Does a pawn shop have a legal right to hold my firearm because they are under new ownership?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Does a pawn shop have a legal right to hold my firearm because they are under new ownership?

A pawn shop in Arizona that is in possession of my firearm will not release it to

me because they claim to be under new ownership and are having issues with the ATF. This has been going on for a month and my pawn ticket for the firearm expires soon. Also, they would not give me a date for when the issues would be resolved or provide me with any kind of receipt to indicate that I tried to reclaim it. Do they have a legal right to hold it? I am worried that when my

ticket expires, I will no longer have a legal right to reclaim my firearm.

Asked on November 21, 2018 under Business Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If they are telling the truth, they have the legal right and even the obligation to hold your firearm: they cannot violate firearm regulations or go against the ATF's instructions. Your interest in getting your firearm back cannot make them violate the law or their own legal obligations. Obviously, if they are lying, howeer, then you could sue them for either or both of a court order requiring the return of your gun and/or monetary compensation. So the first thing for you to do is to spend some more time and effort trying to get an answer from the ATF. If the ATF denies what the pawn shop claims, or you can't get any answer, then file a lawsuit.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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