If my father passed away and had unregistered guns, what do I have to do to make them legal to use and/or sell?

Dad was a character; he has guns that were unregistered. Some are from Civil War era, some are newer. Not trusting the government he never got a gun card or registered them. Another complication is that some of them have the serial number filed off. Nobody wants to get in trouble so we literally are not touching them and leaving them right where they are. Some we would like to keep in the family and use. Others we would like to sell. None of us have a criminal record and are hard working bill paying people. What can I do to keep myself and my siblings out of trouble? I’m executrix.

Asked on September 8, 2011 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are concerned about the status of firearms that are part of your father's estate as being registered or not and how to register them with ATF, you should contact a reputable firearms dealer in your area about the process for doing so and keep a record of such in your file as the estate's adminsitratrix.

In order to safeguard the assets of the estate and protect you and others from any liability for unregistered firearms of filed off serial numbers, photographs all of the weapons and do an investory of them since you will need to do so anyway as part of the estate's administration.

The older weapons (civil war era) should not be a concern with ATF.

Good question.

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