County moved to scrap 102-year-old heirloom gun after owner tried to register it
By Chris Eger
Ciepiela’s gun, an Iver Johnson revolver made in 1917, had been handed down in the family for decades. The handguns were common in the era, often sold via mail order and over the counter in hardware stores long before the NICS system or Gun Control Act.
A retired Army veteran looking to comply with state law is now fighting to keep a family heirloom from getting scrapped.
The Buffalo News reports that Andrew Ciepiela, 46, recently tried to register an old Iver Johnson revolver that has been handed down through three generations. That’s when the Erie County Pistol Permit Department told him the gun, made in 1917, was last registered in the 1950s by a sexagenarian and, as a “nuisance” firearm, it could not be registered to him, clearing the way for local police to destroy it.
“I wasn’t expecting any issue. It took me by great surprise,” said Ciepiela, who saw the matter as a case of “big government stomping on the little guy.”
Fighting the issue through the courts, a local judge has heard Ciepiela’s arguments and officials now say they have no problem with the man getting the gun back and adding it to his handgun permit, provided the court agrees.