My grandfather recently died and I was asked my dad and his siblings if I wanted my grandfather's .22 rifle. I agreed, but have no idea what to do to legally take possession of the gun.

My assumption is that it's registered with the state of Florida (where my grandfather lived) and I will need to get it registered in Virginia (where I currently live). Are there any other steps I need to take to ensure it's legally in my possession?

  • 3
    The answers will depend widely based on the state of origin, the state of the recipient, the type of gun, and in some cases the age of the gun. – Jason Aller Oct 8 '15 at 22:56
up vote 16 down vote accepted

Conventional guns are not "registered" in free America. (Only a few jurisdictions like NYC, DC, and maybe still Chicago, have laws requiring licensing of gun owners and registration of firearms.)

The interstate transfer of guns between individuals/owners is regulated by federal law and must be conducted by Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs). Many states also regulate certain intrastate transfer of guns (e.g., handguns, or transfers to individuals who are not immediate family members). For a fee any FFL local to you can ensure that any transfer is compliant with local, state, and federal law.

In general inheritance and transfer between family members is not restricted, so long as the receiver is not a "prohibited person" ineligible to possess firearms. (Though, again, the details of this vary by jurisdiction and change frequently.)

In the situation described, if you are not a prohibited person, you could "inherit" the gun in Florida without any paperwork and simply mail it to yourself in Virginia. If you are uncertain or want to ensure that no laws are broken in that process, have the gun mailed to an FFL local to where you live, and pay the FFL to "transfer" it to you.

Your Answer

 
discard

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.