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Firearms belonging to estates of deceased persons

A deceased’s estate often includes firearms. On this page, you will find information on what to do when you as the estate administrator find, for example, licensed firearms of an older relative.

Under the Firearms Act, after the death of a permit holder the administrator of the permit holder’s estate must, without delay, take possession of all firearms, firearm components, cartridges and specially dangerous projectiles belonging to the estate.

So if you are the administrator, you must immediately take action if you know that the estate include firearms, components or cartridges. 

First contact the police

You should first contact the police department of the area where the deceased person last resided. As an administrator of the estate, you also have the right to keep and, for acceptable reasons, transport firearms for a period of six months from the date of the permit holder’s death. So you have six months to deal with the firearms belonging to the estate in one of the following ways: 

  • If you want to keep the firearms, you need to obtain a firearm permit for them. The firearm permit of a deceased person will not be transferred directly to you as the estate administrator. You must also have an acceptable legal reason for obtaining a permit.  You can apply for a firearm permit from your local police department. 
  • You can hand over the firearms to someone who holds a permit for acquiring them. 
  • Firearms can be rendered permanently unusable (deactivated).
  • You can hand over the firearms to the police for sale at a firearms auction. 
  • You can hand over the firearms to the state without payment. In practice, this means that you deliver the firearms to the police, who will destroy them.
  • You can hand over the firearms to the police, for example, for the duration of the permit process. 

The police will give you instructions on how the deal with the matter.