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OnTheFly
09-11-2012, 10:54 PM
Hello Calguns Members,

I am new to this board and have become an owner of various handguns. Earlier this year, my father-in-law passed away...consequently, my wife and I are inheriting his gun safe and all contents inside (handguns and shotguns).

What I would like to know from you responsible gun owners is how to properly "transfer" ownership and register these firearms in my name. My father-in-law was from the "old-school", so I am not even sure if the firearms were properly registered. As for my mother-in-law, she just wants "the damn things out of the house!"

So, please advise me on what agency I need to contact to begin proper registration. Thanks in advance for your help with this!

Regards,
Keith

MiddleKingdom
09-11-2012, 11:00 PM
I'm sorry for your family's loss. I THINK it will be easier to register them under with your wife more easily than under your name. There's a form on the DOJ site for that and your cost is $19 per gun as far as I understand. If you're concerned that some may not be registered I'm not sure how to handle that. There's great guys on Calguns that will chime in soon once they read your post. Good luck.

Librarian
09-11-2012, 11:11 PM
Middlekingdom got it.

The form is known generally as the OPLAW form, OPeration of LAW.

http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/pdfs/firearms/forms/oplaw.pdf?

Prior registration or lack of same is not an issue.

However, if the guns were distributed to MIL - that is, they were not specifically bequeathed to you or your wife - then transferring them to your wife, from her mother, is the way to go. Same form, $19 for all the handguns (1 to however many), no form or fee for long guns.

Later on, wife can transfer them specifically to you, same form and fee.

Old4eyes
09-12-2012, 12:10 AM
The only thing I would add to Librarian's excellent answer would be once you wife has the guns registered to her, do you really find it necessary to have them registered to you. She may want them in her name as something that is a remembrance of her father. My most treasured gun is a well worn Colt Huntsman that was my dad's.

In any event you and your wife have a good time at the range with those treasures and I hope they bring nothing but good memories.

Bobby Hated
09-12-2012, 5:09 AM
Middlekingdom got it.

The form is known generally as the OPLAW form, OPeration of LAW.

http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/pdfs/firearms/forms/oplaw.pdf?

Prior registration or lack of same is not an issue.

However, if the guns were distributed to MIL - that is, they were not specifically bequeathed to you or your wife - then transferring them to your wife, from her mother, is the way to go. Same form, $19 for all the handguns (1 to however many), no form or fee for long guns.

Later on, wife can transfer them specifically to you, same form and fee.

so if you dont have to register inherited long guns?

my grandfather passed away last year and i inherited a number of guns from him, most of which are long, except for his .38 service revolver from his LASD days in the 40s and 50s and an old Mauser .32 auto he acquired from a WWI vet when he was a kid.

thanks for starting the thread OP!

newbee1111
09-12-2012, 11:19 AM
Did your father-in-law have a will that specifically bequeathed the handguns to your wife? I'm not sure if there is any difference between your mother-in-law inheriting them and then gifting them to your wife or if your wife inherited them directly. That's more of an estate issue. Gun law wise both types of transfer (by inheritance or direct gift from parent to child) are pretty similar and easy. You don't need an FFL or anything like that.

In either case there are two things that your wife needs to do to get the handguns. First she needs to get a California handgun safety certificate. Second she needs to fill out the registration form that was mentioned earlier. It does not matter if the guns were previously registered or not.

There can be other issues for inheriting handguns. First you can't inherit a California "assault weapon". You can check the flowcharts on here but for handguns usually only problem is having a threaded barrel for attaching a silencer. If they are normal pistol and revolvers then this shouldn't be an issue.

You also can't legally inherit any magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds. You should disassemble or destroy them before the handguns are officially transferred.

newbee1111
09-12-2012, 11:23 AM
so if you dont have to register inherited long guns?

my grandfather passed away last year and i inherited a number of guns from him, most of which are long, except for his .38 service revolver from his LASD days in the 40s and 50s and an old Mauser .32 auto he acquired from a WWI vet when he was a kid.

thanks for starting the thread OP!

I'm not sure (look, my name says newbee) but I think long gun registration becomes mandatory in a couple of years. It's not required now. I'm inheriting some rifles and a few handguns from a friend that passed away last year. I have to register the handguns but not the rifles.

OnTheFly
09-12-2012, 11:56 AM
Thanks everyone for your guidance on this... there are a few variables and "to-do's" here (whose name to register, legal (will), forms to submit, etc.) I will report back on how everything goes. Thanks again!

Librarian
09-12-2012, 2:04 PM
I'm not sure (look, my name says newbee) but I think long gun registration becomes mandatory in a couple of years. It's not required now.

Jan 1 2014.

OnTheFly, there's another possible complication - presumably YOU are in Calfornia (you posted on a California forum), but you don't say where mother-in-law lives.

If California, no problem.

If another state, and this is a direct inheritance, no problem.

But if it will be out of state MIL to her daughter, a transfer not an inheritance, then the guns must ALL go through a CA FFL. The OPLAW form doesn't apply in that case - the function it provides is covered in the DROS the CA FFL will submit.

See also the Calguns Foundation Wiki articles on

Intrafamilial transfer - http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/Transferring_Firearms_Among_Some_Family_Members

Interstate transfer - http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/Transferring_firearms_Interstate