News Alert — Estate Planning with Firearms


Unlike other states who have enacted what is commonly known as a “Gun Trust” New Jersey is one of the few states in the country that does not have a gun trust.  In accordance with the present New Jersey law, N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3(j), the law provides as follows:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of this section concerning the transfer, receipt or acquisition of a firearm, a permit to purchase or a firearms purchaser identification card shall not be required for the passing of a firearm upon the death of an owner thereof to his heir or legatee, whether the same be by testamentary bequest or by the laws of intestacy.  The person who shall so receive, or acquire said firearm shall, however, be subject to all other provisions of this chapter.  If the heir or legatee of such firearm does not qualify to possess or carry it, he may retain ownership of the firearm for the purpose of sale for a period not exceeding 180 days, or for such further limited period as may be approved by the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality in which the heir or legatee resides or the superintendent, provided that such firearm is in the custody of the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality or the superintendent during such period.”

What this means is that at your passing the Executor of your estate will have 180 days to dispose of your weapons either by sale or transfer to persons holding licenses to possess weapons or by sale of the weapons to gun shops or gun collectors.  Should the Executor not act within 180 days, the Executor is obligated to deliver the guns to the Chief of Police of the local municipality where the person who owned the guns had died or if none, to the County Prosecutor or the state police.  The official to whom the guns are transferred will hold them until arrangements for the sale or transfer of the guns can be made.  Please be certain to advise the Executor of this information.

The Wacks Law Group, LLC

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