Small arms found in deceased house, American edition

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I love covering these stories about small arms turning up all over the place, and in the oddest of circumstances, the criminals who stashed the MP40 and Lee Enfield, or the elderly lady who passed away and left behind a fully functional Sten gun. But I think this one takes the cake by a far margin. A gentleman passed away from yet to be explained conditions and left behind more than 1,200 firearms and two tons of ammunition at his home in Palisades Drive, California. The news reports were talking about Police having to squeeze in between boxes of ammunition piled to the ceiling, just to get to all the firearms. It appears that there was some possibility of a crime involved in the mans death or else the police presence wouldn’t have been nearly as much or at all in fact.

From the LA Times

More than 1,200 guns were strewn about the Palisades Drive house and garage, police said. The weapons ranged from high-end pistols to shotguns and rifles. Many had never been fired. Some were still wrapped in their boxes, with the price tags still attached.

It was a “staggering number of guns,” said LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith. Police also found roughly two tons of ammunition.

“We have a lot of work to do,” he said. “Running the background, history and legality of these weapons is going to require a tremendous amount of time.”
“It’s not a crime to have a large number of weapons so long as they were legal to own and legally obtained,” Smith said “We want to make sure that’s the case.

What are they going to do if they find out some of them were illegal in California? Charge the poor guys dead body? From the looks of it, it appears most were pretty typical, civilian firearms; bolt action rifles, revolvers, and within capacity semi automatic handguns.

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What appears to be a good amount of Ruger handguns and revolvers on the right, and a your pretty typical bolt actions on the left, unfortunately I can’t really see if any of those rifles even have scopes on them. In addition to 3 of the same kind of Ruger on the right, might he just have an FFL of some kind and ran a business out of his home address, with that many firearms of similar make and model? 



Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • KestrelBike

    I might be wrong, but looks like at least 3 replica USMC Sniper rem700 stocks which IIRC go for a bit of $$$. Quite a few glocks, etc. I’m sure LAPD will melt them down in a kumbaya ceremony, instead of make money by selling it.

    • The McMillan Man

      Yeah, i wouldn’t mind picking up one of those nice McMillan stocks I see laying there…

    • mosinman

      how is it the LAPD’s right to do anything with these guns?
      shouldn’t these be going to the next of kin?

      • JK

        After mandatory background check and ten-day “cool down” period.

  • Phil Hsueh

    Sounds like somebody had a hoarding problem, but instead of misc. junk this guy hoarded guns and ammo. It would be cool to find more people like this, before they die, and help them with their problem by offering buy some of their guns from them and helping them clear some of the clutter.

    Not that I have much faith in the LAPD but I’m hoping that they won’t simply dump all of those guns but offer them up for public auction. With that many guns in the collection there’s bound to be a few gems that would probably fetch a pretty penny while others may make for great bargain guns for new shooters. If there’s a decent .22 rifle in the bunch I certainly wouldn’t mind bidding on it if I could get it for well below retail.

    • MR

      Hopefully they’re returned to next of kin, if possible. If necessary, the designated relative could put them on consignment at an appropriate FFL.

    • DataMatters

      There are thousands of guys like this around the US. There are hundreds of thousands who are hoarding all kinds of other items.

    • Dan

      There is a local gentleman here who has around 2500 guns, Started buying them when he was a teenager, two of each model 1 to shoot 1 to hang and collect dust. His basement is a giant safe, I haven’t seen or spoken to him in over a decade. He is in his mid 80s so soon this story could very well be his.

      • jcitizen

        I knew a cool guy like that – when he passed away they found he was worth millions of dollars. The family couldn’t wait to cash in, of course.

        • Dan

          Hopefully this guys family is not like that. He was a very nice old man and it was cool to listen to his stories of the odd jobs he worked just to get enough extra money for a new gun. Also to decide and pursue collecting at such a young age even when Im sure money was tight is something else.

          • jcitizen

            This guy started out poor, he put himself through college and ended up teaching there. He bought collectible guns at bargain basement prices back when that was possible, and people didn’t understand what an investement they really were. He was my hero when I was a kid – almost a 2nd Dad!

          • Dan

            That’s awesome! I only wish more people had the oppurtunity to get to know people like that. Their stories definitely need to be heard and shared.

  • M.M.D.C.

    Ugh. It turns my stomach to see them piled up that way, possibly awaiting destruction.

    • patrickiv

      I love me a good pile of guns.

      • Bob

        Wonder if he ever scattered them on the bed and rolled around in them?

        • patrickiv

          That’s pretty much a given.

        • Rooftop Voter

          I thought I only did that

    • Donald Darr

      Yeah, they ain’t to careful with somebody else’s property!

  • Dukeblue91

    California’s biggest nightmare has just materialised as reality, there are many guns out there they don’t know about.
    We can kiss them goodbye as what isn’t lost during inventory will be melted down.

    • USMC03Vet

      Yeah their biggest nightmare did come true. Looking like fools. Another great example of how ridiculous their fears are about guns and gun owners.

    • DataMatters

      Who is “we?” The whole mess could have been avoided if the owner had done even the most basic planning.

  • Swarf

    That poor deceased house.

  • Jay Bee

    How about the fun the family with have trying to get this 1.5 million dollars worth of guns back from the police department.

    I left a gun in a car I traded in one time. They call the cops to pick it up.

    It took me 4 trips and 2 different forms to get the gun including two we cant find it trips. Although getting to load my gun in a police station with several cops watching was fun.

    • JK

      I don’t even leave jumper cables in a car when I trade it in.

      • Jay Bee

        Remember the most interesting guy in the world commercial?

        “I don’t make mistakes but when I do I make sure they are big ones.”

        High horse.

        • JK

          Leaving a gun in a car that you’re trading in, I’m guessing the horse wasn’t the only one that was high.

          • Jay Bee

            No I think it’s more a problem that getting a new car is a normal every 6 months occurrence for me.

            Kinda like you saying I have never spilled my beer in space. Yeah duh.

          • DataMatters

            That’s one way to avoid changing the oil.

  • MR

    Saw this on a couple mainstream newsfeeds and thought “How is this a story?”. The police have no evidence of wrongdoing (according to one of the articles), but they’re going to waste untold taxpayer dollars verifying that they have no evidence.

    • Budogunner

      It is a story because that is a massive case of firearms theft. If the guns went to an individual specified in a Will, a trustee, or next of kin then everything would be fine.

      • MR

        The mainstream media was treating it like “OMG, this dead guy had a bunch of scary guns! Your children aren’t safe!”
        We’ll see what happens regarding theft or illegal detention of private property, but definitely misappropriation of taxpayer money to investigate a non-crime.

  • Rock or Something

    Still more useful than a house full of cats.

    • Valis InUnderland

      yeah but the ol lady loves all our cat’s, dunno if she’d like this, i think she just might,.

    • patrickiv

      Prop MRE on a rock or something?

  • How can they just seize this as evidence? If Jay Leno dies do they get to seize his car collection to investigate if he might have driven above the speed limit one time?

    • FrenchKiss

      There was an assumption that a crime took place. As such, they can seize anything on the premises specified in a warrant that may be connected to the crime. I know, it’s bullc r a p. But, it’s Commiefornia.

      • Sulaco

        And as a public safety matter they couldn’t just leave them in the house and be libel for any damages commited with them if stolen. Hate to be the evidence techs on this one, man what a long enventory list that has to be!

        • Bill

          I hope they have one of those automated property systems with the laptop, scanner and barcode/label printer that you can take to the scene. We don’t. They’ll wear out a keyboard running all those serial numbers.

      • So strange how the justice system in the USA can be so vastly different in different states.
        If I were a cop, I would leave all 745 of the guns alone.

        • Sianmink

          All 74… I see what you did there.

          • Martin M

            Just a dozen firearms seized…..

          • MR

            Strange that he didn’t have any ammo for all those guns…

          • Kivaari

            Two tons, 4,000 pounds, of ammo is a good supply.

          • Steven Alexander

        • FrenchKiss

          Your state of Texas, protects liberties. My state, Commiefornia, tries to take them away. Oh, except if you are one of the leftist pets, like illegal aliens. Then they get to run around free and murder. And the BLM agent that improperly stowed his gun? Oh well.

        • Bob

          And the arsenal of 6 boxes of ammo.

      • Justin Officer

        Guy had cancer knew he was dying. Died in car with fiancée. The possible foul play is made up exactly Gor this reason.

    • sean

      its kind of like NFA products that are under stamps instead of trusts

    • Valis InUnderland

      i think it’s civil forfeiture,
      if they believe there’s a crime they get to keep what ever they want pretty much,
      it’s pretty much the biggest reason we have the curruption we have, and the most deaths due to police, ( more so down south of course )

      as soon as i saw the article and that the cops were going through it i immediately felt that it was a set up, who wouldn’t want that sort of arsenal, and this sort of crap is running rampant among departments,
      sure isnt the boys in blue and the good ol mounties anymore i
      🙁

      • Bill

        Another person who doesn’t understand “civil forfeiture.” The police don’t get to keep ANYTHING without going to court and getting a judge’s order, which the defendant, or their representatives such as heirs, can argue against. The presumption is that anything that is not contraband, such as drugs, or something used in the commission of a crime, such as a murder gun, gets returned.

        • Valis InUnderland

          yeh ok bud , it’s not a problem , lol gfy

          • Bill

            I see from your cogent reply why you might have difficulty understanding things like law and jurisprudence. But that’s OK, someone has to make the french fries.

    • Kyle Hollinrake

      My assumption is that because it was public knowledge of the location of his house, it was to prevent the firearms to be stolen. Along with the fact that there was suspicion of a crime that had taken place as his death was not reported for almost a week.

    • JDH

      Right…they should just have “a garage sale”!

    • Kivaari

      LAPD will destroy them. They wont give the guns reported stolen, when recovered to the owners. LAPD want all gun destroyed except for theirs.

  • Will

    1200 Guns and two tons of ammunition??
    Obviously I’m not trying hard enough!!!

    • MR

      Wonder if he has any 22lr?

      • Bob

        He may have it all

        • Justin Officer

          Most recent numbers put the ammo at 6.5 tons and the collection and ammo to be $5 million in value. Not to mention the $230k the police found in cash. You guys should google the article if you haven’t read the most recent story. Includes possible secret governments and aliens.

          • Brad Ferguson

            Justin I just read in the Houston Chronicle, that the Govt. is going to DESTROY. The 6 1/2 tons of ammo.

          • jcitizen

            If I were an heir to that estate, I’d think I’d have something to say about that!! That is flat robbery!

    • Secundius

      @ Will.

      A quoit by Chicago Cubs, 1st Baseman Mark Grace: “If you’re not cheating, You’re not trying had enough”., 12 November 2012…

    • Rooftop Voter

      Two tons of ammo? Normal range day for me.

  • Halon330

    So, is there going to be an auction?

    • MR

      Hopefully an “Estate Sale”, and not a “Police Auction”, though either would be preferable to melting them down.

  • Hudson

    It could be as simple as a Firearms dealer closed his store, and moved his inventory into his house.

    • That’s what I’m leaning towards, as most of the guns seem to be completely stock, and some without mags, also we’re seeing alot of the same models, like he had 3 Ruger Mk3s. I know lots of collectors that collect similar types or models of firearms, but not in 2s/3s etc…

      • Justin Officer

        Google and read the articles. I live in Los Angeles and I’d know if a store closed down in the past 10 years and it hasn’t. Seriously google and read the story it will blow your mind and we still don’t even know what the truth is

  • mosinman

    i have a new life goal

    • Swarf

      To decompose in a car?

      • mosinman

        no…. to collect a mountain of firearms of course!

      • MR

        Gotta decompose somewhere…

  • USMC03Vet

    Another great example that counters the anti gunner meme of weapons being out of control animate objects that go on killing sprees. Neighbor literally had an arsenal and nobody was hurt or even knew.

  • Giolli Joker

    Some hoarders (not specifically of guns) have died under the mountains of things they had accumulated… in those cases as well police found the body, called by the neighbours worried after not seeing the hoarder for several days.

    • MR

      In this case, he was in his car, down the street.

      • Giolli Joker

        Thanks, I missed it.
        Too many guns to look at. 🙂

    • Bill

      …or we get the “investigate strange odor” call and out comes the Vicks and masks…

  • Cornelius Carroll

    Somebody finally took the whole “how many is enough/n+1=enough” too far. About time!

    Two. Tons. Of. Ammo. How many rounds is that? Sheesh, now that I think about, this guy has well in excess of $1mil in firearms and ammo.

    • DataMatters

      Probably not as many as they made you think. The media always uses weights when counts are unimpressive and vice versa. It’s a lot of ammo, but ammo is heavy, being lead and copper and brass.

      • Kjk

        Can someone that is good at math do some calculations for a ballpark?

        • Jeff the Griz

          If 25 pounds of ammo is about 500 rounds thats 80,000 rounds

          • Kjk

            Thanks. That’s not as much as I thought. Still a lot though

          • Justin Officer

            Well that depends on caliber .

          • jcitizen

            If the ammo had been sold at the height of the panic – it would average well over a dollar a round, so that would be over 80,000 dollars just in ammo! Assuming the estimate is correct.

  • Tassiebush

    The guy went by name of Bob Smith. Has anyone checked on the lead singer from The Cure?

  • Scott C.

    Is it wrong of me to hope that this gives Diane Frankenstine a stroke ?

  • Bill

    I don’t know of one jurisdiction where is someone dies at home and isn’t under near-immediate medical care, such as hospice, that the police aren’t called. And you can be darn sure that if they weren’t, and the medics found that stockpile, they sure as heck would be called. That just couldn’t be left unattended, from both a safety and value standpoint. Burglars will frequently check obits for funeral services, knowing that homes will be unattended.

    I don’t mind the quantities involved, but if the story was that he had 1,200 bunny rabbits or toaster ovens or unknown Picassos people would be calling him a nut.

    They’ll go to wherever his will specified, and if there is no will, I assume that California’s version of probate court will decide. Having a will is sort of important if you think you might eventually die.

    • claymore

      Yep after they were thrown into a pile and left with damage that lessens their value. If I was in the will I would sue the police for every bit of damage they caused.

      • Bill

        …and you would sue if the police left them at the home unattended and they were stolen. And you’d sue if the neighbor’s kid broke in and accidentally shot someone. And you’d sue if the police didn’t install dehumidifiers to keep them from rusting. And you’d sue because the police were being the police. And you’d sue because one of the cops was wearing 5.11s and looked “militarized.” And you’d sue because the police put them on a blue tarp instead of a green one, to keep them off the ground, because blue is a police-y color.

        How do you know what kind of condition they were in to begin with?

        • claymore

          Nio maroon I would sue them for the UNNECESSARY DAMAGE they caused.

          • Bill

            Well ok then, just be sure to spell-check your complaint before you file it with the clerk of courts. While you are at the court house, and it may be a reach to assume that your reading comprehension exceeds your spelling ability, stop by the law library and study up on “qualified immunity” for public servants acting within the scope of their duties. If you are observant, you’ll note that a lot of the law books have leather-like covers, maroon in color.

            I’m suing you for stupid spelling errors that caused unnecessary distress to my brain. So there.

          • claymore

            Wow that all you got troll one extra letter sets you off for the whole day. what a maroon google it.

          • Bill

            For the love of grammar and spelling, you are trying to call me a MORON. MAROON is a color. Google it. And “Elements of Style,” you’d learn something about commas.

            If you are going to be an idiot, at least try to conceal it by writing above the third-grade level. I won’t always be here to help you.

          • claymore

            Dude catch a clue I am NOT trying to call you a moron even though you are one like I wrote simply google “What a maroon” and join the rest of us intelligent people in the world.

          • Bill

            Really intelligent people don’t rely on Google.

          • claymore

            Really stupid people write clueless posts like you do.

  • Graham2

    Damn, I knew I should have popped over to my very good friend Bob’s to pick up all the guns I lent him! He was looking a little frail last time I saw him, going for a drive.

  • marathag

    Next of kin?

    Or does Cali have some sort of confiscation law in cases like this, cutting them out of the loop

  • Broz

    What the HELL is a deceased house??? In Texas (or in any other FREE state) this would be a decent collection..Kalifornicates aren’t used to this kinda stuff like we REAL folks are…

    • Justin Officer

      I live in LA CA. I roll around on a bed full of guns daily

      • Bill

        That can’t be comfortable. Too many bolt handles. hammers, checkering……

  • Kjk

    1,200 guns is a LOT. Almost unfathomable. It seems like he maybe had a mental illness. Wonder what his occupation is (if not an FFL).

  • How did we get from an interesting story about all those guns to insulting one another—silly at best.

    • Valis InUnderland

      i mentioned the huge issue with police seizures, he insinuates i’m of lower caste ,
      i found that rather insulting, and wanted to argue the fact that the issue of ridiculous seizures from departments all over due to this right of theirs is derailed about assumptions of class ?

  • popejoe

    Lots of precision style rifles just thrown in a pile there…..yikes!

  • Justin Officer

    Exercise sounds so much like extra fries

  • Scot168

    Now we know who had all the .22lr hidden away.

  • James T Kirk

    I wonder if I can get some of those McMillan stocks off of those rifles before they destroy them. I’ll trade them some Hogues and stock Remington ones.

  • Donald Darr

    Remember, this is California and the LAPD’s job is to disarm the public not try to find the rightful owners (Next of Kin) and give the weapons to them. Even if they do find some family, California will insist on transferring the guns at $20.00 a pop which would be about $24,000.00 dollars! Bet my word, they’ll be crushed and the anti-gunners will do their “Happy Dance”!

  • Noel Gusa

    First thing sickening me, how they disrespectfully pile these weapons up carelessly, probably dinging and scratching some real beauties! Then, I bet everything is slated for destruction, wouldn’t be surprised…in a stupid ass state where the defecit is how much? Like over a billion dollars or something? I can only hope an heir has a claim, and they don’t come up with creative shenanigans to deny it, if there is no illegalties. And I’m afraid now they’ll try to use this to come up with some cap on what people can own, and probably make it stick in that state.

  • InfiniteGrim

    Don’t you love the blatant disregard for people’s property? How much damage was done to those firearms by throwing them in piles and not treating them properly? The guy is dead, but still they dont know if those are going to be passed down to family…

  • Kivaari

    I hope he has a will, and LAPD takes better care of them.

  • Bill

    I knew that dude! We worked on MK ULTRA together. I bet that the Noisy Cricket I loaned him that he never gave back is in that pile.

    • Justin Officer

      That sucks! I’d like to see the matin b retting purchase history file

    • Justin Officer

      What did he do on MK Ultra?