Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Inherited Firearms?

    A friend of mine just inherited some firearms from his Dad, who lives in a different state. The son lives in Utah, his Dad lived in Maine. He is looking at options for having them delivered to him in Utah. Will this require FFL dealers on both ends, since technically ownership is being transferred? Could he avoid that by traveling to Maine to take possession? What are the options? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Inherited Firearms?

    Quote Originally Posted by fritz1255 View Post
    A friend of mine just inherited some firearms from his Dad, who lives in a different state. The son lives in Utah, his Dad lived in Maine. He is looking at options for having them delivered to him in Utah. Will this require FFL dealers on both ends, since technically ownership is being transferred? Could he avoid that by traveling to Maine to take possession? What are the options? Thanks in advance!
    Interstate transfer of firearms received as part of an estate distribution is EXEMPT from the Federal requirement to use an FFL. Friend should verify that there are no state laws to the contrary. Shipping through the normal carriers like UPS and FedEx may be problematic in that their tariff requires that an FFL be, at a minimum, either the shipper or receiver. Other carriers/trucking companies may be an option but one would have to check their policies. Note: under Federal law a non-FFL to must give a common carrier written notice that the shipment contains firearms/ammo
    Last edited by tl_3237; December 3rd, 2018 at 12:34 PM.
    IANAL

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Inherited Firearms?

    Also depends if there are any handguns being inherited. If no handguns, then the executor of the estate could pack them up and use USPS to send them to the person who inherited them. More costly but easier would be for the person inheriting the firearms to drive to Maine and pick them up and transport them back to Utah. Or, find a friendly FFL in Utah who knows the laws who would accept the shipment, NOT open the package(s) and give the package(s) to the new owner (or put the firearms into his bound book and then release then to the new owner with a disposition note of the inheritance distribution).
    Ron USAF Ret E-8 FFL01/SOT3 NRA Benefactor Member

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Inherited Firearms?

    Does that handling of the firearms require that a will specifies the distribution? Or do Letters Testamentary suffice? Or does it depend on the state(s) involved?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Inherited Firearms?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bang View Post
    Does that handling of the firearms require that a will specifies the distribution? Or do Letters Testamentary suffice? Or does it depend on the state(s) involved?
    Federal law provides that firearms inherited by bequest can be sent by the executor directly to the named heir. A letter testamentary does not do this -- all a letter testamentary does is authorize the executor to act as the executor.

    In other words, John Doe's will might say that he leaves his Mossberg shotgun to his son, John Doe Jr., and he leaves his 1911 pistol to his nephew, Peter Smith. Those are specific, named bequests, and the executor can ship those specific guns to those specific people, regardless of what state those people live in. No FFL required. [Note: I don't know what applies if, for example, Peter Smith lives in California or Massachusetts and the 1911 isn't on that state's roster of approved firearms. I think the federal law still governs, but I'm not sure.)

    Intestate succession means there is no will, so distribution of the assets of a deceased person are made to whomever the law of the state in which the person lived at the time of death provides.

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and I have never stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.

    https://www.atf.gov/firearms/qa/whom...arms-under-gca

    Another exception is provided for transfers of firearms to nonresidents to carry out a lawful bequest or acquisition by intestate succession. This exception would authorize the transfer of a firearm to a nonresident who inherits a firearm under the will of a decedent.
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/922

    (5) for any person (other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector) to transfer, sell, trade, give, transport, or deliver any firearm to any person (other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector) who the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in (or if the person is a corporation or other business entity, does not maintain a place of business in) the State in which the transferor resides; except that this paragraph shall not apply to (A) the transfer, transportation, or delivery of a firearm made to carry out a bequest of a firearm to, or an acquisition by intestate succession of a firearm by, a person who is permitted to acquire or possess a firearm under the laws of the State of his residence, and (B) the loan or rental of a firearm to any person for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes;
    Last edited by Greywolf; December 16th, 2018 at 04:07 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Inherited Firearms?

    person who is permitted to acquire or possess a firearm under the laws of the State of his residence
    Sure looks like the inheritor's state or commonwealth controls stand/apply.

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