Bequeathing And Inheriting Guns: What to Do With Firearms

Find the most search question,” what to do with a gun when the owner dies?” in the article below with all the details included.

Following a Death Create a smooth transition plan because it can be difficult. The beneficiaries listed in your Will or Trust receive your assets upon your death, correct? Yes, except for guns. Then perhaps not. The inheritance of firearms becomes more difficult. Where you live, what kinds of guns you own, and who would inherit determine whether your wishes can be carried out. So, what to do with a gun when the owner dies?

Whether you are alive or dead, the laws and procedures for transferring ownership of your firearms vary based on the type of firearm and the state in which the decedent last resided.

Guns generally fall into two categories from a legal standpoint. The National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) and its revised version, Title II of the Gun Control Act of 1968, apply to certain firearms and accessories. Short-barreled rifles, short-barreled shotguns, and silencers are all examples of these. They must be registered with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and have serial numbers.

NFA weapons that haven’t been registered are illegal. They cannot be registered after the fact or passed on to an heir. The local ATF office must be contacted by the estate’s executor to arrange for the unregistered NFA firearms to be “abandoned,” or handed over to law enforcement.

Revolvers, hunting rifles, shotguns, and semi-automatic pistols that are purchased for personal or household protection are among the firearms that are not covered by the NFA.

The best way to transfer firearms that are not covered by the NFA and licensed NFA weapons is through a Federal Firearm License (FFL)-a holding organization like a licensed gun dealer. The FFL will hold onto the firearms while carrying out the background check after assisting the executor and the heir with the necessary paperwork. After passing the background check, the heir has 10 working days to pick up the guns. Online directories like and can help you locate local FFLs.

Gun trusts

They are a way to avoid the above-mentioned transfer procedure. The Trust is a legal entity you set up that owns your firearms. You can name multiple trustees, each of whom will have equal authority over the Trust’s firearms.

The firearms do not need to go through probate because the Trust remains in effect after your death and does not involve an estate executor.

The purpose of trusts is not to circumvent the law. However, some gun owners believe that establishing a trust could assist in circumventing any upcoming regulations that would prohibit the transfer or inheritance of particular weapons.

A Gun Trust can be designed to last for multiple generations and must take into account federal and state gun laws, in contrast to a straightforward Revocable Living Trust, which typically ends when your assets are distributed upon your death. Working with an attorney who is well-versed in the laws governing the use, possession, and transfer of firearms in your state is essential when establishing a Gun Trust. You wouldn’t, for instance, want to name a trustee who isn’t allowed by law to have the guns.

People who want to share the use of their weapons with others throughout their lifetime will benefit from Gun Trusts. However, some of the advantages of a Gun Trust for inheritance purposes have been eliminated by recent ATF regulations. Before establishing a Trust, carefully consider its advantages and disadvantages; if you don’t do your research and/or get a second opinion, you won’t be able to avoid being taken in by aggressive lawyer sales pitches. This is the answer to what to do with a gun when the owner dies.

Crossing State Lines

Let’s say you leave your daughter, who lives in a different state, a collection of non-NFA firearms in your will. She can pick them up and drive them home across state lines in violation of federal law. However, she must adhere to the registration and transportation of firearms laws of either her state (or city) and yours. She will need to obtain a firearms permit, for instance, if her state so mandates.

Since there are transportation procedures that must be adhered to regardless of where she is driving, it wouldn’t hurt to research this beforehand and inform her of the rules.

However, keep in mind that laws are constantly changing, and this is sound advice for any gun transaction. Do your homework and stay up to date, but if you have any questions, talk to a gun-law attorney. The last thing you want is for someone you care about to be ticketed for transporting firearms and pulled over for a routine traffic stop.

Prohibited individuals

Certain individuals are prohibited from owning firearms by federal and state regulations. If a person is a “prohibited person” as defined by the ATF or falls into certain additional categories that may be specified in the laws of your state, they will not be able to take possession of the firearms that you have bequeathed to them. However, anyone you choose to bequeath firearms to will not be able to do so.

Under federal law, people who use drugs illegally, people who have been convicted of serious crimes or domestic violence misdemeanors, people who are deemed “mentally defective,” and others are all prohibited. Additional restrictions are imposed by state laws.

People may not be allowed to own guns if they have a history of specific felonies, violent misdemeanors, or mental conditions. Alcoholics aren’t allowed to own guns in some states. Age requirements differ as well; For instance, California prohibits minors (those under the age of 18) from owning firearms. Consult a lawyer who is familiar with your state’s gun laws and rights if you are unsure. So this can be done for what to do with a gun when the owner dies?


If you have no interest in owning any of the firearms that were passed down to you and the firearms have a lot of value, you can sell them to a licensed dealer, like the one we mentioned earlier, to help transfer ownership. You can give them to your local police department if you don’t care about the money and just want to get rid of them and make sure they don’t go back into the hands of anyone else.

Before driving down there with a bag of weapons, you should contact the station to determine the proper procedure, even though the rules for this vary depending on where you live. Take a wild guess as to what you should do if you are concerned that you could get in trouble for even possessing or moving the guns. Yes, consult an attorney first.

How to become a master at talking to strangers

In this article, have we mentioned enough times to “check with a lawyer?”This is because using guns is a good idea in all but the most basic of situations.

This is what to do with a gun when the owner dies. As firearms should be handled upon a deceased person’s death when they are bequeathed or inherited.


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