Establishing ownership for inherited arms?


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campergeek
June 28, 2003, 12:32 AM
Reading recent posts about people who have been victims of firearms theft, in conjunction with posts about selling arms and appropriately documenting the sale, have got me thinking about how to prove my ownership of my own arms. The guns that I have were "inherited" from my father-in-law, not through a specific statement in his will or a ruling in probate court but through a verbal agreement before he passed which was known by all members of the family. Because it was verbal, there is no official record of the guns having passed from him to me.

The posts that I mentioned have begun to make me wonder about my own legal protection - or that of my mother-in-law, if these guns were ever stolen. For example, would I have trouble proving they were mine when reporting such a theft to the police? Or if one was used in a crime, might sales records (there is no long arm registration in MO) trace them back to my F-I-L, or in his absence, my M-I-L? On the other hand, when (if) selling the arms, might I have an issue if ever needed to prove that they were legally mine to sell?

These questions have me wondering if I should take steps to document the transfer of these guns into my ownership, and if so, what form would that take? Should I draft a document stating that they were given to me upon my F-I-L's death, listing the description and serial number of all arms involved, and have both my M-I-L and myself sign? Should such a document be notarized? Should this be one document, or one for each gun? Is there some other form such document should take? Am I worrying far too much about this issue?

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jsalcedo
June 28, 2003, 12:47 AM
Your last paragraph will do. a notarized copy in a safe deposit box or similar firesafe would be good for insurance purposes as well.

Maybe take a picture of the guns as well.

Sunray
June 28, 2003, 12:50 AM
It may be easier than you think. I think, not being from there. If you don't already have it, take out a fire and theft, replacement value insurance policy on them. The insurance company will insist on an independant appraisal and likely pictures with S/N's and detailed descriptions. CYA's you up the ying/yang. Talk to your lawyer first and your insurance guy. They'll be able to tell you if I'm wrong or not. All it takes is a phone call.

PrudentGT
June 28, 2003, 02:11 AM
I had a rider on my renter's policy for extra firearms coverage and they never asked for anything, mfgr, model, serial no's, nuthin'.

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