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It's a bitch getting your gun stolen. Surely we can all empathize with any poor soul that's had his or her trusty firearm taken without

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The Hassle of Getting Your Gun Back in Longview

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It's a bitch getting your gun stolen. Surely we can all empathize with any poor soul that's had his or her trusty firearm taken without permission. There's nothing that makes a person feel more naked than an empty holster. Especially in Longview.

As The Daily News The Daily World reported yesterday, 43-year-old Kirk Turya, a former Kelso reserve police officer and current long-haul trucker, knows the feeling. Turya's 9mm Glock, part of an accidental shooting in October that sent a bullet ricocheting into a neighboring apartment, is currently locked in the Longview Police Department's evidence room - with Turya alleging that Longview City Attorney Steve Shuman making it a real hassle to get back.

As The Daily News reports:

Longview police originally took the 9mm Glock in October after Turya's brother Eric accidentally dropped it and it discharged in an apartment located in the 1700 block of Hemlock Street.

The bullet went through a table and floor and into the apartment below, where it ricocheted off a wall and the floor. Either the spent bullet or a piece of debris struck the leg of a little girl in the lower apartment, frightening her. Police said they saw no injury.

The little girl in question, Bailie Strozyk, who at the time was 11 years old, suffered shaken nerves and a nasty welt.

From The Daily News's original account of the accidental shooting:

Bailie was attending her father's birthday party in her grandmother's Longview apartment on Hemlock Street on Wednesday evening when a 9mm handgun accidentally went off in an upstairs apartment. The bullet punched through the ceiling and appears to have ricocheted off a wall and the floor, then struck Bailie in the back of her right leg.

The miracle is that all of that ricocheting slowed the bullet enough that it did not break Bailie's skin. It left only a reddish welt, said the girl's mother, Michelle Strozyk.

"We hear this pop, and she screams, 'Ow!' and then runs across the living room and hides behind her grandma's chair," Strozyk said, adding that plaster dust drifted through the air and debris fell to the floor.

In Thursday's article, Kirk Turya was quoted as saying, ""The horror of that story is not lost on me."

In late March, while denying full-on guilt, Eric Turya admitted in court he could be found guilty of unlawfully discharging a firearm within Longview city limits. The Daily News reports that if Eric Turya pays $568 in fines and court costs and commits no other crimes by May 21, the charge will be dismissed from his record.

But there's still the issue of the confiscated gun. Though Kirk Turya wasn't home at the time the gun was accidentally discharged, and was not charged with a crime, he has still been unable to retrieve the firearm. Shuman has ordered the gun held under RCW 9.41.098, which allows courts to order forfeiture of a firearm used in a crime.

However, Turya apparently knows a thing or two about the law himself, pointing out to The Daily News that RCW 9.41.098 also says confiscated firearms can be returned if the owner had no knowledge of the crime that led to its confiscation and didn't consent to it.

From RCW 9.41.098

The court shall order the firearm returned to the owner upon a showing that there is no probable cause to believe a violation of subsection (1) of this section existed or the firearm was stolen from the owner or the owner neither had knowledge of nor consented to the act or omission involving the firearm which resulted in its forfeiture.

A hearing on the matter has been scheduled for next Wednesday.

The whole thing has irked Turya, who tells the The Daily News he feels his constitutional right to due process is being violated.

At the very least they're making it a pain in the ass to get his gun back.

 
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