Leaving your firearms to someone under 21

dwarven1

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OK, so my nephew really likes my .357. But... he lives in NY (although I think that his legal residence is in VT).

If I leave a handgun to someone who's 18 (and I kick off before he turns 21), what happens - can he legally get the gun?

Jesse, Cross-X - any comments?
 

dwarven1

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No, I'm not planning on shuffling off of this mortal coil any time soon, but if I do, I want my guns going where I say they go, and not to K&R, Four Seasons or Callaghans. Nice guys, all of them, but Kath has no interest in guns and would sell them to the nearest gun shop.

But since Ben had such a good time with them today... :D

Ross
 

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I'd suggest reading BATFE Regs on inheritance and <21. These are on their website so you can readily search for keywords.

Then you'd need to check NY and/or VT laws on <21 possessing handguns. I don't know their laws, but I'd be willing to bet that NY is a big NO and VT is probably OK with it. I'm guessing based on what I perceive to be their general feelings towards gun ownership . . . so check their laws (probably can find them off the www.packing.org site) and don't take any MA resident's word for it. [wink]
 

Cross-X

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Off the cuff, and without benefit of my usual legal references, it appears federal law would be the immediate hurdle, as the fed requires one to be 21 or over to lawfully own a firearm.

I believe you could still leave the gun to someone under 21, but it would have to be via some sort of a trustee vehicle, such as "I hereby give my .357 revolver to my beloved nephew, Cletus, and until he reaches the age of 21, said revolver shall be held by my counsin Vinny, in trust for my beloved nephew Cletus.

Of course, if you sell, give away, or otherwise become dispossesed of the gun before you die, young Cletus takes nothing.

C-X
 
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< 21

NY State changed the pistol licensing laws a few years ago to establish a 21 minimum age for obtaining a NY pistol permit, or even handling a pistol in NY.

It's a real shame, since the only minimum age prior to that was "judge's discretion", and I know of one successful applicant who obtained his at age 14 (restricted to target prior to age 21, according to the father)
 

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If I recall correctly, there's no federal age limit on possession of a long arm and the federal age limit for possessing a handgun is 18. FFLs can't sell a long arm to those under 18 or a handgun to those under 21. So if Cletus is at least 18, you're in the same state, and there's no state law against it you should be able to give it to him.

Since you're in different states, the transfer would normally need to go through an FFL which would then bump into those federal age limits. I believe (but I'm not certain) that bequests skip that step. So it looks like you do need to decide just how badly you want him to have that .357.
 

Cross-X

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DR, you have said it better than I did.

Since it is an interstate transfer, because Cletus is not a MA resident, the transaction has to go thru a FFL in NJ.

This is where the roadblock is, because FFLs cannot transfer handguns to someone under 21.
 
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Xfer

Cross-X said:
DR, you have said it better than I did.

Since it is an interstate transfer, because Cletus is not a MA resident, the transaction has to go thru a FFL in NJ.

This is where the roadblock is, because FFLs cannot transfer handguns to someone under 21.
I believe that bequest is the one way a handgun can be transferred between individuals across state lines without use of an FFL.
 

Cross-X

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Re: Xfer

Rob Boudrie said:
Cross-X said:
DR, you have said it better than I did.

Since it is an interstate transfer, because Cletus is not a MA resident, the transaction has to go thru a FFL in NJ.

This is where the roadblock is, because FFLs cannot transfer handguns to someone under 21.
I believe that bequest is the one way a handgun can be transferred between individuals across state lines without use of an FFL.

Rob, if that is indeed the law, that is surprising.

By any chance do you have a citation to the federal law or regulation that allows for this?
 

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Re: Xfer

Cross-X said:
Rob Boudrie said:
Cross-X said:
DR, you have said it better than I did.

Since it is an interstate transfer, because Cletus is not a MA resident, the transaction has to go thru a FFL in NJ.

This is where the roadblock is, because FFLs cannot transfer handguns to someone under 21.
I believe that bequest is the one way a handgun can be transferred between individuals across state lines without use of an FFL.

Rob, if that is indeed the law, that is surprising.

By any chance do you have a citation to the federal law or regulation that allows for this?

Darius,

Counselor, this one is gonna cost you! The bill is in the Mail!

18 USC Ch. 44 Sec. 922(a)(3)(A) & 922(a)(5)(A)
27 CFR Part 178.29 (a) &178.30 (a)
Key Search Words: "bequest" and "intestate succession"

Very seriously, this was very difficult for me to find as the keywords I used were NOT the ones that the Feds used (damn)! And as much as Ron Glidden talks about this at every seminar, I didn't find it listed in his book (4th Ed is the latest that I have).

I have to seriously take exception to your recommendation to use an FFL in a "bequest" situation and here's why:

- First I don't know how you brought NJ into the mix, as the question related to NY and VT. NJ is real bad news, just like MA!

- If Fed Law and State Law does NOT require using an FFL, do NOT do it! The deceased's wishes may well not be carried out if an FFL is used. Just to use the example of MA (where Ron Glidden has stated each time we do NOT have to use an FFL for bequest/intestate transfers) . . . the FFL would legally be PROHIBITED from transferring any "non tested", "non approved" handguns to anyone, period, end of story! Handguns such as my late Father's Luger (WW2 capture) along with my C&R handguns could all be "gone" in that case as they aren't "approved" and never will be!

- I don't know if NY allows bequest/intestate transfers without an FFL, so the above may not be appropriate to the original question. I do know what I've been told by Ron on MA bequest/intestate transfers and that is that an FFL is NOT required . . . and can be a disaster as noted above. That is why each involved state's laws must be checked to see what is legal there.

- This is a case where you do NOT want to do more than the law requires! Unlike my earlier recommendations (which you took exception to) to lock guns in a case before placing in a locked car trunk (which I claim is "good practice" as opposed to law)! [wink]
 

dwarven1

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Cross-X said:
By the way, what guns are you bequething to the rest of us?
I got a double barreled rubber band pistol that I'm planning to leave you, Darius.


Seriously, since my wife and I don't have children, I don't want the state to stick it's long nose into my affairs and what I leave to who. So, since I just discovered that my nephew likes shooting... Now I know who to leave them to. :) Just gotta find out which is his legal residence; NY or VT.

Ross
 
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