As people get further in their years, mental and physical faculties become lessened; while the need for self defense increases. Family members with guns should have an estate plan in place that reflects what should occur with them. No matter what your personal stance on gun control may be, if your elderly loved one has a gun, or guns, you may want to figure out what course of action is best for your family. When an elderly person reaches the point where mental stability or physical well-being is called into question, it may a good idea to create a plan.

Planning Ahead

Even in New York City, many people have guns; be it for personal safety, home defense, or hunting. Before the gun owner is considered mentally or physically incapacitated, they can create a Gun Trust.
A Gun Trust is an estate plan that allows for a registered gun to be passed down to a family member. Like other trusts, the trust beneficiary may have to complete some requirements before receiving legal entitlement. This may include gaining a gun license, taking training courses or buying a gun safe.

Transferring Guns From Elders with Dementia

If the elderly person wants to give up their gun because they are developing dementia, they should be encouraged; for their safety, and the safety of others. 48 states (Rhode Island and Colorado are the exceptions) allow for a gun owner to transfer firearms to family members without a background check.

Refusing To Give Them Up

If your loved one is refusing to give up his/her gun; you may need to go file for Guardianship. A judge can deem a person mentally or physically incapable of gun ownership, and can appoint a guardian to take control of the guns.

Keeping the Guns at Home

Families may want to keep the guns in their home. They should be kept in a locked cabinet, with ammunition stored separately. It is also possible to get the guns professionally disabled, or create replicas of your loved one’s firearms.

Veterans and Guns

Due to the fact that mental incompetence can be cause to remove a gun owner’s right to bear arms, over 109,000 veterans do not have gun rights because of their enrollment into the VA program.

Turning in Firearms

You can turn in you or your loved one’s firearms and ammunition at a local police precinct. The Richmond County District Attorney’s Office held a gun buy back program on September 22, 2018. Depending on your area, there may be some cash reward for handing them in.

For more than 40 years, our firm has been assisting people like you with long term care and estate planning needs. We bring you the knowledge and resources to protect you and your family. Armstrong & Lamberti, PLLC do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice by articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. Call 718.477.7700 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with an estate planning attorney at Armstrong & Lamberti, PLLC. We proudly serve Staten Island, Brooklyn and the other boroughs of New York City.