Weapons, Guns, Firearms weapons in michigan

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My 23 year old son has 2 legally registered firearms and he did everything correctly to ensure safety in ownership by taking a firearms safety class.
He does not have a CCW, but is very aware of the laws for carrying.
A few months ago an 18 year old mentally challenged man was harassing and even threatening his girlfriends 6 and 9 year old sons at her apartment complex and the oldest boy told the young man to leave them alone because their mom's boyfriend has a glock gun. Their mom reported the incident to the local police and they came out and took a statement from the boys and the young man, who told police about the gun, so they asked if the gun was there. The weapons were at her apartment at the time and my son showed them both guns that were locked up in a case in the closet. They examined the weapons and said "okay, thank you" and left.
A couple weeks later the man decided to call the police and tell them that my son actually threatened him with the glock the night before. So the police went to the girlfriend's apartment again and asked my son about the incident, he told them that it never happened, which it did not because both his guns were at my home at the time. Again they said okay, thanks and left.
About a week later his girlfriend is pulled over by the same police department while driving her mother's car. She had a suspended driver's license so they decide to search the vehicle. She had just came from dropping my son off at work and before that he had gone to the gun range, so locked in the trunk were his 2 weapons, in their case with no ammunition in the vehicle at all.
They seized both weapons and took her to jail. They didn't charge her for anything other than driving on a suspended license, but every time my son would call to ask about his weapons they told him to call back later.
Finally, after about 2 weeks he went into the police station and was told that there was a warrant out for his arrest for carrying a concealed weapon in regards to the young man that filed a complaint against him (he was never notified of this in writing, by phone, or in any of the previous conversations he had when inquiring about his weapons).
He turned himself in and was scheduled for a preliminary examination a few weeks ago, the young man did not appear but instead of dismissing the case, the judge gave the police 2 more weeks to find this guy. So at the next hearing, the kid didn't show again and the police said they couldn't find him. They said he is believed to have left his residence to unknown whereabouts, so the case was dismissed.
Afterwards, my son inquired again about getting his guns back and was told that he would have to file a petition with the court at a cost of $100 if he wanted to try, and that wouldn't even guarantee their return. The police department has yet to notify him in writing or otherwise, the fact that they even have his guns or why they are keeping them. My son assumed that it was due to the ccw charge, but was never actually told why. He was also informed that they were going to keep the felony case open in case the young man ever does reappear.
Finally my questions,
1. Do they have a legal right to keep his weapons even though his case was dismissed?
2. If it was in fact a crime for the girlfriend to have them in the trunk without him being present, then why was neither of them charged, ticketed or notified in writing the facts surrounding it?
3. Could the weapons be released to me or my husband since neither of us has any criminal background?
4. And lastly, can they really keep this thing hanging over my sons head forever? If it's dismissed, then how can they keep it open?
I would appreciate any help
Thank You
If the case was dismissed, they cannot keep it open. I would file in small claims court against the department for the value of the weapons. Another issue is whether they could actually search the trunk and that depends on the exact circumstances but it probably was (or they will claim) a proper inventory search.
Well, the search of a vehicle pursuant to an impound of the vehicle is pretty standard fare. Seizing of the guns for safekeeping is also pretty standard fare.

Out here in California, no matter WHY the police have the weapon(s), the claimant must jump through hoops to receive them back - this includes getting clearance from the Department of Justice. There might be a similar policy in Michigan and they cannot just give them back like they might an iPod. While the statutes don't seem to indicate any such directive similar to ours, it might be in place.

Here is the law as I found it - take note of subsections (3) and (4):

750.239a Disposition of seized weapon.

Sec. 239a. (1) Before a firearm is turned over for disposal under section 239, the police agency that recovered or confiscated the firearm shall determine if there is a known legal owner of the firearm and whether the firearm has been reported stolen. If the police agency determines a serial number has been eradicated from the firearm, the police agency shall submit the firearm to the department of state police or a forensic laboratory for serial number restoration to determine legal ownership. In making the determination of ownership required under this subsection, the police agency shall review information contained in the law enforcement information network and examine that police agency's stolen property reports. If the police agency determines the firearm is stolen, the police agency shall notify the agency reporting the firearm as stolen and return the firearm to that agency at the conclusion of the criminal case. The agency receiving the firearm shall notify the legal owner and provide for disposition of the firearm in compliance with subsections (3) and (4).

(2) If the owner is not alleged to have been involved in the violation for which forfeiture is required or did not knowingly allow the firearm to be possessed illegally, notification shall be given at the conclusion of the criminal case but not later than 90 days before the firearm is disposed of under section 239. Notification under this subsection may be given by certified mail sent to the owner's last known address, or by personal contact with the owner.

(3) The police agency shall return a firearm to its owner if the owner claims the firearm within the notification period and that police agency determines that the owner was not involved in the violation for which the firearm was seized. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2), a firearm shall be returned under this subsection within 30 days after the firearm is claimed by the owner unless the owner is prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law.

(4) An individual claiming ownership of a firearm may petition the circuit court for return of a firearm under this section if return of the firearm is denied by the police agency or if the firearm is not returned within 30 days as required under subsection (3). The police agency shall not dispose of a firearm until the expiration of the 30-day period or, if a petition is filed under this subsection, until permitted to do so by the court.

(5) A police agency shall turn confiscated weapons over to the department of state police under section 239 not more than 1 year after final conclusion of the criminal case and expiration of the appeal period. The police agency shall first make a reasonable effort to contact the owner of the firearm to determine whether a demand for the firearm is forthcoming.

(6) A police agency that seizes a firearm for forfeiture under this act shall exercise reasonable care to protect the firearm from loss or damage while the firearm is in its custody.

(7) As used in this section, "police agency" means 1 or more of the following:
(a) The department of state police.
(b) A county sheriff's department.
(c) A police department or public safety department of a local unit of government.
(d) A police department or public safety department of a college or university.
History: Add. 1996, Act 496, Eff. Mar. 31, 1997.

- Carl
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