My client’s brother died in Los Angeles, California without a will (intestate), without a surviving spouse and without children. His sister, my client, was his sole surviving heir. When he visited California to begin the probate and clean out her brother’s house, she found a large collection of guns, rifles, bullets and magazines. The collection contained Remingtons, Winchester, Colts and Rugers.
California law as it now stands makes the transfer between members of the same immediate family by gift, bequest, intestate succession, or other means exempt from the requirement firearm transaction be conducted through a firearms dealer. If the person acquired ownership of the firearm from an immediate family member by bequest or intestate succession, existing law makes the importation of a firearm into the state exempt from the requirement that the firearm first be delivered to a firearms dealer in this state.
A transfer between “immediate family members” for purposes of qualifying for an exemption from using a firearms dealer defines those members as a parent, child, sibling, grandparent and grandchild whether consanguinity, adoption or step-relation. So firearms transfers between siblings, as in my probate case, can be accomplished without the use of a dealer.