Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    East of Eden, Pennsylvania
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    Default Gun ownership / transferring ownership and registration....

    Questions regarding transfer of hand guns and more...

    My brother-in-law (BIL) or his father (now deceased) purchased two hand guns in the early to mid-eighties when they lived in NJ. I assume the guns were purchased in NJ as they were NJ residents at that time. They owned and ran an Italian Deli. Since then my BIL moved to FL and has since moved to PA. I should add that I live in PA also.

    Shortly after he moved to PA he asked if I was interested in having either of these pistols. My wife had no problem with us having a pistol in the house. I chose the Walther PPK/S. …Actually he gave it to my wife - his sister, and she gave it to me. I have had a PA license to carry since that time. I carry the Walther everywhere except the office.

    I asked my BIL about State or Federal registration of the pistol. He said he doesn't know and has no paper work.

    Is not having the pistol 'registered' an issue/problem ?
    If it is, should I get it registered, and if yes how ?
    Is there a way to check if it is registered ?
    Or should I keep it as a stay at home pistol beside the shot gun and get a new carry pistol ?

    Thanks all


    IN DOG WE TRUST
    OBEY THE YELLOW LAB

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
    (Luzerne County)
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    Default Re: Gun ownership / transferring ownership and registration....

    Well, first you need to know who purchased them, your brother-in-law or his father, since they appeared to have been bought in NJ. I'm not sure what the law is in NJ concerning the transfer of the handguns between family members.

    If this all took place in PA, the handuns could have been handed down from the father to the son (your BIL) without and problems. However, your BIL could not "give" the handguns to his sister (your wife), they must be transfered through a FFL dealer.

    Once they were transfered legally to your wife you could then carry the handgun as there is no transfered required between husband and wife in PA.

    As of now, I would not carry that handgun since it is either registered to your BIL or his deceased father. Your wife cannot claim ownership of the handgun.

    Your going to have to go to a FFL with your BIL and a copy of the death certificate of his father. I don't believe he will need a power of attorney, but you may want to call a FFL and find out. Once you and your BIL have the necessary paper work the gun can be transfered to either you or your wife. I would have transfered to you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Elkland, Pennsylvania
    (Tioga County)
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    Default Re: Gun ownership / transferring ownership and registration....

    As I understand it you recieved the pistol legally. your spouse did not. it should have gone via an FFL. Unless you do something illegal with it I don't think you will have a problem. There are plenty of pistols that the PSP have no idea about. some of mine included as they were not purchased in this state. PA doesn't have a gun registry in fact it's forbidden for them to have one. they do have a sales record. which according to the PA supreme court is not the same thing. If she says that she got it directly from her father that would have been legal presuming he was a resident of PA when he gave it to her.

    I could be wrong but I think that is the way it works.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Gun ownership / transferring ownership and registration....

    His wife was not in a position to give the handgun to her husband, as it was not hers to give.

    While the BIL did not have to "register" the handgun when he moved to PA, he would have been required to transfer the legal ownership of the handgun to his sister through a FFL. Since this did not happen, she is not the legal owner of the handgun and cannot give it to her husband.

    While the ownership of the handgun will not come into play until something happens, I would not want to take that chance. Besides having to deal with the event that lead to the discovery, you will also have lots of questions surrounding who, what, when, where and how you came into possession of the handgun.

    If the father lived in PA, he could have given it to his son. However the son cannot then give it to his sister.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    West Deer, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: Gun ownership / transferring ownership and registration....

    to cover yourself, your wife, and your BIL.

    if your deceased FIL gave the handgun to your wife before he passed, or if the BIL purchased it, then gave it to the FIL before he passed and then the FIL gave it to your wife, you would be totally legal and in the clear
    Last edited by Justin; April 19th, 2007 at 08:59 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
    (Luzerne County)
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    Default Re: Gun ownership / transferring ownership and registration....

    So, involve three people (the poster, his wife and her brother) in a lie?

    Do it the right way, get the BIL, a copy of the death certificate and head to an FFL and do it the right way.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    West Deer, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Gun ownership / transferring ownership and registration....

    it may be a lie, but only a little white one.

    i wouldnt do it myself, but i was just throwing it out there.

    besides, the registration/record of tranfer is unconstitutional anyway, but that is a topic for another thread.


    also, is the MIL still with us? you could do it that way.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    East of Eden, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Gun ownership / transferring ownership and registration....

    Interesting. Thank you for the input and advice.
    MIL passed away 9 years ago.

    Sounds like a good opportunity for me to get a new pistol to carry.

    Is there any way to verify who/where and when the pistols were purchased ?

    Thank you again


    IN DOG WE TRUST
    OBEY THE YELLOW LAB

    .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Broomall, Pennsylvania
    (Delaware County)
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    Default Re: Gun ownership / transferring ownership and registration....

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in PA View Post
    So, involve three people (the poster, his wife and her brother) in a lie?

    Do it the right way, get the BIL, a copy of the death certificate and head to an FFL and do it the right way.
    I agree with Steve make it all legal and you won't have to worry about nothing.
    And you will be able to enjoy the gun that much more.

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