Where/Who to leave my guns to when dead?

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Dec 25, 2002
I know all of you will say "Leave them to ME!!" I totally get that.

But in all seriousness my wife and I have been doing some estate planning and I really have nobody to leave my collection too. We don't have any kids and I'm the only "gun nut" in the family, so leaving them to either my wife's or my nieces and nephews will just have them sold off or worse, destroyed like the guy in California with his family destroying 1500 guns and ammo.

I'm leave a few to friends and the rest I'm thinking of donating to my club and/or GOA. Not sure if that's something you can do for estate planning or if it's something they'd even want as I'm sure there's tax ramifications to that.

Any other options people can think of?
Local shooting clubs for people that don't have nice skeet guns maybe

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I've bequeathed a few favourites to my various shooting buddies, but I'm leaving the bulk to the NRA and TSRA. They will auction them or raffle them to raise funds.

I don't have anything "museum" quality, but all my NFA stuff is bequeathed so there will be no transfer taxes.
I'm in the same boat as you,,,

I own 64 fiery-arms,,,
And have no relatives to leave them to.

I have a few cousins but I know if I gave them something,,,
They would pawn the guns at the first opportunity.

But I do have friends who shoot,,,
So most will get doled out to those folk.

There is one person on this forum who will be pleasantly surprised,,,
And two people on TFL who will also be surprised,,,
That's assuming I outlive them of course. ;)

The important thing is to get the will & list made out, maintain it,,,
Then make darn sure that someone trustworthy will take care of it for you.


Do you have a local 4H shooting team? There are probably some young shooters that could use good equip, but can't afford it.
I've left instructions for my wife or my executor to have them ALL auctioned off to the highest bidder. After all my wife will likely be the one in need of money, I sure won't.

She has even been given a list of a few auctioneers that specialize in firearm collections.
Some are going to family and friends who I know will use and enjoy them. The rest can be sold at auction.
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Try the NRA!!!!!!!

^. This. I am leaving my guns to my wife and my children. However, helping out the NRA in your will is a very good idea.
I have one firearm with some historical significance that I plan to leave to a museum. I have several with FAMILY significance that will be left to family members. Then 60 or 70 others only important to ME. I have made arrangements for my nephew (a real gun guy) to sell the others and give my wife the proceeds.
I just asked a friend who knows about guns that upon my death to please help my wife by selling them off for me, I also told him to pick one out that he would want for the help.
Two sons, one grandson, four grand daughters...one good shooting buddy. The hardest thing is deciding who gets what. Then there is the reloading gear.

If you plan to leave them to an organization, better make sure they'll want them first. I can't imagine the NRA wanting a bunch of used guns that they'll have to get rid of. Your gun club might be better, they can auction them off to the membership to benefit the club as a fundraiser, or maybe for the benefit of your surviving wife.

Something I've thought about too. I sure don't want my step-daughter getting her greedy hooks on any. Step-son might be OK for a couple, grandson too. But not the whole collection.
I can't imagine the NRA wanting a bunch of used guns that they'll have to get rid of.

The NRA sure will take your used guns.

NRA Planned Giving Guide: http://www.nra.org/plannedgiving/files/NRA 2015 PlannedGivingGuide 8-15.pdf

NRA Firearms For Freedom

The NRA frequently receives inquiries about how
members can donate a collection of firearms.
Common questions include:

• How can I give the NRA my firearms?
• Which NRA programs can benefit?
• What does the NRA do with them?
• Will my firearms be displayed in the National Firearms Museum?

NRA Firearms For Freedom is a unique program that supports the liberties that
built this country through gifts of firearms. Donated firearms could be part of your
long-term strategic financial plan, or may be auctioned, with proceeds benefiting
the NRA program of your choice. World-class auction houses specializing in
firearms handle each auction, ensuring all transfers of firearms are handled
professionally and with the care and attention they deserve.

Some donated firearms may be suitable for the National Firearms Museum
collection – which may qualify as a charitable gift for tax purposes. The Museum
has a vast collection and as a result is not able to display all firearms left through
NRA members’ estate plans. However, prior to auction all firearms are reviewed
for possible inclusion in the Museum’s displays and reference collection. If
you believe you have a unique firearm that you would like the Museum staff to
evaluate, contact the NRA Office of Advancement at (877) NRA-GIVE (672-4483),
or visit www.nrafff.com.
It amazes me how many folks don't seem to have family members who are interested in shooting. I have kids, grandkids, nephews, nieces, cousins, and others many times removed who have already expressed interest in my "smokable" assets.
If you're wife is still alive, she can have a gun broker sell them and she gets the money.

You need to make a list of the guns to sell and their values.

Hey Rockrivr1, Yours is a thought provoking question for all of us who have a treasured collection, no matter how extensive. Even if we have no family to leave them to or like me a large family with lots of shooters, the question is the same; What do I do? In your case, there are lots of estate planners that can recommend reputable folks who will sell your collection and give the money to your wife. I go to estate auctions all the time and the guns usually fetch a pretty good price, especially the good ones. But, if that is not an option for you, I really like the idea of donating to the NRA. Good luck with your decisions.
Sure glad I have a large fleet of guns. I have a lot of kids/grandkids/in-laws worthy of getting something.
I am giving my guns to my grandchildren now. I am 60, and feel like they will mean more if they get them in the next year. I will keep a few, with instructions in a will.
There is one person on this forum who will be pleasantly surprised,,,
And two people on TFL who will also be surprised,,,
That's assuming I outlive them of course.
I think you mean "they outlive me" or "I predecease them".

I blame it on a Senior Moment,,,:eek:


Mine are in my will, to go to my 2 sons. The same way my Brother and I inherited from our Grandfather and later, our Father. Without Family, it would be a tough call.
Even though I have a will made out,,,

Even though I have a will made out,,,
I'll probably be giving some of them away when I retire.

The will is in case I die unexpectedly,,,
I want to experience the joy of seeing some of the recipient's faces.

A dear friend has a daughter who I have known since she was 18 hours old,,,
She's 13 years old now and has become a lovely young lady.

I've decided that she will get Lucille,,,
My Colt Frontier Scout.

That's the gun that belonged to my mother when I was a kid.

She will get the gun, a handmade (by me) gunslinger belt/holster,,,
A 50's vintage leather briefcase to store/carry them in,,,
And a printed scroll with the gun's history.

Her dad asked me to wait until she turns 16,,,
She will get a nice .22 rifle as well.

Other friends will get to choose a gun,,,
Imagine having someone open a safe with 50-60 guns in it,,,
Then having that owner look at you and say, "Pick any two you would like."

It's self-serving in a way,,,
But I will enjoy that experience greatly.


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