Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Transfer of Possession of Fireamrs

    This question has probably been asked and answered on this forum thousands of times and I apologize if this is a repeater. Please bear with me.
    My father is currently in hospice care at home and is expected to pass away (cancer) in the next couple of weeks. I was visiting him and my mother today at home. Toward the end of my visit my mother pulls me aside and says, I want you to take his guns with you. He only has two pistols. My mother isnt pro-gun or anti-gun. She just thought that since Dad is going to pass away I should take the guns. So I did. It is impossible for my Dad to travel to a gun store to transfer the firearms to me. My questions are, do I need to go to an FFL to transfer these firearms from my father to myself? Or can I just keep them without doing anything? I am not a prohibited person under state or federal law and neither is my Dad. I am not a lawyer but I know the PA UFA pretty well. I'm thinking the answer to my questions are NO and YES respectively. If a lawyer on this forum could verify my conclusions I will greatly appreciate it. If I'm wrong I'm more than willing to go to an FFL and have the firearms transferred to me. And just to reiterate, it would impossible for my father to go to an FFL with me to execute the transfer. Again, I apologize, because I know this topic has probably been covered in the past on this forum. Please let me know if my conclusions are correct or not. Thank you again, for bearing with me on this, I'm going through a difficult right now. Bob

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Transfer of Possession of Fireamrs

    On the surface it seems fine from what I understand of Pa law. The only gray area might be if he did not give his guns to you but your mom did. I don’t know for sure if this matters but wanted to put it out there. I am sure others who know more will chime in.

    Some reading you might want to do.

    https://www.pennlago.com/inheriting-...nsylvania-law/

    Inheriting Firearms and Pennsylvania Law
    By MICHAEL ANTONIO GIARAMITA JR., ESQ. GIARAMITA LAW OFFICES, P.C.

    So you’ve suffered the loss of a loved one. So many memories. Some may even include bonding over firearms. Regardless, inheriting a loved one’s firearm can serve as a special way of remembering them.



    Recently, during one of our media appearances, a talk show host asked about inheritance of firearms, and the rules that may apply.

    First we talked about the common myth when it comes to “registration.” I have had prosecutors ask me if my client’s firearm was “registered.” The fact is, however, that there is no such thing as firearm registration in Pennsylvania. The only “registration” that takes place at the federal level deals with items subject to the National Firearms Act (for example, fully automatic weapons, short-barreled rifles, and short-barreled shotguns).

    In fact, Pennsylvania law makes it illegal for the government to form a registry 18 Pa.C.S. § 6111.4. Whether they use transfer records as a registry is for a different discussion, as we discussed in our post https://www.pennlago.com/pennsylvani...ations-on-use/.

    Next, we examined Pennsylvania law when it comes to the transfer of modern handguns. Typically, sales or transfers of modern handguns between private individuals must take place in “the place of business of a licensed importer, manufacturer, dealer or county sheriff’s office . . . .” 18 Pa.C.S. § 6111. Essentially, these transfers must take place through your Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) or through the Sheriff’s Office. In facilitating the transfer, the FFL or Sheriff will take the same precautions required of a dealer when selling to an individual. So, yes, the person receiving the firearm will submit to a background check (so much for that “gun show loophole”, right?).

    This requirement does not apply to transfers between spouses, transfers between a parent and child or to transfers between grandparent and grandchild. Id. Transfers between folks in these relationships can take place without any record required or background check provided that the transferring person does not knowingly transfer the weapon to a prohibited person. Again, this doesn’t necessarily serve as ammunition for the “gun show loophole” folks, because it doesn’t seem to make much sense to meet Grandpa at the gun show to complete a transfer.

    Finally, we talked about laws in the specific context of an estate.

    A person who called into the show decided to comment about this conversation on social media.

    That person said:

    “Gotta love when US Law Shield gives incorrect legal advice on the air…they just said that in an estate context, in PA, a handgun could be transferred to a family member to whom it was willed without going through an FFL. While correct federally, there is no state exception…That being said, I didn’t call them out on it and make them look like an idiot on air…see, I can be nice…after all, it is their legal malpractice that is on the line, not mine…caveat emptor”



    Now let’s myth-bust that person’s social media post.

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————-

    And

    https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs...n=11&subsctn=0

    Are you the actual buyer of the firearm(s), as defined under 18 Pa.C.S. § 6102 (relating to definitions), listed on this application/record of sale? Warning: You are not the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person, unless you are legitimately acquiring the firearm as a gift for any of the following individuals who are legally eligible to own a firearm:
    (1) spouse;
    (2) parent;
    (3) child;
    (4) grandparent; or
    (5) grandchild.
    Proof Armed citizens make a difference. http://forum.pafoa.org/showthread.php?t=316012

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Transfer of Possession of Fireamrs

    Are you the actual buyer of the firearm(s), as defined under 18 Pa.C.S. § 6102 (relating to definitions), listed on this application/record of sale? Warning: You are not the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person, unless you are legitimately acquiring the firearm as a gift for any of the following individuals who are legally eligible to own a firearm:
    (1) spouse;
    (2) parent;
    (3) child;

    You are number 3.

    Its a gift from parent to child.
    If its possible, you might be able to have it added to the will if that eases things for you.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Transfer of Possession of Fireamrs

    This is probably THE most straightforward "dilemma" I've seen posted here to date.

    Instead of "Hi, my step mother's 3rd cousin died and each of the boyfriend's ex-wives on my father's side took pistols, and want to give them to kids down at the orphanage - is this legal?"
    In this case, we have a parent-to-child gifting of firearms - about as direct (and legal) as it gets.

    I would also agree with the above in regards to the possible "grey area" of the father not being the one to gift them, but it's not like "gifting" requires documentation, so how would it ever realistically be an issue?
    It's one thing when people come here trying to sneak around the system, but all I see here is "parent to child" - done.


    Also, if you wish to have the handguns in your name "on paper", I've read many posts here saying that you can take them to an FFL and do just that - transfer them to yourself. Honestly, I never paid close attention to how you request something like that, so someone else would need to clarify/verify if that's indeed possible.
    The only real world reason I can think of for doing such a thing is in the event that the police "run the numbers" on your handgun and the record of sale doesn't match your name, then things can get complicated. It SHOULDN'T be complicated, but it COULD.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Transfer of Possession of Fireamrs

    Quote Originally Posted by Emptymag View Post
    This is probably THE most straightforward "dilemma" I've seen posted here to date.

    Instead of "Hi, my step mother's 3rd cousin died and each of the boyfriend's ex-wives on my father's side took pistols, and want to give them to kids down at the orphanage - is this legal?"
    In this case, we have a parent-to-child gifting of firearms - about as direct (and legal) as it gets.

    I would also agree with the above in regards to the possible "grey area" of the father not being the one to gift them, but it's not like "gifting" requires documentation, so how would it ever realistically be an issue?
    It's one thing when people come here trying to sneak around the system, but all I see here is "parent to child" - done.


    Also, if you wish to have the handguns in your name "on paper", I've read many posts here saying that you can take them to an FFL and do just that - transfer them to yourself. Honestly, I never paid close attention to how you request something like that, so someone else would need to clarify/verify if that's indeed possible.
    The only real world reason I can think of for doing such a thing is in the event that the police "run the numbers" on your handgun and the record of sale doesn't match your name, then things can get complicated. It SHOULDN'T be complicated, but it COULD.
    Thanks for your reply. My father and I have the same name. I'm junior of course. And my father is not well physically and/or mentally. Therefore, my mother is making all the decisions at this point. If I'm required by law to transfer the firearms into my name by an FFL I will do so. If I'm not required by law to do then I won't. My question is, what does the law require?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Transfer of Possession of Fireamrs

    Quote Originally Posted by icp4life162005 View Post
    Are you the actual buyer of the firearm(s), as defined under 18 Pa.C.S. § 6102 (relating to definitions), listed on this application/record of sale? Warning: You are not the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person, unless you are legitimately acquiring the firearm as a gift for any of the following individuals who are legally eligible to own a firearm:
    (1) spouse;
    (2) parent;
    (3) child;

    You are number 3.

    Its a gift from parent to child.
    If its possible, you might be able to have it added to the will if that eases things for you.
    My father doesnt have a will and is incapable of writing a will at this point. My mother is making all the decisions at this point. She asked me to take to the guns today and I did.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Transfer of Possession of Fireamrs

    Quote Originally Posted by bob2055 View Post
    Thanks for your reply. My father and I have the same name. I'm junior of course. And my father is not well physically and/or mentally. Therefore, my mother is making all the decisions at this point. If I'm required by law to transfer the firearms into my name by an FFL I will do so. If I'm not required by law to do then I won't. My question is, what does the law require?
    You are not required to transfer a legally gifted firearm.

    Legal gifting can be:
    Parent to child
    Child to parent
    Grandparent to grandchild
    Grandchild to grandparent

    Sibling to sibling is NOT a legal transfer without an FFL transfer.

    If your father gave you the handguns, there is nothing more you need to do.

    As I mentioned, the only thing that could become an issue is if say you were carrying one, or simply taking one to the range, and for whatever reason, the police run the numbers to see if it matches up with you, you may lose it until it gets straightened up.
    There are no guarantees when it comes to police interactions - one may say "Oh, no problem, I see you have the same name" and he's smart enough to know that it's likely that you are telling the truth that your father gave the gun to you.
    OR you could have it confiscated since it doesn't "come back to you" when they run the numbers.
    There's NO registration in PA, so not all guns "match" every owner - when they run the numbers that are checking the record of SALES database, so in your case, it would still show your father's name as the person who purchased it.

    It's not a LEGAL requirement to "transfer it to yourself" (and I would never do it in a case like yours), but it's more a "cover your ass" type of thing that some people do.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Transfer of Possession of Fireamrs

    Don't make the situation more than it is. It is perfectly lawful for your mother to give you Dad's guns.

    In the past I have purchased three handguns to give to my wife. Each transaction, (two different) FFLs knew I was buying for my wife and said nothing.

    If I pass first, my wife will be giving my guns to our sons.

    You are a Junior. Any officer running the gun is going to see the same names. It would take an absolute idiot to view the obviously familiar link as a reason to hold the gun.
    Last edited by Bang; August 25th, 2019 at 01:41 AM.
    Legislating to prevent people's acts is fantasy

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Transfer of Possession of Fireamrs

    Quote Originally Posted by Bang View Post
    Don't make the situation more than it is. It is perfectly lawful for your mother to give you Dad's guns.

    In the past I have purchased three handguns to give to my wife. Each transaction, (two different) FFLs knew I was buying for my wife and said nothing.

    If I pass first, my wife will be giving my guns to our sons.

    You are a Junior. Any officer running the gun is going to see the same names. It would take an absolute idiot to view the obviously familiar link as a reason to hold the gun.
    I agree. However, I live in the State of Philadelphia, ( I mean City of Philadelphia) and the Philly PD is always looking for the slightest excuse to take a gun and tell you to tell it to a judge to get it back. I had to get my brother in law (Philly PD Homicide Detective) involved to expedite my License to Carry Firearms Application when they unlawfully dragged their feet during the application process. But thats another story for another time.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Transfer of Possession of Fireamrs

    Federal law requires the use of an FFL for interstate transfers (among other things); if you live in the same state as your father, that's not an issue.
    Attorney Phil Kline, AKA gunlawyer001@gmail.com
    Free seminar 7/18/19 in Quakertown: https://www.senatormensch.com/concealed-carry-seminar/

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