Selling and Transferring Guns After Death

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one bullet

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I had a friend who had an FFL and I had asked him to assist my family in disposing of my firearms in the event of my death. I really don't want my wife to have to figure this out if I go first and would like to have a plan in place. My FFL friend has recently decided to let his license lapse and that left me without a plan. What is the best legal and professional way to sell the guns where my wife would be treated fair? I really don't her to take them to a gun store/dealer who will more than likely offer her bottom dollar. None of us know when we will be called home and I view this issue much like life insurance. Just better to have it figured out before hand. What are your thoughts?
I'm mainly referring to their sale, by my wife, after my death. I have no plans of disposing of them now.
 

hittman

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Talk to your wife. You may be surprised at her wishes.

About a year ago I had a cancer scare. Was thinking of moving along a gun or two and am glad I told the wife.

My wife said, enjoy your guns with the time you have left …. Be it a year or 20.

Further, she reminded me that she’s not stupid or helpless. She knows my gun-loving friends and 2 or 3 FFLs in our town if she needs to reach out to someone for help. And, we have 3 adult children, sons in law, etc. to help.

I trust she’ll make out just fine.
 

RSIno1

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A lot depends on the number of guns involved. Consignment can eat 30% of the sale price. I have a spread sheet of all my guns with the price I paid and the current value (I update it every year using Gun Broker completed sales - some are marked as to who gets them) You can designate someone in your will to dispose of them. That allows them to do the shipping etc even if they don't have an FFL. There are specific less restrictive ATF rules for transfer of guns from estates to those you designate.

Another exception is provided for transfers of firearms to nonresidents to carry out a lawful bequest or acquisition by intestate succession. This exception would authorize the transfer of a firearm to a nonresident who inherits a firearm under a will or by State law upon death of the owner. See 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(5)(A).
 

one bullet

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I know everyone has different family situations. I don't have sons, daughters, brothers, etc to carry out anything like this. And I can assure you my wife would prefer someone with expertise and honor handle it for her. Should I know somehow my time was short I would certainly take care of it for her before anything happens.
I have everything listed and accounted for along with values but I was wondering if there were any legitimate businesses or attorneys who might specialize in this type of thing.
 

hittman

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That depends on how much you want to spend and how much time you want to invest.

Guess we’re lucky here as there are a couple of shops what will sell on consignment in the 15% range. And in my area there’s one auction firm in particular folks have had good luck with.

Good luck to you sir.
 
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Have the names and contacts of some of the firearms auction houses available for your heirs to contact. James Julia, Amoskeg, Poulin, Rock Island Auction, etc.

They are all reputable companies and know how to take care of these things. Most if not all are buyer premium sellers which means that when the gavel falls, that is what the seller (your wife or kids) will be paid. Again, most if not all will actually come to your place and pick up, pack and transport the guns to their auction sites. When contacted, they will fully explain the processes so that your heirs know exactly what is going on.

If you have a good number of firearms, I would not use a local auctioneer, they don't usually have the resources or knowledge like the true firearms auction houses.

Having all the info you say you have will help the auctioneers get the best prices for your family.

My family already knows what to do upon my demise, and one of those things is to have a true firearms auction house take care of the guns that they do not want to keep for themselves.
 

Bear Paw Jack

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Guys for what it's worth, it's not just your guns, that could become an issue, but I know several guys that have passed before their wives and when they died their wife had no idea of what plan her husband had for financial issues. I've seen situations of folks even in their 70's that go our and buy some and make payments on them assuming that during the entire term of the pay off they will have money for both folks coming in. That doesn't always happen. I know a guy that refinanced his house at 70 years old and financed it for 30 years. He's had health issues and anyone who believes he will be alive even in 10 years may be naive. Sit down with your wife and explain to her your plans for income for her for the rest of her life. Make sure either she knows where that plan is written or give it to a friend that upon your passing will send it to her. That can also be a real relief to your loved one.
 

JFB

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in the last few months I got a Will and name execector. In my current situation, I don't care how much items in the estate bring.

However the legal concern I have is the execetur disposing of a silencer

Just had a thought, maybe I'll add instructions for the exector to post here, first come first get!
 
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I'm in the same situation and am still trying to figure out the best way to deal with it.

One Bullet; why can't your guy who is getting rid of his FFL still manage this for your wife? If you trust him that is probably the best way to go, give him and another friend the job of dealing with the guns and let them have one or two for their troubles or just go ahead and let them have one or two you want them to have.
 

ned

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To lighten things up a bit….old joke…I told my wife..since you are younger you’ll probably outlive me and remarry….donate my guns to the NRA…I hate the thought of some a..hole getting all my guns…..she said what makes you think I’ll marry another a..hole?
I have a current approximate value spreadsheet in my safe attached business card of honest FFL. She won’t get top dollar but…..
 
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All great advice here. I'm only in my 50's but it's still good to think about all of this.

Ron: You listed some big name auction houses that deal in firearms. I looked at a couple of them, and will look at the rest, but aren't they for fancy guns? What about if you have a few nice guns, but then just some run of the mill stuff? Do they auction off regular every day guns as well?

ned: I like the joke! My wife would probably say the same thing...
 
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Good question, and having done this, ourselve for various friends, and customers over the years and dealing with some of the auction house,,,unlless the auction house KNOWS just whata you have, and its true value and advertise it accordingly, I KNOW for a FACT recently two collector friends of many us here on the forums and the guns show circuit, recently Don W passed away , and a bit later Bill E ( appleman) with some awesome stuff in collectibles BUT, Don Rose auctions here locally in OHio, Bowling Green, Toledo handled Dons guns, they done very good excellent, Rock Island auctions handled Bill E.'s estate and they SUCKED ( capital letters) had no clue just what Bill had, I and another collector offered the family more that double what the girls got for some their Dads guns, they ( rock island) gave some of the stuff away, combined "lots' , as I said, it SUCKED for his wife...sadly Bill was NOT "renowned, famous enough, not publicised" by the Rock Island auctions, hell no new here on any of the forums even knew it was out there as to just what he had.....we could have taken them to a few local gun shows and at the start of all this "pandemic BS" they would have sold ALL for retail and more......that being said, you confide in your wife, put it all down on paper, all the current descriptions and values, auction ,book or whatever,,, hell even get a few appraisal guesstimates, average them pout....then she will know just what there is and what it is worth....we see way too may guys buy a gun, go home and tell their spouse a BS value, got it cheap from a buddy or at a garage sale, and she will have NO clue.... you leave the list with a good friend or an attorney or even in a safety deposit box to be opened and read AFTER your demise....hope this helps, good luck , enjoy them NOW... 8) :roll: :wink:
 

RSIno1

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blume357 said:
why can't your guy who is getting rid of his FFL still manage this for your wife?
His FFL may be a trusted now former business aquaintence and not a close family friend.
Consignment or auction company will take about the same money from the sale so it doesn't really matter.
A lot also depends on the state you are selling them in. Some states you could set them on a table at an estate sale and use the cash and carry method. Some states will require a transfer through an FFL. Here in CA if an assault weapon is involved the has to be surrendered to the local PD or sold/shipped out of state.
 
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Several replies here:

Kevin, NO they are NOT just for fancy/rare guns, they all handle standard estate type guns as well as the rare ones. Rare guns will bring in a certain clientel, but the average gun buyer will be attracted to the normal everyday guns. I believe it or not, a person can find some guns that are considered rare but overlooked by the nose in air crowd. Plus you might get it at a pretty darn good price.

All, a typical FFL will probably ask for a 15%-20% commission for a consignment sale and it might take months or years to sell them all. Also, you have to tell the FFL who is selling them what your bottom price is. You might want $400 for a gun but when it has been sitting for 2 or 3 months a buyer might come in and offer $300. The FFL needs to know if you will go that low. When I sell on consignment the seller and I figure out what a good fair price is and then I ask him what is the least amount he will take. I never go straight to that price if a buyer is looking pretty seriously but I'll ask if he wants to make an offer and I can go from there in the negotiations.

The big name gun auction houses normally have auctions 3 to 4 times, maybe more, per year. Also, those auction houses make their money from the buyer not the seller. They put a buyers premium on the sale and the buyer, NOT the seller will pay the fee for buying the firearm. Does this mean that a firearm will bring less than it's worth? Maybe, but that is the chance anyone takes when putting items up for auction. In auctions I have watched/participated in, the guns went for what I consider a fair price. Can you get a good deal or pay too much at these auctions, sure, it's an auction and people get auction fever. Good for the seller, bad for the buyer, it happens. Most people who participate in these auctions know what they are looking for and know what a good or bad price is, not like your average Saturday afternoon auction at someones house or the local auction house.

If you go to the Tulsa gun show, I think most of the big auction houses have tqables and you can talk to them and they will tell you exactly how it works. Even one of our own here on the forum works for an big auction house (Poulin) and I've talked to him several times to find out how it is all done. They will be completely up front with you.
 

vito

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To some degree my thoughts on this (for myself) are that once I’m dead it makes no difference. My wife tolerates me having guns, but has actively disliked guns our entire 55 year marriage. She refuses to even know how to access a gun at home in case of a true life and death situation. So when I die she will probably do what my Mom did when my Dad passed, I.e., dispose of the guns immediately for pennies on the dollar. I did get her to promise to give my S&W Model 19 to our youngest son who loves that gun. None of my other four grown kids would even accept a donated gun. I’m 78 now and have winnowed down my small collection to what I feel I need and want, so I’m okay with whatever happens. You are in better shape than some of us when it comes to guns after death.
 

Biggfoot44

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Necro !

For baseline reference ; the starting point for honest , reputable LGS to outright purchase used Firearms is 2/3 of expected asking price in their used case . Adjusted downwards if the local market is soft for that item , or they are overstocked in that catagory .

Beyond. That , its a question of time & firearms savy vs quick & get it done .

LGS consignment rates ( reputable & fair) are in 15-35 % percentage range . But clientele and connections to move particular pieces are more important than % per se .

Best clase I've personally seen was a. Widow knowledgeable enough to research asking prices on Gun List and Shotgun News . an use that number to. Open discussion l
 

Aqualung

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I'll add to this necro thread a bit, but maybe it should be its own topic...

I'm going to soon find myself in the position to help a buddy's mother in-law get rid of her departed husband's guns. Neither she, nor my buddy's wife want anything to do with them, and my buddy's keeping them is not an option, either (let's not get started on that subject...).

Anyhow, there are a few in which I'm interested and the others, I plan on seeing if I can sell for the family.

I've got a copy of the Blue Book #43 coming, to help get a baseline not only on those, but for my own collection as well. I also know to look around the sold listings on gunbroker. What are some other sources to find value? No Rugers on the list, but I don't really want to join the S&W forums or others, just to research prices.

The truth is that they're probably so happy to get rid of them that they'd take pennies on the dollar for them, but I want to a) make a fair offering for the ones I want and b) get a fair price for the ones I sell for them.

Thanks.

Aqualung
 

dannyd

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I have a gun trust and a lawyer for both the guns and me. That includes medical because the lawyer will do what's right for you and depending on your family they may do what's right for them especially in the medical part. ;)
 
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