One day, I was looking for my grandfather’s whetstone, to sharpen an old pair of shears, and I stumbled across his Colt Python 357 Magnum. I thought it might be a relic from one of the movies he worked on in the 50’s, but according to my grandma, it was just “one of those things your grandpa just insisted on having.”
Jeff McCabe has gotten more of his fair share of calls from people like myself, who accidentally come across family firearms in their home and don’t have the first idea of what to do with them. The owner of California Gun Services (CGS), Jeff is in the business of safe gun storage, ownership and disposal. The first step? Following California gun laws. I had zero clue that by driving the Colt to the Army Navy to try and turn it in, I’d be breaking a couple laws. According to Jeff there are laws restricting gifting or selling a gun, receiving a gun, borrowing a gun, transporting a gun, even storing guns. New laws come out every year, and it is almost impossible for anyone, even aficionados to keep up with them. Jeff and his team work closely with local law enforcement to ensure the process is easy and safe.
My grandma was afraid the grandkids might find it and would “just feel safer without it.” A sentiment shared by Jeff’s friends, family and fellow church parishioners – many of whom have sought his assistance over the years to ensure the proper storage or disposal of firearms they found themselves in possession of upon the passing of a loved one.
A BUSINESS IS BORN
What initially started as a favor for a friend has grown into a bonafide side business as word has spread about Jeff’s particular skill set and confidence in handling firearms. As the owner of the Orange-based One Way Painting, Jeff often encountered situations whereby he would come across a firearm when moving furniture around for a client prior to starting a painting project.
“Many times, the firearm belonged to my client’s father, grandfather or late husband and she never touched it because she was afraid of guns, but didn’t know how to get rid of it safely,” he says. “So many times these guns are loaded and just stuck in a nightstand or stored under the bed.”
Over the years, Jeff has encountered a variety of different circumstances where individuals seek his assistance in disposing of unwanted firearms. All situations call for professionalism and expertise, but some also require a more delicate approach. One such case was a recent call by a family whose patriarch was once a responsible gun owner, but was now suffering the early signs of dementia.
“His family wanted the firearms removed for safety reasons, but the gentleman lawfully owns the guns so it’s important to have a heightened sensitivity so as not to create upset,” says Jeff.
In addition to lay people looking for help, Jeff and his team also assist estate and probate attorneys representing clients who are surviving family members in possession of unwanted firearms to navigate the process of safe gun disposal.
Raised in a family that had firearms for hunting and sporting, Jeff was taught early on how to handle, be respectful and always be safe when handling firearms. Jeff adds that “ … we as Americans have a great privilege to be able to own a firearm, but with that comes an even greater responsibility to not only protect ourselves legally by complying with Federal and State laws, but to protect ourselves, our neighbors and most importantly, our children from all possible dangers associated with firearms.”
San Clemente resident Rhonda Murphy couldn’t agree more. “There are many things to deal with when a loved one dies. In 2010, when cleaning out my husband’s closet, I came across several of his guns. I didn’t want to keep them and was unsure of what to do with them. My daughters didn’t want the guns and I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of storing them as my grandkids are often at my house. A friend suggested I call Jeff. He was very nice, easy to talk with, trustworthy and knowledgeable. He came to my house, checked all the guns to make sure they were unloaded and removed them. Jeff also told me that one of the guns was a collector’s item and was able to sell it for me. One less thing to have to worry about. I can’t recommend Jeff enough.”
As part of their auditing procedures, California Gun Services gives clients the option of a Voluntary Registration Form (in the case where the weapon was inherited). Many of Jeff’s clients are like my grandma who just prefers that the gun is destroyed. Jeff holds a Federal Firearm License and as such, is able to take possession of firearms without a Gun Transfer. He can also inspect firearms to ensure they are still in working order, and even tell you if the gun, or guns, you have is California Compliant.
“Most people are unaware that firearms that were purchased legally from a gun shop just a year ago may now be illegal in California,” says Jeff. “If we find a firearm that is out of compliance with the law, you’ll receive solid advice on how to make it compliant, sell it out of state, or potentially dispose of it. Our process is approved and certified by local law enforcement, it’s legal, safe and adheres to all state and federal firearms laws.
“Since firearms last more than a lifetime, families often have small and large collections of guns in their home. Knowing what you have and what to do with those firearms is important. Whether it’s from a death in the family, inheritance, or just a need for clearing out some that you know you will never use, we can help. Following California gun laws is essential. We come to you. It’s a safe, easy and professional process.”
California Gun Services’ processes are approved and certified by local law enforcement and adheres to all state and federal firearms laws for the following services:
Jeff will come to you and inspect your firearms to make sure they are in proper working order and that they are California Compliant. If your firearm is not compliant with the California Law, you will receive solid advice on how to make it compliant or possibly dispose or sell it out of state.
If a firearm is found to be unsafe to use, cannot be repaired and has no historical value. California Gun Services will permanently destroy it by torching the receiver or frame into three parts or cutting it with a saw into five parts. Jeff will document this with pho- tos and log it for the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and email you the proof of destruction.
Private Party Transfers happen between two individuals and will need to take place at a Federal Firearm Licensed Dealer. Since this needs to be done at a Gun Shop, Jeff cannot offer this as an in-home service. If you have inherited or legally obtain a firearm, he can provide you with a Voluntary Registration form or you can download it from the California Department of Justice which is NOT required to do at a gun shop. California Gun Services has a Federal Firearm License and can legally come to you and take possession of a firearm without a Gun Transfer.
GUN PURCHASES OF UNWANTED FIREARMS OR COLLECTIONS
California Gun Services will come to you and ap- praise a single gun or an entire collection of any size. You will receive an explanation of how guns are legally sold and transferred. California Gun Services can then make you a fair market value offer and/or explain how a gun can be put up for sale on consignment.
California Gun Services will make sure you are using the right ammunition for the firearms that you have and that it is legal in the State of California. Jeff will inspect the ammunition to make sure that it has been stored correctly, is in good condition and will ensure that the ammunition is being stored properly, using the right type of container and stored in the right lo- cation in your home.