lay one's hands on
1. To seize in order to punish or treat roughly.
If I ever lay my hands on that boy he'll be sorry.
Compare: LAY A FINGER ON.
2. To get possession of.
He was unable to lay his hands on a Model T Ford for the school play.
Compare: LAY HANDS ON (1).
To find; locate.
He keeps a file of letters so he can lay his hands on one whenever he needs it.