearms in the following situations:

  • Firearms may be seized as evidence in a criminal investigation.
  • Firearms may be surrendered to the sheriff or police for “safekeeping” by the owner or a family member.
  • Firearms may be taken into custody as a result of the owner’s conviction of a felony or certain misdemeanors.
  • If a search of an arrestee’s residence, business. person, or vehicle, firearms found during that search may be taken into custody.
  • A civil harassment or domestic violence restraining order requires the restrained party to turn over all firearms to the sheriff or police for as long as the restraining order remains in effect.
  • A person detained for in-patient mental health evaluation and adjudged to be a threat to themselves or others will be required to surrender all firearms.
  • A person who communicates a serious threat of physical violence against a reasonably identifiable victim or victims to a licensed psychotherapist will have their firearms seized.
  • For a complete list of offenses that lead to firearm seizure, click here.

Most actions resulting in firearms seizure stem from criminal cases. Mugridge Law Firm is ready to assist with your underlying case, so you can get your firearms back.


To recover seized firearms, fill out the Law Enforcement Gun Release (LEGR) form and pay the required fee to the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms. When the department verifies your eliigibility to reclaim your firearm, you have 30 days from the date the notice is issued to submit the paperwork to the law enforcement agency holding the firearm. Note: Different police agencies have different requirements, and may require a court order or other items, in addition to the approved LEGR.


The information provided herein does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a substitute for your own legal research. If you have questions, Mugridge Law Firm offers free consultations. Call us at 559.840.0020 or email us at [email protected]