What to Do with a Gun When the Owner Dies: 7 Smart Ideas

If someone owns a gun, they are required to take care of it and store it properly. However, if the individual passes away, the gun might not enjoy the proper treatment.

So what happens to a gun that belonged to a dead friend or family member, especially if you are not into firearms? Well, if you don’t know what to do with such an item, you can get new ideas from this article.

what to do with a gun when the owner dies

What to Do with a Gun When the Owner Dies

Now, you have a good number of options to choose from when it comes to managing the gun whose owner is late. Here are some cool ideas to help you with handling not just the firearms, but also the ammunition.

1. Surrender It to the Police

If you don’t like having a gun around your home, you should hand it over to the police. But before you send it to the cops, confirm if they accept guns from the public. If they do, then you might use these steps to surrender the weapon of a deceased owner.

N.B. Since different cities have different laws concerning firearms, call your local police station and confirm if they accept unwanted firearms.

  1. Check with your lawyer first.
  2. Fill out a police form with your names and other details.
  3. Wait for a response as the police will check if the weapon was used in a previous crime.
  4. Follow any instructions that the police might offer you.

2. Sell It to Interested Buyers

If you don’t know what to do with the guns once owned by a deceased loved one, you might have to sell it off. But since firearms are sensitive materials, you will have to follow the right procedures to sell such items.

In some cities, you can use the following steps to sell arms to licensed gun merchants.

If the deceased owner left an antique device:

  • Check out trusted gun-selling sites.
  • Make a personal ad on the website with details of the gun. Also, avoid dropping personal information such as your home or office address.
  • Confirm if the potential buyer has a license to purchase and own guns.

For assault rifles and handguns:

If the deceased owned modern firearms, you might sell them with the following rules. But before you make any sale, contact your local law enforcement agency for additional advice.

In some cities, the following steps might be used to sell handguns or assault rifles:

  • Make an ad on a gun selling site
  • Ensure that the potential buyer has the license to own and purchase arms
  • Send your details and the details of the buyer to the Chief Firearms Officer of your area.

3. Sell It to a Gunshop

If you are confused about selling the gun to anonymous buyers, you can sell it to a local gunshop. Besides, you can also use this method if you don’t want strangers coming to your home.

  • Visit your local gun store.
  • Ask the merchant to sell the weapon on “consignment”. If the sale pulls through, the merchant keeps a percentage of the money.

4. Take It to a Giveback

Givebacks are special events where people can trade guns without any issues. But instead of getting cash for the firearms, you might end up with gift cards or similar items.

So what happens to these guns? Well, weapons that are gotten from buybacks are destroyed. But before the guns are destroyed,  the police do confirm if the guns are not unlicensed or involved in crimes.

To submit your guns to buybacks/givebacks, use the following steps.

  1. Confirm if there is a giveback event in your community.
  2. Visit the location
  3. Understand the rules that instruct on how to submit unwanted weapons.
  4. Submit the weapons at the assigned spots
  5. Contact the organizers of the event for any additional advice

5. Donate It to Approved Charities

You can donate the gun whose owner is dead to a charity like Support Our Troops. As expected, these organizations have experts that will take care of these weapons. Before you send your arms to any group, confirm with your local law enforcement if your preferred group is legal.

6. Turn It into a Decoration

If the gun has an interesting design, you can use it as a piece of decoration. But to avoid any costly errors, confirm if the gun does not have any value.

A professional gunsmith can help with the valuation. If the firearm is ordinary, the gunsmith can clean it out and make it harmless.

  • Take the gun to the gunsmith
  • Request for the gunsmith to clean it out. You can also get extra help from an art gallery.
  • Display the gun in a great spot in your home.

7. Turn It into a Doorstop

Guns are heavy which means they can hold most items in place. With this in mind, you can remove the internal parts of a smaller gun and use the shell as a doorstop. Crazy idea, right? Haha.

What to Do with the Ammunition of a Dead Person?

Apart from the firearms, you will have to deal with the ammunition of such weapons. If you have unwanted ammunition, the following tips can show you how to handle them.

Drop the ammunition at the gun range: Most gun ranges accept unwanted ammunition. But if these items look rusty or out of place, you might have to return the bullets home.

Call the Police Station: Some police stations accept bullets from the public. Before you feel like donating ammunition to the cops, call their local number and inquire if they would like to have unwanted bullets. If they accept your offer, consider going with a smaller quantity of bullets.

Recycle the Bullets: You can recycle the bullets from the guns of dead owners. Besides, the powder from the casings can become decent fertilizers. All you have to do is drop the bullets at designated events or locations. If the recycle point does not accept bullets, you can try other locations.

Should I Put the Bullets in the Trash?

If you can’t dispose of the bullets properly, do not place them in the trash. When it comes down to it, an active compactor can set off the bullet and cause fatalities. As a result, anyone can get hurt including bystanders.

How to Keep a Gun When The Owner Dies

If you want to keep the gun of a dead loved one, you should use the following tips to store it properly.

  1. Use silica gel to drive out moisture from the gun safe.
  2. Do not store guns in basements or attics as these areas contain excess moisture.
  3. Wipe the guns to prevent rust from sweaty hands.
  4. Keep the guns in gun socks.
  5. Clean your guns with original cleaning products.
  6. Avoid moisture by removing the gun from the original packaging.

Wrapping Up

When a loved one passes on, you will have to care for their guns and ammunition. But if you are not a fan of weapons. there are several ways that you can keep them from your home.

You can submit the gun to the police or sell it. You might even use an “empty” firearm as a doorstop.  But before you use our ideas, make sure they do not break any laws in your area.

As you dispose of the gun, remember to also get rid of the bullets. Moreover, keep them from the trash can or under the ground.

But if you want to keep the gun from a dead friend or relative, it would help if you stored it properly. Instead of dropping it in attics, store the weapon in safes with silica gel. To keep the guns from rust, try cleaning sweaty fingerprints from their surfaces.