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  #1  
Old 01-28-2013, 7:19 PM
RyanL78 RyanL78 is offline
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Default How to legally own in-law's guns

I need answers, or direction, to some questions regarding legally owning firearms in this state (CA). I thought it could be worth it posting a thread here. But please, if you are not able to answer me, it's okay, you can forward this to someone who can help me.

I can legally own firearms in California. I am a new gun enthusiast and I love going to the range and target shooting. Right now, I'm working on a ar-15 build, and that's all I own.

My mother-in-law wants to give me her husband's 1911, SW 357 and a mini 14. There are many reasons for her to do this, I'll tell you a few. She thinks he might end up using the firearms to intimidate or even worse shoot someone, my father-in-law went bankrupt twice and there's people he blames for that. He's getting old, and she thinks he is better with no guns around him.

Now the problem. He thinks she got rid of the guns a long time ago, like 25 years ago. He does not know they are still around, well hidden from him, he thinks she sold them to a pawn shop or something like that. That's good. He's not going to do anything stupid because for him, there are no guns.

She wants me to take ownership and gave me permission to do whatever I want with them with one condition, he can't know about this. I really want to keep them and treat like heirlooms. But how can I take ownership of the guns, legally, without him knowing? This is my problem.

I did some research about this and this is what I could find :

http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/Tr...Family_Members

http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/pd...rms/oplaw.pdf?

The wiki says that long guns need no paper nor fees, so I can just own/keep the mini 14 ? Is a mini 14 considered a long gun or an assault rifle?

If I use the "Report of Operation of Law or Intra-Familial Handgun Transaction" form, my wife, who is the daughter of my father-in-law, could I own the 1911 and the revolver without his consent and knowledge?

I need to know if this is correct, if this is what is necessary to own them legally.
I need to know if there's anything else I need to do.

Please let me know if you have any questions.
I thank you in advance for your time reading this long message/request.
Thank you !!!

Ryan
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  #2  
Old 01-28-2013, 7:46 PM
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You have almost all of the pieces - should be a two-step process.

The guns could go directly to your wife. File an OPLAW form, mother to daughter, for the handguns.

If your wife wants to give them to you, should really file a second OPLAW form, her to you, for the handguns.

I can't really address the transfer of control of the guns from husband (father in law) to wife.
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Old 01-28-2013, 8:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
You have almost all of the pieces - should be a two-step process.

The guns could go directly to your wife. File an OPLAW form, mother to daughter, for the handguns.

If your wife wants to give them to you, should really file a second OPLAW form, her to you, for the handguns.

I can't really address the transfer of control of the guns from husband (father in law) to wife.
Dear Librarian,

Thank you for your reply.
But don't you mean "File an OPLAW form, father to daughter, for the handguns." ?
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  #4  
Old 01-28-2013, 8:18 PM
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Mother to daughter. The mother is giving the guns, not the father, right?
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Old 01-28-2013, 9:00 PM
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It's father to daughter.

The guns' owner is my wife's dad.

My wife's mom wants to give them to me.
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Old 01-28-2013, 9:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanL78 View Post
It's father to daughter.

The guns' owner is my wife's dad.

My wife's mom wants to give them to me.
That is why Librarian said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
I can't really address the transfer of control of the guns from husband (father in law) to wife.
A bit hard to transfer them without him knowing about it, they are his after all.
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Old 01-28-2013, 9:51 PM
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What about the questions about the ruger mini 14 ?
Is this considered a long gun or an assault rifle?
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanL78 View Post
What about the questions about the ruger mini 14 ?
Is this considered a long gun or an assault rifle?
it would depend on how it is configured.

run it through the rifle flowchart for your answer, http://www.calguns.net/caawid/flowchart.pdf
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:41 PM
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I think a good question is "are any handguns involved in this registered?"

Because if he bought them long enough ago, they may not be. If they are not, your mother in law shouldn't have any issues transferring them.

If they were registered to him, there *may* be an issue.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:56 PM
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Obviously there is confusion over identifying the current legal owner. Is the MIL the legal owner since she took possession prior to current transfer laws?
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  #11  
Old 01-28-2013, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
You have almost all of the pieces - should be a two-step process.

The guns could go directly to your wife. File an OPLAW form, mother to daughter, for the handguns.

If your wife wants to give them to you, should really file a second OPLAW form, her to you, for the handguns.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanL78 View Post
Now the problem. He thinks she got rid of the guns a long time ago, like 25 years ago. He does not know they are still around, well hidden from him, he thinks she sold them to a pawn shop or something like that. That's good. He's not going to do anything stupid because for him, there are no guns.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
I can't really address the transfer of control of the guns from husband (father in law) to wife.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NikePenguin View Post
Obviously there is confusion over identifying the current legal owner. Is the MIL the legal owner since she took possession prior to current transfer laws?
The mother-in-law took possession of the firearms 25 years ago, which is why the father-in-law thinks the firearms are already gone.

25 years ago, it was 100% CA legal for non-prohibited persons to transfer any non-prohibited* firearm without using a CA FFL dealer.

Therefore, the mother-in-law is the current legal owner of the firearms.


*At the time of transfer, prohibited firearms = DD, MG, SBR, SBS
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Last edited by Quiet; 01-28-2013 at 11:11 PM..
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  #12  
Old 01-28-2013, 11:18 PM
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Thank you everyone for sharing your knowledge.
But let me write more details about what's going on (I'm sorry for not giving out more details in the beginning).

Mother-in-law just hid the guns from him, 25 years ago when they lived in Texas.
She never transferred or anything like that. Since then, they moved here, and the guns were always kept hidden from father-in-law.

She told me that FIL is still the owner but both don't know where are any papers related to the guns.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
And the mini 14 is the ranch model, everything stock.
http://www.ruger.com/products/mini14...eets/5801.html

So, it's not an assault weapon, accordingly to the flow-chart. There is no necessity for paper or fee, right? I can just take ownership?
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanL78 View Post
So, it's not an assault weapon, accordingly to the flow-chart. There is no necessity for paper or fee, right? I can just take ownership?
Legally...
Your wife can just take ownership. (mother-in-law gives to wife)
You wife can then give it to you, if she feels like it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanL78 View Post
Mother-in-law just hid the guns from him, 25 years ago when they lived in Texas.
She never transferred or anything like that. Since then, they moved here, and the guns were always kept hidden from father-in-law.
IMO...
Mother-in-law taking them to hide and father-in-law not reporting it as a theft/loss, is a transfer.
It is 100% TX legal to transfer firearms between non-prohibited persons without using a TX FFL dealer.
Therefore, she is the current legal owner of the firearms.
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Last edited by Quiet; 01-28-2013 at 11:27 PM..
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:31 PM
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Well.. What is the worse that could happen if my wife file OPLAW in her name for all 3 guns?
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:34 PM
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And what should we write on "How Possession was Obtained:" and "Acquired From:"? Mother or father ?
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:04 AM
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Sounds like dad is out of this. He thinks they're long gone. Transfer is from Mother to Daughter. Just file the paperwork, done. Your wife will have to have an HSC card. No paperwork required on the mini-14. Just make sure it's featureless. Use the AW guide at the top of each page.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanL78 View Post
Well.. What is the worse that could happen if my wife file OPLAW in her name for all 3 guns?
Report of Operations of Law or Intra-Familial Handgun Transaction for the two handguns.
Nothing required for the rifle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanL78 View Post
And what should we write on "How Possession was Obtained:" and "Acquired From:"? Mother or father ?
How possession was obtained = gift.
Acquired from = mother.
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Last edited by Quiet; 01-29-2013 at 12:56 AM..
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Old 01-29-2013, 8:32 AM
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Hello guys,

I'm updating some of the information here after getting more details from MIL.
She told me that she hid the gun from her husband when my wife (their daughter) was in jr high, about 15 years ago, that was here in CA.

And FIL never reported them missing or stolen.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:50 AM
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I'm a corporate and real estate lawyer, not a specialist in firearms or family law, but here's my .02.

If he knew and consented to them being hidden or disposed of 15 years ago, I would be more comfortable with the transfer. It at least implies a consented transfer of the guns to her custody, in which case she would arguably have a legal right to pass them on as such.

The fact she hid them without his knowledge and he didn't report them stolen doesn't mean he has consented to anything, it merely means he hasn't noticed, or he is aware she's hiding them and doesn't care.

Were I in your position, I would either come clean and have the MIL tell the FIL what she plans to do, and get his permission and signature on those forms, or wait until he passes away, in which case either your mother or wife will likely inherit them anyway, and they can be transferred by operation of law. If your father in law becomes so irrational that she or your wife become his legal conservator, they could then be legally dealt with as well.

Both because the legal situation is murky, and because if he found out, it would probably result in a massive stink within the family, particularly if your wife has siblings who might want those firearms. I personally wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole, the way you are doing it now.

The above is not in any way legal advice to a client, and should not be relied upon for any purpose (sorry, required disclaimer).
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briancnelson View Post
I'm a corporate and real estate lawyer, not a specialist in firearms or family law, but here's my .02.

If he knew and consented to them being hidden or disposed of 15 years ago, I would be more comfortable with the transfer. It at least implies a consented transfer of the guns to her custody, in which case she would arguably have a legal right to pass them on as such.

The fact she hid them without his knowledge and he didn't report them stolen doesn't mean he has consented to anything, it merely means he hasn't noticed, or he is aware she's hiding them and doesn't care.

Were I in your position, I would either come clean and have the MIL tell the FIL what she plans to do, and get his permission and signature on those forms, or wait until he passes away, in which case either your mother or wife will likely inherit them anyway, and they can be transferred by operation of law. If your father in law becomes so irrational that she or your wife become his legal conservator, they could then be legally dealt with as well.

Both because the legal situation is murky, and because if he found out, it would probably result in a massive stink within the family, particularly if your wife has siblings who might want those firearms. I personally wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole, the way you are doing it now.

The above is not in any way legal advice to a client, and should not be relied upon for any purpose (sorry, required disclaimer).
Best advice yet!!!
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  #21  
Old 01-29-2013, 11:47 AM
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What if the only reason that the FIL is "OK" with the guns being missing is because .... the FIL actually knows where the guns are and is just playing along, knowing he actually can access them?

Interesting case though, It would be a good case to present to law students!
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:13 PM
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Lead Waster, thank you for your addition.

But he really thinks she got rid of the guns, because she already gave them to me to keep them hidden and away from him. I have them properly stored in a secluded location.
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