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Complicated Transfer Question


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#1 bmarvin

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 08:35 AM

I was approached via email on another board about a Handy Gun

Here's the context:

 

"I have access to an H&R Handy Gun. I contacted ATF NFA and found that it is on the registry.  But I know that the original owner died in 1973, and it has passed through a couple hands without them realizing what steps were necessary to keep it in legal standing.

Any idea how I can get this legally transferred and stamped?  Unlikely that the attorney for the original estate is still around. Find the most current heir, transfer it to them (tax free transfer) and then to me ($5 tax)?  Or is there a way to skip the intermediate step?"
 
 
 
Any thoughts? Normally I suggested an attorney versed in NFA but this isn't a high dollar item. The cost to rectify the issue might outpace the value
 
Thanks for your thoughts
Brian
 
 

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#2 Sandman1957

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 09:23 AM

Brian,

First things first.  He is in possession of a NFA item.  He needs to get it back to the original family's heirs or to someone (Sheriff?) to store while this is being run down.  I'm not sure the original attorney needs to get involved.  Find who was the primary next of kin, and they should be able to contact the NFA Branch and get assistance from them.  It was not acted on then, but should be able to be acted on now, as long as a definite next of kin can be determined.

Good luck.  

Steve


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#3 Black River Militaria CII

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 09:30 AM

ATF in recent years has been very helpful in trying to solve the issue of no person legally eligible to sign the paperwork. In several instances with which I was involved, ATF allowed a beneficiary to sign the application for transfer out of the nane of the deceased owner. The persons involved were designated beneficiaries of the estate and not necessarily specfically for the NFA firearms.
Keep in mind two things: frst, this is a property issue for an item that belongs to the estate, so there is potential interest by other beneficiaries who will have probate standing; second, ATF has no authority concerning the property issue and is strictly limited to compliance with NFA rules.
Apparently the name of the deceased registrant is known, which is a huge advantage. The main problem with these types of limbo NFA is that often the name of the registrant is not known and ATF cannot legally divulge that information.
The current method of dealing with unregistered auto burglers, etc, and I understand that the gun in question is registered, is to have a gunsmith very lightly engrave rifling into the bore. This renders the gun a handgun thus no longer an AOW and removes it from NFA control. Once this done the gun can be transferred in the same manner as a revolver, pistol or other type of handgun.
So, making this gun legal to transfer and own will take a lot of groundwork and contact with ATF if you can find a person eligible to sign the transfer.
If not the other option might be the way to go.
Hope this helps
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#4 RoscoeTurner

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 09:59 AM

Perfect example of why it is so important to lay the ground work for the transfer of our collections when we are gone.  Having spent a career in aviation I know all too well how easy it is for someone to go to work in the morning and not come home that evening.  A will and instructions for the executor of your estate are extremely important and not something to put off, do it now and make darn sure who ever it is that will handle your estate knows where these documents are.


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#5 Gaffshot

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 10:39 AM

Should have a lawyer re-open the estate.  Personal representative takes possession of the nfa item and then figures out who is supposed to inherit the item.  Administrator makes a proposed probate settlement telling the judge who is going to get the estate property and the probate judge signs off approving the transfer of the property (not talking nfa transfer here).  Next Administrator files the ATF Form 5 to tranfer to the person receiving the inheritance.  Once approved and transferred the administrator files proof with the probate court and asks the court to close the estate.

 

That's how I would handle this in KY.  I don't know about other states.  I see this as its still property of the estate until lawfully transferred.  

 

Good luck.


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#6 Black River Militaria CII

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 01:07 PM

Yes, reopenning probate for the estate can be done, and it is a lot of work, but the probate court is required to notify any and all possible beneficiaries and interested parties. This has been the downfall of a number of valuable MGs since the newly notified benficiaries find out how valuable are the MGs and then the family battles begin. This becomes a nightmare and the MG remains stuck in the name of the deceased until the family figures it all out and that can take years.
The value of this gun is hardly worth such a venture, in any case.
Just a minor point, but registration does not confer owneship. This is actually important here simply because it is sometimes possible to transfer an MG from an estate but the property issue is neveer resolved due to the estate not receiving payment.
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#7 Bill DeShivs

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 02:56 PM

ATF in recent years has been very helpful in trying to solve the issue of no person legally eligible to sign the paperwork. In several instances with which I was involved, ATF allowed a beneficiary to sign the application for transfer out of the nane of the deceased owner. The persons involved were designated beneficiaries of the estate and not necessarily specfically for the NFA firearms.
Keep in mind two things: frst, this is a property issue for an item that belongs to the estate, so there is potential interest by other beneficiaries who will have probate standing; second, ATF has no authority concerning the property issue and is strictly limited to compliance with NFA rules.
Apparently the name of the deceased registrant is known, which is a huge advantage. The main problem with these types of limbo NFA is that often the name of the registrant is not known and ATF cannot legally divulge that information.
The current method of dealing with unregistered auto burglers, etc, and I understand that the gun in question is registered, is to have a gunsmith very lightly engrave rifling into the bore. This renders the gun a handgun thus no longer an AOW and removes it from NFA control. Once this done the gun can be transferred in the same manner as a revolver, pistol or other type of handgun.
So, making this gun legal to transfer and own will take a lot of groundwork and contact with ATF if you can find a person eligible to sign the transfer.
If not the other option might be the way to go.
Hope this helps

You can only rifle guns that are under .50 caliber. This would not include any 28, 20, 16, or 12 ga. guns.


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#8 Black River Militaria CII

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 12:09 PM

The guns in question are handguns so with the light rifling they would become AOWs, and require NFA registration, subject to Title II transfer requirements but with only a $5 transfer tax. They do not become DDs or SBSs.
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#9 Bill DeShivs

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 04:49 PM

The guns in question are handguns so with the light rifling they would become AOWs, and require NFA registration, subject to Title II transfer requirements but with only a $5 transfer tax. They do not become DDs or SBSs.

Sorry- your post makes no sense, Or I'm misunderstanding.

Only AOWs under .50 caliber can be rifled to remove them from the NFA.

Removing the barrels, however (and disposing of them) removes the gun from the purview of the NFA.


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#10 bmarvin

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 08:00 AM

The guns in question are handguns so with the light rifling they would become AOWs, and require NFA registration, subject to Title II transfer requirements but with only a $5 transfer tax. They do not become DDs or SBSs.

Sorry- your post makes no sense, Or I'm misunderstanding.

Only AOWs under .50 caliber can be rifled to remove them from the NFA.

Removing the barrels, however (and disposing of them) removes the gun from the purview of the NFA.

Bill is correct. The Handy Guns start as AOW's and non registered guns can be saved with light rifling. I own a couple examples (rifled) and have an ATF letter that I can post if there's interest


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