The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > General Discussion Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 9, 2018, 12:28 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: May 17, 2007
Posts: 303
What happens to your guns in event of your demise?

Posted this here since the majority of my firearms are hand guns. As I turn 60 this year I ,m coming to grips with my mortality. Not too soon I hope.

I have over my lifetime accumulated a collection of firearms. Though not large by some of your standards, but in the tens of thousands in value.

My wife doesn't have any interest and would sell and probably at less than value.She will be provided for and would not need this for income.

My two children ,a boy and a girl also would have no interest in collecting. My boy was into shooting and hunting when young, but has other interests now. I think if left to them would also be sold. Both are financially secure.

My father left me his few guns that were his prized possessions. I shared his love for the outdoors and shooting.I lament the fact that I don't have that connection with anyone in my family . AND PLEASE NO JOKES ABOUT ADOPTING YOU.

Was wondering if anyone else is facing this decision. I have considered donating to the NRA. Sad that something that was a big part of my life and has brought me so much joy wont be passed on.
lunger is offline  
Old June 9, 2018, 12:49 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: September 7, 2009
Location: N. Dakota
Posts: 151
Mine will go to my kids, they will take care of them. But just in case that changes I have made a spread sheet of all that I own with ballpark values on everything. That way in case no one wants them they can be sold off and not for pennies on the dollar. I don't want anyone have to have a "friend" come help themselves to buy any of my guns in a time of grief. I agree it's sad that family mementos go to others, but I hope if anyone does sell anything it goes to someone who appreciates them as much as I do.
We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.

Last edited by Nodak1858; June 9, 2018 at 12:59 PM.
Nodak1858 is offline  
Old June 9, 2018, 01:00 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: May 16, 2005
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 738
You say your son was interested in shooting at one time, I would put a bequest in the will to pass down at least the heirloom guns to him. Should you die, knowing that they were important to you, and memories of shooting with you when he was younger might make the inheritance more poignant to him. He may at that point also treasure one of your personal favorites as well.

Any extended family (cousins, nephews, etc) that might appreciate them?

If none of the above holds true, then your guns will just be more stuff to them. You might compose a list of what you have with current values (update it periodically) so if they do sell them, they will have an idea of what to ask for them.

You could also start thinning out the collection as time goes by, either selling the ones you don't frequently use or perhaps giving them to valued family members/friends that would appreciate them for what they are.
JN01 is offline  
Old June 9, 2018, 01:03 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: June 9, 2002
Location: northern CA for a little while longer
Posts: 1,799
I completely understand your feelings and thoughts. BTDT.

It came as a bit of a surprise when I finally came to realize that my younger days of acquiring and collecting so many things, without a thought to my eventual demise, were probably more behind me than in front of me.

I was thinking about this when trying to wrap my head around my own mortality when I underwent surgery and chemo several years ago and was wondering how things would turn out (cancer-free 8 years ).

I recently reconsidered the subject when I visited a close friend in the hospital, when they transferred him to a room for his comfort in the end stage of his condition. He had acquired quite an interesting collection in his life. He'd long had his own thoughts on this subject, and appointed someone to carry them in the appropriate legal manner.

My daughter has no desire to inherit any firearms, and I certainly won't gainsay her preference and choice.

As far as I'm concerned, my son can choose what he wishes to inherit (mostly the older family heirloom type and "Western" firearms, he's told me) ...

... and the rest can be dumped far out in the ocean, as far as I'm concerned. (Okay, or in a more practical, but prosaic manner ... they can be turned into sewer pipe.)

I've reconciled myself in the same manner regarding my extensive library and knife collection, as well.

If my wife survives me and has some thoughts of her own, I won't care.

They're only things, after all.

The things that will likely give my family comfort in future years are probably going to be a variety of things kept as mementos, and those probably aren't going to be guns (with the exception of my son's appreciation for the "Western" guns, and a couple .22's belonging to his grandpa and great grandpa).

They can also sell off my motorcycles (if I keep them that long) ... and I know my son really has his eye on my comic book collection.
Retired LE - firearms instructor & armorer
fastbolt is offline  
Old June 9, 2018, 01:29 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: December 6, 2014
Posts: 4,620
If you have guns that you no longer care about shooting-wise, why not sell them and take your wife on a nice cruise/trip or do something similar. They are, after all, just things. As I age (slightly older than you) my wife and I have been downsizing the "stuff" we have accumulated. Certain old family photos, etc, will get passed down. But the everyday stuff that can be easily replaced is being eliminated.

As to your wife or kids selling them below what YOU feel they are worth, what does it matter when you are dead. Value and worth are relative to the moment in time.
FITASC: Fédération Internationale de Tir aux Armes Sportives de Chasse.
FITASC is offline  
Old June 9, 2018, 04:20 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: March 20, 2014
Location: Kinda near Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,018
You may have already done this, but as a son who recently lost his father earlier this year, I feel I must put this out there.

My recommendation is to have a sit-down-and-talk with your kids before giving away your collection. I'd pick out a couple really sentimental pieces and explain to them what they mean to you and why you think they should have those particular pieces. They might surprise you, you never know.

My father's attempt at this was a few years ago and was characteristically brusque. He simply told me he wanted to clean his guns (I had been doing that for him for a while by then), and while he was performing this task, he just said, "I'm probably going to give away all of these pieces somewhere, but I don't know where. Maybe you can find someone that wants them."

I can almost laugh out loud about it now; it was just so my dad. He couldn't just say, "hey son, you want my guns when I'm gone?" Or something like that. It just wasn't how he did things. I just nodded and told him I'd take care of it. Now they sit in my safe as cherished reminders of learning to shoot (and do a LOT of maintenance and cleaning), and just spending good times with him.

You never know until you try.
Rangerrich99 is offline  
Old June 9, 2018, 04:45 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: March 16, 2007
Location: Southern Arizona
Posts: 3,836
I suspect my sons in laws will take a few of them and my son might want one or two. I think my wife will then sell the rest of them. I've already told her the best dealer to sell them to to get a fair and honest price. She has a list of what i have and the approximate values and I've told to to expect the dealer to offer her about 60% of retail.

Doubt I'll care much what she does with them then....
JWT is offline  
Old June 9, 2018, 05:09 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: September 12, 2002
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 4,164
And of course there is the gun collector's prayer:

"And please Dear Lord, don't let my wife sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them."

And to the OP, don't count your son out. When I was middle aged I had a LOT going on in my life (or thought I did) and pretty much gave up shooting for several years. But I appreciate my father's guns probably a lot more than he ever thought I would so there is that. Hope eternal.
DaleA is offline  
Old June 9, 2018, 06:45 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: October 21, 2009
Location: Quadling Country
Posts: 2,169
Wife gets everything. She loves guns, especially the old wood stock milsurps. I guess the kids will get them eventually.
Thus a man should endeavor to reach this high place of courage with all his heart, and, so trying, never be backward in war.
MTT TL is offline  
Old June 9, 2018, 07:01 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: December 12, 2012
Posts: 653
My Wife likes our guns as much as I do. She will fight the kids for them because my oldest Daughter said she wanted all of them.
AL45 is offline  
Old June 9, 2018, 07:18 PM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
Moderator Emeritus
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Austin, CO
Posts: 19,422
Originally Posted by lunger
Sad that something that was a big part of my life and has brought me so much joy wont be passed on.
Completely a personal decision, with no right or wrong, but "passed on" might just mean outside the family. There are plenty of folks who would treasure those items are much as you do. You might try to intentionally find and friend someone who you could leave the important ones to BEFORE you're gone. That way, YOU get the joy of seeing how much those items mean to them.
Might not be practical, or palatable, for you... just a thought.
Nobody plans to screw up their lives...
...they just don't plan not to.
-Andy Stanley
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old June 9, 2018, 08:24 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: February 12, 2005
Location: North central Ohio
Posts: 6,830
I had my casket custom made-it's roughly the size of a Suburban.
NRA Benefactor Life Member
dgludwig is offline  
Old June 9, 2018, 09:24 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: November 20, 2007
Location: South Western OK
Posts: 2,757
i'm 79 years old. Last year i made the decision to sell the vast majority of my guns.

My collections are rapidly going away. The Lugers and Japanese military rifles are gone. Got an offer on my antique Winchester rifles. But it's too low.
thallub is offline  
Old June 10, 2018, 09:49 AM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: December 30, 2015
Location: My back yard
Posts: 482
I have listed all my guns and as the mood strikes me I put the name of who I want to get them. I know they won't appreciate them as much as I do but nothing I can do about that.
kenny53 is offline  
Old June 10, 2018, 09:59 AM   #15
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 9,109
Originally Posted by kenny53
I have listed all my guns and as the mood strikes me I put the name of who I want to get them....
Understand that those sorts of list pretty much have no legal validity.

If who gets what after you pass is important to you, to be sure it works out how you would want you'll need to see a qualified lawyer and have a formal will or living trust prepared.
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
Frank Ettin is offline  
Old June 10, 2018, 10:09 AM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: June 11, 2016
Location: SE Wisconsin
Posts: 1,050
I believe we all reach this point at some time. For me it was a number of years ago while in the hospital with my first heart event. For my collections it is firearms and fishing tackle. I have all sorts of rods and reels, some every expensive and some very rare. I know none of the children will appreciate what they are or the pleasure they brought me.

Next I also have an older brother that I am the estate executor for. He has no children. It's been disturbing at times to talk of liquidating his belongings. I suggested to him to have is wedding rings interred with his ashes as they will have no sentimental value to anyone and the monetary value I cannot begin to think.
kmw1954 is offline  
Old June 10, 2018, 12:12 PM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: January 28, 2006
Posts: 1,454
I'm going to second what RangerRich said: have a sit down with the kids and an honest talk about your firearms.

You know your kids best. That being said, like DaleA mentioned, life circumstances and focuses can change. When I lost Mom 2 weeks shy of her and Dad's 50th wedding anniversary, my interest in the things that remind me of her changed. She was a cardinal fanatic (the bird, not the team), and now every time I see a cardinal I take pause to remember mom. Never thought about cardinals before, except to buy her holiday gifts.

In the event your kids don't want them, consider close friends who you've gone to the range or hunted with.

Short of that, do you regularly hit any venues where there are up and coming hunters/shooters that are financially strapped you could help?

Dad and I began having these discussions shortly afterwards. He has a will, and my Aunt is the executor, but he's walked me through how it's going to play out and made sure I understood his wishes on disposition of his remains, etc. The effect of this is he knows the stuff going to me I will value and cherish.

Probably not time for this yet, but something to consider: make a video for your family they can share post-mortem. I had the opportunity to film mom talking about her experience growing up, my grandparents, places she lived, how she met Dad, what she liked to do, etc. Some of my kids were too young to have many memories of my Mom, which kills me. However, with the videos I shot, they can see her, hear her, and get to know her. My intent is for this video to be passed down to my kids for them to show their kids. With today's technology, the ability to provide more than a name on a family tree, to provide a visual and audio record for generations to come, should really be considered.

Just my $.02.
NRA Life Member

"We have enough gun control. What we need is idiot control."
globemaster3 is offline  
Old June 10, 2018, 12:57 PM   #18
Join Date: July 22, 2010
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 55
Friend, we are in a very similar boat.

I am coming to grips with the fact that times have changed and that a hobby that connected me to my father and meant so much to me... well, those times are gone.

Rather than burden my family and leaving them a pile of stuff that they could only get pennies on the dollar for- I’ve slowly been selling stuff off over the years. I’ve met some nice young men, and sweetened their deals by giving them the little odds and ends that we collect as shooters, hunters and reloaders.

About the last thing I wonder about is my Hamilton Bowen customized .44 Blackhawk. It’s my best handgun ever, passed to me as a gift from my father... but really- it’s just sitting in my gun safe. It’s hard for me to let that one go, but if I passed tomorrow, they would end up selling it for far too little and I’d prefer to leave them in the best shape possible.
stinkeypete is offline  
Old June 10, 2018, 01:24 PM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 9,265
I'm also 60. I purchased several guns over the years specifically for my kids to own one day. About 5 years ago after both of them were settled into stable marriages and with good jobs I gave each of them 5-6 guns each.

Neither of my children, are into guns nearly as much as I and I won't leave them a bunch of them to have to decide what to do with after I'm gone. In the last 10 years or so I've sold a bunch and really thinned the heard. I still have quite a few. Some are earmarked for grand kids and the handful left that I actually use will be given to the kids either after my death, or when I get to the point where I'll no longer use them. My wises are already in writing in case I were to go suddenly.
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

Winston Churchill
jmr40 is offline  
Old June 11, 2018, 04:07 PM   #20
Senior Member
Join Date: August 2, 2005
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 174
Put it in writing, in your Will.

If you don't have a Will that was drawn-up by an attorney, check the laws of your state for "holographic will," a simple hand-written, signed and dated will that will keep the courts from deciding where your firearms end up...

Don't forget to make allowances for what happens if one of your beneficiaries isn't legally able to own firearms.
danco is offline  
Old June 11, 2018, 04:18 PM   #21
Senior Member
Join Date: September 5, 2010
Location: McMurdo Sound Texas
Posts: 3,409
It's pretty clear which of our kids are gun-guys and those that aren't. Gun-guys get all of the guns, the non-gunners get all the gold in Ft. Knocks.
!أنا لست إرهابياً
TXAZ is offline  
Old June 11, 2018, 04:41 PM   #22
Senior Member
Join Date: July 15, 2016
Location: Florida
Posts: 152
Personally I would have them, along with the ammo and parts go to people you know will use and appreciate them. This doesn't have to be limited to family. I would do this verses selling them or donating to a charity where they would be sold. Guns are special thing for me, one which I don't think of in simple monetary terms.
TheGunGeek is offline  
Old June 11, 2018, 05:04 PM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: April 12, 2010
Location: Lake Martin, AL
Posts: 3,179
Sold or used to attract another mate. Same will happen with her diamonds if she goes first. Too bad shoes and purses don't bring a big return.
lamarw is offline  
Old June 11, 2018, 05:19 PM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: December 6, 2014
Posts: 4,620
Too bad shoes and purses don't bring a big return.
Jimmy Choos and Coach do.............Payless and Walmart do not..........same for Longaberger baskets....
FITASC: Fédération Internationale de Tir aux Armes Sportives de Chasse.
FITASC is offline  
Old June 11, 2018, 07:44 PM   #25
tony pasley
Senior Member
Join Date: April 13, 2006
Location: western north carolina
Posts: 1,641
I have mine all determined and recorded. Many are family heirlooms with their history recorded.
Every day Congress is in session we lose a little bit more of our Liberty.
tony pasley is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:04 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12245 seconds with 10 queries