What To Do With A Deceased Person's Weaponry

14 November 2016
 Categories: , Blog

A death can be difficult enough without having to deal with dangerous items. However, if your relative or friend owned guns, swords, and other weaponry, you have quite a task on your hands. The weaponry has to be handled carefully and may need to go through specific channels depending on your state's laws. If you are not used to dealing with weapons, don't worry; a local gun store like 3five7 Arms and your community's police can help.

Do Not Touch Any Guns

Before anything else, don't touch the weaponry, especially guns, unless you know how to use them. For swords, knives, and other non-gun items, just set those aside, away from kids and pets. For guns, leave them where they are even if you think they're unloaded. It's always possible a bullet from a magazine was moved up into the gun's firing chamber before the magazine was removed. The gun would then be loaded and dangerous.

Contact Police or a Gun Store

If you live in an area where the police and local community have a good relationship (not everyone does, so read the next paragraph if you don't), contact a local police station and explain that your relative or friend has just died, he or she owned guns, and you don't know what to do with them. If the police aren't too busy, it's possible an officer can come out and help inspect the guns and let you know what your options are. If the police are too busy to do that, they can still give you advice on what to do.

If you live in an area where the community and the police do not have a good relationship, though, contact a local gun store. Not only can they let you know what local gun and weapon ownership and transfer laws are, they may know of an officer or community action group who can help you deal with the police if the police do need to know about the guns (such as for registration or transfer issues).

Have the Items Valued

The gun store can also help value the items -- not just the guns but the swords and more. This is necessary if you plan to sell the weaponry, even to another family member. Laws governing who can take the weapons, especially the guns, vary by state. Sometimes you have to value the items for estate purposes as well.

Determine Disposal or Sale

Now you have to figure out what to do with the items. Smaller knives, like pocket knives, Swiss army knives and multitools, and even hunting knives, can often go with family members or friends of the deceased. Guns are a different matter. Again, check laws; for example, the California Firearms Laws summary (under "Sales and Transfers of Firearms") states that an "infrequent" transfer between immediate family members, excepting siblings, does not need to be conducted through a licensed gun store. If you want to sell the guns, you'll need to contact the gun store to help you with that.

Dealing with weaponry after the death of a gun owner (or owner of other weapons) need not be complicated. You just need to know where to turn for help, and your local gun store is one of those places that can assist you.