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Old September 10, 2012, 07:40 PM   #1
withoutaclue
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inheriting gun, now what

My recently deceased father owned a german pistol from WWII. I can find no paperwork on this. From what I understand, I don't need a permit to just have the gun (unloaded) and don't need to register it. What if I want to sell it?
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Old September 10, 2012, 07:48 PM   #2
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depends on where you live and what the registration rules (if any) are.
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Old September 10, 2012, 07:56 PM   #3
Aguila Blanca
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You should also be aware that, unless you are his only heir or the gun was specifically left to you in his will, you may NOT have "inherited" the gun.
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Old September 10, 2012, 08:34 PM   #4
Edward429451
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It's not like it's a machine gun or something, just a pistol. If you are legal to own it then it shouldn't be a problem. He could have given it to you two weeks before he passed and no will would be necessary.
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Old September 10, 2012, 11:09 PM   #5
Koda
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God, it's amazing what has been done to our people.

Dude, if you live in most normal states, you can keep that sucker loaded and pointed at the front door without a problem, and take it in your car, unloaded, pretty much anywhere, both without any sort of permit.

Unless that sucker's an MP-40, or you live in any state that traditionally votes Democrat, you're good to go.
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Old September 11, 2012, 09:01 AM   #6
Rifleman1776
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As said, except for state or local laws, it might as well be a fishing rod. Own, load, use as you please. Same with selling, in most locations.
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Old September 11, 2012, 09:51 AM   #7
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I'll be the first to say it, sorry for the loss of your father. I just lost mine a few months ago, I know how hard it is.

Keep the gun.
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Old September 11, 2012, 05:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
God, it's amazing what has been done to our people.

Dude, if you live in most normal states, you can keep that sucker loaded and pointed at the front door without a problem, and take it in your car, unloaded, pretty much anywhere, both without any sort of permit.

Unless that sucker's an MP-40, or you live in any state that traditionally votes Democrat, you're good to go.
Pretty much my thoughts, but I dont recommend keeping it loaded pointing at the front door though.
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Old September 12, 2012, 10:29 AM   #9
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For the benefit of the OP, I'd like to explain a little more about how US law works. Some of this is a rehash of prior posts, but bear with me.

All of this is written under the assumption that you live in the USA.
  1. In order for an inherited firearm to legally belong to you, it must have been bequeathed specifically to you. Scenarios such as "Aunt Bea inherited it but gave it to me because I like guns and she doesn't" DO NOT COUNT. In this scenario, it is her gun, not yours!
  2. Under federal law, inherited firearms may be transferred across state lines without a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) dealer transfer, but this does NOT exempt the receiving person from state laws regarding registration and/or legal possession of particular types or classes of firearms.
  3. The NICS instant background check and/or the form you fill out when purchasing a gun at a FFL dealer do NOT federally register the gun, at least not in the nominal or official sense. (Some people believe they do, depending on the tightness of their proverbial tinfoil hat and/or the flavor of political Kool-Aid they drink, but let's not go there. ) The form is intended for dealer record-keeping. Some FFL dealers now use a computerized system in place of the paper forms, but the purpose and end result is the same.
  4. Registration and/or legal ownership of some classes or types of firearm are generally governed only by state law. Without knowing where you live, there is no way to answer questions about these topics without being overly broad.
  5. Some firearms are subject to numerous additional federal regulations under the National Firearms Act or NFA. The most commonly discussed type of NFA firearm is a machine gun, which is defined as any gun that discharges more than one shot with each pull of the trigger. However, another important class is a short-barreled rifle, which includes many pistols that have a detachable shoulder stock. Some vintage German military pistols have this feature. Many of these pistols are specifically exempted from NFA requirements, but only if the shoulder stock is an original matching vintage German military item. It is very important to consult with an expert if you have doubts about the provenance of the shoulder stock, if there is one- if not, there's no reason to worry about it unless you have reason to believe that the gun has been registered under the NFA previously. I would recommend posting further questions in the NFA subforum if the gun turns out to be an NFA firearm.
  6. State permits are more commonly required to carry a handgun than to simply own one, but again, this depends on where you live.
*Mandatory disclaimer: I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV. This is not official legal advice. Caveat emptor and YMMV.
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Old September 12, 2012, 11:43 AM   #10
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speaking as one who has recently probated an estate of a parent

the pistol, as property of the deceased unless specifically left to a named person would be considered chatel, and the courts do not concern themselves with it. I have 3 sisters and any thing that was removed from the estate unless named in a will was up for grabs, finders keepers, possession is 9/10 of the law kind of thing.

So, I wouldn't concern myself about ownership. Unless dad was a bank robber in a past life, you may be concerned.
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Old September 12, 2012, 06:15 PM   #11
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As long as there is no dispute over that gun I say keep it and dont worry about it. Whatever you do dont tell the gov. youve inherited a gun they may call it "taxable income".
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Old September 12, 2012, 06:32 PM   #12
CraigJS
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Have it checked out by a gunsmith before you fire it. Record any numbers or markings also just incase your pistol get switched (by mistake of course).
Pictures wouldn't hurt either..
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Old September 12, 2012, 06:33 PM   #13
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State laws differ on the disposition of the property of the deceased if there is no will.

But the OP didn't ask about that, he asked about registration (not required in most states) and selling the gun. Unless his possession of the gun is disputed, it is his to sell as he sees fit, as long as he obeys local and state laws and the laws on interstate transfer (if applicable).

(Even if his dad was a bank robber, that makes no difference unless the gun was stolen, in which case it is legally the property of the person it was stolen from. War trophies don't count as theft, though, so Gefreiter Fritz Himmelfarb is not going to reclaim his K.98k from the grandson of the guy who took it from him.)

Jim
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Old September 12, 2012, 08:55 PM   #14
dave9969
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yeah if "dad" is truly safe and dead in the ground past crimes wouldn't matter to him or the courts I suppose

both my parents died with no wills and it played the same way in New Mexico and in Florida. 9/10 of the law is possession when property is concerned.
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Old September 13, 2012, 05:40 AM   #15
thedudeabides
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Quote:
both my parents died with no wills and it played the same way in New Mexico and in Florida. 9/10 of the law is possession when property is concerned.
But Florida gun laws about "gifting" a gun are pretty tame. You just can't give one to a minor, a felon, or someone found to be mentally deficient by a court/doctor.

And possession is 99.9999% of the law in most reasonable states.

...but yes, I'm saddened that we have reached a point in our society that gifting a firearm (or inheriting one) would lead to people wringing their hands about the legality. You wouldn't be having this level of anxiety about getting your dad's favorite chair or lamp. A gun is no different from that.
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Old September 13, 2012, 10:32 AM   #16
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Pretty much my thoughts, but I dont recommend keeping it loaded pointing at the front door though.

Agreed..I'm the guy that comes over and asks for sugar. That would suck.
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Old September 14, 2012, 07:31 PM   #17
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As already stated, it depends on your state. I'm in Michigan where a purchase permit is required for a pistol which also "registers" it. I had a similar situation where I inherited a pistol. It wasn't a problem. I just took the information on it (i.e. make/model/barrel length/capacity/serial #) in to the Sheriff's Dept. and registered it - no hassle. Instead of listing the dealer, it was listed as an "estate pistol". The serial # was run to determine that it wasn't stolen and all was well.
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Old September 14, 2012, 07:35 PM   #18
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So sorry about your Dad. All my best wishes to you and your family.
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Old September 14, 2012, 08:28 PM   #19
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Sorry about your dad. I can't imagine. Ok, I'll throw the bait......what is it? Got pics?
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Old September 14, 2012, 08:35 PM   #20
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Sorry for your loss.
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Old September 15, 2012, 12:44 AM   #21
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I'm not sure the OP is coming back...
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Old September 15, 2012, 01:07 AM   #22
warningshot
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Best to you and your family.

Put the Luger and all other big decisions away, and relax. This can wait. Enjoy life. Peace.
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Old September 15, 2012, 10:16 AM   #23
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNocturnus
I'm not sure the OP is coming back...
In fact, he has not been back since one minute after posting his question.

That said, it bears repeating that we do not know what state he is in, and we do not know if he actually "inherited" this firearm (in the legal sense) or if he has simply come into his possession. Both of these are important pieces of information, because some states do require registration of handguns, and because some states require that ALL transfers (other than bequests) must go through an FFL. Those of you who blissfully advise the OP to "Just keep it and enjoy it" may be advising him to commit a criminal act. I thought we didn't do that on this forum.
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Old September 15, 2012, 11:36 AM   #24
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Point well taken but OTOH, filling him up with a bunch of legalistic scary talk is hardly necessary. Respecting the law if fine as far as that goes, but erring on the side of caution to the point of being obsequious about the law flies in the face of common sense, critical thinking, and freedom. He has a right to his families property and it is largely not anyone's business except his own. It's clearly not an NFA item, so as long as he is allowed to own weapons there is no problem. Muddying the water with fears about the government and that there might be a law which would forbid him to take possession of the pistol is over reacting to the situation. Perhaps he shouldn't clean out his dads kitchen and take the bleach and aluminum foil either because when mixed they make poison gas and that's illegal to make?

I'm not saying to be lawless or to commit any crimes. Being lawful is good, but being chronic lawful is almost worse than being a criminal. It allows no room for independent thought or action, no room for self regulation...no freedom.
"we're going to go through dad's room now, will someone call the police to get permission and have them come supervise us?" No offense, but that's absurd.
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Old September 15, 2012, 03:22 PM   #25
Koda
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The comment about hanging it loaded towards the door was a farcical example meant to illustrate the full extents of his rights.

Disclaimer: The undersigned in no way endorses booby traps, trip wire fired guns, or any sort of mounted artillery fixture in a living room. People doing such things do them on their own and the undersigned is not liable from any such action as it was not endorsed nor recommended here.

-Koda.

Whew.
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