San Lorenzo, CA asked in Estate Planning and Gov & Administrative Law for California

Q: I have an inherited shotgun in CA that is unregistered and not sure what to do?

I inherited this shotgun from my father 10 years ago and was told I didn’t need to do anything since it was inherited. I’ve learned it should have been registered within 30 days. What’s the best thing for me to do? Can I still register it? Do I dispose it?

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

A: In California, the law requires firearms inherited or received as part of an estate to be reported and registered within 30 days. Since you inherited the shotgun 10 years ago and did not register it within this timeframe, it's important to address this situation promptly to ensure compliance with state laws.

You have the option to still register the shotgun. The process involves submitting a Firearm Ownership Report (FOR) to the California Department of Justice, along with the required fee. This report provides the necessary details about the firearm and its acquisition.

However, if you're unsure about the process or concerned about potential legal implications due to the delay in registration, it may be wise to seek legal advice. An attorney can guide you through the process and help mitigate any potential issues arising from the late registration.

If you decide not to keep the shotgun, California law also provides legal avenues for disposing of firearms, such as turning them over to law enforcement or transferring them to a licensed firearms dealer. Again, consulting with a legal professional can help you understand the best course of action based on your specific circumstances.

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