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How To Sell Inherited Guns in Massachusetts | Bay State Surplus

Inheriting firearms can present an unexpected challenge, particularly in Massachusetts, where gun laws are strict and detailed. This guide provides essential information for those looking to understand their options, especially if they're considering selling guns they've inherited. Whether you have a Massachusetts License to Carry (LTC) or Firearms Identification Card (FID) or not, there are specific pathways to legally manage or sell these firearms.

For Those Without a Massachusetts License to Carry or FID

Understanding Your Options

If you find yourself inheriting firearms in Massachusetts and do not possess a Massachusetts LTC or FID, it's critical to know the state's mandates to ensure you're acting within the law. Fortunately, there's a 6 month grace period and a specific process for those in this situation.

1. Selling to a Federal Firearms Dealer

One of the first steps you might consider is selling the inherited firearms to a Federal Firearms Dealer. Massachusetts law allows an individual up to 180 days from the date of inheritance to sell the firearms to a licensed dealer. This provision ensures that you can legally transfer ownership without immediately possessing the required state licenses.

It's important to note that private transfers of these firearms are prohibited unless facilitated by a Federal Firearms Dealer. This measure is in place to ensure that all transactions are conducted safely and legally, adhering to both federal and state regulations.

For Those With a Massachusetts License to Carry or FID

Engaging in a Private Sale

Possessing a Massachusetts LTC or FID opens up the possibility of a private sale, provided you take the necessary steps to register the inherited firearms in your name. This option allows more flexibility and the potential for a direct sale, but it comes with its own set of responsibilities and legal requirements.

1. Registering the Firearms

The first crucial step is to register the inherited firearm under your name. Massachusetts has streamlined this process through the Massachusetts Private Firearms Transfer Portal, which can be accessed through This Link:

Upon reaching the menu screen, select "inheritance." This selection leads to a form requiring both your LTC # & PIN and those of the deceased previous owner. The form prompts you to enter basic information about the firearm. Completing this registration is crucial and legitimizes the firearm under your name, allowing for a private transfer if desired.

2. Understanding the Limitations

It's worth noting that Massachusetts imposes a limit on the number of private firearms transactions allowed per calendar year. Specifically, you're permitted to transfer up to four firearms privately within a year. This restriction doesn't apply to transactions conducted through a dealer, emphasizing the importance of planning how you choose to manage inherited firearms strategically.

Conclusion: Making Informed Decisions

Inheriting firearms in Massachusetts necessitates a careful approach to ensure compliance with state laws. Whether you choose to sell the firearms to a Federal Firearms Dealer within the allowable 180 days or engage in a private sale by first registering the firearms under your name, understanding and adhering to the legal requirements is paramount.

For those without the necessary Massachusetts licenses, promptly deciding on the disposition of the inherited firearms and engaging a Federal Firearms Dealer is a clear path to legal compliance. Meanwhile, license holders have the advantage of private sales, provided they navigate the registration and transfer processes diligently.

Urging Responsibility and Compliance

Regardless of the method chosen, it's crucial to emphasize the importance of responsibility and compliance in the transfer and sale of firearms. Engaging with reputable Federal Firearms Dealers and diligently following the state's process for private transfers not only ensures legality but also promotes safety within the community.

If you've recently inherited guns in Massachusetts and are pondering what to do next, this guide aims to shed light on your options, helping you make informed and lawful decisions. Whether you're leaning towards selling your inherited firearms or seeking to understand the proper channels for transfer, remember that compliance with state regulations is the first step towards responsible firearm management.


Note: This information is intended to provide guidance on the processes and laws related to inheriting firearms in Massachusetts as of its writing. Laws and regulations can change, and it's recommended to consult directly with legal experts or local law enforcement to verify the latest requirements and processes.

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