Make plans to pass on firearms

Thanks for the article ‘Death awaits us all’ (Australian Shooter, December 2018). This is a topic many don’t consider - I know from first-hand experience. I lost my father a few years back and had to go through the process of getting a licence again and appropriate storage.

Having moved abroad I’d let my licence lapse - I’d left the sport a few years earlier for no reason, life just got in the way. When my father died he left a number of guns and rifles that had not only sentimental value but were worth a pretty penny.

I called a police friend for advice who said there was a limited amnesty period following a death but to address it straight away - I had to store the guns at either a police station or gunsmith. I chose the latter and it cost a fortune due to the length of time (the police option was not attractive as they said they’d destroy them if I was outside the amnesty).

I had to attend courses, study and sit an exams to regain my licence as my expired one meant nothing - you’re treated like a first-time shooter. The time between the test and obtaining a licence was four months and overall it took six months to have everything back and legal. The upside is the process reignited my passion and I’m again a regular shooter and hunter.

Shooters getting ‘long in the tooth’ should make plans to pass their firearms to licensed parties so loved ones can avoid the hassle and cost they may otherwise end up with.

Michael Bell, via email

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