Police Returned Gun and Mag but kept Ammo

An acquaintance told me this story.
He was involved in an incidence that ended up with the police taking his firearm. They kept it until the case was adjudicated and he was found to be a by stander in a road rage incident. Apparently he got out of his pick up with gun in hand after a couple of yayhoos had an altercation sitting at a traffic light. When the police arrived a witness told the police she had seen him with a gun, never pointed it at anyone just had it in his hand. The police took the gun. After the case was finished the court ordered the police to give him back his firearm, and they did. He got his gun and the magazine that had been in it. BUT the Bullets? Gone, the mag was empty. He didn’t push the issue but it does raise the question in my mind, Did They Keep the Bullet on Purpose or was it simply an oversight by the evidence room clerk.


Happy anniversary @Mike164 sorry for not responding to you post just don’t think it is important.

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I wouldn’t worry about it in the least if it were me.

Attempting to be seen with a gun in your hand in public as a means of altering people’s behavior…if the biggest issue you end with is being out a mag’s worth of ammo…that’s as good as it could possibly get

(I would not describe someone as just a bystander once they took those actions, FWIW)


Same thing happened to my son. He finally got his pistol back after the court proceedings, no ammo. Asking why he was told “It was disposed of.” I asked a local LEO friend what was up with that. He said the evidence room while secure does not count as an “armory” so unless the firearm was involved in a shooting which required ballistic testing, ammunition is not kept with the firearm in question. Basically they down load the mag into a general purpose ammo can in the police armory and then store the firearm and mag in the evidence room.

It is “rumored” that LEO at that facility can go to that can and extract ammo for proficiency training but cannot be carried in a duty weapon. I told him the next time he was there I’d take all the .45 and anything else they didn’t use that they wanted to get rid of. The next time we met for coffee and BS he gave me a fairly large box of mixed ammo. He said they were glad to get rid of it to a “responsible source” as it was taking up too much room. I now have ammo for guns I don’t own.




This exactly!

Also, it could be simply administrative. I have known of several local police departments that are so strict that even the officers are not allowed to carry while in the building (it was strange seeing officers with empty holsters). So perhaps they unloaded both the magazine from the pistol and the bullets from the magazine for safety purposes. I agree with @Nathan57 in that, losing a mag’s worth of ammo isn’t the hill to die on or even fight from.


It is still wrong and is still theft.


Nathan57, I agree. There’s one thing I’ve been wondering though after reading the entries here, I know of a freind who had to go to classes to get his drivers license back after he was stopped for drunk driving, yes that was a dumb thing to do, drink and drive.
Ok now, this alleged person brandishing a firearm in public at an act of disagreement by others, because of bad reasoning on his/her part, shouldn’t that person have to take classes before the return of his/her weapon?

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I am not sure I follow.

I don’t like equating the privilege of a license to operate a motor vehicle on public roads with the supposedly uninfringed Right to keep and bear arms. So, I’m kind of lost from the start here.

Besides, DUI/DWI is illegal in all states, a drunk driving conviction seems to indicate a crime was committed. The way I read the story about the missing ammo, the individual in question does not seem to have been convicted of a crime (or even charged with a crime).

I don’t even believe a license to carry should be required to carry, as at that point bearing arms has been removed from the status of a Right and relegated to a privilege requiring prior written mommy-may-I permission slip from the government


Nathan57, my meaning is the person did a dumb thing by exiting the vehicle with a firearm in hand. If that action wasn’t done there wouldn’t have been any other problems for said person.
Self protection, self preservation, we’re taught alertness and Evade, in said case it wasn’t that persons duty to interfere or play cop, as I see.


I think doing something that is not your duty to do is a lot different than putting random innocent lives at risk through DUI.

It’s hard to claim they were trying to play cop without knowing more details too. I would imagine a cop in that scenario would do a lot more than stand there.


Nathan57, Ok, I guess it’s good that people have different view points because it brings a balance to life. It has been nice converting on this subject.

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Yes it is.

If one were so inclined, a formal inquiry with the PD as to where the ammo went might yield a somewhat decent answer. It might also jar a memory of someone putting the ammo into storage (“vouchering” is the term I believe the police use) and the ammo being found and returned.

Making claims of theft of the ammo by the PD might tend to piss off the PD and start some type of ill-will towards you in the future. Would that be wrong? Absolutely, but throwing rocks at those who can make your life miserable over a few rounds of ammo isn’t worth the potential hassle, IMHO. I think my suggestion in the preceding paragraph would be a better tactic and would avoid an aggressive stand-off.

At the end of the day you have to weigh what the best course of action for you, Personally, I wouldn’t even miss a few rounds of 9mm. Even if it were .458 SOCOM ammo ($2+ per round) I wouldn’t get in a pissing contest with the local PD over it.


Me personally I would clear the magazine before officers arrive anyways. My Father was Law Enforcement for 32 years. The real reason that ammo is not returned is yes part truth of storage in the evidence room. Ammo is removed for safety purposes all around. The second part of the truth is because law enforcement does not want to hand a person a firearm that has been involved in an investigation / court case. Even if they’re acquitted there could still be some hostile pinned up feelings about it all. I wouldn’t want to hand someone a firearm that might have a grudge about enforcing the laws and become an immediate one off target. It has good reasonings to it.


That’s a thought. But then, are you leaving your self unarmed, when you don’t have to, and in a situation where you are at/near a scene of a confrontation that is requiring LE response?

You just felt threatened enough to display a firearm in your hand, and now you are going to completely unload it and the magazines, before a single officer is on the scene?

As a matter of personal safety that would generally seem to go against being prepared.


Not sure why I’m going to respond to this but I did have a couple of thoughts.

First if my firearm was confiscated by law enforcement and was later returned to me along with the magazine but no ammo, I count my blessings and go on about my way. Some battles are not worth the effort to fight.

Secondly the man who got out of his vehicle with his firearm drawn because he’s witnessing a road rage incident it’s placing himself unnecessarily under scrutiny. First what does he want to accomplish? He probably does not know which of the two individuals is righteous or even if either one of them are righteous. He is simply a witness and should have remained in his vehicle and pay close attention to the situation so that he could if needed, recount what he saw to law enforcement. It seems that he was probably not under imminent threat himself and his firearm should have never been out of the holster or wherever he had it stored.

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My situation was different. My car was broken into and they stole a bag that had an extra mag in it. While at work , my wife called and said the police stopped by and wanted to talk to me. I found this unusual since I hadn’t reported the theft and was going to do so after work.
I found out after calling the detective that they caught 1 of the guys doing the breakins, and found the loaded magazine and some other possessions of mine on him. Their concern was if there was a missing pistol to go with the magazine. So they were going door to door in the whole area and just happened to catch my wife at home. Long story short, when I picked up my possessions from the detective, he handed me everything + an unloaded magazine. The ammo was in a separate sealed envelope.
The funny part was while texting back and forth that day, he sent me a picture of items on a cruisers hood and asked me to identify what was mine. I stated what I saw was mine and immediately said the liquor bottle and container of pot wasn’t. :laughing:


Never stated you should. I only stated it is wrong, and yes, I know they would get away with it (no pun intended) for the exact reasons you stated. No sane person would want issues with the police over such a minor theft. My b-i-l stated that even in police locker rooms and their offices, there was theft - just human nature.

I’d want to know more details about people who’ve got their gun seized after a self-defense incident (actually involved, I mean, shots fired by that person)

  • Have they recovered the gun again, at all?
  • If they have, how long did it take? Months? Years?
  • What was the state the gun was in after spending that time in LE’s hands?
  • Was it added to some sort of registry or similar? In that case: is that even legal?

Thank you!!


They pulled that crap on a former pastor at our church. He was just on the East side of Dallas and had a one vehicle accident. He has a permit but since they were taking him to the Hospital to be checked out, they had to hold his gun. He contacted a lawyer and was told to go and smile untill you get away from Dallas. They happened to talk to one of the officers that had been at the accident. He told them discreetly that his bosses ran a check on the gun to see if it was stolen. When he asked about his ammo one cop told him to sue them (wise crack). Nobody should be above the law. Thanks for listening. LP