View Full Version : Transferring a dead man's hand gun

06-01-2012, 2:38 PM
A friend of mine had his father pass away back in 2003.

He's been a wreck for years, he really loved his dad. Well, he's finally put himself back together and started sorting out his dad's storage room, and of course, finds firearms.

Some of them ancient Japanese rifles, some of them handguns. No paperwork, and he believes his dad got them back in the 70s and 80s, before they started keeping track of these things, so some of them are 2nd hand person to person and never registered.

I was interested in some of his dad's handguns, but his dad's gone and there's no paper trail for these things.

What is the procedure for registering these things with the state so that someone can take ownership of them?

Also, what is the time table? Especially if his dad died almost 10 years ago now...does he have to surrender them if he's past whatever deadline there is?

I've been searching, but I can't find a clear answer for California law.

06-01-2012, 2:46 PM
Not a lawyer. Unless there are guns defined as AWs; there's no need to surrender them. If the son is the father's sole heir, the guns are his. He needs file no paperwork on the long guns. Handguns get registered to him via the oplaw form. The son is then free to sell or transfer through a dealer, any handgun or rifle less than 50 years old. Long guns over 50 years old may be transferred without involving a dealer until a new law takes effect 1/1/2014.


06-01-2012, 3:35 PM
The same thing happened with a fellow calgunner. I bought his Colt Mustang. Went through the DROS with no questions asked. His were also bought back in the 80s.

06-01-2012, 3:45 PM
Did he do an interfamilial firearms owner registration then DROS, or did he just straight up DROS it?

06-01-2012, 4:24 PM
It's probably fine for the heir to take it to a dealer and DROS it to a friend or buyer.
The technically correct route is do the oplaw, wait for reply, then do the DROS to transfer.

IMO -- DOJ doesn't care as long as it gets registered.

The second party should not take possession directly of any HG or less than 50 year old long gun as that's an illegal transfer. Only the heir may take direct possession.

To the OP -- the time that's passed since the father's passing is no big deal; and long as the correct path gets followed.

Again -- not a lawyer here.

06-01-2012, 4:30 PM
Again, for PPT, ownership by the seller is not checked.

For long guns, they're not registered at all, unless VOLREG'd (or RAW), and handuns are registered if 1) run through DROS, 2) documented via the OPLAW form for inheritance or intrafamilial transfer, or 3) registered by a Personal Handgun importer. Lots of handguns have done none of those 3 since 1991.