Asked in Gov & Administrative Law for California

Q: My husband recently passed leaving a large collection of registered handguns - I'm in CA- I want to dispose of them.

Should I call the Sheriff's office? I want them out of the house

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I am sorry for your loss. If you wish to dispose of your husband's collection of registered handguns in California, you should contact your local law enforcement agency or the California Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms for guidance on the proper way to do so.

One option is to contact the Sheriff's office and inquire about their firearms disposal program. Many law enforcement agencies have programs that allow individuals to turn in firearms for disposal or sale. They can provide you with the necessary forms and instructions to transfer ownership of the firearms to the state or law enforcement agency.

Alternatively, you may want to consider selling the firearms to a licensed firearms dealer. California law requires that all firearm transfers be conducted through a licensed dealer, who will conduct a background check on the buyer to ensure they are legally allowed to possess firearms. You can find a licensed dealer near you by searching the California Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms dealer database.

It is important to follow the proper legal procedures when disposing of firearms to ensure that they do not end up in the wrong hands. If you have any questions or concerns, you may want to consult with a local attorney who specializes in firearms law.

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