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Firearms – Deceased Estates (NSW)

Date: 29 May 2024

When a registered firearms owner has died, their executor (or administrator) should notify the Firearms Registry of the death as soon as practicable.

The Firearms Registry will arrange for NSW Police to complete a safe storage inspection of the firearms. At this time, Police will liaise with the executor or administrator regarding the options for lawful disposal of the firearms.

The executor may lawfully possess the firearms for the purpose of lawfully disposing of them, without holding a firearms licence or permit to acquire each firearm. Section 82A of the Firearms Act 1996 (the Act).
The executor may retain possession of the firearms for up to 6 months from the registered owner’s date of death, but is not authorised to use the firearms. Whilst the executor holds the firearms in their possession, they will need to comply with safe storage requirements under the Act.
If no executor or administrator has been appointed, the firearms must immediately be surrendered to NSW Police for safekeeping pending their disposal.

Unregistered firearms must be immediately surrendered to police for destruction or to a dealer for registration under the ongoing National Firearms Amnesty. An executor has no authority to hold an unlicensed firearm which was held by the deceased.
An executor has the following options for dealing with the firearms:

1. Transfer the firearms to someone in NSW
If the intended beneficiary already has a NSW Firearms Licence for the relevant categories of firearms, Deceased Estate Firearm Ownership Transfer forms will need to be prepared by the executor and the beneficiary and lodged with the Firearms Registry. Once a permit to acquire has been issued, the beneficiary may take possession of the firearm/s from the executor or from the temporary custody of NSW Police.
If the intended beneficiary does not hold a NSW Firearms Licence or is not licenced for the relevant category, before the above form is completed they will need to obtain a licence for the relevant category. This application can be completed online via the NSW Police Force Community Portal.

2. Transfer the firearms to someone outside of NSW
A NSW Firearms Dealer will need to attend to an interstate transfer.

3. Sell the firearms
The firearms will need to be provided to a NSW Firearms Dealer, who will take the firearms into their stock for the purpose of resale.

4. Surrendering the firearm to NSW Police for destruction
Police will take possession of the firearms and arrange destruction.

Please contact RML Solutions if you need assistance as an executor or beneficiary when dealing with firearms after a registered owner has died. We can also assist firearms owners with preparing a Will that leaves their firearms and associated equipment to their preferred beneficiaries.

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To get in touch with our team, start by emailing us at enquiries@rm.net.au

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