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  #1 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2010, 09:09 AM
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Question How do I sell my deceased father's handgun?

I am a Pennsylvania resident, as was my father. I have his .357 Magnum that I would like to sell but I am not a registered gun owner. Do I have to first apply to be a registered owner in order to sell this gun? I don't have any receipts for this gun or a registration card. (I honestly don't know if they come with a registration card or not but if they do, I don't have one.) Does anyone know if this gun can be sold with just a death certificate of the registered owner? Thank you for any assistance you can give.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 09:20 AM
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Default Re: How do I sell my deceased father's handgun?

If the gun belonged to your father, and you inherited it, it's yours. As there is no registration for guns or their owners in PA, you can do what you wish with the gun. I would implore you, however, to keep it; many times, a gun has more than just a fiscal value. If your father left you this gun, he may have wanted you to keep it as a family heirloom. It would be a shame for you to part with it, unless you were in dire financial need. Others will be along shortly to give you the 'legalese' version of the answer you want.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 09:21 AM
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Default Re: How do I sell my deceased father's handgun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CLPatino View Post
I am a Pennsylvania resident, as was my father. I have his .357 Magnum that I would like to sell but I am not a registered gun owner. Do I have to first apply to be a registered owner in order to sell this gun? I don't have any receipts for this gun or a registration card. (I honestly don't know if they come with a registration card or not but if they do, I don't have one.) Does anyone know if this gun can be sold with just a death certificate of the registered owner? Thank you for any assistance you can give.
Are you acting as the executor of the estate performing a liquidation or are you the beneficiary of the handgun by will or intestate succession?

It will be necessary to use an FFL in the buyer's state to effect the transfer unless you own the gun from the estate and sell it to your spouse or lineage within 2 generations.
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Last edited by tl_3237; May 30th, 2010 at 09:29 AM.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 09:27 AM
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Default Re: How do I sell my deceased father's handgun?

There is no gun registration in PA. Nor do you need to be registered to own a gun.

If you must sell it (i would keep it if my dad left it to me) you can sell it to anyone not prohibited but you must go through a gun shop (FFL holder) to complete the transfer to the new owner.

If it were a long gun, you could do a face to face sale (no gun shop required). But in PA, handguns must go through an FFL.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 09:28 AM
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Default Re: How do I sell my deceased father's handgun?

You have been given good advice so far, and will doubtless receive more with appropriate citations to the PA Uniform Firearms Act. THe usual debate about the illegal database of purchase information (which is maintained by the PA State Police) aside, there is no 'registration' of guns or gun owners in Pennsylvania.

You may sell a handgun to another individual privately, or you may sell it to a dealer. In either case the transfer of ownership of a handgun must be completed by the holder of a Federal Firearms License (FFL) - in other words, a dealer. All will complete the transfer paperwork and facilitate the background check for the purchaser (PICS) for a fee- normally between $25-50.

The purchaser must not be a person prohibited from ownership of a firearm, as will be verified by the instant background check system.

A firearm can be gifted or otherwise transferred to a spouse, child, or grandchild without requiring the process described above.

Please feel free to continue the thread until your questions are adequately answered.

Welcome, and good luck.
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Last edited by PA Traveler; May 30th, 2010 at 09:30 AM.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: How do I sell my deceased father's handgun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CLPatino View Post
I am a Pennsylvania resident, as was my father. I have his .357 Magnum that I would like to sell but I am not a registered gun owner. Do I have to first apply to be a registered owner in order to sell this gun? I don't have any receipts for this gun or a registration card. (I honestly don't know if they come with a registration card or not but if they do, I don't have one.) Does anyone know if this gun can be sold with just a death certificate of the registered owner? Thank you for any assistance you can give.
No need for any of that stuff. As the heir (I'm assuming you are such), you are the legal owner, therefore you need no special proof of ownership. Under Pa. law, firearms pass to immidiate family members with no record-of-sale/registration requirment.

As for selling said arms, anytime one sells any firearms, one should get/give a bill of sale. If a handgun, one MUST (Unless it's immidiate family) go through a FFL and compleat a Pa. form SP 4-113 Application/Record-of-sale. This takes about 15 minutes or so to do and the dealer usually charges some sort of fee ranging from $20.00-$40.00 on an average for their time and costs.

If you sell the weapon directly to a licensed FFL (Federal Firearms License) dealer there is no need to do the SP 4-113. The dealer must enter the firearm in their bound acquistion/disposition book and log it out accordingly to whomever they sell it to.

In any case, regardless of who you sell it to, be sure you get/give a bill of sale showing the type of weapon and the specific serial number of said arm. This will cover your backside should any questions, however unlikely, arise.

I hope this helps and my sympathies oin the loss of your father.

PS what type of .357 is it?
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Old May 30th, 2010, 10:17 AM
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Default Re: How do I sell my deceased father's handgun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsGuards View Post
anytime one sells any firearms, one should get/give a bill of sale. If a handgun, one MUST (Unless it's immidiate family) go through a FFL and compleat a Pa. form SP 4-113 Application/Record-of-sale.
Per 6111(c), a transfer may also be completed through any county Sheriff's office.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 10:33 AM
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Default Re: How do I sell my deceased father's handgun?

Thank you all so much. It's a Colt King Cobra that's never been fired and doesn't hold any heirloom value to me. My brother and I gave the gun to my father as a Father's Day present about 10 years ago. My brother went and purchased the gun by himself, I just gave him half of the money for it. Unfortunately my brother and father both died within months of each other around the same time the gun was purchased 10 years ago and the gun has sat locked in its case for that long because I didn't know who to ask or what to do with it.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 10:42 AM
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Default Re: How do I sell my deceased father's handgun?

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Originally Posted by gnbrotz View Post
Per 6111(c), a transfer may also be completed through any county Sheriff's office.
While I understand that is the legal code. How many Sheriffs offices do this when there is an abundant amount of FFL holders that provide the service?
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Old May 30th, 2010, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: How do I sell my deceased father's handgun?

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Originally Posted by QuackXP View Post
While I understand that is the legal code. How many Sheriffs offices do this when there is an abundant amount of FFL holders that provide the service?
The statute says "shall follow the procedure set forth in this section", so it's my contention that Sheriff's are required by law to facilitate a transfer if it's requested. The fact that no one may choose to take action against a Sheriff who refuses is the choice of each tranferror, most of whom probably do not even know this is a possibility.

There is also no statutory provisions for the Sheriff to charge a fee for the transaction, though there is nothing expressly forbidding it either. It's possible that if Sheriff's actually complied with the law, it could be a cheaper (or possibly even free) route for sellers to go if they chose to. And it should be their decision, not the decision of someone bound by law to facilitate such a transaction.
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