What to do about your firearms

Firearms in the right hands are wonderful recreational items. They get us outdoors and to the range with like minded friends. When properly used and maintained they are wonderful assets. When they are not, they can be liabilities of the most unexpected nature.

I have been involved with the selling and buying of guns my entire life which is why I started GTA Guns and Gear Auctions Inc. Over the past 2 years, we have encountered some situations involving firearms ownership that create chaos, confusion, fear and some situations that are downright dangerous. Here’s an example.

Last year we were approached by a lady who was most upset. She was the executor of her late ex-husband’s estate and wanted an appraisal performed on the deceased’s firearms collection. She was upset because he had failed to maintain his firearms licence and this put her in a very difficult situation. In the event of an owner’s death the executor of the estate temporarily inherits the deceased’s firearms licence so that he/she may dispose of the guns. But in this situation, because there was no licence to inherit, the executor became an unlawful possessor of firearms. Normally the appraisal of the firearms, and of the estate’s other assets, permits the process of probating the will to proceed and the assets to be distributed. In this case however, the executor cannot touch the firearms and therefore the will could not be probated. Moreover, the collection was stored in the ex-husband’s now vacant house and that presented a security risk.

She had 3 risk exposures.

  1. She became an unlawful possessor of firearms and could be charged under the Criminal Code of Canada.
  2. An appraisal on the firearms must be performed before the will can be probated. Therefore, she could not access the money in the estate.
  3. The firearms were not stored securely and if stolen and used in a crime, she could be charged with unsafe storage.

To alleviate the woman’s anguish, we collected the guns from their location and brought them to our secure storage facility. We then performed an appraisal and subsequently included them in one of our regular auctions. As a result, this lady was no longer in distress and the estate had disposed of an asset for much more money than originally been expected.

Let’s face it. If we are lucky to live long enough, we are all going to get a hole in our marble bag. Unlike the Ministry of Transportation, there is no mandatory retesting for firearms licensing as there is with driving. Therefore, it is our own responsibility to deal with our firearms before they stop being an asset and start being a liability.

Whether it be for advice, accessible firearms storage, appraisal, or auction, we at GTA Guns & Gear Auctions look forward to being of service to you. Visit our website at: gtaguns.com or call us at 1-844-482-4644.

Gord is President of GTA Guns and Gear Auctions located locally in Newmarket.