Willing guns to nephew in California


Mike Faires
November 1, 2007, 03:35 PM
I have a friend living in North Carolina who knows nothing of guns or gun laws. He would like to will two relativly inexpensive autos one 9 MM and one 380 to a nephew living in California. Not being knowlegeable of California law except for it's reputation of being un friendly to gun owners I need to know is it possible and what are the requirements other than shipping through an FFL. Thanks in advance for all the help I know I will get from the memebers of the forum.

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General Geoff
November 1, 2007, 03:49 PM
Do either of the pistols hold more than 10 rounds in the mag? If not, there shouldn't be any complications.

November 1, 2007, 04:31 PM
Firstly, General Geoff's post above is a bit unclear. What needs to be said is that hicap *magazines* can't be shipped into CA - guns that use them certainly can be. (Exception is no AWs - which for pistols means nothing like a Tec9 or HKSP89, or any semiauto pistol that has a threaded bbl. Careful, as quite a few comped pistols may have threaded bbls under the comp/muzzle weight. Browning HiPower GP competition is one example.)

Californians cannot import handguns that are not on the state-approved Roster (drop tested, etc.) - however, single-action wheelguns and single-shot pistols are exempt if dimensionally compliant.

Even non-Rostered handguns can be inherited from within or outside of CA. They can also be transferred inside or from outside CA between grandparent, parent, child, grandchild (the only authorized relationships in the 'interfamily transfer' law; nephews *not* included). Noninheritance interstate transfers would require services of an FFL dealer.

BTW "willing" & "inheritance" concept does NOT include, "I'm old & sick so I'm giving that young whippersnapper my guns." It only means the person who's willing the guns actually kicked the bucket and his estate is being properly disposed of.

If the handguns are not Rostered, Carolina dude can't give CA nephew the guns. He can only do this either:
(1) if he kicks the bucket and probate is active, or
(2) somehow legally gives the guns to CA dude's father or grandfather (or, remotely, son or grandson), who then transfers gun to CA dude.

I believe no FFL is actually required for *inheritance* guns (as opposed to 'gifted' guns between family members.) To be safe, have 'em shipped to a CA FFL the California guy picks out.

The CA recipient must:
(1) not be a prohibited party (i.e, nonfelon, no violent misdemeanors, etc.)
(2) hold a valid HSC (Handgun Safety Certificate) card: it costs $25, good for 5 years, and requires the applicant to answer approx 15 or 20 (?) simple multiple-choice gun safety questions.
(3) if not going thru FFL if this is a true probate/inheritance situation, recipient must file papers w/Calif DOJ ("Firearms Acquisition thru Operation of Law" form). There's a $19/gun fee last time I checked; form is avaliable on Calif DOJ Bureau of Firearms website.

Bill Wiese
San Jose CA

November 1, 2007, 06:27 PM
If there are long guns involved that are not assault weapons (as defined under CA law) there should be no problem. Have them shipped to a CA FFL and the CA nephew can pick them up there. Do not ship any magazines over 10 round capacity.

If they are assault weapons, sorry but CA nephew is SOL.

If they are handguns, we have multiple considerations. If they are on the Approved Roster, then ship them to the CA FFL (minus any 10+ magazines) and you are good to go.

If they are NOT on the Approved Roster, then the only way to get them is as a gift from a parent or a child. So Uncle NC gives them to Nephew CA's parent, and the parent (after deciding they don't like the way it shoots, nudge nudge wink wink) then ships it to the CA FFL with a note that this is an intrafamilial transfer gift to their son. There is a simple form to fill out, the FFL will know how to process this. Again, sorry, no 10+ magazines. Nephew can buy his own 10 round magazines once the gun is here.

An interesting thought is that there is no prohibition on OWNERSHIP of 10+ capacity magazines, only on importing them into the state. So if CA Nephew rents a storage locker in Reno or Las Vegas, nothing would prevent him keeping any hi-cap mags in the storage locker for those times when he visits Nevada on business or pleasure. As long as he doesn't forget and inadvertently bring a hi-cap into CA, he should be fine. That way if he ever moves out of CA, he'll already have the original magazines for the guns. Just a thought.

November 1, 2007, 06:31 PM
There's no substitute for consulting with an attorney who not only knows the law, but knows how to execute the postmortem plans without running afoul of all the rest of the laws involved.

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