Rules You Must Know When Inheriting Firearms in Florida

If you have inherited a gun or other firearms, there are three things you need to know.

1. Federal law strictly prohibits the transfer of a handgun to a resident of another state unless done through a Federal Firearms Licensee, or FFL. Although you cannot ordinarily directly transfer a handgun between two people who reside in different states, if you inherit a firearm through a person in another state, it does not matter that the person who bequests the firearm to you lived in another state. The executor of the will can transfer the firearm to you without going through an FFL as long as you can lawfully possess a firearm in your resident state.

2. In Florida, there is no such thing as a firearm registry. Therefore, when you receive a firearm from another individual, whether through private sale or inheritance in a will, you do not need to, and in fact could not even if you wanted to, register that firearm. However, you must also check the law in the state where the decedent lived.

3. If you are ineligible to possess firearms, then the person administering the will cannot transfer the firearm to you. They could sell the firearm and provide you with the proceeds, but cannot transfer a firearm to you if you cannot lawfully possess it.

One last thing: if you inherit an antique firearm, defined under federal law as manufactured in or before 1898 and under Florida law as manufactured in or before 1918, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade, then you do not need to worry about the above rules. Antique firearms are not firearms at all under the law and are treated like any other piece of property left in a will.

If you have any questions about whether the firearm you have inherited is considered an antique or any other questions about inheriting firearms, please call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak with your Independent Program Attorney.

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