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Thread: I've become a reluctant gun owner

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    Veteran Member crazyfingers's Avatar
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    I've become a reluctant gun owner

    No I didn't go out and buy any guns.

    I inherited some antique guns when my dad died.

    These were all owned by my great-grandfather from the Spanish American war and WWI.

    The pistol we are told my great grandfather took from a Spanish officer while in Cuba.

    I don't want to be a gun owner but these are also the only physical objects passed down from my great grandfather and so It's my duty to keep them in the family and to pass them on.They are still at my parents house. I have not transported them. I wonder if I need to get a permit?

    Anyone know what these are? I will likely have to learn what they are worth for when it's time to do inheritance tax.

    Strange though. Me having guns. There is a small box that has some ammo. I haven't touched them. Need to find out how to get rid of it.










    Last edited by crazyfingers; 11-24-2019 at 03:51 AM.

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    Looks like you have to report inheriting them and I think you need a license to have them also:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_Massachusetts

    It's more complex if you don't live in the same state he lived in.

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    Veteran Member crazyfingers's Avatar
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    It is the same state.

    I suppose technically/legally they aren't mine yet but it's inevitable.

    My dad got them from a relative maybe over 30 years ago. He told me more recently that when he took them to the police station asking them if he needed a permit, they told him they were ancient and don't bother.

    Now my mom is still alive. She had to move to assisted living when my dad died this past summer. The house itself is actually deeded to her for tax reasons. And so too I expect that the guns are legally hers now. Though we have not done any official estate transfer yet.

    At the moment we have no strong plans to sell the house. We may not sell for a year or more. Mom is in no particular need of the money for probably the rest of her life.

    But we will sell some day.

    So for now the guns are still just sitting in a closet as they have for over 30 years.

    But it's an issue I will have to deal with some day.

    My uncle who was visiting just after dad died says that except for a .22 that i don't think is in the photos, bullets are no longer made . And I did read something about some exception in the law for antiques. Part of the definition of antique was no commercial availability of ammunition if I recall correctly.

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    Have them valued and if they are worth anything sell them. If worthless get rid of them. They don’t appear to have any sentimental value to you or do they ?

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    Veteran Member crazyfingers's Avatar
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    My family is big on keeping family history. So while I don't value guns I do value family antiques / heirlooms. So unless keeping them become overwhelmingly difficult due to the laws, it's pretty much my duty to save them for future generations. I would never get or keep any ammunition for them even if it still exists.

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    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    In civilised countries, these would have to be kept in a locked steel cabinet, with any ammunition stored in a separate locked container.

    However, as people like to display antiques, it's common to have firearms deactivated, rendering them unusable, and difficult to repair (to the point where it would be easier to simply make a new firearm).

    This can be done in such a way as to leave the external appearance unchanged, and many a farmhouse and pub in the UK has a deactivated gun hanging on a wall.

    When I was working for a gunsmith back in the UK in the late '80s, we deactivated a number of shotguns; This involved removing the firing pins; Cutting a slot in the underside of the barrel from the breech to the end of the forestock; And then welding a steel plug into the barrel at the forward end of the slot. With the forestock replaced, there's no external change of appearance, but that gun will never fire again. The final step before legal display is permitted in UK law is to have the proof house stamp the barrels with a DA stamp, at which point the item in question is officially no longer a firearm, and can be owned without a licence, and stored or displayed in any way that does not cause "alarm and despondency" - ie you are not allowed to threaten people with it, or give the impression that you might be armed in public, but otherwise you can do as you please.

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    Veteran Member crazyfingers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    In civilised countries, these would have to be kept in a locked steel cabinet, with any ammunition stored in a separate locked container.

    However, as people like to display antiques, it's common to have firearms deactivated, rendering them unusable, and difficult to repair (to the point where it would be easier to simply make a new firearm).

    This can be done in such a way as to leave the external appearance unchanged, and many a farmhouse and pub in the UK has a deactivated gun hanging on a wall.

    When I was working for a gunsmith back in the UK in the late '80s, we deactivated a number of shotguns; This involved removing the firing pins; Cutting a slot in the underside of the barrel from the breech to the end of the forestock; And then welding a steel plug into the barrel at the forward end of the slot. With the forestock replaced, there's no external change of appearance, but that gun will never fire again. The final step before legal display is permitted in UK law is to have the proof house stamp the barrels with a DA stamp, at which point the item in question is officially no longer a firearm, and can be owned without a licence, and stored or displayed in any way that does not cause "alarm and despondency" - ie you are not allowed to threaten people with it, or give the impression that you might be armed in public, but otherwise you can do as you please.

    That's interesting.

    Massachusetts law does require guns to be locked in a safe box or have trigger locks on them when in storage.

    I have no idea if there are similar laws here as to the UK for what you've described.

    What I've been told is that they are so old that no ammunition is actually available any more for them but I clearly need to learn what these things are and once I know that I'll be able to find out if it's possible to get ammunition. I hope that no ammunition exists for them any more. My hope is that they are regarded as antiques for that reason and I think that regulations are a lot easier if that's the case.

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    Those look quite similar to guns my father owned and passed to his kids who promptly passed them to grandsons. Actually, only one grandson has any of them but another is 'promised' for 'someday' by a sibling who, for some reason (she's a hoarder and I'm not even exaggerating or being mean) wants to hold on to hers for a while. I'm not sure any have been fired since some years before he passed away. It's strange to hear them called 'antique' although I cannot say that I can tell how similar in vintage they are to the firearms my father used all the way up until about 2000 or so, mostly bird hunting. I grew up with guns in the house and come from a long line of sharp shooters and hunters. I just never cared much for killing animals so I never was interested in the guns, although back in the day, I could break one down and clean it and fire it if necessary. It's a skill I lost, quickly and voluntarily.

    Times have dramatically changed. I grew up in farm country where pretty much every relative who lived on a tiny bit of land, whether they still farmed or not, and all of their neighbors and indeed, any of the country folk I knew had a couple of rifles and a shotgun or two around, bare minimum. Gun safes were not common. Neither was kids messing with their daddies' guns. Neither was the idea that you needed a semiautomatic or high powered rifle to hunt and definitely, no one combined drinking with hunting. EVER. My dad kept his shotguns under his bed and the rifles up in his closet. It would not have been worth satisfying our curiosity if we had even thought of touching one of them unless expressly invited to do so and properly supervised by my father. Same with all the kids I knew. Heck, my father grew up basically totally unsupervised most of his childhood and judging by the stories he told (and were told about him by those who grew up with him) he was kind of a wild child. But he never, ever, ever touched one of his father's guns without express permission and never, ever, ever used one for anything other than target practice or hunting. This was frankly how half the kids I knew grew up. They knew where their dad's guns were and they never touched them, not even their own when they were old enough to have one, without express permission and any supervision their father thought necessary.

    I'm not sure what changed. But it really has.

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    Whatever you do, do NOT CLEAN THEM. It would ruin any collector's value if you did.

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    Veteran Member crazyfingers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toni View Post
    Those look quite similar to guns my father owned and passed to his kids who promptly passed them to grandsons. Actually, only one grandson has any of them but another is 'promised' for 'someday' by a sibling who, for some reason (she's a hoarder and I'm not even exaggerating or being mean) wants to hold on to hers for a while. I'm not sure any have been fired since some years before he passed away. It's strange to hear them called 'antique' although I cannot say that I can tell how similar in vintage they are to the firearms my father used all the way up until about 2000 or so, mostly bird hunting. I grew up with guns in the house and come from a long line of sharp shooters and hunters. I just never cared much for killing animals so I never was interested in the guns, although back in the day, I could break one down and clean it and fire it if necessary. It's a skill I lost, quickly and voluntarily.

    Times have dramatically changed. I grew up in farm country where pretty much every relative who lived on a tiny bit of land, whether they still farmed or not, and all of their neighbors and indeed, any of the country folk I knew had a couple of rifles and a shotgun or two around, bare minimum. Gun safes were not common. Neither was kids messing with their daddies' guns. Neither was the idea that you needed a semiautomatic or high powered rifle to hunt and definitely, no one combined drinking with hunting. EVER. My dad kept his shotguns under his bed and the rifles up in his closet. It would not have been worth satisfying our curiosity if we had even thought of touching one of them unless expressly invited to do so and properly supervised by my father. Same with all the kids I knew. Heck, my father grew up basically totally unsupervised most of his childhood and judging by the stories he told (and were told about him by those who grew up with him) he was kind of a wild child. But he never, ever, ever touched one of his father's guns without express permission and never, ever, ever used one for anything other than target practice or hunting. This was frankly how half the kids I knew grew up. They knew where their dad's guns were and they never touched them, not even their own when they were old enough to have one, without express permission and any supervision their father thought necessary.

    I'm not sure what changed. But it really has.
    Interesting. I never grew up with guns. I had only seen these once or twice before my dad died. Though I knew where they were.

    In terms of farmers and guns, I see what I'd view as strong reasons why one would need one basically to protect livestock. As for semi-automatics and handguns, it's a mindset that I can't relate to.

    I used the term antiques because I've assumed, and since starting this topic have confirmed, that at least 4 of the 5 items are in fact more than 100 years old. The only one I don't yet know for sure is the shotgun which is the second photo.

    The two rifles (3rd and 4th photos) are military issue for the Spanish American War (.30-40 Krag) and WWI (Model 1903 Springfield) respectively. The Model 1903 Springfield was also used in WWII but based on the serial number I've learned it was manufactured in 1918. Both have been modified for hunting sometime before 1942.

    Like I've suggested, I'm no big fan of guns. My interest in these is primarily that they are physical artifacts from my family history, and possible estate taxes, not the guns themselves. We also have a pewter tea pot, coffee pot and milk decanter set that appear to date back to the 1700's. I'd like to know their story also.

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