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Can I pass on my antique firearms?

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | ELDER LAW - Estate Planning

Many elderly people in Connecticut have antique firearms that they have either collected over the years or that they kept from their years of service. As a result, a common question arises about the transfer of antique firearms in estate plans. This blog post aims to shed light on whether residents can pass on their antique firearms in an estate plan, and if so, how.

Connecticut firearms laws

Connecticut has enacted stringent firearms laws (Public Act 13-03 and its amending act, Public Act 13-22), but this does not mean that your antique firearms must be destroyed on your death. The laws are particularly restrictive for those weapons that are classified as “assault weapons.”

Transfer of firearms in estate planning

When it comes to estate planning, the state law prohibits anyone with a registered assault weapon from selling or transferring the firearm in Connecticut to anyone except a licensed gun dealer. However, the firearm can be transferred by bequest (through a Will) or intestate succession (without a Will). Within 90 days, anyone who inherits title to a properly registered assault weapon must apply to the department of public safety for a certificate of possession.

Exemption for antique firearms

Importantly, the law exempts antique firearms, as defined in existing law, from all the provisions pertaining to firearms sales and transfers. An antique firearm is any firearm that was manufactured in or before 1898 and any replica of such firearm.

The role of executors and trustees

Executors and trustees charged with handling the estates of gun owners must have a solid understanding of Connecticut’s gun regulations. They are responsible for ensuring the legal transfer of these firearms. It is crucial to understand who has this authority to avoid any legal complications.

Moreover, before any transfer or sale, ensure that the firearms are securely stored in a safe to prevent unauthorized access or potential accidents. A well-maintained safe not only protects firearms from theft, but also from environmental factors like humidity, which can damage guns over time. These are all duties of executors and trustees.


Connecticut residents can indeed pass on their antique firearms in an estate plan. However, the process involves understanding and navigating complex laws and regulations.