What’s the Law: Transfer of estate firearms

WHAT’S THE LAW?

BY DARRYL CHOY

TOPIC: Transfer of estate firearms

Question: My friend’s father passed away recently and left a WW2 M-1 carbine and a Colt .45 auto . My friend wants to keep the M-1 but wants me to have the Colt. What do we need to do?

Answer: At death, a long gun can be transferred directly to a family member provided the member has the needed permit, a copy of the death certificate and notarized authorization by the estate personal representative. HPD may not get too sticky about the authorization since your friend is a family member. Possibly he could take the carbine, the death certificate, and his long gun permit to HPD.

If you are not a family member, it gets more complicated. All firearms have to be transferred to a FFL dealer first:

  1. Family provides a copy of the death certificate and a notarized letter authoring a transfer to the dealer.
  2. Dealer takes both to HPD and obtains a dealer registration for the long gun and obtains a permit for the handgun (no 14-day wait period).
  3. Dealer goes back to the family and has the family member sign the handgun permit.
  4. Dealer returns to HPD with the signed permit and the handgun and obtains a dealer registration for the handgun.
  5. All estate firearms must be dealer-registered at HPD and logged into the dealer’s ATF book. Once this is done, the dealer can start selling/transferring the guns to non-family members.

Alternatively, your friend could have the handgun registered to him and in turn have you register it in your name. But that will require both of you to have the needed handgun certifications and go through 14-day wait periods.

All of the above is the “normal” procedure followed by HPD under Sec. 134-2 (a) HRS. However, in the past, the procedure has changed without notice or new laws passed.

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