Handguns across state line

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Handguns across state line

Postby djthomas » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:21 pm

My dad called me this afternoon with a bit of a quandary. He and my mom were up in Michigan visiting my grandfather (her dad). He's in his mid 90s and has been on a mental decline over the last year. About 10 years ago he worked up a trust with my mom as the successor trustee in which he placed all of his assets. The trust has two provisions for my mom becoming the sole trustee. First is if two doctors sign off that he's incompetent. Second is if he resigns his trusteeship. Suffice it to say they went to Michigan because it was time to pull the trigger on that. There's reasons why the former wasn't appealing at the moment so they went the second. All I can say is thank God my grandfather can remember that Trump is president because other questions like what day is it didn't come as easily. Thank goodness for being a lifelong Republican.

Anyway, the lawyers decided that he was competent enough to hand over control of the trust to my mom and all the paperwork was completed. Fast forward to today when my dad calls because in going through the various files that my mom now needs to have on hand they came across his old WWII service pistol that he kept with his bank records. Grandpa's in no condition to possess firearms so they decided that it needed to come with them. My dad had a sudden panic because that meant taking the handgun across state lines without going through a dealer, yada yada yada.

I'm not a lawyer but my gut reaction was that it's not a transfer until my grandfather dies (and at that point the federal rules about transfer by succession come into play). My mom is the trustee which means she has an obligation to protect the trust's assets. By bringing the handgun back with her no transfer has occurred because she is merely holding it in her capacity as the trustee. At this point she couldn't give it to me, my dad, or even herself, but she can hold on to it.

The lawyer's office was closed by the time this came up. Needless to say, the gun came back and a notation to its existence was recorded in the ledger.

If it's not obvious by now, my question is this. Is this the right call?
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Re: Handguns across state line

Postby Sevens » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:55 pm

Well I would say that you have laid down a helluva question, one for which I haven't an answer.

I would say that FFL's that I am familiar with would not care how the pistol traveled but that if one of any of you could show a photocopy of Grandpa's driver's license (or other legal current ID), that would be all that is required to enter it in to their bound book and subsequently transfer it to anyone who fills out the 4473.

That also does not answer your riddle but perhaps it clears up the current situation.
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Re: Handguns across state line

Postby rimfireOH » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:19 am

Are all the items in question older than 50 years?

Thirty bucks and about forty-five days will get you a Curios & Relics FFL (mine just arrived last week). Take possession of them as part of your new collection. Provide a receipt. Problem solved.
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Re: Handguns across state line

Postby JimE » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:53 pm

That is probably a good question for ATF.
A firearm crossing the state line is the issue. I know in years past, a lot of people would just toss it in the trunk, take it home and not worry; especially if the transfer was between family.
Safe thing (not the cheapest) is to ship to an FFL in OH., then do the 4473 routine to keep the feds happy.
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Re: Handguns across state line

Postby Homer J » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:37 pm

I say just delete your posts and take it home.
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Re: Handguns across state line

Postby djthomas » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:49 pm

JimE wrote:That is probably a good question for ATF.

Yeah, if they'd answer within the next three years...
JimE wrote:A firearm crossing the state line is the issue. I know in years past, a lot of people would just toss it in the trunk, take it home and not worry; especially if the transfer was between family.
Safe thing (not the cheapest) is to ship to an FFL in OH., then do the 4473 routine to keep the feds happy.

To be clear, no transfer has occurred. The firearm will not leave the trust in the immediate future. The only thing that has changed is the trustee, and as anybody with an NFA trust knows any trustee can possess the trust's NFA items without it being considered to have been transferred.

Got a text from my dad today that the MI lawyer returned his call - the short story is the lawyer said what they did was perfectly legit. I hope to talk to him later tonight or tomorrow to get more details. I'll report back.
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Re: Handguns across state line

Postby pirateguy191 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:57 pm

Homer J wrote:I say just delete your posts and take it home.


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Re: Handguns across state line

Postby Homer J » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:15 pm

pirateguy191 wrote:
Homer J wrote:I say just delete your posts and take it home.


Si



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Re: Handguns across state line

Postby WestonDon » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:13 pm

Doesn't Michigan have some sort of pistol licensing/registration scheme? I seem to recall hearing about such a thing from friends living in Michigan. I could be mistaken. The reason I mention this is that if that's true and assuming that the pistol in question never made into the system, probably the best thing is to avoid any government contact regarding this transaction even though I believe the lawyers assessment.

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Re: Handguns across state line

Postby djthomas » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:01 am

Michigan does have a pistol registration scheme and we don't know the status of the pistol in question. Each pistol must be registered if one plans to purchase, carry, possess, or transport it. Failing to comply is a $250 civil infraction - there are no criminal penalties.

The only person this could have been a problem for is grandpa and since he's no longer in possession, it's kind of a moot point. Both my parents have their Ohio CHLs (which is an exemption to the above requirements) so there was no problem with Michigan law when it was transported for safekeeping.
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Re: Handguns across state line

Postby willbird » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:59 am

I guess there is the legal answer, and there is the practical answer :-).

If the gun is a "woodwork" gun that has never appeared on paper anywhere in the last 50 years then it is a ghost pretty much ;-).

But even if he DID have it registered, it would take a really strange turn of events for any authorities to ever try to trace how it left MI and came to Ohio, the burdon of proof would be on them really.

Interesting story about old 1911's. Buddy bought one at a gunshow in Dayton, it was a pre war 45 target model, really nice gun. He bought a research letter from Colt...and it turns out that the gun originally shipped to a CCC camp located within 100 yards of where he lived then (several hours drive today from Dayton) . So by buying it and bringing it home he more or less brought it right back to where Colt shipped it from the factory :-).
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Re: Handguns across state line

Postby Sevens » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:37 pm

willbird wrote:But even if he DID have it registered, it would take a really strange turn of events for any authorities to ever try to trace how it left MI and came to Ohio, the burdon of proof would be on them really.

I'm not totally sure of what or how you mean this -- and it seems sometimes on these subjects, we tend to agree even if it doesn't seem like it at first. However, going by what I quoted, I see a potential problem:

If someone that can EASILY be pieced together as having been associated with you (in this case, a relative, out of state) had registered a firearm and then you later find yourself aligned with that same firearm, you would LOOK guilty for having moved it across state lines. (and looking guilty isn't a great place to be when in fact you absolutely ARE guilty if you had moved it to Ohio)

If you had it here in Ohio and it got stolen from you... and you reported it... you would be caught up in an illegal activity:
having had moved that gun to Ohio from another state without the help of an FFL. If it gets stolen from you, you must report it -- not doing so is obviously illegal. And playing Devil's Advocate... if your stolen gun ended up used in a felony (or a horrendous felony), I can see them being awfully motivated to pick up anyone along the way to feed to the mainstream media.

Doing things that are clearly and specifically not legal is never going to be a good idea.
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Re: Handguns across state line

Postby willbird » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:47 am

Sevens wrote:
willbird wrote:But even if he DID have it registered, it would take a really strange turn of events for any authorities to ever try to trace how it left MI and came to Ohio, the burdon of proof would be on them really.

I'm not totally sure of what or how you mean this -- and it seems sometimes on these subjects, we tend to agree even if it doesn't seem like it at first. However, going by what I quoted, I see a potential problem:

If someone that can EASILY be pieced together as having been associated with you (in this case, a relative, out of state) had registered a firearm and then you later find yourself aligned with that same firearm, you would LOOK guilty for having moved it across state lines. (and looking guilty isn't a great place to be when in fact you absolutely ARE guilty if you had moved it to Ohio)

If you had it here in Ohio and it got stolen from you... and you reported it... you would be caught up in an illegal activity:
having had moved that gun to Ohio from another state without the help of an FFL. If it gets stolen from you, you must report it -- not doing so is obviously illegal. And playing Devil's Advocate... if your stolen gun ended up used in a felony (or a horrendous felony), I can see them being awfully motivated to pick up anyone along the way to feed to the mainstream media.

Doing things that are clearly and specifically not legal is never going to be a good idea.


I do not DIS agree with any of that, however, if I were writing a screenplay, and the protagonist came across a gun in the family that had never appeared on paper since it was signed out of an armory in WW2, that screenplay character would never bring that gun across the bound books of an FFL anywhere ;-).

Due to how people move around, and how many are ignorant of the laws LOTS of guns move around between states in ways that COULD be illegal, or might not be, the burden of proof is upon the prosecution, and with a gun that was never on paper since it's military service days there will not be any IMHO.

Again speaking in purely hypothetical terms.

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