INHERITING GUNS/ESTATE QUESTIONS



If you are a GOAL member and have questions regarding firearms inheritance please call our Director of Education, Jon Green 508-393-5333.

  • When a gun owner dies, the “heir or legatee” is not immediately in illegal possession if they do not have a license. Chapter 140, §129 gives a 180 day exemption. By the end of 180 days, the person in charge of the estate should have either:
    1. Transfer the firearms to a dealer
    2. Transfer the firearms to a person who has the appropriate FID/LTC
    3. Or, applied for an extension of the time period to the chief of police
  • If the deceased had a MA license: It appears that an FA-10 could be filled out during this 180 day period, with the deceased person’s information as the seller, and the new owner as the buyer. The executor/executrix should sign [her name] for the estate of [deceased’s name].
  • If it has been longer than 180 days, or the deceased did not have a current LTC, then the sales must go through a licensed dealer.
  • If the inheritor is out of state, then have the executor/executrix ship the guns to a licensed dealer in that state OR have the inheritor pick them up directly.
  • Inherited guns still need to be registered with the state! Inheriting Across State Lines: If a MA resident with an LTC/FID inherits guns from a deceased person out of state, they may go directly and pick up those guns (provided it is lawful for them to possess those guns in that state as a non-resident). Although the federal government prohibits private transfers across state lines, it does make an exception for “direct bequest or interstate succession.” This is especially handy when we are talking about a person inheriting handguns that may not be “MA compliant”. Inherited guns still need to be registered on an FA-10.


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