Guns in the House

Archived Q&A and Reviews

April 2003

I inadvertantly inherited a number of guns (two revolvers and a rifle) when we sold my father's house. I would like them out of my house ASAP (I don't have any bullets, but I can't stand having even the unloaded guns around), but I don't know exactly what to do with them. I believe you can take guns to a police department to have them destroyed. First, though, I would like to make sure they are not of significant value. Does anyone have recommendations about local gun stores? I looked in the yellow pages and found listings for a number of stores, but I don't know a thing about any of them. Also, is it a problem if the guns are not registered? I do not know for sure that these guns are unregistered, but they have been sitting around for quite a while and I suspect that they are not.
Got to get rid of the guns!

[Editor] Four people recommended taking the guns to the Old West Gun Room. See

I appreciate that you do not want guns in your house. If you feel strongly about the level of violence in our society, I would suggest that you have the revolvers destroyed, even if they are ''worth something.'' Revolvers are made to kill or wound people, period. Ultimately these revolvers could end up in the hands of a killer (whether a ''criminal'' killer or just a ''self-defense'' killer). A rifle is a slightly different case; it can be used in hunting. Whether you approve of hunting or not could have an impact on what you decide to do with the rifle. But in your shoes, I would take the revolvers to the police and have them destroyed.
pro-everybody's kids, anti-gun

While I have my strong philosophical differences with them I have found no group that gives better advice about guns than the National Rifle Assn (707) 748-7900 Benicia, CA or National Rifle Assn (916) 446-2455 Sacto. You might want to call them and see if there is anyone local that they can recc. to appraise the guns to see if they have collector value. They would also know best how to dispose of them. Another thought on the same line is that NRA folks, while VERY conservative politically are VERY responsible with their guns.

As such if I owned a gun I didn't want I'd rather see some responsible hobbyist buy it rather than have it go to a shop where it could sold to someone who might be less responsible. jon

Thank you for your admirable conscience to rid yourself of the guns you inherited. I'd call the local police department and have someone come by and pick them up, rather than take them somewhere, even to a shop to have them appraised. We can thank people like actor Sean Penn for leaving guns in their car for even a short period of time and they end up stolen and in criminal hands, threatening us all. (It happened in Berkeley) Again, thanks for your wisdom. Tim

If I ever had to do anything with guns (can't imagine what), I would go to the Old West Gun Room ...

But there is the issue of whether any gun, of value or not, should be kept in circulation, even though 3 guns are not going to make or break the difference in crime and violence. If you take it to the police, it doesn't matter if it is registered or not.

The same inheritance happened to us, and we solved it by going to our local police department. I would recommend calling the police non-emergency number in your city and asking them if you can walk it in (in a paper bag). The officer I dealt with first checked to make sure there were no bullets lodged in the chamber, then put a plastic tag so no bullets could go in. He then suggested trying to sell it to the local gun shop in el cerrito (right below the revamped plaza). Pretty funny: he said he didn't want to smelt it since it was a collectible. We didn't have to worry about it not being registered, given the inheritance circumstances. I ended up giving it to a responsible friend who collects such things, and am very happy to get it out of our lives. good luck! no gun household

First of all, you do not have to register guns in CA so do not worry about that. You have to have a background check when you buy one but you do not have to register them. But regardless, I agree that you should get them out of your house for a lot of reasons, mainly that they make you uncomfortable. Most police departments have discontinued their buy back programs b/c federal funds have been cut off for this. I wouldn't go that route anyway b/c some antique guns are illegal under local ordinances and you do not want the headache in case one of your guns is banned. Besides, your guns may be worth money! I would go to the Old West Gun Room in El Cerrito ....