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View Full Version : Does my in-law need a lawyer?


Curious1
12-30-2012, 9:28 AM
I was telling my inlaws (in their late 70s) about our recent visit to Front-Sight in Nevada. I then learned that they have a revolver that they had since the 60s.

Since this predates registration, I suspect that it may be unregistered. They don't want it anymore, but think of it as a family heirloom. They would like to transfer it to my wife or to another relative in Florida. I'm concerned they could open a huge box of trouble if they don't proceed carefully. I've spoken to two gun shops and got divergent responses:

Do nothing. LE won't have an issue with it - there are many such pre-registration guns and they aren't seriously going to prosecute grandma.
Do a voluntary registration. Supposedly this is $19 and takes months for DOJ to process. But once done, grandma could legally transfer the gun to us. It was pointed out that in theory DOJ could choose to not accept the registration and seek to prosecute despite the 'voluntary' disclosure since the period for registration passed and it would now be illegal to possess it. There is also the issue that a handgun from the 60s is not likely on the CA safe guns list and this could therefore be a pointless exercise that adds risk of prosecution.


Both gunshops indicated not to simply ship the gun to the relative in Florida as he won't be able to register it since Florida will not be able to identify the registration history.

Personnally, I'm thinking one of those no-questions-asked buy-backs would be best approach. But I haven't seen it and don't know the brand/value yet. Grandma seemed determined to keep it as an heirloom. I'd rather not wait until it is time to clean out their house after they pass away and find the thing. Therefore, I'd like to get this situation fixed without causing a legal problem.

:confused:

chillincody
12-30-2012, 9:33 AM
if the gun was never reported stolen then they will be fine many unregistered guns get sold each year

huntercf
12-30-2012, 9:35 AM
It doesn't have to be registered, only pistols that are sold after the registration date.

Laythor
12-30-2012, 9:35 AM
http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/FAQ#Can_I_buy.2Fsell.2Fown_an_unregistered_firearm .3F


ps. we have a very very very informative wiki :)

CSACANNONEER
12-30-2012, 9:46 AM
Where to start???

First, are your inlaws Ca residents?

If so and, if your wife is a Ca resident, they can simply hand the gun to their child, who would fill out an intrafamilair tranfer form and send it to Ca DOJ. It's that simple. Gun shops do not get involved in transfers which do not require FFL involvement so, most of them do not have a clue!

Now, if the gun is going to be shipped to another state, under federal law, it will need to be transfered through a FFL in that state. Guns in Florida are not registered and the shops you went to are IDIOTS to imply otherwise.

Of course, if grandma wants to keep it, it is legally her's to keep. No law requires her to register it at all. She is already 100% legal and can't be prosecuted for the non existant laws that some gun shop appears to be making up.

Finally, a buy back is the STUPIDEST thing to do. Why destroy a perfectly good tool? Why not sell it for a lot more money?

In the end, the gun is already 100% legal but, you seem to think there has to be more to it. There isn't. Since it is a family heirloom, I really think that they should give it to your wife or another relative and you should just stay out of it. The idea of destroying a family heirloom for a $50-$100 gift card shows me that you should never be in a position where you can make any decisions about this gun.

BTW, Welcome to CGN!

tileguy
12-30-2012, 3:55 PM
well said CSA

G-forceJunkie
12-30-2012, 4:11 PM
If by inlaws you mean the parents of you wife, and if your wife and the inlaws are california residents, they can just give the pistol to your wife. Transfers from parent to child are legal without going through a FFL. The parents do not need to volreg it first. Your wife then fills out a form and mails in $19 and everything is legal. You cannot mail it to Florida unless it goes to a gun dealer.

Ron-Solo
12-30-2012, 5:12 PM
And a VolReg is taking about 5 weeks right now. I just did two.

Curious1
12-30-2012, 6:03 PM
Where to start???

...they can simply hand the gun to their child, who would fill out an intrafamilair tranfer form and send it to Ca DOJ. It's that simple.
...
Of course, if grandma wants to keep it, it is legally her's to keep. No law requires her to register it at all. She is already 100% legal and can't be prosecuted for the non existant laws that some gun shop appears to be making up.
...
In the end, the gun is already 100% legal but, ...

BTW, Welcome to CGN!

Your post is very helpful (the quote trims down to the useful material). We are not all gun lawyers and there is a lot of misinformation out there, largely thanks to media and as you mentioned incorrect guidance from gunshops. How is checking with two gun dealers and double checking through this website acting irresponsibly? The buy-back approach was based on the previous information that indicated significant potential problems. With the correct information having been now obtained, I believe a different course is appropriate. I did not intend to hit an apparently sore topic regarding buy-back programs. I fully concur that these are a waste of a good gun provided the gun is legal, which was my concern.

Thank you,

Zedrek
12-30-2012, 6:16 PM
Until you attempt to insult, your post is very helpful (the quote trims down to the useful material). We are not all gun lawyers and there is a lot of misinformation out there, largely thanks to media and as you mentioned incorrect guidance from gunshops. How is checking with two gun dealers and double checking through this website acting irresponsibly? The buy-back approach was based on the previous information that indicated significant potential problems. With the correct information having been now obtained, I believe a different course is appropriate. I did not intend to hit an apparently sore topic regarding buy-back programs. I fully concur that these are a waste of a good gun provided the gun is legal, which was my concern.

Thank you,

I don't believe he meant it as an insult. The gun buybacks are a sore subject around these parts. They destroy history that you can never get back.

Curious1
12-30-2012, 6:23 PM
I imagine you are right. I have revised the post to not balk at that aspect.

Thank you to all who have provided useful information on this question. I am now greatly relieved to hear that it is not a significant problem and can be relatively easily processed.

1savage99
12-30-2012, 6:38 PM
Curious1,

You don't go to a car dealer or the DMV for advice on car laws, so why would you go to a gun dealer's minimum wage salesman, who is trying to sell you a gun, for advice on a gun he is never going to make a dime on?

As to the insult I think your being overly sensitive. I've re-read CSACANNONER's post five times and miss the insults. Honestly, I read you post and thought you were just a antigun troll trying getting a cal gunner to tell you to break the law, so your lucky to get some one as knowledgeable as CSACANNONER to even reply.

When being so lucky as to get excellent legal advice for free, say thank you, and keep caddy middle school girl comment's to yourself. Don't ask for advice on the laws and add irrelevant facts if you don't want opinions shared on the irrelevant facts.

Predaxian
12-30-2012, 6:46 PM
As to the insult I think your being overly sensitive.

<snip>

When being so lucky as to get excellent legal advice for free, say thank you, and keep caddy middle school girl comment's to yourself.

Pot, meet kettle.



Sent from my Galaxy S3 using Tapatalk

dwtt
12-30-2012, 11:03 PM
Post a picture of this revolver, it's history, and how much your wife might want to sell it for once she gets it. All your problems will go away after you sell it to one of us.
Well, someone had to say it. ;)

Curious1
01-01-2013, 2:46 PM
I haven't seen it yet so I don't know if it has any significant value. Once I know the make, model and can assess the condition, I will be better able to assess.

All I know at this point is that it supposedly is a 22 revolver from the 60s.

We already have a MkIII for target practice and don't like the idea of anything smaller than a 380 for defense. So the relative in Florida would probably get the most benefit from it. Though transferring it to my wife would be easiest. But with grandma's view of it as an heirloom, we wouldn't be in a position to sell it. :(

At least thanks to the info you guys have provided, we can let her know the options.

Thanks!

Curious1
01-01-2013, 2:48 PM
http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/FAQ#Can_I_buy.2Fsell.2Fown_an_unregistered_firearm .3F


ps. we have a very very very informative wiki :)

That is very informative! Thanks!!!:)

CaliforniaLiberal
01-02-2013, 2:06 AM
I was telling my inlaws (in their late 70s) about our recent visit to Front-Sight in Nevada. I then learned that they have a revolver that they had since the 60s.

Since this predates registration, I suspect that it may be unregistered. They don't want it anymore, but think of it as a family heirloom. They would like to transfer it to my wife or to another relative in Florida. I'm concerned they could open a huge box of trouble if they don't proceed carefully. I've spoken to two gun shops and got divergent responses:

Do nothing. LE won't have an issue with it - there are many such pre-registration guns and they aren't seriously going to prosecute grandma.
Do a voluntary registration. Supposedly this is $19 and takes months for DOJ to process. But once done, grandma could legally transfer the gun to us. It was pointed out that in theory DOJ could choose to not accept the registration and seek to prosecute despite the 'voluntary' disclosure since the period for registration passed and it would now be illegal to possess it. There is also the issue that a handgun from the 60s is not likely on the CA safe guns list and this could therefore be a pointless exercise that adds risk of prosecution.


Both gunshops indicated not to simply ship the gun to the relative in Florida as he won't be able to register it since Florida will not be able to identify the registration history.

Personnally, I'm thinking one of those no-questions-asked buy-backs would be best approach. But I haven't seen it and don't know the brand/value yet. Grandma seemed determined to keep it as an heirloom. I'd rather not wait until it is time to clean out their house after they pass away and find the thing. Therefore, I'd like to get this situation fixed without causing a legal problem.

:confused:


You have no legal problem.

Generally, gun shops are very poor sources of information on California Gun Law. Often gun shop employees are deeply ignorant, yet confident in their false knowledge.

There is no requirement that all guns be registered in California. All sales of guns are recorded by the FFL/Dealer performing the sale, but there is no requirement that you be able to show proof of "Registration."

People who owned guns when the laws were passed have no need to "Register" them. You can do so voluntarily with the State form but there is no reason you should. The "Safe Guns List" only applies to guns offered for sale by a FFL. It has no effect on guns already owned.

Not only are they not going to "seriously persecute grandma" there are no legal grounds to do so.


From the CA DOJ website:

http://oag.ca.gov/firearms/pubfaqs


# 26 - How do I know if my firearms need to be registered?

There is no firearm registration requirement in California except for assault weapon owners and personal handgun importers. However, you may submit a Firearm Ownership Record to the DOJ for any firearm you own. Having a Firearm Ownership Record on file with the DOJ may help in the return of your firearm if it is lost or stolen. With very few and specific exceptions, all firearm transactions must be conducted through a firearms dealer.


It would be a sin to get rid of the gun at a "Buyback."

You can ship the gun to a Florida FFL who will complete the transfer to your relative. There is no need for proof of registration.


http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/Main_Page

http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/Transferring_firearms_Interstate


I believe that many (most?) get their information about firearms and gun laws from Television and Hollywood Movies. Very Bad Sources.

rromeo
01-02-2013, 4:53 AM
I was telling my inlaws (in their late 70s) about our recent visit to Front-Sight in Nevada. I then learned that they have a revolver that they had since the 60s.

Since this predates registration, I suspect that it may be unregistered.
If they bought it new in California, it was registered to them. The paperwork with all of their information may have never been seen by any person still living today, but the state has a record of it.

CSACANNONEER
01-02-2013, 6:02 AM
If they bought it new in California, it was registered to them. The paperwork with all of their information may have never been seen by any person still living today, but the state has a record of it.

Only if it was purchased through a dealer. Not that long ago (until 1-1-91????) it was legal to buy a handgun in CA from a private party and not go through a FFL.

rromeo
01-02-2013, 6:12 AM
Only if it was purchased through a dealer. Not that long ago (until 1-1-91????) it was legal to buy a handgun in CA from a private party and not go through a FFL.
That's why I said new, which I suppose could have made clear by saying from a dealer.

Cpt
01-02-2013, 6:18 AM
As a heads up make sure you have your Handgun Safety Certificate. Normally it's more of an issue with the DOJ if there are red flags on the gun, e.g. stolen tags. Given that the gun maybe unregistered no one knows where it's resided for the last few decades so should go through as an intrafamilial transfer. From my experience earlier this year it takes about 3-4 weeks to get a response letter from the DOJ, even though they say it will take 8-12 wks. Good luck.

trevorlc
01-02-2013, 7:14 AM
Where to start???

First, are your inlaws Ca residents?

If so and, if your wife is a Ca resident, they can simply hand the gun to their child, who would fill out an intrafamilair tranfer form and send it to Ca DOJ. It's that simple. Gun shops do not get involved in transfers which do not require FFL involvement so, most of them do not have a clue!

Now, if the gun is going to be shipped to another state, under federal law, it will need to be transfered through a FFL in that state. Guns in Florida are not registered and the shops you went to are IDIOTS to imply otherwise.

Of course, if grandma wants to keep it, it is legally her's to keep. No law requires her to register it at all. She is already 100% legal and can't be prosecuted for the non existant laws that some gun shop appears to be making up.

Finally, a buy back is the STUPIDEST thing to do. Why destroy a perfectly good tool? Why not sell it for a lot more money?

In the end, the gun is already 100% legal but, you seem to think there has to be more to it. There isn't. Since it is a family heirloom, I really think that they should give it to your wife or another relative and you should just stay out of it. The idea of destroying a family heirloom for a $50-$100 gift card shows me that you should never be in a position where you can make any decisions about this gun.

BTW, Welcome to CGN!

All that! Very well said and clear!