Firearm adoption

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Dec 1, 2010
My wife's uncle was living with my mother-in-law when he died a few years ago. He left no will or anything else regarding his personal property. She recently asked me to clean out all his stuff out of the house. In his gun safe I found a sweet 686+ 4 inch. She said "take it if you want it" (I love my m-i-l). What is the process for transferring the gun if the former owner is dead? I assume it was purchased and registered by him originally, but ya'll know what assumptions are worth.
Depending on what state you're in the process might be different. Most states do NOT require (or have provisions for) registration of handguns.

In many states (such as Florida for example) you'd simply take the ol' gal home, give her a bath, oil her down, load her up and go shoot.
You must legally transfer the handgun to you using an FFL. Not sure exactly the procedure involving a deceased owner, but contact the FFL you intend to use to make the transfer and ask. They will know the proper way to go about it.
[I've deleted a bunch of crap from this thread that wasn't helpful and/or which did not even come close to answering this member's qustion about this type of transfer in the state of CA. Let's try to do better, folks.]

First thing first: YOU did not inherit the handgun. If your uncle died intestate (no will) then there was some process by which his belongings were inherited by his heirs. If your mother-in-law inherited his belongings then she is the rightful owner of that firearm.

As it is a handgun, she must follow section PC 27920 which says in part:

PC 27920 said:
...the person shall, within 30 days of taking possession, forward by prepaid mail or deliver in person to the Department of Justice, a report of information concerning the individual taking possession of the firearm, how title or possession was obtained and from whom, and a description of the firearm in question.

So she has some paperwork to do.

Once she's got that squared away, you guys may go to a FFL dealer and make the transfer from her, the heir and lawful owner, to you.
Sam, one thing I really like about this forum is that the moderators do moderate, eventhough somebody has thrown a couple of my colorful remarks where ever you throw them.
Thank you Sam. I think that's what I was looking for.
And, by the way, colorful and or humorous remarks can be entertaining. That is one of the reasons I enjoy reading this forum. It's the snarky unhelpful ones that annoy.
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