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Old January 4, 2020, 10:40 AM   #1
steve4102
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ATF, FFL/Gunsmith dies?

What's the process of getting firearms back from a deceased gunsmith/FFL?

I have a couple firearms at the local Gunsmith/FFL for repairs. One of them for over 2 years.

I found out today that he has been in the hospital off and on for a couple months. It looks as though he may not get back to his shop.

Now What?

How do I get my firearms back after he either passes or is placed in a home?

Thanks
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Old January 4, 2020, 02:25 PM   #2
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With proof that your gun is in his shop (claim check, etc.) you contact the executor of his estate and make arrangements from there.

If he's in a "home" someone will be handling his business affairs. Find them, and go from there.

Don't know any other way to do it. Filing a lawsuit to get your gun back might be needed, eventually, but you'll still need to contact the executor/power of attorney person, FIRST.

Good Luck.
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Old January 4, 2020, 04:26 PM   #3
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Proof that one's gun is in his shop should be in his bound book.

As I often comment, I am not a lawyer, so bear with me. If a gunsmith is operating a business, much may depend on how the business is organized. An executor handles a decedant's personal estate. If a gunsmith is incorporated, even as a LLC, then the executor of his personal estate may or may not have any control over the dissolution of the business.

In the case of Steve4102, the gunsmith is currently still alive. I would try to find out if there's anyone acting for him who can give you your guns back now and write them out of the bound book, rather than wait for him to die and then have to deal with the resultant bureaucracy.
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Old January 4, 2020, 10:22 PM   #4
Mike38
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As mentioned above, you may want to try getting your guns back before the passing of the Smith. Even if your guns are disassembled in a box, get them back asap. A gun smith that I have done business with passed away about a year ago. Everything in his shop was put on hold, nothing in, nothing out for at least 6 months. I'm not 100% sure, but as far as I know, to this date, not everything has been returned to the rightful owners. Wouldn't surprise me if some things never get returned. Luckily, I had nothing in his shop.
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Old January 5, 2020, 01:33 AM   #5
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If he is the proprietor/sole owner and passes, everything in the shop can be "frozen" until probate is settled. Even if not contested this can take months.

He has your gun(s), you've done business, you know him, he knows you, he's not a complete stranger, you might even be casual friends. GO VISIT HIM. Call him, at least. Talk to the man, if he's still able to, get things settled, NOW while there's still time. Because it will be simpler easier, faster, and possibly cheaper than waiting.

If this is the end of times for him, or even if its just the end of him being in the 'smithing trade, go BE A FRIEND for a hour or three, and settle how to get your gun back so another smith can do whatever work you were going to have him do. I can't think of anyone still in their right mind who wouldn't appreciate it, as at the least, one less thing to worry about having to take care of.

Good Luck
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Old January 7, 2020, 08:41 AM   #6
steve4102
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Thanks guys.
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