Possession =/= ownership.
I have owned my grandfather's .22 caliber rifle since he died in 1972. For most of the time between then and last year the rifle was in the possession of a cousin in another state. We kept hoping I'd get a chance to drive out there and pick it up, but it never happened and, since my cousin is getting on in years, we finally just boxed it up and sent it to me through a pair of FFLs.
The FFLs transferred physical possession to me, but ownership was mine since 1972.
(Before anyone starts in about how FFLs aren't necessary for inherited firearms, the rifle was not listed in his will and I was not a named heir, so that provision of Federal law did not apply.)