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Posted: 3/10/2022 11:32:49 AM EDT
My father-in-law lives in Pennsylvania.  My wife and I live in a different state.  My father-in-law is getting old and no longer shoots.  He wants to give me (or my wife, if that is less complicated) his guns (5- 10 handguns and one long gun).

My wife and I will be in Pennsylvania next week.  Is there any Pennsylvania law that prevents him from just giving me or my wife the guns?  Is any paperwork required by Pennsylvania?

We plan to ship them back to our state of residence if we can determine that no laws will be violated in Pennsylvania or the state where we live.

Thanks for your assistance.
Link Posted: 3/10/2022 1:55:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: sawgunner73] [#1]
Federal law would prevent it. Transfer technically would have to go through a dealer.

Edit: handguns would have to transfer through a dealer in your state.
Link Posted: 3/12/2022 9:21:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: mattdoc] [#2]
Transfers of non-NFA items in PA between a parent and child are simple: you hand the other person the gun. The way the laws are, you're not supposed to buy a gun for someone else, but if you already have it, it can be given/sold between certain immediate family members without paperwork.

The "taking it home to another state" thing may complicate that, I don't know.

Make sure what your FIL is gifting your wife is legal to possess where you take it.

https://www.uslawshield.com/given-a-gun-pennsylvania/#:~:text=Gifting%20Handguns&text=According%20to%20Pennsylvania%20law%2C%20a,Ti­ffany%20Blue%20Glock%2C%20go%20ahead

"According to Pennsylvania law, a transfer of a handgun between spouses, parent and child, or grandparent and grandchild do not require an FFL or sheriff to run a background check, provided no one is prohibited from possessing a firearm. So, if you want to buy your wife a Tiffany Blue Glock, go ahead. Just simply wrap the firearm and put it under the tree, no paperwork necessary. If you want to buy a gun for your sister or your friend Joe, you must process the transfer through an FFL or the sheriff’s office, no exception."
Link Posted: 3/12/2022 6:23:47 PM EDT
[#3]
Perfect answer is above.^^^^^^^^^
Link Posted: 3/12/2022 9:53:00 PM EDT
[#4]
I don't care either way, but OP and the FIL are residents of different states, so PA law as mentioned above doesn't apply.
Link Posted: 3/13/2022 8:28:42 PM EDT
[#5]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By sawgunner73:
I don't care either way, but OP and the FIL are residents of different states, so PA law as mentioned above doesn't apply.
View Quote

Who is to say he didn't give them to her 15 years ago when she lived there.  I think she will be fine.   If the gun is ever traced for some reason it would be simple to show it was her fathers.  
Link Posted: 3/13/2022 9:28:20 PM EDT
[#6]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TARFU:

Who is to say he didn't give them to her 15 years ago when she lived there.  
View Quote


OP
Link Posted: 3/14/2022 12:37:34 AM EDT
[#7]
I haven’t found anything specifically dealing with this exact situation but the fact she is physically in PA and if the firearms are legal in the state she resides then what is happening is he is gifting them (physically handing them) to his daughter which is legal and then she is shipping them to herself, also legal.
I’d personally do it without worrying.
Even if there were a shipping issue and say the guns were lost or stolen while in transit then she, as the current owner of the firearms, would file a report and make a claim for reimbursement.
There is no direct gun registration in PA, just purchase and transfer records, so there are no official records of who owns the firearms at any given time so if her FIL were contacted about a previously owned firearm he could simply say they were gifted to his daughter.


Link Posted: 3/16/2022 9:59:42 AM EDT
[#8]
You need to go through an FFL to legally transfer the firearms.

Your wife is no longer a resident of PA, therefore nothing can be legally given to her. The non-FFL transfer between parent and child only works if BOTH are legal residents of PA.

The fact that you and your wife will be in PA means nothing.
Link Posted: 3/16/2022 10:03:50 AM EDT
[#9]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Princeton:

I haven’t found anything specifically dealing with this exact situation but the fact she is physically in PA and if the firearms are legal in the state she resides then what is happening is he is gifting them (physically handing them) to his daughter which is legal and then she is shipping them to herself, also legal.
I’d personally do it without worrying.


This is wrong information. The father cannot gift his daughter the firearms because she is not a resident of PA.

Even if there were a shipping issue and say the guns were lost or stolen while in transit then she, as the current owner of the firearms, would file a report and make a claim for reimbursement.

There is no direct gun registration in PA, just purchase and transfer records, so there are no official records of who owns the firearms at any given time so if her FIL were contacted about a previously owned firearm he could simply say they were gifted to his daughter.


View Quote

Link Posted: 3/16/2022 10:13:45 AM EDT
[#10]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TARFU:


Who is to say he didn't give them to her 15 years ago when she lived there.  I think she will be fine.   If the gun is ever traced for some reason it would be simple to show it was her fathers.  
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TARFU:
Originally Posted By sawgunner73:
I don't care either way, but OP and the FIL are residents of different states, so PA law as mentioned above doesn't apply.


Who is to say he didn't give them to her 15 years ago when she lived there.  I think she will be fine.   If the gun is ever traced for some reason it would be simple to show it was her fathers.  


That is a way around the law, meaning what you are talking about is illegal. Both parties would be conspiring to break the law, both parties would have to be certain of the date the firearms were given to the daughter, a date in which both claim she was a legal resident of PA.

What if they pick a date, then it is found out that one of the firearms “gifted” to the daughter was purchased after this date? The problem with lies trying to circumvent the laws is that they can unravel quickly.

The legal thing to do is to have the firearms transferred through an FFL.
Link Posted: 3/23/2022 9:23:52 PM EDT
[#11]
It would be a shame if you drove him to the local range and forgot to empty the trunk until you got home.  But these things happen when you're excited to see family after such a long pandemic separating loved ones.
Link Posted: 4/1/2022 12:07:11 PM EDT
[#12]
Thanks for all of the replies.  I was hoping that this would be simpler, but it is what it is.
Link Posted: 4/28/2022 12:50:42 PM EDT
[#13]
OP, it's not really that hard, but I think you're in a catch-22. Yes, your FIL can just hand off the guns according to Pa law, but that (I THINK) only applies to this if you are both Pa residents. Once your wife moved out of state the Fed got there grimy little hands involved and now you need a transfer.

My advice, for what it's worth, would be to find a reputable dealer in your FIL's area and take the guns to them. They can probably advise you and handle any transfer. Yeah it's a PITA but really not a huge one.And if you transfer them through an FFL and something is wrong, it's on the FFL not you.

For the record I am not an FFL and just speaking of my tiny bit of knowledge regarding this issue. If you decide to use an FFL I can give you some names in my area if that's where your FIL lives. I have a VERY short list of FFL's that I trust and they won't steer you wrong. Good luck.
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